Sun. Jun 26th, 2022
CHICAGO (WLS) — A winter storm is expected to complicate Wednesday morning’s commute, as parts of the Chicago area had already received several inches of snow early in the morning.

A winter storm warning prompted Gov. JB Pritzker to issue a disaster declaration for the state ahead of the arrival of the snow Tuesday.

Click here to see school closings, moves to e-learning in the Chicago area
Heavy snow and dangerous travel conditions are possible through Thursday this week, as the latest winter storm takes aim at the Chicago area.

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect through 6 p.m. Wednesday for DuPage, Kendall, central Cook, eastern Will, Grundy, LaSalle, northern Will and southern Cook counties in Illinois.

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect through 6 p.m. Thursday for Ford, Iroquois, Kankakee and Livingston counties in Illinois and La Porte, Benton, Jasper, Lake, Newton and Porter counties in Indiana.

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect until 6 p.m. Wednesday for DeKalb, Kane, Lee and northern Cook counties in Illinois. That advisory expires at 3 p.m. for Lake County, Illinois.

WATCH: Full ABC7 AccuWeather 7-day Forecast

Pritzker’s proclamation activates approximately 130 members of the Illinois National Guard to ensure all state resources are available to deal with the blizzard conditions expected over the coming days, a release said.

“I’m authorizing a disaster proclamation for Winter Storm Landon, effective immediately, to support local government disaster response and recovery operations wherever necessary,” Pritzker said. “On the ground, all state assets stand ready to assist. I encourage everyone to do what you can to stay safe: listen to local authorities to stay up to date with the latest conditions in your community and make sure your household has essentials.”

WATCH: Gov. Pritzker issues disaster declaration

ABC7 Chicago meteorologist Larry Mowry said there will be two waves of snow, which may only be distinguishable by the snow intensity. There’s also likely to be a sharp cutoff between areas that get just a dusting of snow and areas that get significantly more.

Snow started in the area Tuesday night and is expected to continue through to Wednesday afternoon. A second wave of snow is expected Wednesday night into Thursday.

As of about 3 a.m., Naperville had 2 inches, Romeoville had 3.4 and Homer Glen had 3.3.

WATCH: Chicago snow making roads slick for morning commute

In the southwest and south suburbs and northwest Indiana, snow began in the evening and is expected to continue until Thursday, though the intensity is likely to ebb and then increase again.

Indiana State Police Sgt. Glen Fifield road conditions will continue to deteriorate. A semitrailer was jacknifed on westbound Interstate 80/94 near Indianapolis Boulevard about 5 a.m., causing delays.

WATCH: Indiana State Police ask drivers to reconsider travel amid snowstorm

Fifield said hundreds of plows are out across Indiana, doing the best they can.

He said it’s important to reconsider travel in the area.

City dwellers can expect to wake up Wednesday morning with a couple inches of snow on the ground by 7:30 a.m., while areas to the south are more likely to wake up to 5 to 6 inches, Mowry said.
The first wave of wintry precipitation began as rain Tuesday afternoon. It turned to snow as cold air arrived, Mowry said. This appears to be the heaviest period of snowfall, with snow falling up to an inch an hour, and will continue through the early afternoon on Wednesday — likely from 4 a.m. to noon.

The Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation activated 211 salt spreaders Tuesday night, focusing on arterial routes and Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable Lake Shore Drive.

Visit www.chicagoshovels.org to see where the plows are in real-time.

Weather might also affect staff and wait times for CTA customers. Visit www.transitchicago.com/alerts for real-time service alerts and updates.

Delays at both Midway and O’Hare airports were less than 15 minutes early Wednesday, but almost 300 flights had been canceled at O’Hare and 78 at Midway.

Snow totals by Wednesday afternoon could reach 10 inches in the far south suburbs, with 3 to 6 inches possible in the city and lighter amounts of only 1 to 3 inches for the northern suburbs.

WATCH: Snow piling up in south suburbs

Light snow will continue off and on through Wednesday evening, Mowry said. A break in the heaviest snow rates may occur during the day on Wednesday before the second wave arrives Wednesday night into Thursday.

SEE ALSO | 4 winter storm tracks that can bring heavy snow to Chicago

The latest models show the second wave of snow is trending farther south, meaning there could be lighter snow totals than the first wave. While there is still the possibility for several inches for areas southeast of Chicago, lighter accumulations are expected in the city.

But, some lake-effect snow is possible Wednesday into Thursday, meteorologist Cheryl Scott said.

The heavy snow could lead to hazardous morning commutes in the Chicago area on both Wednesday and Thursday, though Mowry said the storm will really wreak havoc downstate into central Illinois and north central Indiana.

Illinois State Police said the roads downstate had already started to deteriorate as of about 5 a.m. Deputies had responded to numerous crashes, as well as cars sliding off roadways. Road conditions in Logan County are especially slick and hazardous.

Mowry also noted that this snow will be a heavier, wet snow than the powdery lake-effect snow last week.

The amount of snow falling overnight plus temperatures plunging from the balmy mid-40s to the 20s mean that roads won’t just be slushy, they’re also likely to become slick and ice over.

Morning commuters are cautioned to budget extra time should they need to drive, and to be vigilant both for road slickness and for possible poor visibility as the heavy snow falls steadily. Anyone who can work from home is being encouraged to by officials.

AAA urged to stay home if possible, but if they need to go out to have at least a half tank of gas, significantly reduce speed and stay off closed roads.

If you do become stranded, stay in the vehicle with the engine turned off. Other tips include avoiding driving on the shoulders or medians, planning for more charging stops for electric vehicles, packing an emergency kit and driving at a safe speed.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is also warning residents to stay safe while staying warm.

WATCH: CPSC gives tips to stay safe while staying warm

Be cautious with space heaters, which are involved in about 1,700 fires, resulting in 80 deaths, annually. Keep flammable materials away, plug space heaters into a wall outlet and monitor the temperature.

Portable generators can be a carbon monoxide risk — users should only operate them outside, at least 20 feet from the house. Direct the generator’s exhaust away from the home and any other buildings that someone might enter and look for a generator that automatically shuts off when it detects high concentrations of carbon monoxide.

Working smoke alarms are also important.

Heavy lake-effect snow pummeled the Chicago area Friday morning, dumping several inches of accumulation and creating hazardous travel conditions.

Areas along the North Shore were particularly hard hit, with Wilmette, Skokie and Evanston getting pounded with over 9 inches of snow. In the city, Midway and Humboldt Park saw upwards of 7 inches.

Cook County is closing its county-run COVID vaccination sites Wednesday due to the snow, and the city of Chicago has canceled its in-home vaccination appointments for Wednesday and Thursday. All appointments will be rescheduled, the city said.

Cook County Radar | DuPage County Radar | Will County Radar | Lake County Radar (IL) | Kane County Radar | Northwest Indiana Radar

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