Thursday, April 14, 2016

Perfect Spring Weather

Hi, everyone!  It has been a long time since I last updated this blog.  It is busy, busy as I am rounding out the spring semester of my junior year of college.  Where has the time gone?  After this summer, I will be done with my meteorology program and will attend a workshop in Starkville, MS in August to prepare me for my certification exam.  I am also obtaining a Geosciences degree and will not finish that up until a year from now.  It is mind blowing to me how quickly these past few years have gone.  It's very exciting and and scary at the same time to see the end of the college road in sight.

Let's talk about this amazing weather!  What a change from from last week.  April has been VERY chilly, running nearly 7° below average.  Interesting enough, March ended 7° above normal.  The rest of April looks MUCH different than the first half.  Warmer than average temperatures look to dominate our pattern over the next few weeks, and it's also a much drier pattern, at least through the medium range.  This is great news for the farmers!

We have a blocky weather pattern in place, with the jet stream energy shunted far away from us.  An upper level low will continue to meander and weaken across the South over the next couple days.  This will try to bring a few clouds our way, mainly in southern Indiana, but we should stay dry.  As we head into the weekend, a classic Omega Block sets up.  What is that?  It is called an omega block because it looks like the greek symbol omega on a map.  Check out the map below.  It is where there is a ridge of high pressure with low pressure on both sides of the ridge.  We are going to be in the "sweet spot" with calm weather conditions - sunny and warm!  This will set us up for a perfect weekend.  

Here are the forecast specifics for the next several days....

TODAY: Sunny skies and pleasant temperatures.  Highs 65-70°.

TONIGHT: Mostly clear and not as cold.  Lows ranging from the lower to upper 40s.

FRIDAY: Mostly sunny.  Warmer.  Highs 70-73°.

FRIDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear.  Lows in the upper 40s to near 50.

SATURDAY-SUNDAY: Sunny skies.  Warm temperatures.  One of the nicest spring weekends you will ever find around here.  Highs in the low to middle 70s.  Lows in the upper 40s.

At this time, it does not appear our next chance of rain will arrive until about next Thursday.  No "major" systems are showing up anytime soon.  The long range models are showing a warmer than normal pattern for the late part of the month, and you can see this on the NOAA CPC 8-14 day outlook valid from April 21-27.  Here is the temperature forecast during that time....

Here is the precipitation outlook for the same time-frame.....

I appreciate you checking my latest blog update.  Hope you all are able to enjoy the great weather over the next several days!  

Thursday, February 11, 2016

A Frigid Weekend Coming - Snow Chances Too

Good evening, everyone.  Hope your week is going swell!  The weekend is almost here!!  It has been a very wintry week around here with bone-chilling cold and some off and on snow to deal with.  For those sick of the cold, I see a big warm-up coming late next week.  Until then, more wintry times to get through in the coming days.

I expect some light snow to impact mainly the southwest half of the state early Friday morning.  This will not amount to much at all, but some slick spots cannot be ruled out.  As we get into Friday afternoon and evening, additional snow showers are possible.  This will be another decent lake-effect snow event for far northern Indiana, a heads up if travelling that way.  Also, I would watch for a lake effect snow band to extend a pretty far distance into eastern Indiana tomorrow night.  Temperatures will drop into the single digits for Saturday morning, and expect highs to only reach the teens.  BRR!  At least we will see sunshine.

Changes start to roll in for the second half of the weekend.  We have a complicated forecast from Sunday to Monday night time-frame.  I will share my thinking based off the current data, but know that the data is still all over the place and lacking consistency from run to run.

It appears we will see a wave of light snow push in for Sunday (Valentines Day).  The trend is to speed up the arrival of the snow, now coming in around daybreak and continuing through the afternoon Sunday into the evening.  At this time I am uncertain on how much snow will fall, but at least a couple/few inches definitely appears possible.  Expect slick travel Sunday.

The trend is to develop a stronger storm to our south as we head into Monday, with the low pressure tracking through the Tennessee Valley Monday and going up the northeast Tuesday.  Will this system stay mostly to our south and not impact us?  Does it track farther north and bring decent precipitation into central and southern Indiana Monday?  The trend (if you can pick out a trend, lol) seems to be for a stronger low tracking farther north, which would bring precipitation at least into southern Indiana.  Here is the latest run of the GFS....

Graphics courtesy of WeatherBell Analytics. Taken at verbatim, there is a lot of rain with this storm to our south with a stripe of light snow on the north end across southern Indiana, and a band of heavy snow towards the Appalachians.  The models likely are likely struggling on how to handle the temperature profiles.  The EURO model brings precipitation much farther north and puts down decent snowfall across central and southern Indiana on Monday into Monday night.  I drew a map showing where the Euro puts the snow band for Monday:

Note that is only from ONE run of the model.  The next run may show no snow for us... who knows. That said, I think the latest run from the EURO makes the most sense given the pattern. Let's give the models another couple days to really show some better run to run consistency.  Again, there is still chance at this point that we see little or nothing out of this - if the "main storm" on Monday stays south.  That said, my gut tells me this will go farther north and I think central and southern sections of the state are "on the table" for some wintry precipitation out of this.  To sum it up...

Snow looking likely most of Sunday into Sunday night.  Perhaps a 1-3" event, with more north.  Amounts still questionable.  

After that wave of snow pushes out early Monday, we will have to watch to see what happens with the developing storm to our south.  The strength and track of this low is uncertain.  

I will post more updates on my Facebook page.   Have a great evening!

Monday, January 18, 2016

1/18 Monday Evening Update

Good evening, everyone.  I don't think I have to tell you its frigid outside.  BRR!  Highs struggled to reach the teens today, and tonight is yet another night with temps flirting with that 0 degree mark.

Two chances of snow this week.  One tomorrow night and Wednesday, and a stronger system to watch for Friday.  The storm for Friday will be dependent upon the eventual track of the storm and many other factors, but portions of the Ohio Valley have the potential to see a high impact winter storm during that time frame.  

First things first, let's talk about the system for tomorrow night and Wednesday:  Since yesterday, the models have trended quite a bit south with this system.  This puts the highest snow totals across western and south-central Kentucky, where several inches could fall.  Snow pushes in after midnight Tuesday night from west to east, with snow showers across central and southern portions of Indiana during the Wednesday morning commute which will make for slick travel.  Snow pushes out by late morning Wednesday.  Here is the latest snowfall map from the NAM, which is pretty close to my thinking for this event:
Map courtesy of Pivotal Weather

A model average generally has around 2" or so for Indianapolis.  Many areas across southern and southwest Indiana should see a solid 1-3". Isolated higher totals are possible across far southwest Indiana.  Heaviest in Kentucky.

Now to storm #2.  Models continue to show a storm system that would work through the Tennessee and Ohio Valley during the Thursday night through Friday night time-frame.  The northward extent of the storm is uncertain.  It would not take much of a shift in the track to put much more of Indiana in the line for impactful winter weather on Friday.  Models are indicating the potential for very heavy snow for the mid-Atlantic region extending into New England as the storm really becomes a powerhouse to our east.  Just know at this time there is potential for an impactful winter storm from parts of the Ohio Valley eastward through the mid-Atlantic and into the Northeast.  Data also suggests parts of the Ohio Valley could see some freezing rain and sleet in the mix as well.  Before I conclude this post...the evening run of the GFS just came in and is much farther north with moisture extent Friday, putting most areas along and south of I-70 in the line for accumulating snows.  Going to be fun to watch this storm over the next few days.  00z GFS posted below:

Courtesy of Tropical Tidbits

Have a great night and see you again tomorrow.  

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Watching Weekend System Rain to Snow - Interesting Pattern Setting Up for Mid-January!

Thursday, January 7....Good evening!  Rain will arrive this evening and sticks around for Friday.  The steadiest rain pushes out in the morning, however showers will hang around during the day.

All eyes on the weekend as a storm system moves through the Ohio Valley.  Rain arrives Saturday afternoon and continues through the evening.  As the low pulls north and east, colder air wraps in changing the rain over to snow showers late Saturday night with wind-driven snow showers expected across the state as you wake up Sunday morning.  Sunday will be a BRUTAL day with temps falling through the 20s with breezy conditions.  Snow showers will diminish during the afternoon.  HOW MUCH SNOW??  I still do not like to get too specific given the uncertainty in the exact track of this storm.  The models have been struggling with this storm system but seem to be getting a better handle on it.  That said, this forecast is still subject to changes.  At this time, it appears northwest Indiana could pick up at least a few inches out of this.  For the Indy metro and points south throughout southern Indiana, a general coating to 1" looks possible.  The farther north and west you go from Indy, the better the chance to receive more snow.  That is solely based off the current data.  I will be monitoring the overnight data and will post updates.  By tomorrow at this time I should have a pretty good idea how things will play out.  

COLD is the story next week.  Another arctic front will arrive on Tuesday likely bringing snow showers with it.  This will reinforce the cold air through the middle of the week.  Wednesday is looking to be the coldest day of the week.

The pattern is looking loaded with potential for fun when it comes to wintry weather around here for the middle of January.  A NICE blocking pattern showing up.  This is a pattern that can bring good winter storms in the Ohio Valley.  Will be interesting to see how things play out over the next few weeks.  

Thanks for reading!  I will have updates on my Facebook weather page and on Twitter regarding this weekend's rain to snow set-up as new model runs come in tonight.  

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Nice Sunday Before Rain Returns Next Week - Colder Changes Towards Thanksgiving?

SATURDAY NOVEMBER 14, 2015.....Hello everyone.  Here is hoping this post finds you doing well.  We started out today with the coldest readings of the season thus far.  Indianapolis dipped down to 26 this morning!  The temperature reading for Indianapolis is usually a bit warmer than surrounding areas due to the urban heat island effect - and even the "warmer" location dropped into the middle 20s last night.  Many outlying spots were in the low 20s this morning.  Very cold!!  Despite the very cold start, what a fantastic mid-November day this was.  Absolutely sunny skies, finally a day with very little wind, and temperatures that topped out in the middle to upper 50s.

Temperatures tonight will not be as cold despite clear skies.  We have a warmer air mass advecting into the area on a light south/southwest flow.  Expect lows Sunday morning to be a good 10-13 degrees warmer than what we had to deal with this morning.  Sunday looks spectacular!  Expect plenty of sunshine with highs reaching the low to mid 60s.  NOTE:  Last year during this same time we were dealing with early season snow...southern Indiana saw 3-5" of snow during the 16-17 of November 2014.

We have some mild and wet weather on the way for this upcoming week.  There will be a storm system across the Plains that will lift north and bring the potential for a good deal of rain around here.  Check out the strong southerly flow setting across our area during this time....

It appears scattered showers will begin to break out across the area on Monday, with chances increasing as we head deeper through the day.  Rain looks likely for Tuesday, with a break possible late in the day and evening hours before the rain really picks up late Tuesday night into Wednesday.    It appears that the rains will begin to pull east of here late in the day Wednesday with drying conditions Wednesday night.

How much rain could fall during this time-frame?  Anywhere from 1-3", with the higher totals the farther west you go.  Even heavier totals of 3-5" possible west and south of Indiana.

Once we get beyond this system, I do believe we will see a pattern that gradually takes on a more wintry look.  Thanksgiving week has had my attention for the past couple weeks as blocking develops over the eastern Pacific.  I think we slip into a colder than normal period that may feature our first flakes of the season at least, but can we get something more than that?  Cannot rule that out. Initially behind our system this week we will have seasonable cool air.  It appears we will have another system coming in around next weekend, and behind that is when make our way towards a potentially colder than normal period of weather.  Here is a look at the GFS ensembles 5-day average temperature anomalies from the 24 to the 29th.....

That shows much of the country dealing with colder than average temperatures for Thanksgiving week.  Now here is what the Canadian model ensembles are showing during this same time-frame...

We will see how this all plays out.  Nothing set in stone by any means, but it appears rather likely that we are going to slip into a period of colder than average temperatures during the Thanksgiving holiday time-frame.  This has been my thinking for quite some time.

Thanks for reading.  Have a fantastic rest of the weekend!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Snow Chances On the Rise for Monday - Heavy Snow in southern Indiana??

A rare late night update tonight to make you aware that I am closely monitoring snow chances for central and especially southern Indiana late tomorrow night through the Monday evening time-frame.  Considering the noted changes in the data, I do not want anyone to feel caught off guard.  On Friday, it really looked like the bulk of any snow would stay well to the south of Indiana..with perhaps a little snow grazing southwest Indiana.  Things have certainly changed in the past 24 hours.  The model trends today and tonight are taking the snow much farther north.  To show you how much things have shifted, I put together snapshots of the last three runs of the GFS.  Shifting northward with each run....

 The model runs coming in tonight are all in very good agreement on our system for Monday bringing snowfall much farther north than earlier thought.  Since we are within about 24 hours of the event getting underway, I will go ahead and show you what some of the model data is suggesting as far as snow accumulations.  As always, I give the disclaimer that this is just forecast guidance!  

NAM model snowfall accumulations:

Graphic courtesy of Earl Barker's model page - WxCaster

This model suggests significant snow accumulations for far southern Indiana with light snow making it to about a Terre Haute to Martinsville to Franklin line.

GFS (American) model snowfall accumulations:

Graphic courtesy of Earl Barker's model page - WxCaster

GFS also suggesting significant snow amounts for far southern Indiana with light snow making it as far north as about I-70.  The entire state of Kentucky gets HAMMERED!

GEM (Canadian model) snowfall accumulations:

The Canadian model also shows heavy snow accumulations in far southern Indiana with light snow making it to the I-70 corridor.

Graphic courtesy of TropicalTidbits

ECMWF (European model) snowfall accumulations:

And the last model for the 00z data suite is in...very similar to all the other models.  Heavy snow in extreme southern Indiana.. with the potential for light snow to make it as far north as the I-70 corridor.  

Forecast uncertainties I have is how far north the snow will go....and the amount of dry air that will eat into the northern extent of the snow.  I will say this.  A lot of the models posted assume snow totals at a 10:1 snow ratio.  With very cold air in place, this will be a high snow ratio event.  With higher snow ratios you get more snow with less moisture.  Essentially "more bang for your buck."  While the cold air helps for higher snow ratios, the cold/dry air mass can also make it tough for the precipitation to overcome the dry low levels.  This will mainly be a potential issue for the northern extent of the precipitation shield.   

Bottom line: I want to be clear that I feel more and more confident that this will be a significant snowfall for portions of far southern Indiana.  The farther south you are, the more snow you will see.  ALL areas south of I-70 are now in play for the potential for some accumulating snow, with the highest confidence across far southern Indiana where this could really end up being a decent snowstorm!

Timing: It appears the snow will push into southwest Indiana at some point after midnight Sunday night, and begin to expand across southern Indiana by daybreak Monday.  The system will be at its peak throughout the day Monday with snow falling across the southern half of the state...with heavy snow possible in far southern Indiana.  There will be a sharp cut-off on the northern edge and where that sets up is to be determined.  The snow would not exit southern Indiana until at some point Monday evening into Monday night.  

Are the models done trending north?  Hmm.  Will be interesting to see if there are any additional shifts in the data tomorrow.