11:00am UPDATE: The Winter Storm Warning has been expanded to include the Quad City Metro area.
A nasty combination of freezing rain and snow will overspread the area today. Winter Storm Warnings are in place for areas north of the Quad Cities. All other areas are under a Winter Weather Advisory. Precipitation will begin from west to east during the late-morning and early-afternoon hours as temperatures rise near the freezing mark.
Because the 32-degree point is right over the Quad Cities during the peak heat of the afternoon, there is high confidence of more snow to the north and an icy mix to the south.
As far as accumulations go, most of it will occur during the nighttime hours tonight.
Where it stays all snow, the amounts could be quite significant...possibly on the order of 5-9 inches. The best chance for this to occur will be from Iowa City through Clinton and up to Rockford and Milwaukee.
Where there is a mixture of freezing rain and snow, there will be more slush. Ice accumulations up to a few tenths are possible from Dixon to Burlington, right over the US-34 corridor.
I really think our forecast runs the risk of being interpreted incorrectly. This will be a very different weather day between Galena and Galesburg. That's because of that pesky rain-snow (32 degree) line.
Bottom line: Don't travel this afternoon and tonight for areas north of the Quad Cities, unless it's essential. Don't get the false sense of security that this is a dud just because you're not seeing much this afternoon. Keep in mind that this lasts until about 6:00am Wednesday morning.
We'll be here to cover it all between now and then.
-Meteorologist Eric Sorensen