Three waves of snow in weekend weather outlook

WLFI File Photo
WLFI File Photo

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – A powerful winter system will move through Indiana this weekend, potentially producing significant amounts of snow, with possibilities of freezing rain and sleet mixes. National Weather Service has most of the News 18 viewing area currently under a Winter Storm Watch.

News 18 Chief Meteorologist Chad Evans said the system will come in three waves. He said the first wave will hit Friday night into Saturday morning with snow accumulations of one inch and some sleet in most of the area.

Evans said temperatures are slated to rise above freezing Saturday, so it will melt off quickly.

“If you have plans Saturday late morning through afternoon, you should be fine,” Evans said. There will not be much trace of it by 11 a.m. as temperatures rise above freezing with the early-March sun angle.”

Wave two will hit the area late Saturday night bringing one to two inches of snow. Evans said snow totals will be higher as you travel north, whereas southern counties may have less snow, but will see more sleet and freezing rain.

The main round of snow will be the third wave expected to hit our area Sunday afternoon and last through Sunday night. This wave is projected to have significant snowfall totals, with four to six inches in the forecast.

But a lot of snow, isn’t the only worry. According to Evans, this third wave will have winds running 20 to 30 mph, and temperatures slowly dropping off throughout the night.

“Northeast to north-northeast winds will lead to blowing and drifting,” Evans said. “Temperatures will remain steady on Sunday, but wind chills will drop below zero Sunday night.”

Evans expects overall a total of six to 10 inches of snowfall by Monday morning, with southern counties seeing more sleet and freezing rain.

“The six inch amounts will likely be in our southern counties, then tick upward as you move north. The eight inch to 10 inch amounts will likely occur in the north half, the way it looks right now [Friday],” Evans said.

As for Monday, Evans does not rule out minor accumulations of lake effect snow. He said it appears blowing and drifting issues may continue into Monday as well.

This storm could disrupt travel across the state, and public safety officials are encouraging Hoosiers to carefully consider if travel will be necessary Sunday and Monday morning.

Drivers are strongly encouraged to listen and follow county travel advisories and stay off the roads, both during the storm and after the storm when blowing and drifting snow could reduce visibility.

Indiana Department of Homeland Security said if you must travel in bad weather conditions, this is what you should know.

  • Let someone know your route, expected time of arrival, and how to reach you.
  • Charge your cell phone before leaving.
  • Pack essential items needed in case of emergency: high protein snacks, water, first aid kit, flashlight, warm blankets, extra prescription medications and important documents or information.

Other helpful tools:

  • To view the Indiana County Travel Advisory Map, please click here.
  • For road updates, please call 800-261-ROAD.
  • For more information on how to “get prepared,” visit IDHS’s website.
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