The first of two cold fronts have passed central Indiana but the real cold is still coming. Since early Friday, the temperatures have been sliding – starting in the upper 40s (official high temperature of 49° came after 3 AM and steadily dropped into the upper 30s by sunset. The chill accompanied by a brisk northwest wind gusting over 25 miles per hour drove the wind chill down to near 30°.
Overnight low temperatures will dip into the middle and upper 20s Saturday morning with winds easing and skies clearing from north to south after 4 AM.
ALASKA WARMS – WE TURN COLD
Brace for the wind chill Saturday night and Sunday morning. A second cold front will pass Saturday around lunchtime – this will be the true leading edge of arctic air. Winds stiffen as the cold air flows into the state, gusting to 30 miles per hour. Saturday night the wind chill will lower into the lower teens and continue tumbling into the single digits to possibly below zero by Sunday morning.
Strong winds blowing across the Pacific Ocean are being deflected north toward Alaska, bringing warmer air there and dislodging the brutal cold that gripped them just days ago. Some locations in the interior of Alaska have warmed a whopping 30° – climbing back to the single digits. That bitter cold evacuated Alaska and the northwest territories of Canada flowing south to the eastern half of the U.S.
The buckle in the upper air winds delivers this cold – unseasonably cold for this time of the year. Projected high temperatures for Saturday and Sunday will make this the coldest weekend since mid-February and the expected afternoon high temperature of only 27° Sunday will be the coldest November afternoon since 2000. The cold blast will drive temperatures down 20 degrees from normal.
LAKE EFFECT SNOW
The cold air coming across the open waters of Lake Michigan will active the lake snow machine. Parts of southwest lower Michigan and northwest Indiana will be monitored for locally heavy snow bands developing Saturday evening. Be sure to check back especially if you are headed north for the Notre Dame game. Below is a forecast weather map for 4 PM Saturday. Note the snow band pointed in at South Bend
With the colder air comes drier air as well. This fall 11.55” of rain had fallen – with two, 2” rainfalls over the past three weeks. Fall 2013 currently stands as the 30th wettest on record. Very little precipitation is forecast to finish off the month of November, and travel could be good Wednesday before thanksgiving for most of the nation the exception the east. More below.
HOLIDAY TRAVEL OUTLOOK
The area of concern would be the southeast U.S. A stronger low pressure is forecast to ride the Gulf Coast and make a turn up the eastern seaboard. Currently, the system is expected to phase with the cold branch of the jet stream and strengthen up the east coast. Details will be ironed out in the coming days, but this could have an impact on holiday travel especially from the Mid-Atlantic into New England.
A second push of cold air is forecast Tuesday and Wednesday – not as strong as the one this weekend but insuring that this Thanksgiving will be chilly! Last year Turkey day temps reached 63° – warmest Thanksgiving in 31 years, this year we are forecasting a high of 37°, coldest since 2002 when the high only reach 36°.