Friday, March 7, 2008

Late Conference Call Confirms Storm Number 15 (Oscar) A Dud!



I think we need to start naming these La Nina storms from here on out so we can keep track of them. We have had 15 storms since January first. Using the 15th letter of the alphabet it should start with an O.......LET ME THINK ABOUT THIS....OKAY HOW ABOUT OSCAR. Oscar is the O word used in communications and since we just had the Academy Awards that gave out Oscars this works. Oscar of course in this case is not a hurricane or tropical storm but a mid-latitude cyclone. The Next storm will have to start with P and it will have a female name....send in your requests now. I am sure you can come up with something I can use! Maybe Patty, since we are getting closer to St. Patty's Day. But let's get back to Oscar and why he will break many snow-lover's hearts in Lafayette and be cherished by those ready for Spring. This will be a small victory for Spring. Jeff Smith did send us in a picture of witch hazel that was blooming here in Lafayette week. He still owes me that car wash but this picture will suffice. It is one of the few signs of Spring we have seen in our never-ending winter. Maybe this will break nature's wintry spell on us, but don't count on it.



Oscar is doing something the first 14 did not do! Its storm track is shifting farther south and east. The blocking high pressure off the Florida coast and southeast that helped bring a historic drought has finally been flattened like a pancake. Folks I met tonight that just got back from the Bahamas tell me they needed their jackets for a couple days. With no Bermuda high to steer this storm farther north and west, the dominant area of high pressure is over Minnesota tonight. Temperatures in Duluth will be below zero again. This cold air will keep Oscar from thinking twice about coming our way. Oscar does not like cold weather and will look for warmer pastures and lean closer to the warmer Gulf stream waters of the Atlantic Ocean. This will pull the dominant low track right up toward New Jersey.Our wintry weather this weekend should be mainly in the form of cold air with January temperatures in March. We will be running about 20 degrees below normal. So as we turn the clocks forward an hour this weekend it will be kind of surreal. At least it will look like March and that extra daylight in the evening tells us Spring continues to close in albeit slowly. Talk about a complex set-up, there will be two low pressures tracking to the north and the dominant low pressure looks to be going right up the East Coast and Jersey Shore. Oscar will take over and sweep all our moisture away before our snow can really add up.



On the conference call it was brought up that at least two of our models just show flurries for Lafayette and even Indianapolis may not see too much in the way of snow. Oscar has wobbled 60 miles farther east which makes a huge difference. Now could Oscar be a trickster? You never say never, but these models are usually pretty good within 24 hours of the main event. I do not see a TROWAL developing this time around, especially with the cold, dry air moving in from Canada. So here is the very latest map for you of expected snowfall.

I think most of us staying below an inch of snow and some of us may not see any snowflakes. Montgomery, Clinton, Howard, and Miami Counties have the best chance of seeing an inch or more, but that may be pushing it. South to Indianapolis, I lowered their totals to to 3 to 5 inches and that may be too high. I do not look for Winter Storm Warnings for Indy.

It looks like most of the snow that does make it into Indiana will still fall Friday night into Saturday morning with the heaviest band remaining in extreme southeastern Indiana.



Oscar may have been kind to us, but we may have a few bad apples moving our way come Spring time. By time we get to Zach we may be talking tornadoes. I hope not but here is the answer to yesterday's blog question. We average four tornadoes per year in the Lafayette viewing area and those numbers go higher in a La Nina pattern. Here is the Odell tornado that hit in the summer of 2006. Luckily, nobody was injured and I will never forget chasing this tornado and sending back reports. By time I caught up with it the tornado lifted, but it left plenty of flattened corn and barn door and rooftop damage.


So remember La Nina is not only trouble for us for big storms in the winter, but the Spring. Remember we set a record for thunderstorms in February with five and have already had one this month and it probably is a sign of things to come. The powerful La Nina jet stream adds spin to our thunderstorms which could give way to big hail, wind, and tornado events. One of the years that matches up to this year is 1974 which of course will always be remembered as our big tornado year here in Indiana with the Super Outbreak. Just ask folks in Monticello. So be careful what you wish for. I would rather take a snowstorm anyday over a tornado.

Have a great weekend and your blog question of the day today is:


Are tornado sirens supposed to be your family's number one defense against severe weather?

Remember to turn those clocks forward this weekend and enjoy the extra daylight. It will at least look like Spring in the evenings!

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update, Mike! I think I might be ready for spring too. That witch hazel is very pretty!

Anonymous said...

Let me just say that I am a weather fanatic and avid storm chaser, I have a battery of weather sites and raw data and forcasting tools that I use personally to predict the weather. And while my precipicast models showed only 1-2" of snow every time I ran them in the last 3 days, my educated opinion doesn't matter. Mike and his weather team have a responsability to this community to prepare us for the worst possible outcome for a weather event so that we are aware and prepared. Their job requires them to interprete volumes of shifting and changing raw data in hopes of finding the most accurate PREDICTION of what an ever changing weather pattern COULD do. I appreciate the hard work and especially this blog which gives all of us an in depth look at the world of weather. Being a nay sayer is like playing the dark side of a craps table, anyone can do it the odds are in your favor, but you ruin it for everyone else and before long you end up playing at a table by yourself. So to Mike and his team, THANKS for all your hard work this winter season and in advance for the severe weather season to come. And to all you water cooler nay sayers out there, you have a better chance of being right than Mike does (all you have to do is say the weather man is always wrong, it's not goinig to snow), but remember it's the weather man's JOB to keep us out of harms way to the best of his ability based on the ever changing data he has before him...

Anonymous said...

Ditto the previous post. Thanks Mike

Anonymous said...

And...
Since it is Severe Weather Awarness week, let me say this. We are no better at predicting what a tornado is going to do than we were 10 or even 20 years ago. However we are far more able to predict the possiblity of a tornado than we ever have been in the past. We now have the ability to identify, locate and track, TVS (Tornadic vortex signatures) on a weather radar. So I ask you this Mr. Nay Sayer, when the Tornado Sirens sound because of a radar indicated tornado nearby, do you sit in your recliner and proclaim to anyone who will listen that it's nothing and the weather man is alawys wrong? Because that is what gets people killed. I have witnessed first hand the awesome power and unpredictable nature of tornados. I have been chasing them for years and they are elusive. However, it is Mike and his teams JOB along with the NWS in Indianapolis to make the call to souond the sirens to keep everyone out of harms way. And I would rather have the sirens sound 20 times for radar indiacted tornados which never touch the ground, then not sound once for a tornado that does. You ask anyone in hte state of Oklahoma or Kansas about the fear that comes from not knowing when and where a tornado is going to touch down and they will tell you they would rather overreact to an eminent threat than underereact.
The same goes for all forms of weather forcasting from snow to rain to fog. It is this teams ultimate resposability to help us as a community to be informed and educated and aware.

Anonymous said...

This is for the poster who chases storms in our area. Would you please email me off site? I am also an avid wx fan and wonder if you keep chase logs, etc. I'd like to hear your chase experiences.

Thanks!

sweetpea1960@yahoo.com

Mary Anne in Remington

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mike, Glad Lafayette is missed by this one! However sounds that others are being hit hard! But if is going to be cloudy and cold might as well to have some snow to brighten things up!

Anonymous said...

If we can try and forecast an amount of snow then why could we not see a non existant Bermuda High? If we knew this and we knew a high was over Minnesota I think we could have spared another mad dash for everyone to bad mouth forecasting. Its the only job you can do wrong and not get fired.

Anonymous said...

I am sure someone moderates these blogs. Aren't they supposed to be about the weather? Please remove blogs that include foul language. It is really sad to think poeple can't carry on an intelligent conversation among one another without using foul language and derogatory comments.

Thanks to Mike for all the hard work. I have read the other Indy weather blogs when bad weather is predicted and none can compare to our local updates and the timely manner in which they are posted.

Thanks and Happy Spring...it's not far away!!!

~Sherry~ said...

~THX TO MIKE & THE WEATHER GODS FOR SPARING LAFAYETTE THIS LATEST WINTER STORM..MY BACK & ALL MY MUSCLES EXTEND THEIR GRATITUDE AS WELL...ME & THEY HAVE HAD ENOUGH SNOW SHOVELING THIS YEAR..AS FOR A NAME FOR THE NEXT STORM..I'M HOPING THERE WILL NOT BE ANOTHER SNOWSTORM BEFORE SPRING..BUT..IF THERE IS..I SUBMIT THE NAME "PATIENCE" BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT'S NEEDED UNTIL THE SNOW IS OUTTA HERE FOR THIS SEASON~

Anonymous said...

No, to answer the question, tornado sirens fail...A good advanced plan of action is your best defense, in the event of immenent severe weather, seek shelter in your basement or room in the house with no windows. Get an emergency weather radio and listen to it, the NWS will alert if the sirens do not...Then call your local chaser and tell them where the funnel cloud is...;)

Anonymous said...

I am sooo sad that this wasn't our storm. I think I'm ready to pack up and move somewhere along the Eastern Canadian border. I think Lafayette has some sort of invisible force shield that keeps the good stuff away. There is always dry slots and splits that occur right around us. It's just too depressing! Last year's blizzard was some kind of fluke, but I want more! That was awesome! I don't feel like this has been a big stormy season, up north they call our snows "dustings". I want to experience the "real deals". Just once I would like to experience something like Watertown, New York's 12' (yes, feet!) of snow within two weeks, now that would be something. Guess I should move if this is considered such a big snowy season. It has mostly been hype yielding a few inches here and there, that stinks. Is this as good as it gets here?
O.k. I'm done whining.

Anonymous said...

Well to the one that wished to use foul language on this blog, go to your favorite bar and use it there! Hard day at work or what? Never mind I do not wish to know nor to read your blog comments anymore! Hope your comment will be removed

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike, for a change in the blog about the weather forcast, my idea of a name for our next storm should be Philberta,(philly) in old english meaning very brillant! El Nina is a litte girl that has a mind of her own and she can out wit the most of us, she has an unusual keenness! I think this the perfect nick name for our gal,our storms that has caused us wondering!

Teri Lafayette

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