Another cold morning over Indiana, but we think you can argue there is some minor improvement. Subzero temperatures are not as widespread this morning, mostly limited to NE Indiana. High pressure moving away through the day may allow for temps to be about 5 degrees warmer today over most of the state, as some light south flow will be seen. However, the rest of our forecast pattern remains the same. Tonight, we have minor snows that cross Lake Michigan into Michigan and a few snow showers can work into northern Indiana, down to roughly the US 30 corridor. Accumulations will be minor, mostly a coating to an inch. South of there we see only clouds down to US 24, and farther south, mostly clear skies. Some sunshine will try and develop in the north by tomorrow midday at the latest, and the rest of the state will see good sun to start.
Clouds will increase tomorrow afternoon, and we have a quick moving clipper system coming in for tomorrow night and early Saturday. By tomorrow evening snow will start to move into the state, and we expect totals of a coating to 1” in most areas, with coverage of snow at nearly 70% of the state. We won’t rule out an occasional 1.5”-2” snow total, but those will be difficult to find…the moisture is just not there with this clipper to see that over a large area. The bigger story will likely be strong north winds and a brutal cold air push behind the system for the balance of the weekend. That strong north wind set up will trigger lake effect snows in northern Indiana, and clouds off and on through the rest of the state. Lake snows in the usual areas (Porter, Laporte, St. Joe and Starke and then on east north of US 30) could continue from Saturday afternoon all the way through Monday. Accumulations can be significant in those areas, particularly directly south of the Lake, and other areas will see just flurries and a few snow squalls from time to time. The rest of the state will succumb to the cold air, with temps will below normal, and we look for this cold air mass to be colder than what we saw come in over Christmas weekend. Low wind chills will be seen for at least the balance of Saturday and Sunday thanks to the strong winds.
Flipping the calendar into 2018 brings more cold air. We think we can string together an entire week of temps in the single digits and below zero. A couple of minor snows may pop up through the week…A coating to an inch for Wednesday with 60% coverage, and then another clipper with a coating to 2” for late Thursday night (4th) through Friday (5th). Generally, though, snow is not the headline for next week….cold air is.
In the extended window, we could be looking at another major winter storm arriving around the 7th-8th of January as a strong front sweeps in and moisture comes up the front from the south. IT is followed quickly by a similar surge for the 9th-10th. If these two come through in rapid succession as is currently being projected, we could be looking at significant snows as we move through the first part of January. Strong winds would be expected with any such frontal passage. Temperatures are expected to moderate ahead of those systems slightly, coming off the bitter cold levels we see next week, but we expect below normal temps right on into mid-January, which would mean that snow would be the primary precipitation type.