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Up to 10 inches of snow coming to Chicago

<p>An aerial view shows downtown&nbsp;<a id="firsthit" name="firsthit"></a>Chicago&nbsp;surrounded by&nbsp;snow&nbsp;and icy Lake Michigan Thursday. &nbsp;| &nbsp;AP Photo/Kichiro Sato</p>

An aerial view shows downtown Chicago surrounded by snow and icy Lake Michigan Thursday.  |  AP Photo/Kichiro Sato

Although temperatures are not expected to dip below the teens this weekend, the area could get hit with up to 10 inches of snow, possibly falling at a rate of several inches per hour Saturday.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for Cook, DuPage, Will, McHenry and Lake counties in Illinois, and Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Jasper and Newton counties in Indiana, in effect from 9 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Saturday. The heaviest snowfall is forecast for mid-to-late morning Saturday.

The storm will arrive from the southwest and produce a wet snow, NWS meteorologist Amy Seeley said. That type of snow translates into slippery driving conditions, especially with snow expected to fall between one and two inches per hour Saturday afternoon.

High temperatures Friday will be in the lower 20s, while Saturday is expected to see highs in the lower 20s and Sunday in the teens, Seeley said.

Illinois State Police are cautioning drivers in the Chicago area that whiteout conditions are possible. Drivers should beware of black ice and carry emergency supplies in their vehicles.

Snowfall Thursday brought January’s total to 33.5 inches, meteorologists said. That makes it the third-snowiest month recorded since officials started keeping track in 1884.

January 1918 still holds the top spot with 42.5 inches of snow, while January 1979 comes in second with 40.4 inches, the weather service said. Thursday’s snowfall pushed this month’s total just slightly above December 1951, which saw 33.3 inches.

On the heels of Thursday’s storm, airlines at O’Hare International Airport canceled 90 flights Friday morning, according to the city Department of Aviation. As of 7:45 a.m., flights at Midway were operating normally.

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