Sunday, December 9, 2007

Winter Storm Update Includes Rounds of Ice

2:00 a.m. Sunday

Things have changed with the latest radars lighting up like Christmas trees near St. Louis. There are thunderstorms down in Missouri. What this means for us is that a heavier batch of frozen precipitation is possible in the morning hours and an ice storm warning cannot be ruled out. It has been a long time since I have heard thunder during a freezing rain storm but this cannot be ruled out as we all wake up in the morning. I will keep you updated and likely see you soon on the tube. Please be careful! Make sure to check the links below if you have to travel and there are more safety tips if you scroll down just a little.

Here is an important link to Indiana road conditions courtesy of the Indiana State Police:

Here is an important link to Illinois road conditons:

12:00 a.m. Sunday

Great to check in with you, but I wish it was under better circumstances. I don't think any of us are fans of ice, freezing rain, sleet, freezing drizzle, snizzle (snow and freezing drizzle), but here we go again. This is the second time in as many weeks that nature has brought us an icy mess during our weekend. There are lots of folks shopping, traveling, and in my case going to the TV-18 Christmas party. Don't worry I made sure I ate some prime rib and talked to all the nice folks that absolutely love bringing you the news every night. We all have great pride in the TV-18 family of being your one and only local station. The prime rib was great, but I had to literally eat and run. There was no time for the comedy show this year because nothing is funny about this weather pattern. So here is what you need to know:

I do think the worst part of this ice storm will be north of St. Louis in West-Central Illinois, but we will not be spared an icy mess. The reason for all this trouble is a huge dome of cold air being locked in by high pressure here in the Midwest Parts of Minnesota could be colder than 20 below zero tonight. This means the farther west you go the better chances of a major ice storm. Now farther east here in Indiana we have warm, tropical moisture surging in with the pineapple express or a strong jet stream you can track all the way back to Hawaii. This bad mix or clash of air masses is playing havoc with our weather. While we will not see a devastating ice storm we will have slippery roads develop, especially Sunday morning.

Here is my timeline for most of us: We will have our best chance of icing between 4 a.m. and Noon Sunday. Temperatures should rise into the middle and upper 30s changing the freezing rain and rain over to all rain. Ice accumulations should be less than .20". This is usually not enough to cause power-outages or tree branches to snap. With our temperatures hovering near freezing our main threats will be driving on untreated roads, secondary roads, bridges, and overpasses. Be very careful walking as sidewalks will be more like ice skating rinks.

Fulton, and Pulaski County have an ice storm warning which is issued when more significant ice accumulations are expected. Usually you have to have over a quarter-inch of ice. I am forecasting between .20" and .40" of an inch of ice for these areas which is enough to cause sporadic power outages and small tree limbs to snap. Driving becomes much more difficult and travel is not recommended. The good news is that major ice damage to powerlines and trees usually does not occur until you are close to three-quarters of an inch of ice and I do not see that happening. The worst of the icing should occur in Francesville to Winamac and Rochester between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. before their temperatures also warm up above freezing.

So please be safe! I do care about you and here are some safety tips you can use if you have to be out and about.

Car and Emergency Supplies:

Cell phone
Portable charger and extra batteries
Shovel Windshield scraper
Battery-powered radio (and extra batteries)
Flashlight (and extra batteries)
Water & Snack food
Extra hats, coats, mittens, blankets, chains or rope
Tire chains, canned compressed air with sealant (emergency tire repair)
Road salt or kitty litter and sand Booster cables
Emergency flares
Bright colored flag; help signs
First aid kit & Tool kit
Road maps & Compass
Waterproof matches and a can (to melt snow for water)
Paper towels

What to Do if You Get Stranded:

Staying in your vehicle when stranded is often the safest choice if winter storms create poor visibility or if roadways are ice covered. These steps will increase your safety when stranded:
Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna as a signal to rescuers and raise the hood of the car (if it is not snowing). Move anything you need from the trunk into the passenger area. Wrap your entire body, including your head, in extra clothing, blankets, or newspapers. Stay awake. You will be less vulnerable to cold-related health problems. Run the motor (and heater) for about 10 minutes per hour, opening one window slightly to let in air. Make sure that snow is not blocking the exhaust pipe—this will reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. As you sit, keep moving your arms and legs to improve your circulation and stay warmer. Do not eat unmelted snow because it will lower your body temperature. Huddle with other people for warmth.

You take care and maybe next time we can just have an old-fashioned snowstorm. I certainly did not order this weather up!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I will take SNOW anytime over this ice! We are now in an ice storm warning up here (Jasper County) until 6 PM with more forecast the next two days. Thanks for keeping us updated, Mike! YOU take care so you can get to the studio safely.

I will not be going out today (missing church, too) and will be praying for those who have to be out in this (My hubby was out in it all night on a gas leak)that everyone stays safe!
Mary Anne