A front lifting out of the Texas Panhandle and drawing moisture from the Gulf of Mexico will spread across northern Missouri and southern Illinois before hitting the Chicago area this evening.
Between 4 to 6 inches could fall across southern Cook County and 2 to 4 inches across north and central Cook, including Chicago, according to the weather service. The snow could fall up to a half-inch an hour around midnight, making travel hazardous, the weather service warned.
The Department of Streets and Sanitation deployed 200 snow plows and salt spreaders at 11 p.m. Friday to handle accumulation into Saturday.
The northeast flow on the back side of the storm could prolong snowfall in Chicago by enhancing the impact of lake-effect snow, according to the Chicago Weather Center.
The downstate counties of Iroquois and Ford and the Indiana counties of Newton, Benton and Jasper are under a winter weather warning, according to the weather service. Affected cities include Watseka, Paxton, Morocco, Rensselaer and Fowler.
Chicago Tribune Staff report and WGN-TV