Chicago area under winter weather advisory

ORLAND PARK At O'Hare more than 300 flights were canceled. Flight delays averaged up to 45 minutes. Delays ran up to an hour at Midway where 50 flights were canceled.

Commutes on area highways on Tuesday afternoon and evening took up to four hours.

In Orland Park on LaGrange Road in an area surrounded by shopping malls, the holiday traffic was slow going on Tuesday afternoon. But many people ABC7 talked with say they'd rather have the snow than Monday's bitter cold.

Lots of salt is needed for a snowy afternoon. Flurries hovered over the southwest suburbs all morning until this afternoon when the snow started coming down. It was the perfect atmosphere to buy a Christmas tree.

"I love it!" said Paul Capperino. "I love all the seasons. I grew up in illinois. This is great stuff."

"It's nice for Christmas. Then after Christmas I'll be ready for it to go away," said Carol Peterson.

But with holiday snow comes holiday shopping and the combination is making it tough to go around.

"I've been in there [car] five minutes and the car is already covered. The streets are really bad," said Anthony Senese.

"I'm going to drive to Naperville tomorrow so I'm really not going be to happy if it keeps falling like this," said Peterson.

And there are some residents who are actually disappointed it's not more.

"We're long overdue for a big one," said Bob Meyrick. "But of course I'm retired and don't have to go to work so I can say that."

But no one wants a repeat of last winter, especially the village of Orland Park. Last winter, the town had 53 different snow events, which means their snow removal department used 9,000 tons of salt.

This year they ordered 6,000 tons of salt, but officials say that's more than enough for your average winter.

Winter Weather Advisory in effect through northern Illinois

A winter weather advisory remains in effect throughout northern Illinois as forecasters predict up to 5 inches of snow to fall during the day.

The heavy snowfall is expected to begin in the afternoon and end Tuesday night. Forecasters at the National Weather Service say temperatures will stay at the bitterly low depths seen Monday, the coldest day of the season so far.

The agency says the freezing temperatures will create icy surfaces on untreated roads. Visibility will be limited to one mile.

The low temperatures have caused accidents throughout the state. A junior high school cafeteria worker was found frozen in her backyard in Joliet. A co-worker went looking for the 66-year-old woman when she didn't show up for work. Police say the woman went outside Sunday night and fell to the ground for unknown reasons, then froze to death.

In Belvidere, near Rockford, a 44-year-old woman who pulled to the side of road to scrape the ice off her car was struck by a dark-colored van, police say. The driver of the van didn't stop. Crystal Meier suffered head and leg injuries but managed to drive to the home of a relative. She is listed in fair condition at a Rockford hospital.

In suburban Elgin, police say a St. Charles woman was arrested after she left her 20-month-old child alone in a van while temperatures dipped to the low teens and she shopped in a store. The van was turned off while the boy sat inside it for about 20 minutes, authorities say. Pamela J. Weberski, 43, was charged with endangering the life of a child. The boy wasn't injured.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2023 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.