COLDEST OF THE SEASON
The fresh half-foot of snow cover and clearing skies early Monday morning lead to frigid temperatures and the coldest of the season in Indianapolis. The low of 13-degrees was the coldest since last February for the city while many outlying areas feel to the single digits.
The weekend storm was felt across much of the nation and at the mid-way point of meteorological winter, the largest snow cover of the season for the continental U.S. in 35 days! The 44.6% coverage ranks third largest of the season Monday morning.
JET STREAMS ARE ACTIVE
The arctic jet stream is still absent (for now) but the southern branch jet stream very active. We are watching the potential for travel trouble early Thursday as weak low pressure races east from the south-central Plains. With warmer air surging into and cover an expansive snowfield, could we have a period of freezing rain, sleet and even snow Thursday morning? The outlook is favoring it at this time and we will monitor.
Meanwhile, in the extended forecast there is a renewed threat for a large winter storm again this weekend. This storm is more complex than last weekends and includes energy from the polar branch of the jest stream. Bitter cold is on the move and indications are that these two jet streams may phase producing a far reaching, wind driven winter storm. Way to early to talk snowfall numbers due to a more elusive rain/snow line but it will be the highlight of the forecast beyond Thursday. We'll be watching and bring more through the week.