More snow, then rapid thaw bring danger of flooding
POST-TRIBUNE STAFF REPORT February 16, 2014 9:30PM
Updated: February 17, 2014 2:01AM
Before warmer temperatures arrive later this week, Northwest Indiana likely will see one more blast of snow on Monday, with three to six inches possible.
The National Weather Service has a winter weather advisory in effect from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday in Lake and Porter counties. Snowfall rates could be heavy, with one inch or more possible, especially in the afternoon.
Roads could become treacherous and slick.
In areas south of the Kankakee River, snow could mix with sleet or freezing rain, possibly leading to ice-covered roads. Snowfall on Saturday night and Sunday morning added only about an inch or so to mounds of snow around the region.
Still, through Feb. 11, the National Weather Service said this is the third-snowiest winter on record — with 62.1 inches of snowfall so far. The winters of 1978-79 and 1977-78 still claim the top two spots. And the chilly temperatures have been ever-present as well, with this season ranking fourth all-time in the number of subzero lows.
Temperatures are supposed to rise starting on Tuesday, possibly reaching 44 degrees by Thursday, but any optimism over that relief will be tempered by the fear of possible flooding may occur as the snow thaws.
As of Sunday, snow depths across Northwest Indiana are between 8 and 18 inches, which is the equivalent of 1 to 4 inches of rain. Forecasters say the deep frost layer beneath the snow could prevent melting snow from seeping down into the ground, which would mean increased runoff into rivers and streams.
The weather service also says thick river ice that formed during Indiana’s bitter cold spell will also break up as things thaw out, potentially creating ice jams that could spark severe local flooding.
The National Weather Service said heavy rainfall predicted for Wednesday and Thursday could speed up the thawing process as well.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.