Winter Storm Watch in effect for entire Chicago area Saturday afternoon into Sunday

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CHICAGO — A Winter Storm Watch for 5 to 9-inches of heavy wet snow is in effect for all of northeastern Illinois, including Chicago into northwest Indiana, from later Saturday afternoon through Saturday night into Sunday.

Heaviest snowfall looks to occur late afternoon into the late evening Saturday, but lighter snow will likely continue into Sunday with some lake-effect enhancement possible due to strong east to northeast winds gusting over 30 mph off Lake Michigan in portions of Cook, DuPage, Lake and McHenry counties in northeast Illinois.

Hazardous travel conditions will be complicated by the strong winds and temperatures in the upper 20s and lower 30s.

Low pressure will intensify as it moves east out of Colorado Friday night, tracking through southern portions of Illinois and Indiana later Saturday night and on to the Mid-Atlantic coast Monday.

The exact track of the storm will determine the lay-out of snow, but preliminary thoughts have the heaviest snow in counties along and north of Interstate-80 in Illinois with the possibility of a wintry mix the farther south you go into central portions of the state. Heavy snow could extend a little farther south in Indiana.

The Winter Storm Watch currently extends from eastern Iowa through Illinois and Indiana into Ohio (blue-shaded area on map below). The pictorial below provided by the Chicago National Weather Service Office depicts initial thinking on the general layout of snow across our area.

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