A Winter Storm Warning remained in effect across the entire Chicago area and northwest Indiana Friday, as the biggest snowstorm of the season so far descended on the region.
The exclamation point on a week of wintry weather could leave more than a foot of accumulation total across some parts of the region by Sunday.
The National Weather Service upgraded an existing Winter Storm Watch with a Winter Storm Warning early Thursday, meaning severe winter weather conditions were not only likely, but expected.
The warning for DuPage, Cook, La Salle, Kendall, Grundy, Will counties in Illinois, and Lake and Porter counties in Indiana, went into effect at 6 p.m. on Thursday and was was extended to last through Friday at 6 p.m.
The warning in place for Lee, DeKalb, Kane counties in Illinois went into effect at 6 p.m. on Thursday as well, but was lengthened to last through Friday at 2 p.m.
Steady, moderate to heavy snow began to pelt much of the area late Thursday night and left several inches of accumulation by dawn. The NWS warned that heavy snowfall will make driving conditions difficult, particularly during Friday morning's rush hour.
After this round of snow, the winter weather won't be done yet. Another wave will arrive late Friday night and into Saturday morning.
That band of snow will likely be out of the area by the late-morning hours Saturday ahead of yet another round of snow Saturday evening and into Sunday morning.
Any light snowfall on Sunday will likely taper off in the morning before clouds break for sun in the afternoon - though it will still be cold with highs in the upper 20s.
Overall, by the end of the weekend, parts of the Chicago area could see a total of more than a foot of snow on the ground over the course of the week, including the 1 to 3 inches of accumulation from the snowfall late Tuesday night into Wednesday - though snow totals will likely fluctuate as the system continues to move through the area.