CHICAGO -- The Chicago National Weather Service has issued a combination of Blizzard Warning (red-shaded area on map above) and Winter Storm Warning/Advisory (pink and blue-shaded areas respectively on the map above) calling for up to a foot or more of heavy blowing and drifting snow over most of the eastern and southern portions of the Chicago area including Chicago Wednesday into the overnight hours. A possible mixture of rain and wet snow changing over to all snow will spread north across much of the Chicago area, especially the eastern half into northwest Indiana this Wednesday morning. North to northeast winds will strengthen – gusting over 50 miles per hour causing blowing and drifting snow and creating near whiteout conditions at times. Heaviest snowfall is expected during the late morning/afternoon into the evening hours.
A Blizzard Warning is in effect for Kankakee, Iroquois, and Ford Counties in Illinois and Lake, Porter, Newton, Jasper and Benton Counties in Indiana today into the late evening – calling for 6 to 12-inches or more of heavy blinding snow that will likely close roads/ knock out power, cut visibility to near zero at times and create near impossible travel conditions. Individuals are encouraged to not be out unless an absolute emergency. Heavy snow will let up by mid-evening in all but Lake and Porter counties where the enhanced lake-effect snow could continue past midnight tonight.
A Winter Storm Warning calling for 5 to 10-inches of heavy blowing and drifting snow is in effect for Chicago and Cook County south along and east of Interstate-55 through Will into Livingston Counties and farther south into central Illinois for today into the evening hours. The Winter Storm Warning extends south into central Illinois and north into Lower Michigan. There could be spots with a foot or more snowfall before the storm ends later tonight.
Winter Weather Advisories for snowfall up to 5-inches is in effect for Lake, DuPage, Grundy, Kendall Counties in Illinois as well as north into Wisconsin. Snowfall is expected to sharply diminish as you go into the westernmost portions of the Chicago area.
Storm Warnings are up for Lake Michigan, calling for 50 to 60 mile per hour-plus winds driving 15 to 20-foot and even 25-foot waves later today, tonight into Thursday. Lake shore flooding is likely along the Illinois, Indiana into Lower Michigan Lake Michigan shoreline.
The center of intensifying low pressure is forecast to track east of our area through Ohio today, pulling away into western New York Thursday. Winter Weather Advisories for 2 to as much as 6-inches of snow are in effect for portions of Arkansas, Missouri, southern Illinois into Indiana today. Snow will be diminishing/ending from the south west to east across our area later tonight into Thursday.