Winter Storm Shift Schedule for the Chicago Area – NBC ChicagoThank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
Dangerous wintry conditions are expected in the Chicago area this week, but the onset time has now been pushed back.
According to the latest forecasts, the timing of the storm appears to have shifted earlier, with a winter storm watch now in effect for some counties on Thursday morning.
The watch was not originally expected to begin until Thursday night, but the National Weather Service changed that designation Tuesday morning.
Winter storm watches were moved for some counties as early as Thursday morning, including McHenry, DeKalb, Kane, LaSalle, Kendall and Grundy.
Things will deteriorate “rapidly” by Thursday afternoon as the snow spreads and gets heavier.
A winter storm watch for Lake, DuPage, Kankakee, Cook and Will counties in Illinois and Lake, Porter, Newton and Jasper counties in northwest Indiana has also been moved starting Thursday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.
According to forecasters, the timing of the intensity was initially later, but new models show a “slightly quicker arrival of deteriorating conditions on Thursday afternoon”.
The alert warns that “falling and drifting snow may result in whiteout conditions with zero visibility at times, making travel extremely difficult, if not impossible.”
“Power outages will also be possible as a result of strong, damaging wind gusts of up to 55 mph,” it said.
Icy roads can add to the dangerous conditions as temperatures drop quickly.
By evening, the severe winter storm is expected to spread widely. This marks the time when it could generate blizzard conditions and is expected to have a “severe” impact on travel.
Heavy impacts from the snowstorm are expected throughout the day on Friday.
Expect heavy snow, strong and damaging winds, difficult or near-impossible travel conditions, and dangerously cold temperatures and wind chills.
Wind chill readings are expected to drop near -30 as early as Friday morning.
A winter storm watch is scheduled to last until late Friday evening as the storm and potentially “blizzard-like” conditions are strong.
Forecasts are unclear on how much snow may fall as snow, but the snow is expected to begin to taper off overnight.
Early forecasts so far show the Chicago area could see between 5 and 9 inches of snow, with higher totals possible, especially in northwest Indiana. Some locations may also see lower totals.
Snow begins to lighten early Saturday morning, but hazardous travel conditions are expected to continue through the weekend as the dangerous cold continues.
Wind chills of -20 to -30 degrees are expected with highs in the single digits and lows in the teens. Lake-effect snow showers are also possible in parts of northwest Indiana, according to the NBC 5 Storm Team.
Difficult and impossible travel conditions may remain, especially in the early hours of Saturday, as drifts and drifting snow remain an issue.
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