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Quiet through Wednesday; impactful system to follow with brutal cold

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — We had a quiet, yet cold, start to the workweek.

Calm weather is expected through Wednesday before an impactful system brings rain and snow chances, high winds, and dangerous cold.

A Winter Storm Watch will be going into effect from Thursday evening until Saturday morning for most of the northwestern quadrant of Indiana. A more in-depth look at this system will be detailed out in the “Late-week system” section further below.

Monday night: Expect a mostly cloudy and chilly night with lows falling into the low to mid 20s. We can’t rule out a few flurries as well.

Tuesday: Skies will stay mostly cloudy throughout our Tuesday with highs set to be near normal for this time of the year. Numbers will top out in the mid to upper 30s.

Wednesday: This will be the final peaceful day of the week with mostly cloudy skies and highs once again rising into the mid to upper 30s.

Late-week system: We are in line for a powerful low-pressure system for the remainder of the workweek. Here is a short summary of what we know so far in the following graphic:

We look to start on the warm side of this system on Thursday with rain, but conditions will rapidly change going into Friday as temperatures plummet and rain changes over to snow. Wind gusts Thursday will be from 20-30 mph before they jump, from 40-55 mph, for Friday. Gusts stay on the higher side, from 30-45 mph, through Christmas Eve on Saturday.

We cannot give a straight-up number on snow totals yet due to uncertainty in the track of the low. A low track more north of Indy would give way to more rain. If the low scoots more south, the chances of significant snow go up for central Indiana. No matter if central Indiana sees a load of snow or not, travel impacts are going to be heightened due to the strong winds and cold.

Another travel impact we are growing concerned about is the formation of black ice by Friday due to the potential of a “flash freeze” since we go from the 30 and 40s Thursday to the single digits Friday morning. This is because of expected wet roads from Thursday’s rain.

These potent winds in combination with the arctic air that is expected to settle in by Friday will yield dangerous wind chill values going into Christmas weekend.

All-in-all, if you have any Christmas travel plans, try to get that out of the way by Thursday evening.

Remainder of the 8-Day forecast: Cold air sticks around through Christmas Day on Sunday and into early next week. We could have one of the coldest Christmas days on record.