Chicago weather: Winter Storm Warning, Watch issued as major snow storm could dump over 10 inches

How much snow will Chicago get this week? Highest snow totals forecast for south suburbs, NW Indiana
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Heavy snow and dangerous travel conditions are possible Tuesday evening through Thursday this week, as the latest winter storm takes aim on the Chicago area.

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect from 10 p.m. Tuesday through 6 p.m. Thursday for Kankakee and Livingston counties in Illinois; Lake, Porter, Benton, Jasper and Newton counties in Indiana.

A Winter Storm Watch is in effect from 8 p.m. Tuesday through 6 p.m. Thursday for central Cook, eastern Will, Grundy, northern Will, southern Cook and southern Will counties in Illinois.

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ABC7 Chicago meteorologist Larry Mowry said there will be two waves of snow, which may only be distinguishable by the snow intensity.

While there are models floating around on social media showing 20-inch snow totals this week, Mowry said those don't take into account the effect of snow compacting over time.

The first wave of wintry precipitation will begin as rain Tuesday afternoon before turning to snow as cold air arrives, Mowry said. This appears to be the heaviest period of snowfall, and will snow continue through the early afternoon on Wednesday.

Snow totals by Wednesday afternoon could reach 10 inches in the far south suburbs, with 3 to 6 inches possible in the city and lighter amounts of only 1 to 3 inches for the northern suburbs.

Light snow will continue off and on through Wednesday evening, Mowry said. A break in the heaviest snow rates may occur during the day on Wednesday before the second wave arrives Wednesday night into Thursday.

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The latest models show the second wave of snow is trending further south, meaning there could be lighter snow totals than the first wave. While there is still the possibility for several inches for areas southeast of Chicago, lighter accumulations are expected in the city.

The heavy snow could lead to hazardous morning commutes in the Chicago area on both Wednesday and Thursday, though Mowry said the storm will really wreak havoc downstate into central Illinois and north central Indiana.

WATCH | North Shore hit by winter wallop of lake-effect snow

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More than 7.5 inches of snow fell in Wilmette. The North Shore suburb was hit hard by lake effect snow that didn't slow until after noon.

Mowry also noted that this snow will be a heavier, wet snow than the powdery, lake effect snow we saw last week.

Heavy lake effect snow pummeled the Chicago area Friday morning, dumping several inches of accumulation and creating hazardous travel conditions.

Areas along the North Shore were particularly hard hit, with Wilmette, Skokie and Evanston getting pounded with over 9 inches of snow. In the city, Midway and Humboldt Park saw upwards of 7 inches.

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