Canceled flights, school and court closings, and a treacherous morning commute are the results so far of the Chicago area's first blizzard of the winter, ranked by the National Weather Service as the fifth-largest multiday snowstorm there, the Chicago Tribune reports. Up to 19 inches have fallen in the area since yesterday, with more lake-effect snow and wind gusts up to 45mph expected to continue through this morning. Chicago Public Schools and several suburban districts are closed today, thousands of flights out of O'Hare and Midway airports have been canceled or delayed, and city public transportation has been plagued by weather-related issues. Next in the storm's path: the Northeast, where parts—especially New England—were pummeled last week by another hard-hitting blizzard.
The storm is expected to bring between 9 and 16 additional inches to the Boston area, with similar accumulations anticipated in Hartford, Conn.; Providence, RI; southern New Hampshire; and Vermont, the AP reports. Sections of New York are also likely to experience dangerous weather conditions, with winter storm warnings issued in 16 counties across the state as the brunt of the accumulation is expected through the day today. Two of the nation's biggest court cases have also been delayed by the storm: The murder trial of ex-New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez and jury selection for the trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will both pick up again tomorrow, USA Today reports. Adding insult to injury, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning. (Here are a few tips if you have to shovel your way out of this one.)