Though there's been a record length of time between snowfalls, Niles' snowplows have not gotten rusty or dusty, and they're ready to move into action later today, said Scott Jochim, the director of the village's Public Services Department.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for Thursday evening through late Thursday night. A total of two to six inches of snow is likely, with more accumulation in the north and northwest suburbs than in the city.
Rain will likely change to wet snow from west to east in the afternoon and evening, growing heavy at times, the weather service says. Strong winds are also likely to develop.
"Thundersnow" is possible, the weather service says, and winds may reach 30-40 mph by late Thursday afternoon, and up to 60 mph at night.
"The combination of the snow and very strong winds will result in greatly reduced visibilities and possibly near bizzard conditions," the watch says. "Falling temperatures will cause roads to become snow covered and travel treacherous. ... The strong winds may also result in minor damage and sporadic power outages."
Niles gets ready
Jochim, of Niles, said the department's vehicles are loaded up with the snowplows so they're ready to go when it's showtime, er, snow time.
"They're only calling for a couple inches so it'll be a good run through for us," he said.
"It's nice if the residents dont park on the streets, but we also realize sometimes there's nowhere else for them to park."
He'll keep his fingers crossed and hope it goes north or south, he added.