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Latest Meso-scale discussion pinpoints the onset of blizzard conditions in western Illinois that will impact the Chicago area later tonight

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Blizzard conditions are currently developing in west of Chicago as the early winter storm continues to strengthen. The severe conditions of heavy snow and strong winds will create blizzard conditions  across much of northern Illinois and the Chicago Metro areas later this evening and overnight.


Mesoscale Discussion 1662
   NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK
   0357 PM CST Sun Nov 25 2018

   Areas affected...Northeast Missouri...far southeast Iowa...portions
   of western Illinois

   Concerning...Blizzard 

   Valid 252157Z - 260200Z



   SUMMARY...Rain/wintry mixed precipitation across the area is
   expected to transition to snow with eastward progression of the
   surface low. 1-2 inch/hour snowfall rates appear likely, with
   blizzard conditions moving into parts of the area over the next few
   hours.

   DISCUSSION...A 996 mb surface low continues to track northeast
   across Missouri into Illinois. Heavy snow has been abundant well to
   the north of the low, along a stationary front aloft, and within the
   northwest quadrant of the surface low, where blizzard conditions
   have been reported in numerous locales. The eastward progressing,
   deepening upper-level trough will encourage maintenance (and perhaps
   some strengthening) of the low's intensity, suggesting that blizzard
   conditions will continue within the northwest quadrant, particularly
   in northeast Missouri into far west Illinois. 

   A jet of deep moisture within the 925-850 mb layer will continue to
   saturate the low-level airmass within proximity/north of the low,
   with rapid ascent expected across the discussion area, where 700 mb
   frontogenesis is quite strong, and saturation has already been noted
   within the dendritic growth/-12 to -17C layer. The surface freezing
   line is rapidly moving into the area from the west, and deep-layer
   cooling is expected. As such, a transition to snow is expected, with
   1-2 inch/hr rates likely.
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