Effingham Daily News
People seeking a white Christmas may want to pack their bags and head north, according to a National Weather Service meteorologist.
Heather Stanley, from the weather service office in Lincoln, said central and southern Illinois are not expected to see any measurable snowfall this week.
"You are going to see off-and-on rain that may change to snow in the northern half of the state," Stanley said.
Stanley said the Chicago area could receive anywhere from two to four inches. Those seeking even more snow, she said, could travel to northeastern Iowa where up to eight inches are expected by Friday.
But in the Effingham area, the winter weather is mostly expected to be rain.
"You could see a light dusting of snow, but I wouldn't expect it to stick," Stanley said, adding appreciable snowfall is expected to stay north of a line going through Pontiac in north-central Illinois.
Stanley said the bigger problem for area residents tonight will be winds strong enough to cause a car to lose control, especially on north-south roads. Sustained winds ranging from 30 to 40 miles per hour will be augmented, she said, by gusts of up to 55 miles per hour.
The potentially severe weather is being fueled by a deep low pressure system that moved from Arizona and New Mexico Wednesday through the Great Plains into the Midwest by Thursday.
The center of the low pressure system was expected to be in the Peoria area by mid-morning today, Stanley said.
"It's a very dynamic system," she said.
Bill Grimes can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.