Fast and flurry-ous: Nearly a foot of snow fell across the Sauk Valley, and it landed with a thud
STERLING – The blizzard that blanketed the Sauk Valley in a foot of snow Sunday night and early Monday morning is being followed by frigid temperatures guaranteed to keep sledders and snowmobilers happy for a few days more.
Rock Falls and Dixon saw accumulations of 12 inches, and Sterling and Oregon 11, the National Weather Service reported. That amount of snow coupled with blustery winds and below-freezing temps was more than enough for schools to cancel classes and extend Thanksgiving break one more day.
The 13.1 inches of snow that fell in McHenry County north of Chicago was the most in the region, the weather service said, while the 7.4 inches of snow at O’Hare International Airport prompted the cancellation of more than 800 flights Monday on top of the 700 cancelled Sunday. At Midway International Airport, where 4.9 inches fell, 69 flights were canceled Monday.
There’s no chance of any kind of thaw until at least Thursday.
Tuesday’s forecast calls for a high of 21 and a low of 7, with gusty west winds sending the wind chill factor as low as 5 below. Wednesday, expect a high around 27 and a low of 21, while Thursday’s incoming cloud cover will push daytime temps above freezing, to 34, with an overnight low of 26. Expect about the same on Friday, with a 20 percent chance of snow Friday night.
Things will warm to the mid-30s through the weekend, when a 60 percent chance of rain and snow on Saturday and a 30 percent chance on Sunday will turn everything to muck.
Sunday’s mixture of light rain followed by blowing snow caught some drivers by surprise, and as road conditions quickly worsened, accidents and driver assists neared 100 for Sterling, Rock Falls and Dixon police departments, and Whiteside and Lee County sheriff’s deputies.
Drivers are advised to keep a flashlight, food and water, and a blanket in their vehicles in case of emergencies.
Go to gettingaroundillinois.com for the latest road conditions.
– The Associated Press contributd to this report.