(STMW) — Chicagoans could wake up Friday morning to the largest snow accumulation of the winter — a paltry three inches.
The snow will begin late Thursday in Chicago, and as much as an inch of accumulation per hour is possible early Friday, according to the National Weather Service.
Meteorologist Gino Izzi said between two and five inches of accumulation are expected in the Chicago area, but only two or three inches are likely in the city.
The storm might seem insignificant for February in Chicago, it could be the biggest storm in a winter that has only produced 10.9 total inches of accumulation at O’Hare International Airport, Izzi said.
The largest snowfall at O’Hare this winter left only 2.7 inches of accumulation Feb. 3 and 4, Izzi said.
In this storm, wind gusts up to 35 miles per hour could result in brief white out conditions Friday morning, according to the weather service.
A winter weather advisory will remain in effect in until 6 p.m. Friday as periods of “heavy snow,” sleet or rain are expected to limit visibility, make roads slippery and travel difficult, the weather service said.
The snow is expected to mix with light freezing drizzle by Friday morning, according to the weather service, but Izzi said the significant precipitation should be gone by the morning rush.
The Illinois Department of Transportation will have crews working to keep the roads clear until the storm passes. The Illinois Tollway is also prepared to mobilize its full fleet of 182 snowplows as necessary.
The snow and sleet are expected to change to all rain by Friday afternoon, when the temperature is expected to climb to 36 degrees, according to the weather service.