CHICAGO (WLS) – The Chicago area saw its first measurable snowfall of the season on Tuesday after one of the longest snowless droughts in the city’s history.

Snow started to sweep through the western suburbs and town on Tuesday morning after the ride and continued to get heavier until mid to late afternoon when it started to turn to rain and then in a clearer sky.

About an inch to four inches of snow fell depending on where you were in the area, although many are expected to melt as temperatures warmed. The National Weather Service said snow peaks of up to half an inch per hour are expected between noon and 3 p.m. Drivers should be careful on slippery roads.

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“I’m a little scared of driving in the snow,” said Chicago driver Chavon Simmons. “You know how it is on the first snow.”

“I mean, I’m used to it, man,” Chicago driver Robert McMiller said. “We’ve been doing this in Chicago for a long time. It’s not new.”

While the snow is late, the rules of the road for crossing it are the same for many. Unless, of course, you’re Greg Garcia from Texas who was forced to stop to fix his broken window.

“This is my first winter in Chicago,” he said. “People look at me like I’m wild because I drive with the window down.”

More than 200 snow plow trucks have been deployed on the streets of Chicago to treat the roads with 400,000 tonnes of salt.

At Algonquin, a fleet of 12 trucks was dispatched to salt 150 miles of city surface roads and then, depending on the build-up, plow the streets.

In Schaumburg, they have almost double the kilometers of road and almost twice as many trucks to do so.

The late arrival of the first snow has many advantages for the municipalities. They not only saved overtime budget for the drivers, but they also didn’t need any salt so a lot is stored. In Schaumburg, they still have their full batch of 6,500 tonnes.

Many municipalities mix their road salt with calcium chloride or beet juice to make it more effective.

The last time Chicago saw measurable snow was March 15. For the first time in history, Chicago experienced an entire fall season without measurable snow.

The record-breaking snowless stretch for Chicago occurred in 2012, when the city spent 290 days without measurable snow. Chicago should wait until Friday to break that record, according to the National Weather Service.

Measurable snow is defined by at least one tenth of an inch on the ground.

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