More snow? Monday's storm likely not the last

Week to include warmup and rain, but snow in the forecast

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014 7:34 a.m. CDT
Caption
(Sandy Bressner - sbressner@shawmedia.com)
Cars and a plow truck make their way through a snowstorm on Fabyan Parkway near Batavia Monday afternoon.

After Monday's significant snowfall, the rest of the week calls for warmer weather, perhaps even thunderstorms. But the arrival of spring-like weather doesn't mark an end to the snow season.

Expect more snow. National Weather Service meteorologist David Beachler said Monday that the weather likely will fall into the familiar pattern it's been in during the winter season – snowy weather, followed by low temperatures.

Expect difficult driving conditions to the west, even if there isn't more snow today. Lt. Pat Gengler, spokesman for the Kane County Sheriff's Department, said drifts are so high, in the area of Route 47 and to the west, that they are taller than cars. And, he said, "there's really not a shoulder. You've got a big snowbank."

And then later this week, it's possible that heavy rains could bring flooding. The forecast calls for thunder and rain Thursday, with a high of 42, but Beachler said the rain might be lessened if temperatures are lower, with some of the precipitation falling as snow.

But while winter isn't yet over, Beachler said there is good news. Temperatures are not forecast to plunge below zero.

"There isn't a significant arctic outbreak that we are anticipating," Beachler said. "It doesn't look like it will be bitterly cold. … Right now, we don't have any below-zero temperatures in the forecast."

Monday's snow totals varied significantly from town to town. In St. Charles, it was reported that at least 4.9 inches of snow fell. Beachler said the official Chicago number is at O'Hare Airport, and the snow received Monday pushed the season total into the top five of all time recorded there. As of 4 p.m., the total was more than 4 inches, pushing the seasonal total to 66.9 inches.

Elburn-based weather observer Brad Hruza said the season snowfall total in western Kane County is even greater, at 80 inches.

In Geneva, Kevin Stahr, the communications coordinator for the city of Geneva, said the city had 842 tons of salt on hand before the Monday's storm. Typically, he said, it would use 150 tons on a 3-inch snowstorm. He said officials have been mixing sand into salt trucks – one bucket of sand for every two buckets of salt.

Gengler said he has learned that the county's roads will get worse as a driver heads to the west.

"East of Randall Road, it's really not too bad," he said. "Then you get to that area between Randall and Route 47. … It's all right. Which way the wind is blowing will tell us where we're going to have problems."

Then, he said, is the area west of Route 47. He said very tall snowdrifts will create "a lot of problems."

"It really hurts visibility," he said. "And we've got to drive on it. … An eight-hour shift can be a really long day."

Know more

The greatest snow seasons recorded at O'Hare Airport:
1978-1979: 89.7 inches
1977-1978: 82.3 inches
1969-1970: 77.0 inches
1966-1967: 68.4 inches
2013-2014: 66.9 inches*
1951-1952: 66.4 inches
1917-1918: 64.1 inches
2007-2008: 60.3 inches
*-Total through 5 p.m. Monday

The last eight snow seasons:
2013-2014: 66.9 inches*
2012-2013: 30.1 inches
2011-2012: 19.8 inches
2010-2011: 57.9 inches
2009-2010: 54.2 inches
2008-2009: 52.7 inches
2007-2008: 60.3 inches
2006-2007: 35.6 inches
*-Total through 5 p.m. Monday

Source: National Weather Service

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