CHICAGO — Over 1,000 flights were canceled Saturday as a winter storm hit the area bringing heavy winds, snow and rain.
A Winter Storm Warning is in effect until 3 p.m. Sunday for McHenry and DeKalb counties. Freezing rain hit the Chicago area overnight Saturday into the morning. Forecasters are predicting as much as seven inches of snow with the most of it falling north of the city.
Slick and hazardous travel conditions should persist during the day and then intensify late this afternoon and evening as accumulating snow spreads west-east across the area.
Strong north to northeast winds gusting 45 to 50 mph will continue to build 15 to 20-foot waves along the Illinois and Indiana Lake Michigan shoreline causing considerable erosion and flooding at the lakefront — stay away from these areas, if at all possible.
Snowfall totals will likely range from 6-inches along the Illinois-Wisconsin state line, gradually tapering to 1 to 2-inches in northwest Indiana and in Illinois south of Chicago and Interstate-80.
O'Hare International Chicago Airport canceled over 1,000 flights and about 60 more were canceled at Midway International Airport. For the latest on flights, visit flychicago.com.
Most airlines are waiving change fees for people, as long as the bought their tickets before Thursday and are traveling over the weekend. Check with your airline on the rules to avoid change fees.
A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for northern Illinois and the Chicago area starting early Saturday morning.
A Lakeshore Flood Warning has been issued Saturday at 12 a.m. until Sunday at 6 a.m. for green counties (see map below.) NNE winds gusting 40-50 mph build waves 12-18' occasionally up to 23'. Lakeshore flooding could cause significant beach/shoreline erosion. Structures along shore may be damaged.
The Chicago Park District has closed part of the lakefront trail to walkers, bikers and runners due to high waves and slippery conditions. The trail is closed from just south of Fullerton to Ohio ahead of the approaching winter weather.
A Flood Watch in also in effect until 6 p.m. Saturday for green counties (see map in tweet below.)
IDOT reports they have plans in place for when the rain and snow start with 1,800 trucks and other equipment statewide on standby to treat roads or respond to flooding situations.