• Category Archives Wintry Mix
  • Winter Finally Shows Up…


    • Much colder than average
    • Snow prospects to open the week
    • Busy pattern continues

    Locked In A Cold Pattern…The stretch of spring-like, unseasonably warm, conditions we enjoyed through most of February and to open March will be all but a distant memory once to this time next week.  A major reversal to a colder than normal pattern is now with us and will feature lows into the teens on a few nights over the upcoming week.

    Additionally, we continue to highlight the fast-moving northwest flow aloft.  This kind of regime wrecks havoc on forecast models and, accordingly, we have lower than normal confidence in the specifics late in the work week.  Stay tuned.

    Before we get to late week, we have a disturbance (that will eventually help feed a blockbuster Nor Easter) that will deliver snow as we open up the work week.  This time of year, snow intensity and time of day mean a world of difference between an accumulating event, or not.  Snow should overspread central Indiana before sunrise Monday and will likely accumulate before the higher sun angle takes over and lighter snowfall rates result in a lack of daytime accumulation.  As reinforcing cold air filters in Monday night, additional light accumulation will be possible in scattered heavier snow showers that will continue into Tuesday.  All-in-all, this doesn’t appear to be a huge event, but a few slick spots will be possible Monday morning before that higher March sun angle gets to work.  We’ll keep a close eye on things.

    Moving forward, we’re confident on the overall colder than normal pattern that will continue into Saint Patrick’s Day, but, as mentioned above, fine tuning will be required with the potential of a late week storm system to contend with.

    Upcoming 7-Day Precipitation Forecast:

    • Snowfall: 1″ – 3″
    • Rainfall: 0.25″ – 0.50″

  • Quick Friday Evening Notes…

    1.)  While we’re still expecting freezing rain across central Indiana tonight into the early morning hours Saturday, dry air will really limit totals.  Instead of the 0.10″-0.20″ of glaze per our first idea, we’ll cut that in half and say anywhere from 0.05″-0.10″ possible across central parts of the state tonight into Saturday morning.  This, obviously, won’t be enough to create power concerns or downed tree limbs, but could be sufficient enough to create slick spots in places.  Light freezing rain should increase in coverage across central IN from 10-11p.  Allow extra time to reach your destination tonight and early Saturday and slow it down.  All in all, this is not a significant event for central Indiana.

    Additional waves of light precipitation (rain mixed with freezing rain, primarily north of I-70) will be with us for the weekend, but similar to tonight, this won’t be a big deal and shouldn’t result in any need to cancel your weekend plans.

    2.)  A more significant surge of moisture will come out Monday night into Tuesday as low pressure (finally) pulls northeast out of the central Plains into the Great Lakes.  Localized amounts around 1″ will be a good bet, along with a warmer southwest flow.

    3.)  We’ll turn briefly cooler (still above average) mid week, before a stronger push of mild air late week.  Widespread highs in the lower-middle 60s seems like a good bet heading into next weekend and a rare January White Leg Alert may have to be issued.  😉

    4.)  Enjoy the January thaw while we have it.  Guidance continues to align and suggest winter roars back with authority to close January (last week of the month) before potentially locking in as we move into February and well into March.  More on this later this weekend.

    Complete updated 7-day will be published late tonight or early Saturday!

  • Changeable Weather; Late Week Ice Threat…


    • Another bitter day
    • Moderating temperatures ahead
    • Late week ice threat looms

    Bitter Cold Gives Way To Moderating Temperatures…The first half of the forecast period is easy, but we caution big time headaches loom and details are far from etched in stone once to the second half of this forecast period.

    First thing’s first and that’s today.  Look for a continuation of bitterly cold air, but slow moderation will be noted this afternoon: Not AS bitter and lighter winds.  We may even crack the 20 degree mark!  I know, break out the swim suits, right?!  This moderating trend is setting the tone for a more significant jump in the mercury later in the week.  Before a “taste of spring” arrives, we’ll have to deal with a brief opportunity for freezing drizzle Monday evening.  Temperatures will zoom to around 50 Tuesday and around 60 for mid week.  Showers will be with us off and on- focused on Tuesday and Thursday for most widespread coverage.

    Then comes the “fun.”  A strong, sprawling arctic high will push south into the northern Plains Friday.  At the same time, “resistance” from the southeast ridge (that can be thanked for the spring-like feel here Wednesday and Thursday) will result in the arctic front only slowly being able to push south.  Ripples of energy, or waves of low pressure, will move along the arctic boundary and result in periods of widespread precipitation Friday into the weekend.  As the cold, dense arctic air oozes south, we have concern for icing- freezing rain and sleet Friday into Saturday.  Depending on how things evolve, this may continue into Sunday, as well.  If you have travel plans this weekend, please keep a close eye on the developments in the forecast from Friday on.  Stay tuned.

    Upcoming 7-Day Precipitation Forecast:

    Snowfall: 1.00″

    Rainfall: 1.50″ – 2.00″

  • Saturday Morning Rambles…

    1.) Coast-to-coast cold:  The Lower 48 is waking up in an ice box this morning as widespread arctic air and below normal temperatures engulf the country (minus the FL peninsula this morning).  The arctic express will remain with us through the weekend, including temperatures once again tonight that threaten to dip into the sub-zero range across central Indiana.  Highs today will only reach the middle 10s and upper 10s to lower 20s Sunday.  Bundle up and stay warm.

    t02.) Expanding Snowpack:  65.4% of the country is covered in snow this morning.  The cold, arctic high suppressed the winter storm threat south as we alluded to in previous posts.  Places across the Deep South that aren’t used to wintry precipitation are waking up to snowy and icy conditions this morning, including MS, AL, GA, SC, and into the Mid Atlantic.  Heavier snowfall accumulated across east TN, including 5″-8″ in the high country.  Heavy snow also fell through western and central NC and Blizzard Warnings are up in rare areas including VA Beach this morning.

    nsm_depth_2017010705_national3.) Moderating Temperatures:  Our air flow will back around to the southwest and this will help temperatures begin to moderate early next week (around freezing Monday and all the way to around 50 Tuesday).  As the moderating trend gets underway, we may have to deal with a brief period of freezing drizzle/ freezing rain Monday evening.

    gfs_ptype_slp_conus2_134.) Rainy Midweek:  A more significant surge of moisture will arrive midweek and result in periods of moderate to heavy rain Wednesday PM into Thursday.  Potential is present for 1″+ during this timeframe.

    gfs_pwat_conus2_245.)  Weekend Wintry “Fun And Games?”  A tremendous battle will take place next weekend between a strong and sprawling arctic high pressure system and the southeast ridge.  In between it’ll be fascinating to watch things unfold, and as you’d imagine, that includes Indiana.  Despite the southeast ridge flexing it’s muscle, the concern here is that the shallow dense arctic air will “ooze” south and present an icy set-up for portions of the Ohio Valley and Mid West for the weekend.  We still have some time to watch this, but the potential of significant icing is very much present for some and this will require a close eye through the week.


  • Unseasonably Warm; Wet Day After Christmas…


    • Unseasonably warm today
    • Showers and perhaps a t-storm by lunchtime
    • Turning more seasonable later this week

    Wet At Times Today…A cold front will push across the state later this afternoon.  Ahead of the front, a warm southwesterly air flow will lead to a spring-like feel on this day after Christmas.  Coverage of showers will increase by late morning and around lunchtime, including the possibility of an embedded thunderstorm.  Once the front sweeps through the region, our winds will flip to the northwest and result in a cooler feel as early as tonight.  Tuesday will feature much more seasonable conditions.

    Reinforcing chilly air will blow into town Thursday afternoon and with enough upper level energy around, we’ll mention scattered snow showers in our forecast.  Colder weather will be with us to close the week and head into New Year’s weekend.

    Speaking of New Year’s, we still eye a storm system around New Year’s Eve.  Confidence is low in the overall set-up in regards to storm track and timing and fine tuning will be required.  For now, we’ll simply go with a developing light wintry mix Saturday and “sure up” the details later this week.

    Upcoming 7-Day Precipitation Forecast:

    • Snowfall: Dusting
    • Rainfall: 0.50″ – 0.75″

  • Changeable Weather Christmas To New Years…

    It’s hard to believe we’re only a few days from Christmas!  Through the 22nd, Indianapolis is running a whopping 6 degrees below average.  Cold rules across the Lower 48, month-to-date.

    ncep_cfsr_noram_t2m_anomThis is, of course, is in stark contrast to December 2015.

    conus_mtd_t2max_anom_2015As we move forward, an active pattern awaits between now and the end of the year.  This comes after a few days to catch our breath, including moderating temperatures leading up to Christmas.

    An initial wave of moisture will lift northeast and result in a rather gloomy day Friday with increasing rain chances Friday afternoon and evening.  Initially, precipitation won’t make it to the ground, but we should saturate the column enough that rain reaches the ground for most of central IN by evening.  Showers continue Friday night into the wee morning hours Christmas Eve.  (If traveling towards Chicago, a wintry mix and snow will be a good bet Friday PM).

    hires_ref_ky_18Christmas Eve will feature overcast skies with areas of fog and drizzle, but the majority of the concentrated rain should fall south of the region.  Santa’s ride into central IN should be uneventful, weather-wise.

    Christmas Day will start off with temperatures in the mid to upper 30s along with cloudy conditions and an increasingly gusty breeze that will shift out of the southeast to the south Christmas night.  Shower chances will be present by the evening before giving way to more widespread showers and embedded thunder overnight into Monday morning.  Temperatures will be stuck in the 40s most of the daytime Christmas before rising into the upper 50s predawn Monday.

    gfs_ptype_slp_indy_17Temperatures will fall through the day Monday and we should run much closer to seasonable temperatures next week.  A couple of additional storm systems will have to be monitored for rain and snow prospects the middle of next week and again around New Year’s Eve/ Day.  Initially, we’ll be rather mild, but there may be more in the way of cold air readily available to make the storm system around New Years “more interesting” from a wintry perspective.

    Longer term, we have to wonder if the negative EPO isn’t about to take control just past the New Year.  More and more data is coming around to the idea that the arctic hounds may (yet again) be on the attack early January… Time will tell and we’ll continue to keep a close eye on things.



  • Icy Concerns Grow Again Tonight…

    After a night of freezing rain, many roadways throughout central IN remain glazed over and hazardous as of this update.  If you absolutely don’t have to travel today, please don’t.  Allow road crews to do their job.  Additionally, we have growing concerns of a new round of freezing rain to sleet and eventually snow tonight.  Lingering moisture on roadways will result in “flash freeze” conditions and treacherous travel tonight into Sunday.

    First, a tip of the hat to short-term modeling, including the NAM, for suggesting we’d have a very difficult time eroding the shallow arctic air at the surface across most of central IN today.  While we never bought into the mid/ upper 50s idea the GFS and Euro were once suggesting, we did initially think 40s were in store today.  Forget about it.  Mid to potentially upper 30s are the best we can do today and temperatures will crash this evening as not one, but two, arctic fronts push through central IN.  Even if we didn’t have additional precipitation inbound tonight, “flash freeze” conditions would develop from lingering moisture and lead to renewed problems on area roadways.  Throw in another wave of low pressure riding along the pressing arctic front and a whole slew of problems will develop yet again from a freezing and frozen precipitation perspective.

    Note the incredible temperature gradient from downstate to central and northern Indiana early this afternoon.

    hrrr_t2m_indy_6The heavy, dense, arctic air will win out as evening turns into nighttime.  Indianapolis is back to the freezing mark around 6p and into the 20s by 9p.


    hrrr_t2m_indy_13Temperatures will continue to fall through the day Sunday and by Monday morning central Indiana will be in the single digits, with below zero readings across northern parts of the state.

    hires_t2m_indy_49Wind chill values of 10 to 20 degrees below zero will be common by Sunday night into Monday morning across central Indiana.

    gfs_windchill_indy_8Areas of drizzle and freezing drizzle will continue across the region into the early afternoon, but begin to expand in coverage and intensity once again by evening.  Note the area of freezing rain expand across central IN, including Indianapolis, between 4p and 7p.



    7pFreezing rain will eventually begin to mix with sleet and eventually transition to light snow during the overnight from northwest to southeast.  A coating of snow to less than 1″ is a good bet on the new icy glaze that develops tonight.

    When you factor in the current hazardous conditions in place along with the fresh push of arctic air and precipitation tonight, it’s a good idea to hunker down inside and remain off area roadways.  We have big concerns of new travel problems developing by evening across central Indiana.  By this time tomorrow, our attention will turn to the bitterly cold air and dangerous wind chill values developing.

    More later, including prospects of snow around Christmas.  As always, you can follow our updates on social media by following us on Twitter (@indywx) and Facebook.  Stay safe!


  • Active Winter Pattern Rumbles Along…


    • Busy weather weekend
    • Fresh shot of bitterly cold air
    • Christmas week snow chances

    Buckle Up For A Busy Winter Pattern…Thursday featured the coldest December 15th high (13 degrees) in a whopping 27 years. Talk about impressive.  This was good for an amazing 26 degrees below average.  Let that sink in…

    We’ll wrap up the work week and head into the busy weekend before Christmas with a new round of challenges.  A couple of warm fronts will lift north through central IN Friday.  Snow showers may accompany the first warm front early Friday before the second warm front lifts north Friday night.  This will result in more widespread wintry precipitation, likely to begin as a period of light snow before a quick transition to sleet and freezing drizzle during the overnight.  Temperatures will warm overnight Friday and precipitation will change to light rain Saturday morning.  That’s when our attention turns to the first of two cold fronts that will sweep through the state.  The first cold front will lead to a quick changeover to sleet and snow Saturday evening (thinking between 6p-8p as of now).  As a secondary wave of moisture moves northeast along the boundary, expect a light accumulation of snow Saturday night.  The second cold front (arctic) will blow through late Saturday night and early Sunday morning and lead to a frigid Sunday.  That 25 degree high you see Sunday will come at midnight as temperatures crash through the day.  Add in a stiff northwest wind and wind chill values will fall below zero (yet again) in the Sunday-Monday time frame.

    We’ll briefly calm things down during the early Christmas week period and remain cold.  Our next storm system is slated for a mid week arrival and could deliver a round of accumulating snow Wednesday night into Thursday morning.  More on that after this weekend system.

    Upcoming 7-Day Precipitation Forecast:

    • Snowfall: 2″ – 4″
    • Rainfall: 0.20″ – 0.40″

  • Bitter Times Ahead; Weekend Storm…


    • Bitterly cold
    • Weekend storm delivers a little bit of everything
    • Cold reloads over the weekend

    Cold That Hurts…Tuesday was a snowy day across central IN. Most snow reports checked in around 3″, but there were a few “lucky” folks who accumulated north of 4″.  Not bad at all!

    Two pieces of arctic air will invade mid week.  The first piece is arriving on the scenes as we type this forecast Tuesday evening.  It’ll send lows into the single digits to lower teens by Wednesday morning.  Patchy freezing fog will also be noted in spots.  Needless to say, don’t get too confident on area roadways.  Despite the phenomenal work central IN road crews do (seriously, thank you), there will be icy spots tonight and Wednesday morning.  Slow down!  🙂

    A second surge of arctic air will arrive Wednesday afternoon and evening.  Everyone gets in on the single digit party Wednesday night and Thursday morning.  In fact, don’t be surprised by a few folks checking in with a below zero report here and there.  Winds will be strong and gusty and lead to wind chill values of 10-20 below zero into Thursday morning.  Heavy winter attire will be required.

    Our attention then shifts to a developing weekend storm that will deliver a wintry mix late Friday followed by a transition to rain as temperatures zoom (briefly) into the 40s Saturday.  The milder surge won’t last long as arctic air oozes back into central parts of the state Saturday afternoon and evening.  As this is happening, a second wave of moisture will ride up along the arctic front.  We expect rain to mix with and change to a wintry mix of sleet and freezing rain before ending as snow Saturday night/ early Sunday morning.  This may be another accumulating wintry event and we’ll keep a close eye on things.

    Cold, dry weather will be with us as we kick off Christmas week.  Speaking of Christmas week, the bitterly cold air will “relax,” but the pattern remains active.  Despite the relaxation in the frigid times, conditions will remain cold enough for wintry potential leading up to, or around, Christmas…

    Upcoming 7-Day Precipitation Forecast:

    • Snowfall: 1″ – 3″
    • Rainfall:  0.25″ – 0.50″