Arctic fronts keep Indiana in deep freeze

Published: .
Updated: .
Sean Ash

The unrelenting winter continues to put up impressively cold numbers across Central Indiana.  With an average temperature of 24.5° winter 2013-14 currently ties for 10th coldest on record.  Tonight continues the chilly theme of the season with Wind Chill Advisories issued for a good chunk of the viewing area and lows that will be closer to records than averages.


Wind chills will be in the -5 to -15 range for early Wednesday, as lows near zero in Indianapolis and sub-zero north of I-70.


It should also be noted that light snow will break along an Arctic front later this evening.  Although light, this snow will effective to make roads slick south of I-70… with greatest impact likely along and south of a Bloomington-Columbus line and points south toward the Ohio River.  Add some extra time if you're traveling south in the morning.


A bright, bitter day is on tap Wednesday.  Wind chills likely remain sub-zero into midday with highs only in the mid-upper teens (average is 44).

STATS highs tomorrow

The steady diet of Arctic fronts continues Thursday, with frontal passage expected between 4am-7am.  Notice below how temperatures drop Thursday midday, despite a bright sky.  A potently cold air mass for sure considering it's late February.


Friday morning remains cold but quiet, though some snow is possible Friday night into Saturday.  A bigger storm continues to show up in medium range models, which have persistently distributed nearly an inch of liquid precipitation for Sunday into Monday.  It's too early to throw out snowfall and ice numbers, but if 1″ of liquid verifies significant snow/ice amounts would be likely in Central Indiana.


Below are the latest runs of the Euro (upper plot of image below) and GFS (lower plot of image below) models.  The Euro is colder (mainly snow) and the GFS is warmer (more ice), but it's not uncommon to have this type of separation this far out.  It's still five days, so significant changes are possible… if not likely.


Check back for updates and modifications to the track and forecast.  This could be a high impact event for travel by late weekend.


If you're searching for warmth you're not going to find here in the next 7 to 10 days.  March comes in on a cold note as temps drop back into the single digits (at least) next Tuesday morning.  But I do offer some glimmer of hope for the middle of the month.  Long range ensemble data and teleconnections suggest a "potential" pattern shift to near or above normal conditions.

(Image below courtesy of WX Bell Analytics)


Let's revisit this in a week or so to see how accurate this 16-day ensemble median temperature plot is.  Have hope… and patience!