CHICAGO (CBS)– A winter storm pounded the Chicago area with snow Tuesday evening, and the precipitation was not set to go anywhere.
The snow turned rain in the city late Tuesday night, and will be warming to rain on Wednesday. The conditions are poised to make for treacherous driving for the morning commute.
A Winter Storm Warning will be in place until 9 a.m. Wednesday for far northern and northwest Cook County and for all of Lake, McHenry, Kane, and DeKalb counties.
For the rest of the CBS 2 viewing area – with the exception of Jasper and Newton counties in Indiana – a Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for the same timeframe.
CBS 2 Meteorologist Mary Kay Kleist reported that in the hours before the snow hit the Chicago area, intense snow bands in eastern Iowa were so severe that they were creating thundersnow.
Before long, the Chicago area got socked.
By mid-evening Tuesday, Carol Stream was reporting a total of 4.5 inches of snow, Elburn 4.2 inches, St. Charles 3.7 inches, Aurora 3.6 inches, Naperville 3.5 inches, Midway International Airport 3.2 inches, and Elk Grove Village 3 inches.
Fast accumulation continued up until 9 p.m., but the snow kept going in some places. Another 1 to 3 inches of snow accumulation was possible on top of what had already fallen by midnight.
For an idea of the intensity earlier, an official storm spotter in Morris reported 2 inches in just one hour.
Ahead of Tuesday afternoon’s snowfall, Chicago’s Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) deployed 287 snow vehicles.
The snowstorm also caused whiteout conditions on some area roads and prevented semi-trailer trucks from making their trips along Interstate 80 south of Chicago Tuesday evening. Illinois State Police were called to I-80 westbound near Route 394 for icy roadways trapping the trucks.
State police were able to clear the area, but all lanes of the I-80 westbound ramp to Route 394 southbound were closed Tuesday evening.
Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration reported that a Traffic Management Program was in effect at O’Hare for part of Tuesday evening due to snow and ice. This caused some arriving flights to be delayed by an average of 1 hour and 18 minutes.
The Chicago Department of Aviation reported the average delay for arriving flights at O’Hare Tuesday evening was 18 minutes. While no Traffic Management Program was in effect at Midway, arriving flights there were delayed by an average of 65 minutes for part of the evening Tuesday.
As the freezing rain and sleet fall overnight, ice accumulation of up to 0.1 inch is possible.
Temperatures will climb to the 40s on Wednesday and rain is expected in the morning.
Another wintry system is possible very early New Year’s Day with a mix of freezing rain and plain old rain.
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