Parts of northwest Indiana will see lake-effect snow beginning Wednesday evening, and the rest of the Chicago-area will see bitterly cold temperatures arriving overnight as wind chills are expected to plunge up to 15 degrees below zero.
A winter weather advisory will go into effect at 6 p.m. in Porter and LaPorte counties in northwest Indiana, along with Berrien County in Michigan, according to the National Weather Service.
The areas are expected to be hit with lake-effect snow bands at times throughout the evening and into the overnight hours, with total accumulations between 3-to-6 inches of snow before the system begins to clear out by Thursday evening.
Locally-higher amounts of snow are possible, especially to the northeast of a line that stretches from Portage to Kouts, according to forecasters.
Occasionally-heavy snowfall rates of up to an inch per hour are expected overnight and into Thursday morning, creating hazardous travel conditions.
Breezy northerly winds could also cause huge headaches for travelers, especially during the Thursday morning commute, causing slippery roads and lowered visibility because of blowing snow.
While the rest of the Chicago-area won’t see the snow, bitterly cold wind chills are expected to impact the region overnight.
According to the National Weather Service, gusty winds and frigid temperatures will help to drop wind chills well below zero, with some locations seeing “feels-like” temperatures of up to 15 degrees below zero.
According to officials in suburban Aurora, an overnight warming center will open at the Aurora Transportation Center beginning at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. That center will remain open until 7 a.m. each day, and will remain activated through at least Jan. 26.
There won’t be much in the way of relief on Thursday, as high temperatures are only expected to reach into the teens for most of the area. Highs are expected to reach into the 20s by Friday, but they’ll stay there for a while, remaining below the seasonal average for the area as a cold air mass settles over the region.