A Winter Storm Warning is in effect from 3 p.m. Thursday through 3 a.m. Friday for Chicagoland as the region braces for the first winter storm of the season which is expected to bring accumulating snowfall.
Showers and even thunderstorms are possible Thursday as a strengthening winter storm heads towards Chicagoland.
Rainfall amounts will average from 1/3 of an inch to 3/4 of an inch, while a few localized spots could see about an inch of rain.
Temperatures are expected to top out in the mid to upper 40s around midday Thursday. As colder air wraps around the back side of the storm system temperatures will drop and we’ll see the rain change over to snow starting in our northwestern counties and spreading southeast through the late afternoon and evening.
The change to snow in downtown Chicago could come just in time for the evening commute, making for a sloppy drive home.
West, northwest winds will strengthen dramatically this evening. Sustained winds at 30-40 mph, with gusts 50-60 mph, will cause blowing snow and will create near blizzard conditions Thursday night.
Travel will be treacherous or even dangerous in some locations.
Snowfall totals between 2-4 inches are expected in Chicago with a few heavier localized amounts possible.
Heavier totals, in the 4-7 inch range, could be seen in the northwest suburbs, with higher totals possible closer to Rockford. One to two inches of snow should fall south and southeast of the city.
Friday will remain windy as a colder air spreads of the area, keeping afternoon high temperatures from reaching the freezing mark for the first time this season. A few flurries are possible Friday morning, but most of the day should be mostly sunny.
Quieter conditions are expected through the weekend as temperatures become for seasonable.