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Chicago Could Get Up to 6 Inches of Snow This Weekend, Experts Say

By Kelly Bauer | November 18, 2015 4:01pm | Updated on November 19, 2015 8:53am
 A man digs out his car along a snow-covered street on February 1, 2015
A man digs out his car along a snow-covered street on February 1, 2015
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Getty Images/Scott Olson

CHICAGO — You might want to sit down before you hear this: The city's expected to get 2 to 6 inches of snow this weekend, according to meteorologists.

The snow will start at 10 or 11 p.m. Friday and last throughout the day Saturday, though it will start slowing down around 3 p.m., said John Gresiak, a meteorologist for AccuWeather. He said there will be a "pretty potent storm," but snowfall will vary widely throughout the city.

Despite this weekend's snowfall, experts say it should be a mild winter:

RELATED: No 'Snowpocalypse' in Chicago This Winter, And You Can Thank El Nino

"It's gonna stick," Gresiak said. "I would say that people need to be ready for some pretty poor travel conditions late Friday night and during the day Saturday."

Temperatures will fall to the 40s Thursday and Friday, but Gresiak said that's "pretty reasonable for Chicago" in mid-November. As the snow begins on Friday night, those temperatures will drop even further to near-freezing, and they'll stay there Saturday.

At the National Weather Service, meteorologists were slightly more upbeat, predicting 2 to 4 inches of snow around Chicago — and as much as 6 inches on the city's Far North Side.

And though Chicagoans may scoff at a mere 3 inches of snow (remember when we got 19 inches during a single blizzard last year?), Gresiak said people should prepare and be safe, especially when driving. 

"The ground is warm, not frozen, so some of the roads may not be too bad, but during the periods of heaviest snowfall, even the roads could get snow-covered and slick for a while," Gresiak said. "Right now, it looks like the worst time period is late Friday night through about mid-day, early afternoon on Saturday."

The snow should stop by late Saturday, and Gresiak said he isn't expecting any to fall on Sunday. But, Sunday will see temperatures "well below freezing," he said.

The weather forecast has been getting gloomier (or more exciting, depending on your viewpoint) throughout the week: Meteorologists went from saying snow was "possible," to saying there'd "likely" be just a bit of snow Friday night to Saturday. Now, they're calling for the first significant snowfall of the season.

"It's a little bit unusual. A lot of times we'll see some snow a little earlier in November than this, sometimes even in October," Gresiak said. "It is a little bit unusual, although I don't think it's real out of the ordinary that we've waited this long."

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