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First snow of season melts away as rain, rising temps push through Chicago

About 0.7 inches of snow was recorded at O’Hare International Airport by 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

People cross North State Street in the Loop Tuesday morning, Nov. 24, 2020. Snow and rain fell in some parts of the Chicago area Tuesday morning.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

The Chicago area woke up Tuesday to its first measurable snow of the season — but it was quickly fleeting as rising temperatures and rain turned streets and sidewalks into puddles.

About 0.7 inches of snow was recorded at O’Hare International Airport by 9:30 a.m., while Midway Airport had 0.4 inches by 6 a.m., slightly below a predicted half inch of snow, according to the National Weather Service.

Snow began falling at O’Hare by 5 a.m., and transitioned into rain by 8:30 a.m. as the temperature rose above freezing, weather service meteorologist Kevin Donofrio said.

The morning commute wasn’t excessively affected by the snow, but many roads were sloppy and slushy, especially in areas during heavy snowfall overnight, he said.

“This would be the first accumulating snow of the season,” Donofrio said, noting Chicago’s first trace amount of snow Oct. 26. The city normally sees its first measurable snow Nov. 17, and its first snow about an inch on Dec. 7.

The highest reported snow total Tuesday was suburban Aurora, which had 3 inches of snow at 6 a.m. Tuesday, and Bloomingdale in DuPage County, with about 1.9 inches. Since temperatures were so close to freeing, snow totals varied throughout the Chicago area Tuesday depending on the rate of snow fall.

“Where it wasn’t coming down heavy, it wasn’t accumulating,” Donofrio said.

The rest of Tuesday will be a continuation of the current weather, with periods of rain continuing into Wednesday and possible storms to the south, Donofrio said.

The good news is that the precipitation will leave the area by Thanksgiving, which is forecast as mostly cloudy with a high near 50 degrees.

“The Thanksgiving holiday looks nice. And it’ll be a little colder to start next week,” he said.