Chicago weather: Fresh snow impacts PM rush hour, more snow expected to hit during morning commute

A fresh layer of snow coated the Chicago area Monday afternoon, and more is expected for the Tuesday morning commute.
December 16, 2013 8:14:56 PM PST
A fresh layer of snow coated the Chicago area Monday afternoon, and more is coming for the Tuesday morning rush hour.

Monday night's wintry weather forced drivers to slow down, and if you're going to be on the roads in the morning, you can expect a repeat of this evening's rush in some areas.

It's not so much the amount of snow that fell Monday afternoon, but rather when it fell.

The first round came at the start of rush hour, slowing down traffic and creating a commuting headache.

"The roads some roads were pretty slippery snow is scattering," said Christian Ponce, commuter.

IDOT salt trucks hit the roads quickly, and 182 trucks were out right away. But for those already on the road, it didn't help much.

And it's not over yet. The second round of snow is coming during Tuesday's morning commute, and that can mean trouble for everyone.

"Especially for work driving. It makes it a hassle, I'm not a fan of winter anyway," said Carrina Gonzalez.

And it's only the middle of December, and the start of winter in Chicago.

"You get stuck in the snow and try to find a parking space to get home and you get stuck there, because they plow the streets and the snow gets pushed up on your car and it's hard to get out of some of the spots," said James Bridges, commuter.

The quick burst of snow should start soon after sunrise in the Chicago area, and could pile up at a moderate-to-heavy clip during morning rush hour, according to the National Weather Service.

Forecasters are already warning drivers to prepare for longer commute times because of the storm, which could leave up to two inches of snow.

The storm mirrors another brief snowfall Monday evening that slowed drivers and left 0.5 inches of snow at O'Hare International Airport in the city. Northern parts of the metro area saw up to two inches.

In response to Monday afternoon's snowfall, the city's Department of Streets & Sanitation sent 200 plows onto arterial streets and Lake Shore Drive.

The Illinois Tollway has also readied its full fleet of 182 snowplows to help clear roads, it said in a release.

All temporary lane closures are canceled until 9 a.m. Tuesday, and the tollway is urging drivers to slow down and leave plenty of following distance.

The snowfall adds to an already impressive seasonal total, forecasters say.

The 9.3 inches of snow recorded so far this year at O'Hare Airport makes this the snowiest start to the season since 2005, the weather service said. Chicago normally sees only about 5 inches of snow by Dec. 15.

Lows will drop to 13 or 17 degrees Monday night. Tuesday will be windy and reach a high of around 30, with a 90 percent chance of precipitation.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.


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