Winter storm warning ends in suburbs after travel headaches

 
 
Updated 2/25/2016 6:03 AM
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  • Commuters step off an outbound Metra train Wednesday as snow begins to fall in Arlington Heightsy.

      Commuters step off an outbound Metra train Wednesday as snow begins to fall in Arlington Heightsy. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Crossing guard Brian Fairbairn stops traffic in a light snow Wednesday as Hawthorn District 73 schools let out during the snowfall in Vernon Hills.

      Crossing guard Brian Fairbairn stops traffic in a light snow Wednesday as Hawthorn District 73 schools let out during the snowfall in Vernon Hills. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Erin Freed walks her son, Mason, 5, home after picking him up from the bus during Wednesday's snowfall in Mundelein.

      Erin Freed walks her son, Mason, 5, home after picking him up from the bus during Wednesday's snowfall in Mundelein. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Snow partially obscures the Hoffman Estates welcome sign at the intersection of Roselle and Golf roads as traffic moves at a steady pace at the start of the evening rush Wednesday.

      Snow partially obscures the Hoffman Estates welcome sign at the intersection of Roselle and Golf roads as traffic moves at a steady pace at the start of the evening rush Wednesday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • North Central College student Lexi Badon walks with her head down against the blowing snow on her way to the library Wednesday afternoon in Naperville.

      North Central College student Lexi Badon walks with her head down against the blowing snow on her way to the library Wednesday afternoon in Naperville. Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Barb Kocinski and her dog, Buddy, are barely visible as they take a walk in Seven Gables Park during Wednesday's snow in Wheaton.

      Barb Kocinski and her dog, Buddy, are barely visible as they take a walk in Seven Gables Park during Wednesday's snow in Wheaton. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

Wind-whipped snow created whiteout conditions Wednesday and brought travel by plane, car and train to a slow crawl.

More than 1,100 flights were canceled at O'Hare and Midway airports Wednesday, and Southwest Airlines canceled all of its flights into and out of Chicago.

Metra trains were running six to 20 minutes behind schedule Wednesday afternoon, and evening rush-hour travel times were high in some areas.

Southwest said it planned to resume its normal schedule between 5 and 6 a.m. Thursday, ABC 7 Chicago reported. It was among the airlines offering travel waivers to change flights as various Midwest cities were hit hard by the storm, including Detroit and Grand Rapids in Michigan, Indianapolis and St. Louis.

United, American Airlines, JetBlue, Virgin America, Frontier Airlines and Delta Air Lines also were offering waivers, ABC 7 reported.

It's all because of a winter storm warning and winter storm advisory issued by the National Weather Service. The warning for Cook and Will counties was to last to 4 a.m. Thursday, but it was downgraded to an advisory, while the advisory for DuPage, Kendall and Grundy counties originally set to last until 4 a.m. Thursday has been ended early.

ABC 7 Chicago reported that 1.4 inches of snow fell at O'Hare by 5 p.m. and 1.7 inches at Midway. Much more snow was falling in northwest Indiana.

The entire Chicago area was dealing with high winds, gusting at 40 to 50 miles per hour at times, bringing visibility to almost zero, with the strongest winds near the Lake Michigan shore, the National Weather Service reported.

The winds of 15 to 20 mph are expected to continue through the night. Snow and winds are expected to subside Thursday, with temperatures in the 30s.

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