A warm front will drape itself across north-central Indiana today and while this will serve as an ingredient in the hefty northern IN snow event, it’ll allow southerly winds to pull briefly milder air north into central parts of the state this afternoon- middle to upper 40s for many! Further downstate, highs will go north of 50° this afternoon.
Colder air will move into the region this evening as the front settles south and we get back into a north, northeasterly flow. We’ll fall to around freezing shortly after midnight and temperatures are forecast to remain nearly steady or slowly fall Saturday- upper 20s to around 30 by Saturday afternoon.
As colder air seeps back into central Indiana, waves of moisture will continue to push northeast at times through the weekend. While precipitation totals won’t be particularly impressive, it doesn’t take much freezing rain to create issues and we’ll continue to monitor things closely over the weekend.
Periods of light freezing rain and/ or sleet will develop Saturday morning.
Models differ on various solutions, but perhaps the most widespread combination of light freezing rain, sleet, and snow will arrive Saturday evening into the day on Sunday. Stay tuned!
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.
Sunshine is greeting us out the door this morning, but, boy is it cold! Once again this winter, we’re dealing with “number busting” cold, or temperatures that are MUCH colder than guidance suggested. Several central IN communities are awaking to temperatures below zero this morning.
As we look ahead, our next fast moving weather maker will lead to increasing cloudiness this afternoon and snow will overspread the region tonight.
We forecast snow to arrive in the city, itself, around 8-9p and snow at a steady clip for a few hours before ending during the overnight. By the time things wrap up, we forecast 1″ to 2″ for most of central Indiana.
Another snow maker will arrive on the scene Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. From this distance, this looks like a light snow event for the region and we’ll have updated thinking around this event later tonight or Tuesday morning.
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!