Snow warnings, ground stops and more – NBC Chicago

Snow warnings, ground stops and more – NBC Chicago

Note: Latest forecasts can be found here.

With nearly the entire Chicago area under either a winter weather advisory or winter storm warning Tuesday, officials warned of difficult travel conditions and heavy, wet snowfall across the region totaling up to 9 inches in some parts.

Tuesday morning, up to 1-4 inches of snow fell in some parts, though early rain wiped out some of those totals.

While suburbs to the north and west did not see much snow overnight, more came later in the day, and some parts were expected to see up to 9 inches by Tuesday evening, the NBC 5 Storm Team said.

Here are the latest updates on travel conditions, flight cancellations and more as the first major snowstorm of the season hits the Chicago area.

Officials are warning of the possibility of a “flash freeze” due to gusty winds blowing on roads that affect the snow

Drivers in the Chicago area were urged to take serious precautions on the roads overnight because gusty winds could cause a “flash freeze.”

According to the National Weather Service, a winter storm warning remains in effect for McHenry, Lake, DeKalb, Kane and LaSalle counties until 4 a.m. Wednesday, while a winter weather warning remains in effect for the rest of the Chicago area.

While the snow is expected to taper off as the evening continues, some accumulations are still possible, and unlike previous snow that was heavy and wet, late evening snow could be light and fluffy.

As a result, this snow can be very susceptible to blowing, and with wind gusts expected to gradually increase, reaching 40 mph or more, blowing snow could become a serious concern on area highways, especially east of Interstate 55.

Wind gusts can also cause snow to quickly freeze on roads in a phenomenon known as “flash freezing.” This could mean that previously cleared roads may be affected by patchy ice, posing a significant risk to drivers in the overnight hours.



While many residents focus on the negatives of snow, some businesses rely on the winter weather at this time of year, as Kate Chappell explains.



While some parts of the Chicago area saw heavy rain on Tuesday, the snow fell the most in DeKalb County, explains Christian Farr.

The ground stop has been lifted, but flight delays continue

The Federal Aviation Administration has lifted its ground stop at O'Hare Airport, but the “traffic management” program remains in place.

“This is causing some incoming flights to be delayed by an average of 1 hour and 46 minutes,” the FAA said.

Meanwhile, Chicago flight reports indicated an average delay of 47 minutes.

Dozens of incidents have been reported

Dozens of accidents were reported on area highways due to a winter storm that hit the Chicago area, leading to road closures and several reports of injuries.

A crash on Veterans Memorial Road in Will County closed one lane of the road near 143Research and development and Archer Street, while another accident on the Jane Addams Tollway in Kane County led to lane closures and reports of injuries.

The Tri-State Tollway also reported lane closures near Hinsdale Oasis due to an accident, while Interstate 55 is seeing multiple accidents in Will County as snow and rain continue to fall.

In DeKalb County, a crash sent a car flipping into a flooded ditch, according to Total Traffic, sending firefighters rushing to rescue a person trapped in the car.

The Eisenhower Expressway is also experiencing travel issues, especially in DuPage County due to potholes and slick spots that have led to multiple accidents.

Details here.

A ground stop was issued at O'Hare Airport

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a ground stop at Chicago's O'Hare Airport “due to snow or ice.”

The ground stop remains in effect until 4:30 p.m. Central Time, according to the agency.

More than 150 flights were canceled at Chicago's two airports as of Tuesday afternoon.

Traffic impacts begin

Forecasters warned Chicago-area residents to be extremely careful on the roads Tuesday evening, as additional snowfall and increased winds could lead to dangerous driving conditions.

By 3:15 p.m., accidents and dangerous travel conditions were reported.

In Glen Ellyn, police reported snow on St. Charles Road making travel difficult, noting that there would be “periodic temporary road closures.”

“Please find an alternative route if possible,” the administration said.

Winter storm watches extended to some

The National Weather Service has extended a winter storm warning for several counties from midnight until 4 a.m. Wednesday. Here's what's changed:

McHenry, DeKalb, Kane, LaSalle: Winter Storm Warning until 4 a.m. The advisory warns of an additional 3-5 inches of snow and wind gusts up to 40 mph.

Lake County, Illinois: Lake County, Illinois Winter Storm Warning until 4 a.m. The advisory warns of an additional 2-5 inches of snow and wind gusts up to 40 mph.

DuPage, Kendall, Grundy, Livingstone, Northern Cook: Winter Weather Advisory until 4 a.m. Wednesday. Snow accumulations range between 2 and 4 inches, with wind gusts reaching 40 miles per hour.

Kankakee Counties in Illinois and Lake, Newton, Porter and Jasper Counties in Indiana: A winter weather warning from 6pm Cairo time on Tuesday to 4am on Wednesday. Accumulations of up to 1 inch of snow.

Live radar

Do you see snow or rain? Track winter weather as it heads your way with the NBC 5 Storm Team's live interactive radar.

Snow or rain?

At 1:30 p.m., the NBC 5 Storm Team reported that the latest round of winter weather could still bring several additional inches of snow to certain suburbs, but there will be a sharp cutoff line for areas seeing snow and rain.

Some may see the rain turn to snow later in the day as well.

Here's a look at how the timing broke down.

Latest snow totals

As of 11:30 a.m., here are the latest rates from the National Weather Service. Note that rain may have washed away snow in some parts:

  • Plainfield: 3.6 inches
  • Willow Springs: 3.5 inches
  • Homer Glenn: 3.5 inches
  • New Lenox: 3.2 inches
  • Palos Park: 3.2 inches
  • Harvard: 3 inches
  • Aurora: 2.8 inches
  • Valparaiso: 2.8 inches
  • Clarendon Hills: 2.4 inches
  • Naperville: 2.5 inches
  • Geneva: 2.5 inches
  • Schaumburg: 2.3 inches
  • Bull Valley: 2.2 inches
  • Batavia: 2 inches
  • Boulder Hill: 2 inches
  • Campton Hills: 2 inches
  • Oak forest: 2 inches
  • DeKalb: 2 inches
  • Downers Grove: 2 inches
  • St. Charles: 1 inch
  • West of Chicago: 1.8 inches
  • Midway Airport: 1.7 inches
  • Kankakee: 1 inch

Several inches of snow could still fall in some suburbs

A second wave of snow could still bring several additional inches of accumulation, although the steeper gradient would represent a dramatic shift in totals for those who see snow and those who see rain.

Winter weather warnings remain in effect in some parts, and have been canceled in others

Kendall, Grundy, DuPage and Northern Cook counties in Illinois are under a winter weather advisory until midnight. Those parts could see an additional 2-4 inches of snow by Tuesday evening.

Other counties previously included in the advisory — Kankakee, central and southern Cook and Will counties in Illinois, and Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties in Indiana — were removed around 9 a.m. Tuesday.

In those areas, 2-5 inches of snow is expected to fall overnight and into Tuesday morning, although rain has wiped away much of that snow.

To the south, the rain and snow mix is ​​expected to gradually turn to snowfall by the evening

More than 100 flights were canceled at O'Hare and Midway

More than 100 flights were canceled at Chicago's O'Hare and Midway International Airports as of Tuesday morning, FlyChicago.com showed.

As of 1 p.m., there were 112 flight cancellations reported at O'Hare, and 39 cancellations were reported at Midway.

Is your child's school closed? Here's how to check

More than a dozen schools in Chicago have already announced closures due to the storm.

Below is the complete list of closures reported across the region.

For information about Chicago Public Schools, go here.

How to check road conditions in Illinois

The Illinois Department of Transportation issued a warning to drivers, advising of difficult conditions along with low visibility and urging residents to avoid travel if possible.

“If you must travel, be aware that your destination may have much higher amounts of snow than where you started your journey,” the alert said. “Slow down, expect much longer travel times, increase braking distances and expect conditions to deteriorate.”

If you need to travel, use these links to check road conditions near you:

Officials issue a warning against “over-salting.”

Chicago officials urged residents not to use excessive amounts of salt on their sidewalks and driveways.

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago posted a reminder Sunday afternoon, saying it takes a surprisingly low amount of salt to properly melt snow and ice.

According to officials, a 12-ounce cup contains enough salt for 10 squares of sidewalk, or a 20-foot driveway.

Total snow forecast

Roman noted that an estimated 1-4 inches of snow fell in counties under the winter weather advisory overnight, with more than 4 inches recorded in Joliet, and 3.6 inches recorded in Chicago. Roman said that morning rain wiped out totals in some areas, adding that precipitation in those parts may remain in the form of rain as the day continues.

By Tuesday evening, counties in the warning may see just an additional inch of snow accumulation.

Forecast models show northern and western counties under a winter storm warning could see snow totals of 6-8 or even 9 inches by Tuesday night. Roman said between 2 and 5 inches of snow will likely fall between 7 and 10 a.m., with the morning commute likely to be affected.

“Plan for a chaotic morning ride, with slick roads and low visibility,” Roman said, adding that morning winds of 20 to 25 mph are expected to increase as the day continues.

ComEd officials announced Monday that the company's Emergency Operations Center will open its doors Tuesday to help resolve any problems that may arise.

“The type of snow expected this week could be particularly problematic because it could cause branches and entire trees to fall onto our power lines,” Chief Operating Officer Dave Perez said in a statement.

According to Roman, widespread snowfall is expected to continue throughout the day, with most areas witnessing heavy snow until 9 p.m., and gradually decreasing during the night.

Weather Alerts: Winter Storm Warning

Winter Storm Warning: North and West Suburbs

According to the National Weather Service, a winter storm warning was in effect until midnight for Lake, McHenry, DeKalb, Kane and LaSalle counties in Illinois, and Kenosha counties in Wisconsin.

“Heavy, wet snow and hazardous travel conditions are expected,” the National Weather Service warned in an advisory. “Travel may be very difficult. Scattered snowfall may significantly reduce visibility.”

Early Tuesday, winds were clocked at 20-25 mph, and winds were expected to reach 40 mph by the afternoon, said Alicia Roman, a meteorologist with the NBC 5 Storm Team.

Additionally, snowfall rates are expected to exceed one inch per hour, creating dangerous driving conditions for the morning and evening commute.

“If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight for food and water,” the NWS said.

Traffic cameras across parts of Illinois early Tuesday morning showed slick, slippery roads, wet snowflakes and low visibility.

(marks for translation) Chicago forecast

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