Quiet weather the next few days then our weather takes a massive turn bringing challenges to holiday travel

SOME COUNTIES UNDER A WATCH

The NWS has issued a Winter Storm Watch in effect from Thursday evening through Saturday morning but for only a portion of central Indiana.

That may be somewhat confusing but NWS explains that based on higher confidence in some of the weather impact the NWS chose to issue the watch.

AREAS OF HIGHER CONFIDENCE:
* PERIOD OF HIGH WINDS WITH A WIND SHIFT TO THE NORTHWEST THURSDAY 
  INTO FRIDAY
* EXTREMELY COLD ARCTIC AIR THIS WEEKEND WITH TEMPERATURES FALLING 
  BELOW ZERO
* DANGEROUS WIND CHILLS POSSIBLY DOWN TO -20F TO -30F THIS WEEKEND
* PERIODS OF SNOW SHOWERS ON THE BACKSIDE OF THE SYSTEM FRIDAY 
  INTO SATURDAY
AREAS OF LOWER CONFIDENCE:
* EXACT STORM TRACK AND WHERE AREAS OF HEAVY SNOWFALL COULD SET UP
* SNOWFALL AMOUNTS REMAIN VERY UNCERTAIN AT THE MOMENT, HIGHER 
  CONFIDENCE IN ACCUMULATING SNOW FURTHER NORTH AND WEST 
* TEMPERATURES THURSDAY INTO FRIDAY, COULD VARY SIGNIFICANTLY
  ACROSS SHORT DISTANCES THROUGH THE STATE DEPENDING ON TRACK OF
  THE SYSTEM

PEOPLE NEED TO STAY ALERT TO THE FORECAST AND THE POSSIBLE CHANGING
WEATHER CONDITIONS THROUGH THE WEEK. BE PREPARED FOR POTENTIAL 
TRAVEL IMPACTS. 

Multiple states are under advisories to our west and IF you are planning to head west for the holiday weekend we HIGHLY RECOMMED early departures. By Wednesday night, the NWS Winter Storm Severity Index is on the rise, meaning travel into these areas are going to be very difficult.

The rapid intensification of the low or ‘bombing out’, brings a massive wind field that will produce gusts over 50mph starting late Thursday. The storm strengthens overnight Thursday into early Friday morning with a sharp drop in the storms central pressure. Cold air will charge into the state changing rain to snow, creating treacherous travel before sunrise Friday morning.

Rain changes to snow overnight Thursday into Friday here and at this distance, making travel west challenging to say the least. When this level of arctic air hits, it hits like a wall and we feel that the temperatures could fall as much as 40-degrees in a matter of hours. Temperatures will crash from the low/mid 40s to the single digits by sunrise Friday.

Winds are to howl dropping visibilities as conditions here deteriorate into the early morning hours Friday. Gusts of 50 mph or higher are possible along with falling snow will produce whiteout, if not blizzard or near blizzard conditions. Bitter wind-chills of as much as -20° are possible by noon Friday and even go lower, to as much as much as -30° by Saturday morning.

The favored storm track at this time suggests threat the heaviest snowfall will be west/northwest through portions of Illinois and northwest Indiana, however amounts in central Indiana could be as high as a half-foot. This is one area that will be firmed up in the days ahead and where better data will allow a more specific snowfall forecast. Be sure to check in frequently these next few days for additional updates.