While it isn’t going to quite pack the punch of several recent snow storms that hit the Chicago area, Thursday’s snowfall is going to still cause some travel issues, especially in areas where freezing rain could also fall.
On Thursday evening, a system is entering the Midwest and bringing with it snow showers and freezing rain across the area, but it’s also combining with some lake-effect snow that is impacting the northern suburbs and areas along the shores of Lake Michigan.
As a result, the highest snowfall totals that the area could see will likely be in Lake County in Illinois and in Lake County in Indiana, with the city of Chicago also seeing locally-higher accumulations along the lakefront.
Further to the south, there likely won’t be as much snow, but that is because there aren’t enough ice crystals aloft to help form snowflakes, according to the NBC 5 Storm Team.
As a result, freezing drizzle is possible in those southern counties, including Will and Kankakee counties in Illinois. That, combined with an inch or two of accumulating snow, could cause travel issues overnight and into Friday morning.
Heavier snowfall totals could occur in areas to the south, with some freezing rain also possible in Iroquois County and into northwest Indiana.
Friday morning will see the bulk of the system start to move out of the region, but scattered snow showers are still possible throughout the day. Those likely won’t generate much in the way of accumulation, according to forecast models, but they could be fed by a bit more moisture from the lake in northwest Indiana.
In the end, residents can expect to see anywhere from 3-to-5 inches of snow in the northern suburbs, while the rest of the region will likely see between 1-to-3 inches of snowfall by Friday evening.
After the system moves out of the area, temperatures are expected to rise into the 30s by the weekend, part of a warming trend that will see highs in the 40s by Monday.
What’s more, a long dry weather pattern could be in place, with the next chance for rain not arriving until the end of the coming work week.