The National Weather Service in Chicago has issued a Winter Storm Watch in effect from Thursday evening, December 22 until Saturday, December 24 at 6 a.m. Impacts include falling and blowing snow resulting in white out conditions with zero visibility at times, making travel extremely difficult, if not impossible. Power outages will also be possible as a result of strong damaging wind gusts up to 55 mph.
The Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) issues several alerts and notifications to keep people up to date on weather conditions and emergencies. When certain thresholds set by the National Weather Service are reached OEMC will alert the public, such as:
- Winter Storm Watch: Chance for high-end winter impacts are increasing and possible. Issued within 36-48 hours in advance of conditions.
- Winter Weather Advisory: Potentially dangerous winter weather is expected within the next 12-36 hours; Travel difficulties expected.
- Winter Storm Warning: Dangerous winter weather is expected in the next 12-36 hours or is occurring; Travel problems are expected.
- Blizzard Warning: Severe winter weather is expected in the next 12-36 hours or is occurring – including white out conditions. Do not travel.
- Snow Squall Warning: Rapid onset, brief, intense bursts of snow and strong winds with significant threat to travelers. Delay travel.
Sign up for emergency alerts at www.NotifyChicago.org.
- The Department of Streets & Sanitation is prepared with 425,000 tons of salt stationed at salt piles throughout the city.
Click here for the Chicago Snow Plow Tracker to review real-time road conditions.
The City’s winter overnight parking ban is in effect from December 1, 2022 through April 1, 2023, to ensure crews can quickly salt and plow the streets during a winter storm. Please check the posted street signs for parking restrictions.
Reminder to all home, business, and property owners to clear snow from all sidewalks adjacent to their property, including any crosswalk ramps. Click here for shoveling guidelines.
The Department of Family & Support Services activates warming areas at the six community service centers when temps are at or below 32 degrees.
- The warming areas are open Monday-Friday, 9am to 5pm
- On evenings, weekends or holidays, city-operated facilities including libraries and park facilities might also serve as warming areas, if needed.
- Residents must wear a face covering while in the warming areas.
Those seeking a warm place to go after hours can also call 3-1-1 to be connected with available services. Individuals requiring emergency overnight shelter should also call 3-1-1, visit 311.Chicago.gov or download the CHI311 app to ensure residents are aware of the City's designated warming areas. Residents are also encouraged to check on relatives, neighbors and friends during a winter weather emergency.
A list of community service center locations is available along with information and multilingual fliers containing warming center information in English, Spanish and Polish also are posted on DFSS's website at Chicago.gov/FSS.
Space heaters are not recommended; however, if used, be sure they are UL certified and at least 3 feet from anything that can ignite. Click here for safety tips for portable heaters.
To prevent frozen pipes, make sure that warm air is circulating throughout the home and keep a trickle of water running. Click here for more tips to avoid frozen pipes.
Help your pets remain happy and healthy during the colder months by following these cold weather pet care tips.
- Motorists should take extra precautions to winterize vehicles and have necessary supplies on-the-go. Keep in mind, disabled vehicles or distracted driving can cause accidents, impact traffic and others or require emergency services.
During periods of extreme winter weather, the CTA increases efforts to keep service operating as close to schedule as possible for our customers, and to do so safely. Click here for information about CTA preparedness.
Residents should know the signs and care of frostbite and hypothermia. For Winter preparation information visit, Chicago.gov/OEMC for details and links to other local, state and federal resources.