Winter weather hasn’t really been an issue in the Chicago area in recent weeks, but Wednesday morning’s snowfall could have a big impact on the morning commute and could provide the first substantial snow accumulations seen in most places from Christmas.
A winter weather advisory now covers all of northern Illinois and northwestern Indiana, according to the National Weather Service. The heaviest snow is expected to fall in areas near Lake Michigan, although heavier accumulations are possible in central Illinois and central Indiana as the storm system progresses.
In terms of timing, snow isn’t expected to actually start falling until after midnight in the southern parts of NBC 5’s viewing area, with the system entering the Chicago area at 4 a.m. Wednesday.
During that window between 4 and 8 a.m., an inch of snow could potentially fall in most places, with Iroquois County in Illinois, as well as Newton and Jasper counties in Indiana, seeing a bit more accumulation. .
According to the National Weather Service, the heaviest snowfall is likely to occur between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. Wednesday throughout the area.
While Chicago’s northern and northwestern suburbs are likely to see less than an inch of buildup during that time, other areas will be affected slightly more. Most southern and southwestern suburban areas, including LaSalle, Kendall, Will and Kankakee counties, will likely see 1 to 2 inches of snow during that time, with dangerous road conditions expected.
Areas closer to the city, and thus closer to Lake Michigan, could see slightly higher accumulations, with a potential drop of about two inches in DuPage and Cook counties.
Indiana could be hit hardest, with 1 to 3 inches of snow possible during that four-hour period in Lake and Porter counties. Eventually, 2 to 4 inches of snow could fall in Newton and Jasper counties, officials say, with higher totals expected the further south you travel in that area.
After that, the snow will slowly begin to taper off, with accumulations of 1 to 2 inches still possible through 8 p.m. Wednesday, according to NWS officials.
Stay tuned to NBC 5 Chicago for the latest details on the upcoming snowfall.