mostlycloudy
Saturday May 30th, 2015 12:41PM

After thaw, snow returns to Midwest, Northeast

By The Associated Press
CHICAGO (AP) -- A wet snow forced residents of Chicago and the Midwest to once again break out shovels and slog to work along slippery roads and slow transit lines, a reality check for winter-weary residents who had just reveled in a day or so of spring-like temperatures. Along the storm's eastward track, upstate New York was gearing up for a blizzard.

Tens of thousands of homes and businesses in northern Illinois lost power and a few hundred flights were canceled at Chicago's airports, including Midway International, where 6 inches of snow fell. The storm was moving east into northern Indiana, and it was forecast to hit the Great Lakes in Ohio, Pennsylvania and upstate New York before dissipating over Canada.

"The roads were just horrible, it was pretty hazardous conditions out there," said Stephen Rodriguez, National Weather Service meteorologist in Romeoville, Ill. He said an initial forecast for 8 inches of snow in the city was overblown, but that the impact on the morning commute was significant.

Forecasters warned that as much as 9 inches of snow could fall in parts of southeastern Michigan, with 4 to 8 inches in Detroit. Before the sun rose Wednesday, snow and sleet were making roads slippery across a large southern swath of the state. Hundreds of schools closed their doors for the day.

The picture was similar in upstate New York, where hundreds of schools called off classes after the weather service warned that a blizzard with winds of up to 50 mph could paralyze the area from western New York to the Adirondacks.

Chicago had already been buried by 75.5 inches of snow this winter - the fourth most on record dating back to 1884-1885, according to the weather service. The snowfall on Wednesday pushed the seasonal total into third place, ahead of the 77.0 inch total from 1969-1970, though with some snow still falling Wednesday morning a final tally was not complete.

After a few days of spring-like thawing, the return to snow-covered streets and trees was a jarring sight. Forty mph winds blotted out the lit-up skyline for a few hours before dawn and left trees glazed with heavy snow. Workers downtown grunted as they heaved slush with well-worn shovels. Others rushed to return sidewalk signs warning pedestrians of ice falling from skyscrapers.

The shift in temperatures, from the 50s on Monday to back below freezing, caused some confusion.

"I had a guy in here yesterday asking for salt and right after him a guy wanted mulch. Only in Chicago," Richard Schauer, owner of Schauer's Hardware in Forest Park, said Tuesday.

He did say there are still a few shovels, though the selection is pretty thin.

Snowfall totals in southeastern Michigan could come close to breaking a 133-year-old record. The storm will likely move the Detroit area close to the seasonal snow total of 93.6 inches set in 1880-1881, according to the weather service.

Rainy Indianapolis experienced a swift temperature drop of about 30 degrees, from 68 late Tuesday afternoon to 37 early Wednesday. In Missouri, temperatures that peaked in the high 70s and in St. Louis as high as 83 degrees on Tuesday were replaced with high winds and temperatures in the low 30s Wednesday morning.

Jeff Gatewood, who owns Allisonville Nursery in the Indianapolis suburb of Fishers, said the months of snow and cold cut down on winter customers, but in recent weeks many visitors confided that their yearning for spring drove them to stop by the business and take in its house plants and cheery garden items.

"Everybody's got so much pent-up energy, it's going to make for a crazy spring," Gatewood said. "Spring fever is really going to be pretty high this year.

"And we all know the weather's going to hiccup and do this a few times before it straightens out."
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 4 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 4 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 4 months ago )
U.S. News
State DOT awards $48M contract for NE Ga. road project
The state Department of Transportation has awarded a $47.8 million contract for nine miles of work on a northeast Georgia road.
9:37AM ( 4 months ago )
Business News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 4 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 4 months ago )
Maysville man dies from Banks County wreck
The Georgia State Patrol reports that alcohol and/or drugs were factors a single-vehicle wreck that claimed the life of a Maysville man in Banks County Tuesday night.
11:07AM ( 4 months ago )
Local/State News
Federal prosecutors indict ex-US Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert on bank-related charges
CHICAGO (AP) — Federal prosecutors indict ex-US Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert on bank-related charges.
5:08PM ( 1 day ago )
Homeowners clean up in Texas; death toll climbs to 21
HOUSTON (AP) — Homeowners dragged soggy carpet to the curb and mopped up coffee-colored muck Wednesday after a barrage of storms and floods in Texas and Oklahoma left at least 21 people dead and 11 ot...
11:09PM ( 2 days ago )
US rejects nuclear disarmament document over Israel concerns
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United States on Friday blocked a global document aimed at ridding the world of nuclear weapons, saying Egypt and other states tried to "cynically manipulate" the process by...
9:33PM ( 1 week ago )
Obama again avoids calling 1915 Armenian killings 'genocide'
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will once again stop short of calling the 1915 massacre of Armenians a genocide, prompting anger and disappointment from those who have been pushing him to ful...
1:00PM ( 1 month ago )
Ex-NFL star Hernandez convicted of murder, sentenced to life
FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison Wednesday for a deadly late-night shooting, sealing the d...
8:54PM ( 1 month ago )