It’s going to be a very, very cold winter season in Chicago (and other areas), at least for the next few days starting Friday afternoon till the weekend, when snow will be drifting and blowing in the area. This is according to the US National Weather Service in their Official Advisory issued regarding the Winter Weather.
From Friday at 4:00 in the afternoon till Saturday morning (9:00 AM), 20-25 miles per hour winds and 35 miles per hour gusts will result in considerable snow and blizzard-like scenarios. The agency is advising that visibility will be very limited and might even reach zero in certain rural locations. Wind Chill Advisories were also released for several cities all the way till Friday morning. As of Thursday, temperatures dropped to minus 25 degrees Fahrenheit (-3.8 Celsius) with highs reaching only up to 16 degrees Fahrenheit (-8.8 Celsius) . For the weekend, frigid temperature will still remain with a probable high point of 30 degrees Fahrenheit (-1.1 Celsius) on Saturday and 16 degrees Fahrenheit (-8.8 Celsius) on Sunday.
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Video: Winter Storm Hercules (RedLineTV / YouTube)
Chicago has been reported to have experienced two days of snow already with several counties in the lake area reporting snow in the ?several inches? and getting higher. As such, for Northwest Indiana, a Lake-Effect warning for snow was issued up to at least Friday morning.
As of today, incidents of accidents including ?spin-outs? caused by white-out conditions have been reported especially because of very limited visibility along the roads.
In Gurnee, 18 inches of snow was reported as early as Thursday with Highwood getting 15 inches, and Elk Grove Village with 12.8 inches.
In the Indiana area, 7.7 inches was reported in Valparaiso and Porter got 6.4 inches of snow.
For Monday and the rest of next week, temperatures are estimated to reach a high of -2 degrees Fahrenheit (-18.8 Celsius) and a low of -12 degrees Fahrenheit (-24.4 Celsius) at night time.
The chill warnings will persist all the way to Tuesday with 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-17.7 Celsius) and reaching lows of -5 degrees Fahrenheit (-20.5 Celsius) overnight till Wednesday morning.
Dr. Suzet McKinney of Chicago, Illinois and an expert in local response in emergency preparedness (she currently serves as a Deputy Commissioner with the Chicago Department of Public Heath) advised residents to take precautions. She said in a statement that ? The current snowfall and extreme cold temperatures expected next week pose significant health risks to residents.?
She urged everyone affected not to go outside for unnecessary trips and if forced to, to cover their hands, face and ears. She also recommended to work at a slow pace and take periodic breaks when carrying and shoveling snow.