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'Monster Storm' Debunked

Saturday - 2/1/2014, 12:01am  ET

WASHINGTON-- Meteorologists in the Midwest were forced to take to social media to tamp down rumors of a monster storm with the prospect of up to 30 inches of the snow in some areas next week.

The National Weather Service's Indianapolis bureau said in Facebook and Twitter messages that predictions that 20 to 30 inches of snow could fall on Indiana and other Midwestern states next Tuesday and Wednesday "are EXTREMELY premature & improbable."

None of forecasts even hint at a storm with 2-feet of snow or more, Indianapolis meteorologist Mike Ryan said.

He said the Indianapolis office sent the Twitter and Facebook messages because it and other Midwestern weather bureaus have been getting calls from people worried about dire storm predictions that are "rampant" online.

"We wanted to try to alleviate these rumors because the social media network is just kind of running out of control,'' Ryan said Friday. "Like we said, any snowfall amounts like those people are talking about would really be improbable."

There will be a storm, however. Next week's storm has the potential to bring snow, sleet, freezing rain to Indiana and other states in the Ohio River Valley, but he said it's too early to predict how much will fall and where.

Any snowfall projections now would be "highly speculative," he said.

--The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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