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Winter storm, difficult driving conditions expected Sunday across northern, central Illinois

Heavy snow, reduced visibility to impact travel at end of Thanksgiving holiday weekend

information provided by the Illinois Department of Transportation

CHICAGO, Ill. (November 24, 2018) – The Illinois Department of Transportation is warning the public that a winter storm with the potential for up to 12 inches of snow in northern Illinois is anticipated to have a major impact on the last day of the Thanksgiving travel period. All motorists should plan accordingly for conditions to deteriorate throughout the day Sunday, with heavy snow, high winds, limited visibility, and much longer travel times anticipated.

“Please take all necessary precautions, including altering travel plans to leave early or asking yourself if your trip can wait,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “The IDOT snow-and-ice teams will be prepared, but the public should expect worsening driving conditions Sunday with travel becoming dangerous late in the day.”

The National Weather Service is predicting rain to begin falling early Sunday morning in the western part of the state before transitioning to snow by late morning. The primary area impacted will be from Quincy north to the Wisconsin state line.

As the day progresses and temperatures fall, the snow will intensify. The northwest third of the state should anticipate up to 12 inches, with the highest totals in Chicago’s western and northern suburbs. The forecast for central Illinois is for up to six inches of snow, with the heaviest snow north of Springfield.

Wind speeds up to 40 mph will persist into the night, causing drifting snow and blizzard conditions in open areas.

Motorists should expect slick roadways and be extra cautious when driving. For regular updates on statewide road conditions, visit You can also follow IDOT on Facebook and Twitter.

If you encounter a plow during your travels, please slow down, increase your driving distance, and remain patient.

Other tips if you have to travel:

  • Take it slow, especially when approaching intersections, ramps, bridges and shady areas.
  • Make sure your gas tank is full.
  • Keep a cell phone, warm clothes, blankets, food, water, a first-aid kit, washer fluid, and an ice scraper in your vehicle.
  • Check the forecast and make sure someone is aware of your travel route and schedule.
  • Carry a cellphone and dial *999 in the Chicago area for roadway assistance in case of emergency. (Reminder: Using handheld phones while driving is illegal in Illinois, unless it is an emergency situation.)
  • Always wear a seat belt, whether you’re sitting in the front seat or back seat. It’s the law.


Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT)
Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT)
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) facilitates the inter-connectivity of all transportation modes for the efficient movement of people and goods. The roots of the agency can be traced back more than a century, for as long as cars, highways, and air traffic have moved people around the state. IDOT sends traffic-related news releases to The Lansing Journal, and we publish those that are relevant to readers in our community.