VAN WERT – After carefully studying weather charts and consulting with National Weather Service officials late Thursday, weather specialist Rick McCoy is convinced that the threat of heavy rains and flooding over the day on Saturday is a strong possibility.

“They started setting up predictions already early Wednesday of flood threats energized by two to four inches of rain,” said McCoy. “Then late Thursday, they increased it even more, placing a large flood warning across much of Indiana and Ohio. This time they elevated potential rainfall from three to five inches or more.

“A strong storm system will impact the area through the weekend,” said McCoy. “Significant low-level moisture surging northward will combine with this storm system to produce heavy rainfall across the region.”

National Weather officials said that Moderate river flooding is expected, and if rainfall amounts on the higher end of the forecasted range occurs, some major river flooding is possible. The river flooding will likely continue into the middle of next week.

Weather officials said that temperatures are expected to gradually slide from a high of low 50’s on Saturday into the high 30’s by Sunday afternoon.

Colder air will filter into the region late Saturday night into Sunday. The greater chances of freezing rain during this period should remain north of Interstate 94, but a brief changeover to snow is expected before precipitation ends early Sunday morning.

Anyone traveling north across the Indiana-Michigan border this weekend should prepare for a surprise shift in communication, especially late on Saturday when rain across the Michigan border is expected to shift to freezing rain and heavy snow.

McCoy said that the severity of river flooding would depend on whether or not rain total reached the high end of the precipitation amounts. He noted that preparations should be made for potential major flooding on all rivers in Adams, Jay, Mercer, and Van Wert counties.

“An active southwest flow will follow in wake of the weekend storm. In fact, there is a mild possibility that there could be a couple of claps of thunder on Saturday afternoon,” said McCoy. "Another system is expected to roll out through the upper Midwest toward late Wednesday or Thursday. This system is expected to start with rain but then possibly shift to snow.

“For the first time in several weeks, it does look like more seasonal arctic air could encroach on the Midwest by the end of next week,” said McCoy. “Should that occur, a more winter-like weather pattern could set up for the last part of the month.”