Snowfall accumulations from a winter storm forecast to arrive in northern Illinois and the Chicago suburbs Friday morning will likely vary widely throughout the region.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch from 6 a.m. Friday through 11 p.m. Friday for Kane, DuPage, La Salle, Kendall, Grundy, Will, Cook, Kankakee, Livingston, Iroquois and Ford counties.
Rain changing to heavy wet snow is possible, with total accumulations ranging from 5 to 8 inches in some areas. Winds could also gust up to 45 mph.
Ricky Castro, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Romeoville office, said the storm should not affect tomorrow morning’s commute, but could impact the afternoon drive home, especially for those in the southwest suburbs.
“The general trend (for heavy snowfall) has been south compared to what we were looking at yesterday, but there is wiggle room in where this possible band of heavy snow sets up,” Castro said.
As of Thursday afternoon, Castro said it appears the area could could receive the most snowfall is located near and south of I-55.
But Castro said it is still possible the heavy snow band may extend further north into Kendall County.
Rainfall totals and snow accumulations should be significantly less further north towards the Illinois-Wisconsin line and northwest towards Rockford.
There is wiggle room in where this possible band of heavy snow sets up.— Meteorologist Ricky Castro
Snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour are possible Friday afternoon in the area where the heavy snow band sets up. Castro said snow may not stick in areas away from the heavy snow band.
“Even though we are expecting the precipitation to start tomorrow later in the morning, there is still plenty of uncertainly, unfortunately, this close to the event that the plausible outcomes range from not much accumulation to having an accumulating snow,” Castro said.
The heavy, wet nature of snow combined with the strong winds will lead to a potential for scattered power outages where the heaviest snow falls.