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Accumulating snow is also expected across Livingston, Monroe and Ontario counties this afternoon through tonight "during which time there could be enough snow to warrant winter weather advisories", the Weather Service said.

Over the remainder of the Chicago counties along and north of Interstate-80 snowfall as of 6AM CST looks to be in the 4 to 6-inch range with totals between 6 and 9-inches likely before snow ends from the west and north later this morning.

The Illinois Department of Transportation also has deployed about 370 plows in the Chicago area to clear local expressways.

CBS 2 Meteorologist Megan Glaros reports the storm now is expected to dump between 5 and 7 inches for most of the Chicago area by Friday afternoon.

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The bulk of flight cancellations affected Chicago's O'Hare and Midway airports and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, according to the tracking site

Most school districts cancelled classes on Friday before any snow started falling, including the Chicago Public Schools.

Some courts and government offices shut down, joining schools in the path of the storm that closed for the day in Illinois, Indiana and MI. Forecasters say travel will be "very hard to impossible" at times. These give you a driver's seat view of the road conditions - a good thing to check before you head out the door.

The National Weather Service has cautioned drivers in that area that "travel is discouraged" today. A snowfall of 6-9 inches is expected as the storm will continue steadily throughout the day, officials said.

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American, United and Southwest airlines warned travelers to expect more flight cancellations to and from Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

The expectation of up to 12 inches (30 centimeters) around Chicago prompted officials to close the city's public schools to about 390,000 students Friday.

Weather service meteorologist Trent Frey says the forecast is for up to nine inches of snow in Detroit through late Friday.

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