CHICAGO (AP) — Mother Nature is apparently saving the best, or at least the biggest, for last.
The Chicago area was forecast to find itself in the midst of a storm that could wind up dumping as much as 10 inches of snow before the end of Tuesday — the most since the 2011 blizzard and its more than 20 inches of snow.
“This will be the biggest widespread storm of the winter,” National Weather Service meteorologist Amy Seeley said. The forecast is for 8 to 10 inches throughout northeastern Illinois and northwest Indiana, a far cry from last March, which saw less than a half-inch of snow and was the warmest one on record in Illinois.
Hardware stores in and around the city did brisk business Monday, selling salt and snow shovels at a time many usually turn their thoughts toward gardening and baseball.
“Everybody’s got a little comment with every bag they’re buying,” said Mike McIntosh, who works at Dressel’s Hardware in Oak Park just outside Chicago. Workers had started to stock the shelves with tools and supplies associated with spring and summer, only to find the shovels and salt they thought they’d hold for another year were still in demand.
“Everybody’s a bit surprised, but it’s good for us, we’ve got a lot of this stuff to move,” he said.
On Monday, the system moved across the Dakotas and Minnesota, dropping up to a foot of snow in some areas and freezing rain in others. Some schools closed and officials warned motorists to stay off the roads.
As it moved eastward, emergency officials in a number of states issued similar warnings in the hopes that commuters will leave their cars in the garage and take public transportation to work. In Wisconsin, where as much as a foot of snow is in the forecast, emergency managers urged residents to put winter survival kits in their vehicles and check on road conditions.
In the Chicago area, snow was forecast for the morning and afternoon rush hours, Seeley said. The weather service also said that as much as 1.5 inches of snow could fall per hour, “making snow removal difficult and travel extremely dangerous.” Before sunrise, the storm had yet to hit metro Chicago.
The Illinois Department of Transportation planned to send a fleet of 360 trucks to plow roadways in northeastern Illinois early Tuesday, with a total of 600 throughout Northern Illinois.
The storm is creating wet, heavy snow — known euphemistically as “heart attack snow” — which could pose a risk when it comes time to shovel for the elderly, sedentary people or those who have heart problems.
“Shoveling snow is a lot of work. … It is taxing their bodies and their hearts,” said Dr. David Marmor, a cardiologist at NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston. “People are really testing their limits, and if they’re already at high risk they are better off paying the kid across the street to do it.”
If the area does get 10 inches of snow, it would only underline that this has been a mild winter, Seeley said. That amount would raise the snowfall this season from 20.3 inches to 30.3 inches — just a tenth of an inch more than what Chicago sees in a typical winter.
In northern Iowa early Tuesday, at least one person was enjoying the gentle snowfall.
“It’s absolutely gorgeous out,” said Mary Hermanson, the night shift front desk clerk at the Super 8 in Mason City.
“If I’m going to have snow come down, that’s what I want to have come down,” she said of the 10 inches that had fallen in the area in the past 24 hours. She happily said it reminded her of Christmas.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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