What a start to our week. I am receiving some incredible pictures from the snow belt areas of Lake Michigan where some areas of Indiana and Michigan could see over a foot of snow. Storm chaser extraordinaire Blake Naftel not only chases down tornadoes but snowstorms. He reported a quick 4 inches of snow in Paw Paw, Michigan and sent in these two nice background pictures of a winter wonderland in November! South Bend, Indiana had snow rates of an inch an hour late this morning. The snow is adding up quickly as you see below with a forecast snowfall in some areas near one foot!
The Golden Snow Shovel Contest here at home will live to see another day as we will not reach the one inch threshold needed for a winner. But we will have plenty of excitement in the air here at home with some of our first snow accumulations of the season. The best chance of accumulations will be north of Lafayette but if a snow band holds together well enough we could see some cat tracks even in Tippecanoe County! It will be cold enough for some of that snow to stick because we will have lows tonight into the middle 20s.
It is fitting that it is Winter Weather Awareness Week and with some slick roads expected across northern Indiana here are a few things you should have in your car at all times. We call it your winter weather survival kit. As us Hoosiers know that even if winter officially begins on December 21st we need to be prepared well before Thanksgiving. We need to be ready starting right now!
Make sure your care is winterized and you can see some items you should have in your kit. I keep a few chocolate bars in my trunk this time of year along with other non-perishable foods. Yes, sometimes I dip into this emergency stash but I do keep it fully stocked. Do not tell my kids about this hiding place. They already eat too much sugar as it is. On a more serious note I rate having extra blankets and clothes high up on the list along with a cell phone. I have met many folks that told me their cell phone is a life-saver. If you are traveling long distances make sure to call and tell somebody when you are leaving and when you expect to arrive.
Another important tidbit is how you deal with being stranded off a highway in a snowstorm. You want to make sure not to run the engine with the windows rolled all the way up. This could cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Many times the cars back pipes are covered up with snow and this invisible deadly gas has nowhere to go but inside your car. Just in case always have your windows cracked and do not continually run the heat. You will also want to have a bright colored rag or towel you can tie to your car antennae so folks know that you need help. A lot of folks also try to leave their cars and succumb to hypothermia and frostbite. We all know that many times here in Indiana we have a lot of blowing and drifting during snowstorms and if you combine this with the cold and other driver's not being able to see you it can become very dangerous to try to leave your car and go get help. The bottom line is to stay with your car rather than chancing it. It could very well save your life.
Winter Weather Awareness Question of the Day: Are there such things as snownadoes or a tornadoes that occur in snowstorms?
Well even though some think they exist there is no such thing as snownadoes. Some folks like calling blowing snow or swirls of snow, snownadoes but this is officially called blowing and drifting snow. The closest thing to a snownado would be a blizzard which happens when you have wind gusts or sustained winds and visibilities of a quarter-mile or less for three or more hours during a snowstorm. It could look a bit like a snownado at times but again it is officially blowing and drifting snow that many times is accompanied by white-out conditions. Tonight, the white-out conditions will hit far northern Indiana. I will have snow totals posted here on the blog for you tomorrow along with a turkey day surprise if you like warmer weather. Thanks for reading and have a great day!
The big story will continue to be hats and gloves weather with wind chills by morning into the middle teens. We may not see above freezing wind chills until Wednesday. Make sure to tune in tonight to stay ahead of this wintry pattern.