Satellite imagery late Friday evening showed a mass of swirling cloudiness departing the upper Great Lakes region. These clouds were associated with the first major winter storm to affect the north central U.S. This system buffeted the Chicago area with winds in excess of 40 mph. The blustery conditions brought a 30-degree drop in temperature, with afternoon readings hovering around freezing much of Friday. Chicago was spared the worst of this storm. Portions of the upper Midwest received as much as a foot of snow while temperatures plunged into the teens and single digits. Weather across the region is forecast to improve over the rest of the holiday weekend. Wind chill temps on Friday held in the teens and lower 20s. Diminishing winds on Saturday will raise wind chill levels to the upper 20s under mostly sunny skies. Further improvement is due on Sunday as temps reach the mid 40s.