Winter Storm Hits Tonight

Up to an inch per hour north of I-80

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As much as 12 inches of snow could fall in parts of the Chicago area through Monday, according to the National Weather Service, which has issued a winter storm watch for the Chicago area, beginning Sunday evening.

The area covered by the watch includes Cook, DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Kendall and Kane counties.

Snow will start falling this evening and become heavy Sunday night into early Monday morning, with accumulation rates of up to an inch per hour expected, according to the weather service. Areas north of the I-80 corridor will see the biggest accumulations, but areas south of I-80 will see around six inches of snow mixing with sleet at times. Snow should begin to diminish from the west around mid-day Monday, the weather service said.

The winter storm watch is in effect through Monday evening, according to the weather service, but 75 of the city's snow fighting trucks are already out patrolling Chicago's main thoroughfares. 

Snow should begin to diminish from the west Monday evening.

Snowfall totals will likely reach 6 inches within 12 hours and continue to about 12 inches through the day Monday.

The heaviest amounts will probably accumulate from western Lee County northeast to McHenry County with some lake-supplied moisture feeding lakeshore locations in Lake and Cook County with an extra inch or two.

A winter storm watch means there is a potential for significant snow, sleet or ice accumulations that may impact travel. Hazards resulting from this storm could include greatly reduced visibility and slippery, snow-covered roads. Travel conditions may deteriorate rapidly Sunday night, with most roads becoming snow-covered by midnight, the weather service said.  The Monday morning rush is likely to be hazardous.

The heavy, wet nature of the snow may result in falling tree branches and possible power outages, and will be difficult to shovel, the weather service said.

The National Weather Service says air travel through Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway International Airports could be affected, but there were no flight delays reported as of 7:30 a.m. Sunday at either airport, according to Chicago’s Department of Aviation.

Check in with NBCChicago for up to the minute weather alerts, traffic alerts, airport delays, and school closings. Make sure you also check out the new-and-improved Google traffic maps, which provide roadway congestion information and let you plan (and save) your everyday routes.

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