Snow blankets Chicago as winter storm sweeps US Midwest

Winter Storm Warning is in effect for Wednesday into Wednesday night

Winter Storm Warning is in effect for Wednesday into Wednesday night

Chicago: A winter storm swept across the northern US Midwest on Friday, dumping up to nine inches (23 cm) of snow on Chicago, killing at least two people and snarling hundreds of flights as it rolled east to threaten NY state and New England.

The National Weather Service has issued winter-weather warnings and advisories across parts of Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana.

The winter storm blanketing Chicago has dumped almost 5 inches of snow in Chicago as of early Friday morning, but the latest forecasts are significantly better than yesterday.

By the time it's over, between six and 10 inches of "heavy snow" was expected to fall, the weather service said.

This first batch of snow is not the light fluffy lake effect snow, but a wet and heavy snow from a traditional snow storm that raced across the plain states yesterday, shutting down Chicago and crossing Lake Michigan overnight.

The bulk of flight cancellations affected Chicago's O'Hare and Midway airports and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, according to the tracking site FlightAware.com.

Slide-offs and crashes were reported on the roads early Friday in the Chicago and Detroit areas.

About 280 heavy snow equipment operators were working on the airfields at Midway and O'Hare, said Sheridan, who warned travelers to give themselves extra time when heading to the airport. The snow began falling early this morning and it's expected to just get worse as the day progresses, if they are right.

The expectation of up to 12 inches around Chicago prompted officials to close the city's public schools to about 390,000 students today. In fact, our next decent round of snow for Friday is expected to be the biggest one of the week.

Snow will wind down on Friday evening, ending later the farther south and east you are.

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