A switch from rain to snow on Monday

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No this isn’t a joke, we are really talking about snowfall for Monday evening and Monday night.  We’ve already seen two days with snow flakes and one even resulted in some light accumulations in our northeastern zones.  But this event coming in Monday will bring in snowflakes across the state and even  the possibility of some light accumulations.  Here’s a break down of what the weather models are showing us tonight.  There WILL be more updates on the exact change over from rain to snow and snowfall amount fine tuning.

Tonight

Clouds increase tonight ahead of our approaching cold front.  Winds will also die down a touch compared to the breezy conditions we saw during the day.  Low temperatures should slip into the mid 30s again.

Monday Morning to Early Afternoon

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Early Monday Afternoon – Rain ONLY

Monday morning starts mostly cloudy and winds will start to pick up from the southwest at 12 to 22 mph.  This breezy wind will help push warmer air into the state and ensure that when the cold front arrives, it starts as rainfall.   By 1 PM, we’ll see overcast conditions across the state and the high temperature will have occurred for many of you by this time, especially north of I-70.  Keep in mind, with the front arriving so early in the day for our northern counties, the temperatures will be colder the further you go north.  For example, Lafayette and Muncie should only see highs in the mid 40s on Monday.  As you can see from the Fox Futurecast screen grab, light rain will be possible early Monday afternoon, especially from the city and north.

Monday Evening Drive

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Fox Futurecast during the evening drive

We know the evening drive means thousands of cars on our streets and interstates.  I’ve looked through just about every weather model you can find and most are supporting only rain through the hours of 5-7 PM.  This would mean rain on your way home from work with cloudy conditions.  It will also be very windy on the drive home.  Although the column of air above will be cooling rapidly in this time frame and we might see a snow flake mixed in with the rain, it’s just going to be too warm at the surface to see any significant snow showers at that time.

Where it starts to get tricky is after 7 PM.  Some weather models show a strong change over from rain to snow with very little “mixing” time between the two types of precipitation.  FOX_FuturecastHere’s a look at the RPM model at 8:30 PM Monday.  Colder air will be pushing in quickly behind the cold front and this should bring in snowfall chances to locations north of I-70.  Lafayette, you could see snowflakes as early as 6-7 PM. But those of you south of I-70 will see your best chance for snow the later we get into the evening.  So here in the city, I’d say our chance to start seeing snow could come between 7-9 PM.

Late Monday Evening

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By 10 PM Monday, we should all be seeing snow for the most part across the state.  At this hour, temperatures at the surface will be at or near the freezing mark and this should support snow as it falls all the way down through the atmosphere.  Snowfall will range from flurries for some of you to legitimate snow showers for others.  Any precipitation after midnight will also be snow across the state.  Specifically, we’ll see the best snow showers overnight in the northwestern part of the state thanks to lake effect snow.  This band will set up from Lafayette to Logansport up to Lake Michigan.

The intensity of our snow showers will wane greatly as we get past 4 AM.  Locally, some flurries cannot be ruled out for the morning drive but the bulk of our snow will have already fall.  But do expect some slick spots on the roads, especially overpasses and bridges.  Air temperatures will drop into the mid 20s by Tuesday morning and this could create some freezing on the roads.

HOW MUCH SNOW:

I’m sure the big question on your mind after reading all of this is.. “how much snow are we going to get?”

Snowfall Forecast

Glad you asked!  While it’s still a little too early to put a firm number out there for how much snow we’ll see, we can at least give you a range. Soil temperatures are still rather warm and this will cause a lot of our snow to melt pretty quickly after falling.  Yes, we could see a dusting on our roof lines, mailboxes, cars and bridges that may stick for several hours.  But most of our roadways will be looking at a light layer of snow as we start the day.  As mentioned above, with air temperatures dropping into the mid 20s, we’ll have to watch out for some slick spots during the morning drive.  Most of the weather models hint at .5″ of snow to maybe 1″ if we get some really good snow showers.

But I cannot stress this enough… THIS CAN CHANGE.  Be sure to check in with Meteorologist Jim O’Brien Monday morning for more information from the overnight weather model runs.  Chief Meteorologist Brian Wilkes and myself will have the official snow forecast starting at 4 PM on Monday. See you then!