Forecasters expect rain today, changing to snow this afternoon and evening in northern Indiana, southwestern Lower Michigan and northwestern Ohio, according to various text products from the northern Indiana office of the National Weather Service (NWS) (Facebook, Twitter).
They expect the change to snow to begin this afternoon in the western counties of the office’s 37-county warning area (CWA) and progress to the eastern counties by this evening.
The office has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for counties along the western edge of its CWA (see graphic above), where meteorologists expect one to three inches of snow with locally higher amounts. The winter weather advisory is in effect from 4 p.m. to midnight.
They issued a Wind Advisory for most of the CWA’s Ohio counties from 4 p.m. this afternoon to 3 a.m. tonight. There, they forecast sustained winds of 20 to 30 mph, with gusts up to approximately 45 mph.
The NWS issued a Special Weather Statement for the rest of the CWA that alerts readers to potentially difficult driving conditions by this evening, due to slushy roads and reduced visibilities.
Believe it or not, there is still some uncertainty regarding when the change from rain to snow will happen and therefore, how much snow will fall. That’s because there’s still a chance that the low pressure system that will be responsible for all this weather could follow a different path than forecast. “Just a 20-30 mile shift west or east will make all the difference,” writes NWS meteorologist Mark Steinwedel in an Area Forecast Discussion the northern Indiana office issued this morning.
As of 7 a.m. EST today, that area of low barometric pressure was just south of Indiana (see map above; black arrow points out the low). When meteorologists see what path the low actually takes, they’ll be better able to forecast snowfall timing and amounts.