Upper Midwest preparing for wintry blast, up to foot of snow

Upper Midwest preparing for wintry blast, up to foot of snow

Upper Midwest preparing for wintry blast, up to foot of snow

"The snow is here and we can expect anywhere from 4"-7", 5"-9", or even up to 10" of snow in Ingham County.

Northwest Indiana is in the middle of what the National Weather Service calls a long duration snow event - just like Chicago. Snow across southern and central MI ranged from 7 inches on the western side of the state to about 5 inches in the Detroit area.

Thousands of travelers are being delayed by the winter snowstorm at airports across the Midwest.

Predictions are for up to 14 inches of accumulation by the time the snow relents tonight.

The snowfall caused dozens of crashes on icy Chicago expressways as residents of the third-biggest US city struggled to get to work and to dig out from a storm system stretching from western Montana to southern MI. As of 9:30 a.m., more than 740 flights have been cancelled on Friday at O'Hare, and more than 280 have been cancelled on Friday at Midway.

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Counties in IL that will be affected by the Winter Storm Watch are Lake, DuPage, Cook, Will, Winnebago, Boone, McHenry, Ogle, Lee, DeKalb, Kane, LaSalle, Kendall as well as Grundy county, along with Lake and Porter counties in Indiana.

Right now there are seven flights cancelled to and from Traverse City's Cherry Capital Airport. Classes were also canceled in the city's suburbs. Court closings were reported in Chicago and Detroit, and driver's license offices were shut in the Chicago area.

Eight inches was reported in parts of northern IL and up to about 6 inches was reported the Chicago area. Detroit Public Schools are closed, as well as Eastern Michigan University, Oakland University, Wayne State University, University of Michigan Dearborn, Washtenaw Community College and Lawrence Tech.

Forecasters say it will be the snowiest day yet during what has already been a fairly extreme winter season.

City officials announced school closures in Chicago, Detroit and Milwaukee because of the weather.

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The National Weather Service has cautioned drivers in that area that "travel is discouraged" today. The snow that began falling late Thursday afternoon is expected to continue through Friday as the storm moves east.

American, United, Delta and Southwest airlines warned travelers to expect more flight cancellations to and from Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

The expectation of up to 12 inches around Chicago prompted officials to close the city's public schools to about 390,000 students on Friday. About 2.8 inches had fallen in Berkley with under 2 inches in Shelby Township.

The Michigan Department of Transportation's interactive map also has dozens of traffic cameras that show current weather and road conditions.

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