Lake effect snows continue this morning over northern Indiana, but we will see a change in wind direction through the day that should allow for those snows to come to an end. Still, over the northern tier counties in north central and northeast Indiana, we can see some minor accumulations through this morning. The biggest trouble spots will be due to wind, however, as that will trigger low visibilities at times. By afternoon, winds will begin their swing back to the southwest. That southwest flow will cut the lake effect potential over the state, and also will begin to take temps back up a few degrees.
Temps climb through the day tomorrow into Sunday, but will not go too far above normal. Winds will be strong out of the west-southwest for tomorrow, but precipitation stays mostly to the south of the OH River. As we are building toward a fairly significant precipitation event early next week, we likely will see clouds trying to build through the weekend, but winds will mix the atmosphere enough to keep some sunshine around, more so on Saturday than Sunday.
The big event to watch will unfold on Monday, as rains move in from the west and south. We like these rains kicking off late Sunday night as a few scattered showers, but the action will become more frequent and intense through Monday. Cumulative rain totals through Tuesday afternoon will be from .25”-1.25” with coverage at nearly 90% of the state. We still think the northern part of the state has a slightly better chance to be in the upper half of the range. At this point, the only changes in our outlook from here (Friday morning) through Tuesday is a slight delay in the best rains for the period, and a slight extension in the duration of the event (into Tuesday afternoon). The map above shows potential total rain amounts from Sunday evening through Tuesday evening.
Behind the system, the cold front comes through Tuesday night, bringing in much colder air. Temps will be below normal for Wednesday and Thursday, and we should see some sunshine. An interesting wrinkle develops for late in the week, though, as moisture passes by to the south with strong low pressure in KY overnight Thursday night. Clouds from this will work up into the state for Friday, and we can’t rule out some light snow statewide from those clouds. Totals do not look overly impressive, but we could see a few inches if things develop as projected. There would be additional lake effect snows for the weekend (7th and 8th) as strong north winds work in. This late week feature will need to be watched closely, and additional moisture would take snows from a nuisance level to one of more concern….so track of the low to the south will be very important.
In the extended period, we see potential for 2 fronts, a minor one for the 10th and 11th that really brings a few rain or snow showers and that is all, and a stronger, more impressive front for the 13th into the 14th. That second front, if it can tap into gulf moisture like we see, could bring significant rains from the OH River southward, and then some snows to the north side of the low. Much colder air looks to blast in behind it. Either way, we think the overall vein from now into mid-January is to ratchet temps down and keep a very active precipitation pattern across the state with regular frontal boundary passages.