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Chicago Snowstorm To Dump Up To 10 Inches On South Side Wednesday

The first snowstorm is expected to be the more severe of the two that are headed for the Chicago area. The snow will kick off 8 or 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Staff and volunteers with My Block, My Hood, My City clear out snow in collaboration with R.A.G.E. (Resident Association of Greater Englewood) in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood on Feb. 17, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — Parts of Chicago could get more than 10 inches of snow over the next two days as storms batter the city.

Tuesday is looking like it “may not be a very bad day,” as it’s starting off with temperatures in the low 40s, said Lee Carlaw, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

But rain is expected to start in the mid- to late afternoon, and it’ll rapidly turn into snow around 8 or 9 p.m., Carlaw said.

“From there, it’ll just get steadier and heavier with time,” Carlaw said.

The first snowstorm is expected to be the more severe of the two for Chicago, and it appears like it’ll dump more snow on the South Side than the rest of the city, Carlaw said.

Parts of the city could get hit with 1 inch of snow per hour for a time, with the storm continuing into Wednesday morning, according to the National Weather service.

The heaviest of that snowfall will end 3-4 a.m. Wednesday, and it’ll stay lighter through the afternoon, Carlaw said.

By then, the city could be seeing a noticeably large difference in snowfall totals. The South Side “stands the best chance of getting some significant” snow with the first storm, with more than 8 inches possibly falling, Carlaw said.

The North Side is expected to see 4-5 inches, or even less, Carlaw said.

People should plan for trips to take longer than usual; if driving, they should leave extra space between their car and another person’s, have a full tank of gas, let people know where they are going and have an emergency kit in their car, according to Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications.

The second storm could largely miss the city as it’s expected to stay mostly south of the Kankakee River Valley, Carlaw said.

“That’ll be taking the vast majority of the heavier snowfall with it,” he said.

That wave could see lake-effect snow, though, with the North Side and Downtown area getting 1-3 more inches of snow Wednesday night into Thursday morning, Carlaw said.

Overall, the South Side could see 10 inches or more of snow, while the North Side might get 5-8 inches after both storms, Carlaw said.

“Keep updated with the forecast,” Carlaw said. “Very small shifts in this first wave can make noticeable differences in who gets the heavier snowfall totals, so that’ll be important, to stay up to date with the latest forecast.”

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