Story Summary

Snowy, chilly start to 2014

Chicago’s long duration snow event is far from over as Wednesday and the first full day of 2014 dawn.

History tells us it’s rare for measurable snow to fall on both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. That’s happened in only 10 of the past 128 years since official snow records began here during the winter of 1884-85.

Story Timeline
Previous Next
This story has 10 updates

More snow and cold is on the way, but there is something to look forward to.

Two-and-a-half inches of snow fell in Chicago Saturday.

Southern Cook County could see up to three more inches of Sunday morning.

Temperatures are expected to dip below zero Sunday night.

But then, there are 30 degree temps in the forecast for later this week.

LATEST UPDATES GO TO CHICAGO WEATHER CENTER

Metra is still reeling from the major winter storm that dumped several inches of snow and caused temperatures to plunge.

In some areas–trains came to a halt while other busy routes experienced long delays–and it’s not over yet.

It’s been tough on commuters who rely on Metra to get them around Chicago and the surrounding suburbs.

Metra officials say if snow and ice jam just one of the 3,000 train switches on their tracks it can lead to delays of 15 minutes or more on dozens of trains. With 1100 miles of tracks and 700 trains running daily, Metra spokesperson Meg Reilly and track supervisor Larry Powell say there is a domino effect.

When the snowfall is as heavy and temperatures are as low as what we experienced on Monday and Tuesday, Metra officials say the process of clearing switches must be repeated over and over again.

Airlines are trying to get back on schedule today in the wake of heavy snowfalls and a deep freeze that closed airports from Chicago to the East Coast.

Cancellations at O’Hare are down considerably from their peak earlier this week, when more than 1,600 flights were scratched, stranding thousands of passengers.

This morning, around 180 flights were canceled and another 125 were experiencing delays.

WGN’s Lourdes Duarte found perhaps the most heart wrenching delay situation Tuesday night.

A couple from Buffalo whose 29-year-old son died in his sleep Saturday have been trying to get home since Sunday.

They spent the last two nights in terminal 3, checking their phone apps for available seats, but found none.

They are on standby for a flight at 2 p.m. this afternoon.

Day 2 of the deep freeze and  roads are still presenting challenges and leaving some drivers on the side of the road until help arrives.

Rudolph Dehoyos is an Illinois Dept of Transportation Minute Man and drives those familiar bright yellow trucks up and down the Cook County Expressways to help out motorists for free when they  need him. At times. Dehoyas and his crews are often called heroes. They’ve seen it all.

“What’s strange in the winter times is that some cars overheat,” he says.  “If you’ve got an old battery, it’s not going be able to keep up and it will stall in the lane of traffic.

The Minute Men were earning their paychecks this morning. Crash after crash, black ice early and we’re told, black ice again later tonight when even improving temperatures drop once more.

District Chicago handled 64 confirmed crash reports during the day.  And Statewide, as of this morning,  364 motorists assists and 90 crashes.

Yet some drivers say it is getting better.

Minutemen are listening to scanners and responding to calls. What should a motorist do? Dial *999 and they will be there in, well, a minute–more or less.  And for free.

The temperatures may slowly be rising but the health risks are still there as hospitals in the area are still reporting weather related injuries.
Dr. Bechara Choucair is the commissioner of the Chicago Dept of Public Health, spoke with WGN News.

Local News
01/07/14

Breath-taking chill courtesy of “Polar Vortex”

Much of the nation is in a deep freeze thanks to a distorted polar vortex.

The polar vortex is a circulation of strong, upper-level winds that normally surround the North pole.

When the vortex becomes distorted, it sends frigid air farther south than normal.

On rare occasions it shifts south into Canada and in even rarer moments, it travels thousands more miles south into the United States.

This occurs usually around one time every 10 to 15 years.

The results are blizzard conditions in places like Indiana, Michigan and New York, record lows and dangerous wind chills in Chicago and an ice covered Lake Michigan.

It’s another day of road closures in Northwest Indiana.

I-65 is still closed, between Merrillville and Lafayette, in both directions.

Parts of the highway are blocked by barricades or by drifting snow.

Officials are shutting off access because of white out conditions and ice on the roads.

Traffic has been light as drivers try to get around safely.

Indiana’s governor declared a State of Emergency in 29 counties Monday.

Tens of thousands of homes are without power.

More than 250 members of the Indiana National Guard have been helping with medical transfers and stranded drivers.

WEATHER UPDATES GO TO CHICAGO WEATHER CENTER

Weather
01/06/14

End of brutal cold in sight

UPDATES AT WEATHER CENTER BLOG

UPDATED LIST OF EMERGENCY CLOSINGS

LIST OF COOK COUNTY WARMING CENTERS

The governor of Indiana declared a state of emergency in dozens of counties today.

Hazardous conditions caused a number of problems for those on the road.

https://twitter.com/INDOTNorthwest/status/420336166139740160https://twitter.com/INDOTNorthwest/status/420336828386783234

UPDATES AT WEATHER CENTER BLOG

UPDATED LIST OF EMERGENCY CLOSINGS

LIST OF COOK COUNTY WARMING CENTERS

Advertisement