News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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January 2, 2014

Terre Haute sees its first snowfall of new year

Cold temps and strong winds combine for frigid wind chill

The new year is seeing nothing new from winter, as up to 5 inches of snow has fallen on Terre Haute and the Wabash Valley.

“It’s definitely winter and we are definitely ahead a little on snowfall [for the winter season],” said John Hendrickson, meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Prior to the snowfall that began late Wednesday, 8.9 inches of snow has been recorded in Terre Haute so far this winter, more than double the average as of this week, Hendrickson said.

By midmorning, the temperature hovered at 16 degrees, with the wind at 16 miles per hour from the north-northwest, the NWS reports. That combination created a wind chill near zero degrees.

The wind and snow will taper off by midafternoon, Hendrickson said, with the next chance of snowfall late Saturday night. “Then we expect another system to bring accumulating snows, followed by really cold air, probably some of the coldest we have seen in 20 years next week,” he said.

The chance of snow Saturday evening is 60 percent, he said.

“The worst of this system is gone now for the Terre Haute and is winding down,” Hendrickson said.

The snow slowed traffic and caused several slide-offs on Interstate 70, with one semi sliding into the median at the 7-mile marker about 8 a.m. Earlier in the day, about 1 a.m., another semi slid into a small ravine near an exit ramp close to the Terre Haute Welcome Center, at the 1-mile marker on the interstate, and overturned, said Sgt. Joe Watts of the Indiana State Police.

“There were no injuries with those,” Watts said of the crashes. “Traffic is moving and traffic is slower, but those people who are using caution are motoring along okay.”

In another accident, a passenger car came to rest in the median around the 17-mile marker in Clay County, with minor injuries to its occupants, Watts said.

In Parke County, Watts said Daily Hill on U.S. 41 north of Lyford near Indiana 163 was closed to northbound traffic to allow the Indiana Department of Transportation to clear the hill.

“The state highway [crew] is working to plow the road open there. The heavy snow had impeded cars from going up the hill, so the northbound lane was closed for a short time while that was being plowed,” Watts said. “The southbound lane was not closed.”

The northbound lane reopened about 9:30 a.m., Watts said.

See Friday’s Tribune-Star for a wrap-up on the weather and revisit for updates.

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