Winter Storm Warning Issued for the Weekend in Chicago with Impactful Snow Accumulation Possible

January 29, 2021

The National Weather Service Winter Storm Warning is in effect from Saturday afternoon until Sunday evening with snow accumulations of 5 to 9 inches.

The National Weather Service (NWS) Chicago issued a Winter Storm Warning in effect from Saturday, January 30, 3pm until Sunday, January 31, 6pm. The Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) and the Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) are monitoring winter storm conditions with the NWS.

The National Weather Service forecast includes snow accumulation of 5 to 9 inches. Heavy wet snow is expected along with high winds and expected gusts of 35 mph. Residents are urged to take precaution, plan accordingly and allow extra time while driving. Travel could be very difficult due to very low visibilities and snow packed roads. Power outages are also possible. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.

Additionally, there is a Lakeshore Flood Advisory in effect for 9 a.m. Saturday, January 30 through 3 a.m. Monday, February 1, with minor to moderate flooding possible along the lakefront. This includes parks, trails, parking lots, other low-lying areas along the immediate lakeshore and portions of the Chicago Bike Path. Residents on or near the shore should take appropriate action to protect property from rising water levels. 

OEMC will coordinate response efforts with the City’s public safety and infrastructure departments and public partners to keep residents safe and informed. Additionally, OEMC issues several alerts and notifications to keep residents up to date on weather conditions and emergencies:

Notify Chicago: Sign up for emergency alerts at
CHILAKE: For lakefront notices, TEXT “CHILAKE” to 7-8-0-1-5
COVID: Get COVID-19 updates by TEXTING “COVID19” to 6-7-2-8-3
CHIBIZ: Business updates, TEXT“CHIBIZ” to 6-7-2-8-3

The City of Chicago would like to remind residents to provide any needed assistance to neighbors, family members, the elderly and those most vulnerable. If you need to request a well-being check you can call 311, go to, or use the 311 mobile app.

Department of Streets and Sanitation
The Department of Streets and Sanitation is closely monitoring the winter system that will result in snow expected on Saturday and Sunday. DSS has 300 salt spreaders ready to respond to the winter system and will first focus on addressing ice and snow along Chicago’s arterial routes and Lake Shore Drive to ensure they are safe and passable for emergency vehicles, buses and motorists. Safety is the City's top priority.Residents who must travel this weekend are urged to drive according to conditions and reduce speeds.

DSS manages more than 9,400 lane miles of roadway with a fleet of salt spreaders that are fully prepared to respond when needed. In addition, the Department has salt stationed at salt piles throughout the city.

To view the City’s snow fleet in real time, visit

Department of Family and Support Services Warming Centers
Warming centers are available for residents in need of safe refuge and relief from extreme cold weather. Call City Services at 311 for available warming center locations and hours of service or visit Wearing a cloth face covering is required while in the warming centers due to COVID-19 safety precautions. In addition, the Garfield Community Service Center, located at 10 South Kedzie, is open on a 24-hour basis to connect families and residents to emergency shelter.

Chicago Department of Public Health
With the winter weather upon us, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) would like to caution residents to take care of themselves and to also provide assistance to neighbors, family members, pets and friends, particularly those who are elderly, have disabilities and/or live alone. Taking preventative action is the best way to stay safe from the serious health risks associated with winter weather. Residents are advised to limit their time outside, wear layers of warm clothing when going outside, and watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.

The City of Chicago would like to remind residents to shovel and salt the areas in front of their homes and to provide any needed assistance to neighbors, family members and those most vulnerable. With the heavy, wet snow predicted, it's important to keep in mind snow shoveling and health tips in dealing with the storm affects. Although shoveling snow might be necessary, many may experience injuries to backs or health affects and it’s important to take it slow and dress warmly.

For additional information on emergency preparedness information, visit the OEMC website at Follow the Office of Emergency Management and Communications on Facebook, Twitter (@ChicagoOEMC) and Instagram (chicago_oemc_911).


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