Chicago Weather

Chicago Still Cleaning Up After Major Winter Storm, With More Snow on the Way

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The Chicago area was still cleaning up Wednesday morning from a major winter storm that blanketed parts the region in more than a foot of snow earlier in the week - with more snow on the way.

A massive snowstorm began to pummel the city starting Monday and lasting through Tuesday, leaving behind as high as 18 inches of snow in places like Evanston and other areas close to the lake that saw the largest snowfall thanks to the storm and lake effect snow.

Those totals are on top of accumulation already on the ground from several previous days of snow that had not yet melted during a prolonged cold snap with temperatures below freezing for roughly two weeks.

As of Tuesday, the city has seen nine straight days of measurable snowfall recorded at O'Hare Airport. That ties the record for consecutive days with measurable snow in the city, which was set between Feb. 3-11 in 2018, according to the National Weather Service.

Chicago has seen as much snow as it typically sees in an entire winter season in the last few weeks alone. he city on average sees about 36 inches of snow in a winter, but in the past 22 days, 36.2 inches of snowfall has been recorded.

Chicago crews are bringing in heavy equipment to "relocate" snow as the city works to dig out from the storm.

"We're working on relocating the snow. This is not the kind of snow that's just going to melt so we've designated some areas so that we can start relocating it with some heavy equipment," Department of Streets and Sanitation Commissioner John Tully said Tuesday.

Tully said that as crews shift from clearing main roadways to plowing side streets, many will bring in heavy equipment like high lifts, backhoes and semis, which will then "haul out some of that snow."

Chicago has pre-determined locations around the city for where snow will be relocated in heavy storms, Tully said, noting that one of the larger locations is in a lot near Guaranteed Rate Field.

Tully asked that businesses not put shoveled snow on already-plowed streets, saying it makes the city's clean-up process take longer.

"When we're cleaning the streets and snow gets pushed back out there and just makes this process longer, so we're asking for a little cooperation," he said.

Instead, he asked that businesses use parking spaces for snow piles.

"We know this is a big ask with so much snow out there," he said.

City crews have been working overtime for days as they work to clear streets after several rounds of snow - and with additional accumulation still possible, they plan on continuing their extra efforts well into the weekend, officials said.

Wednesday begins with partly sunny skies that quickly turn cloudy, with light snow developing in the afternoon and evening. About an inch or two of snow is possible.

Thursday will be mostly cloudy with lake effect snow showers on occasion. The day looks to be breezy and not quite as cold with highs in the low to mid 20s.

The weekend starts partly sunny, breezy and colder with highs in the upper teens to low 20s, while Saturday is poised to see similar conditions though not quite as cold with highs in the mid 20s.

The next chance for snow again, or an icy mix of snow and rain, comes Sunday.

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