CHICAGO — Forecasters say a winter storm is expected to bring as much as 9 inches of snow to parts of northern and central Illinois.

The National Weather Service had winter storm warnings in effect Friday through Saturday evening in northwestern and central Illinois. The weather service predicts wet and heavy snow with wind gusts of up to 35 mph that could cause tree branches to fall and cause power outages. Forecasters say the late season snowstorm will start out as a rain and snow mix but quickly change to moderate and at times heavy snowfall.

The storm is expected to impact the Rockford and Chicago areas along with Freeport, Peoria, Sterling, Pontiac and the Quad Cities.

Winter weather advisories have been issued for cities including Bloomington, Champaign, Kankakee, Joliet and DeKalb.

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