Holiday travel headache, east coast storm and a new cold blast
NEW COLD SURGE TONIGHT
The stretch of cold has been impressive – November temperatures at this time of the year should reach 47° – this is the 4th straight day that the afternoon high temperature was 15 to 20 degrees below normal. The November 23rd to 25th 3 day spread ranks 8th coldest for the time period on record with an average temperature of 24.0!
Early season arctic air is on the move again Tuesday night and sweeps through the state by early Wednesday morning. This is the 3rd push of early Arctic air so far this season – and will once again drive temperatures into the teens by early Wednesday morning. Combined with stronger winds, bitter wind chills in the single digits are likely Wednesday morning.
LAKE EFFECT SNOW MACHINE TURNS ON
Strong arctic winds will blow “full fetch” uninterrupted over the length of Lake Michigan starting late Tuesday night. Lake effect snow begins when the water temperature is 16 to 20 degrees warmer than the air one mile up. The warmer water creates buoyant air that rises in the atmosphere needed for the clouds to build and eventually produce the snow on shore. The combination of the strong cold push and the favorable full fetch winds is a great set up for locally heavy snowfall in the favored lake snow belt regions. The winds are forecast to direct the snow showers as far south as central Indiana with a potential of some accumulation in the city and nearby. Plan on some vigorous snow showers early Wednesday and potentially some slick spots.
EAST COAST STORM
Over a dozen states are bracing for wintry weather from Tennessee northeast to Maine and the same powerful storm will deliver heavy rain, wind and even severe thunderstorms. Expect a travel nightmare for the busiest travel day of the year as the major cities of the east are expecting to see incredible rainfall. Washington D.C., New York City, Philadelphia and Boston will pick up 2” or more of rainfall and wind gusts of 45 miles per hour.
Further west in the storm’s cold sector, snow will pile up from Nashville north through Pittsburgh to Buffalo, New York. Accumulation of 4” to 7”combined with gusty winds will create white out conditions Wednesday afternoon and night.
COLD ON THE THANKSGIVING MENU
Clouds are forecast to race into central Indiana by sunrise Thursday morning preventing the temperatures from really crashing but the forecast of 18° Thursday morning will make this only the 18th time, only 12% on record, that a Thanksgiving opens this cold. Afternoon temperatures are only forecast to reach the middle 30s – first time this cold since 2002 (36°) and possibly the coldest since 1989 (31°)