• Category Archives Weather Rambles
  • Saturday Morning Rambles: Periods Of Heavy Rain Early Next Week…

    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…


  • Heavy Snow Up North To Close The Work Week; Wintry Weekend…

    Areas of light snow and flurries will impact north-central Indiana Thursday morning, especially north of Indianapolis.  This won’t amount to much and most of our Thursday will be free of snow, along with continued unseasonably cold temperatures.  Speaking of the cold, Indianapolis is running 7° below average, month-to-date.

    Looking ahead, a rather prolonged and significant snow event is setting up shop across northern Indiana.  We forecast snow to begin falling Thursday night before becoming heavy at times Friday.  A tight thermal gradient will aid in the combination of ingredients to produce hefty snowfall across far northern IN and also provide a brief break from the cold, locally, Friday afternoon (forecasting highs into the 40s here).  With that said, if your travels take you north, prepare for significant travel disruptions with the heavy snow.

    A cold front will drop south into central Indiana overnight Friday into Saturday.  At the same time, a couple of disturbances will ride northeast along the front.  This will result in periods of light wintry precipitation across central Indiana over the upcoming weekend.  Initially, this should be rather insignificant with a mix of light rain and perhaps some light sleet or light freezing rain Saturday.

    However, as our airmass becomes progressively colder Saturday night into Sunday things will become more interesting.  At the same time, a final wave of energy will lift northeast, spreading moisture into the colder air mass.  We forecast more widespread wintry precipitation to engulf central Indiana Saturday night into Sunday.  A wintry mix of sleet and snow is possible early on before transitioning to all snow Sunday morning.  A period of accumulating snow is expected Sunday and we’ll fine tune numbers as we move closer.

    Looking further ahead, an active time of things will continue as the battle remains between cold centering itself across the northern Plains into the Lakes and Ohio Valley and resistance from the southeast ridge.  This will continue to lead to a busy period of weather across the region, including storm systems that will come along every couple of days.

    We continue to think things are aligning in a fashion that should result in a significant period of cold developing during the second half of February into March this year.  We note the teleconnections continue to trend in cold directions and the MJO is also rolling along into the colder phases.  We have a long, long ways to go this winter and think some headline events remain on the table as we close the month and open March.  Time will tell.


  • Cold Close To The Week; Snowy Pattern Ahead…

    Arctic air is pressing into the state this evening.  As we type this (just after 6p), wind chill values are already plummeting into the single digits across central Indiana.  Those values will turn even more frigid overnight- dropping to below zero towards midnight.  This is “number-busting” cold as many central Indiana communities will wake up Friday to the single digits (it was only this morning when the majority of model data suggested lower teens).  Obviously, wind chill values will be flat-out bitter, as shown below:

    Arctic high pressure will result in a cold, but dry (and sunny) close to the work week.

    As we move into the weekend, our weather will begin to turn more active.  This will be the first of a series of snow systems over the upcoming 7-10 days.  While this initial event won’t be significant, it’ll get the ball rolling on (at least what we believe will be) another extended stretch of wintry conditions.  We forecast a couple periods of light snow (“light” being the key word) this weekend: Saturday evening and again Sunday evening.  It appears as if the energy will remain very disorganized over the weekend and the result will be light snow accumulations during the Saturday through Sunday period.

    Again, this is only the beginning of a very active pattern; one that will shoot snow systems at us in an “every other day” fashion over the upcoming 7-10 days.  We’ll keep close tabs on last minute adjustments that may be needed with such a pattern. Often times modeling will struggle with the fast-paced northwest flow and models will have to “correct” last minute towards a more significant event.

    Our next snow maker approaches Monday evening into Tuesday.  This would seem to be a more important event and one capable of depositing heavier snow across the general region.  We’ll monitor things this weekend, but the pattern is such that this looks to be more of a central or northern Ohio Valley hit.  Solutions painted of suppression look suspect to us from this distance given the look.

    Additional opportunities for accumulating snow lie ahead, including:

    • Thursday night – Friday
    • Next Saturday – Sunday

    This is all part of the equation we’ve had in thinking that the big story, at least initially, is a very active pattern (snowier version of what we dealt with late December through mid January) before the truly severe cold can get involved mid-and-late February.  On that note, the pattern, as a whole, looks much colder than normal from late February into March this year, as well.

    As for snow, the majority of these events will produce light to moderate amounts, but the active nature of the flow will likely allow things to stack up.  We have no changes to our thinking that the period Feb. 1st through March 6th yields between 15″ and 20″ of snow at IND.  Let’s just remain on guard for the potential of one or two of these systems to potentially lead to heavier totals along the way.

    Make it a great evening!


  • January Thaw Takes Hold…

    January is running more than 11.5° below average and more than 50% of the country is currently covered in snow.

    However, big changes begin to take place this weekend and will remain intact for the majority of the next couple weeks.  The mean trough position will back into the west while ridging takes hold across the east.  This will feature temperatures that will push to above average values and lead to an active and moist southwesterly flow.

    Over the upcoming (10) days, temperatures may reach 50°, or greater, on 3 to 4 of those days.  Compared to how frigid we’ve been (already had 7 mornings this month with sub-zero lows), this will feel like a heat wave.

    We’ll leave you with a heads up to enjoy the January thaw (yes, even if you’re one of those winter lovers out there) as the pattern sure looks like it’ll deliver a return to bitterly cold, wintry times as we head into February…  In fact, analogs would suggest once winter returns, it’s likely to remain in place deep into spring this year.


  • Friday Morning Rambles…

    I. Bitter Cold: We’re adding another morning below zero to an already impressive (and growing) list of frigid lows this winter.  Take a look at these morning lows in the sub-zero club:

    • 12.27.17: – 3°
    • 12.31.17: – 1°
    • 01.01.18: – 10°
    • 01.02.18: – 12°
    • 01.04.18: – 3°

    So far, IND has already dropped to 8° below this morning and we’ll throw another morning of sub-zero lows on the table Saturday (many will fall to between 8° and 15° below) as an arctic high settles overhead.

    II.  Messy Storm: An approaching storm system late in the weekend will spread moisture into the arctic air mass and concern for a wintry mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain remains Sunday evening into Monday morning.  Overnight data suggests an initial thump of snow followed by several hours of freezing rain for most of central Indiana.  Certainly, close attention is warranted for this event as we progress through the weekend.

    III.  Milder: Once the early week winter event blows by, a milder southwesterly air flow will pull us out of the freezer for a couple of days during the middle of next week.  In fact, highs will likely go north of 50° Wednesday-Thursday.  Break out the shorts!

    IV:  Leader-Follower: An interesting pattern awaits late next week as an arctic cold front pushes east.  Rain will spread into the region late in the week as the first surface low tracks through the Great Lakes.  We think a second low pressure system will develop on the pressing arctic boundary Thursday night into Friday and it’s this low that poses a wintry component to interior portions of the east.  Is that across the Ohio Valley (such as the European model suggests) or along the Appalachian chain (GFS)?  That’s up for debate and there’s no way to settle things right now.  We’ll continue to keep an eye on things and update accordingly.

    V: January Thaw: The overall pattern will get engulfed with milder, Pacific air during the second half of the month and the end result will be a rather dramatic flip from arctic cold to above normal conditions as a classic January “thaw” develops.  After the significant and prolonged arctic feel, many won’t complain of this pattern relaxation.