Indianapolis, Detroit in Line for Substantial Snow

By Matt Alto, Meteorologist
December 25, 2012; 3:21 PM ET
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All the necessary meteorological ingredients will be coming together across the eastern Great Lakes on Wednesday and Wednesday night for a powerful and disruptive winter snowstorm.

The storm took a turn towards the northeast on Christmas night and will intensify as it tracks through the Ohio Valley on Wednesday.

Snow expand northward across Indiana and into western Ohio late Tuesday night and will spread into southern Michigan throughout the morning Wednesday.

See Also:
Christmas Day Tornadoes: Southeast Texas to Florida
East Facing Major Post-Christmas Winter Storm

Substantial snow will fall in the corridor from Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, Ind., into Toledo, Ohio, and Detroit, Mich. These areas will be located on the storm's western flank, which is the most favorable location to be for picking up heavy snowfall.

Please click here for a larger version of this map.

The snow will become moderate to possibly heavy at times on Wednesday before diminishing in intensity towards the evening and overnight hours.

When it is all said and done, a general swath of 6-12 inches of snow will be possible from central Indiana into northwestern Ohio into extreme southeastern Michigan. Locally, more than a foot of snow may be possible.

In addition to the significant snowfall, gusty northerly winds will lead to areas of blowing and drifting snow. Winds will be sustained at times between 12-25 mph with gusts upwards to 35 mph.

The combination of wind and snow will lead to travel headaches on the roadways and at the airports.

According to Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski, "Several inches of snow will alone make driving treacherous. Winds severely blowing and drifting the snow around will only worsen the situation by dramatically reducing visibility and further clogging roads."

Holiday travelers with flights in and out of Detroit or Indianapolis should prepare for flight cancellations or substantial flight delays. Airline travelers should plan on making alternative plans as soon as possible.

With Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport being a major national and international hub, the delays will have a ripple effect elsewhere across the nation.

Conditions will gradually improve throughout the region Wednesday night into Thursday morning as the storm continues to move northeast.

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