Story Summary

February Winter Storm

More snow is on the way after the biggest snow storm of the year passed through the Chicago area.

Snowfall totals ranged from 11.7 ” in Beach Park, IL to 1.7″ in Downtown Chicago.

Check out our winter weather photo gallery here!

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Another round of snow is hitting the Chicago after the biggest snow storm of the year drops a few inches overnight.

Flakes will continue to fly Wednesday, but will not come close to matching the intensity of Tuesday’s snow as a storm system located just north of Fort Wayne, Indiana continues to weaken.

Off-and-on light snow is expected throughout the day Wednesday.  Any additional snow accumulation will be minor  — under 1″ in most Chicagoland locations.  Some northern suburbs or lake shore communities could see up to 2″ of new snow.

All warnings and advisories for northeast Illinois and Chicago have been canceled by the National Weather Service.

Snowfall totals Tuesday ranged from 11.7 ” in Beach Park, IL to 1.7″ in Downtown Chicago.

Chicago Weather Center Meteorologist Mike Hamernik contributed to this report.

Looking for Tom Skilling’s forecast? Watch it here:

By Ellen Jean Hirst, John P. Huston and Andrew R. Grimm Tribune reporters

The storm that socked the Chicago area with the season’s biggest snowfall has tapered off, but it’s not completely finished with the region.

Snow will continue falling periodically today, dropping another inch or two in the city and up to three in the northern suburbs, according to the National Weather Service.

That means the morning rush hour could be a bit messy, though it shouldn’t be nearly as bad as Tuesday evening’s commute was for motorists like Bob Reed, of Geneva. Speaking from a cellphone as he crawled west on Interstate 90, Reed blamed sloppy drivers more than sloppy roads.

“When it snows like this, it’s like there are no traffic laws at all,” Reed said. “Normally we have very aggressive drivers, but now we’ve got people going the wrong way down one-way streets, people jumping out of line to pass you.”

The northern suburbs were hit hardest by the storm, with Waukegan reporting 11 inches of snow accumulation.

By midnight, 4.8 inches had fallen at O’Hare International Airport, according to the National Weather Service. That brought the official total for the season to 18.4 inches, and February’s total to 14.9 inches.

Many city and suburban schools closed early and canceled sports games and practices. By 9 p.m., more than 500 departing flights had been canceled at O’Hare and Midway airports, with about the same number of arrivals also canceled, according to FlightStats, which gathers data from airports and airlines.

Cars and buses slid into ditches and crashed into each other on slick roads. The Illinois Tollway and Chicago’s Department of Streets and Sanitation dispatched their full fleets of snowplows and salt trucks.

Snow fell at about 2 inches an hour in some northern suburbs. Any snow Wednesday or the rest of the week won’t be nearly that intense, said meteorologist Casey Sullivan of the National Weather Service. Leaving early for the morning commute, however, won’t be a bad idea, he said.

In a winter of sparse snowfall, some welcomed the storm with enthusiasm — particularly those who stand to profit from it. James Koch, the owner of Jimbo’s Plowing Service in Tinley Park, said the snow was a gift in a winter that’s been a bust for plow truck drivers.

Koch bought a new truck and plow after the record snowfall during the 2011 Groundhog Day blizzard. Since then he has failed to realize the returns he expected on his investment, he said.

“It ain’t like what it used to be,” Koch said. “Chicago always had a good snowfall, and now we’re not getting snow until January. If you don’t get a big snow in December in this business, you’re basically playing catch-up all year.”

The snow also gave fresh life to plans for winter recreation. Gloria Morison, of Highland Park, was at a brunch Tuesday morning when she saw the first flakes fall. She said she immediately started making plans to try out a new pair of cross country skis, thinking she could go down her street before the plows came to get to the Green Bay Trail.

Chicago Transit Authority buses had a hard time navigating some roads Tuesday. A few buses got stuck near North Stockton Drive and West Dickens Avenue, police said.

“Obviously, we’re advising operators to drive with caution,” CTA spokeswoman Lambrini Lukidis said.

With snow forecast to fall periodically Wednesday and Thursday, drivers should continue to heed that advice, said Sullivan of the weather service. Even after the storm passes there could be more in store, with unrelated lake-effect snow possible Friday, he said.

“We’ll see.”

Tribune reporters Ryan Haggerty and Naomi Nix contributed.

Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC

Chicago suburbs saw the heaviest snow fall totals on Tuesday.

As of 7 p.m. these were the totals, as the snow continues to fall

Ottawa 4.0 inches

Mt. Prospect 5.5 inches

St. Charles 6.5 inches

Racine 6.1 inches

Palatine 6.0 inches

Oak Brook 4.1 inches

Harvard 6.0 inches

Rockford 3.1 inches

Gurnee 8.2 inches

Grayslake 7.5 inches

Cherry Valley 3.5 inches


Snow, sleet, rain and wind: Chicago and it’s suburbs saw it all on Tuesday and winter weather moved through the area.

By about 6:30 p.m., the weather service was reporting many areas had been hit with 5 inches or more of snow, including: 6.4 inches in Elk Grove Village; 5.9 inches in Roselle; 5.5 inches in Lake Bluff; and 5 inches in Wheaton and Woodstock.

By a little before 5:30 p.m., the weather service was reporting these snowfall accumulations: 6.4 inches in Northbrook; 5.2 inches in Streamwrood; and 4.5 inches in Winnetka.

Areas south of the city were seeing mostly lower accumulations, such as 4 inches in Park Forest and 2.5 inches in Peotone.

By around 7:30p.m., 854 flights have been canceled at O’Hare International Airport, while 484 had been delayed, according to FlightStats, which gathers data from airports and airlines. At Midway International Airport, 171 flights have been canceled, while 73 were delayed.

On the roads, spinouts have been reported on interstates 90, 94 and 55, according to the Illinois State Police.

The Illinois State Police Chicago District has instituted its emergency snow plan. In an accident where there are no injuries and the cars are driveable, the drivers should exchange information at a safe place and file accident reports with the state police within 10 days.

Chicago’s Streets and Sanitation Department has deployed its entire fleet of 284 plows. Drivers will plow the main roads, such as Lake Shore Drive, through the evening rush hour. As the snow begins to taper off, the plows will clear residential roads, said department spokeswoman Anne Sheahan.

- The Chicago Tribune reporting

Some roadways clear during snowy rush hour as WGN’s Gaynor Hall shows us

Winter Storm warnings are still in effect for Lake and McHenry counties until 6 a.m. Wednesday.  Also, Winter Weather advisories remain in effect for Cook and DuPage counties until 6 a.m. Wednesday.

Shortly before 9 p.m. light snow was falling across most orf the Chicago area with visibilities in the 1 to 3 mile range

An additional inch or two of snow is likely to fall overnight especially in areas north and west of Chicago.

The final chapter on today’s late-winter snowstorm is yet to be written, but through 9pm snowfall totals range from around 10 inches along the Wisconsin state line to 1 to 3 inches across the far southern and Indiana portions of the Metro area.


Log on to ChicagoShovels for snow clearing assistance through the city.

A primary contest is also being held for town president in Cicero, and residents will have to battle the elements to get to the polls.

At an Office of Emergency Management and Communications news conference Tuesday, Chicago Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Charles Williams said 284 are on Chicago’s streets, working to keep them clear.

snowcarsThe Chicago Department of Aviation says the wintry weather is also causing flight delays and cancellations. Airlines at O’Hare International Airport are reporting delays between 30 and 60 minutes for in/ outbound flights.  Airlines have canceled more than 330 flights at this time.

At Midway Airport, airlines report delays of 45 minutes or more and have canceled nearly 170.

The Department of Aviation encouraged anyone flying to check their airline’s website for flight status.

For the latest traffic updates, go to and follow our traffic reporters at @ChicagoDrives on Twitter.

Here are some updates from @ChicagoDrives:

RAW: Snow sweeps through Chicagoland

Snow is coming down heavily in Deerfield near the Berto Center Tuesday afternoon.