Brutal cold, lake effect snow expected across parts of Chicagoland area

An arctic blast has brought frigid temperatures to Chicagoland, with lake effect snow expected to hit parts of northwest Indiana on Wednesday night.

A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued until 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20 for Porter County and until 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20 for LaPorte County, where some residents could wake up to several inches of snow on the ground.

As the wind picked up along Lake Michigan on Wednesday, the waves at Washington Park Beach in Michigan City, Ind. drew onlookers.

"Waiting to see if the storm is rolling in," said Don Schillo. "Usually you get big lake effect over here."

Schillo said he is prepared for the wintry mix, and plans to spend Thursday digging out.

"We are going to stick out the storm, I’ll get down my shovels and try to bunker down and shovel my way through it tomorrow and we’ll see what happens," said Schillo.

Earlier Wednesday, Silvia and Luciano Erazo didn't let the bitter temperatures stop them from getting some fresh air.

"We always come to walk and run here," said Silvia Erazo. "It’s beautiful. It’s cold but it’s beautiful."


Meantime, at Kabelin Ace Hardware on St. John Road in town, the cold sent shoppers indoors.

"We don’t really want to pray for snow, but in this business we kind of want to pray for snow," said Gina Chavez, manager, Kabelin Ace Hardware.

Chavez said the impending storm brought in a welcome rush Wednesday.

"When they get that forecast, it’s like night and day, a switch turns on and people are coming in and really preparing themselves," said Chavez.

She said those who live nearby were stocking up on salt, shovels, snow blowers, and hand warmers – all to make the snowfall just a bit more bearable.

"Thirty-two degrees is like a heat wave to us around here but when it gets below that, it makes it tough to be outside," said Chavez.

With the anticipated snowfall, roads are expected to be messy for the morning commute. Drivers are encouraged to plan for extra time in their commutes and take it slow.