An ice storm warning was issued for multiple Chicago-area counties as several others remain under a winter weather advisory with accumulating snow, ice and rain all expected to kick off the New Year.
The ice storm warning was issued for Kankakee, LaSalle and Grundy counties and remains in effect until 6 p.m. Friday.
“Significant icing, downed tree limbs, and power outages” are likely in the storm, according to the alert, which also warns of ice accumulations of one quarter to one third of an inch and wind gusts up to 30 mph.
Travel is “strongly discouraged” during this storm, according to the National Weather Service.
Meanwhile, a winter weather advisory is in effect until midnight for DeKalb, Kane, DuPage, Kendall, Cook and Will counties in Illinois and Lake and Porter counties in Indiana. McHenry and Lake counties were added to that advisory later Friday morning.
Snow accumulations of up to 3 inches and ice accumulations of up to a tenth of an inch are possible along with 30 mph wind gusts. There may also be some sleet accumulation, according to the alert.
Precipitation is expected to start Friday morning as either snow or sleet, according to NBC 5 Storm Team meteorologist Paul Deanno. After a cold night, that snow or sleet will immediately make roads slick.
Ice accumulation of 0.10 inch to 0.25 inch is possible, especially south of Chicago. That’s enough to make roads very icy and bring down some tree limbs.
A changeover to rain is likely Friday afternoon, and the storm will end as snow, with snow rates rivaling what the area saw on Tuesday.
Accumulation of one to three inches of snow is expected in Chicago, with slightly higher totals north and west.
A drier pattern starts Saturday afternoon.
In a press release Thursday, ComEd announced it was increasing staffing and equipment to respond to any outages across the area.
ComEd says it’s encouraging customers to contact the company immediately if they experience a power outage and take the following precautions:
- If a downed power line is spotted, immediately call ComEd at 1-800-EDISON1 (1-800-334-7661). Spanish-speaking customers should call 1-800-95-LUCES (1-800-955-8237).
- Never approach a downed power line. Always assume a power line is energized and extremely dangerous.
- In the event of an outage, do not approach ComEd crews working to restore power to ask about restoration times. Crews may be working on live electrical equipment, and the perimeter of the work zone may be hazardous. Additionally, for the safety of themselves and the public, crews are practicing social distancing.
Customers can also text the word “OUT” to 26633 (COMED) to report an outage.
The Illinois Tollway also said it is mobilizing its full fleet of 196 snowplows and opening its snow operations center in preparation for the storm.
The Tollway urged drivers to “slow down and allow additional time for their New Year’s Day travels.”
“Keeping our customers safe is our highest priority and we will have crews working continuously throughout this storm to maintain safe driving conditions on our roads,” Illinois Tollway Executive Director José Alvarez said in a statement. “We are asking drivers to help us protect them by increasing their distance from other vehicles to allow themselves more time to react to unexpected traffic or roadway conditions. We also want to remind drivers to give plows and emergency vehicles the extra room they need to do their work.”