Break out the shovels and ice scrapers, snow has arrived. In order to keep you updated on everything weather related I thought it would make sense to centralize all our storm coverage in one place.
I will be posting the latest news as well as links to other important information. Add your own photos by clicking on the submission button. Feel free to ask questions and share your own tidbits in the comments section.
Bundle up, because here we go . . .
11:02 a.m. Quiet Night - Deputy Police Chief James Boie reports that it was a relatively quite night.
"Normally on the first big snowfall we get a barrage of calls, but it has been pretty quiet," he said.
There were a few minor accidents, but nowhere near what normally happens during major storms.
9:15 a.m. Snow Through Time - Huffington Post-Chicago has a pretty neat photo slideshow of past snowfalls. It seems like snowmen looked the same in 1944 as they do today:
8:10 a.m. It's Done - The National Weather Service ended their winter storm advisory at 2:47 a.m. Temperatures will continue to drop, but the snowfall is over. It is estimated that we were hit with 4 to 6 inches. I think it always feels like more when you are shoveling your way out the door.
10:40 p.m. - Icy Palos Park Police Department reports that the roads are still slick. As the temperatures continue to drop, it appears icy streets are popping up.
5:50 p.m. Road Conditions - Sorry for the gap in updates. I had to stop at to film a segment. Road conditions are getting a bit trickier. Many of the main roads including Harlem Avenue have gotten slick, thus slowing traffic.
We are that LaGrange Road is near bumper to bumper traffic in some spots, especially as it gets closer to Orland Park.
Earlier this evening police reported that there was and accident at 123rd and Wolf Road that Cook County Sheriff officers responded to.
The temperature will continue to drop as the night wears on making freezing roads more of an issue.
2:42 p.m.: My buddy over at Orland Park Patch is reporting that I-80 going west is at a complete stand still. You can keep track of travel times and road closures on every major road in the area through our handy MapQuest tracker:
2:12 p.m.: Activities Canceled - All after school activities have been canceled due to the weather.
2:10 p.m.: Forecast - The National Weather Service in Chicago has extended the winter storm warning until Friday at 9 p.m. It looks like this is the calm before the storm. The heaviest snowfall is expected to occur this afternoon and evening. Here is what the National Weather Service has to say:
Accumulating snow and reduced visibilities will likely make travel treacherous for the afternoon commute today with travel conditions remaining dangerous and treacherous tonight into early Friday morning, especially in open areas. Heavy snowfall rates of around 1 inch per hour may make it difficult for snow removal operations to keep up in some areas late this afternoon and early this evening.
1:51 p.m.: Tips - This post has some great information on a variety of snow related issues.
1:35 p.m.: Contact Numbers - If you are concerned about the streets in your area here is who you should contact:
Palos Park: (708)923-7170 or 671-3721 Palos Hills (708)598-3400
Palos Heights: (708) 361-1806 State Roads: (847)705-4222
Cook County: 708-448-8006
1:30 p.m.: Salt Smarts - Palos Hills public works commissioner Dave Weakley invented a very cool contraption that allows the city to use a salt brine on roads. He estimates that it cut the city's salt usage by about 40 percent. Read about Weakley's ingenuity here:
1:26 p.m.: Palos Park Roads - Here are some interesting facts for you. The is tasked with clearing 29 miles of roadway. They say that it takes about four to five hours to plow the streets under normal snow conditions.
I am sure the plows would appreciate car free streets, so you are encouraged to move your vehicles into your driveway.
1:22 p.m.: Blizzard 2011 - If you are nostalgic, you can always reminisce about last February's blizzard. Take a look at our coverage of that snowfall (which makes this one look like child's play.)
1:10 p.m.: Forecast - The latest weather reports are suggesting that the Palos area is in for two to four inches of snow this afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. Winds will blow at about 15 mph with gusts reaching 25 mph.
Things will get even colder tonight with temperatures dropping to 16 degrees, 1 degree with wind chill. An additional two to four inches will accumulate Thursday night into Friday. There is a 40 percent chance that it will continue to snow Friday morning.
1:03 p.m.: Street Conditions - Accumulation is still modest. The main streets seem to be fairly clean. I just drove up and down College Drive and Harlem Avenue and the plows seem to have done their job. The side streets are a bit slippery, so be careful.
1:00 p.m.: Shovel Safety - If you are going to be out shoveling you should read this post with health and safety tips. You don't want to overexert yourself.