Storm gives Midwest schoolchildren a rare snow day

Combination of freezing rain and snow expected Tuesday night  Wednesday morning across Tri-State

A winter storm warning now is set to expire between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. for most of the Chicago area, earlier than when it first went into effect Thursday.

In southeastern MI, a winter storm watch is in effect through Friday night with 5 to 9 inches forecast in Detroit and its suburbs. Around 3 to 5 inches is expected north of Dane County, and 1 to 3 inches near and north of Wisconsin Dells.

Today's snowfall is expected to be heaviest in the southern third of MI, with up to a foot of accumulation possible in some areas. Some of the highest totals are forecast in the Chicago area, northern in and southern MI.

In Detroit, more than 100 flights are cancelled.

The bulk of flight cancellations affected Chicago's O'Hare and Midway airports and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, according to the tracking site FlightAware.com.

A major winter storm pounding the U.S. Midwest on Friday forced cancellation of hundreds of flights, as heavy snow and plummeting temperatures threatened to bring travel to a standstill across the region. Schools across Nebraska and Iowa also closed or delayed the start of classes.

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Some courts and government offices shut down, joining schools in the path of the storm that closed for the day in Illinois, Indiana and MI. "Visibility will be reduced due to falling snow from Chicago to Detroit on Friday". Court closings were reported in Chicago and Detroit, and driver's license offices were shut in the Chicago area. People should stay off the roads if possible and expect delays and hazardous conditions.

The National Weather Service has cautioned drivers in that area that "travel is discouraged" today.

Officials are saying it won't be windy, and the snow will be heavy, but the wind directions can change continuously so expect some drifting to be an issue.

The expectation of up to 12 inches around Chicago prompted officials to close the city's public schools to about 390,000 students on Friday.

The Michigan Department of Transportation's interactive map also has dozens of traffic cameras that show current weather and road conditions.

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