Chicago Weather

How a Small Shift in Storm’s Path Changed Projected Chicago-Area Snow Totals

Areas most favored for snowy conditions were northwest Indiana and southern Chicago suburbs, but locations north and west of Chicago likely won't see much

NBCUniversal, Inc.

A minor shift in direction for an approaching winter storm made a major difference in projected snow totals for the Chicago area Tuesday and Wednesday.

According to NBC 5 meteorologists, a direction change had the winter system that was expected to dump nearly a foot of snow in some locations moving south as of Monday.

That, combined with a sharp cut-off line for snow in the system, means many in the Chicago area will be left with little to no accumulation.

Areas most favored for snowy conditions were northwest Indiana and southern Chicago suburbs, but locations north and west of Chicago likely won't see much.

Brant Miller

By Tuesday afternoon, models were showing totals ranging from less than an inch north to up to 5 inches of part of northwest Indiana.

Winter storm watches were downgraded to advisories across the area by the National Weather Service.

The winter weather advisory will take effect at 6 p.m. Tuesday, lasting until 6 p.m. Wednesday, in Illinois, according to the NWS. Forecasts predict snow accumulations between 1 to 3 inches in Will, Grundy, LaSalle, Kankakee, DuPage, Cook and Kendall counties, making for slippery road conditions that could impact the morning commute on Wednesday.

In Lake, Porter, Newton and Jasper counties in Indiana, which will also be under an advisory from Tuesday evening to Wednesday evening, 3 to 5 inches is expected.

The shift in the storm's path wasn't entirely unexpected, however.

NBC 5 Storm Team meteorologists had been tracking the possibility, warning that totals might change as the work week began.

Late Tuesday afternoon, a light mix of snow and rain moved into some locations and is expected to transition to all snow as it moves north through the evening. The steadiest snow is expected to move in overnight Tuesday and into Wednesday morning.

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