Over the weekend, models got a little more aggressive with moisture this week. The next 4 days we can see 3 waves of moisture move through. Over the next 7 days we can see 4 waves. So…even though it has been very dry over the month of March so far…we can definitely see some moisture develop before the month is done. Temperatures also will be a bit finicky. Today, we are solidly in the cold air mass ushered in by the cold front Saturday night. Clouds and precipitation today mean we will not get much help from solar radiation. But, by midweek, as our next wave moves in, strong southerly wind flow will come and will take temps back above normal, only to crash again on the backside. So…it could be a very wild ride this week. Let’s break it down.
Today we see some light moisture working in from the NW across the state. This mostly will be north of I-70, but we wont rule out a bit of minor action farther south either. We are not overly enthralled with this little wave…moisture available is not that impressive. We think we are looking at a maximum of a tenth or two, and perhaps just a few hundredths. Temps will be cold enough that we can see both rain and wet snow. Snow may stick slightly over the northern third of the state. Everything should be done by mid to late afternoon. Today may be the coldest out of the next 7…but we will come close later in the week again…so don’t breathe that sigh of relief yet.
The next wave comes tomorrow night into Wednesday. This system is coming up form the southwest and will have the warmer air signature of that kind of event. We look for .05” to .3” of an inch of liquid availability, which will lead to light rains. Most of the best rains will be over central and northern Indiana, but we can see coverage of at least minor rains over almost 90% of the state. The low with this wave actually passes by to the north and west of us, running from Kansas City, to Chicago to Flint. That keeps the heaviest rains north and west of us as well.
The 3rd wave hits for Thursday. This time, the low moves from Tulsa to Evansville to Wheeling. That puts the state in line to see some of the heavier rains from the system. The heaviest rains from the system on the whole hit over the southern third of IL, where we can see 1-1.5” rain totals. In Indiana, we look for .4” to 1”, with the axis of heaviest rains running from Princeton to Richmond. Coverage will be about 80% of the state, with NW Indiana likely missing action from this wave entirely. All told, if you add up all three little blips…we look for Indiana on the whole to see somewhere between half and 1.25” of rain for the week with nearly 100% coverage. That means see a nice bump in our precipitation totals for the month, although we still will be markedly below normal over a large part of the state (except the extreme south).
AS cooler air comes in to finish the week, we watch for another minor wave over the second half of the weekend. This will likely produce only clouds, but can bring a few hundredths of an inch of rain as well.
Next week, temps remain mostly below normal, but for now the precipitation pattern does not look quite as active. A weak system for the 1st may bring a tenth or two to the state, but most of the rest of the week is drier. Easter weekend (particularly the 4th) could be wet, as a strong front moves through. Early looks show perhaps up to three quarters of an inch of rain, and then a nice cool down behind that front. We are seeing some serious ridging over the plains around the 7th-8th…and look for that to move eastward. If it were…it may signal a move to more normal temps by the 10th of April…right about in line with what we mentioned a few weeks back (cooler than normal temps for the 3/20 to the 4/10) Here over the next couple of weeks, though, we do see some serious cool air incursions…much below normal on about 3 occasions, with below normal temps most of the rest of the time.