A snowplow truck clears snow on a road in Mundelein in February 2021. | LMCS File Photo

The National Weather Service is warning about a strong winter storm that could bring blizzard conditions to northern Illinois later this week, impacting travel before Christmas.

The National Weather Service (NWS) said the storm will impact the western Great Lakes region.

The storm is expected from Thursday into Saturday with snow and strong winds.

The worst conditions are expected Thursday evening into Friday evening with blizzard conditions possible.

Specific details regarding the storm track and the snowfall amounts still need to be refined in the coming days, the NWS said.

Confidence in severe winter weather impacts to the northern Illinois and northwest Indiana area continues to increase, the NWS added.

Forecasters say those traveling Thursday through Friday should begin to consider alternate travel plans.

The NWS said significant impacts to travel and commerce appear likely.

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Bitterly cold arctic air and strong winds are expected to result in dangerously low wind chills Friday into Christmas.

The NWS said bitter cold could potentially be exacerbated by power outages and significant lakeshore flooding is a threat, especially for northwest Indiana.

Forecasters say residents should be prepared to avoid unnecessary travel, stock up on supplies and monitor the weather.