Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Travel Tuesday will Be No Joy Ride
The map above shows the Grinch storm impacting much of the Midwest today. This is the nickname I have given this storm because it will likely cause travel delays on our busy travel day. Check those flights ahead of time and you will certainly have to pack more patience than normal today. If you are going to Chicago from Lafayette or coming home make sure you leave both by early afternoon. If you are traveling farther west and south things will quickly go downhill by late morning with freezing rain being the big threat along the Interstate 70 corridor. You see the purple above showing where heavy amounts of freezing rain could fall. Ice accumulations could approach .25" in these areas hampering traffic.
Farther north including the Lafayette area we will have less in the way of freezing rain like we saw last week and an ugly mix of snow and sleet this afternoon and freezing rain and rain mixing in this evening before changing to all rain after midnight. I think we can keep our ice amounts close to .10" while our snow and sleet accumulations could come out close to a crunchy inch. This would be much better than the .25" of ice we saw in many locations north of Lafayette last week. This is a very tricky forecast so make sure to check back today for the very latest.
The Grinch eventually did give back all the presents as his heart grew bigger and this storm may try to give back our White Christmas it is taking away from us. We easily would have had 6 or more inches of snow, but the Grinch storm may still in fact give us a nice Chrismas Eve coating of snow on the back side of this storm as it moves by. Precision and at least two other models are showing light accumulations Wednesday afternoon and evening. It will not be enough to cause travel trouble but just add a nice touch before Santa arrives. The good news is we have gotten rid of the dangerous cold weather that hit the area. That brings us to the blog question of the day:
When was the last time winter started this cold?
It took awhile for me to find because I had to go back to 1989 when we had a low of -16 and a high of just 6 degrees. On Sunday the first day of winter we officially recorded a high of 30 close to midnight and dropped to zero degrees by late evening! There were a few places that actually dropped below zero as you can see above. On Monday it was our coldest December day since 2005 and it was the first time since December 7, 2005 that parts of Tippecanoe County dropped below zero. Congratulations you have made it through the worst of this arctic blast! But it is bittersweet with another wintry mess on the way by later today and tonight. Be careful please. I will be back soon with an update.