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updated: 2/21/2013 9:25 PM

Snow forecast drops slightly, but still a messy morning expected

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  • A car is stuck in a ditch after spuning out on Interstate 70 East near Lake Saint Louis, Mo., on Thursday. Blinding snow, at times accompanied by thunder and lightning, bombarded much of the nation's midsection Thursday, causing whiteout conditions, making major roadways all but impassable and shutting down schools and state legislatures. Freezing rain and sleet were forecast for southern Missouri, southern Illinois and Arkansas.

      A car is stuck in a ditch after spuning out on Interstate 70 East near Lake Saint Louis, Mo., on Thursday. Blinding snow, at times accompanied by thunder and lightning, bombarded much of the nation's midsection Thursday, causing whiteout conditions, making major roadways all but impassable and shutting down schools and state legislatures. Freezing rain and sleet were forecast for southern Missouri, southern Illinois and Arkansas.
    Associated Press

  • The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for the Chicago area due to a snowstorm blowing up from the south that is capable of dumping up to 6 inches of snow overnight.

      The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for the Chicago area due to a snowstorm blowing up from the south that is capable of dumping up to 6 inches of snow overnight.
    File photo

 
From Daily Herald news services

The National Weather service dropped its expected snowfall total for tonight and tomorrow a little bit, but a winter advisory is still in effect.

The weather service issued a winter weather advisory for the Chicago area due to the snowstorm through 6 p.m. Friday. It says the storm might drop 5 inches of snow in some spots, but more like 3 inches on average.

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Wind and ice might be the bigger problems, especially for the morning rush. And there could be a period of heavy snowfall in a short period of time.

The winter weather advisory includes Lake, McHenry, Kane, DuPage and Cook counties.

"Snow will develop late this evening and continue into the overnight hours, eventually mixing with or changing to freezing drizzle late tonight," the latest weather service bulletin says. "Intermittent freezing drizzle or light snow could linger into Friday, especially during the morning hours."

Snow could at one point fall at the rate of 1 inch per hour.

Wind gusts around 30 mph are expected with occasional gusts to 35 mph, it says, so brief white-out conditions are possible through Friday morning.

"Shoveling will also be difficult given the heavy wet snow," the weather service says.

The system left behind impressive snow accumulations out southwest, especially in western Kansas, where 17 inches fell in Hays.

Several accidents and two deaths were blamed on icy and slushy roadways; two people died in crashes Wednesday. Most schools in Kansas and Missouri, and many in neighboring states, were closed Thursday and legislatures shut down in Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Nebraska and Iowa.

National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Truett said it was "pouring snow" earlier Thursday, with it falling at a rate of 2 inches per hour or more in some spots.

Topeka, Kan., got 3 inches of snow in a 30-minute period, leaving medical center worker Jennifer Carlock to dread the drive home.

A few places in far northern Oklahoma saw between 10 to 13 inches of snow. Missouri's biggest snow total was 10 inches.

Near Edwardsville, Ill., farmer Mike Campbell called the precipitation a blessing after a bone-dry growing season in 2012. He hopes it is a good omen for the spring.

"The corn was just a disaster," Campbell said of 2012.

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