Monday, February 25, 2008

Must be Sectional Time! Snow Back in the Forecast

Wow, I guess we will have to hold off on the T-shirts for now. The winter of 2007-08 is not done with us yet, not by a long-shot. Just think a couple days ago most of our model guidance had highs for us today close to 50 degrees. But this is the same model guidance that simply cannot handle a La Nina pattern which is known for its tremendous ups and downs and big storms to boot. That has been proven throughout this wild and wacky winter. So with a temperature of 34 degrees at 1 p.m. here in Lafayette and the latest model runs showing a big swath of heavy snow moving our way by late tonight and Tuesday, do I give in and believe? Let's turn to the past.

This is a Colorado low impacting us which is a lot different than a Texas or Oklahoma low. So I am turning to climatology or past history of storms like this that have impacted Lafayette. Most "sectional" storms that start off as rain, then mix over to snow coming from the West bring us a nice 2 to 4 inch snowfall about 75% of the time. In extreme and more rare cases it can bring us a 4 to 6 inch snowfall with slightly higher amounts. This happens about 25% of the time.

Is there wild card that could increase our chances of seeing the less likely heavier snowfall band? Well, there are a few. We will have a vicious low-level jet stream punching in from the south at over 60 mph by morning. This will be a very dynamic system and it will have plenty of moisture to work with. This rapidly rising air and deep moisture will mix with cold air wrapping into the system. This means some areas could see an inch of snow per hour for at least 3 hours during our Tuesday morning. This is what meteorologists call "mesobanding of snow". Forecast amounts of snow can double in a heart-beat. It is the anti-dry slot of snowstorms and by the way, I do not see a dry slot for us this time around. The second factor I am looking at is that our storm will be deepening as it moves through the Ohio Valley tomorrow. It will be one of our stronger low pressures of the season. This is always an important ingredient when forecasting heavy snow. Thirdly, all the models have trended farther south on the track which would allow us to change-over to snow sooner and bring that secondary heavy snow band through our viewing area. The verdict: I think most of our viewing area ends up in a 4 to 6 inch band of snow with 6 to 8 inch amounts not out of the question in a thin bullseye.

Tonight, tune in to find out where the 4 to 6 inches may fall and where that 6 to 8 inch band may set up. In the meantime, I will be watching those radars very closely with you. It is still a developing system, which means things can certainly change. This first estimate on snowfall I do have confidence in, despite the model madness. Now we will all wait it out together and see what this La Nina storm has in store for us. Sectional time and a big snowstorm are synonymous with each other and maybe, just maybe nature will come through this time around. But this is the winter of 2007-08 and as we have seen all winter long, it is not a slam-dunk by any means. It is crunch time for the basketball teams and meteorologists and I have my game face on! :) I will check back with you throughout the evening and overnight with the latest. It should be interesting. This time around I am looking to take out nature early with a Live Doppler 18 full court press. Let's go!


Anonymous said...

OH boy, here we go! I will keep watching your blog through the night so please keep us updated Mike. I like to know what is happening (or going to happen) so I usually check every hour or so through the night. Since I love the snow I am always too exited to sleep.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Prangley, we needed you on TV last night. Your colleague was adamant on her 1 in. prediction. Indy stations were hinting that there would be a heavy snow swath to the north, from Fort Wayne through Lafayette. This was at 11pm Sunday night. What went wrong? Come on. We have faith in you and your station, but she did NOT even allude to the chances of the low moving north or south, and that one small change could screw up our amounts in a big way! I am a meteorology student at Purdue. I have been talking UP this storm all weekend long to friends, family, and my own colleagues. I turn on your channel last night and was sick to hear her say 1 in. I hope she's right!!! But the placement of the winter storm watch, and your newscasts to come this evening, make your weekend meteorologist look foolish...and I know she's not. She's a classmate. Can you help? Thanks. By the way, you ALL do wonderfully at WLFI. I still have faith. I'm just disappointed. We saw this coming. Take care, and here's hoping for only one inch! I wish there WAS a dry slot moving our way, but as you noted, it's looking less and less likely. We'll be watching.

Anonymous said...

Nothing like a good snow storm during High School Sectionals for all of us "snow lovers".

Anonymous said...

I would really love to see more snow - and less rain. I hope the temps stay low enough, so that we do get a good ol' winter storm (I still want to go sledding this year)!!

Also,the snow is a nice break for the rivers - as opposed to rain.

I was surprised to see that we had a winter storm warning posted for Tippy Co. I can imagine it will be hard to predict - as even the NWS has a vague snow accumulation prediction, at this point and time.

Thanks for your hard work and interesting blogs.

River Love
W. Lafayette

Anonymous said...

Love the info on the blog I really enjoy the science/art of forecasting. You have to look at the data but the art is in interpreting the data. I love reading the blog and look forward to how this one turns out.

Great work entire weather team and thanks for serving your community so faithfully.

Anonymous said...

It is amazing how people will comment and complain, either way around.. You over estimate because the potential is there.. and people complain.. you under estimate 24 hours before the storm and then people complain.. i understand that preople dont understand how complex snow storms and low pressure areas are.. i dont think it matters how well you eplain things.. or how many times you tell people that even a few miles different in the storm track can and usually does change things majorly.. I wish the people that comment on here were more positive, and had a little more knowledge of what they were saying before they say it !!! By the way mike your Explaination in the blog of tonights storm is great.. hope poeple read it before they start complainging tonight, simply because the dont understand weather !!!!! thanks

Jim said...

The downplay of the system on Sunday evening was the direct result of the National Weather Service not buying into the winter storm. The Indianapolis offices did not issue anything until 10:30 or so this morning.

It is very hard for a TV forecaster to go against the NWS.


Anonymous said...

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So when too much wealth accumulates at the top, the middle class slip further into debt and the lower class further into poverty. A similar rule applies worldwide. The world’s richest 1% now own over 40% of ALL WORLD WEALTH. This is EVEN AFTER you account for all of this ‘good will’ ‘humanitarian’ BS from celebrities and executives. ITS A SHAM. As they get richer and richer, less wealth is left circulating beneath them. This is the single greatest underlying cause for the current US recession. The middle class can no longer afford to sustain their share of the economy. Their wealth has been gradually transfered to the richest 1%. One way or another, we suffer because of their incredible greed. We are talking about TRILLIONS of dollars. Transfered FROM US TO THEM. Over a period of about 27 years. Thats Reaganomics for you. The wealth does not ‘trickle down’ as we were told it would. It just accumulates at the top. Shrinking the middle class and expanding the lower class. Causing a domino effect of socio-economic problems. But the rich will never stop. They will never settle for a reasonable share of ANYTHING. They will do whatever it takes to get even richer. Leaving even less of the pie for the other 99% of us to share. At the same time, they throw back a few tax deductable crumbs and call themselves ‘humanitarians’. IT CAN’T WORK THIS WAY. Any 'humanitarian' progress made in one area will be lost in another. EVERY SINGLE TIME. IT ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT WORK THIS WAY. This is going to end just like a game of Monopoly. The current US recession will drag on for years and lead into the worst US depression of all time. The richest 1% will live like royalty while the rest of us fight over jobs, food, and gasoline. Crime, poverty, and suicide will skyrocket. So don’t fall for all of this PR CRAP from Hollywood, Pro Sports, and Wall Street PIGS. ITS A SHAM. Remember: They are filthy rich EVEN AFTER their tax deductable contributions. Greedy pigs. Now, we are headed for the worst economic and cultural crisis of all time. SEND A “THANK YOU” NOTE TO YOUR FAVORITE MILLIONAIRE. ITS THEIR FAULT. I’m not discounting other factors like China, sub-prime, or gas prices. But all of those factors combined still pale in comparison to that HUGE transfer of wealth to the rich. Anyway, those other factors are all related and further aggrivated because of GREED. If it weren’t for the OBSCENE distribution of wealth within our country, there never would have been such a market for sub-prime to begin with. Which by the way, was another trick whipped up by greedy bankers and executives. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. The credit industry has been ENDORSED by people like Oprah, Ellen, Dr Phil, and many other celebrities. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. Now, there are commercial ties between nearly every industry and every public figure. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. So don’t fall for their ‘good will’ BS. ITS A LIE. If you fall for it, then you’re a fool. If you see any real difference between the moral character of a celebrity, politician, attorney, or executive, then you’re a fool. WAKE UP PEOPLE. ITS ALL ABOUT THE MONEY. The 1% club will always say or do whatever it takes to get as rich as possible. Without the slightest regard for anything or anyone but themselves. Vioxx. Their idea. Sub-prime. Their idea. NAFTA. Their idea. Outsourcing. Their idea. The commercial lobbyist. Their idea. The multi-million dollar lawsuit. Their idea. $200 cell phone bills. Their idea. $200 basketball shoes. Their idea. $30 late fees. Their idea. $30 NSF fees. Their idea. $20 DVDs. Their idea. Subliminal advertising. Their idea. The MASSIVE campaign to turn every American into a brainwashed credit card, pharmaceutical, love-sick, celebrity junkie. Their idea. All of which concentrate the world’s wealth and resources and wreak havok on society. All of which have been CREATED AND ENDORSED by celebrities, athletes, and executives. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. So don’t fall for their ‘ good will’ ‘humanitarian’ BS. ITS A SHAM. NOTHING BUT TAX DEDUCTABLE PR CRAP. Bottom line: The richest 1% will soon tank the largest economy in the world. It will be like nothing we’ve ever seen before. and thats just the beginning. Greed will eventually tank every major economy in the world. Causing millions to suffer and die. Oprah, Angelina, Brad, Bono, and Bill are not part of the solution. They are part of the problem. EXTREME WEALTH HAS MADE WORLD PROSPERITY ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. WITHOUT WORLD PROSPERITY, THERE WILL NEVER BE WORLD PEACE OR ANYTHING EVEN CLOSE. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL. Of course, the rich will throw a fit and call me a madman. Of course, their ignorant fans will do the same. You have to expect that. But I speak the truth. If you don’t believe me, then copy this entry and run it by any professor of economics or socio-economics. Then tell a friend. Call the local radio station. Re-post this entry or put it in your own words. Be one of the first to predict the worst economic and cultural crisis of all time and explain its cause. WE ARE IN BIG TROUBLE.