Bracing for another winter blast as March opens, cold pattern into spring

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WINTER STORM TAKES SHAPE

Whopper of a storm off the California coast and our Sunday/Monday winter storm. A winter storm watch here along with 20 plus other states under winter advisories. Storm is still off coast and 2 days away so still leads to much uncertainty but we are honing in.

Here is what we have right now – this will be a drawn out storm (36 hours) starting after 12 AM Sunday morning.

Satellite_Radar

When storm moves onshore Friday night better analysis can be made on storm track and intensity

Winter Advisories

A milder Saturday then a wind shift occurs late Saturday evening and arctic air settles in while sleet/freezing rain and snow develops well before sunrise Sunday.  Storm comes in pieces with possible lull early Sunday afternoon after snow/ice accumulation.

Accumulation of ice and sleet is likely but will really target south central Indiana as they remain in a shallow layer of colder air longer, initially.  A .25″ of ice is possible area wide with highest probability from  city south.

NWS ICE prob map

Probability of .25″ of accumulating ice

Then 2nd wave of moisture arrives with more snow before ending Monday late morning.

Snow numbers are impressive but remember not carved in stone.  Model average for the city 9″ with a range of 8″ to 10″ but only off 3 models. When storm moves inland, short-term computer models can get in the game. Band of heaviest snow through heart of state per current storm track is likely, based off the Euro and GFS storm tracks.

NWS Snow prob map

NWS Super ensemble probability of snowfall 8″ or more at 30%

Snowfall_foreast

Based on track and latest data

Rainfall_Comparison

Model average snowfall for the city

WINTER ENDS (SORT OF)

Winter 2013-2014 ends as the coldest in 35 years and among the coldest 6% ever. Meteorological winter is the winter months of December, January and February and this winter the average temperature of 24.2° ranks 8th coldest ever.  The cold has been tenacious with 12 calendar days below zero – most since 1983-1984 with 15.

Winter Stats

RECORD BREAKING SNOW

Winter 2013-2014 will end as the snowiest on record with a total of 52.2” – however we are currently in 3rd place all-time for the snow season (October through May).  We only need 5.9” of snow to tie the snowiest all-time of 58.2” set in 1981-1982.

TOP 3 SNOWIEST EVER:

1981-1982 (58.2”)

1977-1978 (57.9”

2013-2014 (52.3”)

MORE COLD COMING

After the winter storm Sunday and Monday bitter cold returns – with the potential of a below zero temperature early Tuesday mooring.  It has been 30 years since a march has produce such cold and would easily break the record for the date of 2° set in 1873.  Our current forecast of -4° would shatter the record and mark only the 11th time ever with a subzero low in March.  The coldest March temperature ever occurred march 2, 1980 at -7°.  With new snow and clear skies we could challenge the all-time record!

30 DAY OUTLOOK – AND SPRING 2014

The dominate weather pattern that has taken hold (since mid-October) will rule through the month of March with below normal temperatures likely.  Should March end colder than normal it would mark the 6th straight month below normal.

30 Day outlook March

March temperature forecast

Many have asked will this cold winter be a sign of a cold Spring.  not always interlocked but current pattern trends should persist to bring above average forecasts confidence that this Spring will trend colder than normal.  Below the 3 month temperature outlook from the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center.

30 Day outlook Spring

Spring 2014 Temperature outlook