WTHR dispels rumors about snow forecast

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Social media has exploded over next week's snow forecast, and WTHR-TV wants to dispel some of the rumors.

It started with some sites (not WTHR) sharing a forecast model that called for 30 inches of snow next week. Then someone "Photoshopped" WTHR's SkyTrak Weather logo over a snow total forecast calling for three feet of snow. That is not WTHR's graphic, nor is it our forecast for next week.

At this point we're not ready to put out snow totals for next week because the models are changing quickly. We'll have a better idea by Sunday of how much snow you can expect next week.

"We do know what happened; what triggered all of this panic and frenzy is a computer model snowfall map seven days in advance of the actual storm hit the internet, hit social media, and it had some big numbers on it, so it's got everybody talking," said SkyTrak Weather meteorologist Angela Buchman.

But Angela says those models have already changed and adjusted - and that's the reason WTHR was not putting out totals on Thursday or Friday. "It's too early," Angela said.

Regarding some of those numbers that have some people in a panic, "to put that in perspective, that would be double our record snow for an entire storm - dating back to the 1800's. It would be very unusual," she said.

"This storm is still developing in the Pacific. So what you do need to know - we're going to get a better handle on this in the coming days. What's most important when we're tracking a winter storm is the track. Because that changes everything. If that track is not in the right spot, we're not going to be in the heavy snow band. If that track changes, how much snow and if we get snow at all; is it going to be a snow/sleet combination; is it going to be rain? So the track is critical. We will know more this weekend," she said.

The storm makes landfall this weekend out west, and we'll get a better handle on how it will take shape over the weekend.

Just for the record, the most amount of snow Indianapolis ever received in one day was 12.1 inches, recorded on March 19, 1906. The January 5 storm brought 11.4, compared to the blizzard of 1978, which had 10.3 inches.

"What we want you to know is - don't panic. You're going to know in plenty of time if you need to go to the store, if you need to make changes to flights, or travel plans or school. We want to be responsible and accurate. We don't want you to panic. You'll know in plenty of time!" said Angela.

Stay tuned to WTHR-TV for the latest weather updates. You can also download the WTHR news app or the SkyTrak Weather app. We post weather forecast information on the apps several times a day.

You can always see the latest forecast here.

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