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Bundle up! Snow, record cold coming to Central Illinois on Monday
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Bundle up! Snow, record cold coming to Central Illinois on Monday


DECATUR — Winter is arriving early to Central Illinois on Monday, with an expected 1½ inches of snow incoming in the Decatur area and record-breaking cold temperatures.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory warning in effect from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday. Temperatures are due to drop all day and go off a cliff into the deep freeze Monday night into the early hours of Tuesday. The weather service office in Lincoln is predicting an air temp of just 10 degrees and wind chills to hit a bone-chilling minus 4 degrees.

“The normal temperature this time of year, believe it or not, is the mid-50s,” said NWS meteorologist James Auten, speaking Sunday evening. “We’ve got an Arctic air mass that is dipping down, but doing it kind of early in the season.”

Following on from Sunday’s relatively balmy high of 57 degrees, the sudden onslaught of winter seems all the more brutal as parents prepare to trudge off to work and bundle up their kids for school.

Auten said the only blessing here is that the snow totals for the Decatur area are relatively light and, with ground temperatures still in the upper 40s, pre-treated roads should fare well. The return home Monday night could be more challenging, he said, on exposed highways that didn’t get treated.

The snow is due to start falling around 7 a.m. or 8 a.m. Monday and keep on until it tapers off about 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. Then the brutal cold settles in, with temperatures due to be down to the mid 20s by the afternoon and free-falling from there.

As for the rest of the week, the weather forecasters see a steady warming trend that should push the mercury to around 38 degrees Thursday and 40 on Friday. The coming Sunday’s high could be in the mid-40s with no more snow in the immediate forecast. 

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


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