Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Snowiest March Since 1984 Will Give Way to A Warm April!

It is official: Chuckie Wheezer the groundhog from Delphi was wrong. She did not see her shadow which meant an early Spring was on the way. I am still a big fan of hers and have to stick up for Chuckie! Remember groundhogs and meteorologists cannot control the weather and things can change in a hurry, especially in the Midwest. Here in Lafayette we had 5.2 inches of snow in March which was the most in March since 1984 when we had just under 6 inches. Chuckie Wheezer hit the forecast right on the head last year, but no weather forecaster is perfect or an expert, not in Indiana. Punxsutawney Phil won the forecast contest by seeing his shadow and forecasting 6 more weeks of winter. I sided with Phil this year, but next year I think Chuckie will come back strong and do a great job like in 2007. Now as we head through April, will winter finally let go? I will have your blog answer of the day coming up.

It is great to check in with you and the verdict is in for April....this is my final will be warmer than average and we certainly deserve it! We really went into this colder than average pattern in the middle of February, but things are now changing across the globe, including much warmer than average water temperatures across the north Pacific and north Atlantic. The La Nina lives on, but it is now in a weakening state. The combination of these 3 factors will help our temperatures to finally bounce back and in a big way. This weekend will bring 60s and next week we may have our first 70s of the season. While the temperatures are showing a needed change after below average reading in February and March, the news is not as good with rainfall. If you look closely at the map above, notice we will be between temperatures much above average to our south and below average temperatures not far from home to our north. This puts us right in the battle zone. You can see this better below.

We normally average just over 3 inches of rain and I can see us easily eclipsing 4 inches of rain with some areas close to 5 inches, especially south of Lafayette. The green shaded area shows where most of the gully washers will be lining up.This means we will have to pay a price for this warmer than average weather and the farmers will have to plan accordingly. Flooding will certainly be an issue, but what still has me really concerned is our prospects for severe weather. As things heat up next week we will likely have our first severe weather reports of the season here in Indiana. The question is how far north? We need to be prepared. Things could getting really interesting by the middle and end of next week. Speaking of severe weather here is a video sent in by Chuck Rich of a tornado that hit Clinton County back in April of 2004. We also had tornadoes that day in Miami County and Howard Counties. An ice skating rink in Kokomo was heavily damaged as a wall collapsed and the roof was torn up. Everybody stayed safe thanks to having a severe weather plan which included staying away from those outside walls. Without further adieu here is the video.


I took this video back on Tuesday, April 20,
2004 of the Tornado that hit Michigantown and Clinton Central High School. I live 4 miles northwest of Michigantown and shot the video from my backyard. I was outside and saw the tornado and ran and grabbed my camera. By the time I started filming, it had gone behind the trees and you and just see the funnel hanging down. By the time it cleared the trees, it had dissipated. I thought I had lost this video file but I found it in my old truck as I was cleaning it out.

Great job on the weather forecasting for our area, you are always on top of it!

Chuck Rich

I appreciate the video and kind words Chuck. The tornado you see above was rated an F0 with wind gusts estimated near 75 mph. I remember talking to a Mom that told me she was with her two kids when the tornado hit their garage. They stayed calm and went down in the basement. The whole house shook and it was scary, but they did not have a scratch on them. Getting to your safe spot really does work. The tornado that hit Kokomo on that day was an F1 with wind speeds near 100 mph. Tomorrow here on the blog I will tell you about a tornado with over 200 mph winds that hit Monticello. It is the anniversary of the biggest 24 hour tornado outbreak. I will also keep you in a good mood despite late afternoon rain showers by posting some great pictures of the cherry blossoms not only from my trip to D.C. but from Japan. The storm name will also be Japanese....can you guess what it is?