Those enjoying the Chicago area's relatively mild winter weather are about to get quite the rude awakening.
Another round of snow could bring up to a half-foot of accumulation to some parts of the Chicago area Wednesday and Thursday - and that snow will be followed by the coldest temperatures of the season so far.
Light snow, which could begin as an icy mix, is expected to first develop late Wednesday afternoon and evening, moving from south to north. The snow could become moderate overnight with a few inches of accumulation possible by dawn.
Thursday will likely start off blustery and cold with the light, possibly moderate snow tapering to snow showers in the afternoon and ending as flurries by the evening.
Early predictions indicate far northwestern counties could see a few inches of accumulation, with up to 6 inches possible south of Chicago and in northwest Indiana.
Winter weather advisories have already been issued across parts of the area:
- In LaPorte County, Indiana, a winter weather advisory takes effect at noon CT Wednesday and continues through noon Thursday.
- In Lake and Porter counties in Indiana, it begins at 4 p.m. Wednesday and continues until 9 p.m. Thursday.
- In Newton and Jasper counties in northwest Indiana and Will, Kankakee, LaSalle, Kendall and Grundy counties in Illinois, an advisory begins at 2 p.m. Wednesday and continues through noon Thursday.
- DeKalb, Kane, DuPage and Cook Counties will all be under an advisory starting at 4 p.m. and continuing through noon Thursday
The advisories warn of up to 5 inches of snow for some counties, and between 2 and 4 inches for others. The alerts note the winter moisture could briefly mix with freezing rain.
"Slow down and use caution while traveling," the National Weather Service states.
But the snow will also usher in a bitter blast that could send temperatures plummeting well-below zero.
Thursday is expected to start in the upper-20s, but those numbers will fall throughout the day, dipping into the teens and later into the single digits.
Wind chill readings Thursday night could drop between -5 and -15 degrees, according to NBC 5 Storm Team meteorologists.
Below-zero wind chill readings will likely continue Friday morning as highs climb only into the mid- to upper-teens.
Temps return to the 30s for the weekend.