CHICAGO – Blustery snow showers swept the Chicago area Friday amid powerful winds.

Another .8 inches of snow fell at Midway Airport and a half inch at O’Hare.  At the same time, Frank Wachowski reported that a half inch of snow accumulated at Midway Airport in just 10 minutes Friday afternoon and that the location recorded just 40 minutes – or 7 percent – of its possible sun. 

January is approaching a record for the least sunshine with just four days remaining, with only 17 percent of the month’s possible sun on the books. If the cloudy trend continues, we could match or break the record for the least amount of January sun of 20 percent, which was set in 1998.

While snow exits tonight, it will be followed by the coldest morning in more than a month in the Chicago area with a low of 13 degrees at O’Hare and 14 degrees at Midway. Lows with reach the single digits in many locations outside the city, including zero at Rochelle and a minus 1 degree low in DeKalb.

A new storm system takes aim at the area with a tricky distribution of snowfall commencing Saturday, continuing into the evening, and ending as some potential lake-enhanced snowfall Sunday morning.

A Winter Weather Advisory kicks in at 9 a.m. Saturday and continues to 3 a.m. Sunday, though lake snow showers may continue to blow into lakeside counties of northeast Illinois into Sunday morning.

Three-to-six inches may fall from the city through roughly the I-88 corridor (the East/West Tollway and the Eisenhower) beginning Saturday, but with sharply lower totals as one goes south. As much as 5 to 8 inches may fall toward the Wisconsin line into southern Wisconsin during that period. Amounts south toward Morris, Kankakee, and Rensselaer, Indiana may only come in around an inch from current indications.

Any shift in the storm track and its heaviest precip could necessitate tweaking snowfall locations and totals, so monitor the latest forecasts this weekend.

The reduction in precipitation south is the product of a wintry mix falling there. Snow may shift to a wintry mix as far north as the city, especially its southern suburbs and South Side for a time later Saturday, only to shift back to snow, with the possibility that it could be heavy at times Saturday night.

Arctic air follows with falling temps Sunday as readings drop to single digits Sunday night and below zero west of the city.  In a jarring shift, next week is likely to come in 14 degrees colder than this week and 11 degrees below normal. below normal. Then things will warm up the following week to a temperature level near normal for early February.

The frigid air will dominate much of next week then ease considerably the next weekend and in the week which follows. 


.- WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY starting Saturday morning and continuing through much of Saturday night…..

TONIGHT: Snow exits early—then some breaks in the clouds. Cold. Low 17.

SATURDAY: Cloudy. Snow developing late morning and early afternoon in all but southern sections. A wintry mix later in the day in southern sections. High 31.

SATURDAY NIGHT: A wintry mix in the southern suburbs, possibly briefly as far north as parts of the city. Then a shift back to snow, possibly heavy at times.  Accumulations of 3 to 6 inches from the I-88 (East/West Tollway corridor north)–but as much as 5 to 8 inches northern counties near the Wisconsin line and into southern Wisconsin. But accumulations taper to just an inch or so south toward Morris, Kankakee, and Rensselaer, IN.  Breezy. Low 18 to 24.

SUNDAY: Breezy and colder. Snow showers continue lakeside counties in the morning then gradually end. High 29—but falling to the low or mid-20s by nightfall.

MONDAY: Partly sunny and much colder. Morning lows in single digits in the city and 0 to 10-below inland—but rising to highs of just 16.

TUESDAY: Sunshine gives way to clouds, quite cold. High 15.

WEDNESDAY: Cloudy, chance of some snow. High 22.

THURSDAY: Clearing and cold. High 20.