CHICAGO - Forecasters on Friday were tracking a major winter storm that could drop more than 6 inches of snow Monday, which would be Chicago’s largest snowfall of the season.
The storm, still 3,000 miles away, has the potential for large amounts of snow but it’s too early to tell exactly how much will fall, according to the National Weather Service.
"It’s still a ways out, but it’s unlikely to miss us completely," meteorologist Matt Friedlein said.
Changes in trajectory and temperatures Monday will determine if the precipitation drops partially as rain or completely as chunky, wet snow, he said.
The snow could start as early as Monday morning, but the heaviest snow wasn’t expected until that afternoon or evening.
Powerful winds could whip around the snow, causing hazards for commuters Monday evening and Tuesday morning, Friedlein said.
There’s also the potential for lakeshore flooding.
What’s more certain is an initial round of snow Saturday evening.
Chicago could see between 1 and 3 inches of dryer snow into Sunday morning, partially because of temperatures that won’t rise beyond 27 degrees.
So far, winter in Chicago has been surprisingly snow-free.
O’Hare has recorded about half the snowfall it usually sees this time of year, Friedlein said. As of Thursday, the airport recorded 8.6 inches of snow this season.
But even if Monday’s snow doesn’t deliver the potential 6-plus inches, the two snow systems will play a large part in catching us up to the season’s average.
"We’ve been quiet," Friedlein said. "Even if we get 4 inches, that would be noteworthy."