Another winter storm system could move across Northwest Indiana and the Greater Chicago Area starting Saturday, marking only a brief reprise from turbulent weather seen earlier in the week.
This time, however, communities in the Region are among those likely to see snow accumulations of 4 to 9 inches or higher — significantly more than the roughly 1 to 2 inches the area had Tuesday, according to the NWS.
A winter storm warning was issued for Cook, Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties in effect from 3 p.m. Saturday to 6 p.m. Sunday, the National Weather Service reported.
Forecasters predict heavy, wet snow will be brought on by easterly winds of up to 30 mph. The heaviest snowfall could occur late Saturday afternoon through overnight, NWS said.
The second winter storm is poised to move across a significant portion of the Midwest and up to the Northeast, where it's likely to develop into a nor'easter early next week, according to AccuWeather.
AccuWeather Chief Broadcast Meteorologist Bernie Rayno urged people in major cities including Chicago and to the east to "buckle up" for harsh winter weather.
"We are confident that a strong secondary storm will form and affect the Northeast this time around," Rayno said. "But the exact track and speed of strengthening of that storm will determine where the heaviest swath of snow ends up in relation to the coast and areas well inland."
NWS warned that conditions could result in driving hazards, particularly low visibility and snow-covered roads. Power outages are also possible as a result of the storm.
Anyone who needs to travel during that time should slow down, keep extra distance between their vehicle and others and move over for any emergency vehicles on the roads.
Snow-covered and icy roads earlier this week were blamed for a state snowplow winding up on its side Tuesday along U.S. 20 at the intersection of Ind. 520, according to the Indiana Department of Transportation.
The driver appeared to be unharmed in the crash, INDOT reported.
Several other crashes broke out on major expressways that day, INDOT and Indiana State Police said.
Several Northwest Indiana communities have ordinances that prohibit street parking during inclement snow days, including Cedar Lake, Highland, Portage, St. John and Valparaiso.
Violators face a fine and may have their vehicle impounded, Portage police warned earlier this week.
For the latest Chicago area forecast updates from the National Weather Service, visit www.weather.gov/lot/.