As Chicagoans begin their travels in anticipation of Thanksgiving, people can expect cooler temperatures and intermittent snowfall over the weekend. However, there could be a glimmer of warmer weather on Sunday as temperatures start to rise after a recent period of frost.

National Weather Service Chicago meteorologist Brett Borchardt said the Chicago area is expected to experience “continuation of unprecedented low temperatures” throughout Friday and Saturday, along with showers of snow.

“Winter has made its home in the Great Lakes,” he said. “No wonder I’ve been looking out the window or driving around the last few days.”

There is hope for more pleasant conditions by Thanksgiving. Cooler temperatures will drop towards the end of the weekend as the warming trend starts on Sunday, Borchardt said. In the Chicago area, temperatures will rise above freezing on Sunday and drop to the low to mid-40s closer to Thanksgiving.

“We’ve had some nasty winter weather over the past few days, but it’ll pay off with a quiet week for Thanksgiving,” he said.

But this warming pattern may not last long. Compared to previous years, Borchardt said Chicago will experience a more typical winter with cooler weather this season.

“Maybe you remember some warm stretches in November or even December without a lot of snow,” he said. “Looks like winter waited until January or even February to really kick off. It looks like we’re not on that path this year with our low temperatures.”

As for vacationers this weekend, Borchardt doesn’t expect much snow accumulation, but he advises people to be careful of snow and slippery places, especially on bridges and viaducts.

“For many of us, this is the first time we’ve seen snow this year, with flakes that have been falling all week,” he said. “Many of us can get rusty when driving in winter conditions, so it’s a good idea to drive slowly whenever it rains in winter, whether it’s sleet, sleet or freezing rain.”

While the roads may not seem so slippery, he warns people to be careful, saying roads can be confusing. He said it doesn’t take a lot of snow to make roads slippery, so drivers should always exercise caution and keep more distance between cars.

“This morning was a great example of that,” he said. “There wasn’t a lot of snow overnight, but some communities quickly picked up half an inch to an inch, and there was a lot of fluctuating road conditions there this morning, so you really don’t need a lot of snow to create a problem.”

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