Lake-effect snow began falling in the Chicago area late Monday, the beginning of what turned out to be fairly significant snowfall in some areas.
As of 7 a.m. Tuesday, Chicago's two airports recorded about 7 inches of snow. As is typical with these types of weather systems, other areas received just a dusting of snow or nothing at all.
That band of heavy snowfall continues it's march eastward, but what's left in its wake are bitter cold temperatures. Temperatures on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday will be near zero with wind chill values as cold as minus 20 to 25 degrees.
Cook and Will counties in Illinois remained under a Lake Effect Snow Warning until 9 a.m. Tuesday. Lake County, Ind., remained under a Lake Effect Snow Warning until noon. A Lake Effect Snow Warning for LaPorte County, Ind., is in effect until 8 p.m.
The advisories carried total snowfall accumulation predictions ranging from up to a foot in Cook County to between 12 and 24 inches within a narrow, but intense snow band in Indiana. Heavy snow, with rates of 1 to 3 inches per hour, were predicted.
Snowfall totals for the Chicago area as of 6:26 a.m.:
Rockford Airport: 1.2"
Chicago Midway: 7.2
Chicago O'Hare: 5.9
Highland Park: 6.5"
South Chicago: 6.9
Chicago's Department of Streets & Sanitation had 287 snow plows and salt spreaders out since Monday night working to clear roadways. In addition, the department used 60 quick hitch snow plows attached to garbage trucks and 26 four-wheel drive snow plows, according to spokeswoman Molly Poppe.
Metra posted a service advisory to its website Monday night warning riders of anticipated delays due to the severe weather and urging them to allow extra travel time in the morning. Only minor delays were reported.
Expressways in the Chicago area saw about 10 minor accidents during the morning commute, and roads were clear of crashes as of about 7 a.m., according to Illinois State Police District Chicago Sgt. George Jiminez.
As the weather system headed eastward, Indiana State Police Sgt. Ann Wojas said a few issues were reported and had but a simple word of caution to commuters: allow extra time.
Officials in the city of Gary, Ind., on Monday said they would deploy snow crews to the roads 24 hours a day in alternating 12-hour shifts as long as necessary. Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson asked residents to "limit their driving as much as possible" in order to make way for the plows to do their job.
This latest snowfall comes on the heels of a weekend that saw another several inches of snow. The Chicago area, particularly areas southwest of the city, spent Sunday morning digging out after a weekend storm brought up to 5 inches of snow to some areas.
Indiana State Police closed Interstate 65 near Lafayette in both directions because of multiple crashes.
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