Hammond I would guess gets about the same as Chicago. They are not far enough East to get the Lake effect. Most of that occurs over by Michigan City and Porter County. (I live in Chesterton in Porter County and yes, we get our share.)
Hammond is only about 20 minutes from the loop in light traffic. Head down the Dirty Dan Ryan to the Skyway and over the Skyway Bridge and you are there. It is not far from downtown at all.
Courtney is My Hero
If a man is to be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most - E.B. White