Chicago Weather: Winter storm dumps 1 to 8 inches of snow, ice, rain

Winter Storm Warning in effect for north, northwest suburbs

ByDiane Pathieu, Cate Cauguiran, Eric Horng, Liz Nagy, and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
Numerous crashes reported as winter storm hits during rush hour
EMBED <>More Videos

Road conditions will only get more treacherous overnight as snow turns to freezing rain and sleet.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The season's first major winter storm dumped several inches of snow, making travel treacherous across the Chicago area.

RADAR: Track the winter storm with LIVE Doppler7 MAX

Snow overspread northern Illinois late Tuesday afternoon and piled up quickly in the suburbs as snow fell at a rate of 1 to 2 inches per hour in some areas.

As of 9 p.m., Carol Stream reported 4.5 inches, Elburn 4.2 inches, Aurora 3.6 inches, Naperville 3.5 inches, Romeoville 3.2 inches, and Elk Grove Village 3.0 inches.

WATCH: Latest ABC7 AccuWeather Forecast

The heaviest accumulations will be in the northwest suburbs, where some parts of McHenry and DeKalb counties could see as much as 8 inches of snow.

Snowfall amounts upwards of 4 inches are possible north of I-88, but only about 1 to 3 inches are expected across the south suburbs and northwest Indiana.


Between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m., the snow will begin to mix with sleet and freezing rain. Ice accumulations of up to two-tenths of an inch are also possible just inland away from the Lake Michigan shore.

After 3 a.m., the precipitation will change to all rain as temperatures rise above freezing.

Total snow and sleet accumulations of 1 to 4 inches are expected, with the highest snowfall amounts expected along I-88 and north. Areas in the city could see about two inches of snow.

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect until 9 a.m. Wednesday for Boone, northern Cook, De Kalb, Lake, Lee, Kane, McHenry, Ogle and Winnebago counties in Illinois and Walworth County in Wisconsin.

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect until 9 a.m. Wednesday for Central Cook; DuPage; Kendall; La Salle; Northern Will and Southern Cook counties.

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect until 6 a.m. Wednesday for Eastern Will, Grundy, Kankakee, Livingston, Southern Will in Illinois and Lake and Porter counties in Indiana.

WATCH: Snow plows hit roads as conditions rapidly deteriorate

The Illinois Tollway has deployed nearly 200 snow plows as road conditions rapidly deteriorated Tuesday evening.

The first significant snowfall of winter left a trail of crumpled metal as spinouts and crashes littered suburban roadways. The snow arrived ahead of the evening rush, with the north and northwest suburbs in the bullseye.

"I saw four or five already, Eric, so like people hitting the barrier and everything," driver Marc Groen said. "A couple messed up cars."

In Lake and McHenry Counties, high winds creating near-white out conditions. At one point, traffic near Gurnee ground to a halt.

At the Hinsdale Oasis along I-294, heavy snow prompted many truckers to pull over and wait out the storm.

"I'm going to sit tight for the night. I'm parking for the night," truck driver Bruce Brooks said. "I'm going to let them do what they've got to do tonight. Salt the roads, plow, and do whatever they've got to do, and I'll try again in the morning."

The Illinois Tollway has its full fleet of nearly 200 snow plows is trying to keep up, but it's a tough task. Drivers are being reminded to take it slow and, if possible, to stay off the road during the height of the storm.

Illinois State Police have apparently been inundated with so many calls that they're asking drivers who are involved in a crash without injuries to exchange information with the other driver and file a report at a later date.

WATCH: Barrington deploys plows as northwest suburbs brace for heavy snow

Road crews in Barrington have already been deployed as the northwest suburbs brace for heavy snow overnight.

Road crews in Barrington have already been deployed, salting and clearing the streets with an emphasis on the village's main arteries. Barrington has about 12 trucks in its fleet.

Public Works Director Jeremie Lukowicz said their crews were ready for this months ago.

"Prior to winter even starting - back in October, November - we start checking all our machines, making sure everything is ready to be deployed," Lukowicz said. "Having this occur overnight allows us to hopefully get everything clean before they have to head out the next morning."

Given the fact that we are in a pandemic, Lukowicz said they require each crew member to sanitize their area before and after they get into their truck. In addition, the trucks are also cleaned in between shifts.

WATCH: Chicago sees first significant snowfall of season

The first significant snow of the season has arrived in Chicago... finally.

Chicago's Department of Streets and Sanitation has deployed 287 snow vehicles to respond to snow Tuesday evening and into the morning. Salt spreaders will focus on keeping the city's arterial routes and Lake Shore Drive passable until the snow stops.

Some power outages are possible due to the combined effects of wet snow accumulation, some icing and wind gusts up to 30mph.

While the rain will melt much of the snow, drivers are likely see some slush on untreated roads Wednesday morning and should be on the lookout for slick spots.

WATCH: Icy conditions take down bicyclist on Chicago's lakefront path

Big waves combined with the freezing temperatures to create some slick spots for runners and bicyclists along Chicago's Lakefront Path Monday.