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Peoria County to start 2022 with a winter storm. New Year's Day snowfall could make travel difficult

The arrival of a new year is expected to bring a burst of winter weather to the Tri-County in the form of a snowstorm and a cold snap.

The National Weather Service in Lincoln has issued a 24-hour winter storm warning for Peoria County, beginning at 6 a.m. Saturday. Woodford County is also a part of the winter storm warning, while Tazewell County will be under a winter weather advisory.

The NWS is predicting 4 to 7 inches of snow, along with sleet, ice and wind gusts up to 30 mph in the portions of central and western Illinois under the winter storm warning. That includes Fulton, Stark, Knox, and Marshall counties, along with Peoria and Woodford.

Mixed precipitation is in the forecast in Tazewell County, with snow accumulation of as much as 5 inches.

The conditions likely will make travel hazardous, with poor visibility and slick roads. The Illinois Department of Transportation is urging drivers across the state to consider postponing unnecessary travel.

“IDOT crews will be out on the roads but conditions could still be extremely hazardous, so we encourage motorists to ask themselves if they really need to make the trip,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman said in a statement. “If you do have to travel, remember that the bitter cold and wind reduces the effectiveness of the materials we use to treat snow and ice. There will be lengthy travel times so make sure to prepare your vehicle in the event you are stranded.”

Temperatures across central Illinois will tumble Saturday evening and remain frigid on Sunday. The NWS forecast calls for a low around 11 degrees with a wind chill possibly dipping below zero. The anticipated high for Sunday is 17.

Contact Joe at jdeacon@ilstu.edu.