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Icy snowy roads to hit weekend; warm weather expected late next week

Published: Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

MORRIS – Icy, snowy roads could disrupt travel plans this weekend as the Illinois Department of Transportation is anticipating dangerous road conditions, but by the middle of next week, the area could finally see some warm weather as temperatures jump near 50 degrees.

Beginning Sunday night, Grundy County, and the rest of the Chicago area, could experience freezing rain and snowfall well into Monday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

“For that time period, we are expecting rain, snow and sleet,” said Bill Nelson, meteorologist for National Weather Service Chicago. “But we’re still a little too far out to see exactly how everything is going to come together.”

Some parts of Illinois could see as much as four inches of snow combined with freezing rain, making roads slick.

“We certainly encourage drivers to check our website for updated travel and road conditions throughout the state,” Jae Miller, spokesperson for IDOT, said Friday. “We also encourage drivers to have an emergency kit in their car.”

Miller said IDOT has about 1,755 snow plows ready to hit the roads this weekend, but still encouraged drivers to travel with caution.

“This has been a historic winter,” Miller said. “We’ve seen more snow then we’ve seen in over a decade so our crews have had to work extra hard to keep roads safe.”

She added that IDOT considers many factors when deciding which roads to plow first, but interstates like Interstates 80 and I-55 are major priorities because they are so heavily trafficked.

After this weekend’s bout of bad weather, Grundy County residents can expect “unseasonably” warm temperatures for much of the following week.

Temperatures are expected to stay in the mid 20-degree range for most of Sunday, but will begin increasing Monday afternoon. Nelson said they anticipate temperatures to reach the upper 40s, and in some cases low 50s by Thursday of next week.

“It depends on several factors, like snow melt, but temperatures will start increasing by Monday,” Nelson said.

Residents are encouraged to be prepared for flooding, however, as warm weather could induce several inches of snow and ice to melt.

According to the National Weather Service, the ground is still frozen solid and rivers are swollen with ice. If the melting is too rapid or accompanied by rain, severe flooding could ensue.

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