UPDATED 12/24/10 1:05 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — If you’re dreaming of a “White Christmas” and sleigh bells in the snow, you’re in luck.

As of around 1 p.m., light snow was falling steadily on downtown Chicago.

Snow is expected to pick up as the afternoon goes on, to the point where the National Weather Service has put out a winter weather advisory for some areas west of the city.

Flurries will give way to steady snow later in the afternoon, as an upper-level disturbance moves southeast. A winter weather advisory has been issued until midnight Friday night for some counties on the fringe of the Chicago area, including DeKalb, LaSalle, Grundy, Winnebago, Ogle, Lee, Iroquois, Ford and Livingston.

CBS 2 Meteorologist Megan Glaros says snow is expected to total 2 to 4 inches in areas far west of Chicago, including DeKalb, LaSalle and Grundy counties. Slightly farther east in McHenry, DuPage, Will and Kankakee counties, about 2 inches are expected.

Snow will likely total a more modest 1 to 2 inches in Cook County, as well as Lake County in Illinois and Lake and Porter counties in Indiana.

After the low-pressure system pushes through, Northwest Indiana will see even more snow, of the lake-effect variety. The Chicago lakefront might also see some lake-effect snow activity, which could continue as late as Christmas Day night.

And while Santa Claus’ reindeer-driven sleigh is built to operate in the snow, your car probably is not. So the National Weather Service advises Chicagoans to keep an eye on the forecasts as they get ready to head out for Christmas.

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