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!