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Southlanders dig the snow (literally)

Tim Grant's dog Mac tracks down flying shovel snow Oak Forest Illinois Friday February 22 2013. | Joseph P. Meier~Sun-Times

Tim Grant's dog Mac tracks down a flying shovel of snow in Oak Forest, Illinois, Friday, February 22, 2013. | Joseph P. Meier~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: March 25, 2013 6:40AM



Southlanders put their shovels and snow blowers to work Friday, but snow started to taper off in the morning after an overnight storm blanketed the Chicago area in up to 5 inches of snow.

Chicago’s full fleet of 284 snow plows were out clearing and salting streets, first focusing on main streets and then shifting to residential streets, according to a statement from the city’s Department of Streets and Sanitation.

The National Weather Service warned that wind gusts of up to 30 mph could “result in wind-whipped snow” and brief whiteout conditions causing reduced visibility.

The wet snow could also make shoveling sidewalks and driveways harder, the weather service said.

The snow began late Thursday. Weather service meteorologist Gino Izzi said between 2 and 5 inches of accumulation were expected in the Chicago area.

The storm might seem insignificant for February in Chicago, but it could be the biggest storm in a winter that has only produced 10.9 total inches of accumulation at O’Hare International Airport, Izzi said.

The largest snowfall at O’Hare this winter left only 2.7 inches of accumulation Feb. 3 and 4, Izzi said.

A winter weather advisory will remain in effect in until 6 p.m. Friday as periods of “heavy snow,” sleet or rain are expected to limit visibility, make roads slippery and travel difficult, the weather service said.

The snow and sleet were expected to change to all rain by Friday afternoon, when the temperature was expected to climb to 36 degrees, according to the weather service.

Contributing: Staff reports, AP



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