Winter blast heads to northern Indiana

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (ADAMS) – Millions of people in the middle of the country, including us here in Fort Wayne, are bracing for some nasty weather.

Heavy rainfall is expected on Tuesday in the midwest and Great Lakes regions. However, by Wednesday, that storm system is expected to start dumping snow on the area.

Accumulating snow is possible – with totals from two to four inches in Fort Wayne and more in the northern and western counties. The storm system is also expected to bring some powerful winds.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Advisory is in effect until early Thursday. Their forecast has as much as six to eight inches of snow accumulation in some areas of northern Indiana and northwestern Ohio.

The NWS advisory applies to the following areas:

“De Kalb-Pulaski-Fulton IN-Whitley-Allen IN-White-Cass IN-Miami- Wabash-Huntington-Wells-Adams-Grant-Blackford-Williams-Fulton OH- Defiance-Henry-Paulding-Putnam-Van Wert- Including the cities of Auburn, Garrett, Winamac, Francesville, Medaryville, Rochester, Akron, Columbia City, Tri-Lakes, South Whitley, Fort Wayne, New Haven, Monticello, Monon, Brookston, Logansport, Royal Center, Peru, Grissom AFB, Mexico, Wabash, North Manchester, Huntington, Roanoke, Bluffton, Ossian, Decatur, Berne, Marion, Gas City, Upland, Hartford City, Montpelier, Bryan, Edgerton, Wauseon, Archbold, Swanton, Delta, Defiance, Sherwood, Hicksville, Napoleon, Deshler, Liberty Center, Paulding, Antwerp, Payne, Ottawa, Leipsic, Columbus Grove, Continental, Pandora, Van Wert, and Ohio City”

The NWS says, “Travel could be very difficult. The hazardous conditions could impact the Wednesday morning and evening commutes and also extend into Thursday. Travel is also likely to be greatly hampered by late Wednesday as snowfall increases and winds become gusty causing blowing and drifting snow.”

During winter weather events – if you do have to hit the roads, remember that bridges, overpasses, and ramps will generally be slicker than main roads. Give yourself lots of stopping distance between you and other vehicles.

It is also a good idea to keep these tips from AAA in mind for driving in slick conditions:

-Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.

-Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning – nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.

-The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.

-Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold breaking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.

-Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.

-Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed downhill as slowly as possible.

-Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.

-Stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can. Don’t tempt fate: If you don’t have somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from indoors.