Weather Advisory for Chicago, Winter Watch for Region This Weekend
January 3, 2014 by The National Weather Service & Jerry Howard
The National Weather Service in Chicago has a winter weather advisory in effect until 9 a.m. tomorrow for areas of Illinois and Indiana including Chicago, Wheaton, Joliet, Kankakee, Watseka, Paxton, Gary, Valparaiso, Morocco, Rensselaer and Fowler.
It has changed its descriptions of the system tonight from “Blizzard-like” to “Life-threatening Cold early next week.”
The Weather Service also has a stronger winter storm watch from tomorrow evening through Sunday evening for the area that includes Kankakee, Watseka, Paxton, Gary, Valparaiso, Morocco, Rensselaer and Fowler.
It expects considerable blowing and drifting snow with blizzard-like conditions this evening through early tomorrow morning. It says southerly winds will increase this afternoon with speeds approaching 20 to 25 mph and gusts near 35 mph by late afternoon, creating considerable blowing and drifting of snow with visibilities reduced to near zero at times, mainly in open and rural areas.
For the winter storm watch tomorrow and Sunday, the Weather Services expects snow to develop across the area as early as tomorrow afternoon, and snow intensities appear to increase across the area tomorrow night into Sunday. It says the snow should dissipate by Sunday evening.
The Weather Service predicts that the potential for periods of heavy snow tomorrow night into Sunday could leave 6 or more inches of new snow accumulation which could make travel very hazardous across the area.
It says that along with heavy snow, northwest winds of 15 to 25 mph could result in more blowing and drifting snow with significantly reduced visibilities.
A winter weather advisory for blowing snow means that visibilities will be limited, especially in open areas, and travel warrants extra caution.
A winter storm watch means there is a potential for significant snow accumulations that also could affect travel.