Updated: March 28, 2013 6:48AM
Get the shovel and get ready to do some heavy lifting.
Three to seven inches of wet, slushy “heart attack” snow were expected throughout the Chicago area Tuesday night, according to the National Weather Service.
Sleet and freezing rain hit the area mid-morning Tuesday, turned to snow in the afternoon and snarled traffic during the evening rush.
The storm also prompted the cancellation Tuesday night’s high school basketball games in Naperville and around the Fox Valley, while many schools — including Indian Prairie, Naperville, Oswego and Yorkville — closed early or canceled after-school activities and evening classes.
Hardest hit were the far north and northwest suburbs in Lake and McHenry counties, where four to six inches of snow had fallen by 4 p.m. and wind gusts from 35 to 40 miles-per-hour whipped the falling snow into white-out conditions.
“I-88 and north got the heaviest snow,” said Weather Service meteorologist Richard Castro.
While most of the snow was expected to fall by Wednesday morning, an additional one to three inches could come down throughout the day, according to the Weather Service.
Temperatures the rest of the week will be in the 30s, with the possibility of some occasional light snow — around an inch or so — if a system moves into the area Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.
“It’s some cruddy weather to kick off March and close out February,” National Weather Service meteorologist Gino Izzi said. “This week will be day after day of dreary, dismal weather.”
At Chicago’s airports, airlines Tuesday canceled more than 330 flights at O’Hare and 170 flights at Midway, while hundreds more flights were delayed up to 60 minutes, according to the Department of Aviation.
The Weather Service also urged people to take it easy when shoveling the wet, heavy stuff it described as “heart attack” snow.
“Due to the weight of the snow caution should be exercised to not overexert oneself during shoveling,” the advisory stated.