(UNDATED) - There was a dramatic weather shift on Thursday, with warm temperatures and thunderstorms early Thursday morning giving way to strong winds, rapidly falling temperatures and blowing snow during the late afternoon and evening.
The snow in many areas is less than one inch, however, that doesn't mean the weather isn't creating hazardous road conditions.
Many counties in Indiana are under a winter storm watch, warning or advisory issued by the National Weather Service.
The winter conditions have caused over 1,000 power outages across the Wabash Valley.
Several power lines are down due to the strong winds. Duke Energy crews were working through the night to restore power.
Bedford and Lawrence County crews were out Thursday afternoon after reports of trees down and after a support wire snapped on 16th Street near Plaza Drive.
Road crews geared up Thursday night and were out on the roads early this morning clearing roadways.
Police are warning drivers to use extra precaution during their morning commute. Police says motorist should slow down, break early, and keep your distance, and people will get to where they're going safety.
A winter weather advisory is in effect across much of central Indiana, with prospects of up to 3 inches of wind-driven snow by midday Friday. This combination can cause visibility to be reduced and road conditions to change quickly.
The advisory includes all of the Indianapolis metro area, but portions of south-central Indiana are not included.
A high wind warning was also posted for most of the area, with wind gusts in excess of 55 mph possible.
The National Weather Service said wind gusts reached 53 miles per hour in Indianapolis and 50 mph in Vincennes Thursday evening.
By midday Friday, a general 1- to 3-inch snowfall is expected in the area under the advisory, including Indianapolis and points to the north. Accumulations with lesser amounts to the south are expected.
To help Hoosiers prepare for this winter storm the Indiana State Police offers the following tips.
• Before traveling, check the forecast and let someone know your travel route.
• Keep your gas tank at least half-full.
• Carry a winter driving kit that should include blankets, flashlight, extra batteries, a brightly colored cloth, sand (or cat litter), shovel, candle, matches, non-perishable high calorie food, first aid kit, and jumper cables.
• Have a cell phone and charger cord available.
• Slow down on snow/ice covered roads.
• Allow extra time to arrive at your destination.
• Clear all vehicle windows of ice and snow. Remove snow from hood, roof, and lights.
• Use extra caution when driving across bridges, underpasses, shaded areas and intersections where ice is slow to melt.
• Avoid abrupt stops and starts. Slow down gradually.
Should you become stranded:
• Don't leave your car. It's the best protection you have.
• Tie a brightly colored cloth to your antenna.
• Roll down your window a small amount to allow fresh air in your vehicle.
• Keep the exhaust pipe free of blockage to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
• Don't panic. An idling car uses approximately one gallon of gas per hour.
For Indiana road conditions call 1- 800-261-7623, or visit the Indiana Department of Transportation website at www.trafficwise.in.gov. Please do not call dispatch centers for road conditions. Telecommunications operators can be extremely busy dispatching equipment and personnel to motorists requiring emergency assistance.
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