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Posted at 11:10 PM ET, 02/24/2010

Spotty rains kickoff prolonged storm event

Snow amounts expected to be low but winds a big deal

* Winter Weather Advisory except far W/NW suburbs (map) *
* Share photos of recent storm damage | Bob Ryan leaving 4 *
* Radar, clouds & more: Weather Wall | Local home page *

Scattered areas of rain have developed around the region this evening. With temperatures well above freezing, there have been no winter weather troubles. But this rain is just the start of what will be a long duration storm event, with the main impact being wind. Though wind won't be an issue tonight, it will steadily increase tomorrow. By late tomorrow afternoon and tomorrow evening, some gusts could close in on 50 mph. Considering how wet the ground is from recent snow melt, some trees may be vulnerable, especially as strong winds continue tomorrow night all the way into Saturday.

New model data coming in this evening continues to suggest the snow potential from this storm is pretty low. Not much accumulation is expected by morning (a dusting to at most an inch) and only scattered snow and rain showers are possible during the day tomorrow. There may even be breaks in the clouds at times, especially in the afternoon. However, the storm is forecast to retrograde south tomorrow night, possibly bringing bands of snow back into the region. The combination of snow showers and strong winds may create some rather inclement conditions for travelers. We'll provide additional details tomorrow...

Please see Ian Livingston's post for the detailed forecast through the weekend...

By  |  11:10 PM ET, 02/24/2010

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