Winter Weather Advisory for PM sleet, freezing rain across Chicago area

CHICAGO -- A Winter Weather Advisory calling for a period of sleet and freezing rain spreading from west to east across the Chicago area is forecast to occur this Thursday afternoon/evening. The Advisory runs from 3PM CST until Midnight, affecting the area along and west of Interstate-39 by mid-afternoon and then east into Chicago and northwest Indiana by late afternoon/early evening. This will impact afternoon/evening rush-hour/commute traffic, so the earlier start you can get the better, as roads are likely to become very slick and treacherous.

A very strong cold front is forecast to move through our area from west to east this afternoon/early evening followed by a sharp drop of temperatures from the 50s through the 40s and 30s into the upper 20s in 3-hours or less. The temperature change aloft will lag that at the surface, so that rain will persist a few hours after the cold air hits at ground-level. Thus a period first of sleet and then freezing rain is projected to occur. The freezing precipitation will change over to snow or flurries from west to east as the evening wears on.

Travel west north and south today will be impacted by this storm system - note the Winter Weather Warning/Advisory areas depicted in Purple and pink on the map below...