Heavy snow accumulates, snarls morning commute - KMSP-TV

Heavy snow accumulates, snarls morning commute

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

About 2 to 3 inches of snow fell during a three-hour period Wednesday morning, causing low visibility and slick road conditions.

"Leave early if you can," said National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Bardou. "The heart of the snow is going to fall during rush hour."

The heaviest snowfall is expected from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m., Bardou said, with lighter snowfall to continue into the afternoon.

The weather service issued a winter weather advisory in effect from 5 a.m. until noon, warning that snow could accumulate at a rate of half an inch per hour. Visibility will be below a mile, Bardou said.

The Department of Streets and Sanitation deployed 280 snowplows and salt spreaders to main streets and Lake Shore Drive, according to a release from spokeswoman Molly Poppe. Plows will focus on clearing arterial routes first before moving on to neighborhood streets after the snow stops falling.

O'Hare International Airport has "proactively" canceled more than 100 flights due to weather conditions as of 7:30 a.m. Meanwhile, there are no delays at Midway Airport.

Snow will continue to linger in the afternoon and later move south, Bardou said. Wednesday's high temperature is expected to be around 20 degrees with the low sitting around 10 degrees, Bardou added.

As of about 6 a.m., 74 inches of snow had fallen at O'Hare since July 1, which is when the National Weather Service starts recording snowfall data. With several more inches expected by day's end, Chicago could see its third snowiest winter since 1970, which saw 77 inches, the weather service said.

Chicago's snowiest winter was in 1978, with more than 81 inches of snow recorded.

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