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State

Rain and wind to precede bitter cold and snow this week

(MCT) — A soggy, windy start to the work week could be a prelude to bitter cold and accumulating snow.

National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Bardou said rain will likely hit Chicago around noon Monday morning and stay until the evening. Some snow might fall as the system moves out, but Bardou said temperatures aren’t expected to dip below freezing early enough for much to stick.

Winds could gust up to 35 mph on Monday and Tuesday, Bardou said, possibly pushing Tuesday morning’s wind chill to zero. Temperatures aren’t expected to climb out of the 20s until Friday, leaving time for a snowstorm to hit Thursday.

Bardou cautioned that it’s too early to predict how much snow will fall – or even to say for certain that the system, currently over the Gulf of Alaska, will hit Chicago – but both the National Weather Service and WGN meteorologist Tom Skilling are forecasting snow for late in the work week. Skilling’s online forecast calls for “heavy wet accumulating snow.”

The system is likely to hit late Thursday and linger through Friday morning, Bardou said, possibly changing over to freezing drizzle before its exit.

It could be Chicago’s largest snow event of the season, but “that’s not saying a whole lot,” Bardou said. The strongest storm to date left only 2.4 inches.

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