A winter storm warning has been issued and residents are advised to take safety precautions ahead of a blizzard that is likely to dump a thick layer or more of snow in the Chicago area over the next two days.
Rain falling across the region on Tuesday will slowly turn to snow, and when it does, it could cause traffic headaches on Wednesday and Thursday across the region, according to forecasters.
The worst of the snow is expected Wednesday morning, leading to difficult morning commutes and hazardous travel conditions in many areas.
While the snow is likely to decrease late Wednesday, some areas could see more snowfall Thursday morning, with some locations possibly seeing an extra 2 to 5 inches.
Plow drivers across the Chicago area spent Tuesday preparing for the long work ahead when the blizzard hit. This is what is needed to prepare their truck. NBC 5’s Chris Coffey reports.
Here’s the latest timeline of what we know about the upcoming storm:
Early Tuesday Evening
Rain that is falling across the region is beginning to turn to snow from west to east, with some western and northern suburbs having seen mixed rainfall as of 6pm
That trend should continue for the rest of the evening, with temperatures eventually cooling down enough to allow snowfall and winter storms to take hold.
8:00 p.m.: Winter Storm Warning begins for several counties in the Chicago area
The first storm warning will be in effect for DuPage, Cook, LaSalle, Kendall, Grundy and Will counties beginning at 8 p.m. and will be in effect until 6 p.m. Wednesday.
The National Weather Service is calling for heavy snow and dangerous travel, especially on Wednesday morning, and says the snow will be heaviest in southern parts of the warned area.
The heaviest snowfall in these areas is expected early Wednesday morning.
Governor JB Pritzker issued a disaster declaration Tuesday afternoon, activating the Illinois National Guard, ahead of an expected severe winter storm.
10:00 p.m.: Winter storm warning in effect for Kankakee County, NW Indiana
The areas that are forecast to be hardest hit during the storm will start to snow late Tuesday and into early Wednesday morning, with winter storm warnings in effect for Kankakee County in Illinois, as well as Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton and Jasper counties in Indiana.
By the time it snows in those areas Wednesday night, 9 to 14 inches of accumulation is possible, the National Weather Service said.
An hourly rate of snowfall is likely late Tuesday and into Wednesday morning, with remote southern suburbs starting to see heavy snow around 2 a.m., according to forecast models and National Weather Service:
That heavy snow could continue after sunrise, affecting travel in the area and creating hazardous conditions.
Snowfall will begin to ease in some areas and could even stop altogether, even in southern areas that are expected to be hit hard by the weather.
According to forecast models, by the time all is said and done, areas in far northeastern Illinois and in far southern suburbs are likely.
Forecast models show a return of snow after midnight in Kankakee County and NW Indiana, but precise tracking of the secondary part of the system remains unclear.
An additional 2 to 5 inches of snow could fall in Kankakee County and NW Indiana Thursday night, but there is a chance the trail could continue to drift southeast, meaning snow accumulation in the second half of the storm will lower.
https://www.nbcchicago.com/weather/timeline-what-to-expect-as-winter-storm-targets-chicago-area-with-heavy-snow/2746295/ What to expect when Winter Storm hits Chicago area with heavy snow – NBC Chicago