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County Weather Advisory

posted Jan 31, 2011, 3:03 PM by Brian Donahoe
A significant winter storm is forecast to impact Lake County over the next several days, and the National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Blizzard Watch for the entire Chicago metropolitan area from Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday afternoon. A blizzard includes both significant snow and very strong winds. While there is still some variance between weather models, the first round of snow is expected tonight into Tuesday morning, with perhaps two to four inches of snow, followed by the much more significant threat of heavy snow from Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday. The snow Tuesday and Wednesday is expected to combine with strong winds and blizzard or near-blizzard conditions, including very low visibility and whiteout conditions. The NWS has also issued a Coastal Flood Warning for the Lake and Cook County shore of Lake Michigan, where the winds will push large waves ashore, leading to beach erosion and possible flooding and subsequent icing of low-lying roads and streets.
The most recent forecasts suggest that snow totals across Lake County from one to two feet are probable, with some chance of lake enhancement on Wednesday adding several more inches closer to Lake Michigan. Sustained winds of 20mph to 30mph are expected overnight Tuesday and during the day Wednesday, with gusts over 40mph possible. The strong winds will likely lead to snow drifts of several feet, and will make it a challenge for transportation personnel to keep roads clear. Isolated utility outages should be expected throughout the region.
Travel will be challenging Wednesday morning, and should be avoided if possible.
Motorists should make sure their vehicles are prepared for hazardous winter conditions, and should check windshield wiper blades and washer fluid, tires, and defrosters. Travelers should limit their travel to that which is necessary, allowing extra travel time and ensuring that cellular telephones are fully charged. Citizens should know how their business, school, or community will communicate important weather-related scheduling information, and should have a plan to communicate with family and friends regarding possible school or business closings. We encourage everyone to take this opportunity to make sure their family disaster supply kits are up-to-date.