Chicago Weather: Thunder snow hits Central Plains, storm moves closer to Chicago

Workers clear the sidewalk on the Country Club Plaza shopping district in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013. The Missouri Department of Transportation said Interstate 44 near Springfield was completely covered with ice Thursday morning. Traffic was moving very slow and the DOT urged drivers to use extreme caution or stay home. St. Louis-area road crews were out in full force early Thursday, even though it was dry. The region was expecting a volatile mix of snow, sleet, ice and freezing rain by midday and crews were hoping to lay down enough salt to keep at least the major roadways moving. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

February 22, 2013 2:49:11 AM PST
Thunder snow struck parts of the Central Plains Thursday, and that storm is now moving through Chicago.

The snow is expected to spread into the overnight hours and into Friday's commute.

The heaviest snow is expected to fall between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. Friday, making for a messy morning commute.

"It's going to be slick out there Friday morning," said Jerry Taft. "About three inches are expected in the city... with some light freezing drizzle."

How much snow will we get? That depends on where you live. The accumulation will vary across the area, and as much as four inches of snow could fall in some places.

Suburban Naperville's snow fighting fleet is lined up and ready to roll.

Inside the city's 24-hour snow command center, workers are tracking the storm and waiting for the critical moment to call out dozens of drivers.

"The guys are ready, the trucks are ready, the plows are on, plenty of salt on hand. We're ready for it," Christine Schwartzhoff, Naperville Operations team leader.

Winter thus far has been mild in Naperville. Out of a snow budget of $3 million, Schwartzhoff says the city has saved about a $500,000 on salt, contractors and overtime.

Private snow removal companies also feel the financial impact, albeit in a different way.

"There's not been many times we've had to drop the plow this season... maintenance wise, it's good for the truck. As far as revenue, it's not the best," said David Miga, president of Midwest Landscape Concepts.

As the snow begins to fall, Naperville officials ask residents to refrain from parking on residential streets so plows can get through overnight.

A winter weather advisory is in effect until Friday evening for much of the Chicago viewing area.