Winter Storm Watch issued for Chicago area beginning Saturday evening

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CHICAGO — A Winter Storm Watch has been issued for the counties (shaded blue above) and will go into effect Saturday evening at 6 p.m. through late Sunday night.

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The anticipated extended period of snow across the Chicago area beginning Saturday afternoon and ending from the west early Monday could see a final range in snowfall in excess of 8-inches northern sections to 2 to 4-inches far south.

As the center of low pressure develops in the central plains and works its way east, eventually passing through northern Illinois later Sunday, snow is expected to spread out of Minnesota and northern Iowa into northern Illinois Saturday afternoon, enveloping a good portion of northeast Illinois and northern Indiana as well as much of Wisconsin into Lower Michigan Saturday night, initially depositing 4-inches or more north of interstate-80 by Sunday morning. As the center of low pressure approaches and passes overhead later Sunday, an additional 4-inches or more of snow is expected to fall – the most likely-to-be-hit area again north of Interstate-80.

By early Monday morning with the low pressure moving off to the east, a good portion of our area , especially north of Interstate-80 could end up with well over 6-inches of snow by the time the main snowfall ends. The headlined map above shows the probability of more than 4-inches of snow between 6AM Sunday and 6AM Monday – the area enclosed by the green line generally north of Interstate-80, depicts a 40 to 70% chance of 4-inches or more.

Snowfall totals over the portion of our area south of Interstate-80 is a little more uncertain with the possibility of precipitation over that area lighter at the start and then more likely to be mixed with rain the latter part of the storm cycle. Individuals planning travel out of or into the Chicago area this weekend should keep updated on the latest snow reports/forecasts.

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