Despite failing to produce area-wide six inch totals, Colder temperatures and additional snow showers will create slick conditions overnight
The SNOW SEASON struggles on here in central Indiana. Snow tallies Wednesday fell short of this storm’s potential. Only a few 6″ reports north we received and they were mainly in far, northcentral Indiana. The official total is 2.9″ for the city of Indianapolis despite over two-thirds of an inch liquid available. Heavy wet snow was still melting off late day.
Below images of the heavy snow falling around 9am Wednesday in Lawrence and in Geist as visibility dropped to mere feet. Even a few claps of thunder were entrained in the heavy snow bands, with thundersnow reported in Johnson and Madison counties.
The storm had all the earmarks of being a much larger snow producer but the MILD WINTER is still having a impact, on this storm and for the season overall.
The storm track, timing and type were all favorable for a half-foot total but it was the TEMPERATURE. What I call the four T’s of winter storm forecasting.
We haven’t had any real cold air in over four weeks. Wednesday marked the 29th consecutive full-day average at or above normal and we are currently having one of the warmest January’s on record. “Temperature”. The lack of any true, polar air and the absence of a polar jet getting involved with the system, prevented this storm from cranking out bigger totals.
With this much moisture available, the rain to snow ratio, which is typically 10″ of snow for every 1″ liquid was forecast lower to 7/8 to 1 and honestly we felt the was conservative enough. At that calculation, would have a very heavy, wet snow lending accumulations of 6″ possible. THIS STORM produced a rate of ONLY 3 or 5 to 1! We got a mere HALF the normal production. That’s rare and happens more often with SPRING-LIKE snow storms.
e will have occasional wraparound snow showers overnight and through the day Thursday bringing some localized light accumulation and some slick spots by early Thursday morning. Colder air is filtering in, so what is slushy underfoot becomes slick and icy later tonight as temps start falling below freezing later tonight.
The southwest U.S. storm systems will continue to approach in two-three day intervals, the next arrives later this weekend. True polar air is still lacking so at this time look for a combination of rain and snow chances returning and mainly on the light side. There are hints that much colder air could pay a visit next week. At this distance it will be nothing like what hit just before Christmas.