Friday, November 30, 2007

It's Parade Time: Put Away the Parkas & Get out the Umbrellas

Last year we had a toe-numbing high of 24. You can see how the Prangley sisters had several layers on and Lauren was covered in blankets in the wagon. It was more of a typical parade. This year a lot of folks have been worried about the forecast and telling me to change it. Well if I could I would but I do have some good news to go along with the bad news. The temperature this year will be about 30 degrees warmer and will be our warmest Lafayette Christmas Parade in 3 years. We have been brutally cold the last two years as you see below.

This graph does give us plenty to get excited about. But we do have a major winter storm moving into the Midwest so the next question is how much rain, snow, and sleet will we receive. The latest computer models still keep the main track well to the northwest of Lafayette so as a result we will be on the warmer side of the storm. But it will be a sloppy day tomorrow with afternoon rain, snow, and sleet moving in. The good news is that no ice accumulation is expected as temperatures rise above freezing by noon and into the 40s by later tomorrow evening. Here is a parade weekend graphic to help you plan ahead. So not only will it be mild, but we do have a good chance of seeing a dry slot work in for at least a few hours on Sunday. So it will not be a washout which is great news. Bring the ponchos and umbrellas for a few occasional rain showers during the afternoon on Sunday.

We really should not be complaining. The heaviest rain this weekend will be Saturday night. So this is a glimmer of hope for the YMCA Sleigh Bell 5k, the Dickens of a Christmas, and even the Frankfort Christmas Parade which all take place on Saturday. The earlier you get out on Saturday the better. But conditions will get worse as the day goes on. One interesting note is just how close we were to having a tough time getting anywhere. The winter storm warnings are in blue with the heavy snow running right through the Twin Cities and north-central Wisconsin. There are also ice storm warnings in the fuscia color for areas of west-central Illinois which includes Bloomington and Peoria, Illinois. If you are heading to Chicago you may want to check plans with a nasty wintry mix up there as well.

The map below shows that heavy snow band a little better.

The golden snow shovel contest lives to see another day but I have a real good feeling for all of us snow fans that we will not miss out on snow in December. This storm is setting the stage for a nice pattern for sledders. Stay tuned, stay safe, and I will see you at the parade!

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