(Photos submitted)
(Photos submitted)

Times Bulletin Correspondent

VAN WERT — Weather specialist Rick McCoy said late Sunday that area residents need to be keeping up with weather forecasts over the next couple of days. Following a wet snow on Sunday which dropped one to three inches across much of the area, officials are turning their sights toward a system from the southwest that could dump major amounts of snow on the local area in midweek, said McCoy.

“This is going to be a strong system,” said McCoy. “Weather officials earlier this afternoon said that if it positions itself on an expected tract, it could dump close to five inches or more of snow somewhere in the local area.”

“While they wouldn’t speak out on specifics, officials said it looks like the main low is moving toward the Ohio River Valley,” continued McCoy. “Exact track of the storm is going to mean everything. If it moves along close to the Ohio River, most of Indiana and Ohio could be in for a substantial snowstorm.”

McCoy said that Sunday’s event surprised weather officials a little. At first they called for a dusting, then up to one inch and finally up to three inches on Sunday morning. In the end, Fort Wayne recorded four inches of snow in some parts of the city while most of the local area from Van Wert to Decatur received one to two inches of snow initially.

“Because of the unusually warm weather we’ve had the first half of this month, the ground and pavements were not frozen. Because of that, much of the snow thawed kind of quickly late in the afternoon. Early Friday, strong northwest winds brought the beginning of winter readings back to the area.

“It appears now that we are going to be back in the cold air for up to the next couple of weeks,” said McCoy. “Following Wednesday’s potential storm, approaching cold air currents could bring down a couple of Alberta clippers late in the week and on the weekend. Either of those could be capable of dropping another couple of inches of snow.”

In spite of the apparent switch to more wintry weather, McCoy said that in the big picture, the whole country is still under the control of one of the strongest La Ninas in the last several years.

“Even if we experience some really wintry weather over the next couple of weeks, I still expert the warmer-than-normal weather to return by mid-February. That’s just the way these systems work, especially the ones of this magnitude.

“The big story early this week is to monitor forecasts closely, just in case and be prepared for snow removal and make sure you are stocked up on necessities,” cautioned McCoy.