During a month when trees are expected to bloom, streets in the suburbs were sprouting snowplows Sunday.
Local public works departments responded throughout the day as several inches of heavy, wet snow accumulated in parts of the suburbs.
Snowplows and de-icers were also rolling at O’Hare International Airport where the falling snow led to the cancellation of more than 1,000 flights at O’Hare International Airport as of about 9 p.m. The Chicago Department of Aviation reported 166 flights were canceled at Midway International Airport.
About 4.8 inches of snow fell at O’Hare — the second highest snowfall ever recorded this late in the season, according to the National Weather Service. Two to 5 inches of snow was common throughout northern Illinois, though as many as 6 to 8 inches were reported in a narrow corridor from DeKalb County into the far northwest suburbs, including in St. Charles.
The snow left a slushy coating on area roads and bridges, making for difficult driving conditions. The unusual April snow, which had been expected to melt on roads and sidewalks, accumulated more deeply than expected as temperatures hovered around the freezing mark.
The blizzard-like conditions tapered off into the evening, with less than half an inch of snow possible overnight, according to the weather service. Monday is expected to be sunny with a high of 49 degrees. Temperatures could reach the mid- to upper-60s later this week.
Sunday’s wintry storms prompted public works crews to awaken snowplows from their seasonal slumber.
Schaumburg snow command said 16 trucks were roaming the village and also at Schaumburg Airport. In addition, contract crews were cleaning off sidewalks and lots.
Although the amount of snow was unexpected, the village, which called out crews at 8 a.m., adjusted.
Naperville posted a picture of one of its trucks on social media, advising drivers to use caution.
And the village of Buffalo Grove posted as well, saying crews “will be on the streets for the duration of the storm.”
The National Weather Service issued a hazardous weather outlook Sunday for the Chicago area and northwest Indiana, warning of strong north to northeast winds that could result in large waves on Lake Michigan and cause some minor lakeshore flooding.
A strong low-pressure system increases chances of thunderstorms Tuesday through Thursday, with the potential for severe storms on Thursday, the weather service says.