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March 18, 11 PM: Last Occurrences of Frost & Freezing & the Outlook to Late April

When is the danger of frost & freezing largely over?

Posted: Mar 18, 2019 9:19 PM
Updated: Mar 18, 2019 10:42 PM

Averaged over 40 years of data, here are the normal timing of the last occurrences of 16, 24, 28, 32 & 36 degrees in the spring.

We will drop to 21-26 tonight, followed by 46-51 tomorrow.  After mostly clear skies tonight, clouds will increase tomorrow gradually.  With not much wind, tomorrow will not be a bad day.  It will still be around 5 degrees below normal, however.  Normal highs for the viewing area are 51-56 for March 19.

It will turn cloudy tomorrow night with lows 29-32, but we will rise to 33-37 late.  Showers will arrive Wednesday morning, mixing with & even changing to snow & perhaps some sleet at times.

Showers will go to all plain rain after midday, followed by showers tapering in the late afternoon-evening.  Highs will only run 38-46 with cold southeast to south to southwest winds at 10-20 mph.

Yes, the winds will be southerly, but the precipitation will be coming in very early after cooling overnight & it will be falling through a layer of dry air, enhancing cooling.  Also, a core of colder air aloft will pivot in with the system in the morning, leading to decreased warming.  So, although southerly winds will try to supply warmth, the evaporative cooling effects of the precipitation falling early in the day with some dynamic cooling may keep some areas of mixing snow & sleet with the rain to midday & highs will stay chilly.

So, it will not be the most spring-like first day of astronomical spring.

We flip a switch late week.  50s Thursday, give way to 60s Friday with sunshine.  60s are likely Saturday.  60s to low 70s are possible Sunday & Monday with sun.  There will be a few more clouds on Monday, but it looks dry & there will not be much wind Thursday-Monday.

Overnights may be a bit cool until Sunday night, but days will warm nicely!

Given how early it turned cold, wet & snowy in October to November, this looks like the best weather since early October & the most extended stretch of such nice weather since late September!

Note how we go from below normal to above normal like the flip of a switch below:

Drier than normal weather will dominate, but as that storm system comes in at the end of the month, it will go wetter than normal for a bit.

I still think that as we get to the very end of March & start April, a brief, but potent cold snap is possible.  As the cold approaches, some showers & storms are likely.  Latest guidance continues to suggest that any severe risk is shifting southwestward away from the viewing area, but we will still monitor. 

With the following cold, some flakes could occur & lows may drop to 22-26 a couple of nights.  I think one day either at the very end of March or the first day of April, temperature may only be in the 30s in the afternoon hours.

ECMWF model images below with mapping & modeling by Dr. Ryan Maue.

There is the chill dislodged in a brief, but widespread & potent manner:

We should bounce back very quickly after that to above normal again.

It looks quite warm around April 3-6, followed by t'storms.

The continued trend is for nice warmth & some storminess until a burst of cold comes in mid-April, resulting in frost & freezing to slow & nip at foliating & blooming vegetation.

Summery warmth may get in here in late April after this cold with mid to upper 80s possibly a day or two.  The month may end stormy.

Late April warmth is reflected now in the CFSV2 model below.  The number below may even be underdone, but I think cold west, very warm east is likely with severe outbreaks in the Plains & some of that will move eastward & get in here at the end of April.

Article Comments

West Lafayette
Clear
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Hi: 87° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 87°
Kokomo
Overcast
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Rensselaer
Clear
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Fowler
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Williamsport
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Crawfordsville
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Frankfort
Clear
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Delphi
Scattered Clouds
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Monticello
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Hi: 87° Lo: 67°
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Logansport
Scattered Clouds
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Feels Like: 83°
Widespread rainfall by Sunday.
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