Some parts of the Chicago area could find themselves buried in up to 10 inches of snow Tuesday.

Cook, Lake, and DuPage counties will be under a Lake Effect Snow Warning issued by the National Weather Service until 4 p.m. A Lake Effect Snow Warning means significant amounts of lake-effect snow is expected to make travel very hazardous or near impossible.

The heaviest totals from the lake-effect snow system will likely be in the 5 to 10 inch range, with isolated amounts greater than 10 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

By 8 a.m. Tuesday, 8.5 inches of snow had already fallen in suburban Waukegan, with 8 inches recorded in Gurnee and 7.8 inches in Palatine.

Lake-effect snow showers typically align themselves in bands – 10 to 15 miles wide – that can produce very heavy snow, at times intense enough to dump several inches per hour for several hours.

Because of the nature of lake-effect snow bands, conditions will vary drastically depending on location, with visibilities that can drop to zero in just minutes, the National Weather Service warned.

Drivers should be prepared for periods of intense snow, sleet, or freezing rain with visibilities so low in some spots that it will be extremely dangerous to travel. During these times, travel is “strongly discouraged,” the NWS warned. If you must travel, commuters are urged to keep an extra flashlight, food, and water on hand in case of an emergency.

As the snow continues to accumulate, Tuesday will be windy and cold, with highs in the mid to upper 20s, and wind gusting upwards of 25 mph.

Wednesday will be cloudy with some early lingering lake-effect snow, mainly in Northwest Indiana, before skies turn partly sunny. The day will be breezy and cold, with afternoon highs in the upper 20s to low 30s. Mostly sunny and chilly conditions remain Thursday, before the return of more winter weather.

Although Friday will be warmer, with highs in the mid 40s, more snow will make its return.

A wintry mix of light snow and rain is expected to come down across the Chicago area, before transitioning into rain showers throughout the day.

The weekend will bring some light snow early Saturday morning, but then clouds break for sunshine and a seasonably chilly day, with highs in the mid 40s.

Published 6 hours ago | Updated 5 minutes ago

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