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Snow to get Worse in Afternoon; Southwest Cancels all Flights

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Snow to get Worse in Afternoon; Southwest Cancels all Flights

The view of downtown Chicago from Navy Pier this morning (WBEZ/Tony Arnold)

Snow is expected to keep falling throughout the day and into the evening rush.

Gino Izzi is with the National Weather Service. He says the region could get a foot of snow. Heaviest snowfall expected during this evening’s commute.

IZZI: Generally most of the day we’re going to be looking at snowfall of a half inch per hour. Once the lake enhancement starts up later this afternoon and into this evening, there could be some periods where we could see snow rates of 1- to possibly even 2-inches per hour.

Izzi says more severe weather could continue overnight tonight. He says winds could blow up to 30-40 miles per hour and cause ground blizzard conditions.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning until tomorrow morning.

Thomas Byrne is Chicago’s Streets and Sanitation commissioner. He says crews are clearing the main routes for the morning rush, but his crews are preparing for the worst to come this afternoon.

BYRNE: This is going to be a challenging rush hour. It’ll be a challenging rush hour today for us, but I think we got a little bit more than what they predicted 1" to 3". It looks pretty good from what we’re seeing right now on the mains with our men working them.

Byrne says it’ll be a while until crews can get to the side streets.

At the airports, airlines are pre-emptively delaying and canceling flights. The Chicago Department of Aviation is reporting delays of 45 minutes at O’Hare International Airport and more than 500 cancellations.

At Midway, Southwest has canceled all flights from 10 a.m. today through 10 a.m. Wednesday.

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