The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather outlook for the northern Indiana area. Counties included in the outlook are Kosciusko, Elkhart, Marshall, Allen and Whitley.
According to the NWS, accumulating snowfall is expected Saturday night through Sunday night with the heaviest snowfall to be over southern portions of the area. According to WSBT Meteorologist Matt Rudkin, snowfall totals in the Kosciusko County area are expected to be between 4 and 7 inches in northern parts of the county and 7 and 10 inches in southern areas of the county.
Rudkin noted anyone traveling this weekend should be aware that wind will also be a major issue as blowing and drifting snow will affect roadways. He said those traveling south should expect heavier snow with totals reaching up to 12 inches in Lafayette, Muncie and Kokomo. Travel is expected to be the worst from Sunday to Monday, according to Rudkin.
In anticipation of the storm, state highway crews pre-treated bridges, interchanges and roadways with salt brine to minimize icy precipitation from bonding to the road once the storm begins. INDOT continued to receive shipments of road salt from its suppliers during the recent break in winter storms and has adequate stock for the upcoming winter storm.
INDOT’s top winter priority is to plow and treat its more than 30,000 lane miles of interstates, U.S. highways and state routes. Winter operations staff will continue to monitor evolving forecasts and its statewide network of road and bridge sensors to deploy the needed personnel, equipment and materials ahead of the storm.
Each INDOT plow route takes 2 to 3 hours to complete with salt assisting in melting between passes. With the predicted arctic temperatures, salt and other melting agents will have to work harder to melt ice and snow from the roadway. As a result, motorists should expect road conditions to be worst during the storm and any blowing or drifting that follows.
Drivers are strongly encouraged to not put themselves or first responders in harm’s way during these times by avoiding optional travel and heeding county travel advisories posted at www.in.gov/dhs/traveladvisory.