It's snow time in the Region as the National Weather Service predicts the first snowfall to hit early Friday.
The snowfall will begin at 3 a.m. Friday and continue until 11 a.m., according to the The Weather Channel site. The likelihood of snowfall starts at a strong 80 percent and decreases with a 45 percent chance at 10 p.m.
Ricky Castro, meteorologist for the National Weather Service, said an inch of accumulated snow is expected, though there may be areas where there could be two inches of accumulation.
“It's rather early for the first snowfall with accumulation,” Castro said. “In terms of any impact, it would be uncertain to say how much it will impact travel, but there's the possibility for slick spots on less-traveled roads.”
Temperatures will be in the mid-30s during the snowfall, Castro said, and there may be slight reduced visibility Friday morning. While those in Northwest Indiana are no strangers to flurries, the first snowfall of the year tends to be a slippery adjustment for drivers.
“It's just something to keep an eye on with the first snowfall season,” Castro said. “Even though we live in a wintery area, people forget how to drive in the off-seasons. Give it extra time, leave early for your commute, and take it easy because there may be slick spots on the road.”
The Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways sent out some tips for commuters as the snowy season approaches.
Keep an emergency kit in the car with the following items:
- Windshield scraper and small broom
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Battery-powered radio
- Snack food, including energy bars
- Matches and small candles
- Extra hats, socks and mittens
- First aid kit with pocketknife
- Necessary medications
- Blankets or sleeping bag
- Tow chain or rope
- Road salt, sand or cat litter for traction
- Jumper cables
- Emergency flares and reflectors
- Fluorescent distress flag and whistle to attract attention
- Cellphone adapter to plug into lighter
When heading out on a snowy road, drivers should remember:
- Make sure the gas tank is kept at least half full.
- Tell others where they’re going and the route they‘ll take.
- If stranded on the road, drivers should always stay in their vehicles because walking in a snowstorm can be very dangerous.
- Snow can plug the exhaust system and cause deadly carbon monoxide to enter the car. Always check the car inside and out before driving and keep a window cracked open while running the engine.
- If stranded in your car, run the engine for only 10 minutes each hour to conserve gas and make sure the exhaust pipe is free of snow.