FORT WAYNE – A late-winter storm is headed this way and could dump more than 6 inches of snow in some areas of northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio, the National Weather Service said today.
The weather service in northern Indiana said at midday Monday the "strong storm system" taking shape across the northern Rockies will bring snow to the region early Tuesday, but its exact track cannot yet be predicted.
The weather service issued a winter storm watch, effective early Tuesday through late Tuesday night, for the following counties:
- Indiana – Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley.
- Ohio – Defiance, Paulding, Van Wert, Williams, Fulton, Henry, Putnam and Allen.
Some areas of northern Indiana could see up to 8 inches of snow, the weather service said. So far, few counties in northeast Indiana are expected to see that much accumulation.
For current conditions, including a local NOAA map, make our Weather page one of your favorites: http://www.journalgazette.net/weather
The Indiana State Police offer these winter driving safety tips:
*Keep your gas tank full, if possible.
*Carry a winter driving kit that includes blankets, flashlight and extra batteries, a brightly colored cloth, sand (or cat litter), shovel, candle, matches, non-perishable high calorie food, a first aid kit and jumper cables and cell phone.
*Drive according to road conditions.
*Allow extra time to get to your destination.
*Clear all windows of ice and snow and remove snow from hood, roof and headlights and tail lights.
*Beware of bridges, underpasses, shaded areas and intersections where ice is slow to melt.
*Slow down to increase traction; don't use cruise control on slick roads.
*Avoid abrupt stops and starts, slow down gradually and keep wheels turning to avoid losing traction.
*Use low-beam headlights to decrease glare from ice.
If you become stranded, the state police offer these tips:
*Don't leave your car, it's the best protection you have.
*Tie a brightly colored cloth to your antenna if you need help.
*Roll down your window a small amount for fresh air.
*Keep the exhaust pipe free of blockage to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
*Don't panic, an idling car uses only one gallon of gas per hour.
The Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health offers these tips to keep safe while removing snow and ice:
*If you have heart disease, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, or a history of heart attacks, it is best to avoid shoveling snow or performing other hard work in the cold.
*The same warning applies to smokers and those with asthma or chronic lung conditions.
*If you are diabetic, be sure to check your blood sugar after shoveling to ensure that your blood sugar does not drop too low.
If you must shovel, the health department recommends the following steps to minimize risks:
*Warm up with light stretching exercises.
*Wear warm clothing, including a hat, scarf, gloves and slip-resistant, high-traction footwear.
*Avoid drinking caffeinated beverages or energy drinks that can elevate your heart rate.
*Choose an ergonomic shovel with a small blade. A shovel that's too long, too short, or hard to grip will make the work more difficult.
*Try to push the snow off to the side rather than lifting it. If you must lift it, squat with your knees bent to relieve pressure on your back. Don't tackle a foot of snow at once, but remove it several inches at a time. Walk with the shovel to where you want to dump the snow rather than twisting your body to throw the snow over your shoulder.
*Avoid large shoveling jobs by clearing snow several times throughout the day.
*Pace yourself by taking frequent rest breaks.