CHICAGO - Tuesday is the calm before the storm. It will be cloudy but not too cold with highs in the mid 30s.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory from midnight through 6 p.m. Wednesday for roughly the southern half of our viewing area near and south of I-80, including Cook, Will, Kendall, Grundy and Kankakee counties.
This is where accumulation may exceed 3 inches. Most of the snow is expected to fall between 5 a.m. and noon, according to the weather service. The heaviest accumulation — 2-5 inches — is expected south of Interstate 80, and 1 to 3 inches is expected to the north.
It will be a wet snow with temperatures near 34 (or maybe a degree or two above), and wind gusts as strong as 30 mph for part of this event. This should mitigate road impacts.
There is a 30 percent chance of snow showers on Thursday, mainly after noon, with a high near 31. There is also a chance of snow on Friday with maybe another inch or so in some places.
A bigger storm system appears to be in the offing this weekend, with several inches of accumulation looking increasingly likely. This is a ways off so plenty of time to massage the numbers on that one.
What is a lock is a pattern shift. Tuesday will be the 28th day in a row with above-normal temperatures.
Bitterly cold wind chills are expected to hit later in the weekend and into early next week, with wind chills in the teens below zero possible.