|Winter storm to hit Midwest|
|Tuesday, March 05, 2013 12:37 PM|
By LINDSAY MCCOY
TRI-COUNTY — A winter weather watch went into affect Monday afternoon as winter storm, Saturn, headed directly towards the Midwest and the Tri-county area. This watch turned into a warning late Monday night as heavy snowfall became more eminent. Winter Storm Saturn is expected to bring the heaviest snow amounts of the winter season.
“We are currently running over a foot of snow under normal amounts for the winter,” said Van Wert County Emergency Management Director Rick McCoy. “This weather event could help us to get closer to our average for the season.”
While Montana is expected to see the most of the heavy snowfall, Northern Indiana and the areas directly east are still expected to see five to eight inches of snow with the areas directly south expected to receive three to five inches.
A wintry precipitation began to develop Monday night and slowly turned to snow before ending overnight. The Weather Service is expecting the effects of Saturn to hit the Van Wert area around 10 a.m. today. Initially, the storm was expected to begin with freezing rain or sleet, but as this storm has progressed forecasters are now expecting the storm to begin with snow.
Wind speeds are expected to range from 10-20 mph, but the precipitation is expected to be a wet snow and will not cause whiteout blizzard effects. The heaviest snow is expected to begin in the afternoon hours. Ground temperatures are currently around or above freezing from temperatures above 32 degrees the previous few days, and this could cause the beginning amounts of snowfall to melt upon contact with the ground lowering the day’s totals.
“Eventually traffic hazards will occur from this event,” said McCoy. “People should take extreme caution on the roads tonight into Wednesday morning as this wet snow may cause roads to become very slick.” This storm is expected to pass completely through the area in 24 hours on 10 a.m. on Wednesday.