The Friday evening commute from work usually is a time for celebration, but maybe not this week thanks to another round of snow that could dump six inches in portions of the McHenry County region.
Snow on Thursday draped like a layer of frosting over trees, cars and children’s toys left outside after the first phase of snow began falling Wednesday evening. But much more snow is in the forecast, according to models from the National Weather Service.
Meteorologist Jake Petr said 0.8 inches fell on Woodstock by 8 a.m. Thursday and 1 inch fell in Bull Valley by that time. Crystal Lake recorded 0.5 inches by 7 a.m. Thursday, he said, and more snow that fell by early Thursday afternoon brought another half-inch to the ground. While an additional 1 to 2 inches of snow is likely to fall Thursday evening, “it’s kind of a continuation of this first round,” Petr said.
Then just when one thought it was safe to head back outside or onto the roads, another wave is expected to kick in that could leave earlier snowfall amounts in the dust.
About six inches of snow could fall in western McHenry and Kane counties between Friday evening and Saturday morning while the rest of Kane, McHenry and Lake counties could be blanketed in 3 to 6 inches.
“There could be some impact during the evening commute” because snow will be mixing in with rain, Petr said.
From 6 a.m. to noon Friday, area residents should see a period of lighter precipitation, he said. During Friday there should be a rain and snow mix through about 6 to 7 p.m. that then will switch to predominantly snow, moving from west to east across northeastern Illinois. That switch to mostly snow should kick in by about 8 p.m. Friday, just in time to affect the tail end of the evening commute, Petr said.
From 6 p.m. Friday until midnight “is when we’ll see the higher rates of rain and snow,” he said. “Heading into the late evening hours will be when that switch over will kick in.”
Those in far northern McHenry County should see snow most of the day instead of a mix with rain, he said.
“It seems we’re getting rain/snow [mixes] every weekend,” Petr said, noting the region is in a seven-day pattern of such weather waves coming across the country. “We’ve been in an active pattern that sets us up for these lighter snow events.”
“It’s the Midwest and what we deal with living in the Chicago area,” said Michael Hughes, 70, of Oakwood Hills.
Hughes, a retired director of security, said he and his wife don’t plan to venture outside Friday or Saturday unless they must.
“That’s why I’m here picking up groceries,” he said Thursday afternoon while standing outside the Jewel-Osco in Cary, noting that there hasn’t been as much snow this winter as seen during previous years.
From Dec. 1 through Jan. 15, just 4.8 inches of snow had fallen at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Petr said. That’s 8.4 inches less than normal. The normal snowfall total for that time frame is 13.2 inches.
An additional 3.1 inches fell on Jan. 17 at O’Hare, he said.
After shoveling a path from her front door to her driveway on Thursday, Crystal Lake resident Brigitte Kuhn, 81, said she isn’t concerned about the additional snow in the forecast.
“I bought my groceries and my son is close by,” she said. “I think the winter was OK this year. I didn’t even have to cancel church once, not one Sunday.”