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Severe weather heading this way

Monday, January 31, 2011

A weather system entering the Wabash Valley has many concerned.

And according to WTHI News-10 Meteorologist David Wire, they should be.

On Monday, the National Weather Service (NWS) based in Indianapolis issued a Winter Storm Watch for central Indiana.

According to the service, a strong low-pressure system was expected through the area Monday evening. NWS stated the system would last into Wednesday.

On Monday, Wire said the chance of bad weather is almost inevitable.

"It's going to happen," Wire said. "It doesn't look like it's going to miss us. This one is coming.

"The phrase that I read was, 'possibly historical,' and the reason (NWS) would say that is because of the amount of ice.

NWS called for cold air to be near the surface, with warm air pulled into the air, causing freezing rain or sleet across the central portion of the state. The service is calling for more than 1-inch of ice.

Wire said freezing rain was expected to begin Monday, and increase by Tuesday evening.

"We don't normally get that amount of ice accumulation," Wire said. "The worst of this is going to come Tuesday evening into Wednesday.

"This will kick into high gear Tuesday and into Wednesday. The real problem is we get the ice and then it starts to get colder and windy on the backside of this system."

Because of the cold winds, which NWS said could be in excess of 35 mph, with ice weighing heavy on power lines and trees, power outages could take place.

"People could be without power for a few days," Wire said. "But this is all worst case scenario."

NWS added roads could become impassable due to heavy snow or icing, limited visibility and travel could become "hazardous or impossible."

The Winter Storm Watch will remain in effect into Wednesday evening.

Wire said there was also a possibility the area could receive 1-2 inches of snow into Wednesday.

"There's a lot going on," he said. "I don't think it's going to change. This is what's tracking right now."

NWS is calling for a 90-percent chance of precipitation Monday evening and a 100 percent chance of precipitation throughout Tuesday. In addition, the service expects total snow accumulation for the northwest central portion -- such as the city of Lafayette -- to be in excess of 12-inches.

Additional counties under the Winter Storm Watch include Carroll, Warren, Tippecanoe, Clinton, Howard, Fountain, Montgomery, Boone, Tipton, Hamilton, Delaware, Madison, Randolph, Vermillion, Parke, Putnam, Hendricks, Marion, Hancock, Henry, Vigo, Owen, Morgan, Johnson, Shelby, Rush, Sullivan, Greene, Monroe, Brown, Bartholomew, Decatur, Knox, Daviess, Martin, Lawrence, Jackson and Jennings.

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