Chicago area could get 9 inches of snow by Tuesday night

Chicago area could get 9 inches of snow by Tuesday night

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A developing snowstorm could drop up to 10 inches of snow on the Chicago area Tuesday in yet another late-winter storm.

Freezing rain, sleet and light snow is expected to reach the Chicago area Monday night, but will not become all snow until temperatures drop Tuesday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. Heavy snow is most likely from through the early evening and one to two inches of accumulation per hour is possible.

The weather service said there is still "a fair amount of uncertainty" about where the heaviest snow will fall, but five to nine inches is expected in the city and seven to 10 inches in the suburbs. Wind gusts up to 30 miles per hour will also cause blowing and drifting snow.

"The worst conditions we're expecting [are] during the day on Tuesday," said National Weather Service meteorologist Ben Deubelbeiss.

The storm has the potential to be the largest snowstorm of the season, surpassing the 5.4 inches accumulated at O'Hare International Airport between Feb. 26 and Feb. 27, the weather service said. The same storm blanketed north suburban Antioch with 12.1 inches of snow.

The storm has already caused the state to reschedule a statewide tornado drill from Tuesday morning until 10 a.m. Wednesday.

A winter storm warning will be in effect from 3 a.m. until midnight Tuesday, the weather service said. The warning means significant snow will make travel dangerous.

The storm is expected to mostly affect the Tuesday evening rush. The weather service advises people who must drive to keep an extra flashlight, food and water in the vehicle in case of an emergency.

IDOT is ready with 360 trucks for Chicago and the suburbs. Workers will be on standby to come in as early as 2 a.m. when the snow starts to fall.

"We will have been out before then obviously plowing trying to get ahead," says IDOT spokesperson Mike Claffey. "We will have a lot of salt down so that'll help but if you're getting heavy accumulations during rush hour traffic heavy, come to standstill, you're not going to want to be stuck out there Tuesday afternoon."

The snow plows are also ready for deployment at Chicago Service Group, a private snow removal company, which contracts mainly with businesses.

"I have over 100 pieces of equipment on the street and 200 employees and satellite locations staged already," Mike Riddle says.

Meanwhile, some employers have already prepared their staff to take the day off.

"They said, 'use your best judgment and if it doesn't feel safe, work from home,'" Information Technology Consultant Ryan Sindorff says.

The weather service is predicting travel at O'Hare and Midway airports will be "significantly affected."

The Hyatt Regency McCormick Place hotel is offering a "blizzard rate" Tuesday to accommodate stranded travelers.

When the snow stops and it's time to start shoveling, the DuPage County Health Department has the following safety tips: warm up your muscles, pace yourself, use a shovel that is comfortable for your height and strength, push the snow instead of lifting it if possible and don't throw the snow over your shoulder or to the side.

For those yearning for spring, warmer weather is not far away, according to the weather service. The temperature is expected to reach 41 degrees Friday and 44 degrees Saturday.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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