- Category Archives Spring
“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.
- Drier trend develops
- Warming up
- Summer-like feel next week
This Is More Like It…High pressure will build into the region over the weekend. With the exception of a weak disturbance that may kick up a couple showers across northeastern portions of the state Saturday, the balance of the upcoming 7-day period will be rain-free. This extended dry spell is certainly well deserved and should continue into early next week. Get out there and make the most of it!
A southwesterly air flow will help transport a warmer and increasingly muggy air mass into the region next week. While we’ll need to keep an eye on this increasingly moist and unstable air mass for storm chances, we’re siding with a more “optimistic” approach to the forecast period and hold storm chances off until Thursday. Regardless of storm chances, next week will certainly take on a more summer-like feel…to the delight of many!
Upcoming 7-Day Precipitation Forecast:
- Snowfall: 0.00″
- Rainfall: 0.50″ – 0.75″
A cold front will settle south today and lead to quite the temperature gradient across the state. Cooler north breezes will result in slowly falling or steady temperatures across the northern half of the state (upper 50s to lower 60s), while southern portions of Indiana rise into the lower and middle 70s this afternoon.
A new batch of showers will ride east and impact areas mainly along and south of I-70 as we move into late morning and early afternoon. While some embedded thunder is possible, severe weather isn’t expected today.
Drier and cooler air wins out for all tonight and paves way for a gorgeous weekend ahead. High pressure will support plentiful sunshine and comfortable conditions. More on the weekend and next week’s weather later today in an updated 7-day!
While it won’t rain the entire weekend, central Indiana should be prepared for multiple rounds of heavy rain and thunderstorms over the next few days. For those with outdoor plans this weekend, unfortunately what we’re seeing this evening is only the beginning of stormy times ahead. There will be periods of dry weather in between the waves of storms, but the big story will be the hefty rain totals come Monday morning and embedded severe storms to boot.
Moisture content continues to increase across central Indiana this evening.
Forecast radar shows the waves of moisture that will impact the region throughout the night. We project most widespread heavy rain arrives on the scene Saturday morning.
While scattered strong to severe storms will remain in our forecast Saturday afternoon through Sunday, we think the most widespread rains will diminish as we progress through the afternoon hours Saturday. That said, with such high moisture content, any storms that develop will be plenty capable of producing locally heavy rainfall in a short timeframe. It should also be mentioned that as the warm front lifts north, central Indiana will get into an increasingly warm and moist air mass Saturday afternoon and Sunday. In fact, highs Sunday may approach the lower to middle 80s. Add in a dew point that will approach 70°, a true muggy, summer-like feel will result.
Overall coverage of thunderstorms is expected to, once again, increase Sunday evening into the overnight period. Additional heavy rain is expected and with saturated soils in place, flash flooding may result. If you live near a creek or stream, please pay attention to the water levels into early next week.
The Storm Prediction Center outlines the region for the potential of severe weather tonight through Sunday (don’t be surprised if the “Slight Risk” is pulled further north on Sunday in future updates from the SPC).
Once all is said and done, we anticipate widespread 2″-3″ rainfall totals through central Indiana, but also note there will be localized heavier amounts. Once to Monday we’ll look at a much cooler, windy, and “showery” regime. Look for falling temperatures through the day Monday and this will set the stage for the week ahead: MUCH cooler, overall…. More on that later this weekend!
We still have a few nice days to enjoy this week before our forecast takes an increasingly wet shift as we progress through the weekend. As a side note, we still expect scattered showers and thunderstorms late Wednesday night into Thursday morning, but this shouldn’t be a significant event, locally.
What will become an increasing concern is the threat of periods of heavy rain and thunderstorms this weekend. The overall setup is a classic one for widespread heavy rain.
An area of high pressure will be located off the Mid Atlantic coast while surface low pressure develops in the southern Plains and tracks north over the weekend. The combination of these two ingredients will help pull abundant Gulf of Mexico moisture northward into the Ohio Valley. With a true Gulf connection, moisture-rich air will overspread the region this weekend. In addition to feeling truly muggy for the first time this year, this will also aid in periods of heavy rain this weekend.
Precipitable water values will approach 2″ at times this weekend and that’s plenty enough to create a localized flash flood concern.
From this distance, it appears like widespread 2″ to 3″ of rain will fall over the weekend, but localized heavier totals are expected where thunderstorms “train” over the same areas. While it won’t rain the entire weekend, times of wet weather will outnumber dry hours and if you live near a creek or stream, keep abreast of this developing weather situation as significant water rise is expected over the weekend.
After a blustery and chilly Saturday (and temperatures in the upper 30s to start our Sunday), a gorgeous close to the weekend is ahead. Wall-to-wall sunshine is expected with moderating temperatures this afternoon. Our average high on the 23rd of April is 66° and we should be very close to that later this afternoon. Enjoy!
High pressure will remain entrenched over our area as we progress through the early portions of the work week. This will provide pleasant weather and plentiful sunshine. With a dry airmass in place, expect significant temperature swings. Overnight lows in the 40s will quickly rise into the 70s Monday and Tuesday.
A southerly flow will help pull a more humid air mass northward Wednesday and as a cold front slices into the unseasonably warm and muggy airmass, we expect showers and thunderstorms to increase Wednesday evening into Thursday morning. We still have some time to watch things evolve, but from this distance, we feel strong to severe thunderstorm potential is present during this period. Locally heavy rains are also possible as PWATs zoom to 1.5″ +.
We’ll get into some briefly drier air to wrap up the work week, but a warm front will blow through the region Saturday and will likely be accompanied by thunderstorms as it lifts north. Once the warm front passes, unseasonably warm and humid air will make a return and set the stage for a true summer-like feel next weekend. We expect highs to go into the lower to middle 80s with a muggy feel, as well.
Finally, after Saturday morning thunder, we think the majority of next weekend is dry before a cold front brings a return to widespread showers and thunderstorms late Sunday.