Travel hazards and snow accumulation are on the way for Northwest Indiana this week. 

Freezing rain and sleet late Wednesday night is expected to transition into snow Thursday, said Matt Holiner, chief meteorologist in the Midwest for Lee Enterprises.

The National Weather Service sounded the alarms Tuesday, cautioning residents and travelers in parts of northeast Illinois and Northwest Indiana. 

Currently, 0.1 inches to 0.2 inches of freezing rain and up to 1 inch of sleet is expected to accumulate. The precipitation should transition fully into snow by Thursday evening, with snowfall continuing into the night.

“That alone will be enough to make travel difficult, especially on secondary roads, bridges and overpasses,” Holiner said. “Then there will be 3 to 7 inches of snow on top of that.”

A winter storm watch will be in effect for Northwest Indiana from 3 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday. 

“Visibility will be further reduced by the strong winds blowing the snow,” Holiner said. “Travel should be avoided unless absolutely necessary throughout the day Thursday.”

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High snow totals will be more likely across the northern communities in the Region, compared to communities further south. Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties are set to be more in the path of the snow versus Newton and Jasper counties. 

“The transition to snow will take longer the farther south you live,” Holiner said. “There will still be big impacts as there will be more ice and sleet across the southern half of the area.”

Warmer temperatures Tuesday and Wednesday, in addition to widespread rainfall Wednesday, could raise water levels, and some flooding could occur in the areas of the Kankakee, Iroquois and Vermilion rivers, the NWS warned. 

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