With snow falling and temperatures expected to drop significantly in the next few hours, Chicagoans are making last-minute reservations for the holiday weekend as cancellations begin to pile up across the city, from flights to holiday attractions. Preparations are underway.
Temperatures are expected to drop 15 to 20 degrees Celsius, hitting 0 degrees Celsius and dropping into negative single digits in the two hours between 2:00 and 3:00 p.m. Thursday, according to meteorologist Scott Baker of the Chicago National Weather Service. . Snow was expected to start falling around 11am and increase as the day progressed, weather forecasters said.
A “dangerously cold” wind chill will reach -30 to -40 degrees Celsius across the Chicago area from Thursday night through Friday morning, Baker said. According to meteorologist Kevin Doom, winds of up to 45 to 50 miles per hour can blow away fluffy, fine snow, significantly reducing visibility and even creating near-whiteout conditions.
As of 2 p.m., 536 flights scheduled for Thursday have been canceled at O’Hare International Airport, and 249 flights have been canceled at Midway, according to the website FlightAware, in preparation for the inclement weather expected to pass through the region. rice field.
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The airline also had already canceled dozens of flights scheduled for Friday at Chicago’s two airports. The forecasted weather forced Amtrak to change its schedule to include a trip over Christmas. For a complete list of changes, please visit Amtrak.com.
Thursday’s Metra service appeared stable as of this morning, but Friday’s service posted some changes. Metra asked commuters to monitor weather conditions before planning.
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As of 10am, no major disruptions have been reported to the Chicago Transit Authority.
Meanwhile, in preparation for the storm, Chicagoans rushed to liquor stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, and grocery stores to stock up on essentials and more.
“From the moment the weather news broke, we’ve seen very strong demand,” said Jason Arkes, a spokesman for Sunnyside, which has 10 cannabis stores in Illinois. considers cannabis a staple: bread, milk, water, and a good e-cigarette and some food in case the pipe freezes.”
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At Sunnyside’s clinic, Erkes says there are wait times of an hour or more and lines that are only seen during big events like Lollapalooza. When recreational sales began in Illinois in 2020, queues meandered around the block, so wait times were longer than they are today.
Clinics encourage their customers to order online to optimize their operations. “We are doing our best to get people through the line as quickly as possible,” he says Erkes. “And at best, provide as much space in the store as possible.”
“I can’t think of a better product to have around the house when I’m home with relatives on vacation because of the weather,” Erkes added.
According to Greg Versch, director of communications at Binny’s Beverage Depot, liquor stores are seeing an increase in business in addition to the usual seasonal gift and festive store purchases. “We’re seeing more increases…because people are hoarding,” he said.
“We have seen a leap in business,” added Versch. “It’s like what you’d find in a grocery store, but instead of toilet paper and milk, it’s bourbon and chardonnay.” It will remain open until then, Versch said.
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After noon, Tony’s parking lot in Central Park in the Belmont Kuragin neighborhood began to fill up as the snow began to fall. With the storm at its peak and people rushing to buy everything they could before their kids left school, the parking lot was saturated and there were no shopping carts left.
Maria Martinez said she would at least have some bread and milk on hand in case it became unsafe to go out with her husband the next day.
But prices are high and what you can buy is limited, she said.
“Esta bien caro todo,” Martinez said. “Everything is very expensive.
Another woman loaded toilet paper and other basic necessities into a laundry cart and pushed it through the snow on the sidewalk.
The streets of downtown Chicago are as usual, with people in hats and parkas, carrying grocery bags and walking their dogs before the temperature drops. It looked like business to me. Some decided to go jogging.
West Loop resident John Storken doesn’t worry too much about the weather. As a local, he has seen winter storms before and expects this time to be similar.
He had breakfast this morning, browsed Nordstrom, and was due to stay for the day. It didn’t really affect his holiday plans.
“I hope it’s not as bad as they say,” he said.
Lori Atkinson said she and her family of five made the two-hour drive from northern Indiana and saw little traffic en route to town. They took the kids out sightseeing and then stayed indoors for the rest of the day.
They’re coming to Chicago to see The Lion King tomorrow night and aren’t going to change their plans.
“We were just saying, it’s really pretty,” she said.
Several Chicago-area school districts announced closures Thursday in preparation for extreme winter weather. All after-school, aftercare, and after-school programming was canceled Thursday while classes were held for Chicago Public Schools students.
“The district understands that weather conditions may make it difficult for some families to get their children to school safely. They rely on the school district for food, warmth, and adult supervision while parents and caregivers go to work.Today, as the season’s first storm hits Chicago, We are happy to offer that to our children,” he said in a statement.
The district has assured parents that the walkways and parking lots will be removed as soon as possible for the safety of the students.
Friday, December 23rd was already a scheduled absence for CPS students.
Due to the expected blizzard-like conditions and extreme cold, some of Chicago’s popular holiday traditions close early.
- Adler Planetarium: Closed from Friday to Sunday.
- American Blues Theater: finished execution Today and Friday’s shows of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!’ are cancelled.
- Art Institute Chicago: Closed at 17:00 today
- Chicago Botanical Garden: Closed from Friday to Sunday. Lightscape is canceled today and Friday. Ticket holders will be contacted by email with details.
- of the Chicago Transit Authority holiday bus: Last two runs on #29 State and #J14 Jeffrey Jump — scheduled for today and Friday — will be canceled.
- Christkindlmarket: The Daley Plaza and Aurora stores will close at 4pm today and will not reopen this season. Our Wrigleyville store will be closed today through Sunday, but will reopen on December 26th at 11am.
- court: With the exception of adult bail hearings and juvenile detention hearings at Layton Criminal Court, most Cook County Courthouse activities conclude on Friday. The Circuit Court Clerk’s Office will also be closed. Waukegan’s Lake County Courthouse closed at noon Thursday and remained inactive except for Remote Bond his court at 9 a.m. Friday.
- Morton Arboretum: Illumination tonight is cancelled.
- Field Museum: Closed at 14:00 today, Friday still closedShort business on Saturday. Closed on Sundays.
- Lincoln Park Zoo: closed Friday and ZooLights have been canceled until Saturday.
- Gallagherway’s Winterland: closed From today until Sunday. Reopened December 26th.