INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana | DMN — Another snowstorm will slam into the Midwest by the end of the weekend and will be followed by brutally cold air early next week. As bitterly cold air charges in, a flash freeze and blizzard conditions could develop in some areas. A cold front will approach the Great Lakes late Saturday and will set the stage for cold and snow around Chicago, Detroit and St. Louis on Sunday. A storm forming along the front in the Mississippi Valley late on Sunday will bring another snowstorm to the Great Lakes, part of the Northeast and neighboring Ontario. The storm will also bring snow and slippery travel to much of the Ohio and Tennessee valleys.
A significant winter storm could dump a foot or more of snow on parts of Indiana on Sunday, before frigid temperatures settle in. A winter storm watch has been issued for much of Indiana as a vigorous storm system takes shape. The storm is expected to move toward Indiana late in the day on Saturday, with the bulk of the snow falling on Sunday. Early projections are calling for general accumulations of 7-10 inches, with snow piling up in some areas to a foot or more. A strengthening low-pressure system will swing by to the south and east of Indiana, funneling moisture and cold air into the state. Snow should begin falling late Saturday night and will be heavy at times through the day Sunday before tapering off late in the day.
More specific snow totals will depend on where you live and the track the storm takes. A swath of a foot or more of accumulation is possible in parts of central Indiana, but it’s too early to pinpoint where that will be. After the storm moves away, an Arctic air mass will build into Indiana, ushering in the coldest temperatures in central Indiana in 20 years. The low temperature Tuesday morning is forecast at -15 degrees. That would match a low hit in January 1994. Dangerous wind chills in the -30 to -40 range are expected according to WRTV.
The heaviest snow is forecast to reach from St. Louis to Indianapolis, Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, N.Y., Erie, Pa., and London, Ontario, where a half a foot or more of snow could fall. Cities that could be hit by a sudden period of blinding snow, plunging temperatures and a quick freeze include Memphis and Nashville, Tenn.; Louisville and Lexington, Ky.; Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio; Charleston and Morgantown, W.Va.; Pittsburgh and Bradford, Pa.; Jamestown and Rochester, N.Y.; and Toronto and Ottawa, Ontario. Travel along I-40, I-64 and I-65 could be difficult Sunday night. As lake-effect blends in with the general storm, some bands of intense snowfall are likely.
According to Senior Meteorologist Dale Mohler, “Blizzard conditions may develop from eastern Ohio to West Virginia, western Maryland, western Pennsylvania Sunday night and Monday, and in western New York Monday into Tuesday.” Whiteout conditions are possible in these areas with strong winds, plunging temperatures and heavy snowfall rates. The worst conditions are likely in New York state, just south of Buffalo and in the Tug Hill region, south of Watertown. “Major interstate highways including I-79, I-80, I-81, I-90 and Route 219 could close down for a time due to the intense conditions Monday into Tuesday,” Mohler added. Some people could be caught off guard and stranded by the storm.
A dangerous cold wave will blast in its wake. The new wave of frigid air will reach the I-95 Northeast on Monday. Temperatures in Chicago are not expected to exceed zero degrees on Monday with Detroit experiencing afternoon highs just above zero Monday and Tuesday. The last time Chicago was this cold was during early February of 1996, where temperatures remained below zero around the clock for a couple of days. Lows Monday night in Binghamton, N.Y., and Pittsburgh will drop well below zero with highs near to just above zero Tuesday.
AccuWeather.com RealFeel® temperatures will average 10 to 20 degrees lower than the actual temperature. January typically bring the lowest average temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere. Combined with less sunlight and a growing snowpack, the first month of the year can bring some downright frigid air. However, occasional bouts of frigid air with some of the coldest nighttime lows can occur well into February.