Winter Storm Warning Issued for Chicago Area

on Jan18

18 January 2019 | 4:45 pm

A Winter Storm Warning was issued for much of the Chicago area beginning Friday afternoon through Saturday morning ahead of potentially heavy snow over the weekend.



The warning was issued for Cook, Lake, DuPage, Winnebago, Boone, McHenry, Ogle, Lee, DeKalb and Kane counties in Illinois, from 3 p.m. Friday through 12 p.m. CST Saturday. 

The warning was expected to take effect in LaSalle, Kendall, Grundy, Will and Kankakee counties in Illinois, as well as Lake and Porter counties in Indiana, beginning at 7 p.m. and also ending at 12 p.m. CST Saturday. A warning in Newton, Jasper and Benton counties in Indiana was issued for 12 a.m. through 3 p.m. CST Saturday.



LaPorte County in Indiana was expected to be under a Winter Storm Watch from Friday through Saturday evening.

What Does Lake-Effect Snow Actually Mean?

[CHI] What Does Lake-Effect Snow Actually Mean?

“A Winter Storm Warning for snow means severe winter weather conditions will make travel very hazardous or impossible. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency,” the National Weather Service said in a statement connected with the storm warning.

NBC 5 Storm Team meteorologists are tracking the developing winter storm system heading into the weekend that could bring several inches of snow across the area. 

As the system continues to develop, moving in from the West Coast, details on how much snow it could bring are beginning to narrow.

Friday started off overcast and seasonably cold with highs in the low- to mid-30s before light snow develops late in the evening or during the overnight hours Saturday.

The National Weather Service warns that “travel could be very difficult,” especially for the Friday evening commute.

A widespread snow system is forecast to continue throughout the day Saturday, dumping potentially several inches of snow before coming to an end for some locations.

The steady snow should taper off during the afternoon hours Saturday for much of the metro area and in the evening for northwest Indiana. 

The real factor that continues to hover over snow total projections is an expected band of lake effect snow. 

Lake effect showers keep the snow going overnight for counties closer to the lake, which would have a major impact on snow totals. If the lake effect system develops on the Chicago side of Lake Michigan and shifts east into northwest Indiana, it could bring several inches of additional accumulation to those areas before coming to an end Sunday afternoon and evening. 

We will continue to update our forecasts as the system develops. Check back for the latest information.

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