Nearly 3 inches of snow falls on Chicago ahead of dangerous cold snap

It was a far cry from the five inches forecasters said could fall, but the snow did enough damage to cancel almost 300 flights at O’Hare and Midway airports.

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A person crosses Randolph Street in the Loop as snow falls across Chicago, Thursday afternoon, Feb. 4, 2021.

A person crosses Randolph Street in the Loop as snow falls across Chicago, Thursday afternoon, Feb. 4, 2021.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Over two inches of snow fell over an already blanketed Chicago Thursday in the third winter storm in a month.

By Friday morning, 2.9 inches of snow had fallen on Midway International Airport and 2.4 inches at O’Hare, according to the National Weather Service.

The snow was a far cry from the five inches forecasters said could fall, but it did enough damage to cancel almost 300 flights at the city’s airports.

The storm will be followed by a deep freeze that’ll stretch into next week. Temperatures might not rise above the single digits, and wind chills may reach minus 30 degrees in what city officials called an “arctic blast.”

A woman walks in the middle of the street carrying a case of soda to her apartment on N. Winthrop Ave., as heavy snowfall blankets Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021.

A woman walks in the middle of the street carrying a case of soda to her apartment on N. Winthrop Ave., as heavy snowfall blankets Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

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During the snow, a vacant building collapsed in Bridgeport. No was was hurt when the collapse was heard by neighbors about 9:30 p.m. in the 200 block of West 26th Street, according to Chicago police. The building was a factory or warehouse that had been vacant for three years.

After 11 p.m., a small jet plane overran a runway at Chicago Executive Airport in Wheeling. A business jet with two people aboard went off the end of the runway about 11:20 p.m., according to a statement from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The site of a crumbling building in Bridgeport, Feb. 4, 2021.

The site of a crumbling building in Bridgeport, Feb. 4, 2021.

Chicago Fire Department

The plane was stopped by the runway’s “engineered material arresting system,” which is a graded area designed to stop planes from overrunning the airfield. No injuries were reported.

Deep freeze

The worst of the snow tapered off Thursday evening, but a cold front will send temperatures plummeting into the teens and single digits, with sub-zero lows expected overnight.

Friday’s high temperature will only reach into the teens, while the wind will make it feel more like zero degrees or colder. Overnight, the wind chill could drop to minus 20 degrees.

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National Weather Service

Similar temperatures were expected Saturday and into next week.

“It’s going to be an uncomfortable cold snap,” weather service meteorologist Lee Carlaw said. But he noted it wouldn’t be a record-breaker.

More rounds of snow coming

Some light flurries were expected Friday, but even more snow was expected Saturday night, with several inches possible. Additional snow systems could hit the area next week.

“We’re in an active pattern,” Carlaw said, adding that the area could expect snow every 12 to 18 hours into Monday.

That snow, however, was expected to be fluffier than the heavy, wet snow expected Thursday, Carlaw said.

A person crosses LaSalle Street in the Loop as snow falls across Chicago, Thursday afternoon, Feb. 4, 2021.

A person crosses LaSalle Street in the Loop as snow falls across Chicago, Thursday afternoon, Feb. 4, 2021.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Chicago’s COVID-19 test sites close

During the winter weather, Chicago’s coronavirus testing sites willremain closed due to “inclement weather.”

City-operated testing sites will remain closed from Friday until Wednesday, according to a notification from the city.

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