State

Snow showers, squalls likely Friday afternoon

“The first snow of the year can often cause major problems on the road as people adjust to poor driving conditions,” National Weather Service’s Chicago office said.

Possibly heavy snow squalls combined with high winds Friday could result in hazardous weather in pockets across northern Illinois, the National Weather Service advised Friday morning.

Hazardous weather outlooks were issued Friday morning for all of northern Illinois, west from the Quad Cities through the Sauk Valley and into the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

Most areas will see occasional snow showers, resulting in little to no accumulation, but heavier snowfall Friday afternoon and evening could lead to brief accumulation on pavement and localized amounts over a half inch on grassy and elevated surfaces, the National Weather Service advised in one outlook.

Snow combined with gusty winds of 30 to 40 mph also could lead to hazardous travel conditions due to sudden reductions in visibility, the advisory warned.

“(The m)ost intense snow squalls will produce brief heavy snowfall rates, severely reduced visibilities, gusty winds, and graupel,” the Chicago area office of the National Weather Service said on Twitter.

Graupel, which some areas already saw Wednesday evening, is snow pellets and resemble Dippin’ Dots, according to the National Weather Service. It usually occurs when temperatures are above freezing at ground level but very cold in the show showers and squalls above.

“The first snow of the year can often cause major problems on the road as people adjust to poor driving conditions,” the National Weather Service’s Chicago office said on Twitter, recommending that drivers slow down, not use cruise control and leave plenty of distance between themselves and other drivers.

Another “quick moving weather system” also is in the forecast for the coming days, which could bring gusty winds and minor snow accumulations Saturday night into Sunday, according to the hazardous weather outlook for the Chicago region.