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Snow, damaging wind, thunderstorms expected Thursday afternoon in Chicago

The snow, which could be heavy at times, will begin in Chicago after 2 p.m.

Snow is expected April, 9, 2020, in Chicago.
Snow is expected April, 9, 2020, in Chicago.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times file photo

A nasty mix of snow, wind and thunderstorms is expected to move across northern Illinois Thursday afternoon, forecasters say.

“Scattered snow showers... yes SNOW showers... are developing across the region,” the National Weather Service said on Twitter.

The snow, which could be heavy at times, will begin in Chicago after 2 p.m., weather service meteorologist Lee Carlow said.

It’ll be too warm on the ground for the snow to stick, but there may be a light dusting on the grass, he said.

The snow showers will be patchy and inconsistent, and should taper off by sunset, Carlow said. There’s a 50% chance of precipitation.

There’s also a chance of damaging wind gusts, lightning strikes and soft hail.

The metro area can expect northwest winds of 25 mph, with gusts up to 55 mph, Carlow said.

The phenomenon behind the extreme weather is called evaporative cooling, Carlow said. Although temperatures will remain in the 40s near the ground, temperatures in the clouds are a brisk 30 degrees below zero. Those contrasting temperatures, along with dry air at ground level, are responsible for the snow and wind.

Thursday night, temperatures will drop to 33 degrees, rising on Friday to a high of 48 degrees, the weather service said.