One of the more volatile weather systems in recent memory is about to clobber parts of Illinois and some could see more than a foot of snow and a bomb cyclone is even possible.

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Instead of basing this warning on just one computer model or forecast, I've dug deep into multiple sources who agree that especially northern Illinois is likely about to get clobbered by winter weather.

Let's begin with a computer model from the GFS which shows concentrated heavy snowfall especially around the Great Lakes region of Chicago. NOTE: this storm system is expected to start impacting Illinois either late Thursday night and/or Friday morning. For the Chicago area, expect the most intense snow late Friday night into Saturday.

Infographic, Pivotal Weather
Infographic, Pivotal Weather
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The European model shows much more widespread snow for northern Illinois.

Infographic, Pivotal Weather
Infographic, Pivotal Weather
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Normally I would warn not to put too much weight on computer models as they are based on changeable data that will look different depending on what day you're running it. However, Fox Weather also thinks northern Illinois is in for a wallop showing up to 18 inches of snow for the Chicago area.

Northern Illinois could see a bomb cyclone plus a foot of snow over the weekend.
Fox Weather via YouTube
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Yet another source, The Washington Post, says that 'bomb cyclone' conditions could happen in northern Illinois as they say this incoming storm may "challenge low pressure records".

What is a bomb cyclone?

The Weather Channel defines it as "common phrase used in the winter to describe powerful low-pressure systems that intensify rapidly and are often accompanied by heavy snow and strong winds."

Several storm chasers have also chimed in about the incoming storm's potential impact in Illinois.

Note that there is a lot of uncertainty about the track of this winter storm, but it's almost a certainty that some part of Illinois will end up having a lot of snow dumped on its head. If you're in the northern part of the state especially, plan for the worst and hope for the best.

It's also worth mentioning that while the National Weather Service does have a Winter Storm Watch for Chicago, their estimates are for lower amounts than the models currently show. They do say blizzard conditions are possible though.

NWS Chicago
NWS Chicago
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