• Category Archives Winter Storm
  • 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…


  • Brief Thaw; Late Week Winter Storm Brewing?

    Highlights:

    • Brief midweek thaw
    • Late week winter storm threat
    • Much colder air returns

    Take It Slow This Morning…An overnight mixture of sleet, freezing rain, and snow has created a few slick spots, but widespread travel issues haven’t been reported this morning.  Thankfully, even a 1° to 2° difference (milder) in surface temperatures overnight helped us out in that regard.  The wintry mix is heading out and we should even see a little sunshine later today.

    As temperatures settle back below freezing tonight, concern is present for the possibility of freezing fog and freezing drizzle in spots into Tuesday morning.  A warm front will then lift north through the state Wednesday helping our brief midweek “thaw” get underway in earnest.  Showers will accompany the milder conditions into Thursday.

    A cold front will settle south through the state Thursday night and colder air will press southeast.  At the same time, a secondary area of low pressure will develop along the tail end of the front and lift northeast into the Ohio Valley Friday evening into early Saturday.  While this has the sure sign to be a significant, impactful winter storm, we’re obviously still a couple days away from being able to nail down precise track and strength.  Stay tuned and keep close tabs on that Friday-Saturday forecast.  We’ll turn much colder once again over the weekend.

    Upcoming 7-Day Precipitation Forecast:

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


  • 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″


  • Additional Snow Overnight; Dangerous Cold Grips The Region…

    Highlights:

    • Blowing and drifting issues
    • Snow returns late tonight
    • Prolonged stretch of severe cold

    Bundle Up; Snow Returns Overnight…Yesterday’s snow event went as planned and many Hoosiers are waking up to several inches of powder this morning.  The winners yesterday stretched from Frankfort to Elwood to Winchester with a 6″ to 7″ band of snow.  All of that fresh snow will be blown and drifted about today with strong and gusty northwest winds.  If your travels take you into the open country, plan on significant blowing and drifting and leave extra time to reach your destination.

    Additional upper level energy will scoot across the region late tonight into early Sunday and this will help kick up an area of light snow for central and southern portions of the state as we head into New Year’s Eve.  With the arctic air mass in place, don’t be surprised if we squeeze a quick inch out in spots.

    Otherwise, the big story is the prolonged nature of this severe cold.  At times, wind chill values will drop to more than 30° below zero through early week.  Take the frigid conditions seriously.  Reinforcing arctic air will pour in here late next week and lead to scattered snow showers along with a bitter feel after slight midweek “moderation.”

    Upcoming 7-Day Precipitation Forecast:

    • Snowfall: 1″ to 3″
    • Rainfall: 0.00″


  • Plowable Snow Event Gives Way To Dangerous Cold…

    A quick-moving, but efficient clipper system will scoot across the Ohio Valley as we wrap up the work week and head into the weekend.  This will spread a swath of accumulating snow through central and northern IN this afternoon into early Saturday morning.

    We forecast snow to start flying for the city, itself, around 1p to 2p.

    Snow will then encompass most of the state as we progress into the late afternoon and evening hours.

    At times, we expect moderate snow to be falling across central Indiana and this will, unfortunately, make for a messy evening commute.  Plan for snow covered and snow packed roads and slick conditions.  Leave extra time to reach your destination.

    While snow showers will continue Saturday morning, most of the accumulating snow will fall before sunrise Saturday and here’s our updated accumulation forecast:

    Attention once to Saturday will shift to the problems associated with blowing and drifting snow as winds increase and temperatures tumble.  Strong and gusty northwest winds will continue into early next week and not only will this lead to continued issues with blowing and drifting, but will also drive dangerously cold air into the area.

    Here’s a look at our forecast lows over the next few mornings:

    • Saturday morning (12.30.17): 13° (falling through the day)
    • Sunday morning (12.31.17): 4° below zero
    • Monday morning (01.01.18): 6° below zero
    • Tuesday morning (01.02.18): 10° below zero

    Not only will we have to deal with an extended stretch of subzero lows, but winds will combine to add further danger to the extreme weather.  Most of central and northern portions of the state will have to deal with 25° to 35° below zero wind chill values Tuesday morning.  Plan and prepare now.


  • An “Appetizer” To Christmas Eve’s “Main Course…”

    In general, northern ‘burbs picked up between 1″ to 3″ of wet snow earlier this morning before drier conditions arrived for the afternoon hours.  A couple of reports include Whitestown with 1.6″, Carmel with 2″, and Lebanon with 2.5″.  A sharp cut-off with slushy coatings to less than 1″ made it as far south as the city, itself.  Today’s event will be viewed as the “appetizer” to Christmas Eve’s “main course.”

    Vigorous upper level energy will track through the Ohio Valley Christmas Eve afternoon into the evening, itself.

    Snow will begin to overspread the state, especially north of the I-70 corridor during the mid-to-late morning hours and we expect a steady snow to fall across the northern half of the state throughout the majority of the day.  A period of moderate to heavy snow should develop during the mid-to-late afternoon, continuing into the evening hours across central Indiana.  Road conditions will begin to really deteriorate during this time frame as surface temperatures fall into the 20s.

    Eventually, snow will end from west (around 8p) to east (around midnight) tomorrow night, but not before depositing a widespread swath of 3″-5″ for areas generally north of I-70.  For the city, itself, we think 2″ to 3″ is a good call, with generally an inch, or less across far southern portions of the state.

    Don’t be surprised if enough Christmas “magic” results in localized heavier totals with potential banding that develops tomorrow afternoon into the evening hours.  All in all, this will be a classic, picturesque snow event for Christmas Eve.  Hoosiers will wake up Christmas morning with a fresh blanket of white.

    We have additional wintry fun and games to track later next week!


  • Thoughts Shift From Storms To Snow…

    Before we discuss the weekend winter storm threat, we still have to get through the overnight period-morning hours Tuesday with embedded heavy rain and storms.  Some of these storms could offer up gusty winds and a few could be strong as they rumble across central Indiana Tuesday morning.

    Most of the storms should push through west-central Indiana well before the morning rush hour.

    Forecast radar 4am Tuesday.
    Forecast radar 6am Tuesday.

    Attention will then shift to the winter storm threat this weekend- particularly Friday night through early Sunday morning.  We still have to fine tune the all-important specifics, but confidence is rising on the possibility of a significant wintry event impacting at least portions of the region this weekend.  March snow events provide added headaches of dealing with the impacts of marginal temperatures, higher sun angle/ time of day, etc.  Conversely, the tight thermal gradients noted with most late season, spring snow events can be impressive, as they can quickly feedback, ultimately leading to swaths of thumping wet, heavy snow.  Hoosiers don’t have to think back too terribly far to some impressive and impactful March snow events.  Modeling today is in relatively good and surprising agreement, especially considering the lack of agreement models have dealt us weather ‘folk for the past few months.  🙂

    GFS ensemble members are focusing in on a snow event this weekend.

    It’s still early in the game and a lot can (and likely will) change with model runs over the next few days.  It’s wise not to make knee-jerk reactions to the operational model solutions, but instead understand the overall pattern driving the potential of this memorable March wintry event.  Anomalously cold air in southern Canada will spill south this weekend and help aid in the “fun and games” ahead.  At the same time, given the time of year, “suppression depression” isn’t likely as their will be resistance from the south-central Plains and southeast ridging in place.  As of now, we think the I-70 corridor could be the “sweet spot” for snow totals, understanding fine-tuning will be required moving forward.  Where a snowpack accumulates this weekend, expect temperatures Sunday night/ Monday morning to fall into the 10s.

    Much more later!


  • Heavy, Wet Snow “Thump” This Afternoon…

    The set-up:

    A cold front is stalled across TN and lower Ohio Valleys this morning.  Meanwhile, upper level energy is moving out of the north-central Plains.  This upper level energy will continue to slide southeast and “feed” a developing surface low along the stalled front by evening.  Strong frontogenesis is forecast and this will aid in development of localized heavy snow bands and associated intense snowfall rates by afternoon, continuing into the evening.  (If you’re interested in learning more about frontogenesis and it’s impact on winter weather, please read this fantastic paper).  Here’s our updated snowfall forecast.  Please note snow amounts won’t necessarily follow the clean lines below, but this is our best idea as of now.

    SnowEvent2.8.17FinalTiming:

    We expect initial light to moderate snow to impact northern areas this morning, but it’s not until this afternoon when the “real deal” begins.  The onset of heavy snow will set-up just north of the city and the “bulls eye” with this event from a heavy snow perspective may very well paint itself across Indy’s northern suburbs, including several hours of heavy, wet snow from 12p-5p.  Moderate to heavy snow will then shift south to encompass the city, itself, mid to late afternoon, including the rush hour.  We highly recommend getting home early today if at all possible as the heaviest snowfall rates for the city, itself, will likely center on the evening rush.  Things will likely be very, very messy for travel as heavy wet snow falls.  In periods of heaviest snow, visibility near zero can be expected, especially just north of the city.

    Forecast radar 1p, courtesy of Weatherbell.com.
    Forecast radar 1p, courtesy of Weatherbell.com.
    Forecast radar 4p, courtesy of Weatherbell.com.
    Forecast radar 4p, courtesy of Weatherbell.com.
    Forecast radar 6p, courtesy of Weatherbell.com.
    Forecast radar 6p, courtesy of Weatherbell.com.

    Snowfall should begin to diminish and pull east between 7p-8p for most of central Indiana.  Cold air will follow as lows tonight dip into the middle teens for most with a significant snowpack down.  Highs Thursday will only top out around 20.

    As always, be sure to follow us on social media (Twitter: @indywx, Facebook: IndyWx.com, Instagram: IndyWxCom) for more updates on the go!  Be safe and happy snow to all!