Updated: February 21, 2013 10:16PM
A “significant winter storm” could bring as much as 5 inches of snow to parts of the Chicago area late Thursday and early Friday, according to the National Weather Service.
The weather service is warning anyone planning travel across northern Illinois or northwest Indiana to be prepared for a wintry mix of precipitation that could affect travel during that time.
No snow was expected on Wednesday, but flurries could be in the area just after midnight on Thursday. When the storm narrows in on Chicago in the evening on Thursday, there could be snow with a chance of sleet, changing to snow and a chance of light freezing rain after midnight.
The weather service says that “several inches of accumulation” are possible throughout the area. Snowfall amounts are expected to range from as little as 2 to 3 inches across northwest Indiana to as much as 4 or 5 inches across north central Illinois.
The weather service warns motorists that in addition to the expected snow, the light freezing drizzle expected late Thursday and Friday morning could result in minor ice accumulations before temperatures climb above freezing Friday afternoon, especially on untreated or lightly-used roads.
Once those temperatures do climb above freezing on Friday, the high temperature is expected to reach 37 degrees, the weather service says.
Aside from a 20 percent chance of snow expected on Friday night, it’s expected to be a snowless weekend, with high temperatures around 31 on Saturday and near 36 on Sunday, according to the weather service.