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More than 800 flights canceled as blizzard warning takes effect in Chicago

e snowstorm expected to hit Chicago may be arriving later than expected. But don’t give thanks just yet. Blizzard conditions are on the way. The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for the Chicago metro area Sunday afternoon. The warning is in effect from 6 p.m. Sunday until 9 a.m. Monday. Issuing a blizzard warning is not common, said National Weather Service meteorologist Ricky Castro.Shijiazhuang flights “The last time we had one out for Cook County was in February 2015, and then the one before that was February 2011,” Castro said. “So it’s really not a common thing to have a blizzard warning around here, especially this time of year.

” The weather already is responsible for the cancellation of more than 800 flights from area airports, and transportation officials said car travel will be hazardous as well. At the height of the storm, more than 2 inches of snow an hour is possible, according to the weather service, combined with winds gusting 40 to 50 mph. The far northwest suburbs could see about 12 inches of snow, according to the weather service, with 10 inches possible at O’Hare, 6 inches possible at Midway and then several inches likely for the immediate shoreline and downtown Chicago. Snow is expected to hit the north and west parts of the Chicago area from 5 to 7 p.m. and transition to the southeast. The storm, which could bring reduced visibility and whiteout conditions at times, will be at its worst in Chicago around midnight, weather service meteorologist Todd Kluber said.

Because the worst of the conditions are expected tonight, it’s unclear how treacherous Monday’s commute will be, Castro said. “That’s not something that we can forecast,” he said. “We’re still expecting snow tomorrow morning, but accumulations will be light in the morning hours.” Castro said that regardless of what happens in the morning, “it’s just best to stay indoors if you don’t have to go anywhere.” Travelers flying back home after the holiday weekend may face their own set of challenges. As of late Sunday afternoon, more than 600 flights were canceled at O’Hare and more than 120 were canceled at Midway.

Both airports were experiencing average delays of less than 15 minutes, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation. The combination of the heavy snow and strong winds could also result in damage to power lines, so the weather service has warned Chicagoans to be prepared for power outages. Because of the below-freezing temperatures expected to stick around through Thursday, the snow won’t melt right away. Temperatures in the mid-30s will drop below freezing and hover in the upper 20s into Monday. A lakeshore flood warning is also in effect for Cook County, and Lake and Porter counties in Indiana from 9 p.m. Sunday through noon Monday, as well as Lake County in Illinois from 9 a.m. to 6 a.m. Flooding is possible on Lake Shore Drive, with wind gusts up to 50 mph on the immediate shoreline and possible waves of 12 to 18 feet.

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More than 800 flights canceled as blizzard warning takes effect in Chicago