Up to 7 inches of snow forecast in parts of Illinois

McCalebb Family

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for parts of central and southern Illinois with as many as 7 inches of snow forecast.

Weather service officials say the snow is expected in to begin late Friday in central and southern Illinois developing from a winter storm system in the southwestern U.S. Snow is expected to continue into Saturday, sometimes mixed with rain. The heaviest amounts are expected to be between 5 and 7 inches west and southwest of Springfield to Shelbyville to Olney. Slippery road conditions are expected.

No weather watches or warning were in effect for Illinois north of Bloomington on Thursday. But weather service forecasters say the Chicago area can expect between 1 and 3 inches of snow late Friday and into Saturday.