The latest model runs are in and it is a good thing I am sitting down while typing this and you should be sitting down as well....the last time I saw anything like this was right before the Blizzard of 2007 back on February 13, 2007. Many folks just called the February blizzard the Valentine's Blizzard since it did not officially end until early on Valentine's Day. Here were the snow totals with that storm.
We were clobbered with 17 inches of snow here in Lafayette and it went down as the snowiest blizzard on record. Well here we are only 10 months later and we have another blockbuster storm that has just as much energy as the blizzard. The model that nailed that blizzard back in February is forecasting 15.6 inches of snow for Lafayette with this storm. Parts of Indiana could have just close to 2 feet of snow near Huntington. So this is a real eye-opener for me. It is to the point where even if we miss out on the best dynamics with the storm we should end up close to 10 inches of snow. If we get hit like most of the models say we will it will be over a foot of snow and closer to 16 inches. So tomorrow we can welcome Val Jr. or the nickname I have given this snowstorm. Some will welcome Val with open arms and some will not. But one thing is for sure and that is I have got my sleeping bag ready because I do not want to get stuck out there. Here are the latest forecast amounts.
It looks quite familiar, doesn't it. We have all the things with this storm you look for right before a big snowstorm. We have a roaring jet stream in perfect position with upper divergence, the phasing of tropical and polar energy, omegas and frontogenetic forcing through the roof, and the big thing is plenty of deep moisture that will feed into the system. Val. Jr. or Valentine's Junior will also be so strong its pressure could dip as low as a category one hurricane. Everything is lined up for the "perfect snowstorm". This storm could actually have higher snowfall rates per hour than the blizzard with 2 inches of snow per hour for several hours on Saturday night.
I cannot rule out the National Weather Service upgrading this storm to a blizzard warning especially for far eastern and northeastern Indiana near Fort Wayne. But right now the big difference between this storm and the Blizzard of 2007 is the wind. I do not think this storm will have as much wind with it. The low-level jet during the blizzard reached 50 knots that mixed down plenty of high winds to the ground. This storm will have a low-level jet closer to 40 knots which should keep most of our wind gusts near 30 mph instead of 40 mph. For there to be a blizzard warning you need wind gusts of 35 mph for 3 consecutive hours and blowing snow or snow reducing visibilities to less than a quarter mile. I think it will be tough to reach that criteria with this storm but cannot rule it out. We very well could have white-out conditions at times especially late Saturday night and Sunday and blowing and drifting snow will still be a major concern for those north-south roads all the way through early Sunday evening. Well I am going to go rest for a few hours and will be back here early in the morning with more web and blog updates. Sleep well! I know I will have sweet dreams.