Chicago Weather: This week’s snowstorm forecast Thursday, Friday several inches of snowfall; Winter Storm Watch released

CHICAGO (WLS) — A snowstorm in Chicago this week is expected to bring several inches of snow to the area on Thursday and Friday before the Christmas holidays, along with very high winds and dangerous wind showers.

The National Weather Service has one Winter Storm Clock for the entire Chicago area and Northwest Indiana.

The warning applies to DeKalb, Kane, Kendall, Grundy, Livingston and McHenry counties from Thursday 9 a.m. to Saturday 6 a.m. For the rest of the Chicago area, the alert will be in effect Thursday noon through Saturday at 6:00 a.m., with areas in northwest Indiana starting at 3:00 p.m.

ABC7 meteorologist Tracy Butler says the western suburbs could start seeing snow in the mid-morning hours on Thursday, while the city will see snow in the afternoon and last overnight into Friday.

Butler said strong winds could also create storm-like conditions from Thursday night through Friday morning. Wind gusts can reach up to 50-60 miles per hour, affecting visibility and potentially causing power outages.

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Butler said the storm could bring a potential of four to eight inches of snow through the weekend, with larger amounts possible farther east from the lake-effect snow.

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ABC7 meteorologist Larry Mowry said, adding that he expects the Winter Storm Watch to be updated to a Winter Storm Warning or Blizzard Warning later in the week.

“The concern will not only be the falling snow, but also the blowing snow that will affect visibility,” Mowry said. “And because the winds are going to be so strong, there’s a risk of power outages from Thursday night through Friday.”

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Mowry said the heavy snowfall and strong winds combined will have a major impact on the trip, with “extremely difficult to impossible travel from Thursday night through Friday”.

Temperatures will also plummet from the teens on Friday into single digits over the weekend, with high winds creating dangerously cold conditions. Friday starts with wind chills of -20 and -30 and stays well below zero throughout the day, Mowry said.

This week’s forecast has forced many holidaymakers to change their plans. Most airlines currently have weather exemptions, which means you can change your flights for free if you have flexible travel plans.

ComEd prepares for possible power outages

ComEd says it empowers people and equipment to respond quickly to potential power outages.

“We are positioning our people and equipment to respond quickly and safely to any disruptions arising from this snowstorm,” said Terence Donnelly, ComEd’s President and COO. “We know that any disruption is an inconvenience to our customers, especially during the holiday season. It is crucial to avoid power outages and restore service quickly. We have strengthened our system over the years to reduce the impact of such a storm on our customers. “

ComEd customers can text 26633 (COMED) to report an outage and receive recovery information, as well as follow ComEd on Twitter or Facebook. Customers can also call 1-800 EDISON1 (1-800-334-7661), report outages through the website at ComEd.com/report, or use the ComEd app.

ComEd is warning people to never go near a failed power line and not to contact ComEd crews to ask about recovery times as they may be working on live electrical equipment.

What are criteria for a snowstorm?

For a blizzard warning to be issued, the following conditions must exist for three hours or more:

– The storm must have sustained winds or frequent gusts of 35 miles per hour or more

=Falling and/or blowing snow reducing visibility to less than a quarter mile

Stay tuned to ABC7 Eyewitness News and ABC7Chicago.com for the latest forecasts and snowfall amounts as the winter storm approaches.

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