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  • Monday Morning Notes…

    Bursts of moderate to heavy snow will work across the metro during the next couple hours. This will lead to significant drops in visibility and serve to mess up roadways even more than they currently are. If you don’t have to travel through the morning hours we recommend staying home and allowing road crews time to get things cleaned up.

    Most of the steady accumulating snow will be over with by late morning and we’ll just be left with scattered snow showers through the afternoon hours. Perhaps the bigger story by then will be significant blowing and drifting snow as gusty westerly winds help usher in colder air. If your travels include country roads, or north-south oriented highways, plan on considerable blowing and drifting snow this afternoon and evening.

    We have no changes to our going snowfall forecast with this system.

    Finally, as the arctic front sweeps through the state this afternoon, it’ll likely kick up some intense, blinding snow bursts.  While these won’t last long, they’ll blast through during the evening rush and will serve to dramatically lower visibility.  We note high resolution models are picking up on these snow bursts on forecast radar products.

    We’re left tonight with bitterly cold conditions that will continue to grip the region through midweek. Most of us Tuesday morning will be below zero. A moderating trend will develop by late week, continuing through the weekend!


  • Gas Up The Plows; Arctic Air Returns…

    Highlights:

    • Heavy snow Monday morning
    • Bitter air returns
    • Milder, wet weekend

    Snowy Open To The Week…A vigorous clipper system and associated arctic cold front will drop southeast and spread a swath of snow across the region tonight into Monday.  We expect light snow to encompass most of central Indiana later this evening (between 7p and 10p west to east) before increasing in overall intensity during the overnight.  Periods of moderate to heavy snow can be expected during the mid-morning hours Monday, including impressive snowfall rates at times.  Allow plenty of extra time to reach your destination Monday.  Steady snow will give way to scattered snow showers during the afternoon, continuing into Tuesday as fresh arctic air pours into the region.  By the time all is said and done, most of the region can expect a fresh 2″ to 4″, including some locally heavier totals.  The other item on the agenda will be blowing and drifting snow that we’ll have to deal with Monday afternoon through the night and into Tuesday.

    Arctic high pressure will settle overhead Tuesday night through the midweek stretch, allowing sunshine to return, but we’ll remain well below average (average temperatures this time of year include highs in the mid-30s and lows around 20).

    A moderating trend takes place late week, but the “less cold” air will come with gusty southwesterly winds and increasing clouds Friday.  Those clouds will give way to periods of rain along with milder conditions over the weekend as an area of low pressure tracks into the Great Lakes.

    Upcoming 7-Day Precipitation Forecast:

    • Snowfall: 2″ to 4″ (locally heavier totals)
    • Rainfall: 0.25″ to 0.75″


  • Another “Plowable” Snow Gives Way To Sub-Zero Cold…

    With the exception of light lake effect snow showers today (noticing a couple of light bands just west of the city as we write this Saturday morning around 10a), most of today and Sunday will be dry and cold.  We’ll top out around 20° today and Sunday with low temperatures tonight dropping into the 0° to 5° range.

    Our next snow maker will arrive late Sunday night into Monday morning in the form of a clipper system.

    Forecast radar 1a Monday.

    We expect light snow Monday morning to grow in overall coverage and intensity through the late morning and into the early afternoon hours.

    Forecast radar 10a Monday.

    Accumulating snow will push off to the south Monday evening.

    Forecast radar 7p Monday.

    This will be a plowable event for central Indiana and we’ll also have to deal with blowing and drifting concerns Monday afternoon through Monday night as strong and gusty northwest winds arrive.  Needless to say, to our snow removal and DPW crews out there, find a way to get some rest this afternoon and Sunday before another busy stretch to open the work week.  We think additional snowfall of 2″ to 4″ is a good bet across the northern half of the state, with slightly lighter amounts of 1″ to 2″ across southern Indiana.

    Arctic high pressure will settle over a growing snowpack to help setup a frigid stretch through early and mid week.  Multiple nights with below zero readings are expected beginning Tuesday morning where most will wake up to readings of 3° to 8° below zero (not counting the wind chill).


  • Wintry Forecast; New “Plowable” Snow Event Arrives Monday…

    Highlights:

    • Sleet changes to snow
    • New snow and wind maker Monday
    • Bitter air returns

    Double Shot Of Impactful Winter Weather…A mixture of sleet and freezing rain will begin to transition to snow from west to east as we progress through the late morning into the early afternoon.  We don’t have any significant changes to our snowfall forecast (remember this doesn’t include the freezing rain and sleet accumulations that have led to travel issues this morning already).  Embedded snow bands will likely result in enhanced snowfall rates into the early afternoon across central Indiana.

    Precipitation will end for all except southeastern portions of the state by mid-to-late afternoon and then we’re left with the “clean up” from round one.  Saturday and most of Sunday will feature dry and very cold conditions.

    Our attention this weekend will then shift to a potent clipper system that has eyes on central Indiana late Sunday night into Monday.  Snow will overspread the region during this timeframe and given the nature of this event, heavier, more intense snow bursts are also expected to accompany the fresh arctic air that will drill in here Monday evening.  This will be an impactful event not only from the new falling snow, but from problems that wind and drifting will bring, along with a new batch of sub-zero temperatures.  Our snowfall forecast Monday hasn’t changed since yesterday, including widespread additional amounts of 2″ to 4″.

    Dry, but bitterly cold conditions return for the mid and late week stretch.

    Upcoming 7-Day Precipitation Forecast:

    • Snowfall: 3″ to 6″
    • Rainfall: 0.00″

    *Please note the 7-day precipitation forecast outlined above is for Indianapolis proper.


  • Ice Transitions To A Double Shot Of Snow; Frigid Times Return…

    Highlights:

    • Bye-bye thaw
    • Ice to snow Friday
    • Second snow maker Sunday night

    Active Forecast Period…A breezy southerly flow will dominate our weather today ahead of an approaching cold front.  Showers and unseasonably mild conditions can be expected today.  (Despite the snow lover in me, I will admit that it’s been mighty nice being able to jog outside without worrying about slipping on ice or snow the past couple days).

    Things begin to change in rather dramatic fashion tonight as the cold front presses through the state and allows much colder air to “ooze” back into central Indiana.  At the same time, a wave of energy will track northeast along the cold front and help spread more widespread moisture into the colder air at the surface.  We expect rain to begin mixing with and changing to an icy mixture of sleet and freezing rain after midnight across western and central portions of the state, and closer to 5a-6a across eastern Indiana.  Eventually, as the entire column of air cools, icy precipitation will transition to snow.  If the sleet to snow transition occurs faster, snowfall totals will be at the higher end of the first call numbers outlined below.  Should sleet hold on for a longer period of time, snowfall amounts will be on the lower end of forecast totals.  We think snow will end around noon west of the city, but steady snow will hang on much longer across eastern sections of the viewing area- well into the evening hours.

    Here’s our first call snowfall forecast for Friday.  While this doesn’t include freezing rain amounts, we think a glaze up to 0.10″ is a good bet – especially on elevated and exposed surfaces.

    Dry conditions will return Saturday along with a much colder feel.  Quiet times won’t last long as another snow system will quickly begin to impact the state Sunday evening into Monday.  Widespread steady snow is expected to develop and will actually be a more uniform, bigger, event for most of the viewing area.  We’ll add in wind and arctic air which will lead to blowing and drifting issues as the day progresses Monday into Tuesday.  Here’s our first call for additional snow amounts Sunday evening-Monday.

    The forecast period will wrap up dry and bitterly cold.  With a fresh snowpack down, it’s safe to say we’ll add at least another night to the sub-zero “club!”

    Stay tuned, friends!

    Upcoming 7-Day Precipitation Forecast:

    • Snowfall: 3″ to 6″
    • Rainfall: 0.25″ to 0.75″

    *Please note the 7-day precipitation forecast outlined above is for Indianapolis proper.  


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

    Highlights:

    • 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″


  • Confidence Growing In Potential Major Winter Storm…

    Confidence continues to grow in the prospects of a major winter storm impacting the Mid West and Ohio Valley Friday into Saturday.  A cold front will slip through central Indiana Thursday night, allowing colder air to push back into the state.  At the same time, surface low pressure should begin to organize along the tail end of the frontal boundary across the Ark-la-tex region.  As we progress through the day Friday, cold air will continue to penetrate south into the Ohio Valley while the surface low lifts northeast into the region.  While we can argue about the specific track (this is still a few days out, after all), the pattern supports a central Ohio Valley track as we progress through the day Friday into Saturday.

    EPS 500mb ensemble mean Friday
    EPS 500mb ensemble mean Saturday
    EPS 500mb ensemble mean Sunday

    We caution not to get too worked up over individual operational output (including those “spectacular” runs) as run-to-run variance is likely over the next few days.  That said, when we have support from overall pattern techniques that have supported a significant interior event for late this week since last week, along with ensemble agreement, it does lead to greater than normal confidence.  If you have travel plans late this week/ weekend, we suggest keeping a very close eye on the forecast.  This will be a high impact event for portions of the Ohio Valley.

    While it’s impossible to say precisely where the heaviest swath of snow is laid down in this situation from a few days out, this is a storm that should carry a swath of 6″ to 12″+ snow just to the northwest of the track.  Additionally, an initial period of an icy mixture of sleet and freezing rain is also possible.  Finally, as the storm wraps up over the Ohio Valley Saturday, a strengthening wind will lead to potential severe blowing and drifting issues.  Fresh arctic air will flow into the region Saturday night into Sunday that will return sub-zero wind chills to the area.

    Bottom line, stay tuned…


  • Busy, Busy, Busy…

    Highlights:

    • Messy wintry mix arrives tonight
    • Briefly milder midweek
    • Potential storm brewing Friday

    Snow And Ice Arrive Tonight…Clouds will lower and thicken across the state as we progress through the day.  We’ll also note a stiff easterly breeze as an approaching storm system inches ever so much closer.  This storm system will spread a wintry mix through the state tonight into early Monday morning.  Initially, we think most of central Indiana will deal with snow before a transition to freezing rain during the overnight, continuing into Monday morning.  Before the transition, 1″ to 2″ of snow seems to be the best idea before an icy glaze develops atop the freshly fallen snow.  Based on the expected transition to freezing rain, there’s an opportunity for up to a tenth of an inch of freezing rain.  That said, we’ll have to keep a very close eye on temperature profiles this evening as even the difference of a couple of degrees aloft can make all the difference in a faster or slower transition to freezing rain.  Expect the Monday morning commute to be heavily impacted.

    Colder air will push back in here Monday evening into Tuesday with considerable cloudiness remaining.  A milder southerly flow will overtake the region Wednesday into Thursday.  Low clouds and fog along with drizzle will develop Wednesday and we may have to deal with a touch of freezing drizzle early in the day before temperatures rise.  A spike in temperatures will take place Thursday, briefly sending central Indiana into the 50s before a cold front slides through the state Thursday evening.

    An area of low pressure will develop along the southern end of the frontal boundary and lift northeast into the TN Valley and eastern Ohio Valley Friday.  As colder air presses into the region, precipitation will change from a wintry mix of sleet and freezing rain to all snow through the day Friday.  It’s far too early to get specifics around accumulation ideas, but this storm has potential to be significant.  Much colder air will whip in here next weekend.

    Upcoming 7-Day Precipitation Forecast:

    • Snowfall: 2″ – 4″
    • Rainfall: 0.50″ – 0.75″