For the 5th straight day Indianapolis reached a high temperature of at least 65°. That's the first time during the city's 145 year climate record that's happened before March 1st, and one of a few records that fall during this stretch.
As noted in this blog... when Indy hits 60°+ the next three days the record for 60° days in February and before March 1st will be broken too.
Not surprisingly, but daily temperature anomalies of 20-25° is also making this one of the warmest Februaries on record for the city too. Adding the balminess of today boosts the Indy's mean February temperature to 41.2°...which is nearly 10° warmer than average. There's still 7 days to go this month, but currently it's the 3rd warmest February on record with a chance to take top billing.
So when will the heat streak end? We're still targeting Friday evening for the arrival of a strong cold front. In advance of this front, and within the warm sector of a strengthening low pressure system, temperatures soar into the upper 60s/lower 70s Friday. It's too be determined how much storm development occurs along/and in advance of the cold front. But any storms that do develop bring an enhanced chance of damaging wind due to what will be a robust gradient wind field.
I can't stress this enough...while severe weather is a possibility, strong gradient wind gusts in excess of 45mph are probable for the entire region Friday and Saturday. This will be a 24-36 hour long duration wind event and I fully expect Wind Advisories and/or High Wind Warnings to be hoisted later this week. I won't be stunned to see non-thunderstorm wind damage occur due to the potential of 60mph gusts and the duration of high wind.
While temperatures drop to more typical late February levels this weekend, signals next week show another return of well above normal warmth. The image below shows height anomalies in the mid-levels of the atmosphere during the middle of next week. The warmer colors represent higher values and blue cooler represent lower values. A set up like this favors a southeastern ridge of high pressure and troughing in the central/western U.S. This places Central Indiana in the cross-hairs of active storm track in my opinion and ups the ante for heavy storms and more severe storm potential the weeks to come.