Chicago, IL – The Chicago region is preparing for a significant winter storm, anticipated to bring heavy snow, strong winds, and potential blizzard conditions from Friday through Saturday. The National Weather Service has escalated its warning to a Winter Storm Warning for numerous counties including Cook, DuPage, Will, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, LaSalle, Lake, and McHenry in Illinois. This warning is in effect from 3 a.m. Friday until noon Saturday.
In Indiana, a Winter Weather Advisory is in place for Lake, Newton, Porter, and Jasper counties during the same period. After light snow on Thursday, the Chicago area will face cloudy skies and a chance of more snow overnight as the major storm approaches. The rain-snow line will significantly influence the conditions, leading to varying snowfall rates across different locations.
Snowfall is expected to start around 3 a.m. Friday, with the metro area likely to see approximately 2.5 inches by 9 a.m., increasing to around 3 inches in the north and west, and 1 to 2 inches in the southern regions. A transition to rain is forecast for areas south of O’Hare around 11 a.m. Friday. By evening, snow accumulation could reach about 4 inches, affecting the evening commute.
The conditions are predicted to worsen post-dinner time on Friday, with a shift in winds and hazardous travel conditions. By 10 p.m., heavy snow is expected across the entire Chicago area, intensifying around 11 p.m. Saturday morning may reveal a total accumulation of 4 to 6 inches throughout Chicago, with areas north of O’Hare potentially receiving 8 to 12 inches, and the southern areas 4 to 8 inches. Far south regions could see 2 to 4 inches.
Following the snow, the area will experience the season’s first arctic temperatures, with highs plummeting to single digits by Sunday and continuing into the next week.