CHICAGO (CBS) — The winter storm blanketing Chicago has dumped nearly 5 inches of snow in Chicago as of early Friday morning, but the latest forecasts are significantly better than yesterday.

A winter storm warning now is set to expire between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. for most of the Chicago area, earlier than when it first went into effect Thursday.

CBS 2 Meteorologist Megan Glaros reports the storm now is expected to dump between 5 and 7 inches for most of the Chicago area by Friday afternoon.

Two more rounds of snow on Saturday and Sunday could add up to 3 more inches, for a total around 8 to 11 inches by Sunday afternoon.

That would be a significant improvement over the forecast from Thursday night, when it appeared the Chicago area could see as much as 12 inches by Friday afternoon, and up to 17 inches by Sunday.

The Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation deployed more than 300 plows overnight to clear the city’s main roads and Lake Shore Drive for the morning rush, only occasionally hitting some side streets. The city won’t hit the side streets in full force until after the snow stops.

The Illinois Department of Transportation also has deployed about 370 plows in the Chicago area to clear local expressways.

Most school districts cancelled classes on Friday before any snow started falling, including the Chicago Public Schools.

Airlines also have cancelled hundreds of flights at O’Hare and Midway airports. As of 9:30 a.m., more than 740 flights have been cancelled on Friday at O’Hare, and more than 280 have been cancelled on Friday at Midway.

On Thursday, nearly 150 flights were cancelled at O’Hare, and nearly 80 were cancelled at Midway.