Have travel plans? Prepare for cold rain and snow

Author: Associated Press
Published: Updated:
A fan makes his way to Lambeau Field in the snow before an NFL football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

CHICAGO (AP) – A blanket of snow will cover the Great Lakes and the Northeast ahead of an expected dip into Arctic-cold temperatures.

The wintry weather mostly moved out of the Plains overnight, leaving parts of Minnesota with up to a foot of snow, and pushed into Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana.

It’s a “slap of reality” after a mild November, National Weather Service meteorologist Dave Schmidt in La Crosse, Wisconsin, said.

The Chicago area received 3 to 4 inches of snow as of Sunday morning, and could see another 3 to 5 inches Sunday. The city’s aviation website said more than 1,200 flights had been canceled at O’Hare and 175 at Midway as of late Sunday morning.

Michigan could see the heaviest snowfall, up to 10 inches. It caused problems Sunday when a Delta plane with 70 passengers and crew landed at Detroit Metropolitan Airport but then ended up in snowy grass while it was turning from the runway to a taxiway. No injuries were reported.

Several flights that were supposed to arrive Sunday afternoon and evening at Southwest Florida International Airport from Detroit and Chicago were canceled.

“Every once in a while when you take a winter vacation, coming back, especially to Chicago, can be problematic at times,” said Todd Rhone, whose plane headed to Chicago was delayed. “So you have to keep an eye on the weather forecasts and be prepared to be late sometimes.”

Dave Kauppi’s flight from Southwest Florida to Detroit was delayed several hours.

“We thought we would just roll the dice, and they always forecast worse than it ever is, so we said it’s not gonna pan out,” Kauppi said. “But obviously the storm is panning out.”

There are worse fates than being forced to stay in Southwest Florida longer than expected, Rhone said.

“I understand that everybody has things to do, but there’s worse places to be stuck than sunny Florida, especially when there’s a winter storm at home.”

The airlines have been accommodating and have offered to rebook free of charge, travelers at Southwest Florida International said.

To the east, Cleveland could see up to 6 inches, while parts of Vermont could see up to a foot.

The Ohio River valley and Mid-Atlantic will see a mix of snow, freezing rain and rain.

“For the rest of the day the best advice is just to stay off the road if you can, and otherwise go slow and give yourself more time to reach your destination,” National Weather Service meteorologist Mark Steinwedel said. “If you don’t have to drive or go somewhere, stay home.”

Temperatures 15 to 30 degrees below average will follow the cold rain and snow in the coming days through much of the Midwest and East.

WINK News reporter Ellen Thalls contributed to this story.

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