Well, we have no significant changes to our forecast. First, we will address the next 2 days, which in general, nobody cares about, giving the coming winter storm! Seriously, today and tomorrow will feature mild air again, although the northern part of the state continues to experience what we warned of to start the week…which was the potential for temps to be held in check by the cool snowpack. That cooling may be mitigated a bit more today and tomorrow as south flow picks up, but still, it definitely something to pay attention to. But, the next two days are as we have had them advertised…above normal in most areas, with some well above normal temps.
Now, to what everyone REALLY wants to know about! We have made absolutely no change to our outlook for this coming winter storm. Track is still being handled in a tug of war fashion between two major computer models, and our thoughts are unchanged. Our next front should start to throw some affects into the state later tomorrow afternoon, with scattered showers developing and moving through in hit and miss fashion through Friday morning. We are keeping liquid precipitation will range from .1”-.3” over about 70% of the state. Then, cold air comes rushing back in behind the cold front, as a strong, powerful low lifts up along it. That will set the stage for significant snow accumulations from Friday midday through Saturday. Snow totals will depend heavily on the track of the low. One model takes the storm center more northeast, coming out of northern Mississippi, and the other farther east before heading north. The difference continues to be that of heavy snow in Indiana vs. heavy snow in Ohio. To be truthful, our bias at this time is more IN and west/NW Ohio, but we still are waiting for the storm track to be better defined. Snows can be quite significant out of this system, because it has tied into an ample moisture source, and the cold air is coming in with no major interference. The magnitude of the warm air push ahead of the system, and the strength of the winds will give us an indication that this storm is strong, and will have the potential to produce copious precipitation. We will put out our official snow totals for this storm tomorrow (Thursday) morning. We still feel this has the potential to be an epic winter storm for a large swath of the Eastern Corn belt, across Indiana, Ohio or both. Gusty winds will produce blowing snow on top of this. The heaviest snows will be from noon Friday through noon Saturday, but wrap around snows can linger through Sunday in northern areas.
Behind the system, cold air comes blasting back into the region, and stays through Tuesday. This will include low wind chills and a move below zero at least one night and perhaps more for true air temperatures.
The rest of the 10 day forecast features an attempt to moderate temps slightly next Wednesday, but as we have previously stated, the moderation will not hold a candle to this week, Strong southwest winds fuel that moderating push ahead of our next weather system, triggering a brief, slight thaw. But, we look for scattered rain showers changing to snow late next week for Friday into Saturday, followed by cold air through the 21st. The extended 11-16 day forecast period brings another strong front and potential aggressive winter storm for the 22nd and 23rd, as a large, powerful low exits the plains and moves east/northeast. We expect this to bring another round of rains followed by significant snow and arctic air.