.UPDATE... 1139 AM CST No changes to going headlines and forecast thinking at this time. Recent AMDAR sounding out of MDW shows low level dry air centered at 900 mb, and another somewhat dry layer above 700 mb. As south- southwest warm air advection and f-gen at 850 mb continues to ramp up in advance of a mid-level shortwave lifting northeast, plus ascent from that wave, watching the top down saturation process occur in the airport obs and on radar, and now at the surface with light snow beginning in the Rockford area. Expect bands west-northwest to east-southeast bands of snow similar to current one over northern CWA to fill in through the afternoon, particularly northeast half of the CWA. Straight QPF output from the most recent high- res guidance could be concerning, but forecast soundings suggest we don't have any issues saturating, and support for a 5-7 hour period where occasional moderate snow rates are possible. The 12z sounding from SGF (Springfield MO), which is a good proxy for air mass being advected northward into the cold air, had a PWAT value of 0.6" and mean mixing ratio of 3 g/kg. So the pieces are still in place with good forcing for ascent and good moisture in a snow situation to produce accumulating snow during the commute. The message continues that snow will easily accumulate on all roads, likely to result in significant impacts to the commute. Have not made any changes to snow amounts through the evening, with expectation of 1 to 5 inches, highest near the Wisconsin border. Will address concerns in next discussion update with likely lulls in the precipitation later this evening through Saturday morning where freezing drizzle could become an issue even north of I-80. Finally, based off assessment of new guidance, concern has increased for icing in southeast CWA not currently in headlines. Trend has been for a slightly farther south low pressure track overall, which will tend to keep boundary layer temperatures colder through Saturday morning. Warm nose aloft will result in full melting of hydrometeors, so freezing rain/drizzle will become likely overnight. Then on Saturday morning, even if temperatures creep slightly above freezing, very cold road and ground temperatures could mean that there will still be freezing on roads. So am expecting to issue a Winter Weather Advisory for the southeast CWA counties not in a headline with the afternoon forecast package.
PENDING SNOW EMERGENCY DECLARATION
Snow accumulations of up to eight inches are forecast over the next thirty-six hours. A Snow Emergency Declaration is anticipated on Saturday, December 17, 2016 at a time to be determined as City staff monitor this storm thru the overnight hours of Friday, December 16, 2016. When the Snow Emergency is declared, the Odd / Even parking restriction will be in place and citizens are urged to comply in order to allow City snowplows to pass thru streets as they perform their work. Additional information regarding parking restrictions is provided in the paragraphs below.
A Snow Emergency is not in effect at this time however if citizens’ are unsure of whether or not it has been declared as this storm progresses, they may call 779 348- 7260 for details. At this time, the Street Division is tentatively planning residential plowing during the overnight hours of Saturday, December 17, 2016, however the snowfall rate per hour and total anticipated inches of accumulation will determine the actual scheduled time(s) for residential plowing. Citizens will be advised by means of subsequent press releases as winter operations progress.
The Odd/Even Parking is in effect so that the plows can safely go down the streets. The next day when the parking changes to the other side of the street, the plows may or may not return to clear the other side. If at all possible, please remove your vehicle from the street. If Unable to, please observe the Odd/Even Parking.
WHAT DOES THE ODD/EVEN PARKING MEAN TO ME? In order for our crews to remove snow and ice from city streets, we must have the ability to safely and effectively maneuver a plow up and down our streets. If a snow or ice storm reaches the point that streets are becoming difficult to clear, city officials can declare a Snow Emergency. A Snow Emergency requires that vehicles be parked on the odd side of the street when the date ends in an odd number and on the even side of the street when the date ends on an even number. For example, on January 5th, you would park on the odd side of the street. Police will issue parking Office of Matthew Vitner, P.E. Director of Public Works/City Engineer
Update Snow Emergency Pg.2 tickets at the cost of $50.00 to vehicles that are parked on the wrong side of the street. It’s safe to assume that if it’s snowing the Odd/Even Parking is in effect. The residential area between 20th St. west to Kishwaukee St., Harrison Avenue north to Rural St. has been problematic for the City Crews to plow during past storms, due to vehicles parked on both sides of the street. We would encourage citizens in this area to move their vehicles either off the street or to the appropriate side of the street as specified by the odd/even parking.
IMPORTANT POINTS TO REMEMBER If your street is marked as “No Parking” on one side of the street, the Snow Emergency Declaration allows you to park legally in the restricted area during the time that the Snow Emergency Declaration is in effect.
Do not assume that you can move your car when the street is plowed. Your car must remain parked appropriately until after the Snow Emergency has been lifted.
All vehicles must be moved to the correct side of the street at 8:00 a.m.
THE END OF YOUR DRIVEWAY-The City’s crews and contractors use side discharge plows. As the plows move forward, snow moves along the blade from the left to the right. The discharge from the blade is deposited along the curb or in the grass boulevard on the city right of way. This discharge, officially known as a “windrow”, ends up leaving a relatively small amount of snow in driveway approaches along the route. While we understand the aggravation this can cause, this natural result of plowing is unavoidable.
YOUR MAILBOX- The goal of the Street Maintenance Department is to clear the streets for travel. No matter how hard we try, it is not possible to provide perfect conditions for your mail carrier. Final clearing adjacent to mailboxes is the responsibility of each resident. o Here’s some information from the USPS website regarding mail carriers and ice/snow: (emphasis added)
“Letter carriers cannot make door or curb deliveries when the approach to the mailbox is hazardous because of snow or ice. Carriers are not allowed to attempt door delivery when there is a heavy buildup of snow and ice on sidewalks, steps or porches.
Ice is particularly dangerous on steps and any walking surface, especially painted wood or concrete, such as stoops and porches. When there’s a warm spell, and the melting snow runs or pools, a quick freeze can make a cleared sidewalk or driveway even slicker. That’s why sand or salt is recommended even after a storm is over.
Residences with mail delivery along the side of the road need to keep the mailbox in mind when clearing driveways and entrances. Snow should be cleared to the curb for at least six feet on both sides of the mailbox so the carrier may approach and leave without backing up or exiting a vehicle.”
If you have any further questions, please contact our Street Superintendent, Mark Stockman, at (779) 348-7260 or by email at Mark.Stockman@rockfordil.gov