The first accumulating snow of the season will unfold across the region beginning this evening and persisting through the day Saturday. Precipitation will likely transition from a rain and snow mix early this evening to all snow later tonight. Warm ground temperatures, especially pavement, will initially limit accumulations on surfaces this evening. However snowfall rates are expected to increase overnight through Saturday morning and will allow for snow to accumulate at a quicker rate. Snowfall amounts will likely vary from 3 to 6 inches near the Interstate 80 corridor, to as much as 8 to 10 inches across North Central Illinois. Lighter amounts of snow, generally 2 to 5 inches, are likely along the immediate shores of Lake Michigan, including Chicago, due to slightly warmer surface temperatures.
Winter Storm Warning in effect from 9 PM this evening to 3 PM CST Saturday.
Timing: A rain and snow mix this evening will transition to a wet snow and persist through mid afternoon on Saturday, with snow briefly heavy at times.
Snow accumulations: 4 to 8 inches across Northwestern Cook away from Lake Michigan, with 2 to 5 inches near the lake including downtown Chicago.
Impacts: potential exists for difficult driving conditions and sharply reduced visibilities, especially away from the lake.
The first accumulating snow of the year can catch motorists off guard. Ensure to plan accordingly and use extra caution if traveling.
A Winter Storm Warning for heavy snow means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Significant amounts of snow are forecast that will make travel dangerous. Only Travel in an emergency. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight. Food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.
Tips from ready.gov
Before winter approaches, add the following supplies to your emergency kit:
-Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency for a complete list of recommended products.
-Sand to improve traction.
-Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.
-Sufficient heating fuel. You may become isolated in your home and regular fuel sources may be cut off. Store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.
-Adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.
-Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack - a major cause of death in the winter. If you must shovel snow, stretch before going outside.
-Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly.
-Watch for signs of frostbite. These include loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes, and the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately.
-Conserve fuel, if necessary, by keeping your residence cooler than normal. Temporarily close off heat to some rooms.
What is a Winter Storm Warning?
A winter weather event including 1) snow, ice, or sleet meeting or exceeding locally defined 12 and/or 24 hour warning criteria; or 2) a combination of snow, ice, or sleet and blowing snow with at least one of the precipitation elements meeting or exceeding locally defined 12 and/or 24 hour warning criteria.