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Up to 8 inches of snow Monday evening into Tuesday to hamper drivers, present ‘opportunity’ for sledders

Snow was expected to fall Monday evening and most of the day Tuesday.

Snow falls on the city of Chicago near the Congress Triangle Garden in the Loop, Monday, Jan. 25, 2021.
Snow falls on the city of Chicago near the Congress Triangle Garden in the Loop, Monday, Jan. 25, 2021.
Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

By Tuesday evening, a five- to eight-inch blanket of snow was expected to settle over the Chicago area in what forecasters expected to be the largest snowstorm in recent years.

The lion’s share of accumulation — the heavy wet stuff — was expected to fall in the late evening hours of Monday and the wee hours of Tuesday, with lighter fluffier snow continuing to fall through most of the day Tuesday, according to National Weather Service Meteorologist Matt Friedlein.

For sledding enthusiasts, “this is an opportunity,” he said.

Areas north of the city will see the most snow, with perhaps even 10 inches falling in parts of Cook and Lake Counties.

Areas south of Chicago will experience less snow, with three to six inches expected in Joliet and no snow expected further south in Kankakee.

“The highest snowfalls were expected east of I-355 and north of I-80,” weather service Meteorologist Mark Ratzer said.

Although less snow was expected in the south suburbs, they’re not off the hook, as freezing rain or sleet may also be part of the wintry mix for the area Monday evening, Ratzner said.

Those who can work from home on Tuesday, should, meteorologists said.

Gusts up to 40 miles an hour made driving difficult Monday evening, with winds expected to taper off into Tuesday.

Temperatures Tuesday were expected to range between 27 and 33 degrees.

The snowstorm was expected to be bigger than anything Chicago has seen in the last two years.

Most recently, a two-day blizzard pummeled the city with 8.4 inches of snow in November 2018, and another winter storm in April 2019 brought 5.4 inches.

Temperatures were expected to climb to the mid to upper 30s by Saturday and Sunday.

“It’s no heatwave by any means, but above freezing, so we’ll start to melt some of this snow a little bit,” Friedlein said.