Sunday, December 28, 2008

Good Morning! Our Beast of a Pattern Finally Tamed!

The Storm Chasers share a rare break from one of Lafayette's worst weather spells on record! Dr.Chris Melick (doctor of meteorology and former intern) on the left, yours truly, and of course Brian Wolfe.

It will be a week I will never forget with wind chills that froze everything in sight at 25 degrees below zero last Sunday to record-breaking high temperatures that rocketed up to 68 degrees yesterday. That is right it was even a bit humid out there with shorts sightings at Armstrong Park. A temperature range of 93 degrees in one week! I am just sitting here in a daze. I should be resting but nature has gotten me used to a pace where little rest is even expected or warranted. I have been whipped into shape that is for sure.

Saturday's record high smashed the old record of 62 set back in 1982. Of course this all came on the heels of a devastating ice storm for much of northern Indiana. More ice hit the area just before Christmas, and a third icy mess developed on Friday. Indiana is known for wild weather but you can make a case that the last 10 days or so have brought the wildest weather on record. Just since early Friday morning and yes there was a reason I rushed back to work after a 24 hour holiday and I want to thank my wife and kids for putting up with this.....our viewing area has experienced snow, sleet, thundersleet, freezing rain, thunder freezing rain, rain, dense fog, severe thunderstorms, damaging winds, and a possible brief tornado between Stockwell and Clarks Hill. Oh yes, we did have some penny size hail in the first line of storms came that came through. We had two lines of thunderstorms and a third almost formed! This is like a Hollywood movie that is all too real! Here are the damaging wind gusts reported around the area.

Medaryville 70 mph

Stockwell 70 mph

Clarks Hill 70 mph

Boswell 65 mph

Remington 53 mph

Now that the storms have passed early on this Sunday morning you would think it would finally get better! Not even close. Just after midnight Lafayette has been hit with 50 to 55 mph wind gusts and our temperature at Lafayette has fallen an amazing 16 degrees in one hour from 57 to 41 and our wind chills have dropped quickly below freezing in an instant. This stuff is unprecedented! I will look over the almanac data over the next week and see what I can find, but I just do not see anything comparing to what we have all been through.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to those that lost their lives across Indiana and here in the Lafayette area due to the bad travel conditions this wild weather has caused. All of us at WLFI had a very tough time covering and reading those tragic stories of how four people died on our roadways on Friday. Even if we do not show those emotions on the air during and after those stories we felt every bit of it and then some. When anchor Laura Kirtley and I cannot even break a smile during the commercials something is terribly wrong. Heart-broken is the word that comes to mind. Weather is the number one thing that impacts Hoosiers and this sometimes comes at a terrible price. This is why protecting lives and property from where you live is my number one weather mantra. The weather is anything but trivial and Indiana does need its own 24/7 weather channel and I am not talking about taping a few segments a day and playing them over and over. Give me a break! Our Indiana weather changes so rapidly it needs to be live around the clock.

So what caused all of this pain and havoc? We have had a huge Spring-like Bermuda high to our southeast and a deep trough to our West and with this highly amplified pattern something had to give. We have had a taste of every season this week and those seasons clashed right over us. It has been a rough, tough haul we have all been through. Yes, I live for this stuff, but enough is enough. We all need a break and this includes meteorologists. Thanks to a more zonal flow in the atmosphere I do think we finish out the year much quieter. This is great news for the swollen area rivers. Here were those all-important weather watcher rainfall totals for the Lafayette area and a picture of those huge raindrops that were coming down in gushes outside of WLFI.

Boswell 1.75"

Kentland 1.30"

Remington 1.17"

Monticello 1.12"

WLFI 1.06"

Finally I do have more good news here on the blog. It looks like flooding will be on the minor side as rain amounts did stay closer to the one inch totals as expected across the area. Just be careful of those normally flood prone spots through the rest of today and of course near those area rivers that are just over bankfull. The Norway and Oakdale Dams are still below the critical 13,000 cubic feet per second flood stage and should slowly steady off over the next couple days. Flooding on the Wabash may impact Tapawingo Park, the Municipal Golf Course, and a few lowland spots on north 9th street with a crest close to 15 feet or 4 feet above flood stage. Covington will also see minor flooding. If these levels should change significantly I will do another blog update. For now though I am heading off to la la land and spending much needed time with the family. I want to thank you bloggers and viewers for giving me and your weather team a ton of inspiration day in and day out. Your observations and thoughts are all appreciated and as you know by now can literally help save the lives of others. Thank you. Hold up the fort for me and blog away! It is much appreciated and I will make sure I catch up and read all your comments from a wild weekend.


Anonymous said...

Morning all.. get a good nights rest?:) The wind kept me awake once again..after being so hyper yesterday afternoon, running in and out, looking at at radars, doing some house work in between all LOL!

I was hoping for a relaxing nights sleep..yes Justin the power did flicker on and off we did not lose for long thank goodness..glad the rain has let up.

I have a temp of 30* at this time where I am located..I am going to drive around a bit. For I do know in my nieghborhood there are tree limbs down, and who knows what else..


Teri in Laf...

Anonymous said...

I to have a lot of med to small size tree limbs down around the area!

Temperature is currently at 33.8* degrees. And my final rainfall total is 1.12" Inch!

Teri The wind did keep me up for a while as well! I was trying my best to get some sleep after I got off here late! And just about every time I would start to fall asleep a BIG Gust of wind would come! Not to forget one of our dogs keept barking! :)

I think the wind was scaring her though! It is still windy now!

But this weather is crazy! I love weather just as much as the next person but this is really something! I agree with Mike we all need a little break!

I was having fun tracking the weather last night but it got right down to a level ((focus!!))
Wher we had a chance for that rotation to touch down! But the good news is it did not and everybody was OK!

Have a great one Bloggers!

Justin in Lafayette

Anonymous said...

Yes Justin we did have rotation with a chance to touch down..

I just wonder why the out side weather sirens were not activated..There were comfirmed rotations by the well with radars...and Mike..and we were under a tornado warning!

My mother was out and had no idea that there was a threat of a tornado until she was told so by a waitress...So many were enjoying the warm temps not in front of their tv's, computers or radios...One would think if NWS issued the warning the sirens should have been least for those to get prepeard..just in case!



Anonymous said...

I wonder the same too???

What a beautiful beautiful day! finall, wish we would have had the warm with this kind of day..

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Prayers for the families of lost loved ones on Friday...

Yesterday was just awesome warm... Kids went to the park, and we cleaned up the back yard! We were all covered in mud, but hey, we got to wear long sleeve t-shirts and no coats. Even today was a pretty day!

Justin---I love sleeping in a storm with winds. Slept well last night. Very minimal damage done here.

Now, can we pretty please see some snow. Unless of course, we are going to have another 60 degree+ week??? You could forecast that again Mike!!!! If it is going to be cold, we need some snow!

Annie in Attica

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear that Brian Wolfe did his final show at WLFI Last night...Good Luck Brian Wolfe..and thank you! You are great!

Anonymous said...

Hey everybody We have some people coming over today later on this evening to fix up the phonelines and change things up a bit so more can get on line at once! So I don't know when I will be beck on here to talk to you all! I just wanted to let you all know this just in case I don't answer you.

I will let you know when all is doen and ready to go!

For now have a great day! I currently have 41.2* degrees outside and still going up slowly.

Hope I can catch up with you all later have a great day!

Did brian leave? I did not even know? Brian good luck! You will do fine!

Justin in Lafayette

Anonymous said...

good luck justin, i bet your family will be happy to have thier phone not tied up by computer LOL!

ya, I saw on the news last night it was brians final show, he thanked all in the community for thier support for him...too bad

Anonymous said...

strong winds expected for today and tomorrow! gusts 43 mph! here we go again!