Snow was falling around Northern Illinois on Thursday morning, leaving roads slick and children and parents looking for indoor alternatives to the traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating.
The snowfall that was scheduled to end Thursday afternoon was followed by a cold front expected to plunge temperatures into the 20s overnight – a forecast at least as scary as the children dressed as monsters and ghosts who normally provide the frights this time of year.
Residents in DeKalb woke up Thursday morning to more than 2 inches of snow — coming down so fast that at times it was blowing sideways. By 7 a.m., Orangeville in far northwestern Stevenson County, tallied 3.5 inches of snowfall.
Snowfall totals varied across the region on Thursday morning, with communities to the west taking the brunt of it. There were 3 inches on the ground Thursday in Princeton, a community along Interstate 80 in Bureau County,, while Joliet reported only a trace amount.
While the snow is expected to taper off by mid-afternoon Thursday, dropping as much as 4 inches in western and northwestern portions of Illinois, and 2 inches along most of north central Illinois, temperatures will dip into the 20s and wind chills below 0.
A word of advice from State Climatologist Trent Ford for families trick-or-treating: “bundle up.”
“As interesting as it is to get a snowfall accumulation in October, the temperatures are expected to drop well below the average,” Ford said. “We could see temperatures as low as the 20s in the northern portion of the state.”
AccuWeather predicts a low of 19 degrees for DeKalb, Crystal Lake and Sterling, and a low of 21 for Ottawa. Due to winds exceeding 20 mph, the cold will feel like it’s below zero.
While it will not get that cold in the early evening hours, temperatures still will near 30 degrees across most of northern Illinois, according to forecasts.
That has led to several communities postponing trick-or-treating to Friday.
According to Bob Byrne, a member of the cooperative observer program with the National Weather Service — Quad Cities, Princeton received 3.5 inches of snow on Halloween, noting the snowfall seemed to be letting up as of 11:30 a.m.
That followed a snowfall of 2 inches the day before Halloween, Byrne said.
Byrne said the Princeton area has had earlier snowfalls in the past, but from what he’s heard from NWS sources, this is the first time it has snowed on Halloween.
“It is unusually early,” he said.
Kirk Haring, superintendent at Princeton High School, said regular school operations were not impacted because of the Halloween snow.
He said all buses arrived at school Thursday morning “safe and on time.”
La Salle and Peru, along Interstate 80, in La Salle County decided they wanted no part of trick-or-treating in the snow. Mayor Jeff Grove, who is the father of four, decided to postpone the activity for 24 hours when temperatures are expected to return to a high of 40 degrees, and some of the snow should be melted.
“Some parents who took the night off from work are not happy,” Grove said of the city’s unprecedented Halloween postponement. “Unfortunately, there are always going to be situations where people are negatively impacted no matter what is decided.”
Grove was among the mayors who digested the bleak forecast and saw no choice but to postpone the festivities for 24 hours. His own children, however, took the news in stride — “They are glad we’re still going to have it.”
On the Morris Police Department’s Facebook page, the police took a different approach.
“It will be a true test of the old school hardiness of Morris children. On the upside, there is nowhere in Morris where they have to walk uphill both ways with no shoes, so they have that going for them.”
Snowfall observations as of Thursday morning:
Princeton: 3.5 DeKalb: 2.1 Mendota: 2 Sterling: 1.5 La Salle: 1.5 Crystal Lake: 1.3 and 1.5 Batavia: 1.5 Earlville: 1.2 Ottawa: 1 Sugar Grove: 0.9 Glen Ellyn: 0.5 Crest Hill: 0.2 Plainfield: 0.1
Source: The Daily Chronicle