Weather forecasters are predicting that a significant snowstorm will hit the Chicago area Tuesday that could bring snarled traffic as shown on Interstate 80/94 in 2012. . | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 4, 2013 10:26PM
Northwest Indiana could see a blast of winter snow on Tuesday before spring-like temperatures hit later in the week.
Nine inches of snow may be on the ground by Tuesday night due a developing winter storm. The National Weather Service has placed Lake and Porter counties under a winter storm watch. Snow may start to fall Monday night, but the heavy stuff isn’t expected until Tuesday. Heavy snow is expected to fall at a rate of 1 to 1.5 inches per hour, with accumulations between 4 to 8 inches possible. Evening snow could dump an additional 2 to 4 inches on the ground.
The rate of snowfall could make snow removal difficult and travel extremely dangerous. Commuters during morning and afternoon rush hours could be impacted by the snow.
Once the snow falls, it may not be on the ground for long as temperatures are expected to climb into the 40s by Thursday, where they are expected to stay for much of the weekend.
Porter County Highway Department assistant supervisor David James said 35 trucks are ready to salt and plow the county’s roads as soon it begins to snow.
“The salt/sand mix doesn’t work unless it’s wet,” James said. “Otherwise, it’s just wasting taxpayers’ money.”
James said the county’s salt stores are in fine shape because Northwest Indiana hasn’t experienced a major snow so far this winter.
Gary’s Department of General Services asked residents to adhere to the two-inch parking rules where signs are posted. By keeping these zones clear, snow plows will be able to pass through main thoroughfares faster. Violators will be towed.
Temperatures are expected to hover just below freezing Tuesday and winds may gust in excess of 25 mph.
“You couldn’t time it any better,” said Ben Deubelbeiss, a meteorologist for the weather service, based in Romeoville. “The worst conditions we’re expecting (are) during the day on Tuesday.”