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Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette
City plows startle a flock of starlings in the middle of South Wayne Avenue on Thursday.

What's next: Bone-chilling temperatures

FORT WAYNE – As the snow begins to taper off Thursday, Fort Wayne and the region can expect to start experiencing much colder temperatures.

The National Weather Service in northern Indiana has issued a wind chill advisory for northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio from 10 p.m. Thursday until 11 a.m. Friday.

Winds up to 25 mph are expected to decrease after midnight.

The cold and the winds combined are expected to create wind chills as low as minus 15 degrees tonight.

(fyi: As wind increases, heat is carried away from the body at an accelerated rate, driving down the body temperature. This wind chill temperature is the reading the body "feels" given the combination of wind and air temperature.)

The winter weather advisory for the region was extended two hours, until 6 p.m., Thursday.

Friday is forecast to be even colder than today, with the high expected to be near 15 degrees and wind-chill values as low as minus 15 degrees.

The region is expected to go deeper into the deep freeze next week, with a low of minus 16 degrees forecast for Fort Wayne on Monday.

For current conditions, including a local NOAA map, make our Weather page one of your favorites.

More winter weather lingo

  • Blizzard: Winds of 35 mph or more along with considerable falling or blowing snow, reducing visibility to less than one-quarter mile for three or more hours. Extremely cold temperatures often are associated with dangerous blizzard conditions but are not a formal part of the definition. The hazard created by the combination of snow, wind and low visibility significantly increases, however, with temperatures below 20 degrees.
  • Blowing snow: Wind-driven snow that reduces visibility to 6 miles or less causing significant drifting. Blowing snow may be snow that is falling or loose snow on the ground picked up by the wind.
  • Drifting snow: Uneven distribution of snowfall caused by strong surface winds. Drifting snow does not reduce visibility.
  • Flurries: Light snow falling for short durations. No accumulation or just a light dusting is all that is expected.
  • Freezing rain or drizzle: Occurs when rain or drizzle freezes on surfaces such as trees, cars and roads, forming a coating or glaze of ice. Temperatures above the ground are warm enough for rain to form, but surface temperatures are below 32 degrees, causing the rain to freeze on impact. Even small accumulations of ice can be a significant hazard.
  • Heavy snow: Depending on the region of the nation, this generally means that four or more inches of snow has accumulated in 12 hours, or 6 or more inches of snow in 24 hours.
  • Ice storm: An ice storm is used to describe occasions when damaging accumulation of ice are expected during a freezing rain situation. Significant accumulations of ice are defined as one-quarter inch or greater. This can cause trees, utility and power lines to fall, causing the loss of power and communication.
  • Sleet: Raindrops that freeze into ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet usually bounces when hitting a surface and does not stick to objects. However, it can accumulate like snow and cause a hazard to motorists. Heavy sleet occurs when a half-inch of sleet accumulates.
  • Snow showers: Snow falling at varying intensities for brief periods of time. Some accumulation is possible.
  • Snow squalls: Intense, but of limited duration, periods of moderate to heavy snowfall, accompanied by strong, gusty surface winds and possible lightning.
  • Watch: A watch is used when the risk of a hazardous weather event has increased significantly, but the occurrence, location and timing are still uncertain.
  • Warning/advisory: These are issued when a hazardous weather event is occurring, is imminent or has a very high probability of occurrence. A warning is used for conditions posing a threat to life or property. Advisories are for less serious conditions that cause significant inconvenience and, if caution is not exercised, could lead to situations that may threaten life and property.
  • Whiteout: A condition caused by falling or blowing snow that reduces visibility to typically only a few feet. Whiteouts can occur rapidly, often blinding motorists and creating chain-reaction crashes involving multiple vehicles. Whiteouts are most frequent during blizzards.

To report weather-related closings

Email jgnews@jg.net

In the region

Whitley County

Whitley County Emergency Management issued an advisory Thursday morning, saying that roads are covered with snow and are drifting over in places. Drivers are urged to use caution when going out.

It said that winds will at times take visibility down to 500 feet in some areas.

Plows are out for the county and state, the advisory said, noting that state roads are a little more clear but will likely have more drifting in areas with open fields.

Paulding County, Ohio

Paulding County Sheriff Jason K. Landers has issued a Level 2 Road Advisory for the county. This means that roads are hazardous due to blowing and drifting snow, and most of the roads could be icy. Only those who believe it is necessary should be out driving. A Level 2 advisory does not close roads.

Those who believe they must be driving to leave early and allow plenty of time to arrive at your destination. He said that conditions might look fine in villages and wind-protected areas, but they are hazardous out in the county.

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