Big Bust: 'Winter Storm' Whimpers In Indiana

Significantly Less Than Expected Ice, Snow

A storm system rolled into Indiana early Friday morning, coating much of the state with a glaze of ice, sleet and snow, but sparing the region the worst of the wintry weather.

The storm began before midnight for much of the state. All snow fell in the northern part of the state, while freezing rain and sleet coated much of central Indiana.

In far southern Indiana, temperatures were warm enough for the precipitation to fall as mainly rain.

Snow totals were downgraded significantly from earlier forecasts because of the influx of freezing rain and sleet that fell in central Indiana and a more northward and westward track of the storm system, which pushed a lot of the heavy snow into Illinois. In that state, much more snow fell than anticipated.

"The 6 to 8 inches we were supposed to get ended up being 100 miles further north," said Logan Johnson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Indianapolis.

The low-pressure system wound up passing almost over Indianapolis, Johnson said. Cold air stayed north of it, and warm air filled in to the south.

A winter storm warning that had been in effect for much of Indiana was canceled early Friday morning. A winter weather advisory was issued in its place through early Friday afternoon.

Nearly 200 closings and delays had been reported to 6News by 7 a.m. Friday as school systems hedged their bets about road conditions.

Two Indiana State Police troopers were injured in separate incidents when motorists hit squad cars in Johnson and Marion County. Neither officer was seriously injured.

Generally, a light glazing of ice fell first in Indianapolis, and it was quickly covered by snow. By 6 a.m., temperatures in Indianapolis had warmed above freezing and rain was falling. Less than an inch of snow had fallen in Indianapolis, but a little more was possible on the back side of the storm system.

6News' reporters in Indianapolis, Boone County and Johnson County said that a light accumulation of ice coated trees and that a little snow was on the ground as of 6 a.m. In the southern part of the metro area, the ice melted as temperatures rose.

In downtown Bloomington, there was no snow or ice on the ground. The roads were wet and the expected storm was a total bust.

"I never trust the weather that I see on the news," said Gary Loos, of Bloomington. "Therefore, this comes as no surprise."

In the Lafayette area, 3.5 inches of snow had fallen as of 6 a.m., but that was far less than what had been expected.

More snow had fallen in northern Indiana, but it was also less than originally anticipated, at least through the early-morning hours. Forecasts had called for as much as a foot of snow.

Road crews were out in full force across nearly all of the state. The Indiana Department of Transportation slated a full call out of its plow and salt trucks.

Indianapolis' Department of Public Works also had all of its crews out on Friday morning to salt and, if necessary, plow the roads.

Indiana State Police had no reports of major traffic problems caused by the weather. All main highways were open and passable, 1st Sgt. Brian Olehy said.

"There's still plenty of slick spots, but as weather goes, we've done all right so far," he said.

The state may see a mix of snow and rain this weekend, but it doesn't look "real significant," Johnson said.