The National Weather Service is the bearer of some bad weather news heading into the weekend.
In its latest forecast update early Thursday evening, the service predicted 8 to 14 inches of snow will fall across Northwest Indiana by Friday night with some areas seeing even greater accumulation.
Calling it a "long duration snow event," the NWS issued a winter weather warning that began at 6 p.m. Thursday and lasts through 9 p.m. Friday.
As Thursday afternoon progressed and before the snow even fell, schools, businesses and other organizations began announcing program cancellations and closings for Thursday evening and Friday.
It's a drastic departure from an easy Thursday morning and afternoon commute. The heaviest snow in the storm was expected to fall after midnight into early morning Friday.
Some municipalities also issued warnings to residents about parking on city or town streets during the upcoming snow events. All are asking residents not to park their vehicles on roadways to allow snowplows to more efficiently do their jobs.
Highland warned residents that snowfall had exceeded 1 inch, so parking on public streets was prohibited. Cars cannot be parked on Portage streets after 2 inches of snowfall, police said. St. John police informed residents that parking is prohibited on any town streets from the beginning of any snow or sleet event until the weather event is over.
Gary residents were reminded to adhere to no parking signage/restrictions posted on city streets when snowfall is 2 or more inches. As the city continues to work to clear streets of snow, Gary Police say towing of vehicles will be strictly enforced on designated snow routes.
Valparaiso is also asking residents to refrain from parking their vehicles on the streets and to avoid pushing snow onto roadways. They are also requesting neighbors keep an eye on each other, particularly seniors.
The Porter County Sheriff's Department said vehicles parked on streets in unincorporated areas will be towed if more than 2 inches of snow has fallen and the vehicles are not moved after a green warning ticket is issued.
The forecast comes after a week of snow.
Total snow cover from previous snowfall ranged from 5.5 to 7 inches in Lake County, from 4 to 9 inches in Porter County and 6 to 8 inches in LaPorte County, according to data posted Wednesday morning on the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network.
Low temperatures Thursday could fall to near zero, with subzero single digit wind chills.
Check back at nwi.com for updates.