Ok, the day is here. Things have changed dramatically over the past couple of days, but we are finally to the last 24 hours before our winter storm moves across the state. The storm track is farther south and east than where it debuted over the weekend, but we still have the threat for winter weather that is not exceptionally nice. We will lay it out here in just a bit.
Today features the warmest push of air all week. Temps will make it into the 50s and 60s over most of the state. Even a good chunk of the remaining snow in northern Indiana will be gone by the end of today, helped along by some rains that develop. Scattered showers form throughout the state today, building in frequency and intensity later this afternoon and this evening through midnight.
Our winter storm ramps up overnight, as rain changes to freezing rain in many areas. The freezing rain potential is the best from central Indiana up to areas around US 30. Far northern Indiana areas see little to no ice accumulation, the Fort Wayne area can see up to .2”, perhaps .3” of ice accumulation from Peru to Muncie, and closer to Indianapolis, we have potential for up to half an inch of ice by the time we get into tomorrow morning. We are hopeful for less ice accumulation, but most models are consistent and persistent in having a warm layer of air in at 5000 feet while the surface continues to cool and cold air arrives from the NW.
Freezing rain changes over to snow Friday morning and snows continue off and on into Friday afternoon down south and into Saturday up north. Snow totals can be from 2-5” in northern, northeastern and east central parts of Indiana, a coating to an inch or two in central Indiana, and 4-5 inches in southeast Indiana. Farther west and north, moisture is gone before precipitation can really take hold as snow. The biggest snows from this event develop from Southeast Indiana across Ohio. In Ohio we can see 5-10 inches easily, except in the NW part of the state (totals similar to northeast Indiana) and some 12 inch totals in northeast parts of that state are not out of the question.
Gusty winds will be part of this storm system. Today, those winds will be southwest, fueling the warm up. On the backside of the system, those winds will be strong north and northwest, and will cause what snow we do see to blow and drift, and wind chills can run from 6 above to 5 below zero through tomorrow and into the weekend. This is a nasty storm, even if the Hoosier state is missing out on the heaviest snows. There is still time for the track to shift a bit, but in general, we don’t expect to make major changes at this point.
Behind the system, lake effect snows can hang around over northern parts of Indiana the rest of Saturday into Sunday, with minor accumulations. A clipper system moves through the region Monday into early Tuesday that brings a coating to 2 inches to about 70% of the state. Temps will return to cold levels, looking at normal and below normal temps for the entire week. Northern areas will be in the teens and low 20s through out, southern areas should be solidly in the 20s and flirt with the lower 30s from time to time. A strong system comes in out of the southwest again late next week, Friday into Saturday. This can bring snows back, and may favor southern Indiana over northern.
In the extended period, we have a weaker front around the 21st into the 22nd that bring some snows up to 2 inches, and then a stronger system for the 26th and 27th that has some bigger snow potential. Our pattern looks to remain somewhat active through the reminder of January.