A surface low pressure system will continue to move northeast over the northern lakes this afternoon and into Canada during the evening. This low pressure system will be responsible for dragging a powerful cold front southeast across Central IL this evening.  While precipitation with this frontal passage will be rather limited, much colder air will be ushered into all of Central IL this evening and overnight. Expect lows to bottom out in the low to mid 20s tonight for much of Central IL. With an unseasonably cold air mass in place across Central IL and another weather system moving into the area for Easter Sunday, this will set the stage for a decent snowfall event across much of Central IL.

Snow is expected to begin across the far western forecast area by late morning and move east across the remainder of the area during the afternoon. The snowfall will be moderate to occasionally heavy in intensity during the afternoon and early evening hours. The event will likely only last 6-8 hours in many locations, but the very efficient snowfall rates will help to produce some decent accumulation, especially where banding occurs. Despite warm ground temperatures and unfavorable timing for accumulating snow, much of Central IL will see accumulating snowfall due to fairly heavy intensity and colder surface temps associated with the band of snowfall. Forecast snowfall totals for Central IL are shown in the graphic below.


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Beyond this weekend, return flow is expected to get underway on Monday ahead of a deepening low pressure system. Strong WAA with this system will push warm and moist air into all of Central IL. The low pressure system is expected to track from the southern plains through south Central IL during the day Tuesday. Given the expected track of this storm system, that would place at least the southeast half of Central IL in the warm sector of this system. With a strong surface low tracking through our area to start April, would not be surprised to see some strong to severe thunderstorms across portions of the state if the pattern holds. With an impressive temperature gradient likely across Central IL on Tuesday, expect the northwest half of the area to experience temps quite a bit below normal, with above average temps across the southeast portions of the area. After the frontal passage on Tuesday, below normal temperatures will likely setup over Illinois once again.