Chicago braces for big winter storm Wednesday

Weather
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CHICAGO — The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for parts of the Chicago area starting at 9 a.m. Wednesday through 4 a.m. Thursday.

Cook, Will, Ford, Iroquois and Kankakee Counties will all be affected.

Snow will begin late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning, possibly briefly starting as a mix of rain or snow.

The NWS predicts heavy wet snow accumulations of 4 to 10 inches, with the highest accumulations south of Interstate 80 in Cook County and in Eastern Will County. Snowfall totals could vary substantially over short distances with some areas within the warning likely seeing much less snowfall, especially in the northwestern portion of the counties.

Strong northerly winds will gust to 45 mph at times. Where heavy snow occurs, this will create a wind whipped snow that will reduce visibilities to near zero making travel dangerous if not nearly impossible at the height of the storm.

A Gale Warning is in effect tomorrow, with strong northerly winds potentially gusting over 50 miles per hour, driving 15- to 20-foot waves, causing Lakeshore flooding Wednesday, Wednesday night and Thursday along the Illinois and Indiana into southwest Lower Michigan Lake Michigan shorelines.

Chicago emergency officials say the worst periods of snow are expected around 4 p.m.

 

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