A Couple of Chances Flurries and Snow Showers

There will be a few flurries and snow showers possible overnight.  Any accumulations will be minor (maybe a quick coating).  Where we do get a few bursts of snow, there might be a few slick roads.  There is another fast moving weather system that will bring another chance for snow showers Thursday afternoon and evening.  The average high for the end of January is 36 degrees.  We will be close to that on Thursday, with highs 35-40 degrees.  We are also tracking a chance for flurries and a few snow showers.  We are not forecasting much of this to stick.  Under a steadier burst of snow, a quick coating will be possible.

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The bigger story continues to be 50s in the weekend forecast.  The warm-up arrives on Saturday and will last through early next week.

There is a chance for a few showers later Sunday into Monday.  We are timing the steadiest rain for Tuesday.

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2 Chances for Flurries and Snow Showers

There is a fast moving weather system in eastern Iowa now.  The latest analysis of a high resolution model shows this thin line of flurries and snow showers moving into central Indiana later this evening around 10pm.  This model also shows a thin line of light snow possible across the southern half of the state early Thursday morning.  This will show up as green on the map, but it is snow.  Any accumulations will be minor, but a quick coating is possible.

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There will be another round of flurries and snow showers later Thursday afternoon and evening.  Again any accumulations will be minor and should only amount to a quick coating.

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Rain Tonight And Snowy This Sunday

January days don’t come much finer than the sun and 50 degrees highs we enjoyed today.  Hopefully you had a chance to soak up some sun as it’s likely our brightest day for awhile.

TEMPS TONIGHT 11PM EVENING PLANNER

Clouds increase this evening and showers increase after midnight.  We’re expecting a wet Friday morning commute with temperatures in the mid to upper 30s.  When the precipitation begins, it may cold enough east-northeast of Indy to support either sleet or some freezing rain.  We’ll monitor in the morning but at this point we don’t envision any major issues.

FRIDAY 7AM FRIDAY 4PM FRIDAY PLANNER RADAR

A second piece of upper energy enters the Ohio Valley Saturday afternoon and intensifies into a respectable low pressure system.  Colder air on the backside of this storm changes rain to wind-whipped from west to east Saturday night into Sunday morning.  Subject to change… but the changeover should occur in western Indiana between 2-3am and 5-7am in the Indy metro area.

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Also subject to change is our initial 1″ or less snow accumulation for Indianapolis.  The earlier changeover farther west-northwest puts snow totals in the 1-3″ range from Crawfordsville-Lafayette to Kokomo-Peru.  With the snow comes strong wind and gusts of 40 to possibly 50mph.  Temperatures should fall most of the day Sunday and wind chills drop into the lower single digits by sunset.  Please check back for updates and expect challenging travel on Sunday – Sean Ash

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40s and Rain Chances

The average high for early January is in the middle 30s.  Central Indiana will be about 10 degrees above average for the rest of the week.  It will be mostly clear and cold tonight, with lows in the lower 20s.  There will be a mix of sun and clouds on Wednesday, with highs in the lower 40s.

PLANNER HIGHS

Highs reach the middle and upper 40s for Thursday through Saturday.  As a weather system arrives later Thursday, it will be too warm for snow.  We are tracking a couple of rounds or rain for the timeframe Thursday night through Saturday.  Here is an early look at timing with FutureTrak13.

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A round of colder air arrives on Sunday.  There is a chance for snow to end the weekend.  We will keep you updated on the timing and any potential accumulations.  Arctic air is in the forecast for next week too.

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Slick Roads For Some Tonight And Monday Morning

So it begins.  The lake effect snow machine is on essentially for the first time this winter and impacts are likely for travel.  In fact we’re already getting reports of only light snow causing untreated roads to become slick.  This picture is near Lawrence northeast of Indianapolis.  We’re advising everyone to plan on a longer commute in areas that see lake effect.

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A north-northwesterly wind off Lake Michigan delivers lake effect flurries, snow showers and squalls to favored downwind regions.  Though heavier banding is more likely north and northeast of downtown Indianapolis… even light snow impacts roadways due to overnight timing and sub-freezing temperatures.  Plan on a slow commute Monday morning and check in with Chuck Lofton beginning at 4am on WTHR Sunrise.

SNOW ACCUM

Some areas along the I-69 and US-31 corridors could pick up an 1″ or more of accumulation by Monday mid-morning.  It appears a heavier squall may develop toward sunrise with highest impact between Fort Wayne and Indy.

Keep in mind snow accumulation will be localized but will impact the Monday morning commute.  Within a short distance you could go from clear roads to near white-out conditions and dangerous travel.  Please use caution in the morning especially if your commute takes you between Indianapolis and Fort Wayne or South Bend.

HEADLINES PLANNER MONDAY

Clouds clear Monday night as the lake snow machine gets shut down by an easterly wind.  This allows temperatures to drop into the teens area wide Tuesday morning and areas of snow pack in the single digits.  Expect a bright mid-week before clouds and rain return by next weekend.

Some guidance suggest a potential wintry weather maker late next weekend or early next week in the Ohio Valley.  Much too early to get excited but something we’ll keep tabs on as the week progresses.  Have a safe evening – Sean Ash

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Rare December Indiana Tornado

One of the biggest severe weather events across the country this year happen to occur today… December 23rd.  There have been over 200 storm reports across the eastern US and many of those coming from Central Indiana.

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A fast-moving line of storms delivered many 60-70mph gusts today and at least one tornado spin-up embedded along the line in Johnson County.

 

 
Radar data a little before 4pm today shows a weak velocity couplet that ultimately spun up an EF-1 tornado with winds in the 90-100mph range.  The tornado was only on the ground for a quarter-mile from near Restin Road to just north of Smith Valley Road.

VELOCITY TRACK DECEMBER TORNADOES

This is only the 17th December tornado on record (from 1950) for all of Indiana… and first since 2004.  Thankfully no one was injured and compared to the destruction taking place much farther south in Dixie Valley we dodged a big bullet.

Wild Wednesday: Record Highs And Rare December Severe Weather Potential

After analyzing early overnight data here are my latest thoughts regarding biggest impacts for specific times of day and timing.  On our 1 to 4 storm risk scale below we the tornado and damaging wind threat in the upper 1 to near 2 category.  There will be about a 5% probability of a tornado within 25 miles of a point within the SPC’s risk map for Wednesday… and a 15-30% probability of damaging wind.

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I expect the level 2 threat (termed moderate risk on our map) to be expanded northward to included more of southern Indiana… which has the greatest potential locally in my opinion of tornadoes.

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Morning Impacts:  low visibility due to heavy mist/fog but isolated storms possible by 7am.  Focus more on potential for what’s to come and what’s already happening farther south to impact holiday travelers.

Midday:  Watch Box possibly issued by then but storms likely not crossing Illinois/Indiana state line until after 12pm… close call at this point.

Early Afternoon:  Storms ramp up quickly from the west by 2pm with the potential of multiple warnings of either severe storm or tornado variety.

Wednesday Evening:  storms most likely out of the state by 11pm and the threat for severe weather quickly pushes eastward as the cold front accelerates.

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Interestingly enough it’s been nearly three months since NWS Indianapolis has issued a severe thunderstorm warning and almost 160 days since the last tornado warning.  Both streaks could be broken… on December 23rd!

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If a tornado hits Indiana it would only be the 17th December on record for the entire state in the last 65 years and first during this month since 2004.

DECEMBER TORNADOES

Best Case Scenario:  early afternoon storms are gusty but non-severe and help push the main instability axis farther south along Ohio River and we dodge a bullet.

Worse Case:  we see a few discrete supercells that produce a couple of tornadoes… I’m leaning on southern half of viewing area for greatest chance of this happening (Martinsville, Franklin, Shelbyville southward included).  Stay tuned and Chuck Lofton updates the forecast early this morning.

Wet, Warm And Windy Monday Ahead

Though record highs weren’t set in Indianapolis, the city did set a record high minimum temperature of 55 degrees.  This marks only the 5th December on record with two days of lows at or above 55 and the first since 1998.

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MONDAY 12AM PLANNER TONIGHT

Despite the clouds, highs still reached balmy levels in the 60s and as expected rain predominantly impacts the western part of the state.  This axis of moisture eventually slides eastward overnight and into the Monday morning commute.  Definitely pack the kids with rain coats and umbrellas for the bus stop.  Temperatures tomorrow begin in the upper 50s and lower 60s before dropping into 40s by sunset.

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Clouds hang tough Tuesday with temperatures in the 40s for much of the day.  Though much cooler than this weekend, these temperatures remain above normal for mid-December.

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We’re monitoring much colder trends for later in the week with a shot of chilly air expected to arrive by next weekend.  Flurries and showers are possible both Friday and Saturday.  Highs next Saturday are looking to be 40 degrees colder than the 70 degree high we had yesterday.

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But long range indicators suggest this will be a brief hit of cold and signals are pointing toward a much above normal set up for the eastern U.S. Christmas week.  Stay tuned for updates – Sean Ash