Cold air is here, as expected. The near-term part of the forecast is basically unchanged this morning, but we are making some tweaks to the intermediate and extended details as we start the week.
The cold air blasts us today. Temps will be well below normal. The northern half of the state will struggle to get out of the 30s, and the southern half of the state will do no better than the 40s. Adding insult will be strong NW winds, making it feel even colder. Light moisture holds over the state through the entire day. We are not looking at liquid equivalent being any more than a few hundredths to perhaps a tenth of an inch, but with temps being where they are, we have to allow for wet snow to fly over northern areas pretty much at will. We do not expect serious accumulations, but a fresh coating could pop up north of US 24, mainly on grassy surfaces. And, we can see rain mix in too. The difference today with rain in the mid-30s vs what we saw yesterday will be that the full atmospheric profile will be cold (yesterday we still had some warm air aloft in the morning). The chance of snow lingers into the overnight up north, and we may even see some after sunrise tomorrow morning in NE Indiana. The rest of the state sees action end by late this afternoon.
Tomorrow turns out dry, but still chilly and we will see clouds reluctant to break up, particularly up north. The dry weather holds into Wednesday.
Our first tweak of the forecast is to push our midweek action back slightly. We now see most of Wednesday dry, with clouds building in the afternoon. Scattered light rain showers break out closer to sunset Wednesday night and then linger through most of Thursday. Rain totals still look to be from a few hundredths to .25”, but we are increasing coverage to 80% of the state.
Dry Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This is our next slight change in the forecast – the dry weekend. Temps stay cool for the end of the week and start of the weekend, as we continue to see mostly NW flow dominate the eastern Corn Belt. However, on Sunday, winds turn more S and SW ahead of our next system for early next week. This should allow temps to moderate back closer to normal. We do not expect a big push above normal, but still, Sunday will likely end up bringing the warmest temps of the next 7 days.
Monday our next system pushes into the region. This low-pressure circulation will be coming up from the SW, nosing moisture into SW Indiana to start the day Monday. It continues to push north through mid and late afternoon, finally bringing the action into northern Indiana by midnight Monday night. Scattered showers linger statewide through Tuesday. Rain totals look to be dependent heavily on geographic location. From I-70 southward, we have rain totals of .25”-.75”, with the heaviest action closer to the Ohio River and coverage near 90%. From I-70 northward, we escape with a few hundredths to .2”, and coverage more like 50%. This is a marked change in both moisture totals and coverage, along with timing from our prior forecast late last week.
We should be dry for the start of Wednesday, the 25th, and strong Canadian high pressure slowly sinks off to the southeast. That keeps the region dry for the 25th, 26th and 27th, which is another forecast change, also in our favor. This should bring impressive southwest flow up on the backside of the high for the 27th. That southwest flow will warm us to near normal temperature levels. A cold front works in from the northwest for the 28th and 29th. Rains with that front remain in the half to 1” range with coverage at 80% of the state. Behind that, we look dry for the remainder of the month into early may. However, that dry forecast is rooted in yet another Canadian high, so that means we likely see a cold finish to April and start to May, with temps a good 5-15 degrees below normal.