Unseasonably warm temperatures northern Illinois residents have enjoyed so far this winter won’t last. A cold front with plummeting digits is expected to hit the region this weekend, a National Weather Service meteorologist said.
While Wednesday night’s temperatures were expected to remain in the 40s after a rainy day in much of the region, temperatures Thursday, Friday and into the weekend likely will feature highs in the 20s and lows in the teens, said Brett Borchardt, meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Romeoville office.
“So far really this winter, we’ve been on the warm side of many of the storm systems,” Borchardt said. “There was a big blizzard affecting the plains and upper Great Lakes, but we’ve been on the warm side. It looks like that good favor is going to transition this weekend. Temperatures will take a tumble and last into Christmas week.”
Much of northern Illinois is under a hazardous weather outlook as of 3:40 p.m. Wednesday, according to the NWS. That includes McHenry, Lake, Ogle, Lee, DeKalb, Kane, DuPage, La Salle, Kendall, Grundy, Cook and Will counties.
Limited snow and fog risk could see Wednesday’s rain turn into a period of wet snow after midnight. That could mean minor wet snow accumulation into Thursday morning, primarily northwest of the Chicago metro area, according to the weather service.
Thursday and Friday also could bring a limited risk for snow, with snow showers expected across northern Illinois Thursday afternoon and into Friday periodically. Snow showers could be intense, according to the weather service, especially Thursday evening, which could sharply reduce road visibility for drivers and result in some snow accumulation.
Snow also is likely through the weekend.
“We are expecting snow showers Thursday into Saturday, kind of like in the spring with afternoon rain,” Borchardt said. “It won’t lead to any big snow accumulations, but we could see a quick coating here or there. Anytime the temperatures fall and we have scattered snow showers, we always advise you to take it slow on roads, bridges and overpasses.”
Borchardt said the current December weather trend isn’t too different from previous years’ winter weather, with warm and cold stretches back to back.