SkyTrak 13 Weather Blog

Snow Showers After Record Heat - Skytrak13 Weather Blog

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Kelly Greene

Well, after a week of temperatures above 60 degrees, it’s back to winter this weekend. In fact, temperatures will be running below average with about a 40 degree temperature drop from yesterday’s record breaking high of 74 degrees. A few snow showers are falling this morning, wrapping around the back side of an area of low pressure in the Great Lakes.

Light accumulation is taking place on grassy surfaces with temperatures holding near steady in the mid 30s.

It will be blustery too with gusty winds and wind chill values in the teens.

Severe Threat is Over - SkyTrak13 Weather Blog 2/24/17

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Angela Buchman

Over the last several days, most of central Indiana was under the threat for severe weather today. There were a few severe thunderstorms across southeastern Indiana, but most of the state thankfully didn't have severe storms. There are several reasons this wasn't a widespread severe weather event. The overall storm system was weaker and this was one of the limiting factors. Skies were mainly cloudy and there were a few storms that developed earlier than expected. This meant the atmosphere was more stable and "used up". Where there weren't storms early and where there were a few more severe weather ingredients in place, there were a few severe storms. These storms impacted North Vernon, Greensburg, Brookville, Osgood, Connersville and Liberty.

The focus now shifts to a 40 degree temperature drop. We will go from a record breaking 74 degrees on Friday afternoon to a much colder 33 degrees early Saturday. Saturday will be mostly cloudy and windy, with some snow showers. We are not forecasting any accumulations. We are forecasting a shock to the system, after a week with highs in the 60s and 70s.

Severe Threat Diminishing

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Sean Ash

While Severe Thunderstorm Watches remain in place over parts of Central Indiana... the potential of additional severe storms continues to diminish.

Storm reports the past three hours have been focused on the eastern-southeastern corner of the state. A 50 mph gust and some 1" hail reports occurred in axis of storms that intensified in air that had been untouched by rain/storms earlier today.

The cold front and associated windshift is now entering western Indiana. This eventually drives non-severe storms out of the state before midnight. I've dropped all levels on our threat index as the sun is setting and potential instability diminishes.

Updates to come - Sean Ash

Wild 24 Hours Of Weather

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Sean Ash

Buckle up friends. Heavy storms around Central Indiana this evening and possibly a few severe thunderstorm gusts or large hail. The threat for severe weather is low but possible until around 10pm. However expect heavy rain, gusty wind, and lightning if you're going to be out this evening.

Much colder air invades tonight and we're fully expecting snow showers and locally heavier snow squalls whipping around first thing Saturday morning. You're going to get smacked in the face with a blustery wind and temperatures near freezing... which produces wind chills in the teens.

Bottom-line it's going to "feel" 50 to 60 degrees colder Saturday than the record warmth in the 70s today. Stay weather aware this evening - Sean Ash

3:45pm Update - Severe T-Storm Watch Issued SkyTrak13 Weather Blog 2/24/17

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Angela Buchman

A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect until 10pm for most of central Indiana.

The SkyTrak13 Weather Team continues to track 2 lines of storms. There is still the threat for strong/severe storms with lightning, hail and damaging winds. If you have Friday afternoon or evening plans, these storms may interrupt those plans briefly. The storm threat will end by 11pm and much colder air will be the weather story for the weekend. Stay tuned for more updates.

Strong to Severe Storms Still a Threat Today - Skytrak13 Weather Blog

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Kelly Greene

The Skytrak13 Weather Team has been talking about the potential of strong to severe thunderstorms today since last weekend. Today is a day to monitor watches, warnings and radar and you can do that by checking the Skytrak13 Weather App. It will send out notifications and updates on the latest storms in central Indiana and you can also pull up the radar to see if storms are in your neighborhood. With the dynamic set up today and a strong cold front, there is a potential for damaging winds, in excess of 59 mph or higher. A few isolated tornadoes will be possible.

The time frame for stronger storms is from 3pm-9pm.

The record of 71 degrees set in 2000, has already been broken with temperature at 72 degrees in Indy.

Update on Severe Threat Friday - SkyTrak13 Weather Blog 2/23/17

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Angela Buchman

The Storm Prediction Center still has all of central Indiana under the risk for severe weather on Friday. From Indianapolis east, this is at a level 3 out of 5 or an enhanced risk for severe weather. The western part of the state is at a 2 out of or a slight risk. Any storm that does develop could be severe on Friday. The SkyTrak13 Weather Team is particularly concerned with storms that develop on their own and ahead of the main line of rain and storms. These storms have the best chance to rotate or produce a tornado.

The biggest threat is for damaging wind, but hail and tornadoes are also possible. Non-thunderstorm wind gusts 40-50+mph are possible too. This shows the strength of this storm system. Ahead of the system, we will have highs in the upper 60s and lower 70s on Friday afternoon. Behind the storm system, temperatures fall 40 degrees and into the lower 30s by early Saturday.

We are highlighting 3pm to 11pm as the timeframe for storms and that threat for severe weather. Have a way to get watches and warnings on Friday. The SkyTrak13 Weather app is a great tool for your phone if you are on the go.

Risk For Severe Weather Friday - SkyTrak13 Weather Blog 2/22/17

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Angela Buchman

There have been 6 60 degree days in a row and there will be 2 more...Thursday and Friday. A strong storm system will move into central Indiana late Friday and change our weather pattern. Strong winds 40-50mph, a 40 degree temperature drop and the threat for severe storms are all possible. The SkyTrak13 Weather Team will be tracking this system closely and we will keep you updated on timing and thunderstorm development. Friday will be one of those days that you will want to check with us for updates.

Most of central Indiana is under an enhanced risk for severe weather. On a scale of 1 to 5, we are at a 3.

The biggest threat is for damaging winds. Isolated tornadoes, hail and heavy rain are also possible.

Friday will start dry. If central Indiana gets some sunshine, the atmosphere will quickly destabilize. This is where we could get a few severe storms developing ahead of a line of rain and storms, as early as Friday afternoon. The line of rain and storms is forecast to move through central Indiana between 7pm and 11pm. There will be some changes to the timing and we will keep you updated.

Warmest Day In Four Months

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Sean Ash

UPDATE: Indianapolis hit 69° this afternoon. That's over 25° warmer than average and just shy of the daily record high of 70°. This marks the warmest temperature in the city since November 18th of last year when it was 75°.

This also marks the 6th straight day at/above 65° in Indy which adds to the record length for that to happen before March 1st.

Also of note are the total number of 60° days this month (8) which the monthly record set in 1976. A record that falls Thursday when temperatures return to near 70 degrees again.

Another warm weather record set to tumble Friday afternoon is the total number of 60° days before March 1st. Currently it's 12 days but we'll finish with at least 14 this week to eclipse a record that's lasted for 137 years.

In case you've missed it... this heat streak ends with a bang Friday night. I discussed the cold front and severe potential it brings in a forecast blog earlier today.

Update On Severe Weather Potential Friday

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Sean Ash

Based on latest data sets here are my thoughts on Friday and the uncertainties that exist:

Timing appears to mainly between the hours of Friday 3pm-12am Saturday.

Main threat would come from straight-line wind (60+mph) along a fast-moving line of storms primarily along the cold front. If this line materializes it poses an enhanced risk of wind damage and gusts exceeding 60+mph.

However there is also tornado potential if any cells can develop in advance of the front...and latest indications suggest that's a possibility in Central Indiana. The window for tornadoes is more likely confined to 3pm-7pm (give or take) as any individual cells would likely merge into the main line quickly.

It should be noted that storm movement will likely be 50+mph and storms may be traveling at near interstate speeds. So please be weather aware and keep up with the forecast the next 48 hours.

As with any set up this is highly changeable. If we were stay cloudy for most of the day it could really limit overall storm coverage. We’ve also tried our best to pound home the fact that the entire viewing area will experience non-thunderstorms gusts over 40mph Friday into Saturday.

Storms Arrive Friday

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Chuck Lofton

We have seen it all this month, with a near record stretch of weather the past few days. Today, after the fog burns off, we'll see a high of 69 degrees, just a degree shy of the all time record for this date. Remember, it is not supposed to be this warm at this time of the year but there are some changes that logiclly would happen when cold air tries to push in. The Storm Prediction Center in Norman Oklahoma has Indiana under an enhanced risk of severe weather Friday afternoon and evening. Why/ The dynamics of sinking cold air and rising warm air will combine to make things possibly tough in the enhanced zone area.

Here is a portion of that statement from SPC.

 Low-level moisture is forecast to slowly increase on strong
   southerly flow with boundary-layer dewpoints forecast to range 52-58
   degrees F.  Although cloud cover will retard strong surface heating,
   cooling mid-level temperatures to around -19 degrees C will
   contribute to weak buoyancy (ranging from 250-1000 J/kg MUCAPE)
   within the northward expanding warm sector during the day.  As
   strong forcing for ascent (DCVA) approaches and overspreads the
   western parts of the area, a band of thunderstorms will likely
   develop and intensify.  Strong effective shear around 50 kt will act
   to organize updrafts and strengthening 700-mb flow to the 55-60 kt
   range will contribute to cold pool's organization and upscale
   growth. Downward momentum transport via damaging winds are the
   predominant severe risk.  However, some forecast soundings show
   relatively moist low levels with strong 0-1 km shear in excess of
   25-30 kt.  A tornado risk may develop with the maturing squall line
   and/or pre-frontal supercell(s) that eventually merges with the
   line.  A gradual weakening in buoyancy by the early to mid evening
   into the overnight will likely lead to a lessening in the
   damaging-wind risk as storms rapidly move east and northeastward
   after dark.

Record February Heat Streak Continues

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Sean Ash

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.

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