Winter Storm Watch

Winter Storm Watch Issued for NW Indiana Ahead of Lake-Effect Snow, Bone-Chilling Cold

A winter storm watch has been issued for parts of northwest Indiana, as six or more inches of lake-effect snow could potentially fall in some areas on Wednesday night and into Thursday.

Although the snow will likely be limited to a pair of counties in the NBC 5 viewing area, another threat will emerge for the rest of the Chicago area: bone-chilling temperatures, as frigid wind chills are expected late Wednesday and into Thursday morning.

According to the National Weather Service, Porter and LaPorte counties in Indiana, along with Berrien County in Michigan, will be under a winter storm watch from Wednesday evening through Thursday afternoon.

Forecasters say that bands of heavy lake-effect snow are expected to strike the area beginning Wednesday night, with areas closest to Lake Michigan receiving the highest potential snowfall totals.

Six or more inches of snow are possible in the affected area, according to NWS officials.

Residents should expect hazardous travel conditions throughout the snow storm, with Interstates 94 and 196, along with the Indiana Toll Road, potentially impacted by the weather.

Breezy northerly winds could also cause blowing and drifting snow in the area, further reducing visibility. Snowfall rates of 1-to-2 inches per hour are possible during the storm, according to NWS officials.

Residents are being urged to postpone travel whenever possible, and to monitor the latest forecasts on the evolving threat of snowy weather.

As for the cold, temperatures will continue to decline throughout the day Wednesday, with highs in the mid-to-upper 30s after midnight.

Low temperatures Wednesday and into Thursday will be in the single digits, but wind chills will be significantly colder than that, dropping up to 15-to-20 degrees below zero in some locations.

Highs Thursday will only rise into the teens, far below the average for this time of year, and things won't be much better on Friday, with highs in the low-20s across the area.

In fact, temperatures aren't expected to get back out of the 20s for several days, with a cold air mass settling in over the Chicago area.

Stay tuned to the NBC 5 Storm Team for all of the latest weather updates.

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