Another storm sets its sights on Chicago, bringing a glaze of snow and ice on New Year’s Day

Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas, Chicago Tribune

The year 2021 may be sunshine and rainbows compared with 2020 — but New Year’s Day in Chicago won’t be.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for most of northern Illinois and northwest Indiana beginning at 10 a.m. Friday, and meteorologists said the week’s second storm system could add as much as 3 inches of snow and another layer of ice to the remnants of Tuesday’s totals.

Meteorologist Rafal Ogorek said if the system does produce 3 inches, it will mainly be for the northern suburbs and possibly the city’s most outer reaches. Most of Chicago and areas to the south should expect in the range of a half-inch to 3 inches, plus maybe a glazing or 1/10 an inch of ice.

The precipitation is expected to begin around 9 or 10 a.m. as snow but will turn into a sloppy, slushy mess of rain, freezing rain and sleet before it likely turns back to snow about 12 hours later.

“We’ve got another system coming in, and this time around it’s looking like it will be more of a freezing rain type of event,” Ogorek said. “It’ll initially onset as snow but quickly change over to freezing rain with some sleet in there as well. We’re expecting temperatures will warm enough for some of that freezing rain to stop freezing, closer to the lakeshore and downtown.”

Ogorek said it’s hard to say whether temperatures will climb above 32 degrees and, if so, for how long. Once evening rolls around, however, forecasters are expecting the temperature to drop and for snow to resume falling.

“In the far northern suburbs it might stay snow for pretty much the entire duration, but for most of Chicago metro the changeover to snow will start happening from maybe 6 to 9 (p.m.) and there could also be some rain-snow mix in there as well,” Ogorek said.

In the southern suburbs and areas south of Interstate 80, Ogorek said the concern is more about ice than snow or freezing rain. Heavy layers of ice could pull down tree limbs or power lines.

“We do have a winter storm watch out for LaSalle, Kendall, Grundy and Livingston (counties), and that was mainly for the ice accumulation. That’s where you could see greater than 2/10ths of an inch of icing,” he said.

The widespread advisory for counties including Cook, DuPage, DeKalb, Kane, Lee and Will goes from 10 a.m. to midnight Friday, he said.

For more weather news visit the Tribune’s weather page.

kdouglas@chicagotribune.com

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