CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire / AP) - The Chicago area got its first snowfall of the year Friday and more is coming on Saturday.
A winter storm warning was declared at 9:00 p.m. Friday for Cook, Will, Lake, Kendall, LaSalle, and DuPage counties, a spokeswoman for the National Weather Service said. The warning is scheduled to end at 3:00 p.m. Saturday.
The snow accumulation varied depending on the area, with north and northwest parts of the metro area receiving the most precipitation.
Snow totals in the northern suburbs of Chicago topped initial forecasts of six to 10 inches, said National Weather Service meteorologist Amy Seeley — 12.5 inches in Woodstock and 11.7 inches in Roscoe. It's unusual for the area's first snowfall of the season to dump more than 6 inches, Seeley said.
About 60 miles northwest of Chicago, the village of Capron had received 14.6 inches by Saturday morning, spurring village employee Robert Lukes into action clearing sidewalks with his snowblower in the community of about 1,400 people. He said the snowfall was wet, with a layer of slush underneath that made the work slow going.
"It's a typical first snow for us, but it's a pain in the butt. There's quite a bit of it and it's kind of difficult plowing and snowblowing," he said, adding, "It's just another snowstorm in northern Illinois."
Chicago's O'Hare International Airport had 7.1 inches of snow by noon Saturday, which forced the cancellation of about 350 flights in and out of the busy airport, according to the tracking website FlightAware.com. Midway International Airport had canceled about 175 flights.
The northern Indiana city of LaPorte is no stranger to heavy snowfalls, though only about 4 inches were on the ground by noon Saturday. Alizha Demunck, a clerk at the city's Little Chocolates candy store, says the weather didn't slow weekend shoppers from getting handmade chocolates.
"Northern Indiana, we're used to snow. Most people aren't even fazed by it," she said.
Between 5 and 8 inches of snow had fallen on far northern Indiana and southern Michigan by Saturday afternoon, with accumulations growing ever-smaller farther to the south, the weather service said. Indianapolis was expected to receive 1 to 3 inches of snow.
North suburban Mundelein received 10 inches and is expected to get another 4-5 inches, according to the weather service.