• Arctic Air Inbound…

    screen-shot-2016-12-05-at-11-19-01-pmHighlights:

    • Morning showers
    • Snow showers late tomorrow night
    • Arctic air arrives
    • Weekend storm system

    Find That Heavier Winter Gear…Our next area of low pressure will push northeast between now (north-central Gulf Coast) and Tuesday night (central Appalachians).  Most of the widespread rain will fall across southeast IN this go around, but enough moisture will spread west to result in scattered to numerous showers Tuesday morning.  With temperatures in the lower to middle 30s, don’t be surprised if a sleet pellet or snow flake mix in at times.  All in all, expect another “raw” day.  Drier times will await for the evening rush home.

    Wednesday will feature mostly dry conditions, but the arctic hounds will be howling to our northwest.  Snow showers will precede this arctic blast Wednesday night and Thursday morning and may be enough to accumulate for some.  While models remain drier than we’d expect (given the overall set-up), we may “eek” out just enough moisture to coat the ground up for some. Thursday will be a frigid day, including wind chills in the single digits.  Heavier winter gear will be required to wrap up the work week.

    The weekend features more “fun and games” as an area of low pressure attacks stale cold air left over from the late week arctic push.  Is the cold air deep enough to create wintry problems or does the southerly flow help scour out the chill and lead to more of a liquid event.  Stay tuned.

    Upcoming 7-Day Precipitation Forecast:

    • Snowfall: 1″ – 3″
    • Rainfall: 0.50″


  • Monday Morning Rambles…

    1.) Rain builds back in late tonight and Tuesday morning and will favor the southern and eastern half of the state.  Drier trends develop Tuesday afternoon as the moisture pulls northeast.

    Forecast radar 11a Tuesday
    Forecast radar 11a Tuesday

    2.)  A surge of arctic air will pour into the region as we wrap up the work week, including single digit wind chills.  Lows in the 10s and highs in the 20s can be expected Thursday and Friday.

    Forecast temperature anomalies to close the work week.
    Forecast temperature anomalies to close the work week.

    3.)  Despite the cold, snow chances look unimpressive, per the latest data.  While we, personally, still believe there will be more of an arctic wave to deal with along the arctic boundary pressing Wednesday night into Thursday (enough to accumulate), modeling says “we’re crazy” and brings the arctic plunge in without much fanfare (flurries).

    4.)  Speaking of snow, modeling also says the 3rd wintry threat we spoke of Sunday (for about a week from now) arrives with a warm-up and is more of a liquid event.  While we tend to think this is still a threat that could deal our region wintry conditions, it would be irresponsible of us not to convey the lower confidence (heck, modeling suggests we’re close to 60 degrees next Monday).

    5.)  Our thoughts on a snowy December began last summer as research began on the upcoming winter.  It’s based off a variety of solutions, but leans heavily on the idea blocking would develop and help “lock in” an active pattern with just enough cold air to create the wintry “goods.”  (Pressing cold and an active jet undercutting the cold to create winter storm potential).  While bullish on snow (still are), we’ve never had out a very cold December forecast (instead only “slightly,” or 1 degree, below average).  If the recent weekend trend is correct, it says the upcoming (10) day period we thought would essentially deliver a month’s worth of snow is incorrect.  Sure that gives us the second half of the month to still make up for it, but it becomes increasingly difficult to see the wild model swings and inconsistency without relaying those inconsistencies to you, the viewer.

    Our overall thinking remains (as stubborn as it may seem) on December, but please know we also see how this could bust.  There’s a fine line between communicating both ideas to you.  Confidence is lower than we would like it to be…


  • Active Wintry Pattern Is Here…

    If you’re a fan of cold weather, including being on the field to “cash-in” on multiple winter storm threats, this is a pattern for you.  In all honesty, it’s tough to ask for a better pattern to yield such things.  With that said, each respected storm threat will have its’ own set of challenges that will have to be dealt with.  While we’re confident on IND being above normal in the snow department for the month of December by the 20th, it’s impossible to put numbers (from an accumulation perspective) on specific storm systems from this distance.  With that said, please know that the pattern is one that will have multiple impactful winter events lining up behind one another and it’ll be important to keep updated with forecasts as we progress through the next few weeks.  Needless to say, there will be plenty of opportunities to get those favorite photos with Christmas lights/ decor in the snow this season!

    We’re tracking (3) winter systems over the upcoming week:

    1.)  Today:  Dry air initially made it difficult for precipitation to make it to the surface this morning.  Heavier precipitation rates will arrive after lunch and fall for a few hours (between 1p-6p for most of central IN).  This will fall as mostly a cold rain from Indy and points south.  Further north, including north-central IN, this will fall as a rain-snow mix (snow should become the predominant form of precipitation shortly after starting.  Across northern portions of the state, this will be mostly snow and we note modeling trending colder with recent runs.  With heavier snowfall rates this afternoon/ evening, travel may become dicey across northern IN and wet snow accumulations of 2″-4″.  A coating to less than 1″ of snow is possible as far south as the northern suburbs of Indy.  The following time stamps can give you an idea what the radar may look like this afternoon into the evening hours.

    1p forecast radar
    1p forecast radar
    4p forecast radar
    4p forecast radar
    6p forecast radar
    6p forecast radar

    Temperatures tonight will fall below freezing for most (upper 20s to around 30) and with the lingering moisture on area roadways and sidewalks, a couple slick spots could develop here and there so be mindful.  We don’t anticipate major issues, however.

    2.)  Wednesday night-Thursday:  An arctic front will blow into town mid week and we remain bullish on the idea a wave of low pressure delivers a shot of accumulating snow as the arctic plunge moves in.  As we’ve relayed over the past few days, model data is far from being in agreement on this idea, but when one looks at the overall pattern, it’s easy to see how there should be more reflection of low pressure moving along the pressing arctic boundary.  These can be tricky and many times modeling is “forced” to play catch-up at last minute.  For now, we continue with the idea of accumulating snow across central IN in the Wednesday night-Thursday time frame ahead of the coldest air so far this season.  Temperatures will fall to between 10-15 degrees for lows by late week, including single digit ‘chills.

    Arctic waves can be tricky in the medium range and must be watched closely.
    Arctic waves can be tricky in the medium range and must be watched closely.

    3.)  Saturday-Sunday:  Our next wintry threat appears to roll into town next weekend.  Similar to mid week, this, too, could be an accumulating event.  It’s far too soon to get specific on timing, snowfall amounts, etc., but just know we’re keeping a close eye on next weekend for potentially more of a widespread wintry event and will sure-up details as we progress deeper into the week.

    GFS ensemble members show the snowy pattern ahead over the upcoming week.
    GFS ensemble members show the snowy pattern ahead over the upcoming week.


  • Sunday Mix; Heavier Winter Gear Needed Next Week…

    screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-9-48-58-amHighlights:

    • Sunday mix
    • Wet Tuesday
    • Midweek snow and turning bitter

    Winter Awaits…Today is chilly and dry. Thankfully, we’ll finally get to see the sun.  Enjoy it into the afternoon as clouds will quickly increase yet again later in the day as our next storm system approaches.

    Speaking of that next system, moisture will spread into the chilly air mass Sunday morning.  Across central IN, this will fall as a wintry mix of light snow and chilly light rain.  Further north, this will be a mostly snow event, including a light accumulation possible (slushy amounts under 1″) across far northern portions of the state.  All-in-all, this won’t be a big deal.

    We’ll have a brief break in between systems Monday before rain returns at night.  This is courtesy of another wave of low pressure lifting out of the northwest Gulf of Mexico, tracking northeast through the TN Valley and into southeastern Ohio.  Central Indiana snow lovers know that’s a classic track for snow around these parts this time of year.  We’ll keep an eye on it, but as of now, the air mass doesn’t look cold enough (yet).

    A much colder pattern looms by the middle of next week.  Along with the arrival of the arctic air mass, we also favor a wave of low pressure delivering accumulating snow prospects Wednesday night into Thursday.  (That high Thursday will come at midnight with temperatures crashing through the day).  We’ll turn bitterly cold to close the week, including wind chills falling to around zero.

    This is only the beginning of a very cold and wintry period.  There are plenty of “fun and games” awaiting as we rumble through the next couple weeks…

    Upcoming 7-Day Precipitation Forecast:

    • Snowfall: 1″ – 3″
    • Rainfall: 0.75″ – 1.25″


  • Active Weather Pattern…

    screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-7-09-07-pmHighlights:

    • Colder close to the work week
    • Late weekend wintry mix threat
    • Double-barrel storm next week

    Feeling More Like The Season…Colder air began to press into central IN Wednesday afternoon.  That was a hint of what we’ll deal with to wrap up the work week.  While nothing too far from normal, it’s definitely going to feel colder when compared to the past couple days.  A sprinkle or snow flurry is possible Thursday- especially across northern portions of the state.  Friday and Saturday will be dry, but continued chilly.

    Our next storm system will approach the region Saturday night into Sunday.  A wintry mix, including a period of snow, is a good bet Sunday morning before enough warm air advection leads to a transition to a chilly light rain or drizzle.  It’ll be a raw day.  Needless to say with model data still in disagreement, we’ll continue to keep a close eye on Sunday’s forecast and update accordingly.

    Next week will continue the fast-paced time of things, with a double-barrel storm system taking aim on the region Tuesday into Wednesday.  Showers will push northeast Tuesday followed by another round of rain Wednesday.  The coldest air of the season looms just beyond this forecast period.  Though timing is an issue that will have to be fine tuned, our air mass should grow cold enough to allow for precipitation to transition to snow showers late Wednesday night.  Stay tuned.

    Upcoming 7-Day Precipitation Forecast:

    • Snowfall: Trace
    • Rainfall: 0.75″ – 1.50″


  • Colder Times Loom; Late Weekend System…

    screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-6-18-37-pmHighlights:

    • Second half of the work week trends colder
    • Late weekend wintry system?
    • Next storm looms next week

    Temperatures Trend Downward…Moisture will lift northeast late tonight into Wednesday and could push light showers as far west at the Indy metro late tonight and early Wednesday morning.  Better coverage of showers will be found across east and southeast portions of the state Wednesday morning.  While highs Wednesday should top out in the lower to middle 50s for most central IN neighborhoods, temperatures will begin to slip during the afternoon and evening hours as colder air slowly oozes in.  The cooler trend will continue as we wrap up the work week.

    All eyes will then shift to the weekend and a potential storm system Sunday.  Model data continues to differ significantly on the all-important details.  For now we’ll spare you from the nerdy meteorological lingo 😉 and lean towards increasing clouds Saturday evening with a cold rain or a wintry mix developing Sunday afternoon.  Should more energy come out and “phase,” this will become a system that will require more attention in the days ahead.  Stay tuned.  Any early wintry mix will depart Monday morning and we’ll briefly dry out into Tuesday.

    By that point, another storm system will require our attention later next week.  Additional wintry prospects loom along with the first true shot of Old Man Winter just beyond this particular forecast period.

    Upcoming 7-Day Precipitation Forecast:

    • Snowfall: Trace
    • Rainfall: 0.50″ – 1.00″


  • Better Get Used To This Type Pattern This Winter; A Word On The European…

    Whether or not central Indiana deals with a winter storm Sunday-Monday is up for debate, but what’s not up for debate is the likelihood of a very active and stormy pattern.  We’re rolling into a new pattern right on schedule and it’s one that could produce multiple big-hitter winter storms this season.  As we know, each storm system will have its’ respected challenges that will require a great deal of attention (all winter storms do), but we want to continue to stress that, eventually, the mean winter pattern is one that could (and one could easily argue “should”) yield not just one, but multiple heavy wintry impact events.

    That brings us to the European model and the potential of wintry prospects for the upcoming weekend into early next week.  Before we look at the current data, let’s look back at what the European’s ensemble mean printed out last Saturday.  At first glance, it’s not a very “interesting” look, but understanding the European’s known bias of hanging too much energy back in the SW led us to begin raising an eyebrow for wintry “mischief” for the upcoming weekend into early parts of what was then Week 2 (12.4.16-12.5.16 time frame).

    day8-10euroSince then, the European has begun to lock-in to a trend of bringing that SW energy out quicker and, in return, igniting a surface low to develop in the western Gulf of Mexico (GOM) Saturday before tracking northeast into the TN Valley (Sunday) and Great Lakes region (Monday).

    1stwkndofdecTaken verbatim, this would spread a cold rain into central IN Sunday before colder air begins to change the rain over to a wet, heavy snow Sunday night into Monday morning across central IN.  Heavy, wind-blown, snow amounts would result with such a solution for portions of central IN.  Such a scenario would be a high-impact event.  While the majority of model data (factoring in the GFS and Canadian, for example) is far from agreeing on such a solution, it’s important to note that a trend of such a scenario is beginning to develop within the powerful European forecast model.  Furthermore, roughly half of the European’s (51) ensemble members agree on an impactful winter event in the Sunday-Monday time period for central Indiana.

    What could go wrong?  Plenty.  This is an event that’s still 6-7 days away and a subtle shift west or east with the low’s track would result in mostly a rain vs. snow event.  Realizing that is as important as understanding that when the European model begins to lock-in to a trend, it’s also imperative we pay particular attention- no matter if this is an event in the short-term, or medium-range.  Though far from perfect, the European model has been known to “sniff out” impactful events well before other data.  Know that we’re keeping a close eye on things.

    In closing, regardless if this is “the storm” that ushers in the snowy pattern we expect this year, or not, there are plenty of additional “fun and games” awaiting on deck.  As mentioned previously, challenges will await with each respected storm (for example, rain-snow-mix lines).  Wintry weather will likely be a news headline this Christmas season as travel plans are altered and snow removal efforts are initiated much earlier than recent winter’s past.  If our idea is correct, the expected snowy December pattern is only the beginning to a busy winter…