Updated: December 20, 2013 2:34PM
Freezing rain and fog will continue to glaze roads and sidewalks with a sheet of ice Friday, just before a major winter storm moves into town this weekend.
A freezing rain advisory was issued early Friday and extended to 7 p.m. for counties north and west of Chicago, but not including the city. Parts of Lake, DuPage, McHenry and Kane counties could get glazed in ice for the evening commute, according to the National Weather Service.
A dense fog advisory has also been extended through 7 p.m. Between the fog and drizzle, the weather service warns drivers that visibility could be less than a quarter mile at times.
Highs Friday will reach the low-to-mid-30s with a 50 percent chance of light rain, before dropping to a low in the mid-20s, the weather service said.
An ice-covered road caused a crash between a school bus, a snow plow and a minivan Friday morning in western Illinois. The school bus, which was carrying 22 students between 5 and 14 years old, slid into a ditch on Malta Road in Kirkland, according to the DeKalb County Sheriff’s office.
The bus became stuck in the ditch, and a snow plow that was spreading salt slid into ditch, hitting the school bus, according to the sheriff’s office. While both of those vehicles were stuck in the ditch, a minivan slid on the ice, was unable to stop and also crashed into the ditch, hitting the school bus.
No one was hurt in the crash, the sheriff’s office said.
The real trouble starts Saturday, when a complicated winter storm ushers rain, sleet, snow or all of the above into the area after midnight. The storm’s course remains uncertain, but several inches of snow could possibly fall in the far northern suburbs, the weather service said.
Saturday carries a 100 percent chance of precipitation, and the snow will continue through Sunday, the weather service said. The city and southern suburbs could also see lesser amounts of snow.
Meanwhile, the same storm could bring heavy rain to northwest Indiana. Forecasters warn small creeks and streams jammed with ice could flood there.
The winter weather is hitting us just as the holiday travel season heats up.
Friday is projected to be the busiest travel day of the Christmas season at O’Hare and Midway airports, the city’s Department of Aviation said.
As of 1:30 p.m. Friday, flights were delayed about 15 minutes at O’Hare and 30 minutes or more Midway because of low visibility in Chicago.
More than 209,000 passengers will pass through O’Hare Airport alone on Friday, while more than 66,000 flyers will travel through Midway.
It’s just the beginning of a travel season that will see 4 million people pass through Chicago’s two airports until Jan. 6, the department said.
However, most people traveling for the holiday season will drive, with 4.9 million people in Illinois expected to dive 50 miles or more from home between Saturday and New Year’s Day, the AAA travel club predicts.