A very wet week is in store for Illinois. A cold front moving in from the west and high pressure located off the coast in the Atlantic Ocean will help to drive in moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and produce a lot of rainfall not only in Illinois, but areas on South along and slightly West of the Mississippi river. Rainfall totals look to total 3-4 inches in Southern Illinois, 2-3 inches in Central Illinois, and 1-2 inches in Western Illinois (which includes the Tri-States Region). Please remember that this is measured in rainfall units, not snowfall units. With very little vegetation growing right now, this creates stronger possibilities of runoff from the rain. Right now the rivers, creeks, and streams are running around average right now, but after this week they could possibly hit flood stage. Please remember that these totals do not take into account the development of stronger showers and thunderstorms. Localized areas could see more than the range predicted for their area. No severe weather is expected from this event so with that being said, the main concern will be flooding. Please continue to watch forecasts this week as things could change. Make sure to also pack the umbrella as you head out the door next week.
Western Illinois University will be going on Spring Break after this week so for those of you traveling, please be careful and allow extra time to get to your destination. Flooded roadways are hard to see at night. It is strongly encouraged to travel when there’s daylight. If you encounter a flooded roadway, turn around, don’t drown. Your life isn’t worth trying to get to your destination on time. You are better off finding a detour and running late. Please make sure to report flooded roadways to your nearest law enforcement agency. They will relay your report to the National Weather Service.
Stay tuned as we track this weather system. –Devin Biggs