CHICAGO — While many thought the arrival of Spring meant the snow was gone for good, a late-season storm is winding down after bringing heavy, wet snow to the Chicago area Sunday.
Temperatures dropped to near 32 degrees and snowfall rates grew to two inches per hour in some places. At times, the heavy snow reduced visibility to fractions of a mile. Areas north and west of the city were hit hardest with as much as four to eight inches of snow, tapering off to one to three inches south and east of Chicago into northwest Indiana.
As of 7:30 p.m. Sunday, there were over 1,000 total flights canceled at O'Hare, including 524 departures, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation. Over 800 flights also faced delays of about 30 minutes on average. A total of 119 flights were canceled at Midway.
Around the noon hour, heavy snow made for slick roads in many places. In Kane County near South Elgin and Campton Hills, six inches of snow, whiteout conditions and slippery roads put cars in ditches along I-90, leaving passengers and drivers stranded. In the city, winds whipped as the snow changed to a hard rain that made streets and sidewalks slushy.
Naperville resident Nisha Patel said she had just washed and packed away all her family’s winter gear, and had to dig it back out.
"I was ready to put my flowers out, walking around in flip flops, so this just seems very wrong," Patel said.
Low pressure moving northeast through Indiana and Ohio, along with an upper-air disturbance tracking across from the west, triggered the snow. A Winter Weather Advisory was in effect for areas north and west of Chicago until 3 p.m., but has since expired, and the snow is expected to wind down into the evening.
Snowfall totals at O'Hare through 1 p.m. reached three inches, twice the total snowfall in all of December and March combined. It's only the second time in recorded history that April has produced more snow than March and the previous December. The last time it happened was in 1937-38.
Any snow accumulations will be short-lived, and should be gone within the next 12 to 18 hours as temperatures are expected to rise to around 50 degrees on Monday and well into the 60s on Tuesday.
Snowfall totals through 3:30 p.m.
- Huntley 7.5 inches
- Riverwoods 4.5 inches
- Arlington Heights 5.5 inches
- Oak Park 3.5 inches
- St. Charles 8.3 inches
- Ottawa 5.5 inches
- Racine 6.1 WI inches
- O'Hare (as of 1:30 p.m.): 3.0 inches New record for April 14- old record 2.2 inches in 1980
- Midway Airport (as of 1:30 p.m.): 3.0 inches, new record for April 14- old record 2.3 inches in 1980