The forecast is pretty benign for the rest of this week, with bitter cold air the main feature. We should see sunshine dominate most of the state today through the start of the weekend, even though temps will average a good 10-20 degrees below normal at times. We expect subzero temps each of the next several nights over parts of the state north of I-70, and easily single digit readings for overnight lows in southern Indiana. 2018 is off to a frigid start. Strong northwest winds funneling this cold air in will trigger redevelopment of lake effect snows later tomorrow and Thursday over far northern Indiana, but action will not come any farther south than US 30, and may be limited more to areas north of US 6.
South winds start to develop Saturday ahead of our next front and storm system. These winds will help moderate temperatures some, but we stay mostly below freezing right on into Sunday. A powerful low comes out of the central to southern plains next weekend and we start to see precipitation push into western and southwestern Indiana next Sunday afternoon. The cold air in place means precipitation will start as snow. But, as strong south winds continue to come up ahead of the actual cold front, precipitation changes over to rain in southern Indiana Sunday overnight, and we can even see some thunderstorms Monday. Waking up Monday in northern Indiana, we can see a sloppy mix continue through the day as the low pressure center tracks over the state, followed by strong north winds and returning arctic air behind the front Monday evening and overnight. This will swing precipitation back to snow as it ends. There is a large amount of moisture with this system. We can see liquid equivalent precipitation totals of half to 1”. The map above shows liquid equivalent precipitation totals over the entire potential duration of the event. This has the potential to be a mess! So, track here is very, very important. The current track has a large amount of rain with it. IF the low stays a little farther south and east, we could be looking at a lot more snow, and very little rain. Or, if it tracks farther north and west, over IL and into MI let’s say, they we could be looking at more or even all rain! So, the one thing for certain is that we have a massive winter storm headed toward us to finish the weekend and start next week, and there is plenty of moisture with it. But…it all comes down to the track as to what type of precipitation we see, and who gets the worst. We will be watching this storm closely the rest of the week, and will have updates all the way through.
Behind the system, we have another bitter cold week on the way then next week. Temps pull back to below normal levels, and may try and rival this week, although we think next week may end up being just slightly better. In the extended 11-16 day forecast window, we have dry weather continuing through the 13th, but then another front is on the way for the 14th, which can bring another chance of significant snows just ahead of mid-month. Our quick look at week 3 and week 4 suggests that we see below normal temps through most of the balance of January.