Here's a fascinating image taken this afternoon, January 4th, from a polar-orbiting satellite. You can cleary see areas which are snow covered, mainly west of the Fox River and south of the Kankakee River. You can also see the areas which have received lake-effect snow: over the near north suburbs of Chicago, and across Porter County in Indiana. Most of the areas with some snow on the ground warmed into the lower 30s today, while areas without snow cover managed to reach the mid 30s. This occurs because snow reflects more of the sun's energy than bare ground does, and the melting process takes energy away from warming the surface and air.
If you'd like to check out SSEC's website, visit http://www.ssec.wisc.edu/.