Snow Blankets Chicago Area, Up to 6 Inches Possible

Most accumulation predicted in areas south of Chicago

Saturday, Dec 14, 2013  |  Updated 1:02 PM CDT
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A winter weather advisory is in effect until 6pm with snow tapering off to flurries this afternoon.  Expect 3 to 6 inches in the south suburbs and 1 to 3 inches to the north.

A winter weather advisory is in effect until 6pm with snow tapering off to flurries this afternoon. Expect 3 to 6 inches in the south suburbs and 1 to 3 inches to the north.

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The Chicago area will let it snow, let it snow, let it snow this weekend.

After the area saw brutally bitter temps, a slight warm-up brought snow back into the forecast.

Friday's highs reached into the upper-20s and Saturday will stretch into the 30s, marking a significant increase from the dangerously cold temps that hit the area this week.

Several counties are under winter weather advisories and warnings, and some areas could see up to 6 inches of snow by Saturday night. Most of the accumulation is expected to be in areas south of Chicago.

A winter storm warning was issued for Jasper and Newton Counties Saturday morning, with possible snow accumulations of up to 7 inches. The warning remains in effect until noon Saturday.

Travel along Interstate 65 to Indianapolis may be particularly challenging.

Several lanes of Interstate 80 were shut down Saturday morning and afternoon after a semi-tractor trailer reportedly tilted over.

The accident happened just after 10 a.m. on I-80 near La Grange Road and sparked traffic congestion in the area, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The shoulder and right lanes of both sides of I-80 were reportedly reopened by 1 p.m. Saturday.

The Illinois Tollway put its full fleet of 182 snowplows on standby.

"Our Snow Operations Center is ready with the resources needed to stay on top of tonight’s anticipated snowfall and windy conditions," said the tollway's Executive Director, Kristi Lafleur. "Blowing snow may reduce visibility at times, so we are asking our customers to please slow down and drive defensively."

The Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation deployed 200 snow plows and salt spreaders overnight and said those vehicles will stay on the roads throughout Saturday morning.

Around 11:30 a.m. Saturday, the department sent out the rest of its plows and trucks to plow and salt Chicago streets. Eighty-seven more plows and salt spreaders were sent out as snow continued to fall in the city and 26 smaller four-wheel drive plows were deployed to clear smaller side streets.

Advisories for Kankakee, Will, Grundy, Jasper and Newton Counties began at 6 p.m. Friday and remain in effect until noon Saturday. These areas can expect an accumulation between 3 and 6 inches with up to a half-inch of snowfall per hour.

A winter weather advisory for Cook County began at 10 p.m. Friday and is expected to bring between 4 and 6 inches by 6 p.m. Saturday. Much of the snow is expected to fall in southern Cook County, but north and central parts of the county could see up to 4 inches of snow.

Kenosha and LaPorte Counties will also be under an advisory from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Saturday.

Some flurries or light snow showers could fall during the late afternoon hours, but  heavier snowfall during the evening hours could impact commuters Friday night.

"Be prepared for snow-covered roads and limited visibility and use caution while driving," the alerts state.

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The snow is expected to move out of the Chicago area by Saturday night and conditions will stay dry, but cold, Sunday. Sunday's highs are expected to dip back into the teens and low-20s.

The area's first big snowfall of the 2013-2014 season came Sunday, when between three and four inches dumped on the metro area caused airport delays and treacherous driving conditions.

Another round of snow moved in overnight Tuesday and was forecast to impact Wednesday morning commuters.

The city saw some of the coldest air this season Wednesday night and temps bottomed out Thursday morning around -10 degrees.

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