• Category Archives Freezing Rain
  • Saturday Morning Freezing Rain Update…

    More widespread precipitation is spreading across central Indiana this morning.  Most of this precipitation is falling as freezing rain.

    Radar at 7:19a.
    Radar at 7:19a.

    Modeled forecast radar continues to show moisture streaming across the region through around the lunchtime hour before diminishing.

    9a forecast radar
    9a forecast radar
    12p forecast radar
    12p forecast radar

    Temperatures will remain around 30-32 degrees along and north of the I-70 corridor as this rain falls so it’ll freeze on contact.  Allow extra time if you must travel and slow down.  Due to our phenomenal road crews and marginally cold temperatures, we don’t expect major travel issues this morning, but do use caution if traveling.  A light glaze of ice (around 0.10″) is possible on elevated surfaces, including tree limbs and power lines.

    Temperatures will go above freezing this afternoon across most of central Indiana and precipitation will end.  Highs both today and Sunday should top out in the middle 30s across the region.

    5p forecast radar
    5p forecast radar

    Lows tonight will settle back down into the middle to upper 20s, but dry conditions should remain for most of the night.

    10p forecast radar
    10p forecast radar

    Our next round of precipitation looks slated for a Sunday morning arrival and, similar to this morning, this precipitation will likely fall as a mixture of light rain and light freezing rain.

    Updated 7-day out later!  Have a great Saturday!


  • Surge Of More Widespread Precipitation Saturday Morning…

    Light freezing rain and drizzle has been falling across central Indiana this evening, mainly from the city, itself, and points south. A light glaze of ice has been reported into the forecast office in Monrovia and Plainfield. 

    For the next several hours, patchy light freezing rain and drizzle will continue, but nothing in a widespread, “uniform” fashion (great news for those night owls out and about).

    However, we do note some of the higher resolution forecast models suggesting a waive of more widespread precipitation arriving into central Indiana Saturday morning. This most likely pushes in sometime between the hours of 7a-9a and encompasses the heart of the state, including Indianapolis. 

    This “slug” of moisture will continue to fall across central Indiana through the morning hours before tapering off and diminishing around lunchtime. The afternoon and evening should be void of any widespread precipitation of significance. 

    While this won’t be a crippling event by any stretch of the imagination, be careful for slick spots Saturday morning and allow road crews room for salting. In general 0.05″-0.10″ of glaze still seems like a good bet for most central Indiana neighborhoods by lunchtime Saturday. 

    More in the morning! Have a great night!


  • Quick Friday Evening Notes…

    1.)  While we’re still expecting freezing rain across central Indiana tonight into the early morning hours Saturday, dry air will really limit totals.  Instead of the 0.10″-0.20″ of glaze per our first idea, we’ll cut that in half and say anywhere from 0.05″-0.10″ possible across central parts of the state tonight into Saturday morning.  This, obviously, won’t be enough to create power concerns or downed tree limbs, but could be sufficient enough to create slick spots in places.  Light freezing rain should increase in coverage across central IN from 10-11p.  Allow extra time to reach your destination tonight and early Saturday and slow it down.  All in all, this is not a significant event for central Indiana.

    Additional waves of light precipitation (rain mixed with freezing rain, primarily north of I-70) will be with us for the weekend, but similar to tonight, this won’t be a big deal and shouldn’t result in any need to cancel your weekend plans.

    2.)  A more significant surge of moisture will come out Monday night into Tuesday as low pressure (finally) pulls northeast out of the central Plains into the Great Lakes.  Localized amounts around 1″ will be a good bet, along with a warmer southwest flow.

    3.)  We’ll turn briefly cooler (still above average) mid week, before a stronger push of mild air late week.  Widespread highs in the lower-middle 60s seems like a good bet heading into next weekend and a rare January White Leg Alert may have to be issued.  😉

    4.)  Enjoy the January thaw while we have it.  Guidance continues to align and suggest winter roars back with authority to close January (last week of the month) before potentially locking in as we move into February and well into March.  More on this later this weekend.

    Complete updated 7-day will be published late tonight or early Saturday!


  • Weekend Ice And Heavy Rain Next Week…

    Screen Shot 2017-01-12 at 7.08.19 AM

    Highlights:

    • Turning colder
    • Freezing rain develops Friday night
    • Wet times continue

    Active Times; Excessive Rainfall Risk Next Week…The overall weather pattern remains very active AND very wet.  By the time all is said and done, an additional 3″ of rain is possible for a widespread portion of the region by the middle of next week, with locally heavier amounts.  Lets time it out.

    The focus in the shorter-term is for colder air to build in.  Temperatures today will fall (after a spring-like feel during the wee morning hours).  We’ll be in the 30s by mid to late afternoon and below freezing later this evening.  Arctic high pressure will continue to force cold, dry air south across central IN as we wrap up the work week.  At the same time, warm, moist air aloft will ride over the cold air trapped at the surface and trouble looms by Friday night.  We expect light freezing rain to develop after dark and continue into Saturday morning.  As disturbances move along the arctic boundary, additional precipitation (mostly light) will overspread central Indiana from time to time over the weekend.  We want to continue to reiterate that a 1-2 degree temperature difference will mean a tremendous difference between additional ice accumulation and plain ole cold rain.  Thinking is that the freeze line will shift north of the I-70 corridor Saturday afternoon before settling south towards I-70 again Saturday night and Sunday morning.  We still have time to fine tune things, but as of now it seems likely that anywhere from 0.10″ to 0.20″ of glaze (freezing rain) will be possible across most central IN communities Friday night into Saturday.

    We’ll get rid of the freezing rain early next week and bust back into a warm southwesterly air flow.  Models are struggling with the precise details of how things evolve in the early-mid week period, but confidence remains very high on continued wet times.  In fact, the GFS pulls a slug of 1.5″ precipitable water values (PWATs) north into the state the middle of next week and suggest the heavy rain threat remains Tuesday and Wednesday.  By the middle of next week, we have to start becoming concerned for flood potential across the region.

    Hang in there, we’ll see the sunshine return…some day.

    Upcoming 7-Day Precipitation Forecast:

    • Snowfall: 0.00″
    • Rainfall:  2.50″ – 3.00″ 


  • Icy Set-Up This Weekend…

    Unfortunately, a strong arctic high still looks like it’ll descend into the upper Mid West Friday before moving east over the Great Lakes (Saturday) and into the northeast (Sunday).  This will help shove a cold front south to the upper TN Valley Friday and dense, cold air will bleed south to encompass central Indiana as we wrap up the work week.  As we progress into the weekend, warm moist air will override the shallow cold air locked in place at the surface.  Ripples of energy will move along the boundary and periods of more concentrated, steadier precipitation will fall.  Significant ice accumulations (greater than one quarter inch) will be possible for portions of central Indiana.

    gefs_ptype_ens_ky_14GFS ensemble members above show the overall good agreement on a central IN ice set-up for portions of the weekend.

    Timing:  As of now, I think most of Friday is dry and cold before moisture overspreads the region late Friday night into Saturday.  Additional waves of moisture will push through the region during the second half of the weekend, as well.

    Confidence:  We have very high confidence on at least light to moderate icing in the Friday night – Saturday time frame, but confidence on additional icing thereafter begins to drop, thanks to disagreement in modeling.  The GFS is warmer for the second half of the weekend and would reduce the threat of significant ice build-up as some brief thawing would be in place in between waves of moisture thanks to temperatures rising into the middle 30s.  However, the European model is much colder and keeps IND below freezing Saturday and Sunday, with nearly half an inch of liquid during that time frame.  That’s downright concerning and would result in significant issues with potentially downed tree limbs and power lines.

    We do have concern the European could have a better handle on things right now.  Modeling is notorious for underestimating the strength and depth of the cold air with these arctic highs and similar overrunning events of the past.  Stay tuned.

    Impacts:  Greatest concern right now is for icing on exposed and elevated surfaces (bridges, tree limbs, power lines, etc.).  With the milder air of midweek, along with marginally cold air, it’s possible crews will be able to keep roads passable during this event.  Additionally, something else to consider is the rate of precipitation.  While bad for elevated ice build-up, if precipitation rates are heavy enough, this can help reduce ice build-up on roadways.

    Summary:  We still have concern for the potential of an impactful ice event this weekend through central Indiana.  Winter Storm Watches (and potentially Ice Storm Warnings) may be hoisted by the National Weather Service later this week for this event.  Despite an overall high confidence in at least some icing impacting the region, questions do remain in regards to the temperature profile later in the forecast period this weekend, and caution the slighted deviation in surface temperature can make all the difference to impacts.  At the very least, low pressure should pull out of the southern Plains early next week and this will serve to push enough warm air northeast to change everything over to plain ole rain early next week as we rise into the 50s.


  • Prolonged Stretch Of Gloomy Weather…

    screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-7-25-16-amHighlights:

    • Active stretch of weather begins
    • Moderating trend into midweek
    • Ice concerns Friday-Saturday

    Sunglasses NOT Required…We’re entering the beginning of an active stretch of weather, with an extended period of overcast skies and gloomy conditions.  Let’s dive in and take the challenges one-by-one:

    Showers develop this afternoon as a cold front moves into the state.  Ahead of the front, strong southwest winds will gust upwards of 45 MPH+.  A “big hair warning” is in effect.  🙂

    A brief shot of colder air will arrive late tonight into Wednesday, but just as soon as it arrives, it’ll leave and temperatures will approach 60 Wednesday night as showers return.

    Thursday will be a wet day with periods of rain and slowly falling temperatures during the afternoon/ evening.

    Friday is much colder as the arctic front will be to our south, but most of the day looks dry.  Moisture will lift north Friday afternoon and evening and with cold air in place, the precipitation should take the form of a mixture of freezing rain and sleet.  Periods of freezing rain likely continue Saturday.  It’s far too early to discuss amounts and we also want to reiterate the difference of 1-2 degrees will mean a world of difference between areas dealing with ice versus a cold rain.  The “battle zone” looks to take place across central IN.  If you have travel plans Friday night and Saturday, please keep abreast of later forecasts and updates.

    Regardless of whether or not we’re dealing with icy conditions across central IN during the first half of the weekend, temperatures will warm during the second half of the weekend and change any frozen/ freezing precipitation over to plain ole cold rain Sunday into Monday.

    Upcoming 7-Day Precipitation Forecast:

    • Snowfall: 0.00″
    • Rainfall: 1.50″ – 2.00″


  • Busy Weather Week; Ice Storm Potential Friday Into The Weekend…

    screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-7-26-23-amHighlights:

    • Late night light freezing rain develops
    • Milder and wet through mid week
    • Ice storm potential on the rise late week

    Feeling Downright Balmy Out…Temperatures this morning (writing this at 7a) are running close to 20 degrees above where we were this exact time Sunday.  20 degrees has never felt so warm!  🙂  This moderating trend will continue into mid week, including temperatures that approach 60 Thursday.  That said, we have a mini “speed bump” to go over tonight and that’s the opportunity for light freezing rain late tonight into the wee morning hours Tuesday.  Temperatures should go above freezing just before the morning rush Tuesday, but plan to leave additional time as slick spots may remain.  Once we clear the “speed bump,” it’s off to the races in the temperature department through mid week: around 50 Tuesday afternoon and around 60 by Thursday (that’s a late night high Wednesday in the upper 50s).  Periods of showers will come with the milder air, centered on Tuesday and late Wednesday into Thursday.

    Unfortunately, the milder times don’t last long and we still forecast “trouble” late in the week.  The set-up remains unchanged as a big, sprawling arctic high pushes into Wisconsin Friday.  This will help “shove” the arctic front through Indiana before stalling along the Ohio River Friday into Saturday.  As this is happening, ripples of energy will help ignite periods of precipitation Friday into the weekend.  With cold air locked in at the surface, we expect the potential of a rather prolonged period of freezing rain developing late Friday and continuing into the weekend.  We still have time for things to change, but from this distance, the predominant precipitation type, unfortunately, appears to be freezing rain.  Stay tuned as this could be a high impact event.

    Upcoming 7-Day Precipitation Forecast:

    • Snowfall:  0.00″
    • Rainfall:  1.50″ – 2.25″


  • Changeable Weather; Late Week Ice Threat…

    screen-shot-2017-01-08-at-10-01-49-amHighlights:

    • Another bitter day
    • Moderating temperatures ahead
    • Late week ice threat looms

    Bitter Cold Gives Way To Moderating Temperatures…The first half of the forecast period is easy, but we caution big time headaches loom and details are far from etched in stone once to the second half of this forecast period.

    First thing’s first and that’s today.  Look for a continuation of bitterly cold air, but slow moderation will be noted this afternoon: Not AS bitter and lighter winds.  We may even crack the 20 degree mark!  I know, break out the swim suits, right?!  This moderating trend is setting the tone for a more significant jump in the mercury later in the week.  Before a “taste of spring” arrives, we’ll have to deal with a brief opportunity for freezing drizzle Monday evening.  Temperatures will zoom to around 50 Tuesday and around 60 for mid week.  Showers will be with us off and on- focused on Tuesday and Thursday for most widespread coverage.

    Then comes the “fun.”  A strong, sprawling arctic high will push south into the northern Plains Friday.  At the same time, “resistance” from the southeast ridge (that can be thanked for the spring-like feel here Wednesday and Thursday) will result in the arctic front only slowly being able to push south.  Ripples of energy, or waves of low pressure, will move along the arctic boundary and result in periods of widespread precipitation Friday into the weekend.  As the cold, dense arctic air oozes south, we have concern for icing- freezing rain and sleet Friday into Saturday.  Depending on how things evolve, this may continue into Sunday, as well.  If you have travel plans this weekend, please keep a close eye on the developments in the forecast from Friday on.  Stay tuned.

    Upcoming 7-Day Precipitation Forecast:

    Snowfall: 1.00″

    Rainfall: 1.50″ – 2.00″


  • Saturday Morning Rambles…

    1.) Coast-to-coast cold:  The Lower 48 is waking up in an ice box this morning as widespread arctic air and below normal temperatures engulf the country (minus the FL peninsula this morning).  The arctic express will remain with us through the weekend, including temperatures once again tonight that threaten to dip into the sub-zero range across central Indiana.  Highs today will only reach the middle 10s and upper 10s to lower 20s Sunday.  Bundle up and stay warm.

    t02.) Expanding Snowpack:  65.4% of the country is covered in snow this morning.  The cold, arctic high suppressed the winter storm threat south as we alluded to in previous posts.  Places across the Deep South that aren’t used to wintry precipitation are waking up to snowy and icy conditions this morning, including MS, AL, GA, SC, and into the Mid Atlantic.  Heavier snowfall accumulated across east TN, including 5″-8″ in the high country.  Heavy snow also fell through western and central NC and Blizzard Warnings are up in rare areas including VA Beach this morning.

    nsm_depth_2017010705_national3.) Moderating Temperatures:  Our air flow will back around to the southwest and this will help temperatures begin to moderate early next week (around freezing Monday and all the way to around 50 Tuesday).  As the moderating trend gets underway, we may have to deal with a brief period of freezing drizzle/ freezing rain Monday evening.

    gfs_ptype_slp_conus2_134.) Rainy Midweek:  A more significant surge of moisture will arrive midweek and result in periods of moderate to heavy rain Wednesday PM into Thursday.  Potential is present for 1″+ during this timeframe.

    gfs_pwat_conus2_245.)  Weekend Wintry “Fun And Games?”  A tremendous battle will take place next weekend between a strong and sprawling arctic high pressure system and the southeast ridge.  In between it’ll be fascinating to watch things unfold, and as you’d imagine, that includes Indiana.  Despite the southeast ridge flexing it’s muscle, the concern here is that the shallow dense arctic air will “ooze” south and present an icy set-up for portions of the Ohio Valley and Mid West for the weekend.  We still have some time to watch this, but the potential of significant icing is very much present for some and this will require a close eye through the week.

    gfs_t2m_a_f_conus2_31


  • Bitter Weekend; Changeable Weather Next Week…

    screen-shot-2017-01-06-at-6-33-47-pmHighlights:

    • Bitterly cold weekend
    • Big shift in temperatures next week
    • Icy set-up late next week?

    Heavy Winter Gear Required…We’ll watch a significant winter storm impact the southern states this weekend with heavy snow and ice accumulations.  Here on the home-front, expect bitterly cold conditions with dry skies.  Clouds tonight should keep most areas around zero.  That’s frigid in and of itself, but should skies clear, temperatures will easily fall below zero.  Very cold conditions remain Sunday.

    We’ll back our air flow around to the southwest early next week and this will help give temperatures a big boost by the mid week period.  Gusty southwest winds and showers will be with us, as well.

    A complex weather pattern will set up to close out the week.  The clash of air masses between a sprawling strong arctic high and an equally impressive southeast ridge will be fun to watch, but not to forecast.  It’s very possible unseasonably warm conditions of Thursday give way to much colder weather going into next weekend as the arctic high helps “ooze” dense, shallow, cold air south.  At the same time, waves of low pressure will move along the pressing arctic front and periods of heavy precipitation will result.  Conditions should grow cold enough by Friday into Saturday for the precipitation to fall as an icy mixture of sleet and freezing rain across portions of central Indiana.  Stay tuned.

    Upcoming 7-Day Precipitation Forecast:

    • Snowfall:  Trace
    • Rainfall:  1.50″ – 2.50″