Kane County was ensconced in a snowstorm Tuesday, part of a larger weather system that smacked the Midwest from Kansas to the Deep South, a National Weather Service meteorologist said.
The afternoon snow was to be followed by moderately heavy snow showers – with periods of lighter snow – through the night and into Wednesday, said Richard Castro, a meteorologist with the weather service's Romeoville office.
"There could still be light accumulations through the day [Wednesday], maybe up to an inch to two inches," Castro said. A winter weather advisory remained in effect through today with hazardous driving conditions, he said.
The snowstorm was part of a very large weather system that caused severe storms in the deep south he said.
"This weather pattern came together to favor big storms over the center of the country," Castro said. "A large land area and number of people are affected. ... It will fade off to the east."
By late afternoon Tuesday, snowfall was measured at 4 1/2 inches in Elburn and 4 inches in St. Charles, said Jim Allsopp, another meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
The heaviest downfall came in the afternoon hours, leading to canceled after-school activities and some early dismissals. St. Charles District 303 spokesman Jim Blaney said officials decide whether to close school or have early dismissal based on safety and weather predictions. The district had a half-hour early dismissal at the high schools, but regular dismissal at elementary and middle schools, he said.
"Safety – that is where we start," Blaney said." We watch the radar … the weather can change, and in Chicago, it can change rather quickly."
School officials try to balance safety with weather forecasts and parents expecting school to be open and in session, he said.
"It's awfully hard to call off school," Blaney said. "We can look foolish if the sun is shining and the kids are not in school."
Snow plows were out clearing streets since noon, St. Charles Township Highway Commissioner Ron Johnson said.
"It's heavy, wet snow and pushing hard," Johnson said during a break. "The guys have been over everything, and it's covered over right behind them … It looks like they will be out most of the night now."