Blowing snow and cold creating dangerous weather conditions

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It’s really coming down here on Chicago’s lakefront and it’s dangerously cold. And while the coverage of snowfall at the moment is limited to mainly lake snow, in fact, the sun is out in DeKalb as I post this, wider coverage snow is on the way across the entire area later today, tonight and into Tuesday morning–with lake snows lingering into Tuesday evening in lakeshore areas.

Visibility an issue

Lakeside visibilities have crashed to fractions of a mile in the Edgewater neighborhood and have been reported at 3/4 mile and locally less in shoreline locations during the morning from sections of northwest Indiana north to Chicago and areas closeby.

Lake snow plumes are known to produce near white-out conditions at times.

We’re on the receiving end of a lake snow plume whose coverage is limited but within which snow comes down at a good clip.

What’s ahead Monday night

Snowy, windy and very cold with open area, lakeshore and rural area blowing and drifting of snow. Treacherous travel conditions developing. 4 to 9″ additional inches of snow by morning–diminishing to 3 to 6 inches in the Fox Valley and to 1 to 3″ farther west toward DeKalb and Rockford. Low 10. Wind chills by morning: 5-below to 5-above.

2pm Monday

Bitter Cold too

One thing which sets this storm apart from many others we’ve seen here is just how cold it is! Readings across the area are bitterly cold. This adds to the danger of this storm as winds increase, gusting to or above 30 mph later today and tonight. The cold readings mean the snow is extremely fluffy and will be easily blown around creating still another hazard.

Overnight and Monday morning temps dropped to 0 at O’Hare and 1-above at Midway. Current wind chills are at 18-below.

Noon CST Tuesday

Northwest Indiana hit hard

The heaviest snowfalls have been associated with lake snows the past 24 hours in Northwest Indiana. Check how those totals–which have topped 8 inches around Valparaiso—contrast with the much lighter snow tallies elsewhere in northern Illinois and southeast Wisconsin. In fact, there has been no snow accumulation reported in the Rockford area during the night through 6am.

  • 0.9NNW Valparaiso 8.3″
  • 3.9ESE Chesteron, IN 7.0″
  • 1.4ENE Chesterton, IN 6.9″
  • 1.4ENE Chesterton, IN 6.9″
  • Gary, IN 4.3″
  • 2.4 NNW Portage, IN 3.3″

Compare those accumulations driven by lake effect and system snow overnight to these much more modest accumulations through 6am Monday elsewhere:

  • O’Hare 1.1″
  • Midway Airport 1.4″
  • West Joliet 1.4″
  • Oak Forest 1″
  • Arlington Heights 1.0″

What’s ahead this week

TUESDAY: Windy and cold. Snow tapering off followed by partial clearing. Flurries of snow showers may continue along the lake but will end there during the afternoon. Blustery and cold with some blowing and drifting in open areas. Final total area wide snowfalls 10 to 15″—lakeside counties but 3 to 6″ Fox Valley and 1 to 3″ DeKalb and Rockford. High 18.

TUESDAY NIGHT: Clouds scatter, diminishing winds and very cold temps. Low: 3-above in the city by 8 to 14-below colder inland locations. Wind chills by Wed morning: 0 to 5-below.

WEDNESDAY: Clouding over, cold. High 24.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT & THURSDAY: Cloudy and blustery. Chance of some snow, especially close to Lake Michigan. Low Wed night 13. Thursday’s high 24.

FRIDAY: Partly cloudy, cold. A few flurries possible. High 19.

SATURDAY: Sunshine followed by increasing cloudiness. High 21.

SUNDAY: Snow likely, blustery. High 33.

MONDAY: Mostly cloudy and windy. Little change in temps. High 33.

Full forecast details at the WGN Weather Center

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