Winter storm warning: Up to 10 inches by Saturday evening
All the city’s snow plows and salt spreaders are working on main streets and Lake Shore Drive as a winter storm warning remains in effect until 6 p.m., predicting the Chicago Area may get up to 10 inches by Saturday evening.
The warning went into effect at 9 p.m. tonight. The snow has been spreading from the southwest this evening and, by late morning Saturday, will be falling an inch an hour in some places. As much as 6 to 10 inches are expected by the time the storm moves out Saturday evening.
“Snow-covered roads and low visibilities will make travel hazardous from late this evening through early Saturday evening,” the weather service said in the warning.
The city’s entire fleet of more than 280 snow plows and salt spreaders was deployed to the main streets and Lake Shore Drive, the city’s Department of Streets and Sanitation said in a release late Friday.
The plows are focusing on salting and plowing arterial streets to make sure they are safe and clear. Snow plows will be deployed to side and residential streets once main routes are clear and the snow has stopped, according to the department.
AccuWeather, the City’s weather service, predicts a sustained snow fall with snow accumulation into Saturday and the department is continuing to monitor weather conditions and will deploy additional snow removal resources as needed.
By 9 p.m. Friday, flurries were falling at Midway Airport, with light snow in Aurora and Morris. Starting around 4 p.m., snow was falling in south suburban Lansing, as well as in Kankakee and other cities just outside the Chicago area, according to the weather service.
As of about 3:30 p.m., more than 100 flights had been cancelled at O’Hare International Airport, and about 15 had been cancelled at Midway, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation, which will not update cancellation information for the city’s airports again until Saturday.
This month is already in the book as the third snowiest January in Chicago since snowfall records started being kept in 1884. As of Thursday evening, 33.5 inches of snow were recorded at O’Hare International Airport. That’s just behind January 1918, with 42.5 inches, and January 1979, with 40.4 inches, according to the weather service.
The 33.5 inches we’ve gotten this month is nearly an average winter’s snowfall.
Here is how we compare to other cities this month: Minneapolis, 22.7 inches, Green Bay, 17 inches, Bismarck, 5.8 inches, Denver, 14 inches.
After the latest snow deluge, it will get really cold again.
Temperatures will drop on Sunday, with the high around 15 and the low between minus 3 and minus 5. Monday’s high will be around 20.