Mother Nature becomes a little bi-polar in our latest forecast. We have cold air that wants to stay in control through the rest of this week, but it has to endure some moderating surges. Then, next week. We look to get warm enough that approaching systems have more rain potential than snow. Overall, we are lowering our expectations of a white Christmas down to about a 20% chance. Here is how things are shaping up this morning.
A warm front is trying to lift into the state today .This front makes it through Central Indiana, but likely does not come all the way into the northern third of the state. Low pressure at the origin of this warm front works through this afternoon through the overnight, and we should see some snows associated with that. These snows do not look as impressive as they did 24 and 48 hours ago, but right now we do not think we are going to waver from our thoughts of 1”-4” of snow. However, coverage will be limited mostly to northern Indiana, and particularly the northern third for those snow totals. A few flurries and light snow showers may be seen down to the I-70 corridor but accumulations are not likely. The snows are most intense from sundown through midnight, and by mid-morning tomorrow, all action will be off to the east. There is no precipitation threat in southern Indiana.
High pressure behind the system keeps us dry and sunny through the balance of Thursday into early Friday. Northwest winds pick up Friday midday and that may bring some lake effect snows back to northern Indiana. However while that is happening, we see warmer air slowly trying to rise into southern Indiana. We may be able to see Friday highs push toward the upper 40s in far southern Indiana. Temps will then continue to moderate statewide Saturday, with only north central and northeast Indiana staying closer to freezing.
Sunday looks wet. Strong south flow ahead of our next weather system takes temperatures up to the point where rain breaks out Sunday morning over southern Indiana and moves north from there. Rain totals can be from .25”-.75” from I-70 southward. We will see some rains up north too, but temps will top out only near 35 degrees from US 24 northward. That is warm enough for rain, but also cold enough for sloppy wet snow. So, liquid equivalent precipitation can be up to .5”, but we can see a mix of rain and wet snow. 100% of the state sees action on Sunday, rain or snow, or both.
Next Monday we go drier behind that system, and we stay dry through Thursday morning. Temperatures moderate through the period, and will be normal to even slightly above normal by midweek next week. Our final front of the 10 day period arrives late next Thursday afternoon into Friday the 22nd. This front again brings mostly rain, as the cold air waits to arrive until after the moisture is gone. We look for a few hundredths to .3” of rain over 70% of the state. That system will be the one that puts the nail in the coffin for a white Christmas, unless cold air can come faster.
Dry r the 23rd into the 24th. Extended models are suggesting a potential late Christmas Eve system that goes through Christmas day. This system has good moisture potential…and if cold enough, may bail out those wanting a white Christmas. But, for now, it is far enough out that we are just going to watch it and see the track it wants to carve out.