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updated: 12/21/2012 3:52 PM

Storm brings rain, little snow to suburbs

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  • Despite dire forecasts, the first snow of the season ended up just being a dusting but it was enough to lend a holiday mood to Long Grove Friday morning.

       Despite dire forecasts, the first snow of the season ended up just being a dusting but it was enough to lend a holiday mood to Long Grove Friday morning.
    Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

  • Shoppers at Deer Park Town Center kept hands in their pockets and heads down as they hustled to and from stores Friday afternoon. Temperatures in the 20s and winds gusting to 40 mph. were fitting for the first day of winter.

       Shoppers at Deer Park Town Center kept hands in their pockets and heads down as they hustled to and from stores Friday afternoon. Temperatures in the 20s and winds gusting to 40 mph. were fitting for the first day of winter.
    Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

  • Don Ernst of Pingree Grove takes a walk with his dog Indigo Friday morning at the Hampshire Forest Preserve on Allen Road. Ernst said he was hoping the overnight storm would have brought more snow, instead of all the rain that preceded it. He would have liked to do without all the wind, too, but at least the sun was shining.

       Don Ernst of Pingree Grove takes a walk with his dog Indigo Friday morning at the Hampshire Forest Preserve on Allen Road. Ernst said he was hoping the overnight storm would have brought more snow, instead of all the rain that preceded it. He would have liked to do without all the wind, too, but at least the sun was shining.
    Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer

  • "I was hoping for a little more" snow remarked Georgia Brown of St. Charles as she enjoyed a brisk walk with her dogs Billie and Seamus Friday at the Fox River Bluff Forest Preserve. "When the weather is good we come up here" says Brown who is hoping for more nice weather to make life easy for Christmas travelers. The first measurable snowfall for the Fox Valley resulted in little more than half an inch in most places.

       "I was hoping for a little more" snow remarked Georgia Brown of St. Charles as she enjoyed a brisk walk with her dogs Billie and Seamus Friday at the Fox River Bluff Forest Preserve. "When the weather is good we come up here" says Brown who is hoping for more nice weather to make life easy for Christmas travelers. The first measurable snowfall for the Fox Valley resulted in little more than half an inch in most places.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Winds were whipping flags and people around Friday morning, including those conducting last minute business at the Wheaton post office.

       Winds were whipping flags and people around Friday morning, including those conducting last minute business at the Wheaton post office.
    Scott Sanders | Staff Photographer

 
 

Winter Storm Draco didn't hit the Chicago area as hard as expected, as most suburbs experienced only a light dusting of snow on the first official day of winter.

AccuWeather senior meteorologist Tom Kines said the biggest bust was probably in the western suburbs, where snowfall didn't come close to the four to six inches that were predicted.

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But outlying counties, like Boone and Stevenson, along with neighboring states, including Iowa and Wisconsin, got anywhere from two inches to almost a foot and a half of snow.

"It was just a matter of trying to figure out where exactly that line was going to be," he said of predicting which areas would get the most snow. "If you're off by 25 or 40 miles on that line, it makes a big difference."

Measuring the small amount of snow in the Chicago area -- such as the 0.2 inches recorded at O'Hare shortly after midnight -- also isn't an easy task, Kines said.

"Snow is very tough to measure because of the wind," he said, adding that wind gusts between 50 and 60 miles per hour were recorded throughout the suburbs overnight.

Rainfall during the storm averaged around 1.35 inches in the Chicago area, Kines said.

According to the Chicago Department of Aviation, as of 10:45 a.m. Friday morning there were no significant delays at O'Hare. However, about 40 flights were canceled for various reasons. At Midway, there are about two dozen delays of 30 minutes or more, but no cancellations.

Although it may come as a disappointment for some, Kines said, the weather for the weekend and into early next week is "looking pretty good," with sunshine and temperatures in the low 30s.

"If you don't have any snow today, it's going to be tough to get some by the time Christmas rolls around," he said, joking that the only hope for a White Christmas is for strong winds to push Wisconsin's snow down to the suburbs.

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