INDIANAPOLIS - The first major winter storm of the season began providing a glancing blow to central Indiana Thursday evening into Friday morning, with some blowing snow accumulating in some areas.
A winter weather advisory is in effect across much of central Indiana, with prospects of up to 3 inches of wind-driven snow by midday Friday.
The advisory includes all of the Indianapolis metro area, but portions of south-central Indiana are not included.
A high wind warning was also posted for most of the area, with wind gusts in excess of 55 mph possible.
A strong low-pressure system began to develop late Wednesday and will continue to push into the Great Lakes region through early Friday.
There was a dramatic weather shift on Thursday, with warm temperatures and thunderstorms early Thursday morning giving way to strong winds, rapidly falling temperatures and blowing snow during the late afternoon and evening.
The National Weather Service said wind gusts reached 53 mph in Indianapolis and 50 mph in Vincennes Thursday evening.
The strong winds caused power outages across the state Thursday, plunging as many as 13,000 Duke Energy customers into darkness.
By midday Friday, a general 1- to 3-inch snowfall is expected in the area under the advisory, including Indianapolis and points to the north. Accumulations in the 1- to 2-inch range are expected in Indianapolis, with lesser amounts to the south and higher amounts to the north.
The Indianapolis Department of Public Works said 90 drivers hit the roads Thursday afternoon, and another shift of 90 drivers took over at 11 p.m, focusing on salting and plowing main thoroughfares.
Total snowfall accumulation is expected to be higher in northern Indiana.
Up to a foot of snow could fall in portions of Iowa and Wisconsin.
As the storm system moves away, wind chills are expected to be in the single-digits Thursday night through Friday night.
Stay with Storm Team 6 and TheIndyChannel.com for updates.