So far this winter has been cold, cloudy and wet, but not in the form of measurable snow. In fact, according to NBC 5 Storm Team, the area is experiencing a snow deficit, at nearly a foot below average.
However, a winter weather pattern on the way is set to make things look and feel much more like a typical January in Chicago.
Forecast models show that a system traveling from the south is expected to strike south around midnight, bringing with it intermittent snowfall accumulations beginning Wednesday night, with snow conditions lasting at least through Sunday.
Daylight hours Tuesday are expected to remain mostly dry and cloudy, with a high temperature of 34 degrees, says the NBC 5 Storm Team.
However, overnight, snow is expected to develop.
A winter weather advisory for southern counties, including LaSalle, Kendall, Grundy, Kankakee, as well as portions of Cook and Will counties, and Lake, Porter Newtown, and Jasper counties in Indiana, effective on midnight and will last until 6 pm Wednesday.
Wednesday and Thursday
Around 4 a.m., a snow pattern in the southern parts of Illinois will begin to travel toward the city, with widespread snowfall expected in the Chicago area around 8 a.m.
According to the National Weather Service, “deteriorating travel conditions are expected during the Wednesday morning drive,” with peak snowfall rates in the morning hours.
However, by lunchtime, forecast models show that snowfall rates are declining. In addition, temperatures are expected to rise, reaching 30 degrees.
By Wednesday night, the system is expected to begin moving out of the Chicago area. However, due to the warm waters of Lake Michigan and winds moving from the north, a round of lake-effect snow could impact areas south of the lake in northwestern Indiana.
As a result, parts of Indiana could see locally higher snowfall totals by the time it’s all said and done Thursday morning, according to forecast models.
Friday Saturday Sunday
The second round of snow will arrive Friday in the form of a fast-moving mower system, which could bring light snow or perhaps some mixed precipitation to the area. Accumulations will most likely be lighter with that disturbance, based on forecast models.
Late on Saturday and into Sunday, more snow showers are expected to fall as two air masses collide with each other, according to forecast models. Light snow is likely to result from those air masses as they pass over the Midwest, bringing some additional accumulations to areas that will have seen snow over the course of several days.
How much snow could Chicago have?
According to forecast models, the heaviest snowfall in the region is expected on Wednesday morning. Accumulations are likely throughout the area, with areas south and east of Chicago forecast to see the highest amounts.
Overall, early predictions indicate that the Chicago area is likely to see two to three inches of snow. However, those totals will differ north and south.
According to the NBC 5 Storm Team, northern counties are expected to see less than two inches, while southern and southeastern suburbs could see up to four inches, with up to five inches in northwestern Indiana.
Illinois Road Condition Check
With snow expected to hit Wednesday morning’s trip, the latest road conditions can be found by visiting getaroundillinois.com.