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.