The heaviest snowfall of the winter is about to whiten the Chicago area tonight. A band of heavy snow, currently blasting portions of west central Illinois and is headed northeast toward the Chicago Metro area. The snow should begin in the far west and southwest portions of the region along the I-39 corridor from La Salle County north to Rockford by about 9pm and then spread northeast across the remainder of the area including the City of Chicago by midnight. The snow will become quite heavy overnight falling at the rate of 1-2 inches an hour with the heaviest snowfall expected in the Chicago Metro area between 3-6am. The heavy snowfall will be accompanied by near whiteout conditions with visibilities below 1/4 mile for extended periods of time. Thunder and lightning could accompany the snowfall. in additions, strong and gusty east winds increasing to 20-30 mph will cause blowing and drifting of the heavy, wet snow.
The WGN Weather Center will cover the advance stages of this storm on this weather blog, but switch to the WGN Weather Center Severe Weather blog at http://blog.chicagoweathercenter.com/severe-blog/ as the arrival of the snow become imminent.