Friday, December 14, 2007

Midwest Mauler With Snow & Wind Closes in on Lafayette

This is how it will look in our area by Sunday morning. The kids in Delphi are ready for a real snow and have their shovels out and sleds ready. That is a good thing! A classic Midwest Mauler (snowstorm) is developing early this morning and its getting ready to pound our area with the biggest snow since the blizzard of 2007. Of course the East Coast has their famed snowstorms nicknamed nor'easters so I had to come up with a nickname for a good old fashioned Midwest snowstorm. The latest maps take an area of low pressure right up into Kentucky and the Ohio Valley which is a favorable track for heavy snow here in Lafayette. We have a very dynamic system with not one but two upper-level features that will phase into one to our southwest. The second upper feature coming over the Rocky Mountains will actually hook up with energy coming out of Mexico. This is what is helping to pull the storm track farther west toward Lafayette and is the big reason why our snow totals on all the model runs tonight have almost doubled. This storm is "digging" out West and we will be doing our own digging out this weekend. Take a look at the new storm track.

The heaviest snow will likely move in Saturday night. That dark blue area above is the heaviest snow. There will also be plenty of wind with this system as it rapidly deepens. Wind gusts over 30 mph with blowing and drifting snow will cause white-out conditions by late Saturday night into Sunday morning. We had thunder last weekend with the freezing rain and I cannot rule out thunder snow this weekend. I will talk more about this on the blog as the storm gets closer. Now here are all the new robust forecast snow amounts that have come in tonight.

Model #1 (4") Model #2 (6")

Model #3 (6" ) Model #4 (5")

Model #5 (5") Model #6 (3")

So....DRUM ROLL PLEASE... here are my updated snow amounts. Since this storm has not even formed these amounts can still change a bit so make sure to keep tuning in and checking back here on the blog.

I do have more more confidence tonight that most of us will at least see 4 inches of snow. Some maps tonight had isolated 10" amounts near Muncie, Indiana. Areas in Eastern Indiana could be right in the bull's eye of the storm. One interesting note is that parts of our viewing area could end up with close to 10 inches of snow while areas to our far west and north end up with close to 2 inches of snow. There are still question marks with this storm including where will the dreaded dry slot set up. Dry slots can bust a snow forecast in a hurry. All powerful winter storms are like big vacuums and suction all of the air toward their center. Inevitably these big storms draw in tons of moisture as well as dry air. If the dry slot decides to move over us it would cut our forecast snow totals in half. But for now the latest maps are saying we should have plenty of moisture to work with. It will be something to watch for as the storm develops and moves our way. We may even be able to see a snow bow like the one you see below. I promised you this picture yesterday and here it is today.

Courtesy of Kim Pike

This was taken in Lebanon, Indiana on December 6, 2007 at 8 a.m. I will have more on how this formed and the big storm on the way. Be on the outlook for snowbows and big snowdrifts!

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