News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

December 6, 2013

Wabash Valley prepares for today’s snow and severe drop in temperatures

Vigo County Schools to start on 2-hour delay today

TERRE HAUTE — The weather outside was more frightful Thursday night than it was expected to be this morning, as an icy mixture of precipitation played out. But snowfall is expected to continue today to accumulate up to seven inches in the Terre Haute area, according to the National Weather Service in Indianapolis.

“Ice is not expected,” meterologist Jason Puma said of today’s weather activity. “It will snow all day.”

While precipitation in any form is not expected Saturday, the high temperature for the day is predicted to be in the lower 20s. There is another chance for precipitation Sunday, Puma said, but it will not be nearly as significant as today’s snowfall.

Puma called the snowfall typical for this time of year.

A winter storm warning was in effect from 10 p.m. Thursday till midnight. Today’s forecast includes north winds at 10 to 15 miles per hour and snow all day.

Tonight will see snow tapering off with lows around 10 and winds down to 10 mph. Saturday is forecast to be cold with mostly sunny skies and light winds. Sunday is expected to bring a 30 percent change of light freezing rain, snow and sleet and highs in the upper 20s.

Meanwhile, Superintendent Danny Tanoos said Thursday afternoon that any cancellation of school or school-related events today depends on snowfall and ice accumulations.

“I’ve found it’s best to make that decision when it happens, rather than cancel things in advance,” Tanoos said of the fickle business of predicting weather.

All Thursday evening events in Vigo County schools were canceled and today’s start was put on a 2-hour delay.

As the precipitation turned to ice Thursday afternoon, the Indiana Department of Transportation issued a travel warning to motorists that freezing rain, sleet, ice and snow would mean difficult driving conditions in southwest, southeast and central Indiana.

INDOT planned to mobilize salt trucks and snow plows ahead of the advancing winter storm, which was predicted to track from southwestern Indiana to the Interstate 70 corridor and across the central portion of the state. INDOT was to combat icy surfaces on state and interstate highways with treated salt to accelerate melting. Plow trucks were to repeatedly clear lanes of snow until the weather event subsided.

Because the front edge of the storm was rain, INDOT’s best plan of attack was to treat the roads just before pavement temperatures drop and wintry mix began to accumulate.

Motorists were advised to avoid non-essential travel because ice is greatest threat to safety for the motoring public. Even four-wheel-drive vehicles have little advantage on icy pavements.  

Drivers can monitor road conditions and traffic alerts across the state at any time by phone, web or social media. Visit www.Traffic

Wise.IN.gov or dial toll-free 800-261-ROAD (7623) for INDOT’s TrafficWise Traveler Information Service.

Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or lisa.trigg@tribstar.com. Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.

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