Just a quick video update this evening on what will be a much colder close to the week and a developing snowy pattern this weekend into next week…
Much more later!
Upper level energy along with a bit of lake effect enhancement will lead to scattered snow showers late morning through the afternoon and into the early evening. We also note high resolution data picking up on a thin lake effect snow band rotating into the northern ‘burbs after the evening rush.
Cold high pressure will settle overhead Tuesday and Wednesday and supply a return of dry times, complete with sunshine. We’ll turn breezy in advance of our next storm system Wednesday.
That next system will come in the form of a cold front that will settle south across the state Thursday. Light rain will overspread the region early in the day before mixing with and ending as light snow. This still doesn’t appear to be a significant event for our region at this time.
What may be a bigger deal is the event that looms this weekend. Clouds will increase during the day Saturday and a light mix of rain and snow should develop late Saturday night into Sunday morning before colder air wins out changing all precipitation over to snow.
We’re getting into a pattern where the northern stream of the jet will dominate over the next 7-10 days (at least). Models will likely struggle handling individual systems and we’ll have to remain on our toes for the potential of last minute shifts with systems in such a 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.
Right out of the gate, our expectation is that the period Feb. 1st through March 6th will provide a memorable period of winter weather across central Indiana. Included in our thinking is that between 15″-20″ of snow falls at IND during the period and at least (1) night features lows between 10° and 15° below zero.
Before we get into a new period of wintry conditions, the region will enjoy an unseasonably pleasant stretch of weather, overall, over the upcoming week. Temperatures will run much milder than average most days and precipitation events will remain relatively light and insignificant until we get to late next week.
While we’ll deal with light rain Saturday morning, light snow Monday with upper energy and a transient shot of cold air, the primary message through next Wednesday is that our weather pattern will be rather benign considering we’re in the “heart” of winter. In fact, our current 7-day reflects (3) days of highs of 50°, or greater. That’s impressive for late January, and you have our full permission to enjoy every minute of it! 🙂
As we transition into February, the ball begins rolling towards a new period of significant winter weather. Initially, this will likely come in a “step down” fashion. We forecast the initial jab of cold to arrive late next week and this will likely be accompanied by a period of rain switching over to a period of snow Thursday (accumulating snow is on the table with this event). We note the GEFS sees the transition to cold as we enter the second month of the year.
A combination of ingredients will come together to initially lead to a very active/ stormy period for the first half of February. Within this initial couple weeks of the month, we expect an expanding snowpack to encompass the Mid West and Ohio Valley region. While we can’t get specific on any one particular storm more than two weeks out, confidence is higher than normal on the pattern putting down greater than average amounts of the white stuff. Snow enthusiasts, locally, have to be “salivating” over the resistance put up from the eastern ridge and the resurgent cold pressing into the Plains and Midwest. A busy interior storm track seems like a good bet.
It’s as we get into mid-February where we think significant, bitter cold will take the headline. It’s a “feedback” of sorts between getting the snowpack laid down first and then having the MJO swing through the phases that favor late-winter arctic intrusions into the eastern portion of the country. Unlike the past couple of winters, plenty of cold is building- and waiting at the gate to be unleashed southeast over the next several weeks.
Finally, we also note the new European Weeklies remain bullish on a prolonged colder than average stretch of weather, accompanied by above normal precipitation, February into mid-March. This is significant as run-to-run consistency has been noted and is backed up by long-term pattern techniques.
We’ll revisit our call of 15″-20″ Feb. 1 through March 6th, including at least one night of lows between 10°-15° below, on March 7th… In the meantime, we’ll be here with blog updates and videos through the active upcoming several weeks ahead.
I. Areas of light snow and freezing drizzle will continue into the overnight hours and on into Wednesday morning. Watch for slick spots overnight-Wednesday morning.
II. Clouds will finally begin to erode Wednesday night and set us up for plentiful sunshine Thursday. Along with the increasing sunshine, a southwesterly air flow will develop and assist with providing a new “warming” trend as we close the work week. Mid-40s are ahead Thursday and lower-50s Friday. A “big hair warning” is officially in effect Friday as winds gust between 30-40 MPH Friday. 🙂
III. Our next storm system arrives on the scene overnight Friday into Saturday with light rain.
IV. We’re also monitoring the possibility of a “sneaky” snow maker Sunday night into Monday in a fast northwest flow. Light snow will impact portions of the Ohio Valley, but we’ll have to fine tune things over the next few days with respect to specific track and placement of the swath of accumulating snow. Stay tuned!