A heavy fall snowstorm hit the Midwestern United States on Saturday, blanketing states from South Dakota to Wisconsin with as much as 16 inches (40 cm) of snow, slowing air travel and delaying some events for U.S. presidential candidates.
The number of canceled flights at Chicago’s two airports has dropped as a slow-moving storm system that dumped snow has moved out of the area.
Midway International Airport, which is in the southeast part of Chicago, had about 110 flights canceled by Saturday evening. Many other flights were delayed.
Forecasters warned that trees that had not already dropped their leaves could be damaged by the heavy, wet snow.
Amy Seeley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office said, ‘We have snow across the area with heavier amounts across northern Illinois
, While it is uncommon for the Midwest to see such heavy snowfall so early in the year, the storm is not unprecedented, Seeley said, noting that an early November storm in 1951 dropped 9.3 inches of snow over the area.’
The storm also caused several Republican presidential candidates to cancel events in Iowa, home of the critical first nominating caucus. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and Carly Fiorina, a former Hewlett-Packard chief executive, cut some events from their schedules while U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas canceled plans to visit the state.
The Illinois and Michigan Departments of Transportation warned that snow and ice-covered roads would require slow travel.
Localized issues will expand back to southern South Dakota and northern Nebraska where the sun managed to melt the edges of snow piles during the day. Bridges and overpasses will be the first to freeze, but wet spots on all untreated roads and sidewalks threaten to turn slick and treacherous.
Warmer air will begin to filter onto the Plains on Sunday, commencing a warming trend that will gradually spread eastward to the Midwest and East in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.
That means there will be little, if any, snow still on the ground for Thanksgiving.