While forecast models often differ while predicting winter storms, the system that will impact the Midwest on Friday had models in stark contrast from one another. Even Thursday evening, with the system’s arrival hours rather than days away, model snowfall forecasts varied greatly.

Areas impacted by snow Friday can expect heavy, wet snow and strong winds. Snow is anticipated to arrive after the morning rush in the city but may impact southern suburbs earlier. The heaviest snowfall and the potential for rapid accumulation is likely during the afternoon and early evening. Snowfall accumulation is still in question but there is a potential for 1-2” near the Illinois/Wisconsin border with 2-6” from the city westward. Higher snow amounts are possible well south of the city and in northwest Indiana. Snow should end in Illinois by 10 p.m. Friday but may continue after that time in Indiana. A shift in the predicted storm track could drastically change snowfall accumulation. A more southerly track may mean little or no snow for the northernmost Illinois counties.

Temperatures will be key to determining where the heaviest snow band develops. Temperatures a little higher than predicted could mean more rain than snow for locations further south and change where the heaviest snow band develops. Snow that does accumulate will be quite heavy so take caution if shoveling.

Drier, warmer conditions arrive for the weekend with highs in the 40s on Saturday and Sunday. Even warmer air arrives on Monday when temperatures reach the 50s accompanied by chance for rain.