Two upcoming snowfalls threaten to bring more than a foot of snow to some locations in the Chicago area, but exactly what you’ll see with these systems depends on where you live.
Tuesday night and into Wednesday will bring the heaviest of the systems set to hit the area this week.
Storm Team 5 meteorologists shared what could happen across the Chicago area.
When will the snow start and how long will it last?
Rain is set to begin, possibly rain, Tuesday afternoon as temperatures are expected to soar into the mid-40s. This will mark the start of the first winter system.
Rain is likely to turn to snow soon after sunset as temperatures start to drop. Then snow is expected to develop over the entire Chicago area, heaviest in the south and lightest in the north.
The heaviest snowfall is likely to occur Wednesday morning, with up to 1 inch per hour of snowfall during that time in many locations. According to forecasting models, that will likely cause severe travel problems throughout the region, and residents are advised to postpone non-essential travel.
Snow and hazardous driving conditions during the morning commute are expected on any highway south of Chicago, especially in areas like Kankakee County and parts of the northwest. Indiana.
By Wednesday afternoon, the snow is expected to fade to light snow or snowfall, but may not completely end as the first wave moves out.
Another system could follow closely behind the first wave Wednesday night and into Thursday, again largely for areas south of Chicago and northwest of Indiana.
The system could continue to add several inches of snow in some locations through Thursday afternoon, before ending in the evening.
When do weather warnings start?
The National Weather Service announced that LaSalle, Grundy, DuPage, Kendall, as well as areas of Cook and Will counties, will be under a winter storm warning from 8 p.m. Tuesday to 6 p.m. Thursday, due to snowfall. 5 to 11 inches thick is expected to accumulate throughout the area.
Kankakee County, along with Lake, Porter, Newton and Jasper counties in Indiana, will be under a winter storm warning starting at 10 p.m. Tuesday and continuing through 6 p.m. Thursday.
A separate warning goes into effect at midnight for LaPorte County and lasts until 6 p.m. Thursday.
A winter weather advisory also begins for parts of Cook, DeKalb and Kane counties at 8 p.m. and continues through 6 p.m. Thursday.
How much snow is expected?
NBC Storm Group 5 meteorologists say total snowfall will vary significantly in the area.
During the first storm, anywhere could be 4 to 8 inches for the metro area, while up to 14 inches could be seen in the far southern suburbs and parts of the northwest. Indiana.
In the northern suburbs, 1 to 3 inches is expected.
If the second storm follows a similar path to the first, there’s a chance counties further south could receive a total of 15 inches or more Thursday night, though that total doesn’t count. to compression, this may result in less total appearances.
Meanwhile, counties far north will likely receive 1 to 3 inches or less by the time both systems move out.
For areas along Interstate 80, totals appear to be between 5 and 10 inches.
Winter storm warnings for LaSalle, Grundy, Will and parts of Cook County warn of a possible 5 to 11 inches through Wednesday, although more snow is possible outside the warning window. In DuPage and Kendall, warnings require anywhere between 4 and 8 inches of snow.
In Kankakee County in Illinois and Newton, Jasper, Lake and Porter counties in northwestern Indiana, the warning calls for a cumulative 8 to 12 inches with the first system and an additional 3 to 6 inches from Wednesday night through Thursday.
Advice for DeKalb, Kane and northern Cook County calls for 1 to 5 inches of total snow accumulation.
What about tourism?
The National Weather Service says travel could become “very difficult-impossible” on Wednesday and residents are being asked to postpone all non-essential travel.
Morning and evening trips on Wednesday and Thursday are expected to be affected by the two systems.
Chicago’s Office of Communications and Emergency Management advises commuters to stay on the road during storms.
The department has issued the following winter safety tips for drivers:
- Take extra time to get to your destination.
- Leave plenty of space between cars.
- Fill your tank with gas and let your friends and family know where you’re going.
- Make sure you have an emergency kit in your car.
- Yield to emergency vehicles as well as spreaders and plows and spread salt on the Streets and Sanitation.
Meanwhile, the Illinois Department of Transportation of Learn about the Illinois website provides a look at current winter conditions statewide.
Using the map, the website tracks which roads are clear and which are partially or completely covered by ice or snow.
If you must travel, IDOT recommends:
• Go slowly, especially when approaching intersections, ramps, bridges and shaded areas prone to freezing.
• Make sure your gas tank is full.
• Keep cell phones, warm clothes, blankets, food, water, first aid kits, laundry detergent and ice scrapers in your vehicle.
• Check the forecast and make sure someone knows about your route and schedule.
• Bring a cell phone and dial *999 in the Chicago area for emergency assistance.
• Reminder: Using a cell phone while driving is illegal in Illinois, unless it is an emergency.
• If you are involved in a crash or breakdown, stay in your vehicle, which is your safest form of shelter. Exiting your vehicle into traffic can have deadly consequences.
• Always wear your seat belt, whether you are in the front or back seat. That’s the law.
As for flights, the weather service notes that O’Hare Airport “seems to be right on the edge of the heaviest snowfall.”
“If snow ends up over airport, low visibility would be a good option,” the NWS tweeted. “Airlines and local officials make the final decision on how flights will be affected.”
Will my child’s school be closed?
Finding out if your child’s school is closed?
There’s a way to track school closures across Illinois and Chicago from public to private schools to daycares and beyond.
The Emergency Closure Center tracks the closing of schools, businesses, daycare centers, and other institutions in the Chicago area.
How can I track the snow?
Monitor the system as it moves through the live area with our Live Doppler 5 radar.
NBC 5 Storm Team will continue to monitor weather systems as they evolve, and the latest information can always be found on the NBC Chicago app.
https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/winter-storm-warning-and-more-what-to-know-as-2-storms-threaten-chicago-area-this-week/2745320/ What to know as 2 rounds threaten the Chicago Area – NBC Chicago