January ends, stormy pattern returns – more on the storm next week

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The preliminary numbers are impressive – January 2014 will end up among the coldest 7% on record with an average temperature of 19.7°.  That ranks 10th all-time and coldest in 35 years.

It was the 2nd snowiest January on record with 26.7″ down and shy of the snowiest set in 1978 with 30.6″


Light snow will increase in coverage and intensity Friday evening as a stalled front to our north will begin moving north later tonight.  The tempera rue spread at 5PM ranged from 25° in Lafayette to 34 in the city and 40° in Bloomington.  Snow will spread east then migrate north through night.  A period of snow to sleet to freezing drizzle is possible from the city creeping north through 5 AM is possible.  Slick roads are possible as some snow accumulation is expected.  The tempera rue in the city will move up again above freezing sometime after 2 AM.  Improvements will continue as temps rise toward sunrise in the city.  Travel north early Saturday will be more difficult in the colder air north.


RPM forecast radar 1 AM Saturday morning


Snowfall potential Friday night through Saturday


Will be in effect through 10 AM Saturday.  While temperatures creep up overnight we are expecting travel in the city early Saturday to have improved markedly.  Snow accumulation of 1” of less is possible in the city and north of the magic I-70 line the threat for slick travel is the highest.  Snow accumulation further north could reach 1” to 2” before a switch to sleet and freezing rain late then improve after sunrise there.  Snow will continue to fall in far northwest Indiana for the balance of the day bringing the highest snow amounts there.

Winter Advisories ADI

Winter Weather Advisory until 10 AM Saturday


Temperatures will climb into the lower to middle 40s Saturday afternoon as the center of low pressure track through the heat of the state.  Rain will once again increase during the late afternoon hours the begin a transition back to snow as colder air moves in from the northwest.  A cold front is forecast to pass the city near midnight changing rain to snow and possibly accumulating 1” to 3” before ending before sunrise Sunday.  It is possible roads will be slick early Sunday morning.

UPDATE LATE FRIDAY NIGHT: looks like front is slowing and allowing for potential of more snow Saturday night.  Increased the forecast to 2″ to 4″.



UPDATED: Snowfall potential Saturday night.




This storm is the strongest in weeks and taps more moisture care of the Gulf of Mexico.  Depicted almost 2 weeks ago – the consistency of the storm track from the Euro computer and the fact that the long-range models have continued to carry the storm in roughly the same location has been impressive.  Long range models churned out some impressive rain and snow numbers – leading to rather high forecast confidence.  Currently the 2 long-range models agree on about 1” of  liquid available for this storm – plentiful and indicates a potential for  foot of snow.  At this distance the higher resolution computer models have yet to get in the game and are needed when fine tuning a complex storm.  Still up for debate exact storm track, the rain/snow line and available moisture.


Storm to Watch next week


What a wonderful tool social media is to a meteorologist!  We can now stream constant weather information and keep you update with light speed.  This forecaster can’t stop talking weather so you will see my Facebook and Twitter posts rather regularly.  But the increase in social media and the availability of weather date on-line has become a little problematic – often confusing the public on impending weather events.  It seems that when there is a “potential” for a major weather event, more and more often data is presented and often taken out of context.

At FOX59, we were on the forefront of  long-range forecasting in Indianapolis bringing the first 7 day forecast here back in the middle 90’s.  With the increase in computer power and faster computers – we can now process and run more atmospheric model projections.  New models can take the information and run it hundreds of times creating a spread or ensemble forecast.  The average of the model or mean is the guidance that is used in making the most accurate forecast.  Often the “out-liers” of the computer spread are noted and even disseminated – leading to some confusion.

Snow storms are a devil to forecast and are never a “slam dunk” even hours before they arrive.  Snowfall amounts will change, often right up until the first flake falls – so take those early snow projections as they say with a grain of salt.  And don’t run out of salt because will need more of it before this winter is over.