FEBRUARY OPENS COLD
The official low early Friday morning dipped to 5° in Indianapolis. 1 degree shy of the coldest of the season but the coldest open to a February in 17 years. The sunshine looked good but the thermometer never reach 20° in the afternoon – only topping 16°. This was the coldest afternoon in Indianapolis in just over 2 years – January 21st 2011 13° high.
CLOUDS AND COLD FIRST
Friday evening will start clear but changes are underway as a fast-moving “clipper” system races in from the west. After a quick dip this evening temperatures will begin to rise. With the rising temperatures the chance for snow will increase. Temperatures may dip again into the upper single-digits to low teens before rising. A southwest wind has combined to produce a wind chill Friday evening of around zero. The wind will remain brisk tonight but the wind chill will not be as cold as Friday morning’s (-10° to -15°).
SNOW ARRIVES PRE-DAWN
It may take a few hours later tonight to prime this dry air for snowfall but with time snow will increase in coverage and intensity around sunrise Saturday. Flurries will arrive after 2AM in the city with a general snow falling starting from 4AM to 7AM.
Snow may come down fairly quickly early Saturday the quit sharply by early afternoon. The fast-moving system will be in and out but lay down a healthy coating of snow.
We used a 7 model snowfall average of about 3″ down in the city by early Saturday afternoon. Amounts range from 1.5″ to 3.3″ but we currently favor a higher total. While this type of system does not often have much moisture to work with it can overcome the lack of moisture with upper air lift and cold air. typically a rain to snow ratio runs 10 to 1 (for every inch of rain 1″ of snow) this colder air system may bring a fluffy snow with a ratio of 15 to 1. Locally 4″ of snow could fall in the city and points north. A band of 3″ to 5″ is possible just north of the low pressure track and underneath the favorable upper-air support. South of the low track very little snow may accumulate.
Lingering snow showers are likely through Saturday evening with a new batch of snow showers to arrive again on Sunday. Little additional snow accumulation is likely for Sunday. A series of these fast-moving “clippers” may streak across the area over the next 5 days. They are tricky to forecast so be sure to check in again for updates.