Indiana Weather Outlook 1-4-17

Much colder air comes into the region today, behind a front that finally worked through the state late yesterday. This should usher in a period of below normal temps that hold through the end of the week. We also will see drier weather attempt to move in with the cold, but that will be stymied just a bit over the far northern part of the state. In those areas, we expect lake effect snows to set up. With the current wind set up, this will likely be limited to typical areas in north central and northeast Indiana, mostly St. Joe, Elkhart, Lagrange and Steuben counties, with some lighter, more variable snows the next tier of counties south. The rest of the state should see some breaks in clouds through the day, and some sun to go along with the cold air today.

Tomorrow we have minor light snows meandering through the state as strong high pressure sweeps across from west to east. Moisture available is only a few hundredths to at most .15”, but air is cold enough to see light snow and flurries over about 80% of the state. Accumulations will be minor, but we still will want to be on the lookout for slick roads in spots, as the snow is going to be fairly constant through the day. IT should not promote major school or business delays in most areas, unless the little wave decides to amplify out of the blue.

Mostly dry Friday through the weekend and into Monday of next week. We may see some lake effect snows and clouds pop up on a couple of occasions this weekend in far northern Indiana and more so in Michigan, but it is not a big enough threat to really devote lots of resources to this morning. The rest of the state should see good sunshine all the way through. Temps will try to moderate some, but will not see large scale expansion just yet. However, strong southwest winds will start to develop Monday midday and afternoon up the backside of a strong high pressure dome. This will begin to push temps higher late Monday afternoon and we will continue to see that moderating push into Tuesday, as our next batch of moisture moves in.
Light rains move in next Tuesday afternoon and will continue off and on through Wednesday into Thursday. Currently, models are keeping the core of low pressure farther south, setting up a corridor of most significant moisture over the southern half of the state for the 2-3 day period. As it stands right now, we could see rains combine to bring half to 1.25” in areas along and south of I-70 from late Tuesday through Thursday. Rains farther north will be up to half an inch through Wednesday. Coverage north of I-70 looks to be 50%, while coverage south of I-70 will be 100%. Here is where things get interesting: with this corridor of heaviest moisture staying south along with the low pressure track, that allows cold air to push in over the northern parts of the state Wednesday night into Thursday while moisture is still in play with the system. That will change rains over to snow in northern Indiana with the potential for some gfs_pr6_slp_t850_indy_34accumulations. This would be followed by the potential for some lake snows later Thursday through Friday. Now…there is plenty of time before the system’s arrival to change track. A move farther north would put more rain over more of the state and decrease the chance of snow. A move south may bring a chance of snow farther south, but amounts likely would be lower. This is a big wild card, and has plenty of different scenarios it could breed, so we will continue to watch this very closely. For what it’s worth, the GFS model is its typical warmer, wetter self, while the European is colder and favors a southern track. This will be fun. In any case, this map shows at least one thought about precipitation coverage just after the noon hour next Wednesday, a week from today.

In the extended period, behind the system the middle of next week, we see drier air come in for a few days. Our next significant front likely does not develop until closer to the 16th and 17th. It will be similar to most of the strong fronts so far this winter…sweeping through most of the state from west to east. This time, the low is looking to dig farther south over the plains, which would set us up for better snow potential out of a possibly strong frontal passage. If the European is right on the system next week, that would mean more cold air already in place, for that extended period system to move right into. The key takeaway from this outlook this morning is that we do not see any decrease in activity over the coming 2 weeks heading right through mid-month.


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