• Category Archives Severe Weather
  • Transition Begins Back To A Prolonged, Sustained Wintry Pattern…

    The January “thaw” has taken hold the past 7-10 days.

    Despite the milder air over the past week, January, as a whole, is still running 4° below average at Indianapolis- a byproduct of just how frigid the first half of the month was.

    While the January thaw has been nice, times are changing and winter sure seems to be reloading for a very active second half.

    Initially, we think it’s the storminess that will be most impressive as a “fight” develops between resistance from southern ridging and a new mean trough pushing southeast.  The end result should be multiple snow and ice makers from the southern Plains into the Ohio Valley and northeast over the upcoming couple of weeks.

    Once we get a snowpack laid down, arctic highs oozing southeast will likely lead to bitterly cold air.  Recall our expectation for this pattern to yield at least (1) night of double-digit below zero lows, but it’s more towards mid-month that we think the severe cold takes hold.

    Teleconnections are lining up and in overall agreement of cold, wintry times returning.

    The Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) is forecast to rotate into the colder phase 8 as we rumble from early to mid February.  Given the amplitude of the MJO, it should continue to rumble right through the cold phases of 1,2, and 3.

    All of these moving pieces that lead up to extended periods of cold, wintry conditions are part of a bigger outcome low solar, easterly QBO winters deal up.  What we should experience with this setup is a 6-7 week period of wintry conditions, including times of severe cold.  It appears to be a snowier version of what we went through late-December through mid-January.  Hang in there, spring will come…eventually.

  • Brief Thaw; Severe Winter Event Looms For A Portion Of The Region…


    • Fog and drizzle
    • Major winter storm looms
    • Frigid air returns

    Brief Thaw; Major Winter Storm On Deck…The short-term will be dominated by low clouds and areas of fog, along with patchy drizzle.  Areas of freezing fog and drizzle are possible early Wednesday morning before conditions “warm” in earnest through the afternoon and evening.

    A cold front will approach from the northwest Thursday with showers and gusty southerly winds.  This southerly air flow will deliver a briefly milder time of things during the day Thursday before the cold front settles south Thursday night.  As this transpires, surface low pressure will organize along the southern end of the boundary before tracking northeast into the Tennessee and Ohio Valley Friday into Saturday.

    We continue to favor a track up west of the spine of the Appalachians and note some of the more progressive data is beginning to correct west to align closer with the other guidance that’s been spitting out big snow numbers over the past few days.  Before we discuss snow, an icy mixture of sleet and freezing rain will fall across the region late Thursday night into early Friday.  We expect precipitation to transition to all snow Friday afternoon, continuing into Saturday.  At times, heavy snow is likely.

    While we aren’t ready to lay out an accumulation map just yet, the heaviest snow axis will likely include 8″ to 12″+ amounts somewhere through central portions of the state.  We’ll aim to provide a first call snowfall map this time tomorrow.  Furthermore, there will also be a wind component to this storm.  What’ll initially be a wet, heavy snow will turn more “powdery” in nature as arctic air gets pulled into the storm.  That powder will get blown and drifted about Friday night and Saturday and travel will be significantly impacted.

    Frigid conditions will return over the weekend before another accumulating snow pushes into town Monday.  Behind this snow maker, a brutal push of sub-zero air is likely next week.

    Upcoming 7-Day Precipitation Forecast:

    • Snowfall: 6″+
    • Rainfall: 0.50″ to 0.75″

  • Accumulating Snow Friday; Dangerous Cold Develops Next Week…


    • Accumulating snow on the way
    • Frigid times remain
    • Dangerously cold next week

    Snow And Major League Cold On Deck…A weak impulse of energy will track across the region today and will be just enough to ignite a couple of snow showers and scattered flurries.  For most, this won’t be a big deal.  A more impactful opportunity for accumulating snow will arrive Friday as a clipper system moves southeast.  Snow will develop late tonight across the Plains states before expanding in overall coverage and intensity as it pushes southeast into the Ohio Valley Friday.  With such cold air in place, snowfall ratios will be higher than the standard 10:1 and snow will quickly accumulate on roadways, making for slick travel Friday afternoon into the evening.  Here’s our current snowfall forecast for Friday:

    Snow showers will taper off Saturday morning and give way to a blustery, bitter day.  Temperatures will fall through the day and wind chill values will turn dangerous Saturday afternoon and evening (10° to 20° below zero).  This arctic intrusion will set us up for a frigid close to 2017 and open to 2018.  In fact, we expect severely cold conditions early next week (double-digit below zero readings, including wind chill values approaching 30° below zero at times).  Plan and prepare now.

    Upcoming 7-Day Precipitation Forecast:

    • Snowfall: 2″ to 4″
    • Rainfall:  0.00″

  • Busy Week Of Weather…

    November is off to a chilly start and longer range data suggests the chill grows more significant as we venture through the second half of the month.  Officially, IND is running more than 1° below normal through the 12th.

    Despite an active weather week ahead, the open to the new work week will be rather uneventful.  Weak high pressure will keep us dry today and Tuesday.  Fog and low clouds should give way to an increasingly bright sky by this afternoon (still more clouds than sun today) and partly cloudy skies Tuesday.

    Our next weather feature approaches Wednesday in the form of a cold front.  This will return showers to the area midweek.  Rainfall amounts Wednesday should generally fall in the 0.25″ to 0.50″ range.

    A stronger storm will impact the region as we close out the work week.  Strengthening low pressure will track into the Great Lakes and drag a trailing cold front through our region Friday evening.  A briefly milder southwesterly air flow will push temperatures close to 60° Friday afternoon/ evening before the sharply colder push of air blows into town for the weekend.  The transition may include strong to severe thunderstorms Friday PM, and the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has outlined a large portion of the region under a severe risk Friday.  It’ll be important to stay tuned to future updates.  Even outside of potentially damaging thunderstorm gusts, non-t-storm winds will gust over 40 MPH Friday.

    Once the cold front sweeps through the region, a sharply colder air mass will plunge into the Ohio Valley for the weekend.  Overnight data has trended even colder and would suggest falling Saturday temperatures (most of the day will be spent in the 30s) and highs only in the lower to middle 30s Sunday.

    Speaking of cold, Thanksgiving week is looking unseasonably cold, and there’s also the potential of early-season snow (far too early for specifics).

  • Severe Weather Sunday; Much Colder Next Week…


    • Clouds more bark than bite today
    • Stormy setup Sunday
    • Trending colder next week

    All Eyes On Sunday…The cold front that passed through the region Thursday night and setup the gorgeous close to the work week is lifting back north this morning as a warm front.  This will result in overcast conditions today, areas of sprinkles or drizzle later in the day, and rising nighttime temperatures.  Scattered thunderstorms will develop across central Indiana late tonight with a warmer and increasingly moist environment.

    Sunday will certainly be a day to remain weather-aware.  The overall setup hasn’t changed from what was discussed yesterday with a warm and moist southwesterly air flow in place ahead of an approaching cold front and associated area of low pressure.  Additional ingredients in play suggest we need to monitor the threat of large hail, damaging straight line winds, and potentially tornadoes.  Individual storms (potential super cells) are expected to fire across central and northern portions of the state Sunday afternoon into early evening.  These will be capable of quickly pulsing to severe levels and include potential of large hail, as well as tornadoes (particularly in the vicinity of the warm front which is expected to be draped across north-central parts of the state).  Individual cells are anticipated to “morph” into a squall line Sunday evening, including potential of a quick spin-up tornado, as well as damaging straight line winds.  With a moisture-rich air mass in place (precipitable water values are expected to approach 2″ Sunday evening), locally heavy rainfall is also expected.

    All of our “excitement” will come to an end overnight Sunday and we’ll trend much colder (and calmer) during the new work week ahead.  Our next storm system will pass by to our south Tuesday, but may be close enough to spark a light shower across central portions of the state.  Drier and colder conditions build in later in the week.

    Upcoming 7-Day Precipitation Forecast:

    • Snowfall: 0.00″
    • Rainfall: 1.50″ – 2.50″

  • Growing Severe Threat Sunday…

    We have growing concerns of a severe weather event Sunday afternoon and evening across the state.  This morning, the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has included most of Indiana in an “Enhanced” risk of severe weather.  From this distance, all modes of severe weather seem possible, including large hail, damaging winds, and even a tornado or two.

    A trough and associated cold front will slice into an unseasonably warm and increasingly moist air mass Sunday.  Ahead of the approaching front, temperatures should climb into the lower 70s Sunday afternoon (average high is in the upper 50s) and dew points will reach the lower to middle 60s.  While the developing surface low isn’t expected to be terribly strong, as this feature moves northeast, it’ll help drag a cold front into this warm and increasingly unstable air mass late Sunday.  From this distance, conditions seem favorable for a couple of super cells to develop Sunday afternoon and evening.  We’ll have to keep a close eye on the northward extent of the warm front as this would be the areas of greatest concern for potential tornadic activity Sunday afternoon.  Large hail and damaging winds are also included in Sunday’s severe threat.  We’re in the second severe weather season, after all, and this kind of event isn’t unusual.  Late November 2013 comes to mind.

    It’ll be important to remain weather-aware Sunday and stay tuned all weekend for future updates.  We’ll transition to a much cooler regime (back to below average) next week.

    A cold front will slice into unseasonably warm and moist air Sunday afternoon and evening. A severe weather episode is a growing concern. Remain weather-aware.


  • Warm Saturday; Storms Rumble In Late…

    October has gotten off to a warm start (+ 8.4° at IND, to be exact) and that will continue this weekend as high temperatures top out between 80° – 85° Saturday.

    October has gotten off to a warm start across the Mid West.

    In addition to Saturday’s warmth, southwest winds will gust over 35 MPH at times- especially during the afternoon hours.

    Most of Saturday will remain rain free, but we’ll need to keep an eye towards the western horizon Saturday afternoon as a frontal boundary helps kick up a line of thunderstorms.

    The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) includes a large portion of Indiana under a marginal risk of severe weather Saturday.  While widespread severe weather isn’t anticipated, a couple of embedded gusty storms are a good bet Saturday afternoon and evening.

    The biggest concern with stronger storms is gusty straight line winds.  While the line of storms should be relatively “skinny,” don’t be surprised if one or two of the storms requires a warning.  Here’s an idea of what the radar may look like around 9p Saturday.

    We’ll turn less humid and slightly cooler for the second half of the weekend!

  • VIDEO: Severe Potential Tonight, October-Like Chill, And Irma…

    The Storm Prediction Center includes an Enhanced Risk of severe weather across north-central parts of the state this evening.  Damaging winds are of greatest concern with the stronger storms embedded in a squall line that will move from north to south this evening (generally between 6p-midnight).

    MUCH cooler air will descend into the region as we progress through the week.  Temperatures will be so cool, it’ll feel more like October rather than September, including multiple nights with lows settling into the 40s and highs not making it out of the 60s.