• Deepening low pressure trough aloft over the plains moving east.
  • 170 mph NW Jet stream drives bitter-cold Arctic-source air into the Plains/Midwest/Great Lakes.
  • Leading edge of Arctic air on Chicago’s doorstep.
  • Arctic cold will settle over the Chicago area Friday and Saturday.
  • Warm air depressed far south into Gulf of Mexico/Florida

Thursday’s Hazard Map

As the deepening low pressure moves east into the central plains, Winter Storm hazard Watches, Warnings and Advisories are posted along the storm path as well as north and west of the projected storm center.

Winter Storm to Hit Chicago area Thursday – intensify Thursday Night

  • Snow develops Thursday – beginning in far western sections (west of Interstate-39) during the morning and spreading east with deteriorating conditions across the area by early-mid afternoon
  • Blizzard conditions possible, particularly late Thursday night through Friday afternoon (heavy blinding blowing snow with visibility under a quarter mile or less for at least 3 consecutive hours). Very difficult and dangerous travel conditions.
  • Wind gusts to 55 mph may cause power outages. Winds shifting to the W/NW area-wide by Thursday afternoon with initial gusts 35-40 mph, peak gusts 55 mph+ later Thursday night and early Friday.
  • Dangerous life threatening wind chills, falling temps Thursday afternoon. Sub-zero wind chills possible by late afternoon and early evening Thursday. Increasing winds and falling temps could eventually result in wind chills of -20 to -35 degrees by Friday/Friday night with wind chills well below zero continuing through the weekend.
  • Isolated river ice jams possible.

Friday’s winds

Snow exits the area but strong winds continue: 40-55 mph gusts to produce significant blowing/drifting snow