The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for the northern Illinois area as 4-9 inches of snow is expected on New Year’s Day along with high winds.
The National Weather Service (NWS) said the warning will go into effect Saturday at noon and end at 6 a.m. Sunday.
The warning will be in effect for Lake, McHenry, DuPage, Cook, Winnebago, Boone, Ogle, Lee, DeKalb, Kane, LaSalle, Kendall, Grundy and Will counties.
“A winter storm is expected to dump between 4 and 8 inches of snow across much of the region Saturday afternoon and night,” the NWS said in a statement.
Lake County could see more snow than McHenry County due to lake enhancement. Blustery winds from the north will cause blowing and drifting snow.
The most intense snowfall and highest snowfall rates are expected from 2-8 p.m., with some parts of Lake and Cook counties seeing heavy snowfall continue until midnight.
Snowfall rates of 0.5 to 1 inch per hour are possible.
The combination of snow and wind will make travel hazardous regardless of the exact snow amounts, the NWS said in the statement.
Northeast winds could gust up to 40 mph Saturday afternoon and evening, especially near the lake, according to the winter storm warning.
Widespread blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility, especially along the Lake Michigan shoreline, the NWS said.
Travel by both plane and car will be significantly impacted for much of the area.
Freezing rain could also occur in parts of central and east central Illinois and northwest Indiana.
Residents should plan accordingly and prepare for much longer travel times on snow and ice-covered roads, the NWS said, adding that people should consider traveling before the storm on Friday or on Sunday after the snow has been cleared.