Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Freezing Rain Changing to Mainly Rain...Travel Still Not Advised
Well this is the first break I have had since before my 5 p.m. show. Before I go on I just wanted to thank all the bloggers and remember to treat all bloggers with kindness and respect. You can pick on me but do not go after my weather bloggers....please! It is almost Christmas, come on. Even if it wasn't the holidays there is no reason to put others down to try to make yourselves feel better. E-mail me at email@example.com if you are having a rough day or cannot stand this weather. I am part psychiatrist and meteorologist this time of year. Try me. For those that get what the blog is all about I really appreciate you sending in those road conditions and observations. I read ALL OF THEM. I can tell you I know for a fact it is saving lives tonight.
I am sorry our weather hasn't been the best and wouldn't we all have liked this to just be a nice light snow for a White Christmas, although we could still see a nice light coating tomorrow afternoon and early evening. If you told me on Christmas week we would go from -1 in West Lafayette to highs in the 50s I would have laughed. That is what makes forecasting so much fun! Yes, the long-range maps did call for a snowy, not an icy month. The big factor was the southeast ridge bounced back about 2 to 3 weeks earlier than expected and a big ridge moved into Alaska causing a big trough of low pressure to form out West. That is where the true polar air air has been. We have been right in the battle zone between very cold weather to our north and west and warm, tropical weather to our southeast and thus the ice! This in effect shifted our jet stream out of the south and southwest bringing warm layers of air in the atmosphere our way over our cold December ground. This is not an exact science but we do have the blog to tell you why things changed and what it means for you.
Now don't try to be a hero tonight that is for sure. Even though our freezing rain is changing to rain travel is still not advised for tonight. I have been talking to a ton of folks trying to travel and two hour rides from Chicago to Lafayette are taking more like 4 to 5 hours with things at nearly a standstill. The temperatures above may be rising but here is one big thing to remember. Here in Lafayette we have a temperature of 34 degrees and Mark called in a temperature of 33 but that temperature is taken about 6 feet high. At ground level it is still closer to 32 so it is still very icy out there although I do think we will not see much more in the way of any ice accumulation it will still be treacherous out there if you are driving or even walking. You can see the final call on the icing at the top and I do think most of us can breathe a sigh of relief. We should dodge those widespread power outages like we saw last week.
We need good news and there is more. The heaviest of this precipitation will be over by 1 a.m. and there could be a break in the action for travel first thing tomorrow morning, but it will only be about a 4 to 6 hour window between 6 a.m. and Noon for any extensive travel.
There will be another batch of snow moving in behind a cold front by late morning and during the afternoon which could cause more slick spots as temperatures begin to fall to near 32 by late day. Tomorrow night be careful going to Mass because the roads will likely re-freeze with some standing water still left over from our Grinch storm. I will check back with you before I head out of town first thing on Christmas Eve. I wish you an early Merry Christmas and best of holiday seasons. It should be a lot of fun heading into 2009. Be safe! Be kind! Look for a February 2007 rewind!