PEORIA — The winter storm that passed through the Peoria area this weekend didn’t dump as much snow as did the one last weekend. That’s the good news.
The bad news is wicked winds and terrible temperatures combined to make travel inadvisable.
As of about noon Saturday, most snow measurements in the Peoria area were between 2 and 3 inches, according to Heather Stanley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Lincoln.
Snow from this storm began to fall about midnight Friday in the city and environs. After the lunch hour Saturday, snowfall tapered and accumulations were negligible.
Winter storm warnings the Weather Service had issued for the entire Journal Star-area were canceled between about 10 a.m. and noon, hours ahead of schedule.
But the temperature, which at 4 p.m. in Peoria was 25 degrees, was to decrease steadily as the day progressed.
Wind gusts of up to 40 mph were common Saturday morning and expected to persist, Stanley said.
The overnight low temperature in Peoria was expected to be about 4 degrees. Wind chills were forecast as low as minus 9.
Before the first snowflakes of this storm fell, the range of accumulation in the Tri-County Area was predicted to be 4 to 6 inches. The lower, actual total didn’t come as a surprise to Stanley.
“We were expecting snow to be heavy in some places and not so heavy in others,” she said. “We had an idea there would be a lot of variability, and sure enough, there was.”
Last weekend’s storm dumped more than 11 inches of snow on Peoria.
The high total this weekend in the Journal Star area appears to have been in Kewanee, which received 6.1 inches, according to the Weather Service.
Other totals of note were 5.7 inches of snow in Abingdon, 5.5 inches in Galesburg, 4.7 inches in Princeton, 4 inches in Carthage and 3.8 inches in Macomb.
Travel in rural areas was dicey, thanks to the wind. That was particularly true on east-west roads.
The Illinois Department of Transportation reported most roads in central Illinois were covered with snow. Some roads in the Lincoln area were closed because of ice and accidents.
The Fulton County Emergency Services and Disaster Agency reported no road closures in its jurisdiction. Roads in cities and villages were in good shape, but the highways between them were another story.
Just south of Fulton County, the Rushville-based Schuyler County Highway Department suspended snow-removal operations Saturday night because of strong winds.
The Rushville Police Department reported multiple accidents and stranded vehicles.
The Havana-based Mason County Sheriff's Office recommended only emergency travel after 5 p.m. Saturday.
In Bureau County, some roads were impassable because of drifting snow, according to the local emergency-management agency.
"Crews went out and told me the wind was blowing so hard it was really tough to see," said Chuck Woolley, the Princeton fire chief.
Woolley said the snowfall from last week didn't help matters. Most of it still was on the ground when the new snow began to fall.
"You're getting some of those roads, especially in rural districts with no protection, that tend to get snow-covered ... to the point where they're impassable," Woolley said.
Precipitation fell mostly as rain in Springfield and areas south, according to reports. Snow and ice were expected Saturday night in some areas of southern Illinois.
Snow totals appeared heavier north of central Illinois, with 8 to 10 inches reported in locations between Chicago and Milwaukee.
Peoria-area temperatures are expected to remain unusually frigid all day Sunday, with a high of about 12 degrees and a low of zero. Light snow is possible late Sunday afternoon and early evening.
The Peoria Police Department lobby at 600 SW Adams St. is open 24 hours a day as a warming center, according to city spokeswoman Stacy Peterson.
The cold is to persist through Monday morning. But warmer weather Tuesday might derail the next possibility of significant snow, according to Stanley.
A high temperature of 39 degrees is predicted for Tuesday. Light snow or freezing rain in the morning are possible, with precipitation changing to rain later in the day.
“We’re keeping an eye on that one,” Stanley said. “It might be going back-and-forth — snow, then rain, then snow.”
A low temperature of 21 is expected Tuesday night.
Nick Vlahos can be reached at 686-3285 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @VlahosNick.