Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Nature Puts on A Lightning Show in Indiana, Minnesota Is Still Digging Out!


How many cloud to ground lightning bolts in 2 hours last night? Over 1,000 which is not too shabby. One lightning bolt has enough energy to power 2.5 million car batteries. In an age where we are looking for alternative energy sources, I say we go back to the future and try to harness lightning. Ben Franklin's kite experiment needs to be taken to the next level. Lightning is caused by ice at the top of the cloud interacting with raindrops and supercooled raindrops. Even though the lightning was impressive, the storms only grew to about 30,000 feet due to a lack of instability and moisture. The higher the cumulonimbus cloud, the stronger the updrafts and potential for strong storms. Last night we did not get any of those 40,000 to 50,000 foot cloud tops that usually bring severe weather here in Indiana. This kept things in check with no severe weather watches or warnings. You can see that clearly on X-Vision below as I scanned the storms in 3-D!

The highest wind gust here at WLFI was 33 mph just after 1 a.m. This same thunderstorm rumbled up to Carroll County. Our Precision 18 Storm Tracker did a great job pinpointing exactly where the storm was and where it was moving.



Dayton which is know as tornado alley in our viewing area had just a typical thunderstorm move through at quarter after one while Delphi had an early wake-up call close to 1:30 a.m. I am glad we dodged the worst of the weather tonight. I have just one wind damage report out of Illinois near Ford County and that is it! It could be a different story Thursday into Friday. We have the main storm coming at us late week that could drop our temperatures at least 40 degress not including wind chills and maybe even bring us a little bit of snow. But it could always be worse! Check out these pictures sent in by the Stanforths' up in Orr, Minnesota.




These pictures are for real. The nice people in these pictures are Lisa Stanforth's Mom and Dad. She is our morning producer or who I like the call the Mary Tyler Moore of our news staff!


Mike and Kelly,
We are Lisa's parents, and thought you would appreciate a couple pictures from today. We are in northern Minnesota where we got over 24 inches in the last 24 hours. From the snow still standing in our woods, we have 3 to 4 foot in places (in April!!) We walked in to our lake/cabin property, which we were hoping to drive in- no such luck. none of these pics are faked (no kneeling in the snow!)

--Mark & Madelyn Stanforth



Thanks so much and the good news is that all the snow will be gone by May and the lakes which have suffered so dearly up in Minnesota with drought conditions will be replenished. Now get home Mark and Madelyn before the next blizzard hits Minnesota by late this week and weekend. Yes, we are in a historic pattern! Batten down the hatches here in Indiana. This pattern is only beginning and here comes a classic Spring storm for us on Thursday and Friday. Stay alert to changing weather conditions, stay safe, and stay tuned. In the meantime here are the incredible snow totals courtesy of the National Weather Service in Duluth from this past weekend in Minnesota.


The 30" of snow near Hibbing is only about 50 miles south of Orr and at least this incredible snow did not fall on Halloween weekend like portions of Minnesota saw back in 1991. It was caused by the "Perfect Storm" off Nova Scotia and New Foundland. This blocked all our weather here in the United States and caused a big log jam in our storm systems. A little snow or dusting of snow that was called for in Minnesota did not stop for 3 days. Some areas saw over 50 inches of snow in the Arrowhead. This week Minnesota may top that 50 inch mark in northern Minnesota. It looks to be their snowiest week in 17 years. Yes, blame the crocus crusher! Have a great day and now those 40s and flurries this weekend should be much easier to take. So no complaining! :)

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I remember the Halloween storm, when I was living in Duluth MN - it was the only time the office, where I worked, was closed - as no one could get out. I remember they even pulled the buses off the roads - which in MN is rare.

I do not miss that weather, especially seeing those pictures posted, of the snow in Orr.

Thanks for the great blog and photos - I always enjoy sitting down to read it.

River Lover
West Lafayette

Akinogal said...

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Anonymous said...

URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
FLOOD WATCH
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE INDIANAPOLIS IN
307 PM EDT WED APR 9 2008

...HEAVY RAIN POSSIBLE ONCE AGAIN ACROSS NORTHWEST CENTRAL INDIANA...

.A STRONG AREA OF LOW PRESSURE IS EXPECTED TO PUSH FRONT THE
CENTRAL PLAINS NORTHEAST TOWARD THE GREAT LAKES ON THURSDAY AND
THURSDAY NIGHT. AS THIS SYSTEM MOVES NORTHEAST...SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS...SOME WITH HEAVY RAINFALL...WILL BE POSSIBLE. RAIN
FALL AMOUNTS OVER ONE INCH WITH ISOLATED AMOUNTS NEAR 3 INCHES
WILL BE POSSIBLE ON THURSDAY AFTERNOON AND THURSDAY NIGHT.