Ice and snow, then a white Christmas

Published: Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 7:32 a.m. CDT

First, there will be a chance for icy roads today. Then, on Sunday, there is a possibility of accumulating snow.

After that, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service said, there is a “pretty decent” chance for a white Christmas, which is defined as at least an inch of snow on the ground on Christmas Day.

The immediate concern will be the potential for hazardous driving today. The weather service issued a special weather statement for the region that warns of “the possibility for drizzle to freeze to the surface, forming a glaze of ice.” Meteorologist Richard Castro said the morning commute is the main concern, as freezing rain is expected to fall north of Kane County, but that might extend to the area.

The weather service issued a hazardous weather outlook report for later in the weekend, warning that “a major storm system is expected to affect the area.” A winter storm watch has been issued, and it will run from Saturday evening through Sunday afternoon. What that means for Kane County is uncertain.

Castro said he expects at least a minor accumulation of snow, which he defined as a couple of inches, but there could be more depending on when rain changes into snow. There might be mainly rain on Saturday night, with periods of sleet or freezing rain.

By Sunday morning, he said, a “period of accumulating snow” might take place, and that might remain into Sunday afternoon.

He said northwest Illinois might receive a substantial snowfall, “but it wouldn’t take much for it to go south into areas of Kane County.” But even the heaviest snow wouldn’t be more than 8 inches, he said, adding that “it’s just not lining up to be really a major, major amount of snow.”

Castro notes that temperatures then are expected to plunge, with a low of 9 Sunday night, then highs of 16 and 23 forecast for Monday and Tuesday, respectively. And there is a slight chance of snow for Wednesday, which is Christmas Day, with a high near 31. So, he said, it’s likely that there will be at least an inch of snow on the ground, enough to call it a white Christmas.

“Chances are at least fairly good of this happening,” he said. “Chances are pretty decent.”