Up to 10 inches of snow coming to Chicago

Up to 10 inches of snow coming to Chicago

Posted: Updated:
CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Although temperatures are not expected to dip below the teens this weekend, the area could get hit with up to 10 inches of snow, possibly falling at a rate of several inches per hour Saturday.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for Cook, DuPage, Will, McHenry and Lake counties in Illinois, and Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Jasper and Newton counties in Indiana, in effect from 9 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Saturday. The heaviest snowfall is forecast for mid-to-late morning Saturday.

The storm will arrive from the southwest and produce a wet snow, NWS meteorologist Amy Seeley said. That type of snow translates into slippery driving conditions, especially with snow expected to fall between one and two inches per hour Saturday afternoon.

High temperatures Friday and Saturday will be in the lower 20s, while Saturday is expected to see highs in the teens, Seeley said.

Illinois State Police are cautioning drivers in the Chicago area that whiteout conditions are possible. Drivers should beware of black ice and carry emergency supplies in their vehicles.

The Illinois Tollway deployed its full fleet of 182 snow plows Friday night and will have more than 200 staff and supervisors available per shift to try to keep roadways clear, according to a release issued by the tollway.

The city's department of Streets and Sanitation also deployed its entire fleet of more than 280 plows and salt spreaders to main streets and Lake Shore Drive Friday night, according to department spokeswoman Mary Poppe. The fleet will focus on arterial streets at first and will be deployed to side and residential streets once the snow has stopped and main streets are clear.

Snowfall Thursday brought January's total to 33.5 inches, meteorologists said. That makes it the third-snowiest month recorded since officials started keeping track in 1884.

January 1918 still holds the top spot with 42.5 inches of snow, while January 1979 comes in second with 40.4 inches, the weather service said. Thursday's snowfall pushed this month's total just slightly above December 1951, which saw 33.3 inches.

On the heels of Thursday's storm, airlines at O'Hare International Airport canceled 100 flights as of Friday afternoon and flights are running about 20 minutes behind schedule, according to the city Department of Aviation. About 15 flights have been canceled at Midway, and planes are being delayed about 30 minutes.

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