CHICAGO (CBS) – A winter storm bringing a mix of freezing rain, sleet, and heavy snow is bearing down on the Chicago area, and could make for a messy afternoon commute.
A winter weather advisory is in effect until 6 a.m. Wednesday.
The first of the precipitation began falling in the Chicago area in the mid-morning on Tuesday, starting with a mix of sleet, freezing rain, and snow.
Around noon, there were reports of whiteout conditions around Elgin as the snow began in increase in intensity.
By noon, the precipitation turned to all snow across most of the Chicago area. A total of 3 to 6 inches of snow to most of the Chicago area is likely. Northwest Indiana, Joliet and Kankakee could see 2 to 4 inches, as could far northern Illinois. Roads in Northwest Indiana were reported to be icy as of noon.
The Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation has deployed its full feet of 284 plows onto Chicago’s main routes and Lake Shore Drive. In addition to the full fleet, additional resources have been deployed to the far south side to ensure residents can access polling places for the special congressional election.
The trucks will work to first salt and clear the city’s main streets, and then focus efforts on residential streets.
High winds and heavy wet snow during the afternoon commute have created very low visibility, and significant delays on area roadways. There are several reports of accidents.
Chicago Public Schools has canceled all sports and drivers education activities. All six state regional basketball games hosted by CPS high schools tonight were canceled.
Both airports could also see significant delays. As of 4:30 p.m., more than 330 flights were canceled at O’Hare International Airport, while about 120 flights were canceled at Midway International Airport.
The National Weather Service expects most of the snow will have fallen by late Tuesday evening. Some snow may linger into the morning hours.