Weekend winter storm still likely, but still too early to know how bad

Winter storm graphic

Parts of northeastern Indiana and northwestern Ohio could still see significant snowfall this weekend. But it’s still too early for National Weather Service (NWS) meteorologists to forecast snowfall totals.

An Area Forecast Discussion the northern Indiana NWS office issued at 4:08 a.m. EST today indicated that a shortwave trough is expected to move east across the southwestern U.S. Saturday night, through the southern plains Sunday and into the lower Ohio and Mississippi Valleys Sunday night. A rather long period (30 to 36 hours) of snow is possible in the office’s area as this system moves through the plains and into the eastern continental U.S., which “could result in substantial snowfall” across at least the southeastern portion of the office’s county warning area (CWA) in this time frame. But computer forecast models continued to vacillate on the strength of the trough and location of heaviest precipitation, which means as of this morning, there was still too much uncertainty for any specific forecast, advisory, or watch.

The “county warning area” (CWA) in the information above refers to the 37 counties in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio that the northern Indiana NWS office serves. Below is a map that shows the CWA. As you can see, the reference to the southeastern portion of the CWA could include Fort Wayne, Huntington, Bluffton, Decatur, Hartford City, Portland, Van Wert, Lima, Ottawa, Paulding and other cities, depending on the storm’s track.

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Northern Indiana NWS county warning area map
Northern Indiana NWS county warning area (enclosed by dark red line)