Story Summary

March Winter Storm

The National Weather Service is predicting seven to 10 inches in the Chicago region by Tuesday night.

For the latest weather updates, go to ChicagoWeatherCenter.com

Story Timeline
Previous Next
This story has 10 updates

Office of Emergency Management Communications holds a news conference to discuss weather arrangements.

Snow has arrived in the Chicago area but the heaviest coming Tuesday afternoon.

This March storm could dump as much as 10 inches.

The Winter Storm Warning is now in effect from 9 am to midnight tonight. Paul Konrad has the latest from inside WGN’s Chicago Weather Center.

The National Weather Service’s Winter Storm Warning is now in effect for all of northeast Illinois until midnight.

Snow, with a possibility of a wintry mix at the start, will move into the region during the morning hours Tuesday. The snow is expected to increase across Chicagoland during the late morning and afternoon hours.

Snowfall rates of 1-1.5” per hour are possible making is difficult for snow removal crews to keep up.

The afternoon commute could be quite treacherous as heavy snow will remain possible into the evening hours.

Increasing north winds could also cause blowing and drifting snow.

The winter storm is forecast to die down tonight, but not before it leaves a blanket of heavy and wet snow in its wake.  Snowfall accumulations of 4-8” are possible with locally higher amounts.

FOR THE LATEST WEATHER UPDATES GO TO WGN’s Chicago Weather Center

Here are some of the latest snowfall totals as of 9 a.m.:

Location             New snow (inches)

DeKalb                 2.0

St. Charles           1.5

Arlington Hts     1.2

Elburn                   1.5

The Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation Snow Command has deployed its full feet of 284 plows onto Chicago’s main routes and Lake Shore Drive.  The trucks will work to first salt and clear the city’s main streets, and then focus efforts on residential streets.

The City encourages motorists to drive according to conditions and to be cautious on the road.

As for air travel, hundreds of flights have already been cancelled at O’Hare and Midway Airports. Be sure to check with your airline’s website to see if it’s cancelled.

CHECK OUT OUR STORY ON ALL THINGS TRAVEL-RELATED HERE.

 

As snow begins to fall in Chicago, a giant salt pile at Grand and Rockwell gets distributed to trucks ready to take to the streets.

Weather
03/05/13

Weather on the 1s

Chicago’s morning weather forecast

The Winter Storm Warning is now in effect from 9 am to midnight tonight. Paul Konrad has the latest from inside WGN’s Chicago Weather Center.

The Winter Storm Warning is now in effect from 9 am to midnight tonight. Paul Konrad has the latest from inside WGN’s Chicago Weather Center.

By Patrick Svitek, Mitch Smith and Adam Sege Tribune reporters

According to the latest forecasts, snow might not start piling up in Chicago until midday, but make no mistake: The heavy stuff is on its way.

Forecasters are predicting 4 to 8 inches will fall on the Chicago area by tonight, with 10 inches possible in some areas, according to the National Weather Service. An inch or more per hour is expected at the height of the storm this afternoon and evening.

Light snow has already started to fall in parts of the city, bringing with it the potential for a slick drive to work. Snow is now expected to begin accumulating at the tail end of the morning rush hour, said Ben Deubelbeiss, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Romeoville.

“It’ll probably start to get bad around 10,” he said.

After that, the snowfall will be intense at times, with snow falling at rates of up to an inch and a half per hour. At rates that high, it can be very difficult for snowplows to keep up.

In preparation for the storm, the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation dispatched its fleet of more than 280 trucks early this morning to begin salting and clearing the city’s main streets. Heavy winds expected later in the day, however, could complicate the already difficult task facing snow removal crews.

Crews also removed median barriers on Lake Shore Drive, just north of Oak Street, following storm preparation protocol.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for the region that will remain in effect through midnight.

Tuesday’s snow totals could be just enough to turn around an otherwise dry winter. The weather service tallied only 3 1/2 inches at O’Hare International Airport through the end of January.

Amy Seeley, another meteorologist in Romeoville, said it’s unlikely the maximum amount would fall at O’Hare, where the weather service takes official measurements. But if it did, the 10 inches would bump this winter’s snowfall a tenth of an inch above the season-to-date average. “It would put us right there,” Seeley said, noting she’s still expecting closer to 7 or 8 inches at O’Hare.

The storm could also be the biggest single-day snowfall in March in more than a decade and produce nearly double the month’s usual 5.6 inches, according to the weather service. A 10-inch snowfall would be the area’s largest since 2011.

The potential totals have weather watchers scratching their heads after all but declaring this winter a lost cause for normal snowfall.

“To even have a chance to catch up to the seasonal average, it would be one of the more impressive feats in the snowfall department around here,” Castro said.

Chicago and Illinois’ snow movers aren’t sweating the late-winter powder. Sheahan said her department still has most of its 285,000 tons of salt on hand. The state still has plenty of salt left over from last winter and is in “pretty good shape” heading into the storm, said Mike Claffey, spokesman for the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Winds could gust up to 20 mph on Tuesday, but the thermometer isn’t expected to drop much below freezing. An overnight low of 28 on Wednesday is the coldest temperature in the weather service’s seven-day forecast.

Blizzard and winter storm warnings were in effect for parts of Montana, the Dakotas and the upper Midwest, National Weather Service forecaster Bruce Sullivan said.

The storm was expected to dump 4 to 8 inches of snow from North Dakota to northern Iowa and Illinois. Heavier amounts of up to a foot of snow are possible in the upper Midwest and some areas could see freezing rain, leading to hazardous travel conditions, forecasters said. Temperatures in the 20s and 30s were expected.

The storm was forecast to move east, reaching the Ohio Valley, the mid-Atlantic states and the Washington area on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC

The Chicago area prepares for 4th significant snow in a month-this one, in all probability, the season’s biggest in the city and across the south suburbs.

While it is to be snowing Tuesday morning, it’s the mid and late-morning, midday and evening rush hour into the evening hours which, given the strong winds and heavy rate of snowfall predicted, are likely to see this storm’s worst conditions here.

Healthy snowfall expected in this system in the northern suburbs, but folks there have seen two 8 to 12″ snows already this season. This one may fall in a comparable accumulation range.

Snow, sleet blanket Chicago and surrounding area6-12″ accumulations are forecast-especially Tuesday into Tuesday night.

In anticipation that the snow will impact air travel, airlines like  Southwest, United and American Airlines are offering ticket holders scheduled to fly out Tuesday the opportunity to reschedule their flights.

Illinois State Police have issued snow travel advisories and are urging motorists to plan ahead and take necessary precautions while traveling on interstates and state roads. When crashes occur during extreme weather, Illinois State Police say drivers should exchange insurance to keep he roads clear, unless medical attention is required.  Motorists can file crash reports at the nearest ISP District within 10 days.

For updates on forecast and radar images, visit The Chicago Weather Center.

Chicago Weather Center staff member Steve Kahn contributed to this report.

Advertisement