Central Indiana continues below freezing Tuesday – a stretch of 9 days and as of 6 PM 234 consecutive hours –the longest in four years. The cold spell rolls on as temperatures dip below zero for the 3rd straight night! Early morning low temperatures Tuesday were brutally cold at 20° below zero in several cities. Kokomo hit -20° Tuesday morning – coldest in 5 years and only the 21st time ever. Other area low temperatures included -20° Logansport, Monticello and -18° at Peru. The -6° low temperature in the city marked the 12th below zero day this season – most in 30 years (1983-1984 15 total) and ties for 11th most all-time on record. The winter of 1976-1977 produced the most subzero temps at 24.
The month is running very cold – at 12° per day below normal, it’s currently the coldest February in 32 years and ties for the 11th coldest February all-time. This month continues the stretch of months below normal now at 5. To date winter 2013-2014 (since December 1st) ranks as the 8th coldest at 23.9°, the coldest in 35 years!
BITTER COLD BACKS OFF
The frigid temperatures will ease through the rest of the week – climbing back into the 20s Wednesday and Thursday. Snow is forecast to arrive Friday and with it the chance of reaching or breaking above the freezing mark.
With 230% the normal snow fall to date – a break from snow removal would be welcome. To date 45.1” of snow has fallen – 25.6” above normal and the 3rd snowiest winter to date on record. Most of the week will remain snow free with the exception of a few flurries potentially Wednesday and Thursday. Snow chances will be on the rise as 2 systems ride through the state to open the weekend. Currently forecasts continue to support an accumulating snowfall here Friday and again later Saturday and Saturday night. Amounts look light at this distance with potentially a few inches of snow – but that will be revised later in the week.
WARM SURGE NEXT WEEK?
A push of pacific air is forecast to reach the Midwest later next week per several runs of our extended or Medium Range Forecast models. With growing confidence that the warm up is likely, it will be watched carefully as rain and melting snow could be underestimated at this distance and impact the magnitude of the warm up. Temps in the 50s or warmer are being generated for next week – stay tuned. This is by no means a signal that the winter pattern has broke for good. One of the major factors in driving the winter pattern has been the very warm Pacific waters off the west coast. The warm waters have and per the extended forecast models will continue to impact the dominate North American upper air pattern. Warming looks brief and the cold pattern looks to extend into the month of March.