Up to 9 inches of snow expected to fall by Sunday evening
Snow and sleet moved into the area Saturday afternoon and evening, with the heavier precipitation falling as rain downstate. But light to moderate snow is expected to continue through Sunday afternoon and evening, according to ABC 7 Chicago meteorologist Phil Schwarz.
The National Weather Service has said the suburbs could see 4 to 9 inches of snow while under a winter storm warning that started at 3 p.m. Saturday and going into Sunday. The warning is set to expire at 6 p.m. Sunday.
ABC 7 Chicago meteorologist Larry Mowry said earlier the heaviest snow was expected to fall between 6 p.m. Saturday and 2 a.m. Sunday. Snow could fall at a rate of 1 to 1.5 inches per hour during that time, with total accumulations between 4 and 7 inches in that window.
The weather service narrowed it down to the worst snow hitting the suburbs starting at 9 p.m.
O'Hare International Airport saw 93 flights canceled Saturday.
Cook, Lake, McHenry, DeKalb, DuPage, Will, Kendall, Kane, Grundy, Lasalle and Kankakee counties in Illinois, and Lake and Porter counties in Indiana are all under the winter storm warning. Other parts of Northwest Indiana are under a winter storm watch.
The heavier precipitation Saturday afternoon, mainly falling as rain, was down by Peoria and Champaign, Schwarz said.
Moderate snow is expected to continue through about 8 a.m. Sunday, but not as heavy as overnight, Mowry said. Another 1 to 2 inches is possible early Sunday morning.
The impending snow could delay the delivery of Sunday's print edition of the Daily Herald. But you can still check out the e-edition in the morning at dailyherald.com.
Between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday, light to moderate snowfall was expected, Mowry said.
People should also use caution when shoveling the heavy, wet snow, the weather service advised.
The Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois State Police are asking the public to avoid unnecessary driving during the storm because of slick roads and reduce visibility, ABC 7 reported. Travel times will be much longer than normal.
"Our snow-and-ice teams will be ready and out in force, but with this latest round of winter weather happening over the weekend, the choice of staying indoors should be strongly considered," said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. "If driving is necessary, know that conditions at times could be treacherous. Buckle up. Slow down. Put down the phone. Give our plows room to work. And build plenty of additional time into your schedule."
Statewide, IDOT has available more than 1,800 trucks and equipment to apply salt, treat roads and respond to weather emergencies. If you encounter a plow or any maintenance vehicle during your travels, please slow down, increase your driving distance and remain patient.
"If you must travel during snowy or icy weather, please remember to manually turn on your headlights, pay attention and increase following distance when driving," said Illinois State Police Director Brendan F. Kelly. "Most importantly, remember to slow down and move over for all emergency vehicles and tow trucks with their emergency lights activated on the side of the road. This also includes motorists with their hazard lights activated."