Winter storm to leave 6-10 inches of snow this evening

The National Weather Service in Indianapolis has issued a winter storm warning for our area, with the possibility of 6 to 10 more inches of snow.

That warning lasts until 7 a.m. Tuesday morning.

The heaviest snow is expected to start falling from 4 p.m. this afternoon through the night. Snowfall rates in excess of an inch an hour at times are possible with locally heavier periods. Blowing snow will lead to higher drifts.

Winds will be 11 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph. That will cause wind chill values as low as -2.

The hazardous conditions are expected to make this evening’s commute difficult.

The Indiana Region of the American Red Cross is offering safety tips if you must go outside in this weather.

Any trips should be as brief as possible. You should wear layered clothing, mittens or gloves, and a hat.

You should cover your mouth to protect your lungs from severely cold air. Avoid taking deep breaths and minimize talking.

With wind chill values below zero expected you should watch for hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia symptoms include confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering. Frostbite symptoms include numbness, skin that looks flushed gray, white, blue or yellow or waxy feeling skin.

The Indiana Department of Transportation Southeast District plow drivers began working last night monitoring and treating state roads. Shift changes will take place at midnight and noon until roadways improve. The Columbus sub district has called out all 29 of its trucks.

The Columbus Transit Department is announcing that the ColumBUS system will shut down at 1 p.m. this afternoon and the last full run will be at noon. On Tuesday, there will be no bus service in Columbus. City officials will make decisions about the schedule later in the week based on weather at that time.