Chicago weather radar: winter storm warning, advisory in effect as 2 flurries of snow could dump more than 10 inches in parts of the area
A winter storm warning prompted Governor JB Pritzker to issue a disaster declaration for the state ahead of the snowfall on Tuesday.
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Heavy snowfall and hazardous travel conditions are possible through Thursday this week as the latest winter storm targets the Chicago area.
A Winter storm warning is in effect until 6 p.m. Wednesday for DuPage, Kendall, central Cook, eastern Will, Grundy, LaSalle, northern Will and southern Cook counties in Illinois.
A Winter storm warning is in effect until 6 p.m. Thursday for Ford, Iroquois, Kankakee and Livingston counties in Illinois and La Porte, Benton, Jasper, Lake, Newton and Porter counties in Indiana.
A winter weather advisory is in effect until 6 p.m. Wednesday for DeKalb, Kane, Lee and northern Cook counties in Illinois. This advisory expires at 3 p.m. for Lake County, Illinois.
WATCH: ABC7 AccuWeather 7-Day Full Forecast
Pritzker’s proclamation activates about 130 members of the Illinois National Guard to ensure that all state resources are available to deal with blizzard conditions expected in the coming days, according to a statement.
“I authorize a disaster proclamation for winter storm Landon, effective immediately, to support local government disaster response and recovery operations whenever necessary,” Pritzker said. “On the ground, all state assets are ready to help. I encourage everyone to do what you can to stay safe: listen to local authorities to keep you updated on the latest conditions in your community and make sure your home has the essentials.”
WATCH: Governor Pritzker issues disaster declaration
ABC7 Chicago meteorologist Larry Mowry said there will be two snow waves, which can only be distinguished by snow intensity. It is also likely that there will be a sharp break between areas that receive only a light dusting of snow and areas that receive a lot more.
The snow started in the area Tuesday evening and is expected to continue through Wednesday afternoon. A second wave of snow is expected from Wednesday evening to Thursday.
By 3 a.m., Naperville had 2 inches, Romeoville had 3.4 and Homer Glen had 3.3.
WATCH: Chicago snow makes roads slippery for morning commutes
In southwestern and southern suburbs and northwestern Indiana, the snow started in the evening and is expected to continue through Thursday, although the intensity is expected to decrease and then increase again.
Indiana State Police Sgt. Road conditions in Glen Fifield will continue to deteriorate. A tractor-trailer was caught on Interstate 80/94 westbound near Indianapolis Boulevard around 5 a.m. causing delays.
WATCH: Indiana State Police ask drivers to reconsider trip amid snowstorm
Fifield said hundreds of plows are across Indiana doing their best.
He said it was important to reconsider travel in the area.
City dwellers can expect to wake Wednesday morning to a few inches of snow on the ground by 7:30 a.m., while southern regions are more likely to wake up to 5 to 6 inches, Mowry said.
The first wave of winter precipitation began as rain on Tuesday afternoon. It turned to snow when the cold air arrived, Mowry said. This appears to be the heaviest snowfall period, with snowfall of up to an inch per hour, and will continue until early afternoon Wednesday, likely from 4 a.m. to noon .
The Chicago Streets and Sanitation Department activated 211 salt spreaders Tuesday night, focusing on arterial roads and Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable Lake Shore Drive.
Visit www.chicagoshovels.org to see where the plows are in real time.
Weather can also affect staff and wait times for CTA customers. Visit www.transitchicago.com/alerts for service alerts and real-time updates.
Delays at Midway and O’Hare airports were less than 15 minutes early Wednesday, but nearly 300 flights were canceled at O’Hare and 78 at Midway.
Snow totals by Wednesday afternoon could reach 10 inches in far southern suburbs, with 3 to 6 inches possible in the city and lighter amounts of just 1 to 3 inches for northern suburbs.
WATCH: Snow piles up in southern suburbs
Light snow will continue intermittently through Wednesday evening, Mowry said. A pause in the heaviest snowfall rates may occur during the day Wednesday before the second wave arrives Wednesday evening through Thursday.
SEE ALSO | 4 winter storm tracks that can bring heavy snow to Chicago
The latest models show that the second wave of snow is heading further south, which means there could be lighter snow totals than the first wave. Although there is still a possibility of several inches for areas southeast of Chicago, lighter accumulations are expected across the city.
But, lake-effect snow is possible Wednesday through Thursday, meteorologist Cheryl Scott said.
Heavy snow could bring dangerous morning commutes to the Chicago area on Wednesday and Thursday, though Mowry said the storm will really wreak havoc in central Illinois and north-central Indiana.
Illinois State Police said roads in the southern part of the state had already started to deteriorate around 5 a.m. MPs had responded to numerous accidents, as well as cars sliding off the roads. Road conditions in Logan County are particularly slippery and dangerous.
Mowry also noted that this snow will be heavier wet snow than the lake effect powder snow last week.
The amount of snow falling overnight and temperatures dipping from the balmy mid-40s to the 20s mean the roads will not only be covered in slush, they are also at risk of becoming slippery and icy.
Morning commuters are warned to allow extra time if they need to drive and to be alert for both road slipperiness and possible poor visibility as heavy snow falls regularly. Anyone who can work from home is encouraged by the authorities.
AAA urged staying home if possible, but if they need to get out to have at least a half tank of gas, reduce speed significantly and avoid closed roads.
If you get stuck, stay in the vehicle with the engine off. Other tips include avoiding driving on shoulders or medians, providing more charging stops for electric vehicles, carrying an emergency kit and driving at a safe speed.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is also warning residents to stay safe while staying warm.
WATCH: CPSC gives advice on staying safe while staying warm
Be careful with space heaters, which are involved in around 1,700 fires, resulting in 80 deaths per year. Keep flammable materials away, plug space heaters into a wall outlet, and monitor the temperature.
Portable generators can pose a carbon monoxide risk – users should only run them outdoors, at least 20 feet from the house. Direct the generator exhaust away from the house and any other buildings that someone might enter, and look for a generator that automatically shuts off when it senses high levels of carbon monoxide.
Working smoke alarms are also important.
Heavy lake effect snow hit the Chicago area Friday morningspilling several centimeters of accumulation and creating hazardous travel conditions.
Regions along the North Shore were particularly affected, with Wilmette, Skokie and Evanston being pounded with more than 9 inches of snow. In the city, Midway and Humboldt Park saw over 7 inches.
Cook County is closing its county-run COVID vaccination sites on Wednesday due to snow, and the City of Chicago canceled at-home vaccination appointments for Wednesday and Thursday. All appointments will be rescheduled, the city said.
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