An unusually long cold snap will finally loosen its grip on central Indiana in the coming week, but a mix of ice, rain and a temperature swing of more than 50 degrees could make for dangerous driving conditions.
On Sunday morning, the temperature dropped to -1 degree at the National Weather Service’s Indianapolis office, meteorologist Cody Moore said. The thermometer should swing back to around freezing by Monday afternoon, but hazardous frozen rain will roll in by the evening.
Moore said a trace amount of ice is expected to cover roads north of Interstate 70, building up to two-tenths of an inch of ice in the Lafayette area. He cautioned that even a small amount of ice can be dangerous.
“There could be pretty major travel impacts, especially on the Tuesday morning commute,” he said.
Temperatures will rise into the 40s by Tuesday afternoon, with highs in the 50s expected on Wednesday and Thursday. Warmer weather and continued rain will likely melt most of the ice and snow leftover from the past few weeks. The rain should dry up on Friday, Moore said.
Warmer temperatures are expected for the rest of January, ending what was a truly wild weather month.
“Temperatures went from well below average — the average is in the low 20s — to well above it in the 50s,” Moore said.
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That said, Indianapolis did not set any low-temperature records during its recent freeze. However, the city did approach the record for consecutive hours with a wind-chill below zero with 72. The top mark,103 hours, was set during the famed 1978 blizzard.
Moore cautioned that winter is not yet over, as February and even March typically see a few more cold snaps.
Rory Appleton is the pop culture reporter at IndyStar. Contact him at 317-552-9044 and [email protected], or follow him on Twitter at @RoryEHAppleton.