CHICAGO — A relatively snow-free winter is coming to an end this week as the city prepares for winter storms headed toward Chicagoland.

According to WGN Meteorologist Tom Skilling, multiple storm systems are likely to impact Chicago in the days ahead, followed by a decidedly colder pattern with arctic air arriving over the coming weekend and into next week. 

When Is The 1st Round Of Snow Expected in Chicago, Illinois & NW Indiana? 

Skilling said a first round of accumulating snow is likely to develop later Monday night into Tuesday morning across the Chicago area before the storm center sweeps from the Texas panhandle up and nearly directly over the city.

Snow may begin flying in Chicago between 9 p.m. and midnight on Monday night and continue from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

Meteorologist Mike Janssen said upwards of six inches of snow are possible on Tuesday and into Tuesday night. Snowfall rates around 1″ per hour are possible and winds could gust >30 mph Tuesday night.

By Tuesday morning precip is likely to have transitioned to a wintry mix in the city while snow continues to the west toward, and just west of, the Fox Valley into DeKalb, from western Lake into McHenry and Boone counties in Illinois, west into the Rockford/Beloit/Belvidere and Janesville areas, and north into Lake Geneva and other sections of southeast Wisconsin. 

Skilling said areas west of Chicago could see some of the heaviest snow accumulations, but since the onset of the storm’s precipitation is more than a day away, projections could change. 

The significant storm system is expected to move out by early Wednesday.

When Is The Second Round Of Snow Expected? 

According to Skilling, the second round of winter weather could approach the Chicago area later Friday, Friday night and Saturday. 

Skilling said there are even hints that Chicago, which is likely to be more deeply in colder air by then, could end up with more snow out of the second system than the first one, but is far too early for reliable snowfall tallies.

What Areas Are Under Winter Storm Watches?

Several Winter Storm Watches are set to go into effect on Monday and Tuesday as heavy snow and wind move into Chicagoland. 

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Winter Storm Watch that is set to go into effect at 6 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon for Boone, De Kalb and McHenry counties until 3 a.m. on Wednesday. 

Chicago isn’t alone, advisories for winter weather are out across all or portions of 19 states and the storm’s warm sector, toward the Gulf Coast and the Southeast U.S., is threatened with a severe weather outbreak, Skilling said. 

Could The Snow Impact Your Commute?

The NWS said the winter weather could greatly impact travel and evening commutes in the week ahead. 

Get Real-Time Traffic Updates With The WGN Traffic Map 

The snow and ice could make for hazardous driving conditions on Tuesday morning and Tuesday evening.

In response to the winter system, the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) deployed salt spreaders along Chicago’s arterial routes and DuSable Lake Shore Drive in an effort to ensure they are safe and passable for emergency vehicles, public transportation and drivers.

Visit ChicagoShovels.org to track the city’s fleet in real-time.

Is My Student’s School Closed Due To Winter Weather? 

Stay Up To Date: Chicagoland School Closures

The impending winter storms have not led to any school closures as of Sunday afternoon, but accumulating snow could lead to hazardous driving conditions in the week ahead.