Something happened on Tuesday in Peoria for the first time since April 20: it snowed enough to measure.
But the start of 2022 could bring a lot more snow.
A storm that started around dawn Tuesday dumped 2.4 inches of snow at noon at the Peoria airport, according to the National Weather Service office in Lincoln. Total accumulation for the day was 2.7 inches.
It was the first measurable snowfall of the 2021-22 winter season in Peoria – the third most recent in recorded history. The initial forecast for Tuesday suggested that about 1 inch of snow could fall before the precipitation turns to rain in the late morning.
“We knew there could be higher ratios in some areas,” meteorologist Ryan Knutsvig said. “One of those higher reports was in the Peoria area.”
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Total snowfall Tuesday in the Peoria area included 3.4 inches in Galva, 3.2 inches in Germantown Hills, 2.4 inches in Roanoke, 2.1 inches in Yates City, 2 inches in Henry and 1½ inches in Creve Coeur.
Additional snow and / or freezing rain is possible Wednesday evening. According to Knutsvig, Peoria is on the verge of a rain-snow cutoff. He called this system a Least Concern.
Major concerns could arise southwest of Peoria and arrive this weekend.
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That storm system was on an uncertain trajectory on Tuesday, according to Knutsvig. Areas to the north are likely to receive substantial snowfall on New Years Day.
If this storm path runs along the Ohio River, that means central Illinois is getting more snow, Knutsvig said. But if the path gets closer to Peoria, the band of snow will move further north.
“There is quite a lot of hot air on the hot side and quite a lot of cold air on the cold side, so it’s a pretty dynamic system,” Knutsvig said.
On Saturday, Peoria could see as little as 1 inch of snow or up to a few inches. Knutsvig couldn’t be more specific.
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The freezing temperatures following this storm system may be more certain.
Saturday night temperatures are expected to drop in the teens. Sunday highs are expected to be in the 20s, with teen lows again. In the Galesburg area, the lows could reach a figure.
Sub-zero wind chills are forecast for the region.
But early next week, a warming trend is expected to start – similar to what prevailed around Peoria last week. Temperatures are expected to reach 40 degrees, about 10 degrees above the usual high.
What time was Tuesday’s snow late and where does it rank all-time?
Snowfall in Peoria broke the previous official two-day third-place record – December 26, 1939, when seven-tenths of an inch fell.
Officially, no first snow fell after January 4, 1913. It was the only time it did not snow in December in Peoria, according to meteorological service records. Second place was December 30, 1927.
The weather service defines measurable snowfall as at least a tenth of an inch.