Weather experts are urging people to stay home if possible starting Wednesday night as a winter storm is forecast to dump up to 1.25 inches of rain on Monroe County, followed by up to 2 inches of sleet and up to 8 inches of snow.
“It’s going to be a very impactful storm,” said Sam Lashley, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Indianapolis.
The NWS expects rain to switch to freezing rain and sleet sometime Wednesday afternoon to evening. For much of Wednesday night through Thursday, Monroe County will see a mix of freezing rain, sleet and snow.
Lashley told The Herald-Times parts of the county could see sleet accumulations of up to 2 inches, which is rare.
He urged people to avoid travel starting Wednesday evening.
“It’s going to be a mess through the end of the day Thursday,” he said. “Staying at home is the best course of action.”
Precipitation will switch to snow Thursday morning and will be heavy at times, along with strong wind and gusts of up to 30 mph, Lashley said.
He projected snowfall of 6-8 inches, with the larger accumulation expected for northern parts of the county.
Temperatures are expected to drop into the single digits Friday night into Saturday. Lashley said the low temperatures will quickly harden the snow, which, accompanied by the earlier freezing rain and sleet, will make shoveling difficult.
“It’s not going to be an easy system to deal with,” he said.