Early indications from a few long-range guidance suggest that Chicago is in for a very active weather pattern as several impulses/waves are to move over the region over the next week and to close out the month of January. After a clipper system brought mainly a dusting of snow to the region today with isolated areas picking up an inch to two inches, including Galena (2.0") and Dixon (1.5"), a larger storm system will bring a much more widespread snow (likely to be our largest accumulating snow so far this season) Thursday night into Friday. Upwards of 2 inches could fall over the area by the time all is said and done Friday evening.
It is worth noting that before this next snow system moves into the region Thursday night/Friday that lake effect snow is likely to develop tonight across southwest Lower Michigan and north-central Indiana and possibly move across northwest Indiana and northeast Illinois by Thursday morning. With a good temperature disparity between lake waters and the atmosphere, lake effect showers are to develop tonight across southwest Lower Michigan and Indiana and will gradually retrograde westward impacting travel across northwest Indiana and possibly areas adjacent to the lake in the Chicago area Thursday morning. 1-4" of snow is expected to fall over in Porter County with 3-6" to fall across La Porte, St. Joseph (IN), and Berrien (MI) counties. A Lake Effect Snow Warning is in effect through Thursday A.M. for La Porte, St. Joseph, and Berrien counties.
Sunday through Tuesday night
A warming trend is set to begin late this weekend and that's when the weather will become a bit tricky in terms of precipitation type. Long range guidance continues to indicate a series of disturbances/storms to ejects a wave out of the Plains into the region Sunday afternoon/night through Tuesday of next week. The first wave comes Sunday afternoon/evening. With temperatures at or near freezing, precipitation will begin as snow or a mixture of snow/ice. There could be a prolonged period of snow/ice through Monday morning as computer models are not taking into account the possibility of snow cover on the ground. With further warming, freezing rain/sleet will change over to all rain Monday into Tuesday ahead of another developing storm system. On Tuesday, another system ejects out of the Plains reaching the area by Tuesday evening in the form of rain. Rainfall could be heavy Tuesday night into Monday. Forecast on this in terms of placement and timing are still in the early stages and will be monitored closely over the next few days, but is looking as if the Chicago area will enter into an active pattern over the next week or so.
After Tuesday and heading into the first week of February, it appears that another surge of arctic air will bring below normal temperatures into the middle of the nation.
Thursday: Mostly cloudy and unseasonably cool. Lake effect snow possible early then a more widespread snow at night. Highs in the mid 20s. Winds southwest 10-20 mph.
Friday: Mostly cloudy with the chance for snow. Snow totals of 1-3". Highs in the lower 20s. Winds north-northeast 5-15 mph.
Saturday: Mostly sunny and cold. Highs in the lower 20s. Winds northwest 5-15 mph.
Sunday: Partly cloudy and warmer. Chance for snow/sleet/freezing rain in the afternoon/evening. Highs in the lower 30s. Winds southwest 5-15 mph.
Monday: Mostly cloudy and mild. Snow/ice transitions to rain. Highs near 40 degrees. Winds southwest 5-15 mph.
Tuesday: Mostly cloudy and mild. Chance for rain. Rainfall could be heavy at times. Highs in the mid 40s. Winds southwest 10-20 mph.
Wednesday: Partly cloudy and colder. Highs in the lower 30s. Winds north 10-20 mph.
8-15 day temperature trend outlook
Thursday Jan. 31: Highs in the 20s.
Friday Feb. 1: Highs in the 30s.
Saturday Feb. 2: Highs in the 30s.
Sunday Feb. 3: Highs in the 10s.
Monday Feb. 4: Highs in the 20s.
Tuesday Feb. 5: Highs in the 30s.
Wednesday Feb. 6: Highs in the 30s.
Thursday Feb. 7: Highs in the 30s.
Friday Feb. 8: Highs in the 30s.
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