First, the bad: Chicago will have snow fall at one inch per hour Saturday, until about 9 a.m., with totals ranging from 6 to 8-inches by the end of the day.
“We’re in a period where Chicago is seeing some moderate to heavy snowfall during this burst,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Friedlein. “This particular snow is heavy, and is a bit different than what we experienced during the first week of January.”
Warmer temperatures are a result of air pushed up from the Gulf of Mexico, Friedlein said.
“This snow is a little bit different than the Alberta Clipper; that was a system that came from Canada,” Friedlein said. “The mix we’re getting now is from the Gulf, which won’t bring the cold air with it.”
Meanwhile, The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for Cook, DuPage, Will, McHenry and Lake counties in Illinois, and Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Jasper and Newton counties in Indiana, in effect from until 6 p.m. Saturday.
Illinois State Police are cautioning drivers in the Chicago area that whiteout conditions are possible. Drivers are asked to be aware of black ice and carry emergency supplies in their vehicles.
Snowfall Thursday brought January’s total to 33.7 inches, meteorologists said, making it the third-snowiest month since officials started keeping track in 1884.
January 1918 still holds the top spot with 42.5 inches of snow, while January 1979 comes in second with 40.4 inches, the weather service said.