Winter storm warning in effect for NWI, Chicago area until 6 p.m. Saturday

2014-01-31T19:53:00Z 2014-08-25T11:32:12Z Winter storm warning in effect for NWI, Chicago area until 6 p.m. SaturdayTimes Staff nwitimes.com
January 31, 2014 7:53 pm  • 

More snow is on the way, with a chaser of freezing rain and sleet that has forecasters warning travel could be "hazardous to impossible" Saturday.

The National Weather Service on Friday issued a winter storm warning for Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Cook and Will counties from late Friday to late Saturday.

In Cook County, 6 to 10 inches of snow are expected, falling at rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour at times. Heavy snow is possible there mid- to late-morning on Saturday.

In Lake and Porter counties, 1 inch of snow was expected Friday evening, increasing in intensity late Friday into early Saturday. Three to 6 inches of snow are expected there.

In Lake, Porter, Cook and Will counties, the snow is expected to give way to freezing rain and sleet Saturday morning, adding nearly a quarter of an inch of ice to the snow cover and surfaces.

The National Weather Service warned high winds will complicate matters with blowing and drifting snow and characterized the forecast for travel as "hazardous to impossible."

Air travel through O'Hare and Midway airports also is expected to be significantly affected.

A winter storm advisory remains in effect for Benton, Jasper and Newton counties until 6 p.m. Saturday. Fewer than 6 inches of snow is expected to accumulate there, with snow ending changing Saturday into freezing rain and sleet. An additional quarter inch of ice also is expected.

LaPorte County's winter storm watch expires at 10 p.m. Saturday. Six inches of snow or more are possible there, with ice of less than a 10th of an inch possible.

The snow will be the latest in a string of snowy weather for the start of the year.

National Weather Service data shows Chicago is on tap to record the third snowiest January in its history. As of Friday morning, Chicago received 33.5 inches of snow for the month. That comes in third behind January 1979 with 40.4 inches of snow and January 1918 with 42.5 inches.

Light snow and strong winds Friday caused blowing and drifting snow and slick roads in some areas of the region, most notably rural roads.

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