As commuters in northern Illinois get ready for their drives Wednesday morning, they will see the heaviest snow accumulations falling with as much as 5 inches possible in parts, a National Weather Service meteorologist said.
Snow should start in the early morning hours, between 3 and 4 a.m., and continue through the morning rush hour, meteorologist Mark Ratzer said.
The northern part of the state is not going to see a lot of snow, likely 1 to 3 inches, “but it will come down during rush hour. It doesn’t take much to screw up rush hour, so it will be impactful because of the time of day,” Ratzer said.
In the southern metro area, higher snow totals are expected with Joliet and areas of Will County expected to see 3 to 5 inches through Wednesday morning, Ratzer said.
However, air temperatures are expected to climb to 33 degrees by about 11 a.m. and any further accumulation after that should be “a few tenths of an inch,” Ratzer added.
Then, the snow could continue on and off through the end of the week with snow possible on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, according to a National Weather Service advisory on Tuesday.
The advisory was issued for Winnebago, Boone, McHenry, Lake, Ogle, Lee, DeKalb, Kane, DuPage, La Salle, Kendall, Grundy, Kankakee, Livingston, Iroquois and Ford counties. Parts of Cook and Will County, as well as northern Indiana, were listed as well.
The level of snowfall is forecasted to taper off into Wednesday afternoon and evening and turn into flurries with the afternoon commute possibly being helped by rising temperatures, meteorologist Jake Petr said.
More snowy showers could then come on Thursday and Friday, which will be more off and on without a clear point of stopping.
“There’s two different characters of snow ... from Wednesday to Thursday,” Petr said.
Showers on Thursday or Friday could bring another half-inch to some areas.
“The pattern is pretty active. We will stay in some light snow and snow showers through Wednesday night into Thursday morning, with additional changes on Thursday, another system on Friday and Saturday afternoon and night with additional ones into next week,” Ratzer said. “There are several chances of snow.”
Hazardous travel conditions could come as a result of Wednesday morning’s snow with the highest accumulation expected along Interstate 80 and east of Interstate 55, as well as south of I-80, according to the National Weather Service.
That could continue into Thursday and Friday as well, as roads could have patches of accumulation and be slick due to the showers, Petr said.
“Be prepared for slower travel during the morning, and take it slow and increase following distance,” he said. “Make sure your lights are on too.”
From Tuesday night to Saturday, temperatures will fluctuate between the low 30s and below 20 degrees, forecasts show.
Heading into early next week, on Sunday and Monday, temperatures could get into the single digits with a windchill below zero, according to the advisory.