With Groundhog Day less than two weeks away, most residents will likely be wishing for an early spring.

The Madison Courier's weather station recorded 4.5 inches of snow overnight and into this morning, more than was originally predicted.

The National Weather Service had forecast 2 to 3 inches of snow for most parts of central and southern Indiana. Winds gusting to 30 mph were causing more troubles, as well.

Dozens of school districts across southern Indiana - including all schools in the Courierarea - were closed, while many others in central and northern counties delayed their openings.

Jefferson County emergency officials said the gusts have caused snow drifts on many rural roads. This morning, the Indiana Department Homeland Security issued a travel watch, which means conditions are threatening to safety of the public.

During a watch, only essential travel, such as to and from work or in emergency situations, is recommended.

Jefferson County Sheriff John Wallace called the roads "treacherous," with Hanover Hill and Hanging Rock Hill being shut down earlier today. Wallace said his department had received more than 25 reports of vehicle slide-offs this morning, but no serious injuries were reported.

The strong winds also pushed wind chills below zero.

The National Weather Service reported the Courierarea has received 20 inches of snow since Dec. 1 - not including today's snowfall.

The Board of Public Works meeting scheduled for today has been postponed. The meeting has been rescheduled for 11:30 a.m. Thursday. The City Council meeting tonight has also been canceled. There will be no make-up date, and the next meeting will be held Feb. 4.

Jury selection for the trial of Garry A. Gibson and Dustin C. McFadden has been postponed until Wednesday.

A full list of closings is available at www.madisoncourier.com.

Nationally, the NWS says the storm could bring 10 inches of snow today to Philadelphia and New York and wind chills as low as 10 degrees below zero.

It warned of heavy winds and hazardous driving conditions throughout the day as the storm moves up the East Coast.

The federal government says its offices in the Washington area will be closed today because of the storm. The weather service warns the storm could impact the morning commute in Washington and Baltimore.