- Category Archives Forecast Discussion
The big weather story Tuesday across central Indiana will be the near-record warmth. Typically it’s not until mid-May that average high temperatures climb into the lower to middle 70s, but we’re going to get an early taste of May tomorrow afternoon. Several records are in jeopardy of falling across the Ohio Valley Tuesday.
Steadiest rains will fall across the northern third of the state Tuesday with scattered downpours through the morning and afternoon hours across central Indiana.
Heavier rain will overspread central Indiana late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning as the cold front settles south.
As the front continues to sink south, much colder air will quickly overspread the area. By the rush hour, many neighborhoods north of Indianapolis will already be around freezing. As moisture continues to stream northeast, areas of freezing rain will be possible on elevated and exposed surfaces Wednesday morning into the afternoon hours. With the recent warm, wet conditions, we don’t expect significant travel issues across central Indiana.
After a quieter time of things most of Thursday, we’re tracking three additional waves of moisture Friday and through the weekend. At times, rain will be heavy, and we’ll certainly have to be on guard for water rise and increasing flooding issues as the weekend arrives.
By the time all is set and done Monday morning, we forecast additional widespread 3.5″ to 5″ rainfall totals with locally heavier amounts.
I. A weak weather maker will help spread a mixture of light rain and snow across the state later today, particularly this afternoon and evening. Precipitation amounts will remain light and insignificant, but serve as a nuisance as you go about your weekend plans.
II. We’re hopeful for much needed sunshine Sunday as we’ll be in between storm systems, however any sun that we see won’t last long.
A rather ominous setup for heavy rain will take place Monday into Wednesday. This will include a combination of ingredients as a strong southeast ridge will prevent much forward motion of a “wavy” front that will drape itself across the Ohio Valley region. Additionally, the subtropical jet will transport moisture-rich air northward into the area (true Gulf of Mexico connection).
While this is an unseasonably warm pattern (we forecast highs of 50°, or above, 5 out of 7 of the upcoming days, and at least 2 60°+ days), it’s one that will likely result in periods of heavy rain not only next week, but in waves over the upcoming 10 days.
Widespread 10-day rainfall numbers of 3″ to 4″ will be likely in this setup, including locally heavier amounts of 5″ to 6″ in spots. Certainly, if you live near waterways we suggest having a plan in place as it’s not a matter of if, but when flooding takes place in spots across the region with such a setup.
III. Longer-term, we still need to be wary of the potential of a colder pattern returning as we get into March. That forecast deep negative arctic oscillation (AO) has to raise an eyebrow for the possibility of making up for lost time in the cold weather department before we can signal “all clear” on winter…
I. Scattered light showers will impact the southern half of the state today, but these won’t be a big deal and more of just a nuisance for our Valentine’s Day. Temperatures will remain in the 40s for most of the afternoon before rising overnight.
II. A cold front will drop in Thursday evening and this will deliver more widespread heavier rainfall and even a couple of thunderstorms Thursday night. In general, we expect 0.50″ to 1″ of rain to fall.
III. We’ll turn briefly colder to close the work week. A couple of light snow showers are possible Friday morning and a wave of low pressure will “try” to push moisture into the cold air Saturday. As of now, we remain unimpressed with the prospect of impactful wintry weather Saturday, but have included the potential of wet snow in our Saturday forecast. Precipitation appears to be very light. Nonetheless, we’ll continue to keep an eye on things.
IV. The pattern continues to scream and warm and wet next week as a big ole southeast ridge remains in place. This will direct the steering current into the TN and OH Valley regions and multiple waves of rain, occasionally heavy, will result beginning early next week and continuing into the middle and latter portions of the week. Widespread 2″ to 3″ totals with locally heavier amounts seems to be a good bet next week.
We note a true Gulf connection and precipitable water values that will exceed 300% of normal at times. Parts of the Ohio Valley will deal with flooding, but it’s premature to get more specific than that from this distance. If you live near waterways, plan to keep a close eye on future updates and forecasts.
V. We note data continues to suggest a colder period looms as we close out the month of February and head into March. Note how the GEFS and EPS continues to tank the Arctic Oscillation (AO). Winter’s not over, not by a long shot…
“Dumpster fire” is defined by Urban Dictionary 🙂 as a complete disaster. Simple. Right to the point, and sums up our forecast period of Feb. 1st through March 6th perfectly.
Long time followers of IndyWx know that I’m not one to usually wad up a forecast and throw it in the trash until the end of the given forecast period, but there occasionally (thankfully, few and far between) are times that call for it, and this is one of them.
While this certainly isn’t a “winter’s over” post, it is one to set the record straight on calling our forecast for the aforementioned time period a bad one…very bad. When we first published our expectations for the Feb. 1st through March 6th period of 15″-20″ and at least (1) night of double-digit below zero lows, I honestly thought that was conservative. There’s no reason to rehash all of our thinking behind those numbers (you can read those for yourself at the link included above). While places like Chicago and Detroit have cashed in on winter’s return after our January thaw, Indianapolis has watched one storm after another pass by just to the north. On February 12th we sit here with 1.4″ at IND and temperatures that are running 5° below average.
The primary reason for waving the white flag has to do with the MJO and it’s reluctancy to rumble out of Phase 7. As of late January, models projected the MJO to be entering Phase 8 now.
As we look at today’s MJO plot note how we’ve meandered about Phase 7 much longer than initially expected. Also (still) note the attempt to move into the colder phases towards the end of the period, which we’ll talk about here in a bit.
The result has been a cold north-central that has “bled” into the Ohio Valley, while the immediate eastern seaboard and especially southeast has already gotten off to a warm to blow torch start to the month.
Looking ahead, there’s no denying the overall warm pattern (relatively speaking) over the upcoming couple weeks. Phase 7 will continue to do work on the pattern.
Obviously this is right in the heart of when we thought the colder MJO phases would combine with favorably cold teleconnection signals to produce a period of frigid weather. Instead, cold shots will be fleeting and any sort of winter weather threats of significance will be few and far between over the next 10-14 days. In short, Phase 7 will overrule the colder teleconnection signals that will evolve over the period.
Does this mean winter is over? Not so fast. While we’re going to be much slower to bite on the MJO swinging into the colder phases, there are indications it will at least attempt to do so once again as we close out February and head into March. Additionally, the large majority of teleconnections remain bullish for cold as we head into early March, locally. Perhaps fittingly, some of the data (will be interesting to see what the European Weeklies say later tonight) is trending colder as we open March. Maybe it’s a “delayed, but not denied” situation that will evolve, but considering we’re heading into March, the potential of severe wintry conditions to the magnitude we outlined in late January will be greatly reduced.
We’re opening the new work week on a cold, but sunny note! While temperatures will remain well below average today, a moderating trend does begin and will eventually take us close to 60° Thursday!
High pressure will keep us dry today and Tuesday. Look for highs in the upper 30s today, lows falling into the lower 20s tonight, and highs topping out in the mid 40s on Tuesday.
We’ll notice clouds on the increase Valentine’s Day and showers will arrive as early as the afternoon and evening hours. Coverage of rain initially will be greatest across southern and southeastern Indiana.
Surface low pressure will then track into the Ohio Valley Thursday and help lead to more widespread soaking rains as a cold front presses southeast. Eventually this front will deliver a colder close to the work week, but not before we squeeze out 0.50″ to 1″ of rain. Despite the wet conditions, Wednesday and Thursday will feature well above average temperatures: low 50s Wednesday and close to 60° Thursday.
We’ll turn briefly colder Friday (nothing terrible for this time of year) before a new warmup takes place over the weekend. With that new moderating trend, moisture will return and make way for a gloomy Sunday, complete with overcast skies and showers returning.