National Weather Service keeping eye on winter system bound for southwest Illinois

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Precipitation appears headed for the metro-east next week. Whether it will come in the form of snow or rain is uncertain at this point.

According to the National Weather Service of St. Louis, a storm system will bring snow and rain into the area the middle of next week. Beyond that, the forecast is still murky.

“At this point, our confidence isn’t the best one way or the other as far as whether this will be more snow or rain,” National Weather Service of St. Louis Meteorologist Patrick Walsh said Friday afternoon. “We’re still waiting on the exact storm tract. If it’s a southern tract, there will be more snow.

“If it’s a northern tract, there will be more rain and mixed precipitation — rain/snow mix or some ice. It would depend on how north the tract would go.”

As of Friday afternoon, the forecast showed rain moving into the metro-east area Tuesday with it shifting to a possible mix of rain and snow Tuesday night into Wednesday afternoon. Wednesday night currently shows a 60% of snow and Thursday shows a 30% chance.

Walsh noted it’s far too early to gauge possible amounts.

“Until it gets into the U.S. and we get more of an idea of a weather tract ... we’re looking at all the models, but it’s still too far out,” he said. “By Monday we’ll probably have a better consensus on what’s going to happen and that’s when we might start throwing around generalities on amounts. But Tuesday, we’ll really start dialing in on this stuff.”

The NWS recommends keeping up to date on the forecast the next few days by visiting www.weather.gov.

“We’ll be updating information as we’re getting it on a routine basis,” Walsh said.

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