Some parts of the Chicago area were already slammed with over a foot of snow as of Thursday morning, when lake-effect snow kicked in, dumping even more of the white stuff on the city before heading east.
Chicago's third consecutive day of mostly continuous snow to kick off the new year was forecast to include at least up to three more inches of accumulation before the storm system winded down Thursday afternoon, the National Weather Service told DNAinfo Chicago, and it delivered.
The official snow total for the entire storm at O'Hare airport as of late Thursday afternoon was 10.9 inches, the Chicago Weather Center blog reports. At Midway airport, 12.3 inches of accumulation was reported.
The snowfall -- ranging from 5.1 inches at O'Hare to 13.8 inches in north suburban Libertyville, 12.3 inches in Gurnee, 8.6 inches in Schaumburg and 7.3 inches in Evanston, through midnight Wednesday night, according to CBS Chicago -- is part of the biggest snowstorm the Chicago area has seen since the 2011 Groundhog's Day blizzard, according to the Weather Center.
Snow totals were already 3-5 inches higher in many places with the latest numbers reported Thursday morning, the Chicago Tribune reports. In Libertyville, the storm total hit 16.7 inches as of just before 9 a.m. Thursday.
The Chicago Department of Streets & Sanitation told NBC Chicago the city's 287 snow plows are focusing first on main streets before hitting side and residential streets.
In addition to making for treacherous travel on area roadways, the snowy weather has caused almost 300 canceled flights at O'Hare on Thursday on top of 600 canceled flights Wednesday, according to NBC.
The snow also made for a lofty $151,000 price tag for a Chicago jeweler who offered refunds on holiday purchases if at least 3 inches of snow fell by noon on New Year's Day, according to ABC News.
On the heels of the snowstorm, temperatures in the Chicago area are expected to dip significantly, the Tribune reports. The highs on both Monday and Tuesday are both expected to be sub-zero. Lows overnight could dip as low as 20 below zero.
The massive storm is now heading to the Northeast, where the brunt of the storm, titled Hercules by the Weather Center, is expected to hit late Thursday.