Winter Storm Watch issued ahead of weekend snow storm

    A Winter Storm Watch was issued Thursday afternoon for Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph, and Branch counties in West Michigan. (WWMT/Severe Weather Center 3)<p>{/p}

    A Winter Storm Watch was issued by the National Weather Service for the Michiana area beginning 10 p.m. Friday night and continuing through 10 p.m. Saturday.

    The Northern Indiana Weather Service Office issued the watch for Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph, and Branch Counties for potentially heavy snow on Friday, Jan. 18, 2019, and Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019.

    The National Weather Service said a Winter Storm Watch "means there is potential for significant snow, sleet or ice accumulations that may impact travel."

    Snow was expected to begin late Friday night and continue throughout Saturday. The heaviest snow looks to occur Saturday morning and afternoon, before starting to taper off late.

    Accumulations between 4-7 inches were forecast for the watch area. Kalamazoo was not included in the watch, but, as of Thursday evening, it is possible that a similar range is justified as far north as I-94.

    Wind gusts in the range of 25-35 mph could also make conditions especially dangerous on Saturday, reducing visibility and challenging road crews.

    A big drop in temperatures also expected Sunday, so plan ahead for the snow and cold weather by remembering some of tips from the Michigan State Police. There are also survival tips for those who become stranded on the road.

    Newschannel 3 meteorologists will continue to monitor this storm system as it evolves.

    Be sure to check back on air and online in the coming 24 hours for the latest forecasts, as they could still be tweaked.

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