Lake-effect snow intensifies as wind chill drops below zero

SHARE Lake-effect snow intensifies as wind chill drops below zero

A couple walks down Glenlake Ave, towards Broadway, while a Winter Storm batters Chicago, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019, in Chicago. | Tyler LaRiviere

Lake-effect snow and a subzero wind chill swept through northeast Illinois’ Lake Michigan shoreline Saturday evening, with more snowfall possible in the Chicago area on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

At 9:30 p.m., areas up to 10 miles inland experienced “moderate” snow showers, which intensified by midnight, the weather service said. The wind chill hit minus 5 Saturday evening and minus 10 overnight.

Sunday morning, the lake-effect snow was mostly hovering around northwest Indiana but could return to northeast Illinois in the evening.

Frostbite and hypothermia continue to pose a danger for those not dressed properly and could set in after less than an hour of exposure, the weather service warned.

Since Chicago’s first winter storm of 2019 began Friday evening, O’Hare International Airport has reported 5 inches of snowfall and Midway International Airport has seen 5.3, NWS said.

A winter weather advisory was set for Cook County between 8 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday, the weather service said. Drivers, if unable to stay home, were advised to slow down, use low beams and allow for extra travel time.

Wind gusts between 30 and 35 mph were expected into Sunday morning near Lake Michigan, resulting in snow drifting into open areas, the weather service said.

A lakeshore flood warning was in effect until 9 a.m. Sunday, with waves in Lake Michigan possibly reaching 10 feet, the weather service said. People were warned to stay away from piers, jetties and the bike path.

The winter storm also caused more than 1,000 flight cancellations at O’Hare and Midway airports and a United Airlines flight skidding off a runway at O’Hare, authorities said. No injuries were reported.

By Saturday evening, O’Hare Airport reported 1,044 flight cancellations and Midway reported 86 cancellations, the Chicago Department of Aviation said.

Chicagoans who need to get out of the cold can call 311 for information about the nearest warming center or overnight shelter. Cook County officials have also released a list of suburban warming centers. State officials also provide information about warming centers online, or at (847) 411-9276.

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