Groundskeeper Wilson Newbolt, New Albany, clears snow from a sidewalk at New Albany High School on Monday morning. According to the National Weather Service, there will be a high near 37 on Tuesday with a chance of mixed precipitation.

First there was the extreme cold. Then there was snow. Now, it appears ice is on the way for Southern Indiana in a winter that keeps getting more treacherous weather-wise.

A winter storm watch has been issued for Clark, Floyd and surrounding counties from Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday morning. Steady freezing rain and possible “significant” ice accumulations are in the forecast for the area.

The National Weather Service in Louisville, which issued the watch, said precipitation should begin around mid-afternoon Tuesday and that ice is most likely to fall Tuesday evening. Ice accumulations of a quarter of an inch are possible, and ice on tree branches and power lines could cause outages.

Because of the watch and forecasted snow north in Indiana, Gov. Mike Pence has directed the Indiana Department of Transportation to ready itself for a full call-out across most of the state as dangerous winter weather approaches.

“As severe winter weather continues, INDOT remains fully prepared to keep the interstates, U.S. highways and state routes open and as safe as possible for emergency responders,” Pence said in a news release. “We encourage Hoosiers to follow county travel advisories and not to put themselves or their local emergency responders in harm’s way.”

INDOT will continue to monitor multiple evolving weather forecasts and deploy a full call out of more than 800 yellow plow trucks to begin alternating 12-hour shifts on state highways before the storm moves through Indiana. Each INDOT plow route takes two to three hours to complete with salt assisting in melting between passes. Motorists should be prepared for snow accumulations on the roads and driving conditions to be challenging, especially during rush hour periods.

Weather forecasts are predicting a snowstorm will drop up to 9 inches of snow on parts of Central and Northern Indiana.

Stay updated on county travel advisories at http://www.in.gov/dhs/traveladvisory and be aware of developing local forecasts before deciding whether to drive. The Indiana State Police and other law enforcement agencies encourage the public to keep its phone lines open for emergencies and to access road conditions at http://indot.carsprogram.org or by dialing toll-free 800-261-ROAD (7623).

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