Weather

Lake effect snow warning tonight into Tuesday

By Peter Nickeas, Tribune reporter

The weather forecast this week: Heavy lake-effect snow, single-digit highs and wind chills double-digits below zero.

The National Weather Service’s take on things?

“The 2013-2014 winter continues to impress,” the agency said in a message posted to its website, “… not only with frequent cold but also in terms of frequency and amount of snowfall.”

The typical Chicago winter sees 36.7 inches of snow but the city pushed past that Saturday and sits at 38.9 inches for the year. That number will only grow after tonight.

The weather service has issued a lake effect snow warning from 11 p.m. tonight until 9 a.m. Tuesday for Cook County and portions of eastern Will County in addition to northwest Indiana. Accumulations of 6 to 12 inches are likely within a band of snow about 10 miles wide, with the northern portions of Lake County, Indiana, hit the hardest. As much as 2 inches of snow could fall in an hour, the agency said, with low visibilities.

Western portions of Cook County are likely to see little snow, the agency said, but southeast Cook and areas along the lake won’t be so lucky.

Tuesday morning’s rush hour on some Chicago expressways has the potential to be a headache. Snow shouldn’t start accumulating until well after Monday evening’s rush hour, but it’ll still be falling once cars begin to hit the road Tuesday morning.

Chicago has had more than 36.7 inches this early in the season only six other times since the National Weather Service started keeping track – the most recently in 2008-2009. About 41.5 inches of snow fell through Jan. 18 that winter, according to the agency.

“Daytime highs starting Tuesday near 10 degrees in the city and likely a lot colder than that in outlying areas to the west, possibly only single digits for high temperatures,” National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Birk said. “There will be rather stiff northerly winds, wind chills as low as minus 20 or so into the morning hours.”

pnickeas@tribune.com | Twitter: @PeterNickeas

Copyright © 2014 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC

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