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Chicago Area Blizzard Could Make Travel 'Nearly Impossible' Today

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Feb 24, 2016 3:39PM

We may have made light of Tuesday's winter storm watch, but today we're serious: The National Weather Service has placed Chicago under a winter storm warning and says blizzard conditions could make travel "nearly impossible" Wednesday afternoon and evening.

As of Wednesday morning, the NWS says Cook County and Chicago are in for an early mix of rain and snow, along with gusts of wind up to 50 miles per hour, particularly near the lakefront. This does not bode well:

This will create a wind whipped snow that will reduce visibilities to near zero making travel dangerous...if not nearly impossible at the height of the storm...including the late afternoon and early evening commute. Non-emergency travel should be avoided.

Already more than 700 flights have been cancelled out of O'Hare International Airport, according to the Sun-Times.

The NWS is predicting 5 to 10 inches of snow in the southeastern parts of the county, and 1 to 4 inches toward the northwest. They're also warning that the wet, heavy snow could cause power outages and cause snow-shovelers to hurt their backs, so be careful there.

And in case you weren't convinced to stay indoors today, here's one final warning:

A winter storm warning for heavy snow means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Significant amounts of snow are forecast that will make travel dangerous. Only travel in an emergency. If you must travel... keep an extra water in your vehicle.