Story Summary

First snowfall of the season

Chicago and the surrounding area saw it’s first snowfall of the season on Sunday Dec 8th.

Update on the forecast at Chicago Weather Center.

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Footage, captured by a Wisconsin Dept of Transportation traffic camera, shows how a multiple-vehicle crash unfolded during Sunday’s winter weather.
This was the crash on US 41/45 in Germantown, which is just northwest of Milwaukee.

More than 50 cars and trucks were involved.

Police in Wisconsin say about a dozen people were injured in this crash.


Chicago’s main and residential streets are all plowed now, after some three inches of snow fell across the region Sunday night.

Now Chicagoans can turn their concern to the cold and the -10 degree wind chill expected during tonight’s Monday Night Football match-up between the Bears and the Cowboys at Soldier Field.

Drivers had to put in a little extra effort to get to work this morning, cleaning off vehicles parked outside during the snow.

The National Weather Service recorded 3.1 inches of snowfall at O’Hare International Airport on Sunday, enough to cancel more than 140 flights and make a mess of area roads.

In Chicago, the city deployed 287 snowplows and cleared more than 9,000 lane miles, according to Commissioner Charles Williams of the Department of Streets and Sanitation.

261 plow-and-salt-spreader trucks cleared residential streets this morning, along with an additional 26 4×4 snowplows.

While road conditions were better this morning than Sunday night, “[M]otorists should continue to be cautious throughout the day,” Williams said in a statement released early this morning.

Illinois State Police patrolling local expressways responded to more than a dozen spinouts and minor crashes, Trooper Ivan Bukaczyk said. While none of the incidents caused serious injuries, conditions remained slick this morning and Bukaczyk warned drivers to limit their speed and leave plenty of room between vehicles.

“Give yourself adequate stopping distances,” he said. “Every time we have the first few snowfalls of the year, people have to become re-accclimated to driving in conditions that aren’t perfect.”

Snow is also expected Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

Snow and ice are impacting the roads in Chicago as crews work to clear the mess.

WGN’s Judy Wang has full details on this story.


Snow totals from across the area

Each icon superimposed on this Sun eve Doppler radar image off WeatherTap images of National Weather Service Doppler radar data from the agency’s Romeoville forecast office is an observation station reporting a snow accumulation. The snowfall’s been fluffy, low-water content snow.

1463703_10152024270801760_507625751_nObserver Robert Friend near Beach Lake, IL reports the 2.7″ of snow down in his area has fallen with a snow/water ratio of 25 to 1 compared to the 10 or 12 to 1 considered “normal” in this area. When we say 25 to 1 ratio snow, we mean snow has volume with a volume that would fluff 1″ of water into 25″ of snow. (Clearly, this weather system lacks that kind of moisture–but we ARE seeing the first significant area-snow accumulation in the 8 months since March.

Here are a number of snow accumulation measurements from across the Greater Chicago area:

4.4″ Gurnee; 4″ Elburn; 3.8″ Gages Lake; 3.5″ Antioch; 3.5″ Burlington, WI; 3″ Genoa, IL and Racine, WI; 2.8″ Kenosha and Racine, WI; 2.7 Beach Lake, IL; 2.5″ South Elgin; 2.4″ Poplar Grove and Winnebago; 2.3″ Somonauk; 2.2″ Belvidere, Northbrook, Mt. Morris and Vernon Hills; 2.1″ Beloit; 2″ Rockford and DeKalb; 1.8″ Wheaton and Roscoe, IL; 1.7″ Capron, Stickney and Downers Grove and 1″ Montgomery, Peotone and Oak Lawn, IL.

A frigid winter storm system that put Dallas in the deep freeze is hitting the East Coast on Sunday. Luckily for those people, it should be a short visit.

Snow, ice or freezing rain will fall on Washington, Philadelphia and New York City, the National Weather Service said. On Monday, temperatures will rise into the 40s and any accumulation should start to melt after the morning commute, the weather service predicts.

Folks in other parts of the country will need an extra blanket on the bed as unseasonably cold weather will continue. And some people in the Gulf Coast and Southeast states will see heavy rain.

On Sunday, temperatures were expected to reach only about 10 degrees in the northern and central Rockies, the northern Plains and the upper Midwest. Sleet and freezing rain are forecast from the Tennessee Valley to the mid-Atlantic region.

CaptureThe heaviest snow will fall across the central Appalachian Mountains, the weather service said. Some areas of the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast will see as much as 3 inches of snow.

The weather was causing delays at some of the nation’s major airports, especially for inbound flights. Arrivals to Philadelphia International Airport were backed up by an average of 100 minutes, according to the Federal Aviation Administration’s website. Kennedy airport in New York had delays of nearly one hour, as did Chicago’s O’Hare.

The Twitter account for Reagan airport in Washington said there was a temporary halt of flights as crews treated runways. It advised passengers to check with their airlines on their flight status.

All told, there were 2,459 U.S. flight cancellations on Sunday and 804 seen for Monday, according to the air travel tracking website, which tracks both mechanical and weather cancellations.

NFL fans in several outdoor stadiums had to put on extra layers.

The Pittsburgh Steelers PR team tweeted out a photo of a snow-dusted field as the team prepared to play Miami.

In Philadelphia, it was even worse as flying flakes made it difficult to see, and then blanketed the playing surface.

Parts of Texas, the upper South and the Midwest socked by the winter storm will warm up just a little bit. The weather service said the temps will rise into the high 30s and 40s, but drop below freezing again Sunday night.

How cold was it? On Saturday, Southern Methodist University offered free tickets for its football game with Central Florida but didn’t get many takers. All but a few seats in the stadium were empty.

The high temperature at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport Saturday was 26 — the coldest high temperature ever recorded there on any December 7 and the coldest December day in the area in 23 years, CNN affiliate WFAA-TV reported.

At least seven people have died in storm-related incidents, with the Texas State Patrol reporting two weather-related fatalities on Saturday but providing no details.

In Lewisville, about 25 miles north of Dallas, the driver of a pickup lost control on an icy road, spun out of control before dawn on Saturday on a road over Lake Lewisville, went over a guardrail and landed in the water. Firefighters dove into the frigid water and towed the truck to the bridge. The unidentified driver died.

A passenger was killed Thursday when a vehicle lost control and crashed into another car in Hockley County, the Texas Department of Public Safety said.

In Arkansas, a man was killed late Thursday when a tree fell on his camper in Pope County, the Department of Emergency Management said. Highway Patrol officials in Oklahoma blamed at least one death, in Muskogee, on the weather.

In New Mexico, one person died when a semi crashed near Clines Corners.

In Arizona, a Saturday night snowstorm stranded 300 vehicles along Interstate 15.

Rigs jackknifed and passenger cars slid into rigs, creating a chain-reaction accident, “resulting in this enormous backup,” Arizona Department of Public Safety Officer Bart Graves told CNN.

Authorities were forced to shut the interstate for more than 12 hours to clear the road.

“We had travelers running out of gas. They provided them food, water, and blankets,” Graves said, adding that all injuries were minor.

Winter came much earlier than usual in many sections of the nation.

Farmersburg, Indiana, recorded up to 10 inches of snow Thursday and temperatures fell into the single digits at night. “This was early for us to have this much measurable snow late in the fall, but has happened before,” Mark Ivy told CNN iReport. “It is more the cold that is unusual.”

In East Kingsford, Michigan, iReporter Jason Asselin said he’s covering up with blankets to keep out the cold. “In December, our average temperatures are in the 20s,” he said. “Currently it is zero degrees outside.”

Across the High Plains and into the Great Lakes, temperatures were expected to be 10 to 35 degrees below average. The wind chill index was predicted to drop as low as 35 to 45 degrees below zero in some areas.
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Raw: Snow falling in downtown Chicago

For more on the forecast log on to Chicago Weather Center

Roads were blocked by spunout cars and accidents and at least one fatality was reported in southeast Wisconsin, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. One major roadway affected is I-94 in Racine County — that road connects Chicago and Milwaukee and it’s going to be tough going for anyone travelling between the two cities today. Part of I-94 in Racine County is closed, the newspaper reported.

Milwaukee County coroner’s office investigator Jenni Penn reported one fatality related to the snow on I-43 in Greenfield, Wis., southwest of Milwaukee. The victim was pronounced dead on the scene near Highway 100, Penn said.

I-94 remains closed down in both directions from 7 Mile Road to Highway 20 (Washington Avenue), according to a dispatcher for the Racine County, Wis., Sheriff’s Office.

-Chicago Tribune Reporting



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Local News

Snow! 1-3″city and 2-4″ north

Snow is in the air in Chicago for the 8th time this season. Not since November 25–nearly two weeks ago– when 0.5″ fell, has there been measurable snowfall here. And, while this snow system won’t produce huge snow totals, it marks the first time much of the area will emerge from a snowfall with an accumulation on the ground. It’s likely to be the Chicago area’s biggest snow accumulation with a system in the nearly 9 months since 9.2″ fell March 12, 2013.

Amounts this time will be NOWHERE near that amount. 1 to 3″ are likely across the city tapering to around an inch south suburbs and locally up to 2-4″ north in areas adjoining the Illinois/Wisconsin.

The typical Chicago December produces 10.8″ of snow–that 28% of the “normal” FULL season 36.7″ tally at O’Hare here in Chicago (the term “normal” refers by international agreement to the smoothed average of snowfall over the most recent 30 year period examined by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, who generates these numbers. The “normals” used today cover the period from 1981 and 2010. “Normals” clearly aren’t perfect indicators of typical snowfall, but they offer a benchmark against which we are able to gauge meteorological trends).