Blizzard conditions expected to hit Chicago Tuesday

January 31, 2011

(Flickr/Matt Golosinski)
Lake Michigan on Friday, January 28, 2011

The National Weather Service is expecting a blizzard to hit Northeast Illinois this week. Paul Merzlock is a meteorologist. He expects about two-to-four inches Monday, but the big storm is coming Tuesday evening.

"It's not out of the realm of possibility that this could be a record event in terms of snowfall," Merzlock said.

Merzlock is expecting 16-to-24 inches of snowfall total by Wednesday morning. He says the storm will bring strong winds and white out conditions  and could be the worst blizzard the region has seen since 1967. The weather service says the heaviest snowfall will likely start around 6 p.m. Tuesday.

"Definitely going to be one of those character builders. If this even comes close to verifying, we’re going to be looking at some pretty serious impacts on travel," Merzlock said.

Merzlock says the storm will move east toward Ohio, but the East Coast shouldn’t worry too much.

Meantime, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley said Monday the city’s plows are ready.

"We’re going to do everything possible," Daley said. "Then again, you go to the private sector with their trucks and things like that, that’s what you have to look at. Like anything else, it’s an emergency so that’s what you have to do."

Daley warns against businesses giving their employees the day off work before the blizzard hits.

He says that could set a bad precedent.

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