Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Coats of Snow, Hat, & Gloves Weather Grips Lafayette
Breaking Weather Blog News:
The space shuttle will be able to be viewed tonight at 6:55 p.m. in the southern sky so make sure to take a look. We should have good viewing conditions but make sure you have your heavy coat! Snow update includes double-digit snowfall in Indiana!
If you lived in Valparaiso this is what it would look like out your weather window. Thank you Mary Beth Wheelock and Mary Anne Best for forwarding her picture to me. Valparaiso ended up with an astounding 10" of snow. Rochester which is in the northern reaches of our viewing area had just over 3 inches of snow. There were many slick roads and even black ice reported this morning on area roads near Lafayette. Once again tonight black ice could cause some problems. This transparent form of ice likes to form in temperatures below 23 degrees and we should meet that criteria. So be extra careful on the roadways tonight even though the stars will be out. There is no road salt out there for any traction which makes black ice even more of a problem and concern than usual.
Diana Marion of Monticello sent in this picture of a dusting that fell on Monday morning. Dustings of snow also were reported from Monon to Logansport and Kokomo.
That is right, I chased down some snowflakes last night. It looked like we were in for a snowstorm at one point and when the snow was coming down moderately heavy at one point. But like most lake-effect snow bands that impact Lafayete, it was a very narrow band and it did not last too long. But notice the background picture below does show the snow did put down a dusting on the southside of Lafayette last night.
We did have some WLFI viewers report over an inch of snow in central and northern Fulton County and far northern Pulaski County as of 11 p.m. last night. Notice the nice healthy report of 1.2 inches in Rochester. By time all is said and done Rochester may end up with closer to 4 inches of snow and we should see some 12 inch amounts in Michigan. La Porte also looks like it will be the sweet spot for Indiana with totals of 6 to 8 inches before all is said and done. I will post the updated totals later today on the blog. This snow is a sign of just how cold it is outside. You have this cold air mass and wind blowing over the much warmer Lake Michigan and this huge temperature contrast helps to condense out tons of lake-effect snow. The snow train was chugging last night and the wind switched a little more out of the north causing the lake bands that hit eastern portions of Indiana to move farther west bringing me a wonderful 10 minutes of running around in the snow with my camera. Not even my dog could keep up with me and he is a fast little guy.
Even though we did not have a big snowstorm this time around in Lafayette, this brings us to our Lafayette winter weather awareness tip of the day. The winter terminology has changed just a bit this year. No longer will we have heavy snow warnings. This is to cut down on the many different watches and warnings that are issued by different weather offices. Many times these offices overlap into different viewing areas causing confusion. So less is more in this case.
Take a look at the differences and realize that we will have AVERAGE 2 WINTER STORM WARNINGS every winter and this year will likely be no exception to the rule. When more than a quarter inch of ice is forecasted it is called an ice storm warning. A freezing rain advisory is issued with less than a quarter-inch of ice. Sleet warnings do not exist and usually are put in the same grouping as winter storm warnings or winter weather advisories.
Blog Question of the Day: What is our chance of a blizzard this year?
Here in Lafayette our chance of a blizzard year to year is about 8% and this year since I am forecasting a much drier winter and a milder January and February I will keep our blizzard chances close to 10%. But nature will make the final call on this one so stay tuned!
Today this cold wind will finally ease up thanks to high pressure moving in from the West and this will effectively stop the snow train in its tracks. We could even see some sunshine this afternoon! I know there are a lot of folks wondering if winter is here to stay. I do have this pattern breaking by later next week and even though we will still have cold shots I do think the big ridge out west will move closer and bring us some milder weather just in time for Thanksgiving. The turkey tells us the story. It looks like the turkey will thaw with the rest of us in time for our big holiday! Gobble, gobble, gobble....
We will talk more about this on the blog later today and have your winter weather awareness tip. Please send in any winter questions you may have so we will have more fun stuff to talk about here on the blog. Have a great day and thanks for reading.