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Season’s First Measurable Snowfall Comes At Last

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First Snow

The first measurable snowfall of the year came on the morning of Friday, Dec. 9. (Credit: CBS)

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UPDATED 12/09/11 11:19 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — It came two and a half weeks later than average, but on Friday morning the inevitable happened.

CBS 2 Meteorologist Megan Glaros says the first measurable snow of the season fell in the predawn hours. About 0.5 inches of snow fell at O’Hare International Airport; 0.1 inches are required to qualify as measurable snowfall.

The average first snowfall comes Nov. 21. This year, it tied Dec. 9, 1948, for the fifth latest first snowfall in the Chicago area.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Berner reports

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In some spots, just a dusting was seen, but CBS 2’s Susanna Song found a couple of inches blanketing a windshield on a side street off Western Avenue in Lincoln Square.

One man in the neighborhood said it’s about time that we get some snow. But he said getting around was a challenge.

“The trains were running great; the CTA was running real great. There were no problems with that,” he said. “The Kimball bus was line was a little bit… they didn’t lay the salt on Kimball, and it was getting a little crusty out there, and it was causing a lot of people to slide.”

Seventeen miles due south in the Beverly neighborhood, a crusting and coating of snow was seen on the cars at 11 a.m., after the snowfall had stopped and the sun had come out. Snow was also seen coating the grass on the parkways.

The snow was light overall, but it still caused problems on Chicago area expressways.

The snow-covered roads have been causing more than their share of spinouts and crashes, and at least one person is dead as a result of a weather-related accident, police say.

Theresa Lang, 29, of Minooka, was killed in a crash on Interstate 80 in Troy Township near Joliet, police say. Her car went off the road and slammed into something, according to officials.

Lang was a 2000 graduate of Joliet Catholic Academy.

The weather was also suspected in a crash that killed a man on I-80.

Andres Pita-Jamon, 29, was driving a car that was struck by a semi-trailer truck on the westbound I-80 overpass near New Lenox. He was pronounced dead at 2:44 a.m. at Silver Cross Hospital in Joliet, according to the Will County Coroner’s office.

A pickup truck driver was also killed in a crash on the Eisenhower Expressway, but that was the result of a traffic violation and not the weather, Illinois State Police say.

Sunshine predominated in the Chicago area later Friday morning, but a cold front has come through and is driving the temperatures down to frigid lows.

Glaros says the day’s high of 28 degrees came early, but temperatures have dropped and will hover in the low 20s for much of the day.

Overnight, the low drops to about 16 – but as low as 9 degrees far west of the city – and the mercury will top out at a mere 27 on Saturday.

But come Sunday, the high jumps to 40, and highs remain in the 40s through early next week.

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