Editors note: this blog is no longer active and monitored. Get the latest on WCIA.com/weather.

Thursday 10:30 PM

What’s next? We’ve got some links that will help you as we wind down coverage on our Winter Storm LIVE Blog tonight.

Thanks for trusting Central Illinois’ most accurate team of meteorologists with your weather coverage.

Thursday 10:05 PM

Update from Illinois State Police on Major Pile-Up on I-39 north of Bloomington. Police say over 100 cars were involved, but 19 commercial motor vehicles and 9 passenger vehicles were involved with property damage with dozens of others slid off the roadway. There are 12 tow trucks on scene, and several trucks spilled contents all over the roadway. No injuries have been reported so far. All lanes of I-39 from El Paso to Bloomington SB are closed and will be closed likely well into Friday.

All lanes of I-57 SB from Paxton to Champaign are closed as well. Meteorologist Jack Gerfen has seen police and vehicle detoured off the highway in Rantoul by first responders. A major crash at I-57 SB near Thomasboro is being worked on by crews at this time.

Thursday 10:00 PM

SNOW TOTALS: We’ve got a preliminary look at snowfall totals in the region. CLICK HERE to see running snow totals.

LINK: https://www.wcia.com/weather/february-17th-snowfall-reports/

If you’d like to make a report, you can submit a report here.

Thursday 9:40 PM

NEW VIDEO: The StormTracker just passed by the major pile-up on I-57 SB near Thomasboro.

Thursday 9:10 PM

Multiple new wrecks on the roadways reported in Champaign County in the last 15 minutes. I-57 is closed SB from Paxton to Champaign. I-57 has a wreck at Curtis Road. I-74 now has another wreck at University Avenue. Crews are also responding to numerous slide offs in the area.

If you can avoid travel tonight, please do so. Impacts remain through the morning hours with ice, snow and gusty winds.

Thursday 8:55 PM

How much snow did you get? We’re looking for reports from around the area. You can submit a report here.

Thursday 8:30 PM

District 21 State Police in Ashkum is still experiencing Heavy, wind driven snow with near blizzard conditions. Roadways are currently snow covered and slick. Troopers are continuing to handle numerous crashes and vehicle’s in the ditches. We advise everyone that can, please stay home until the weather and road conditions improve. If you must travel, keep an emergency kit in your vehicle. If you become stranded, call 911 and stay with your vehicle.

Thursday 8:25 PM

NUMEROUS School Closings or Changes coming in for Friday. Get the latest on the WCIA 3 SnowBear Closings List on our website.

Thursday 8:15 PM



The Highway Commissioner has issued a Level 2 Snow Emergency for Mechanicsburg Township effective 7:00 PM until further notice. A Level 2 Snow Emergency entails: roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Visibility is reduced with some whiteout conditions.. This means that only essential travel is advised. To reiterate this means that only people with a REAL important need to be out on the roads and streets should do so. VIOLATIONS THAT HINDER EMERGENCY OPERATIONS MAY RESULT IN DRIVERS BEING TICKETED AND/OR VEHICLES BEING TOWED AND IMPOUNDED (AT OWNER’S EXPENSE)

Thursday 7:30 PM

Update from Chief Meteorologist Kevin Lighty, Meteorologist Jack Gerfen and Meteorologist Jacob Dickey from the studio.

Thursday 7:25 PM

Interstate 39 southbound from Normal to Minonk will be closed for an extended period of time due to multiple crashes involving over 100 vehicles.

Together, with our local partners, we are diligently working to ensure motorists are safely escorted from the area to warming centers.

The ISP continues to urge the public to use EXTREME caution and only travel if absolutely necessary. Interstate 39 southbound will be closed for approximately 12 hours.

Thursday 7:15 PM

What does tomorrow morning bring? We don’t think we’ll have much improvement to roads, and here’s why.
1) Blowing and drifting continues for several hours, even after the snow exits the area by 10p.
2) Temps fall close to or below 0° in areas in red, meaning salt/brine treatments won’t do much. We really need a few hours of sunshine to help out, so by 10a that’s when we’ll probably get some noticeable improvements
3) There’s a LOT of wrecks out there. We’ve learned I-39 north of Bloomington is likely closed all night, and other crashes will take hours to clear.

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Thursday 6:35 PM

NEW Video showing the major pile-up near Thomasboro on I-57 SB. State Police says it will be several hours before the scene is cleared.

Video: Darrold Kennedy

LATEST: https://www.wcia.com/news/crashes-cause-road-several-closures/

Thursday 6:25 PM

I-74 – Ogden to Urbana, Champaign to Bloomington
I-57 – SB near Thomasboro
I-55 – at various crash sites from Springfield to Lincoln to Bloomington to Pontiac
I-39 – Bloomington to El Paso
I-72 – Cisco area

Some wrecks are only partial closures while others are full closures. It is hard to keep up with the latest crash reports. Avoid any unnecessary travel the next several hours.

Thursday 6:10 PM

Information from Farmer City Police: I-74 Eastbound and Westbound are littered with vehicle crashes and vehicles in the ditches. These lanes are somewhat closed down so, if you do not have to be out in this storm please do not get out.

Many vehicles have been stranded for several hours in the area due to the blowing and drifting snow.

Thursday 6:00 PM

One last intense snow band pushing through. As of 6p it’s along a line from Pontiac to Bloomington to Lincoln to Springfield. Heavy snowfall rates of 2″+ per hour likely, but it only will sit overhead for 15-30 minutes, bringing a fast 1/2″-1″. Moderate snow continues elsewhere ahead of it.

Thursday 5:50 PM

STATE POLICE: I-57 South is closed due to CMV crashes north of the Market Street Exit. Traffic closed at Rantoul.  It will be closed for multiple hours, according to Illinois State Police. Drivers are encouraged to seek an alternate route.

I-74 – Champaign to Farmer City
I-74 EB – Urbana (University) to Ogden
I-57 SB – Rantoul to Champaign

Thursday 5:35 PM

EARLY Snowfall Totals
Beardstown: 8″
Bloomington: 6.4″
Athens: 6″

Have a total or a report to share? Click here.

Thursday 5:30 PM

State Police report I-74 EB is being closed between Champaign and St. Joe due to multiple crashes in the area. Drivers are being diverted at University Avenue in Urbana.

Thursday 5:15 PM

STATE POLICE: I-74 E/B @ MP 164 is open but I-74 WB at MP 164 remains blocked due to a semi crash. This is in the Mansfield area.

Thursday 4:45 PM

SANGAMON COUNTY: Williamsville police are asking everyone to stay home due to poor driving conditions.

State Police continue to respond to numerous wrecks in the area.

Thursday 4:35 PM

Our sister station WMBD reports a 100 vehicle pile-up on I-39 north of Bloomington has the interstate closed there. An ISP vehicle was involved in the crash, but the trooper was uninjured. McLean County crews report the interstate are ‘impassable’ in the area.

Thursday 4:05 PM

From Normal PD: Interstates are impassible and multiple reports of pileup accidents. I-39 is closed at El Paso. I-74 is closed near Leroy. I-55 has a major crash near Towanda. 🛑 Stay home. Please don’t attempt travel.


District 6

– I-55 & I-74 multiple locations

District 8

– I-39 southbound at milepost 14 (El Paso)

District 9

– I-72 westbound at milepost 78 (New Berlin)

District 10

– I-74 eastbound at milepost 160-180 (Mansfield-Champaign)

Thursday 4:00 PM

Monticello township pulling plows for the night. Conditions are too dangerous for their drivers and they will resume when conditions improve.

Due to the hazardous conditions Monticello and several surrounding townships will be suspending all plow efforts until conditions improve we will be on standby for emergency only.

Thursday 3:45 PM

Multiple major crashes on I-74 west of Champaign. This came from the StormTracker around 3:40p.

STATE POLICE: All westbound traffic is shut down on I-72 WB at New Berlin exit due to multiple crashes.

Thursday 3:25 PM

Troopers are working numerous crashes throughout the District 10 area due to the weather and road conditions.  I-74 Eastbound at milepost 164 is currently closed due to multiple truck tractor semi trailers and will be closed for an extended amount of time. 


Crews are also responding to a collision at IL47 south of US 136 near Fisher. It’s at the set of curves near the Gas Plant. Avoid the area.

Thursday 3:15 PM

Earlier reports of power outages in Vermilion County were likely tied to a report of wires down west of Danville. Many of these areas are back online.

Concerns for power outages remain low, but some outages still will occur. This will not be an event that brings widespread outages to our area, thankfully.

Thursday 3:00 PM

State Police are responding to numerous slide offs and crashes on I-74 between Champaign-Urbana and Bloomington-Normal. Near whiteout conditions are occurring with roads dangerously covered by snow and ice along I-72/I-74.

Thursday 2:50 PM

As forecast, dry air is mixing in to the south which will keep snow and ice totals lower there. Along/north of I-72 continues to see blizzard conditions the next few hours.The snow is expected to wrap around and exit by 9p tonight from our area. Impacts will remain through Friday morning commute.

Thursday 2:45 PM

🚨Emergency Snow Plan Activated🚨 by Illinois State Police in Ashkum

ISP District 21 has activated the Emergency Snow Plan for Kankakee, Ford, and Iroquois Counties. During this time the following will occur:
– A “No Tow” order is in effect. All disabled vehicles that are not presenting a hazard will be left on the side of the road/ditches until conditions are safe to remove the vehicle. Due to weather forecasts, conditions may not improve until very late tonight, so we may not be able to begin recovering vehicles until then.
-Stranded motorists will be transported off of the roadway to a safe location
-Only Personal Injury/Significant crashes will be completed. Minor property damage crashes will be handled at a later time.

At this time we advise all motorists not to travel unless it is absolutely necessary. At this point, road conditions are deteriorating by the minute. Roadways have become very slick and dangerous.

Thursday 2:05 PM

Thursday 1:55 PM

Latest radar update shows snow along/north of I-72/74 with some transition underway between I-70 and I-72/74. Blustery winds are leading to near blizzard conditions with dangerously slick roads in the area.

LIVE RADAR: visit live StormTracker Doppler by clicking here or visiting the WCIA 3 Weather App
YOU REPORT: Share a local report by clicking here!

Thursday 1:30 PM

View of the accident near University and I-74 in Urbana. The scene has been cleared and lanes are back open. Drivers are urged to use caution if on the roadways.

Thursday 1:20 PM

Meteorologist Jack Gerfen near Mansfield with Blizzard Conditions in Mansfield.

Thursday 1:15 PM

SPRINGFIELD AREA: ISP D-09 Units are on scene of multiple vehicles in the ditch, jack-knifed truck tractor semi-trailers, and crashes all along I-55 and I-72. Driver’s are reminded to slow down, get over, and NOT take pictures of overturned semis while driving. Road conditions are completely snow/ice covered and very slick. Visibility is low to whiteout conditions. Travel is very hazardous at this time.

Thursday 12:55 PM

Champaign County crews are responding to numerous slide offs and crashes in the area. Road conditions are deteriorating rapidly in Champaign-Urbana now. If you must travel, move slowly and expect slick conditions.

An accident with injuries reported at University Avenue and I-74, and multiple slide offs reported on I-72.
An accident with injuries reported on I-57 between Tolono and Pesotum.

IDOT reports roads are mainly snow and ice covered in much of the region.

Thursday 12:45 PM

The City of Bloomington declares a TRAFFIC COLLISION ALERT, meaning all motorists involved in a crash with no injuries and if vehicles are drivable should exchange information. The drivers are required to report the crash together and in person at the front desk of Bloomington Police Department no more than 5 business days after the crash. This allows for first responders to bring priority to more serious crashes.

City of Hoopeston Street Department Supervisor has ACTIVATED SNOW ROUTES

These will be in affect till Friday Feb 18th at Noon

All Cars have to be removed from the snow routes or they will be towed

Thursday 12:40 PM

Meteorologist Jack Gerfen reports Blizzard conditions near Le Roy in McLean County with blowing and drifting snow and gusty winds 30-40 mph. See Jack as he rides in the StormTracker on I-74 between Le Roy and Farmer City.

Thursday 12:10 PM

Road conditions continue to deteriorate in the area as sleet, freezing rain and snow falls.

Thursday 11:25 AM

Latest IDOT update shows significant travel issues along the I-55 corridor where the heaviest snow is falling.

The National Weather Service reports 1/2″ of snow fell in 20 minutes in Jacksonville, meaning snowfall rates are 1-2″ per hour there.

Thursday 11:05 AM

From Illinois State Police District 9 in Springfield. “We are already experiencing heavy snowfall in Sangamon, Morgan, Menard and Cass counties.  Several crashes are occurring throughout the area, with many vehicles sliding off the roadway into the median or shoulder.  Motorists are reminded to slow down and anticipate the road conditions will be slick and icy.  Snow fall is expected to continue and increase over the next several hours.  ISP is asking you to evaluate if your travel is necessary and always slow down and move over for emergency vehicles.”

Thursday 11:00 AM

IDOT reporting roads where snow is falling are becoming partially to mostly covered along the I-55 corridor. As snow and ice continue to fall with dropping temperatures, road conditions will deteriorate even more.

Thursday 10:55 AM

We’re watching the rain and snow pick back up into the region with a band of freezing rain and ice. Catch the latest on WCIA 3 News at 12p.

Thursday 10:35 AM

Some schools are announcing early dismissals due to the winter weather. You can always find the latest updates as schools announce to us on the School Closings page.

Thursday 7:35 AM

This is the latest update of our Futuretrack showing the lull in the activity this morning, then the return of precipitation of rain and icy conditions then the snow.

Thursday 7:09 AM

Champaign city facilities will be closed today. This does not effect emergency response.

Thursday 7:00 AM

As expected, there is a little lull in the rain showers. Heavier rain can be seen in the southern half of the viewing area.

Thursday 5:34 AM

IDOT’s travel map remains pretty good except for a few spots north of us. This is to be expected. Conditions will deteriorate very fast this morning and this afternoon as the rain changes to freezing rain and sleet then to snow and all freezes up.

Thursday 5:30 AM

We have seen a number of school closings already this morning with more to come, please see our closings page which you can see HERE

Thursday 5:00 AM

With the NWS’s decision to slide the Winter Storm Warning to the south, we have also done that with our snow and ice forecasts too. This is a very small change, but a shift north or south even of 20 miles will make a big difference.

Thursday 4:00 AM

The Flood Watch remains as is through this evening, but we have additional counties that have been added to the Winter Storm Warning that goes until 9:00 PM.

Wednesday 11:15 PM

Here is an update from Chief Meteorologist Kevin Lighty as heavy rain continues to move across parts of central Illinois tonight.

Wednesday 9:15 PM

Tonight we are tracking heavy rain that is moving into central Illinois this could lead to some flooding as the ground remains largely frozen and run off will occur leading to flooding of areas rivers, creeks, and streams. Also with the melting of snow lately we already have lots of moisture out there.

Wednesday 9:00 PM

Welcome to our LIVE winter storm blog. This will be the one-stop-shop for all the updates you need concerning the winter storm. We will post about various weather updates, issues on the road, updates from crews in the field battling the snow, pictures, videos, and more.

Stay with the WCIA 3 weather team as this multi-day event unfolds.