Chicago eases into winter storm Thursday starting with snow, ending in extreme temperatures

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for most Chicago-area counties starting Thursday and lasting through Saturday morning. 

As of right now, the National Weather Service says there is a significant threat to property or life in Central Cook County, DeKalb County, DuPage County, Eastern Will County, Grundy County, Kane County, Kankakee County, Kendall County, La Salle County, Lake County, McHenry County, Northern Cook County, Northern Will County, Southern Cook County, Southern Will County, and Kenosha County until 6 a.m. Saturday. 

Starting at 3 p.m., Lake County, Newton County, and Jasper County will all be under a Winter Storm Warning. 

Porter County is still expecting a Blizzard Warning from 3 p.m. Thursday until 6 a.m. Saturday, according to the NWS. 

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Thursday got off to a slow start, but the arctic front begins to slam through roughly midday accompanied by a steep crash in temperatures from 34 degrees to 4 degrees in about 5 hours. 

Travel conditions will be at their worst after dark when winds will be gusting to around 35mph creating whiteouts in open areas.  

Hundreds of flights to and from Chicago have already been canceled or delayed in anticipation of the upcoming storm. 


Snowfall will be in the 3 to 6 inch range except in parts of Porter County and Michiana. Blizzard warnings are up there where snowfall will last longer and pile up higher.  

The rest of Chicagoland is under a winter storm warning. The cold and dangerous wind chills take center stage as the snow winds down late tonight. Wind chills will be -20 degrees to -35 degrees. 

Many Chicago-area businesses, schools, government buildings and museums are closed or closing early for weather.  

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Tomorrow will be bitterly cold with highs not much above zero and wind chills remaining dangerous. Blowing snow and perhaps some very light falling snow will keep visibilities low in open areas making travel difficult in those areas.  

The holiday weekend will be dry, but very cold.