Conditions are to deteriorate quickly Thursday evening as an arctic front roars into the state

Winter has officially begun and what timing. A winter storm warning is out for nearly the entire state of Indiana.

We’re not alone, nearly two dozen states are under some form of winter advisory. Including blizzard warnings in northwest Indiana.

A massive surge of arctic air into the Nation will spread dangerous cold, wind and snow through the central U.S. making early holiday travel hazardous starting late tonight out west and here Thursday night through Friday.

Conditions will change rapidly here late day Thursday as an arctic front charges east out of Illinois. A slightly earlier arrival could be problematic for the evening commute. Before the front, light rain falls at times through the day but a change to snow will be abrupt. Snow will begin to fall heavily near or after sunset Thursday.

The switch to snow will be rapid and heavy snow may fall for a few hours late Thursday into early Friday morning. At his time, area-wide snowfall of 4″ is possible.

The spread in snowfall (specific to Indianapolis) is still a rather large one ranging from 2.1″ to 8.6″ with a multi-model average of 3.9″.

There will be a sharp cutoff from west to east from 2am to 4 am Friday but even if it falls in the lighter side of snow totals, the winds will still create hazardous travel conditions. We will be updating snow totals later tonight.

The arctic air will hit like a wall. The temps plunge and heavy winds develop in the wake of the passing arctic front. Wind gusts will climb to nearly 50 mph by noon Friday with considerable blowing and drifting snow making for very dangerous travel. BITTER WIND-CHILLS nearing -30° expected.

Weather will slowly improve for the holiday weekend. Still bitterly cold and windy Saturday easing in time for Christmas Day.