CHICAGO— A winter storm brought more than 5 inches of snow to northern Illinois as the region braced itself for record-low subzero temperatures.
Chicago’s airports canceled nearly 1,000 flights Monday morning with delays of nearly an hour at O’Hare airport. A National Weather Service warning said up to 8 inches were possible by midday.
The morning rush got the day going with a slow, sluggish start.
Drivers held their steering wheels tight as they maneuvered on snow packed roads and highways.
The snow fell so fast that plows just could not keep up. Progress was made by midday, as drivers could finally see the pavement.
Ramps and side roads are still a mess.
But Monday’s snow is just a precursor to what’s in store for Illinois starting Tuesday: forecast all-time record cold temperatures and wind chills the weather service calls “possibly life threatening.”
The weather service says the Rockford area could get colder than the record low minus 27 on Wednesday. Chicago looks a few degrees above the all-time record of minus 27 but the forecast high of minus 14 on Wednesday could beat the record coldest high of minus 11.
Wind chills could dip to 55 below.
“Today’s snowfall is just the beginning of a week of extreme weather headed our way. We are putting in place our Emergency Preparedness Plan to ensure every Illinoisan is safe during this winter storm,” tweeted Governor J.B. Pritzker.