Saturday the center of low pressure over the central plains will intensify as it moves east, spreading a wide band of showers and embedded thunderstorms across Illinois and the Chicago area. Easterly winds here will strengthen, gusting in excess of 35 miles per hour. Temperatures in the 40s along with anticipated rains will quickly melt the remaining snowpack with close to 100 percent runoff of saturated soils. Already swollen rivers and streams, especially north of Interstate-80 will likely flood along with poorly drained and low-lying flood-prone areas.
This storm system will impact much of the eastern half of the country – to our south severe storms are expected over the southeastern Gulf Coast states north into the Ohio Valley, while 6 to 12-inches of heavy blowing and drifting snow is forecast to the west and north from Nebraska and South Dakota through southern Minnesota into northern Wisconsin.