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.


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.



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.



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.

lawrence RADAR



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.


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.


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



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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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!

storm warning tornado warning

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.


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.





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.


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.


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.


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

Clouds Impacting Temperatures Now and a Cold Night

Clouds are keeping temperatures in the 30s across most of central Indiana.  Just before 3pm, it was only 34 in Indianapolis and 32 in Crawfordsville and Greencastle.  Where there is some sun, it is 42 in Bloomington and 43 in Seymour.


Skies will clear this evening and it will be cold overnight with lows in the 20s.


Milder air is on the way for the weekend.

A Little Bit Of Everything

Can you feel the temperatures drop out there? It’s really cold this morning but the sun will make things feel better later this morning. Later clouds increase after midday and we will see some scattered showers.

Tuesday looks good but windy conditions and rain will move in for late Wednesday into Thursday. This will be caused by a very deep area of low pressure that will move across the Great Lakes. The cold front attached to the strong low sweeps over Indiana Wednesday night…. possibly with a narrow line of showers/storms with potentially severe wind gusts.

The gusts will likely be strong in the 35-50mph range. Look for peak winds Wednesday night, Thursday and Thursday night. for strongest gust potential. latest.

Behind the front we’re in store for a couple of days with highs in the 40s Friday and Saturday along with breezy conditions. But next weekend looks dry and feeling like fall.