Storm update: Snowfall is Chicago area's biggest in a couple years
The snowfall that began Monday night and continued through Tuesday was the biggest to hit the Chicago area in nearly two years, meteorologists confirmed.
An estimated 5.8 inches of snow had fallen at O'Hare International Airport -- the official measuring site for the region -- as of noon Tuesday, the National Weather Service reported. That's the largest amount recorded there since 5.4 inches of snow fell on April 14, 2019.
The worst of the storm passed through the area by noon, although more snow was expected to fall in communities closer to Lake Michigan during the afternoon.
Most suburbs received between 2 inches and 4 inches of snow overnight, leaving snow on roads for the morning commute. Snowfall lightened as the morning wore on.
As often is the case, snowfall measurements varied from town to town. According to the weather service:
• 6.7 inches of snow were reported in Palatine by late morning.
• 6.8 inches were reported in Schaumburg.
• 6.1 inches of snow were reported about noon in Libertyville.
• 5.9 inches were reported in Glenview.
The storm's impact on Chicago's two biggest airports wasn't terrible.
As of Tuesday afternoon, 40 flights into or out of O'Hare and 31 into or out of Chicago Midway International Airport had been canceled, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation website. Average delays were about 18 minutes at O'Hare and less than 15 minutes at Midway.
This was the first significant snowfall that coincided with a rush hour commute during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With fewer people driving to and from work or school because of the pandemic, some plow drivers were able to get through their routes Tuesday a bit easier than usual.
That was the case in Lake County, where 26 trucks have been plowing since Monday afternoon, clearing more than 850 miles of roadway, said Kevin Kerrigan, the engineer of maintenance for the county's transportation division.
"The plow operators are able to get through their routes more efficiently with fewer vehicles on the road," Kerrigan said.
More snow is possible this weekend, the weather service tweeted, with some meteorologists predicting snow on Saturday night and Sunday.