A “potent” storm with heavy, wet snow and gusty winds could hit Chicago early next week, the National Weather Service predicts.
The weather service has identified a change in weather patterns that will bring the colder, snowier conditions to northwest Illinois. The strong storm is currently expected to first hit late Monday and continue Tuesday, according to the weather service.
“It looks like we’re going to get a pretty potent weather system,” meteorologist Zachary Yack said Thursday morning. “People need to be prepared for potential travel impacts and periods of accumulating snowfall.”
The chances for accumulating wet snow and travel impacts increased Friday, though uncertainties remained, the NWS said. A lack of deep cold air, with temperatures forecast in the low to mid 30s, could lead to sharp snowfall gradients and a line between rain and snow, the weather service reported Friday.
It is too early to predict where the storm will hit hardest and how much wind or snow it will bring, Yack said Thursday.
“There’s still quite a bit of uncertainty with that system,” he said.
Meteorologists will have a better sense of what the storm will look like in Chicago and the surrounding region in the coming days, he added.
“Keep checking back and getting those updates as we get closer,” Yack said.
The expected storm comes after Chicago experienced its fourth warmest December on record, a fitting end to what the weather service identified as the city’s third warmest recorded year.
The 1.2 inches of snowfall the city received were over 6 inches below normal. The city’s average temperature of 39 degrees was 8.5 degrees above normal, according to the weather service.
Light snowfall is possible throughout northwest Illinois this weekend, when temperatures are expected to hover in the mid-30s during the day and the high 20s at night, according to officials. Storms Friday night and early Saturday could bring between 1 to 2 inches of snow, Yack said.
“It could lead to some slippery travel for those commuting Saturday morning,” he said.