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Snow nearly certain; sleet possible

Up to 4 inches of fresh white flakes in forecast; sleet could be in mix

Published: Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014 7:52 p.m. CST • Updated: Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014 7:55 p.m. CST

Prepare yourself: This morning’s commute could be yucky.

In anticipation of up to 4 more inches of snow on the ground before day’s end, Rock Falls declared a snow emergency Sunday that takes effect at noon today and lasts until 6 a.m. Wednesday.

Other cities likely will follow suit.

In a snow emergency, drivers are not to park on designated snow routes until both sides of the street have been plowed. On the rest of the roads, drivers are to park on the odd-numbered side of the street on an odd-numbered day of the month - like today - and on the even-numbered side on an even-numbered day, to make it easier for the plows to do their jobs.

Failure to comply could mean a ticket, a tow or both.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory, warning of a hazardous storm system that could bring a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain to the Sauk Valley. It was to have started early this morning.

Winds will be from the south/southeast, 10 to 15 mph, gusting up to 20 mph and sending snow drifting. The high will be around 30, the low around 17.

The precipitation is expected to turn to snow only by mid morning; it will be heavy at times, causing low visibility and fast accumulations, the service says. It should stop falling by about 4 p.m.

Tuesday and Wednesday will be mostly sunny, with highs in the upper 30s, but there’s a 70 percent chance snow, possibly mixed with freezing rain, before midnight Wednesday.

And get this: Thursday’s forecast calls for rain – and possibly a thunderstorm. A thunderstorm. The high should be near 41. Then there’s a chance of snow every night through Saturday, the weather service says.

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