CHICAGO (CBS) — Parts of the Chicago area could get more than 6 inches of snow on New Year’s Day, prompting a winter storm watch for Saturday.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch from 9 a.m. Saturday through 6 a.m. Sunday for Cook, DuPage, and Lake counties; and from 6 a.m. Saturday through midnight Saturday night for DeKalb, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, LaSalle, McHenry, and Will counties.

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Snow totals could exceed 6 inches in some areas. However, the track of the storm could still change, leading to more rain than snow, according to CBS 2 meteorologist Laura Bannon.

The snow is currently expected to start around noon on New Year’s Day and continue though early Sunday morning, especially along Lake Michigan.

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Wind gusts in excess of 35mph are possible during the storm. Widespread blowing snow could make driving dangerous at times.

The National Weather Service said the steadiest snow rates likely will come between noon and midnight on Saturday.

Unlike the last two rounds of snow, which melted quickly, this snow will stick around for a while, as temperatures will plunge on Sunday, with lows in the single digits Sunday night, and highs likely only climbing back above freezing for part of the day on Tuesday.

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Big New Year’s storms have happened before. Many might remember the New Year’s Day storm of 1999, when a total of 21.6 inches fell at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. That ranks as the second biggest snowfall in Chicago history.

Source: CBS Chicago

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