A snow remover truck clears snow on a road in McHenry County in February 2018. | LMCS File Photo

The National Weather Service has upgraded Lake and McHenry counties to a winter storm warning in anticipation of up to seven inches of snow and high winds beginning overnight.

The National Weather Service (NWS) initially issued a winter storm watch Tuesday afternoon.

The watch included McHenry, Boone, Ogle and Winnebago counties.

The watch was extended Wednesday morning to include Lake County.

Lake, McHenry, Boone, Ogle and Winnebago counties were upgraded to a winter storm warning Wednesday afternoon.

The storm system has begun to lift through the upper Midwest, the NWS said.

The wintry weather system will impact the region later Wednesday evening into Thursday.

Precipitation types will be a “mixed bag” with all snow favored in the northwest and far northern Illinois.

Mainly rain will be favored east of Interstate 55 and south of Interstate 80. A wintry mix including snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain likely to occur in between.

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A changeover to all snow is likely at most locations prior to precipitation ending Thursday evening.

The NWS said heavy snow is expected, with total accumulations of up to seven inches possible for Lake and McHenry counties.

Minor ice accumulations are also possible and winds could gust as high as 40 mph.

“Plan on slick, snow covered roads. The hazardous conditions are likely to impact both the morning and evening commutes on Thursday,” the warning said.

Those who must travel during the storm are encouraged to keep an extra flashlight, food and water in their vehicle in case of an emergency.