Chicago weather forecast: Much of area under Winter Storm Watch Friday

Winter storm forces flight delays, cancellations at O'Hare, Midway airports

Christian Piekos Image
Thursday, January 11, 2024

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Another winter storm system could hit the Chicago area and cause more issues on the roads on Friday.

A Winter Storm Watch will be in effect in Illinois' Cook, Boone, DeKalb, Will, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lee, LaSalle, Lake, Lee, McHenry, Ogle and Winnebago counties from 6 a.m. Friday until noon Saturday, the National Weather Service said.

The watch will also be in effect in Lake, Porter and La Porte counties in Northwest Indiana and in Wisconsin's Racine, Kenosha and Walworth counties.

ABC7 Meteorologist Tracy Butler said light snow is likely during Chicago's Friday morning commute, but it looks like Friday afternoon commuters will be most impacted by the system.

Snowfall rates could be near 1 inch per hour during that time, and the Friday evening drive is likely to be a mess, said ABC7 Meteorologist Greg Dutra.

Chicago could see 3 to 6 inches of snow. However, there is a chance that the snow could miss the city, leaving it with mostly rain on Friday.

Areas northwest of the city could see more than 8 inches of snow, and areas west and southwest of Chicago could see between 6 and 8 inches, Dutra said.

The average snowfall for January is 11.3 inches, but with this next system, it is likely the Chicago area will wind up with above-average snowfall for the month.

Looking ahead to next week, Butler said, the focus will be on dangerously low temperatures.

Meanwhile, the Chicago area has been cleaning up on Wednesday, one day after a winter storm moved through and caused hundreds of flight cancellations at the city's airports.

O'Hare and Midway airports are getting back to normal after a winter storm in Chicago led to hundreds of flight cancellations.

Tuesday snow totals

  • Wayne: 6.3 inches
  • DeKalb: 6 inches
  • Campton Hills: 5.5 inches
  • Elburn: 5 inches
  • Hampshire: 5 inches
  • O'Hare: 3.2 inches
  • Midway: 3.8 inches
  • Romeoville: 3.1 inches
  • Plainfield: 2.5 inches
  • Prairie Grove: 3.5 inches
  • Naperville: 4.5 inches
  • Downers Grove:4.3 inches
  • Schaumburg: 3 inches

As of 5:34 a.m. Wednesday, 88 flights have been cancelled at O'Hare Airport and four at Midway Airport.

This comes after hundreds of cancellations Tuesday because of the winter weather that rolled through the region.

The flight tracking service Flight Aware reports more than 200 flights were canceled at O'Hare on Tuesday, while more than 40 flights were canceled at Midway.

SCHOOL CLOSINGS: See full list of Chicago area school closures

But the travel woes were felt far beyond the Midwest. Flight Aware shows that more than 1,400 flights into and out of the United States were canceled Tuesday, largely because of the weather.

At one point on Tuesday, the snow and ice and O'Hare forced a ground stop.

Passengers trying to get home were forced to stay in Chicago a bit longer until they could get a new flight.

For Killian Morin, who is traveling back to Montreal, Canada, it was just supposed to be a quick layover, "for three hours which turned out to be two days."

Already Wednesday morning, more than 1,000 fights had been canceled across the country. Hundreds of flights across the country are delayed.

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