Friday, September 28, 2007

Nature "Boilers Up" This Weekend With Summer's Big Comeback

The electricity is in the air! We are not talking about lightning but it is time for Purdue and Notre Dame. The weather looks fabulous. But you may actually want to take a sweatshirt AND shorts to the game. You can see why above. The air is very dry and with plenty of sunshine and a south wind kicking up tomorrow, the temperatures will literally skyrocket. Expect those blue skies you see above in the picture. The forecast high of 80 degrees or above is very important. During the regular season the Boilermakers under Coach Tiller have won more than 80% of their games when temperatures reach 80 degrees or above. Two of Purdue's last 4 victories against the Irish had temperatures of 80 degrees or above. So there you have it. Things are looking good weatherwise and otherwise.

Keeping with the theme: You can see we have already had about an extra months worth of 80s this year. Tomorrow, expect our 113th day of 80 or above. You will also want to take your sunscreen with a sunburn possible in as little as 30 minutes. It may be late September but you can still get a sunburn, especially when you are sitting in the stands. So don't come crying to me if you get a sunburn, I tried to warn you.

The last thing you think you will need tomorrow is the sunscreen because tonight will actually turn chilly with lows in the lower to middle 40s. But it is just an autumn tease due to a meandering jet stream. The more twists and turns in the jet stream the more our weather resembles a rollercoaster.

Talk about a rollercoaster, we will have temperatures surge upward about 35 degrees on Saturday. In one day it will certainly feel like two seasons. One of the big reasons this autumnal weather pattern was so brief is that the real cold weather is still well up near the North Pole. These chilly air masses can quickly modify this time of year. Here is a cool picture of Barrow, Alaska from yesterday where they had their first snowfall of the season.

Where's the snow you ask? It melted by the end of the day. So even well up north on the Arctic Sea the real cold weather still hasn't settled in. This is a sign for us that real autumn weather may not arrive and stick around for very long until November this year. I still like our chances for an early snowstorm despite autumn having a slow start! Our September was like August and now our October will be like September. The crazy weather year continues that is for sure not just in Lafayette but north of the Arctic Circle. Have a great weekend and enjoy the football game. We have the right weather and players in place. Go Boilers!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Happy Fall For Y'all Thanks to Canada!

Special Thanks to Paul Hadfield

What a beautiful full moon last night. You can thank your friends from Canada as cooler, fresh breezes pushed in from the great North. We also have to thank Paul Hadfield for making our day with this beautiful shot from last night around 1:30 a.m. This is what it looked like near Decatur, Illinois. The moon was crystal clear! Get used to this picture, because this is what you can expect to see here in Lafayette tonight. Day after day for the past couple months our weather team has been talking about it being too hot and too dry. You can see the blocking high pressure area that blocked all of our nice fall weather has retreated allowing a nice cool dip in the jet stream that enabled a cold front to move through the area.

It was so nice to see nature has a new one-two punch in the form of breath-taking moonlight and crisp, refreshing autumn breezes. The full Harvest moon lit up the sky here at home last night even though it had to shine through a pretty thick layer of fog and leftover clouds. Its piercing light could not be denied and it made an impressive ring around the moon. Now tonight get ready for a nice clear moonrise at 7:55 p.m. It already has me singing....

Shine on, shine on harvest moon
Up in the shine on, shine on harvest moon,
For me and my gal. (Julie)

We will have to enjoy this weather while we can before nature's old song and dance returns! The latest maps are showing the jet stream to move back to the north pushing our nice autumn weather away. Unfortunately, I wish I had better news for the cooler weather lovers. Here is my October forecast.

The dreaded heat ridge builds back in with high pressure as we head into October. This will not only bring us plenty of more 80 degree weather but you can count on below average rainfall once again. But as always, make sure you enjoy today. We at least got some rain and we now have some great autumn weather that will at least stick around for a couple more days. Choose to make it a great day and remember your jacket when you head outside tonight to enjoy the moonlight.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Full Harvest Moon Tonight & Full-Fledged Autumn Weather

Picture of Live Doppler 18 Tracking Our Storms

Wow! It feels incredible outside today. Yesterday, it felt like the 4th of July yesterday and was a bit surreal with Florida-like dewpoints bringing steambath conditions. But in Indiana a few hours can make a world of difference and today we have our refreshing breezes back! Our weather team has been extra excited because we have been waiting to show you real autumn weather since Sunday. Well, better late than never! You can thank a nice strong cold front that moved through the area last night and quite a collision took place in our atmosphere! The picture above shows our angry sky yesterday as the warm, tropical air was rapidly forced upward ahead of the approaching front. Luckily, we had no severe weather reports here at home with only 2 damaging wind reports yesterday in the entire state of Indiana, including one near Seymour. Today will only be our sixth day of below average temperatures and it is hard to believe our highs were 22 degrees warmer just two days ago as you can see below. We truly had a big "fall" to get to real fall weather.

The good news is we had some much welcome rainfall. There is a big range in amounts because some of the stronger storms to our south stole some of our moisture and because the cold front did not come through during our peak heating hours so it lost some of its punch. Here are your big and small rain totals.

Richard Beetle, our weatherwatcher from Attica was less than impressed with his meager totals. But I think Richard and the rest of us can at least look forward to the famous full "harvest" moon tonight. The full moon closest to the autumnal equinox is known as the full harvest moon because farmers love using the extra light created by the bright moonlight to harvest their crops well into the night. Paul Hadfield captured the waxing moon earlier this week in Decatur, Illinois. It is an absolute beautiful shot of nature's masterpiece.

The big question is will the clouds clear in time? Based on the latest maps it looks like we should have some late night clearing after 11 p.m. So open up those windows and get out and enjoy. But take a jacket with you. Tomorrow on the blog we will take a closer look at why these cool, refreshing days may be few and far between through much of October. Thanks for reading and tuning in. I want to also thank Julie's aunt Barb for finding Redskin-Packer tickets at Lambeau Field in October. It looks like I hit the proverbial jackpot weatherwise and otherwise. My Christmas present has come early this year which is fine by me! This is the equivalent of having a White Christmas. Hail to Autumn weather and Hail to the Redskins. In case you are wondering, I root for the Redskins because I was born and raised in the Washington, D.C. area. No offense to any other fans, unless you are a Dallas Cowboy fan. :) Have a great day.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

No Flying Trees Today, Just Some Needed Rain!

The Storm Prediction Center has placed much of Indiana in a severe weather risk area. Officially we are in a slight risk for severe weather which means 2% to 5% of our area has the potential of receiving damaging wind gusts of 58 mph or greater and/or nickel size hail or larger.

Let me break this down further for you. Even though we are in a severe risk, I am thinking we will not have severe weather here at home. Like in sports, forecasting is all about timing. It looks like the main portion of the cold front that will be sparking showers and thunderstorms today will not move through until after midnight. This means we will have lost our daytime heating keeping the atmosphere more stable. Another thing in our favor is that we have had plenty of clouds around today. This will also help keep things from getting too rough. But be careful of lightning and heavy downpours which will be our main threats tonight.
This is good news because we have not had any severe weather since August 19th and meteorologist do worry about a second severe weather season this time of year due to a much stronger jet stream caused by colliding air masses. Remember here in Lafayette we have had severe weather every month of the year, including tornadoes like we saw in January of 1996. So this graph is just a glimpse of what it means to live in Indiana.

The big story will be our first rain in two weeks on the way today. We are running a good one to two inch rainfall deficit so far this month and some areas could actually double their rainfall between today and tomorrow morning. Yes, we are long, long overdue. Some areas could ring out over an inch of rain easily with all of the available moisture in the atmosphere. I will make sure to keep you update on those rainfall totals and any thunderstorms. Tune in and check back here for more details...I will also post yesterday's impressive weather watcher highs and much more!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Celebrating Birthdays & Summer's Last Big Splash

Courtesy of the Pearson Family


We had our pool refurbished for the summer of 07 and WOW! what a summer it has been!lookin at Anissa, just 1 of my 4 daughters enjoying the extended summer like temps{in black strips} with her friends from vinton school,a last summer splash in the back yard!picture was taken round 6:30 pm mon 9-24-2007 evening just before dad got the grill going.
Mike, keep the hot days rollin,lol.

Mark Pearson{Dad}

Can you believe it? This looks like a scene out of Florida in late September, not Lafayette, Indiana. The place to be is certainly Mark's house since all the pools have already been closed for a few weeks, hopefully you have a friend with a pool. Get out the rafts and enjoy!

Here are the official high temperatures on Monday! We did it!

If we are going to be this hot this late in the season, we might as well set or tie a record. Well we are certainly in the books after today. Here in Lafayette we tied a 99 year old record high set way back in 1908! This is one of the oldest record highs on the books for Lafayette, Indiana. So what we did today was quite an accomplishment. Do you realize Lafayette's official records date back to 1896 and with over 40,500 official days on the books we broke one of the oldest record highs of all-time. Lafayette's oldest official record still standing today was set on April 29, 1901 with a high of 85 degrees. It may be time to print up some new t-shirts. Stay tuned.

Last but not least I would like to wish Shelli Krings a Happy Birthday. She is my sister-in-law that lives in Osh Kosh, Wisconsin. She actually reads this blog a lot and as a result I always make sure it has something new and fun on it! You can thank her. My daughters certainly have the best aunt in the world not only because she works at Osh Kosh B'Gosh and helps a ton with clothes, but how much fun she is just to be around not just on all the big family holidays, but throughout the year. Shelli will certainly have a Happy Birthday this year thanks to the Packers big win against the Chargers. Speaking of partys, her neice or my daughter Lauren had a big birthday bash with her friends on Sunday. We usually celebrate her actual birthday which is Thursday several times before, during, and after the date. Don't ask me why. I think it was introduced into my family thanks to all of our Wisconsin relatives. You now know how fun her aunt Shelli is. It is a cheesehead tradition. I think it can be a good tradition for years to come, since it does not put too much pressure on one day. This is exactly why my wife and I started celebrating Valentines Day on Groundhog Day so it could truly be special. Now that this confirms I have a crazy family it is time to show some pictures. Here was Lauren's "gymnastics" birthday party as you can see below!

Caroline and Lauren having a great time!

It was also a Dora birthday party and I even enjoyed the Dora cake...cha cha it is time to celebrate some real relief and beneficial rainfall back in the forecast. Get out the party hats, classic autumn weather is on the way. It could be a bumpy ride to get there so make sure to tune in and check back here on the blog for more tomorrow.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Keeping My Grandma Safe & Making Sure She Sends Us Some Rain!

Usually I call my grandmother every Sunday, but last night I called her a couple of times due to tornado warnings in Lake County, Florida. There were at least two tornadoes near her home last night and today I can breathe a sigh of relief that everybody is safe and sound. I told my Grandma or "Meemaw" that I would have been doing live cut-ins last night to warn the entire area, but amazingly there were no updates or cut-ins on her television stations so I was even more relieved that I called. Tornadoes at night can be a scary thing. My Meemaw was grateful and she told me she would send us some needed rain next week. I told her she can send the rain, but do not send the tornadoes. I am concerned about possible strong storms from this system that will move our way next Tuesday and Tuesday night so make sure to stay tuned for the latest. Meemaw, you are the best and I will call you again on Sunday with better weather.

Here at home we are still stuck in July even though autumn officially begins at 5:51 a.m. You can see why. The jet stream is well north of our area like we would see in July and this has allowed widespread warmth to take over much of the country. The good news in this quiet pattern is that we have not had any severe weather to worry about. Last night we talked about a secondary severe weather season we have here in Indiana. September has produced tornadoes in Tippecanoe County as recently as 1999. On September 28, 1999 we had an F1 tornado in Battle Ground with wind speeds near 100 mph. If that is not enough proof for you, we had another September tornado in Tippecanoe County which was an F2 (wind speeds close to 150 mph) on September 14, 1965. So we will keep our guard up and continue to watch Live Doppler 18 for you, especially next week.

Blog Answer of the Day: The longest track tornado in Indiana history was the Monticello tornado with a 121 mile path that began near Otterbein and lifted just west of Valentine, Indiana. At times the tornado had wind speeds up to near 250 mph. Even though it only received an F4 rating you could certainly make a case it was an F5. Today there is still twisted metal strewn in the hills by Lake Freeman, even though it happened 33 years ago on April 3, 1974!

So enough of this tornado is the big weekend forecast you have been waiting for and it looks like your last day of summer will bring highs of 84 degrees and the first day of autumn it will be 88 degrees. Last year temperatures were running about 15 to 20 degrees cooler as you see above. This year instead of sweatshirts and hot chocolate you will need shorts and ice water! It will be the warmest start to autumn since 1980! You stay cool and hopefully you can find a pool!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Our R&R All Depends on Two Monster Systems to our South & West

Courtesy of Breckenridge Ski Resort

Everybody is looking for R&R. Usually it means rest and relaxation, but not this summer. We are looking for some needed rainfall and relief from the heat. Even though our weather is quieter than a mouse we have two blockbuster systems that could deliver a nice drenching rain and refreshing breezes by the middle of next week. The National Weather Service offices are calling it the strongest mid-latitude cyclone in 20 years.That is right! The picture above shows Colorado receiving its first snowflakes of the season earlier this week and now California is bracing for snow in Los Angeles County for elevations above 5,500 feet. Severe thunderstorms with possible tornadoes and waterspouts are likely. Flooding rain will also be a big concern. This slow-moving system will eventually lift our way by early next week in the form of a strong front. This will likely merge with a developing tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico which will be named Jerry.

This tropical system could become not just a tropical storm but a hurricane before making landfall along the Gulf Coast. I am most concerned about Louisiana and Mississippi. If there is good news it is that it would likely be a minimal hurricane if it reached that intensity. I will keep you posted. I do know that this system is loaded with moisture with parts of Jacksonville, Florida being flooded with close to 10 inches of rain.

So even though it is quiet I have been very busy today tracking these two big weather-makers for us and of course watering my lawn.
Our blog question of the day deals with how much precipitation Lafayette averages each month sent in by Craig Irvine. I also added just how dry we have been since May 1st. Take a look.

Jan. avg: 1.79" actual 3.12" (2.2" of snow)
Feb. avg: 1.57" actual 2.47" (26.5" of snow)
March avg: 2.84" actual 3.69" (Trace of snow)
April avg. 3.57" actual 3.48" (dry spell begins late in month)
May avg. 4.35" actual 2.61" (drought hits southeastern Indiana)
June avg. 4.24" actual 3.30" (viewers start to grumble about lack of rain)
July avg. 4.00" actual 2.71" (drought hits eastern part of viewing area)
August avg. 3.68" actual 4.79" (drought in southern Indiana, eases here at home)
September avg. 2.98" actual 1.27" (leaves turn 2-3 weeks early with another dry spell)
October avg. 2.73"
November avg. 3.08"
December avg. 2.43"

YEARLY AVERAGE 37.26" Total So Far: 26.11" Avg. To Date: 27.93" Yearly Deficit: 1.82"
Deficit since May 1st: 3.48"

So you see how important the two big systems I showed you above are to us. Our viewing area is already in a moderate fire danger risk because it has been so dry and it will only get worse before it gets better. So remember this weekend to be very careful if you are camping or burning in the Lafayette area. Even though the forecast looks good for all our plans we need to exercise extreme caution and also make sure those pets have cool places and full water bowls.

Courtesy of National Weather Service Indianapolis

One other interesting side note today is that we are now officially in our second severe weather season. We usually have two peaks of severe weather in Indiana. One of course in the Spring and early summer. The second peak comes in from late August through November as the jet stream starts to crank up once again due to bigger surges of cool air to the north coming down and meeting our warm, tropical air.These high winds aloft add spin and rotation to thunderstorms that help produce tornadoes. We are reminded of this today because it is the 5 year anniversary of the Elletsville tornado that actually began in Elletsville and did not lift until it got to Hartford City. This tornado path was the second longest in Indiana history. At times wind speeds reached close to 170 mph. Tune in tonight for more about Indiana's big tornado anniversary. Tomorrow, here on the blog I will let you know which tornado had the longest track across Indiana. Do you remember? I will have more on this and your weekend forecast. In the meantime, stay cool and have a great day!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Lilacs & Trees Confused By July Pattern that is Here to Stay

Why are these lilacs that are only supposed to be blooming in the spring, blooming once again in September? Why are our leaves changing a couple of weeks early in many areas? I will have these answers in more coming up on the newscast and here on the blog.

We all know the story of how hot and dry it has been this summer. This adds a ton of stress not only on farmers and humans, but plants and animals. Trees tend to turn much earlier than normal and lose their leaves weeks earlier than they should causing a dull fall season. The Upper Peninsula of Michigan has already reported many bare trees because of their scorching hot and desert-like summer. Here at home we still have a chance for a semi-decent fall foliage season but we will need to pick up our rainfall in a hurry. Here is the latest maps that show how the leaves are doing throughout much of the Midwest.

Here in Lafayette I think we will have peak color close to October 21st this year so we have a long way to go. Bring on the rain...and soon!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

First Snowflakes of the Season for Colorado Means More 90s for Us!

Just when you thought we were done tallying the 90 degree days, nature comes back once more with some heat, and maybe historically hot weather. I think we could reach 30 days above 90 degrees before all is said and done. Since I do not like this type of weather I have focused on other things.

How about the Redskins and Joe Gibbs being undefeated after winning last night in Philadelphia! But what I am most excited about are the first snowflakes of the season being reported in Colorado. Latest reports out of Breckinridge are that they have received at least 1 to 3 inches of snow. This is at least a couple weeks early for ski resorts out west that are still a good 7 weeks away from opening up the ski lifts.

Wild weather also impacted Mom and Dad in Jacksonville, Florida. They were drenched with close to 8 inches of rain and I made sure to check on them. Yes, they are doing just fine! I told them I did not send them all that rain and that they need to share some of it with us, because we are drying out once again here in Lafayette. They at least did not have a hurricane, but unfortunately once the system that brought them all that rain moves out over the bath waters of the Gulf of Mexico it could develop into something worth watching. The bad hurricane season is really just getting started and you can blame it on a developing La Nina or cooler than average Pacific Ocean temperatures. It is already starting to play havoc with the weather all across the country.

Here in Lafayette, La Ninas are known to bring unusually warm and dry weather as we head into fall. Ding! Ding! Ding! As if right on cue we are stuck in a summer pattern with very little rain expected at least until the middle of next week. We are in a holding pattern with a July-like jet stream and a big low pressure spinning to our West. This low pressure will literally be stuck in place through at least early next week and with the counter-clockwise rotation around it we will be on the warm side of the storm and you will feel certainly feel it. You stay cool and I will see you soon!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Summer is Back! Hottest Finish to Summer in Almost 100 Years!

Courtesy of Richard Beetle

The sandbars on the wonderful Wabash River continue to grow. This means one thing. Our hot summer will be extended this year due to all the dry weather we have had. This is called the "desert-effect" which allows the sun's energy to go directly into heating the earth instead of evaporating soil moisture which tends to slow warming.

It has been a summer that we all we remember for hot and dry weather not just here at home but all over the United States. It was a record-breaking summer with over 2,000 record highs and of course the drought that moved as far east as Howard and Miami Counties.

If you have loved the summer of 2007 so far, you will love this forecast. After having lows dip in the upper 30s over the weekend we will be surging upward more than 50 degrees this week with near record highs close to 90 by Sunday. I think we could break record highs set as far back as 1908 which is nothing to sneeze about. I will have more on this tonight on the news. See you soon and have a great day!

Friday, September 14, 2007

One for the Books this Weekend! Weatherlicious in Time for Your Big Plans!

Courtesy of Lynn and Kandy Teal

There is no sugar-coating this forecast for the weekend. It looks absolutely outstanding. This is the weather so many folks look forward to during the year. It really doesn't get much better than heading to Big 10 football games in crisp, refreshing air that moves in from Canada. It is also that time of year again for the Brookston Apple-Popcorn Festival. This year apparently there is not just a car show and apple bobbing, but a best legs contest for men. Pretty interesting! It is not true that I am partaking in the event. So you need not worry about this, you can still plan on going out for a fun time without being scared by rain or me. :) Just enjoy the great weather and delicious food.

Now I know there will be a lot of celebrating this weekend with all the events going on with some of the best weather of the entire summer, but make sure to be careful if you are camping and burning anything. We have a moderate fire danger in our viewing area. Normally fire season begins October 1st, but this year of course has been drier than normal since late April. Have fun, but just be careful.

Speaking of being ahead of schedule, how about what happened late last night in Minnesota. It snowed! There were just a few snow flurries near Lake of the Woods and even by Minne"snow"ta standards that is impressive! The same weather front that brought in the early snowflakes to Minnesota will move our way today with no snow, but plenty of chilly breezes and falling temperatures this afternoon into the 60s. So get out the jackets for Friday night Frenzy. The latest maps have frost as close to home as just West of Chicago as you can see above! We will be spared this time around because even though skies will clear out with a polar high pressure moving in we do not the light winds necessary to allow for frost. Remember the wind stirs the atmosphere up and allows warmer air to mix to the surface not allowing the frost to form.

But even though we are missing out on the frost, I do believe this weekend will be one for the books, not only because of our splendid weather, but because we could actually set a record low temperature tonight that was set in 1923 when it dropped to 40 degrees. It will depend on the wind being light enough for this to happen, but I stick my neck out there and will forecast a low of 39. Now this is my kind of weather! Now do not get used to this autumn weather, we do have a warm front pushing this crisp air out as early as Sunday afternoon when we will see temperatures back in the 70s. We will not stop there, I still think we could be near 90 by the middle of next week with humidity! Now you know why I love living in Indiana, it is a meteorologists haven for great changeable weather. Next week we will take a closer look at the La Nina pattern moving in for the autumn and winter and how this will impact our weather. One thing does look likely and that is the wild swings we are going to have in temperatures this week may set the tone for the remainder of this year into next year. Have a great weekend and enjoy your weekend. I will finally be able to go out in public again after last weekends deluge. Take care and thanks for reading.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Rock- N- Roll Weather Pattern Just Getting Started!

Wow! What a chilly start it was this morning. It is hard to believe we actually made it up to 80 degrees in Lafayette after a morning low of 47. But you haven't seen anything yet! A strong jet stream which was actually giving some extra kick by a Pacific typhoon last week that hit Japan will roar our way ushing in some possible record lows by Saturday morning. We will have to put away the shorts and get out the hats with some 30s likely across the area. The wind should stay up enough so we will not have to worry about frost. But areas just outside Chicago could easily see some frost. This is what I call a rock n roll weather pattern. If you look at the map above you can see the potpourri of weather.

Today was also another historic day in the world of weather as Texas was rocked by Hurricane Humberto this morning. It will be known as one of the most rapidly intensifying systems ever near land before making landfall. It went from wind speeds of 35 mph at 10 a.m. Wednesday to 85 mph wind gusts by 3 a.m. last night. This system will impact our weather in an interesting way. It will gobble most of the available moisture in the atmosphere keeping us dry on Friday.

Speaking of interesting...Monty Sloan has more interesting news for us today! It snowed in the Northwest Territories and that same front is moving our way with possible record-breaking lows. Here is Monty's update for us:

Hi Mike

Yes, it is wonderful up here. Absolutely clear skies. No pollution, no particulates, no humidity and absolutely no lights! The only problem is clouds. It snowed this morning a bit, but it's not cold enough for anything to stick.

We have a clear night sky right now so I am hoping to get some more Aurora photos later tonight!

- Monty -

Yes, I am totally jealous. He is up near the tree line and even had some snow to boot! We need to give credit where its due and that is to Monty. He is sending us the freshest breezes of the season. Our weekend may be one of the nicest of the entire summer if you like crisp cool nights and sunny mild days. Thanks Monty!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

California Pattern & Allergy Relief Takes Flight With American Bald Eagles

Picture Taken by Rosalie McTigue

Is this Lafayette or San Diego, California? It was tough to tell the difference today! But we know this does not last for long here in Indiana. Get ready for lots of twists and turns in your forecast, full of swooping eagles and temperatures and also summer making sure we know it is not done with us yet. It will be a forecast to tune in for tonight! I will even have a sneak peak look at your winter forecast and tell you if most of our long-range models are showing a warm winter, average winter, or below average winter. Hint: I am still leaning toward a mild fall and start to winter followed by a snowy finish to our winter in January and February. I will make sure to line up all the forecast for you over the next couple of weeks to show you what everybody is thinking. I can tell you the Old Farmer's Almanac is predicting the warmest year in 100 years, and the Farmer's Almanac is calling for a snowy and cold winter in the Midwest. It is the first time I remember these two particular almanacs disagreeing. Since I go through dozens of almanacs a year, this is quite impressive and actually may hold a clue to what my final winter outlook will be. Next week, I will have a nice chart for you here on the blog, but now let's talk about the beautiful American Bald Eagles spotted around the area the past couple of weeks.

Here is a great picture sent in of an American Bald Eagle near Delphi on Tuesday. Of course this picture is perfect timing with the eagle of course being our country's national symbol. This is a week where all Americans take a step back to be thankful for all we have and of course we found out six years ago just how strong we are as a country thanks to many unsung heroes that allow us to enjoy our freedom day in and day out. We can feel proud of being a true leader of the world in good times and bad and cannot thank those folks enough that have served our country and those that are sacrificing themselves all over the world today. I had two grandfathers that served in World War 2 and I know they are looking over us today very proud of our country and how we continue to meet unprecedented challenges. I think of my grandfathers each and every day and really feel fortunate and know I can enjoy what I do today because of them. They also loved talking about the weather!

I will check back with you tonight and talk about one of our weather watchers that actually spotted snow! Can this really be true?...I will let you know! In the meantime, I also wanted you to take a look at relief. The cooler weather has helped lower the soaring allergy values we have seen over the past couple of weeks. The allergy count has been through the roof, but now it is looking better! Make it a great day and hopefully you will not sniffle and sneeze as much.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Wind Chills Tonight in the 30s, Blame the Woolly Worms!

No you should not blame me for this or my job shadow Andy Dommer. It is hard to believe one week ago we had a high of 93 in Lafayette. Tonight, chilly breezes will drop actual air temperatures into the lower to middle 40s and if you factor in the wind it will feel like 38 degrees by time you wake up. This is a 55 degree plunge!

Now the woolly worm proverb in Indiana that farmers swear by is that the darker the worm, the colder and snowier the winter. So far most of the reports that have come in have the darker worms winning by a 2 to 1 margin. Kandy in Chalmers has seen some blonde worms to give the warmer weather lovers some hope. But it looks like the worms are on to something. This of course has no bearing on my fall and winter forecast. I look at upper-level winds, northern hemispheric snow cover, ocean temperatures, and pressure patterns all across the globe. Analog years are also taken into consideration in which I like to match up the current weather pattern we are in with previous years. The woolly worm is a common name for the larval stage of the Isabella tiger moth. Here is the kicker, these worms are found throughout the United States and variations in their band colors are linked to differences in species and the larval stage they are currently in. The weather has no effect whatsover on their colors. But I have to admit it is still a lot of fun tracking these things with you and I will not rain on our parade or in this case snow on our parade with all the dark banded worms that have been spotted.

Here is another phenomenon that you may be interested in! Take a look at looks like a green tornado sent in by Monty Sloan. But wait, it is the aurora borealis. Instead of curtains of green you see funnels of green. This may be one of the most spectacular pictures of the northern lights I have ever seen. Here is what Monty has to say.

Hi Mike

I'm up at Blachford Lake, Southeast of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada on a trip to photograph the Aurora. Last night was our first night of this week long trip and was wonderful. Here are a few of the photos I was able to take.

Unlike the Aurora back down home, they are almost always bright green up here. Green seems pretty rare down in Indiana whereas red is very rare up here.

Anyway, I was really excited by these photos so I thought I would share.

- Monty -

Thanks so much Monty and we will have another update from Monty tomorrow here on the blog. Marty not only dazzled us with this picture but makes a great point. Our auroras in Indiana are usually red compared to the common green color you see at the higher latitudes. I will have more on this shortly.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Stormiest Purdue Game in 20 Years Catches us Up on Rainfall

That is right, leave it to me to find a positive even after 60,000 fans had to be evacuated from Ross-Ade Stadium on Saturday. We have amazingly caught up to normal in the rainfall department after having drought-like conditions for the past few months. You can see above we actually have a surplus of rain of .16" of an inch. This sums up why it is great to be a meteorologist here in Indiana. Our weather not only changes in a heartbeat but it can do so in a fury.

Saturday was a perfect example. We only had two small showers on radar well to our south and west at 10 a.m. and most of the maps did have the heaviest rain staying south of the area. Live Doppler 18 was tracking this small area of rain toward the stadium by 1 p.m. So it still looked good for more storming Boilers than stormy skies. We knew it would probably not be totally dry for the whole game, but at least the worst of the weather should miss us.

Well, nature never likes to be outdone and nature stormed back to life so that by 11 a.m. I knew we would be in for a battle not just on the football field but from the sky. The front literally came alive and you could really pick out that it was located about 60 miles farther north than forecasted and it made all the difference in the world. Lightning was firing up on the boundary and it was drifting east-northeast toward Ross-Ade.

The good news is the Purdue officials were made aware of this and did a great job of evacuating the stadium at halftime. This was the first time the stadium had been evacuated since the late 1980s according to WLFI sports anchor Larry Clisby. He told me a dramatic story of how Purdue was playing against Miami of Ohio. Back then they did not have any suites and Larry was all wired up and had to take refuge under a desk. Yes, he really hid under a desk. He was scared because he was struck by lightning in high school. So he knows it is a real hidden danger most folks do not take seriously in Indiana. Yesterday, history repeated itself, but instead of hiding, Larry and everybody else did in fact stay calm like you should during severe weather and it really made a difference. My hats off to everybody that went to the game and the good news is that Purdue not only won the game, but more importantly everybody stayed safe. In my book it was one of our biggest home wins ever, no matter who we played!

Now just when you think things are settling down, nature is not done with us yet! Dramatic changes in temperatures are on the way. Even though your calendar says Autumn officially begins on September 23rd it is coming early this year. We have a parade of fronts on the way. We are talking not one, two, but three cold fronts that will move through the area that will usher in relief that is long overdue. But we are not talking just a big cool down, but goose bump weather that could actually make it feel a bit chilly by Wednesday morning. We have been sizzling since August and we have our coolest weather since May on the way. Make sure to tune in tonight to find out how low we will go!

I better go dig out some sweatshirts and jackets for the family. In the meantime, you have a great day and I will have aurora pictures for you that are nothing short of spectacular sent in by Monty Sloan and even a woolly worm update. We have had big differences in those reports. Will it be a milder winter north of Lafayette this year according to the woollys? I will have this and more coming your way on tomorrow here on the blog.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Blue Thursday Turns into Stormy Friday

While we watch TV we would occasionally check the Live Doppler 18 Radar channel to see where the storms were located. Our cat seems to have an infatuation with the Radar sweep line as it moves around the screen but it also looks like she is seeing the red an yellow echo’s and saying “man it look’s like it is coming right towards us".

-Jeff Teal

Thanks for sending that great picture in Jeff. It is appropriate for today. It looks like nature is blitzing us with some more storms in time for the weekend and it could rain cats and dogs at times for the next few days.

At least it was a great night last night for the Colts with a 41-10 whipping of New Orleans and my fantasy football team racked up 61 points in only one night. But this ride in la la land is now over and nature is trying to whip up some showers and thunderstorms just in time for the weekend. Blue Thursday lived up to all the hype and more, but it is always hard to outdue nature in Indiana. Yes, I know an incredible 54 of 78 days so far this summer have been dry, but nature always seems to bring in tricky weather in time for Friday night frenzy and high school football. The Storm Prediction Center does have us in a slight risk area for a few strong thunderstorms. I think the best chance of this happening for us would be this afternoon and early evening. I will be manning Live Doppler 18 as usual and that is right make sure to tune in for the latest on where the storms are and where they are moving. I will make sure you and your pets are covered.

The good news is that the sultry haze over the area should be kicked out of the area by this stormy front. Kim sends in a rare picture of a red ring around the sun at sunrise in Montmorenci on Wednesday. This means the atmosphere is primed for rain. The ring is caused by haze particles which are perfect condensation nucleii for raindrop formation. There are also plenty of dust particles for raindrops to condense on in our atmosphere with our dust bowl conditions that have redeveloped over the area. Now do not panic just yet. I am talking about all this rain, but our weekend plans are NOT doomed. Here is why.

We will have occasional waves of rain develop along this front and all the maps are showing the front stalling out south of Lafayette. This is because a tropical system off the East Coast will take its time getting its act together. So this means even though we will have rain at times this weekend there will be plenty of dry hours, including a mainly rain-free Purdue game. You can take your ponchos, but any rain should be brief and isolated, so we can Boiler up in style! I also think the better chance of rain on Saturday will be at night. But for Friday night Frenzy here is what it may look like at times. We will not be so lucky.

Here is what it looked like at the McCutcheon-Zionsville game a couple weeks ago when we had a few cancellations and plenty of delayed games due to lightning. Tonight I think any lightning in the area should be mainly before 8 p.m and we stilll cannot rule out a gusty storm or two. The cloud cover we have had through most of the day should help us. We will likely have rain showers even after 8 p.m. so make sure to bring the umbrellas and as always I will keep you updated on Live Doppler 18. Football in the rain is always lots of fun and it is what I call real football weather.

Now speaking of fun here is a great picture of our morning meteorologist, Kelly Greene. Her fantasy football team name is the Mean Weather Girl Greene and in honor of Mean Joe Greene who used to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers she put on a uniform..I of course am the F-5 tornadoes. But do not worry, no tornadoes are expected in our weather this weekend....just on the field in our fantasy football league. Now I better make that trade with Kelly for Maurice Jones-Drew of the Jaguars before its too late and of course get to work ahead of the storms. I will talk to you soon.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

First Day of Pre-School Brings Last 90 Degree Day This Year

It was a great day yesterday. Lauren had her first day of school yesterday and she did not miss a beat. She got to school and went right to work. She even took after her Dad by coloring a weather picture. Lauren was so at ease and comfortable Julie and I did not get as emotional as we thought we would. She made it easy on everybody, but she may have liked school a little too much. When it was time to pick her up, she did not want to leave and her teachers had to carry her out to me. Talk about strong and independent, that is Lauren. I am certainly proud of her!

Weatherwise, nature is ready for a new beginning as well after going to the beat of its own drum with our 28th day of 90 degrees or above yesterday. This just about doubles our yearly average of just 16 days of 90 or above. Last year we had only sixteen 90 degree days. The calendar is finally catching up to this persistent, relentless hot pattern that has taken over our lives.

As you can see in the graph above, climatologically we are now done with the hottest part of our year which falls between June 1st and September 1st, which is also called meteorological summer. Meteorological fall officially began on Saturday and runs through November 30th. It will finally feel like autumn by the middle of next week with highs struggling to near 70. You can thank the shorter daylight hours.
If you have noticed the sun is now setting about 70 minutes earlier each night. The shorter days are allowing chilly air masses to build to our north that can hold together much better and fight off our sultry weather. Even though we cannot rule out a couple of hot days later in the month, there is a good chance we will not see the 90s again until next year. Our average last 90 degree day in Lafayette is September 5th.

This cooler air rushing to the south, meeting the much warmer, tropical air sets up a battle zone or clash of seasons which will impact us over the next several days. So say goodbye to the sultry weather and get ready for rain and relief.The good news is that we are not expecting all day rains for those all-important plans for the weekend and we will also receive some much needed rain.

There have been tornadoes this morning in Missouri, but it looks like the main support that could spark severe weather here at home is quickly lifting up into Canada and while we could still have a thunderstorm or two, we only have about a slight chance of severe weather. Timing of rain will be tough with the tropics being so active. An east coast hurricane is still possible hearly next week, which will stall a front not far from home bringing waves of rain at times all the way through Wednesday! For those heading to the Colts game tonight a break in the rain is on the way. Join me for the latest on this tonight and more tailgate forecasts for Friday night Frenzy and the big Boilers game on Saturday. Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

A Tropical Connection Will Bring Rain & Relief!

The stars must all be aligned...the Cubs are in first, relief is coming from the relentless summer weather, and welcome rain is back in the forecast! Nature was due to make a correction and in the Cubs case we all know about their story!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Weather No Longer an After-Thought By Late Week

It has been way too quiet in the world of weather here in the Midwest and we can trace this all the way to the tropics. Low pressure in the low latitudes tends to build huge slow-moving high pressure areas in the Midwest. Even though it is quiet here at home it will be a historic day in the tropics and the world of weather. It will be the first time we have had two category five hurricanes make landfall in the same season and it will be the first time we had two hurricanes make landfall in the same day since 1949. Here is a shot of the monster Felix above. Luckily it is moving into lesser populated areas of Mexico that have evacuated.

It is a good thing it has been quiet though because we had a banner year at the MDA Telethon. Here are those pictures you have been waiting for! I wanted to start with just a couple of the many great volunteers that help out year in and year out. You see Jenny Lantz to my left and Regina Lewis to my right. Their warm smiles greet me every year and it make a huge difference not only to me, but everybody involved with the MDA telethon. You can also see the Harrison high school band below that won the unofficial award for best cheer of the day!
Here was the Monday crew from WLFI that was really honored to take part in the event. Sunday night was also one of the best ever thanks to Gina and Jeff. Once I find a picture of them I will make sure to post it. Here a few more pictures you may enjoy. Thanks again for all your support. It was certainly the highlight of my year along with the blizzard!