INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Sunshine and milder temperatures gave Indiana
residents a break from the snowy, harsh winter Wednesday, but their relief
was expected to be short-lived despite a predicted warm-up.
Service meteorologists say temperatures that could hit the 50s and 60s on
Thursday also could bring two other spring-like hazards — high winds and
flooding — before temperatures drop into the icebox again next week.
"It's just such a
yo-yo effect right now," said Amberly Peterson, 33, a corporate
communications specialist in downtown Indianapolis. "I'm just concerned
about having warm and thunderstorms one day and then blizzards the next."
Indiana is under
a slight risk for severe weather Thursday as a cold front pushes through.
But a bigger concern appears to be flooding. Forecasters say up to an inch
of rain could fall on ground still covered by snow, triggering mild to
depends on the location.
The northern half
of the state could see temperatures in the 50s thaw deep snow that's on
the ground, said Lonnie Fisher, a meteorologist at the service's northern
Indiana office in North Webster. Snow is still piled 7 to 18 inches deep
in some areas and contains up to 4 inches of water. Warm temperatures will
cause the snow to melt, and heavy rain will compound the issue because the
ground is still frozen and won't be able to absorb the water.
Ice trapped in
frozen rivers and streams also will be a problem, because water from the
thaw that normally flows into streams won't have anywhere to go.
Fisher said some
rivers and lakes in northern Indiana are frozen up to 6 inches deep. "Most
areas could see at least some minor flooding," he said.
Huntington counties in northern Indiana said Wednesday that they planned
to offer sandbags for residents concerned about flooding.
resident Leslie Redman said she's worried about street flooding in the
area where she lives, near the White River on the city's north side. But
worrying is about all she can do.
"I've lived here
all my life, so I know you can have a good winter or a bad winter. It is
what it is," she said.
Wind is a bigger
concern in central Indiana, where thunderstorms are expected to roar
through Thursday night, weather service meteorologist Marc Dahmer in
of 20 to 25 mph and gusts of 60 mph are likely, he said, and some weak
tornadoes are possible.
are keeping an eye on an ice dam on the Wabash River in Carroll County.
Weather service hydrologist Al Shipe says the dam is 6 inches deep and
stretches for 7 ½ miles.
"A lot of bad
things could happen tomorrow," Dahmer said.
businesses, however, the weather is helping their bottom line. Home repair
companies are getting more calls from homeowners concerned about storm
gutters stuffed with leaves and ice. If untouched, that water can seep in
underneath a home's roof and cause damage costing thousands of dollars,
said Chris Coolidge, head of operations at Wellman Exteriors in
definitely say this storm is getting us a little more business," Coolidge
expected to remain in the 40s for a few days, but beginning Sunday they're
expected to resume their frigid ways, hitting lows in the teens and highs
in the 20s or 30s.