It's late, but it's here.
The snow has begun falling as the season's largest snowstorm descends upon the Chicago area.
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A winter storm warning is in effect now until midnight Wednesday, with The National Weather Service predicting a total of five to 10 inches of snow falling across the suburbs. However, AccuWeather.com meteorologists predict higher snowfall totals -- up to 12 inches -- before the storm tapers off around midnight.
Snow is expected to increase in intensity during the afternoon today, with gusty winds kicking up to 30 mph and possibly causing white-out conditions. Up to 1- to 2-inches of snow per hour is expected to fall per hour during the heaviest times.
The storm canceled classes in most suburban schools today, along with afternoon and evening activities. As of 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, more than 1,000 flights had been canceled at O'Hare and Midway airports.
The Emergency Closing Center website, www.emergencyclosingcenter.com, showed the word "CLOSED" down most of a list of Chicago-area schools and other institutions. ABC 7 Chicago's website, http://abclocal.go.com/wls/feature?section=news/education/closures&id=6559083, also lists closings.
A tornado drill scheduled throughout the state even had to be canceled. The statewide test tornado drill originally scheduled for Tuesday will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday instead. The drill is being done in all 102 counties in the state to test communication equipment in conjunction with Illinois Severe Weather Preparedness Week.
Among the other closings:
• The South Barrington Park District is closed.
• Tonight's performance by The Doo Wop Project at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles has been postponed until a Sunday in May. Information on the new show will be sent out once the date is confirmed.
• The Montessori Children's House in North Barrington will be closed.
• The Lewis University campus in Oak Brook won't open until 10 a.m.
• The Lake Forest Graduate School of Management campus in Schaumburg will be closing early, 4 p.m.
• "Monarch ... Bringing Back America's Most Beloved Butterfly" program scheduled by the Lake-to-Prairie chapter of Wild Ones tonight at the College of Lake County has been canceled.
• The Elburn tree board has rescheduled its March 5 meeting to 7 p.m. March 12.
• The Glen Ellyn Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours at DuPage Family Eyecare Tuesday has been canceled and will be rescheduled at a later date.
• A Lake County Board community forum scheduled tonight at Antioch Township (1625 Deep Lake Road, Lake Villa) has been rescheduled to Monday, March 11. The county board is holding these community forums to obtain input into its long-term strategic plan.
• Garbage pickup will start a half-hour earlier today in Sugar Grove, at 5:30 a.m., at the request of Waste Management.
• Grayslake and Bartlett village board meetings scheduled for tonight have been canceled.
• The Bartlett Depot Museum, 100 W. Railroad Ave., will be closed today.
• The Clare Woods Academy, affiliated with the Bartlett Learning Center, will be closed.
• School District 129's Freshman Orientation and the A+ Foundation spaghetti dinner have been postponed until April 3.
• Congregation Beth Judea in Long Grove and Beth Tikvah in Hoffman Estates: Afternoon and evening activities are canceled.
• Both locations of the Countryside Association based in Palatine will be closed to client activity, though the staff is to report at 8 a.m.
• HMX, LLC is closed.
• JST Corporation in Waukegan is open for those who can make it.
• Lakeside Center in Waukegan is closed to clients, but employees are to report by 8 a.m.
• Girl Scouts Vernon Hills Gathering Place is closed.
• Gymboree Play and Music Learning Center in Vernon Hills is closed.
• DuPage Montessori Schools in Naperville and Wheaton are closing early at 3 p.m.