Multiple winter weather headlines to mention about as a very active weather pattern is taking shape. First is the Winter Weather Advisory that is in effect over the entire area through Saturday morning due to the development of gusty winds this afternoon that will lead to widespread blowing and drifting snow. Second is the increasing concerns of a significant cold snap that will bring record to near record breaking cold to the region Sunday night through Tuesday night. And as Chicagoans brace for the potentially historic cold temperatures early next week, part of the Chicago area (specifically the southern half of the area including Northwest Indiana) could see another round of several inches of snow before then.
Winter Weather Advisory today
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory today through Saturday morning for the entire Chicagoland area. A high pressure system to the east is expected to stall thus creating a tight pressure gradient this afternoon. This will result in a pretty rapid increase in wind speeds over the region this afternoon and evening. Wind speeds 15 to 20 mph with gust to 35 mph over a freshly packed snow will result in widespread blowing and drifting snow this afternoon and tonight.
Winter Storm Watch Saturday-Sunday evening
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for the southern half of the Chicago area - Ford, Iroquois, and Kankakee counties in Illinois and Benton, Jasper, Lake, Newton, and Porter counties in Indiana. Forecast in terms of snow amounts and the track are not etched in stone but it does appear that models are trending toward a better agreement in the development, timing, and track of this storm system. The track of a surface low pressure system will move from southern Missouri through southern Illinois and Indiana on Saturday and Sunday. A clipper system from the northwest will be moving from the northwest across the Upper Mississippi Valley during this time frame. Snow is expected to develop across the Chicago area and across much of the Ohio Valley region with the potential for accumulating snow. At this time, it appears that 1-3 inches of snow is possible for Chicago and its north and western suburbs. 3-6+ inches of snow is possible for the southern suburbs of the Chicago area, northwest Indiana, and areas downstate by Sunday afternoon. This combined with winds gusting to 20-30 mph will cause for considerable blowing and drifting snow.
Potentially Historic Cold Sunday night-Tuesday night
On the heels of this winter storm system will be a blast of extremely cold air Sunday night through Tuesday night with both lows and highs below zero and wind chill values as low as 35 degrees below zero. Forecast on this is high as all models have been consistent and have been featuring a polar vortex sweeping through the region from Minnesota during the day on Sunday.
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