Wintry, cold start to new year

The New Year is off to a wintry start in McHenry County as snowfall and frigid temperatures have engulfed much of the region.

The two-day snowstorm that started New Year’s Eve and ended Thursday dropped more than 11 inches of snow in Cary, according to the National Weather Service in Chicago. Harvard received more than 9 inches, Bull Valley and portions of Woodstock received more than 8 inches, and Marengo was hit with more than 6 inches.

The persistent snowfall had McHenry County snowplows and salt trucks working around the clock from Tuesday afternoon on, said Mark DeVries, maintenance superintendent for the county’s Division of Transportation.

“My goal would be for us to have one normal day here sometime soon,” DeVries said. “Our guys have been doing an outstanding job, but we have to get some rest at some point. It’s been a real long haul because this storm seemed to never end.”

The county already has gone through about half of its seasonal salt compared to this time last year.
“We are still OK,” DeVries said. “It just depends what happens in January and February. Last year everything came late, and I’m OK with it coming early like this as long as it ends early. There’s nothing to get too excited about just yet.”

The most snow fell in Lake County, where more than 18 inches were recorded in Gurnee, more than 13 inches in Mundelein, more than 11 inches in Waukegan and more than 9 inches in Barrington, according to the weather service.

The National Weather Service also is warning residents about dangerously cold temperatures and wind chills Friday.

A wind chill advisory is in effect through 10 a.m. Friday with temperatures between 8 to 18 degrees below zero expected and wind chill values between 15 and 25 degrees below zero.
Temps are expected to creep back into the 20s Saturday before subzero weather hits the area again Sunday and Monday.

For the month of December, the average temperature was just above 23 degrees, which was more than 4 degrees below normal, according to the weather service. Chicago received 16 inches of snow in December, which was 6 inches above normal.

In Rockford, the average temperature in December was 6 degrees below normal at just above 19 degrees, and more than 17 inches of snow fell, which was more than 6 inches above normal.

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