Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Cold Front Bursts Through Area with 80 mph Wind Gusts & 1860s Style Free-Falling Temperatures

It was a day most of us will never forget, especially those in Frankfort. Estimated wind gusts near 80 mph raked Clinton County with reports of numerous trees and powerlines down along with shingle damage to homes. Even here at WLFI it sounded like the rooftop was about to lift with wind gusts of 54 mph. The reason for this was one of the most powerful January fronts on record. In Lafayette we dropped 15 degrees in 5 minutes. Millard See in Frankfort had a temperature drop from 54 to 37 degrees in about 5 minutes as the severe line of thunderstorms moved through. Two seasons collided within a matter of minutes. It was one of those rare days that had heavy snow in one part of our viewing area along with severe thunderstorms. Check it out below.

Notice the extreme temperature drop from 55 degrees in Lafayette to 28 degrees in Champaign. You will also want to take a look at Frankfort where that line of thunderstorms bowed out which is a signature of severe weather. Bow echoes can mean possible tornadoes and or straight-line winds. In this case it was straight-line winds that came down and caused a ton of damage. It looked like a tornado hit Frankfort last night, but the damage was caused by a microburst or a sudden rush of wind that hit the ground. Sustained winds were near hurricane force at only 18,000 feet above Clinton County yesterday evening and those storms literally captured the wind energy and focused it toward the ground. The stories around the area last night were incredible. Here are a few along with more storm reports:

Our tornado siren went off to signify the Weather Warning....and now SNOW IS ACCUMULATING RAPIDLY on streets rooftops!!! All within 2 hours.... I don't ever remember seeing extremes like this in such a short period of time!!!
Chris Mc New (Tipton)

Man, Mike…what a wind out there. 46 mph on WB. My wx station is frozen and has been most of the evening, actually went out at 7:10 p.m. Temp is at 9 with .56 rain and close to an inch of snow which if it all laid down (versus being up in the air) there may be more. My hubby said to tell you everything here is frozen up including HIM, lol….
Mary Anne (Remington)

Live here in Attica it is down to 32 degrees and we have ICE on the trees, sign post, dog pens and screens. 30 minutes earlier thunderstorms, Only in Indiana could we have this many seasons.
Tammy (Attica)

No news just yet on the damages...but we are stuck in the house.
It blew my rain gauge up out of the ground and then FROZE it to the grass so I have no idea how much rain we got!
Randy (Frankfort)

Chris McNew holding hail in Tipton

Now we have to be weary of frostbite that will be possible in as little as 30 minutes this morning with wind chills of 10 to 20 below zero. The wind will not really ease up until later this morning so be careful out there. Wind gusts of 50 mph will still be possible. Blame those incredible temperature differences. Lafayette was 55 degrees at 6 p.m. and now just before 2 a.m. the wind chills has fallen to 13 below zero. So it feels 68 degrees colder. A lot of folks have reported their car doors frozen shut so allow extra time this morning to pry open the car door and do plenty of ice scraping. But most of all be safe! Has Lafayette ever seen such extreme change? Well, legend has it that during the 1860s chickens were frozen in their tracks with an actual temperature drop of 103 degrees in March. We went from 80s to the 20s below zero. Last night we got a little taste of this. Yes, it could have been even worse. I did feel like I was going to freeze walking to my car like those chickens.

Now there is no rest for the weary. This is just the beginning of Hoosier hysteria when it comes to our weather. It still looks like we are in line for a hefty snowstorm Thursday night into Friday. Here is one of the five models I pay close attention to when forecasting snowstorms. Notice we are still in a 4 to 7 inch band, but isolated 10 inch amounts are popping up just to our South.

The one interesting thing we are watching is the possibility of an icy mix. This will make forecasting amounts even tougher. Stay safe, stay alert, and stay tuned. I will post breaking snowstorm news here on the blog as needed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh Boy Mike, what a night. This morning was horriable as well.Here in Lafayette, near Oakland School, car doors are frozen and cars not starting. It is noon and I just got my car started! Now snow? boo!