Updated: February 21, 2014 6:32AM
As temperatures in the Chicago area are expected to hover near zero throughout much of next week, with wind chills dipping as low as minus-25, areas in Northwest Indiana are forecasted to get hit with heavy snowfall Monday night.
Though the polar vortex has returned north, the temperature will start to fall Monday as a cold front will move into the Chicago area, said National Weather Service Meteorologist Ben Deubelbeiss. The high is expected to be in the 20s overnight and temperatures will drop steadily throughout the day. The day’s low will be in the single digits, with wind chills between 15 and 25 degrees below zero.
As the cold air moves south across Lake Michigan throughout the day, it will funnel lake effect snow showers in parts of Northwest Indiana late Monday and into Tuesday morning, meteorologists said.
Portions of Porter, Lake and Starke counties could experience “white-out conditions,” with rates of 1 to 2 inches of snowfall per hour and accumulations of up to 12 inches, said NWS meteorologists Matt Friedlein.
“It’s possible (Northwest Indiana) could get even heavier rates than that,” he said. A hazardous weather outlook, citing “significant lake effect snow,” was issued Sunday for Porter and Lake counties.
But the snowfall will likely be isolated to Northwest Indiana, and Chicago and its surrounding suburbs should only get light flurries Monday, according to the weather service.
Temperatures Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday will mimic Monday’s, with temperatures near zero and double-digit wind chills, meteorologists said.
This particular blast of cold air is not the polar vortex itself, but rather a byproduct of the system that regularly moves through Canada and into the United States, meteorologists said.
By Friday, highs in the area are expected to climb to 24 degrees, falling to 15 at night, forecasts show.