Snow is expected to begin Thursday morning in northern Illinois and at least 3-6 inches are expected throughout the area. | Graphic via the National Weather Service

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning about possible blizzard conditions that will bring extreme cold, high winds and up to six inches of snow to the northern Illinois area.

The National Weather Service (NWS) on Wednesday morning issued a winter storm warning that will go in effect from Thursday morning through Saturday morning.

The storm will impact the western Great Lakes region.

The warning covers all of northeast Illinois, including Lake and McHenry counties.

Snow will begin Thursday morning in McHenry County and it will begin in Lake County by noon.

Blizzard conditions will be possible with blowing and falling snow and strong winds from Thursday evening to Friday evening.

Wind gusts up to 50 mph are possible and may cause power outages.

“Falling and blowing snow may result in white out conditions with zero visibility at times, making travel extremely difficult,” the storm warning said.

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Snow will subside by Saturday but blowing and drifting will continue, the NWS said. Dangerous cold will continue into Sunday.

Roads will likely quickly become ice-covered as temperatures rapidly fall Thursday afternoon.

Bitterly cold wind chills as low as 25 to 30 below zero are likely Thursday night through Friday night.

Wind chills of this magnitude can cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 20 minutes, the NWS said.

Total snowfall amounts are expected to be in the range of three to six inches for most of the Chicago area.

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

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