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Frosty temps not done just yet

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — While we’ve had several rounds of mild air across central Indiana, winter isn’t quite done with the Midwest just yet, as a significant cold snap looks to invade the Midwest later this week.

Last week we wrote about when is the best time to plant. Typically, the “safe date” is around Mother’s Day, which usually falls in early May. There is good reason for this, and the upcoming next couple of weeks will be a prime example.

While temperatures will be well above average through Wednesday afternoon, a significant cold front will surge into the Midwest bringing a stiff shot of chilly air to the state starting Thursday.

We’ll certainly feel the colder temps during the day, as highs may struggle to get out of the 40s or 50s for an extended period, but what’s more important is the overnight lows, especially for those of you that have tried to get a jump start on the growing season.

Overnight lows likely fall to the 30s several days, with the coldest night/morning coming Friday night/Saturday morning, as we are forecasting lows in the mid 30s in Indianapolis, and could fall much colder than that in some outlying areas. This is certainly cold enough for frost formation as long as the winds are light, and some areas could even dip below the freezing mark, which could cause damage to tender vegetation.

This type of late season cold isn’t rare. Our average last date for a frost/freeze event usually falls in the middle of the month, however we have had seasons where freezing temperatures go as late May. Last year the growing season started in the beginning of April.

Unfortunately, there are several signs that the chill could hang around of an extended period. The Weather Prediction Center’s 8-14 day hazardous outlook shows a “moderate risk” for well below average temperatures. Looking at a blend of model data, the numbers confirm that theory, with temperatures running chilly for much of next week. The average high for this part of April is around 60°, and the average low is close to 40°.