Snow, freezing rain could hit Chicago area starting Tuesday

After a mostly snowless start to winter, the Chicago area may see several inches of snow this week — along with freezing rain — as a storm system moves over the region.

A winter weather advisory is in effect for northern and northeastern Illinois from 3 p.m. Tuesday until 9 a.m. Wednesday, the National Weather Service said.

Snow, at times heavy in the early evening, will likely develop Tuesday night and transition into mixed precipitation including freezing rain overnight Wednesday, the weather service said.

The city could see between 1-3 inches of snow, the weather service said, but areas around Waukegan, Elgin and Rockford could get up to 5 inches.

In addition, power outages are possible due to the combined effects of wet snow accumulation, icing and wind gusts up to 30 mph, the weather service said.

Motorists were advised to plan on slippery roads and reduced visibility, especially during the Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning commutes.


The forecast for accumulating snow comes as Chicago experiences a historically snowless winter — although cities like New York have gotten hit hard.

"Through today for Chicago, this is a top 10 quietest start for both snowfall and snow cover," the weather service said.

So far in 2020, the area has seen only .9 inches of snow, the weather service said. Only six other winters since 1884 have gone this long with less than 1 inch of total snow, the most recent being 2012-2013.

The area may see another round of wintry precipitation Thursday night and New Year’s Day, the weather service said.