Winter Storm Petros expected to disrupt travel

By Mark Schremmer, Land Line staff writer | Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Winter Storm Petros, which will include everything from snow and ice to severe thunderstorms, is expected to hit much of the Midwest, Great Lakes, Northeast and Appalachians by midweek.

“(The storm Wednesday and Thursday) has the potential to be disruptive to travel, because it will cover a large area with a wide variety of weather,” AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams said.

Heavy rains are expected to hit much of Interstate 95 in the Northeast. Severe thunderstorms are possible from Atlanta to Baltimore.

“A storm system will bring the potential for severe thunderstorms with damaging winds and tornadoes to the Gulf Coast on Tuesday into Tuesday night and across the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions Wednesday into Wednesday night,” according to the National Weather Service.

Heavy snow is also expected in parts of the Midwest and Great Lakes on Wednesday and Thursday.

Snowy and icy conditions are likely to impact travel in such cities as St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Ind., Cleveland and Pittsburgh, according to AccuWeather.

“The Thursday morning commute will be hazardous, and residents should use extreme caution if heading out,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Becky Elliott said.

The Weather Channel reports that freezing rain will cause slick travel conditions Tuesday night and Wednesday in Pennsylvania, New York and the New England area.

A winter storm watch is expected to go into effect Wednesday morning in the Chicago area. Several Illinois and Indiana cities are expected to receive more than a half foot of snow. Forecasts predict Valparaiso, Ind., will receive 8.6 inches. Snow totals also are estimated to reach nearly 9 inches in parts of southern Michigan.

“Precipitation may begin as a brief period of sleet or freezing rain, mainly north of Highway 24 late (Tuesday night) into early Wednesday morning,” the National Weather Service of Northern Indiana said. “Gusts to 35 to 40 mph will be possible Wednesday night and Thursday, resulting in blowing snow and reduced visibilities. Anyone planning travel across the region Wednesday and Thursday should keep up on the latest forecasts regarding this potential winter storm.”

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