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More than 400 flights canceled as snow falls across Chicago

Snow started falling across Chicago late Sunday. | Network Video Productions


(CHICAGO) More than 400 flights have been canceled as Chicago prepares for up to 5 inches of snow by Monday afternoon.

As of 3 a.m. Monday, 399 flights were canceled at O’Hare International Airport and 52 flights had been canceled at Midway International Airport, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation. Average delays at both airports were running about 15 minutes.

Snow started falling at O’Hare about 9:45 p.m. Sunday, but less than an inch had accumulated by 1 a.m. Monday, said National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Donofrio.

A winter weather advisory was in effect until 1 p.m. Monday, with between 2 and 5 inches of snow accumulations expected in Lake, DuPage and Cook counties. Visibility will be reduced during periods of heavy snowfall and could make for difficult driving conditions, the weather service warned.

“The intensity of the snow will vary from time to time until (Monday) morning,” said meteorologist Gino Izzi. “It seems pretty likely we’ll be experiencing snow during rush hour, so I would plan on a longer than usual commute.”

Izzi said this will be the first time Chicago has recorded at least one inch of snow since Dec. 17, 2016, marking the city’s longest streak without snow ever recorded during the winter.

Lake effect snow could then develop Monday evening and continue overnight into Tuesday, adding to snowfall accumulations, the weather service said. Lake effect snow, which can produce very heavy snowfall, sometimes in excess of 2 inches per hour, could continue periodically throughout Tuesday morning.

Temperatures were expected to reach a high of about 30 degrees on Monday, the weather service said. The chance of snow was about 100 percent on Monday, with wind gusts as high as 20 mph. A high near 27 degrees was expected Tuesday, with an 80 percent chance of snow.

The city’s Department of Streets and Sanitation deployed 287 snow plows overnight to tackle the snowy weather. The plows focus on salting and plowing arterial routes to ensure the roads are safe before moving to neighborhood streets, if necessary.

While Chicago braced for its first snowfall in months, larger snowstorms were expected on the East Coast. A blizzard watch was issued for the Boston area, with 12 to 18 inches of snow expected to fall over eastern Massachusetts as well as central and southern Rhode Island, according to the weather service.

O’Hare flights drop in 2016; Atlanta busiest airport again

CHICAGO (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration reports O’Hare International Airport in Chicago was the nation’s second-busiest in 2016. Flights at O’Hare dropped 1 percent.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport saw a jump in flights of 2 percent compared to 2015. It had just under 900,000 arrivals and departures compared with O’Hare’s 868,000.

Los Angeles International Airport took over the number three spot in 2016 from the field in Dallas-Fort Worth. Denver’s was fifth for a second straight year.

Midway International Airport on Chicago’s south side was 25th busiest for the second year in a row with 253,000 flights, down slightly.

The FAA says the five-year operations average at O’Hare is 877,000. That compares with 963,000 annually from 2004 to 2007.

June 23-24 were O’Hare’s busiest days in 2016 with 2,700 flight operations each day.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Chicago sees 7 inches of snow, more than 1,000 flights canceled

(CHICAGO) Seven inches of snow fell across Chicago over the weekend, which contributed to the cancellation of more than 1,000 flights.

By Sunday night, 6.4 inches of snow was recorded over the weekend at Midway International Airport, according to Ben Deubelbeiss, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Romeoville. By 6:30 p.m., nearly 7 inches of snow was recorded at O’Hare International Airport.

Northwest suburban McHenry County saw the weekend’s largest snowfall totals with 10.8 inches recorded, Deubelbeiss said.

As of midnight on Sunday, 440 flights were canceled at O’Hare and 66 were canceled at Midway, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation. Delays were estimated at 15 minutes at O’Hare and 20 minutes at Midway.

A city fleet of 287 trucks was deployed Sunday morning to plow and salt the streets, according to the city’s Department of Streets and Sanitation. Early Monday, the department said that 210 snowplows began work clearing residential streets.

The Illinois Tollway mobilized 192 snowplows with a staff of 200 per shift for the weekend snowfall, according the tollway.