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State

Forget April showers, Midwest covered under blanket of snow

Snow falls as commuters wait for Chicago's El train Monday morning in Chicago.
Snow falls as commuters wait for Chicago's El train Monday morning in Chicago.

CHICAGO – People in the Midwest woke up Monday to a scene that looked a lot more like January than April.

A weather system that marched across the Midwest left a blanket of snow on the ground before it gave way to slate-gray skies, a good chance of rain for much of the region, and temperatures that weren’t expected to crack the 40-degree mark all day.

According to the National Weather Service, Aberdeen, South Dakota, got 8 inches of snow, the southwest portion of Minnesota and parts of Iowa received 6 inches, while the Chicago area saw up to 3 inches. The system appeared to be running out of steam as it moved east, with weather service offices in New York and Boston calling for a rain and snow mix overnight. If it does snow, it’s not expected to add up to even an inch.

The Illinois State Police said it was enough snow to cause an uptick in fender benders on roadways. It also was enough to prompt the Chicago Cubs to go ahead and postpone Monday’s Opening Day at Wrigley Field until Tuesday. Across town, the White Sox were moving ahead with their game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Experts say as much as people in Midwest like to hope it is safe to put the snow boots away by now, it does snow in April. Charles Mott, a National Weather Service meteorologist, noted Chicago has received more than 9 inches of snow in April before – once in 1975 and once in 1982.

The good news is that temperatures will start rising in the Midwest on Wednesday, and some parts of Illinois and Missouri could get into the upper 70s on Thursday, said weather service meteorologist Ed Shimon.

The bad news is that another cold front could start coming through starting Friday. By Saturday, the temperatures could drop into the 50s or 40s, possible lower overnight.

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