Chicago Weather

How Much Snow Could Chicago Area See and When? Here's a Breakdown

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

The Chicago area is finally set to see its first measurable snow of the season, ending a record-breaking snow drought so far this winter, but how much is the area expected to get and when?

Accumulations are expected, but totals will vary by location.

A winter weather advisory has been issued for the western and northern suburbs of Chicago, along with the city itself.

Here’s a timeline of what you can expect in the coming hours.

Early Tuesday Morning:

Snow slowly starts to develop and move into the area, with the south and western suburbs getting hit first.

By the end of morning rush hour, the precipitation will be more widespread, starting out as mostly snow across the area. Locations further to the north and west of the NBC 5 viewing area will likely see the most snow, with locations further to the south switching over to rain sooner than in other spots.

Late Tuesday Morning:

A winter weather advisory will go into effect from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in McHenry, Lake, DeKalb, Kane, DuPage and Cook counties.

As the sun comes out, some of the precipitation will switch over to rain, especially south of Interstate 80. North of I-80, mixed precipitation is expected, according to forecast models.

Areas in the far western suburbs could still see all snow for most of the morning, as well as areas in the northern suburbs.

Slushy accumulations are possible, especially on grassy areas, but motorists are still advised to use caution as snow begins to fall.

Tuesday Afternoon:

Peak snow rates are expected between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m., according to NWS. Up to one-half inch of snow per hour could fall at times, especially in western and northern areas.

Snowfall models vary, with the National Weather Service calling for anywhere from 2-to-4 inches in areas in the far northern and western suburbs, and diminishing totals as one gets closer to the lake and further south in the NBC 5 coverage area.

By mid-afternoon, the precipitation will slowly start to clear out of most of the area, but areas to the far north will likely still see some rain.

The snow is not expected to stick much to pavement in the area, though some slush is expected as the more intense bursts of snow move through. More accumulations are likely on grassy areas.

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