Winter Storm Watches have been hoisted up for parts of the southern U.S. for accumulating snowfall deep into the South Tuesday night-Wednesday as Arctic air comes in. Highs will only reach the 30s as far south as southern Mississippi Wednesday.
In the meantime blizzard/winter storm conditions will occur northwest of our area with +12" snowfall. We will not receive that, but we do have some snow, ice & rain ahead that will go back to snow with flash freezing.
Snow should overspread part of the area overnight to Monday morning. This shows the snow up to around 7 a.m. Monday morning.
Snowfall totals by around 7 a.m. Monday morning. 1" north (to 2" far north) to 0.1 to 0.4" snow is possible in the heart of the area by 7 a.m.
Wind should be pretty strong from the south-southeast with gusts 25-35 mph. Blowing & drifting snow is likely.
8 a.m. to noon shows snow transition to brief bout of freezing rain & some sleet for the area, then snow with some rain. Arctic front may already be along I-57 by noon.
There is a rather short window to really substantially warm up. Nevertheless, highs of 32-36 are expected by noon.
By noon, 1-3" of new snow may have fallen in the north with 1" or less farther southward from the heart of the viewing area southward. Trace amounts of ice may have occurred.
With warming temperatures to the 30s, melting will be underway. Even in the north where snow will have fallen at a greater rate, slushiness may be noted as temperatures warm some.
Winds will still be pretty strong from the south-southeast to south, then southwest with gusts of 25-33 mph.
Arctic front should pass in the 1-5 p.m. time frame over the viewing area from northwest to southeast. It should pass Tippecanoe County between 2 & 3:30 p.m.
With frontal passage, a brief 1- to 2-minute minute purst of heavy snow is possible. A quick, sudden 0.5" may be put down in places with a rapid, significant decrease in visibility. Some local 40-50 mph gusts could occur with the snow squall line as it passes.
Watch the very cold air rush in with temperatures dropping from 30s Monday afternoon to zero to the single digits Monday night.
Slush, water will flash freeze into a hard rock or sheet of hardened ice.
Wind gusts of 30-40 mph will occur behind the front into Monday night.
Winds chills will drop to -20.
Total snowfall for Monday-Monday night will run 1-4" along & north of Indiana 18 (highest amounts in the far north) & around 1" for the rest of the area.
Note how snow showers & squalls continue to pass of & on through Tuesday. These will be wind-driven snow showers & squalls with rapid decreases in visibility at times.
Temperatures Tuesday will remain in the single digits with gusty northwest winds to 32 mph at times. Additional snowfall Tuesday-Tuesday night of 0.4-1.4" is possible (variability due to scattered nature of the snow showers & squalls). Convective in nature, the snow totals will vary like rainfall in summer t'storms.
As secondary Arctic front passes Tuesday evening, some particularly gusty, heavy snow squalls/showers will accompany the frontal passage.
Considerable blowing & drifting snow is likely Tuesday to Tuesday night.
Wind chills will run -20 to -15.
Frost quakes are possible.
After the second Arctic frontal passage, dangerous cold will roll in & stick with us for 36 hours.
Wednesday's west-northwest winds of 20-35 mph with temperatures -22 to -14 all morning & all day will result in wind chills of -50 to -35. So some wind chills may exceed the historic January 2014 values of -45 to -35. It appears that some areas will see the lowest wind chills since the historic January 1985 & 1994 cold waves.
With partly cloudy skies, flurries & snow showers of glittery snow may fall, even with the sun out. Parhelic circles, parhelias, halos & sun pillars may all appear as ice crystals fall through the air. Considerable blowing & drifting snow is likely.
Wednesday night-Thursday noon should feature temperaturs of -21 to -12 over the area with wind chills -45 to -30.
Frost quakes are possible.
Exposed skin in a sustained wind of 15-20 mph with an air temperature of -20 will result in frost bite in 7-9 minutes.
If you must be out late Tuesday night, Wednesday to Thursday morning, have two layers over the legs & feet, waterproof boots, three layers over the arms & torso. Also, have your face covered by a mask or scarf & a hat on your head. Thick gloves will be needed, as well.
Minimum wind chills Wednesday:
We should see temperatures continue to rise & reach above 0 for the entire viewing area by mid-afternoon Thursday. Wind chills should still remain at -40 to -25 Thursday up to midday.
They should skyrocket upward to 10 after dusk by Thursday & reach 14-19 by late night-early Friday morning. This will all occur ahead of an Alberta Clipper that will bring minor snowfall accumulation. 1-2" cannot be ruled out.
Wind chills will gradually rise to 2-6 by early Friday morning.
A sudden, rapid thaw with rainfall is likely in early February. Timing is a bit in question. At first it looked like a 36-hour flash thaw with 50s around February 7, but now it looks like it might be earlier. It could occur as early as February 3, 4 or 5. Ice jams & 0.60-1.20" rainfall is possible. There is a lack of clarity on exact timing, but potential still comes out very high with such a burst of warmth ahead.
Bitter cold & a winter storm or two with accumulating snowfall & ice could follow. A good chunk of the rest of February looks pretty rough with cold & snow.
Again, I do not expect to completely break out of this weather pattern until around March 12.
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