Nearly 700 flights canceled as snow, sleet hit Chicago

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CHICAGO (STMW) - Nearly 700 flights were canceled Tuesday as a mixture of freezing rain and snow slicked the Chicago area.

As of 8:30 p.m., about 625 flights were canceled at O’Hare and more than 70 were grounded at Midway, according to the city’s Department of Aviation. Delays had returned to normal levels, but officials still urged passengers to check their flight status with airlines.

Not much of the snow stuck in the city, where an inch was recorded at O’Hare by 9 p.m. and a little more than a half-inch at Midway, according to the National Weather Service. The northern suburbs saw higher totals, as 6.5 inches fell in Gurnee and 5.3 inches in Beach Park, forecasters said.

Temperatures will stay in the low 30s through Friday, with nighttime lows in the upper 20s, meteorologists said. Another 1 to 3 inches of snow are possible from Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

Though February was relatively warm, and the past weekend broke a 121-year-old record with a high of 63 degrees, such changes in weather are common, NWS forecaster Matt Friedlein said.

“This is not uncommon in the late winter to early spring to have these sharp ups and downs,” Friedlein said.

The city sent out 200 snowplows Tuesday morning to clear the main routes and Lake Shore Drive, according to the city’s Department of Streets and Sanitation. Also, the Illinois Tollway deployed its full fleet of 185 snowplows and advised travelers to use extra caution as strong winds may cause blowing snow that could reduce visibility on roadways.