Bitter Blast Descends During Thursday Snow Reprieve

There's a break in the snow Thursday, but temperatures struggled to reach even near double digits.

Some air temperatures at 6 a.m. were near zero or below. A light breeze from the northwest pushed the wind chill to dangerous areas: -14 at O'Hare International Airport, -20 at the National Weather Service office in Romeoville, and -29 in Aurora.

On the bright side, the skies remained mostly clear and the sun came out. Temperatures during midday and the afternoon hours were in the low teens, but the wind chill once again remained around zero degrees.

National Weather Service forecasters on Wednesday morning issued Winter Weather Advisories for several Illinois counties until the early afternoon and evening hours.

The advisories covered Livingston, Iroquois, Ford, Newton, Jasper, Benton, Grundy, Kankakee, LaSalle and Will counties in Illinois and Lake and Porter counties in Indiana.

Snowfall totals ranged from a dusting in far northern counties and up to an inch from the city, west. At least 1 to 2 inches were forecast to fall south of I-80 with 2 to 4 inches in far southern counties.

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Illinois Sate Police issued a Winter Travel Advisory Wednesday afternoon, warning of snowy and icy road conditions.

“During these harsh winter weather conditions, we encourage all motorists to be especially careful behind the wheel and to avoid any unnecessary travels,” ISP Lieutenant Colonel Tad Williams said in a statement.

Chicago's Department of Streets and Sanitation on Wednesday morning deployed 650 pieces of snow-fighting equipment following a Super Bowl Sunday storm that dropped more than 19 inches of snow and a Tuesday evening encore that dumped another inch on the city.

Some of the heavy equipment that's deployed -- high-lifts, front-end loaders, backhoes and dumps -- is not owned by the city and was instead rented to help get the job done.

Sunday was the snowiest February 1 Chicago has ever seen, and the storm dropped enough snow to rank it as the fifth largest snow event in city history.

In less than one week's time, the Chicago area has gone from a small snow deficit to a surplus, based on averages.

Prior to this weekend’s blizzard and Tuesday’s clipper, the Chicago area had officially received 15.5” for the season, which was 4.4 inches below the average of 19.9 inches to date.

Since then, we added 20.9 inches to bring our season’s total, to 36.4 inches, which equals a 14.6 inch surplus.

Last year on this date, in our seemingly never-ending winter, we had already received 52.6 inches, so we have a long way to go to get to that number and it would be even harder to get to the 80.0 inches we ended with last year for the season as a whole.

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