winter storm warning

Chicago Snowstorm Updates: Dangerous Travel Conditions, Vaccination Site Closures

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Most of the Chicago area is under a winter storm warning, with forecasts calling for total snow accumulations of 8 to 13 inches in parts, possibly more by the lake as another round of winter weather moves in and the dangerous cold snap continues.

Here are the latest weather headlines from across the Chicago area:

Cook County Circuit Court Closed for In-Person Hearings

As a result of continued snow and dangerous travel conditions, the Circuit Court of Cook County will only conduct proceedings by videoconference and teleconference Tuesday.

Litigants who cannot attend by Zoom, due to any technical limitations, will not suffer any adverse consequences, according to a news release.

Traffic court proceedings also will be held by teleconference. 

Storm ‘Peaking in Intensity' as 6-to-12 Inches of Additional Snow Possible in Some Areas

The National Weather Service is urging Illinois residents to exercise extreme caution while traveling Monday night, as the service says that the winter storm pounding the region is “peaking in intensity” in the late evening hours.

The storm, which has already dumped nine inches of snow on some portions of the area, will hang around the area through Tuesday morning, with warnings still in effect through the overnight hours.

Read the full story here.

IDOT to Continue Slow Plow Operations Overnight

The Illinois Department of Transportation says its plans to continue snow removal operations into the overnight hours.

In a tweet, IDOT said some local agencies have decided to suspend plowing "out of an abundance of caution," however which agencies made the move remained unclear.

Transportation officials reiterated that conditions are treacherous and it's "not the night to be driving."

City Colleges of Chicago Moves to Remote Learning Tuesday

Due to Monday's snowfall, City Colleges of Chicago announced that all in-person classes would be switched to remote learning on Tuesday.

The news comes as dozens of city and suburban school districts cancel classes due to the weather. Several colleges, including DePaul, UIC and the University of Chicago, have also canceled in-person learning.

You can find a full list of current school closures here.

Nearly 9 Inches of Snow Reported at Midway Airport

Snowfall totals are continuing to pile up across the region, and Midway Airport in Chicago is seeing some eye-popping numbers in that department.

According to the latest update from the National Weather Service, 8.9 inches of snow has fallen at the airport during the storm, with 2.9 inches falling in a period of an hour and 45 minutes Monday evening.

Joliet and Roselle have seen nearly four inches of snow so far during the storm, which is continuing to churn through the Chicago area and will do so throughout the overnight hours.

ComEd Steps Up Staffing to Deal With Potential Power Outages; Nearly 1,000 Without Power in Boone County

Amid Monday’s winter storm, ComEd is stepping up staffing and response crews in the event of any power outages caused by the rough weather.

In a statement, the company emphasized that it does not anticipate major storm-related power outages because of the lack of ice on trees and power lines, which lead to more outages than heavy snow typically does.

Even still, the company says that they are doubling up crews that are involved in responding to outage tickets, and that they have extra staff available overnight Monday and into Tuesday.

This news comes as ComEd crews report to West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee to give a hand to crews battling the damage caused by recent ice storms in those states. Approximately 350 crew and contract workers were sent out, and those crews are expected to remain out of state for at least the next week.

Cook County Health Announces Vaccination Site Closures

Several of Cook County Health's COVID-19 vaccination sites will be closed Tuesday as a result of the snow and hazardous travel conditions.

Patients who are scheduled for appointments on Tuesday will be contacted and rescheduled this week, according to a news release.

Vaccinations will continue at only the following locations: John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital, Provident Hospital and the Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center.

Chicago Hopes to Avoid Another Snowmageddon

As a snowstorm began to hit the Chicago area Monday, city officials deployed more than 300 plows and salt spreaders with the goal of keeping roads clean and helping people stay safe. NBC 5's Kate Chappell reports.

More Than 300 Plows Hit Streets of Chicago Amid Winter Storm

With more than two inches of snow per hour possible through the overnight hours, the city of Chicago has activated its fleet of snow removal vehicles, with more than 300 expected to be out during the height of the storm.

In-Person Learning at Chicago Public Schools Canceled for Tuesday Amid Winter Storm

All in-person classes in Chicago Public Schools will be moved to remote learning on Tuesday due to heavy snowfall, the district says.

CPS students in pre-K and cluster learning classes will move to remote learning because of the storm.

“Safety is our highest priority which is why we have decided to move all classes to remote instruction for tomorrow, February 16,” said CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “The extreme weather conditions expected tonight and tomorrow could present a hazardous commute to families of pre-k and cluster program students who selected in-person learning, and  in the interest of safety we are cancelling in-person classes. We expect in-person learning to resume on Wednesday and will keep families updated as additional information becomes available.”

Chicago Residents Get Creative Before Plows Reach City's Side Streets

When Chicago sees heavy snowfall, side streets take a back seat to arterial roadways, and NBC 5’s Charlie Wojciechowski has more on how residents get creative when it comes to keeping roadways clear.

Snow and Cold: The Advice You Need to Get Through Chicago Winters

As temperatures drop or heavy snow falls, things can get dangerous.

It's important to be prepared, take precautions and know your resources.

Here's a look at some things you should know as you take on Chicago winters, including the symptoms of hypothermia, how to properly dress in the cold, and much more.

Several Suburban School Districts Announce Closures

School closures are beginning to pile up across the Chicago area, with most institutions announcing that they will transition to e-learning on Tuesday.

Public school districts in the suburbs are beginning to announce closures as well, including

Midlothian School District 143, Oak Forest District 145 and Tinley Park School District 146. City of Hammond Public Schools, which were closed Monday, will remain closed Tuesday.

You can find a full list of school closures on the Emergency Closing Center website.

More Than 300 Flights Canceled at Chicago Airports Amid Snow Storm

More than 300 flights have been canceled at Chicago’s airports Monday as heavy snow and frigid temperatures continue to grip the region.

According to the Chicago Department of Aviation, nearly 200 flights have been canceled at O’Hare alone on Monday. As of 3:30 p.m., 193 flights have been axed because of the weather, with average departure delays of 15 minutes reported.

At Midway Airport, 146 flights have been canceled, with delays of under 15 minutes on those flights that are departing.

City-Run COVID Testing Sites to Remain Closed Tuesday, But Vaccination Sites Will Stay Open, Chicago's Top Doc Says

Due to the winter conditions hitting Chicago, officials announced that city-run COVID testing sites will not be open Tuesday.

All vaccination sites in Chicago will remain "open and operating as planned," however, said Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady.

"Here in Chicago we've worked to make sure that all vaccination efforts are indoors this time of year," Arwady said.

Several Schools Announce Closures; Mayor Says CPS Decision Expected 'No Later Than 5 p.m.'

A number of Chicago-area schools and universities have already announced closures or remote learning plans for both Monday night and Tuesday as a snowstorm continues to bring dangerous travel conditions to the city and several suburbs.

Here's a look at the latest list of closures.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said a decision for Chicago Public Schools will be made "no later than 5 p.m."

IDOT, ISP Urge Drivers to 'Postpone Unnecessary Travel'

The Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois State Police urged drivers Monday to "strongly consider postponing any unnecessary travel," warning of extremely slick conditions and poor visibility. 

“As always, our team at IDOT will be out on the roads around the clock, but if you can stay indoors, please do, especially during the overnight hours,” Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman said in a statement. “Conditions at times could be treacherous, with the cold and wind reducing the effectiveness of the materials we use to treat snow and ice. Expect extremely long travel times and always prepare your vehicle in the event you are stranded.”

Illinois officials said blowing and drifting snow throughout the state are likely "due to the amounts and fluffiness of the snow combined with high winds."

“If you must travel, we ask that you allow additional time to reach your destination and ensure your vehicle is in a safe operating condition,” ISP Director Brandon Kelly said in a statement. “Please obey all traffic laws and posted speed limits.  Remember, speed limits are set for clear conditions. Only drive the speed limit if it is safe to do so. And please watch out for emergency responders and highway maintainers who are doing their best to keep the roadways safe.”

Kenosha County Added to Winter Storm Warning

Kenosha County in Wisconsin is now under a winter storm warning until noon Tuesday, the National Weather Service reported at 2 p.m. Monday.

There, a band of heavy lake effect snow is expected to bring anywhere from 4 to 8 inches of accumulation and potentially dangerous travel conditions.

Hazardous Travel, 'Near Whiteout' Conditions Reported in Parts of Chicago Area

At 12:40 p.m., the National Weather Service reported "VERY heavy lake effect snow" across parts of parts of Cook County.

"Near whiteout conditions are occurring in the heart of this band w/ snowfall rates of 2"+ per hour possible resulting in DANGEROUS travel conditions," the NWS tweeted. "Additional snow moves in the PM."

The Illinois Department of Transportation also reported just before noon that several roadways were already covered in snow and ice.

When bad weather hits, it's always best to stay off the roads. If you don't have a choice, here is some advice for traveling in difficult winter conditions.

Track Snow Live: See Where the Winter Storm is Hitting in Real Time With Live Doppler 5

While many already saw accumulating snowfall overnight and into Monday morning, more is on the way.

Track the system as it moves through the area live using our Live Doppler 5 radar.

Click here for more.

Winter Storm Warning in Effect Across Chicago Area With Heavy Snow Expected

A winter storm warning took effect across much of the Chicago area early Monday, warning of accumulations of 8 to 13 inches in parts, possibly more, as another blast of winter weather moves through the region.

Several winter storm warnings and weather advisories took effect across the Chicago area late Sunday into early Monday.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for Kankakee, Kendall, Will, Grundy, Livingston and DuPage counties in Illinois, along with Lake, Newton and Jasper counties in northwest Indiana that began Sunday evening and will remain in effect through 9 a.m. Tuesday.

A winter storm warning for Cook County took effect at 3 a.m. Monday, according to the NWS, while a winter storm warning for Lake County in Illinois will take effect at 12 p.m. Monday. Both will last through 12 p.m. Tuesday.

A wind chill advisory continues for the Chicago area through 12 p.m. Monday, while a winter weather advisory is also in place for LaSalle and Kane counties in Illinois as well as LaPorte County in Indiana. A winter weather advisory for McHenry and DeKalb counties begins at 3 p.m. Monday, with both lasting through 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Sunday Sets Record for Coldest Valentine's Day Ever in Chicago

As if the past several days of brutal cold and extreme temperatures weren't enough, Sunday marked the coldest Valentine's Day ever, according to NBC 5 Storm Team meteorologists.

The high temperature was just 4 degrees, breaking the previous record of 8 degrees, which was set in 1943. A cold Valentine's Day in Chicago isn't that rare, though: Temperatures dropped to -2 degrees last year.

Read the full story here.

Winter Weather Advisory Issued for Parts of Northern Illinois

A winter weather advisory has been issued for Lake County in Illinois, along with Kane, DuPage, LaSalle, Kendall, Grundy and northern and southern Will counties. The advisory will go into effect at noon Monday and run through 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Bursts of snowfall are expected in the impacted areas, with frigid wind chills also posing a threat in those communities.

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