First major winter storm hits Chicago

Morning commuters in Chicago experienced icy roads and slow traffic as the first major winter storm hit the third largest US city.

The snow started to blanket Chicago on Tuesday afternoon and ended on early Wednesday, with lingering drizzle through 10 a.m. to noon, reports Xinhua news agency.

“Some drizzle may also freeze on colder, untreated surfaces after daybreak. Residual travel impacts due to snow and slush-covered roads from last night will also continue into the start of the morning commute,” Chicago Tribune quoted the National Weather Service as saying on Wednesday.

“Lingering spotty icy and slushy conditions continue on some untreated roads, especially parking lots, after last night’s wintry precipitation event. Allow slightly extra travel time and be alert,” said the weather service.

“Precipitation is mainly just drizzle with temperatures above freezing, thus greatly lowering any travel impacts.”

Initial reports showed Rockford was hardest hit among communities in northern Illinois with 6.2 inches of snow. More than 4 inches of snow were reported in Chicago suburbs.

As of 6 a.m. on Wednesday, the Illinois Department of Transportation listed nearly all Illinois counties mostly covered with ice and snow while roadways generally were listed as partially covered with ice and snow, Chicago Tribune reported.

There had been no significant traffic crashes or problem areas listed on the area’s expressways or toll roads.

After a short break with temperatures warming slightly on Wednesday morning, snow should actually return to fall and soon switch over to sleet and freezing rain as residents in Chicago says goodbye to 2020, the national weather service said.

Chicago has experienced an uncommonly dry and warm November and half December this year, the fourth warmest on record, with above average temperatures and below average precipitation.