INDIANAPOLIS — A beautiful blue sky is blanketing central Indiana today and we'll need every bit of it to climb out of the chilly start from this morning. As expected, temperatures bottomed out in the upper teens/lower 20s for what was the coldest morning officially in Indianapolis (20°) since Feb. 18. It's not a daily record low but is the average for mid-January vs. mid-March.
But that will make afternoon highs in the lower 50s feel so much better. That, combined with a severe clear sky, is why this is my pick-of-the-week.
Thursday will be warmer, but it comes with a stronger breeze, increasing clouds and the increasing probability of showers in the afternoon/evening.
However, temperatures peak in the 55°-60° range along/east of I-69 before the rain arrives. That will be the warmest air we'll have until the middle/latter half of next week.
So you better enjoy while it lasts as we're expecting another jab of unseasonably cold air hitting St. Patrick's Day and sticking into the weekend.
Widespread rain is around Thursday evening into early Friday morning as a strong cold front approaches the Ohio Valley.
That front moves through the Indy metro area around 8 a.m. Friday with a sharp drop in temperatures from near 50° to the lower/mid 30s within a matter 60-90 minutes.
The quickness of the cold allows the backside of the rain to mix with or change over to some snowflakes. If you plan to be downtown for the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade, we're advising heavy winter gear and dressing in layers with wind chills rapidly dropping into the upper teens/lowers with gusts over 30 mph at times.
Breezy and cold best describes St. Patrick's Day in central Indiana with temperatures mainly in the 30s, wind chills in the 20s, and some wind-whipped flurries/snow showers being squeezed-out by the chilly air.
There will definitely a wintry feel to the air this weekend, too. High temperatures may struggle to climb above freezing Saturday with more wind-whipped flurries/snow showers possible.
Sunday looks to be brighter but remaining well below average for highs, but the mid/upper 30s should feel much better with a calmer wind.
Several frosty nights are likely Sunday morning into Tuesday morning as high pressure settles around the Ohio Valley. The next warm-up occurs the middle of next week.