Karen Sorensen contributed to this report
Snow, sleet and rain could make for a messy commute Tuesday evening.
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The National Weather Service's winter storm watch for the Naperville area begins Tuesday afternoon, when a combination of rain, snow and sleet switches over to all snow by Tuesday night. Although there is a "higher than usual amount of uncertainty with respect to snow accumulations," several inches are "probable," according to the latest forecast.
More problematic than the snow is the wind, forecasters said.
"Heavy, wind-whipped, wet snow could result in very low visibilities and difficult travel," the Romeoville-based weather service said. "Heavy snow could impact the late afternoon commute so persons planning travel should anticipate potentially significantly elevated travel times."
Wind gusts may reach 35 mph on Tuesday in Naperville with snow and sleet accumulation of two to seven inches possible, according to the NWS.
Based on the weather forecasts, the Illinois State Police issued a travel advisory for the entire state Monday, urging drivers to take care Tuesday and to get off the road if "driving conditions become too hazardous."
Commuters should prepare for "significantly elevated travel times," according to the NWS.
The probabilty of precipitation/snow tomorrow is 100 percent, with the high hitting 36 before temps drop to a low of 32, the forecast said.
Snow could continue into Wednesday, but temperatures are supposed to climb to 35, the forecast said. For the rest of the week there's a "chance of snow," with temperatures going above freezing during the day and dropping into the 20s overnight.
Snow is also expected to be heavy at times, resulting in difficulty shoveling.
Illinois State Police say that should you have a weather-related accident, a report can be filed with the state within 10 days.
The agency also encourages drivers to follow these tips:
- Anticipate reduced visibility and watch for black ice when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges, and curves.
- Avoid abrupt steering and braking and avoid tailgating by keeping a safe distance between vehicles.
- Allow enough time for travel and advise others of travel itineraries.
- Avoid unnecessary and sudden lane changes.
- Always keep your gas tank at least two-thirds full to prevent the vehicle’s fuel line from freezing.
- Always wear a safety belt and keep a charged cell phone handy.
Officials are also warning to take care when shoveling because of the heaviness of the snow, which could trigger heart-related ailments.