Sunday snow blankets Chicagoland, white Christmas on its way

CHICAGO —  You're not dreaming: It's probably going to be a white Christmas.

The Christmas Eve snow system is winding down over northeast Illinois late this Sunday afternoon, but will persist in portions of northwest Indiana until later this evening.

Snowfall reports indicate snowfall ranged from around an inch along the Illinois/Wisconsin state line to over 3-inches along and south of Interstate-80. Totals in Lake and Porter Counties in Indiana are expected to be higher.

Despite the whiteout conditions at Soldier Field along Lake Michigan, the Chicago Bears slid to their fifth victory of the season over the winless Cleveland Browns.

No injuries or deaths had been reported because of the weather, but travel was hazardous. Most of Indiana was under winter weather advisory with officials urging motorists to stay put unless they absolutely had to travel. Northern Indiana was expecting up to 5 inches (13 centimeters) with slightly less in the southern part of the state.

O'Hare and Midway international airports in Chicago were reporting minor delays averaging 15 minutes. Arriving flights at O'Hare were delayed by an average of 80 minutes by late in the afternoon Sunday. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport was experiencing gate delays of about 15 minutes.

New England could get up to 8 inches (20 centimeters) of snow. Forecasters say the storm will sweep across the region late Sunday until midday on Christmas. Strong winds are predicted for Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island with gusts up to 65 mph (105 kph).

"Along the coast, New York could end up with wet snow, but areas inland could see substantial snowfall," Castro said.

Mountain areas in parts of Colorado, Montana and Wyoming received more than 1 foot (30 centimeters) of snow which started Saturday. It was good news for holiday skiers and resorts which have struggled with a slow start this season.

But it meant a heightened warning of avalanches in higher elevations outside of ski areas.

Updates at Chicago Weather Center