The National Weather Service has issued a High Wind Warning Thursday as the Chicago area braces for wind gusts between 50 and 60 mph and lake shore waves of up to 20 feet.
Very strong winds are expected to move through the area overnight and through the day Thursday, according to NBC 5 Storm Team models. Winds of this magnitude could make driving difficult and cause damage to trees and power lines.
A Wind Advisory takes effect in Cook County from 7 p.m. Wednesday to 4 a.m. Thursday. Then, a high Wind Warning kicks in at 4 a.m. and remains in effect until 4 p.m. Thursday.
The same warnings are in effect in Lake and Porter counties in Indiana, with the High Wind Warning ending at 7 p.m. Thursday.
In Lake County, a Wind Advisory is in effect from 7 p.m. Wednesday to 4 p.m. Thursday.
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The highest waves could occur near the Lake Michigan shore, causing a scenario similar to what the area saw on Oct. 31, 2014, when Lake Shore Drive flooded and trees snapped along the major roadway, blocking traffic.
Chicago-Area Weather Alerts
The National Weather Service also issued a Lakeshore Flood Warning between 4 a.m. Thursday until 1 a.m. Friday.
Some areas could still see snow Thursday with the best accumulation chance in Northwest Indiana. One model shows up to four inches in South Bend, Ind., 3.2 inches in Valparaiso and 1 inch in Gary. Another model shows a dusting of snow.
The rest of the area could see a dusting to a half-inch of slushy snow that is expected to melt quickly.
Any wintry mix that does develop likely will transition to rain by Thursday afternoon.
Friday looks a lot more spring-like with some sunshine and highs in low 50s.
We're in for a treat over the weekend, with low-60s possible on Saturday and 70 degrees on Sunday. The next round of rain could come Sunday night.