Chicago area braces for biggest potential snowstorm since 2015; Winter Storm Warning issued

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Cold temperatures and sunny skies throughout the day Friday precede a potentially significant winter storm in the Chicago area, with 5 to 11 inches of snow possible by Monday.

Unlike its predecessor earlier this week, this storm has more moisture available to work with; more than double the normal allotment for this time of year.

Snowfall rates Saturday evening (between 4 p.m. and midnight) could reach 1″-2″ per hour at times, creating difficult, if not dangerous, driving conditions.

A Winter Storm Warning has been issued for Kane, Kendall, Grundy, DuPage, Kankakee, McHenry, Lake, Cook, and Lake and Porter counties in Indiana from 3 p.m. Saturday until 6 p.m. Sunday.

Increasing cloudiness is expected throughout Friday evening, with lows ranging from the upper teens to low 20s throughout the area.

Winds are expected to increase Saturday, with a chance of snow late in the day, though more likely to begin Saturday evening.

Hazardous travel conditions are expected Saturday night with wind gusts up to 35 mph with significant snow accumulations likely.

Temperatures will remain in the low 30s throughout Saturday, with a high temperature of 32 on Sunday. Some lingering lake effect flurries are expected Monday morning.

The storm’s northeast winds will churn Lake Michigan, raising lake levels, although the development of ice in recent days may blunt some of the impact of the waves.

The storm’s heavy moisture, as much as 250 percent above normal late January levels, is likely to generate 5 to 11 inches of accumulations across the area by the conclusion of the storm late Sunday night.

IDOT is preparing around 350 snow plows to deal with the storm.

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