CHICAGO – A fast-moving mower system plunging out of Canada through Tuesday will produce snow in Midwest and Ohio Valley cities including Chicago and Columbus, Ohio, which could make travel difficult Tuesday morning .
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The speed of the mower system and near-freezing temperatures will keep snow accumulations low, with less than an inch expected in most areas. The exception is the West Virginia mountains, which could receive 3 to 5 inches of snow overnight and Tuesday.
The National Weather Service in Chicago said a dusting of snow would arrive early Tuesday., with accumulations of less than half an inch expected around Chicagoland. Sure enough, the snow started falling around 3:30 a.m. at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.
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However, there is a chance for a narrow band of snow where locally higher amounts of 1 to 2 inches are possible, somewhere near Interstate 80 south of Chicago.
“What’s happening in places like Chicago is really not that impressive,” said FOX meteorologist Amy Freeze. “The timing might be the trickiest thing here, because if it happens overnight, how they treat the roads could make the difference.”
If roads are pretreated just before precipitation falls, they should simply stay wet. But the timing has to be perfect.
“If they lay down the brine solution and the precipitation falls on top of it, the roads will be just fine,” Freeze said. “Maybe the grassy areas are accumulating slush. However, if they’re laying down brine, there’s a waiting period before the precipitation starts and everyone hits the roads, it could be very difficult to perform treatments in between.”
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After passing through the Midwest and Ohio Valley, the clipper system will bring snow to the mountains of West Virginia, which could pick up several inches.
The National Weather Service in Charleston, West Virginia, said rain would fall across most of the lowlands. But there will be enough cold air above 3,500 feet to allow for snow. The NWS said total snow accumulations could range from 2 to 4 inches between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday afternoon, with locally higher amounts.
Light snow accumulations of about half an inch are expected in the western foothills of West Virginia.
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