The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the Chicago area for Saturday afternoon through much of Sunday.
The winter storm warning across northern Illinois has varying start times reflecting differences in the expected onset of heavy snow. The warning valid times are displayed on the map above.
Snow is forecast to begin across the immediate metro area mid to late afternoon on Saturday. Periods of very heavy snow with accumulation rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour are expected Saturday evening, with lesser accumulation rates into midday Sunday. Thunder snow is also possible Saturday evening.
Total accumulations of 5 to 9 inches will be common across the area with locally higher amounts expected.
Forecasts are in close agreement in developing a weather scenario conducive of heavy, wet snow. Strong vertical ascent through mid-levels of the atmosphere is expected to lift moisture rich air flowing into the storm’s circulation from the south, forming bands of very heavy snow. Accumulation rates near 2″ per hour are possible Saturday evening. In addition to rapid accumulation of heavy, dense wet snow, visibilities of 1/4 mile or less may further impede travel.
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