Palm Sunday Snowstorm to Graze Chicago

By Brian Lada, Meteorologist
March 24, 2013; 11:10 AM ET
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While the worst of the snowstorm crossing the United States will bypass Chicago, the "Windy City" will not escape snow on Palm Sunday.

The majority of the heavy snowfall will fall around I-70, spanning only a few hundred miles across the Midwest. With such a narrow band of heavy snow, areas just outside the band will see substantially lower snow amounts.

Chicago is one of the cities that lies north of the heavy snow zone with little to no snow accumulations through this evening.

The city's southern suburbs have the greatest opportunity to see snow totals of a coating to an inch.

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When asked about travel impacts in Chicago, Meteorologist Bill Deger said, "With temperatures expected to be right around the freezing mark, there certainly can be some impacts on roadways, especially secondary and untreated surfaces later in the day when the snow is expected to be steadier."

"The threat for icy spots will increase [this] evening after sunset with temperatures likely to drop below freezing, even if the snow is tapering off," Deger added.

The combination of the snow and accompanying low-hanging clouds may also cause headaches for airline travelers today. The ripple effect of delays and cancellations at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport could lead to problems at other airports across the nation.

This winter started off very dismal for Chicago, with only 3.5 inches of snow from November through January. Winter picked up in February, however, when the city received 16 inches of snow, making it the snowiest month of the winter thus far.

So far in the month of March, the city has picked up just over 10 inches of snow. With more snow on the way, March might give February a run for its money as the snowiest month this winter.

It is not uncommon for a late-season snowfall for Chicago where more than 2 inches of snow falls. On average, a snow event for the city with more than 2 inches of snow occurs about every other year; however, the last time that this happened was back in 2008.

Thumbnail image courtesy of Lester Waller/

Story by Meteorologist Brian Lada.


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