Saturday, January 31, 2009
An update on tonight and Sunday....it looks like it will turn breezy and that will keep the patchy fog and freezing drizzle away and it looks like good travel weather for Super Bowl Sunday. We will still have to be ready for a few areas of blowing and drifting snow as the wind picks up tonight and tomorrow. The north-south roads will be impacted most. The good news is the warmer temperatures and sunshine did help put at least a crust on the snow. So I do not anticipate roads to be nearly as bad as what we saw on Thursday and Friday. I still have to give you my pick so stay tuned. Will the Cardinals shock the world? Nobody picked the Cardinals this year so it would be earth-shaking and in this year of the earthquake for Lafayette it may have been a sign.
Friday, January 30, 2009
Today me, Kenny and a couple of my friends, Jacob and Corey built a snow couch and enjoyed the outside weather we thought you might get a laugh out of it, and Jacob wanted to see if it could be used as one of your weather pictures on the news lol! Have a good one and stay warm.
Make sure to also brace yourselves for steady temperatures in the teens today with wind chills near zero even at the noon hour. This is quite a pattern!
We may have one of the strongest storms in years to hit the United States. This storm is going to have pressures down to 28.75" or as low as a category two hurricane! No, I really am serious. Since it is winter we can call it the snowcane. It will even have some tropical characteristics as it forms in the Gulf of Mexico. You can see what is causing this snowcane to develop below!
All three branches of the jet stream are coming together. The sub-tropical, polar, and arctic branches all phasing together is like adding high octane fuel to the atmosphere and this only happens once every few years. This is why some folks are comparing this to the big ones such as 2004, 1999, 1996, and the Super Storm of 1993. The potential is there as these 3 jet streams will carve out a full-latitude planetary trough. This storm will literally explode as it develops and I can see severe weather ripping portions of Florida before they change over to snow on the backside. Panama City, Florida could see white sandy and snowy beaches before all is said and done. Areas like Atlanta, Georgia could see several inches of record-breaking snow based on my latest track which is east of the Appalachian Mountains right along the Piedmont Plateau. It could be a historic blizzard for portions of the Appalachians eastern Ohio and Pennsylvania. The areas in the blue shading are considered my bulleye. Since we are so far out this will likely change but it is a good first call. Here is what I am seeing right now and why I think this is correct with the information and data I have looked at. Take a look at the European model below. This is the one I am going with and agree most with. Here is the set-up at 18,000 feet on Monday morning.
Notice the low forms in the northern Gulf of Mexico near Louisiana where you see the big circle. Here in Indiana during the Pre-Christmas storm that hit in 2004 the main low started farther west in Texas giving the Hoosier state a real chance of historic snow. This time around it is simply forming too far south and east because of a strong cold front that will move through the Hoosier state on Sunday. This dry, cold punch of air will push the thermal boundary these storms like to ride farther east and it verifies on this Tuesday morning European map.
I am starting to think even the big East Coast cities are not out of the woods and need to really watch this thing closely. All I have read all day is how they will have heavy rain. Well, I think even Washington, D.C. has a shot at an incredible snowstorm and Obama will get a real welcome to his new home from nature. He will no longer think the weather is wimpy along the East Coast that is for sure. The second thing I look at in this set-up is some agreement and we do have this agreement with another model that I do trust a little farther than I can throw it. Here is what the GFS model has:
The GFS has our storm even farther East!! Okay, now over the weekend we can compare any changes we see to this track and keep you updated on the blog. Right now Lafayette in this set-up will only see light snow from this monster storm along with most of Indiana. This answers the question about how much snow will we add to our snowy winter! Our seasonal totals have gone from 5 inches below average to 1.5 inches above average in less than three weeks.
In a typical winter here in Lafayette we average 22.4 inches of snow. We are quickly closing in on that number. My pre-winter snow forecast was between 25 and 30 inches of snow and I still see that coming true, although it will all add up differently than expected due to the huge turnaround we have seen this month. This weekend I do not see us adding much to the snow totals above and I think we need to brace ourselves for the possibility of some icy weather developing as warm air rides in over our big snow pack. Models are showing about .10" of liquid precipitation this weekend and with our frozen ground and warm air riding in aloft it is the set-up for more slippery and dangerous roads. I do not see a big ice storm but one that tends to try to sneak up on travelers and I just will not let that happen to you this time around. Be on guard starting late tonight into Saturday morning and once again Sunday afternoon when a lot of folks will be traveling to Super Bowl parties. This is not a good mix. I will have more on this here on the blog including the Super Bowl forecast that I just want to show so I can warm you up. It does look like we are missing out on the big blizzard next week, but we will likely see its nasty backlash in the form of sub-zero temperatures by Wednesday not counting the wind chill. Have a great day and thank you bloggers for firing me up again late last night. You are worth missing out on a little sleep!
We also might as well have fun with this. I want Super Bowl predictions and scores and we will compare those with our WLFI staff. Remember I use a special weather formula to predict games and I will be tough to beat on this contest! lol :)
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Sometimes this time of year drifting and blowing snow can be just as bad as an actual snow event. This is the only state I have live in where one inch of snow can drift into 6 inches in spots! Now tonight the main thing to remember is the wind will pick up as our cold front moves through with wind gusts between 25 to 30 mph. There will also be a wind shift more to the west and west-northwest which means the North-South roads will be the ones to really watch out for including state road 43, portions of I-65 and Highway 421 near Francesville. Unfortunately, these wind speeds probably will not let up until high pressure builds in tomorrow afternoon. I spoke to Mark Kirby of TEMA and here is his full report to help explain what a level 2 advisory actually is.
Level 2 Travel Advisory
Effective 01/29/2009 at 5:00 pm or 17:00 hrs Tippecanoe County Indiana will be placed under a Level 2 Travel Advisory authority the Tippecanoe County Commissioners. Blowing and drifting snow on many County roads will make travel increasingly hazardous over night. This applies to unincorporated areas of Tippecanoe County only. A Level 2 Advisory allows travel in many cases including where it is necessary for employment, education and other essential endeavors.
This Level 2 Advisory is in effect until 5:00 pm or 17:00 hrs Friday 01/30/2009 or until otherwise announced. The essence of the Ordnance is as follows:
During a Level II Essential Travel Permitted Transportation Emergency, only essential travel will be permitted on county roads. Essential travel is defined in the ordinance as:
- Travel to and from work
- Travel to obtain essential medical care
- Travel to obtain essential prescription medications
- Travel to obtain essential supply of food or fuel
- Travel to obtain safe shelter
- Travel of emergency vehicles and emergency workers
- Travel to and from school
Vehicle operators traveling for essential purposes are required to operate their vehicles safely and with all caution necessary for the existing conditions. Any travel may be significantly delayed. Plan to travel by main roads and allow for extra driving time. Motorists who become stranded risk injury if exposed to existing conditions. Do not take un-necessary chances.
Travel for non-essential purposes is prohibited. Violators may be fined up to $150.00.
Parking on all county roads and their right-of-way is prohibited. Vehicles which are found parked in violation of this order will be removed at the owner’s expense.
Vehicles which are stalled, stranded or found abandoned on county roads or their right-of-way will also be removed at the owner’s expense.
The Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Office will maintain information on any vehicle towed or removed from a county road during this emergency. The Sheriff’s Office may be contacted at (765) 423-9388 for information concerning the disposition of any vehicle removed. The vehicle owner must pay any towing, storage or other fees before the vehicle may be released.
Director Mark Kirby
Tippecanoe County Emergency Management
Keep up the good work Mark! Benton County has also gone under an advisory here is the latest.
Due to blowing snow roads are snow covered in many areas, and drifting in others.
BENTON COUNTY IS AT LEVEL 3 ADVISORY, effective , until noon . The Level 3 Advisory means that there is, or expected to be hazardous conditions in our area. All persons, businesses and organizations should make preparations to deal with the situation. Emergency Action Plans should be readied for implementation should conditions require. Travel plans should account for potential difficulties and delays.
Director, Benton Emergency Management Agency,
Now I am checking on next week's storm and I can tell you that this thing will be a monster. Now it will be developing at the triple point of all 3 major branches of the jet stream which only happens every few years. This will likely be a historic storm. I do think it may draw comparisons to the big Pre-Christmas blizzard that hit portions of southern Indiana back in 2004. This has the same potential. Now the question is what track do I believe. Well, I am still leaning to the farther East solution for now but this thing is so strong we should still get some snow from it and it could develop into a blizzard for portions of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New England. Since we are going to be right on the edge of this thing I will continue to watch it for you and if there is any semblance of a jog west there will be a special blog update....for now I am leaning lighter but as we now know the models are only guides and we have a long way to go on this one!!
What started out as a tame winter has certainly changed. Indianapolis just had their 6th biggest snowstorm on record with 12.5" of snow. This was only 3 inches less than the blizzard of1978 . It tells you want kind of pattern we were in. Of course we did not have all the wind and the snow and the Lafayette was let off very lucky. That foot of snow could easily have been us. Portions of the Arkansas had 3 inches of ice which would have been a little more than we saw here in Lafayette since the great ice storm of 1991 when we had chunks of ice the size of cars falling off our WLFI television tower. You see Old glory above with its rich history and that includes wild weather. At one time yesterday 70% of the mainland USA had weather watches or warnings and MILLIONS were without power. Our Super Bowl storm will go down as one of the most devastating storms to hit our country since the Super Storm of 1993. That is the storm I will always remember that brought snow flurries to my home in Jacksonville, Florida preceded by hurricane force wind gusts of 76 mph.
Mary Best was kind enough to forward this picture to us on behalf of G. Schubert. Check out this story below and how we can count our blessings here at home.
Well, the final total in the Carbondale area is 4" of sleet (I've never seen that much sleet!), followed by 1/2" of freezing rain, and topped off with 4" of snow. What a sandwich! There are about 13,000 households without power in So. Illinois, most are father south of me. Not as bad at Kentucky though. Needless to say, I did not get to work today. I could get out of my driveway, but not up the lane. I have attached a picture of my stuck Jeep(storm chase vehicle), my snow covered lane, and my deck. I got the deck cleared off enough to get to the hot tub, which I will need after a long day of shoveling.
We have the BAJA EXPRESS coming from the Pacific Ocean and this is meeting the POLAR EXPRESS or the nickname given for the Polar jet stream and subtropical jet streams. The subtropical jet was nearly non-existent for most of the first part of our winter and it is the reason we have tripled our seasonal snowfall so far in January. We have already had 11.1 inches of snow this month which is already about 4 inches above average and counting. Here are the official totals from our storm and you all were terrific about sending in pictures and numbers. You made a difference, a real difference before, during, and after the storm and as I told Chris McNew of Tipton, I think we all need to start our own weather channel and take it national. I would take all of you with me, well almost all of you if you know what I mean. :) Okay, drum roll please! Here were the totals from our biggest snowstorm since February 1st!!
We had that big range in snowfall we talked about. I did want to point out a surprise though and that was Peru in Miami County that had 6 inches of snow. Nature always amazes me! Here is what it looked like out there. John Allen snapped another great picture of his daughter that experienced snow and sledding for the first time. She certainly looks like she loves the snow and I think she may be a future meteorologist. I used to smile like that out in the snow when I was that young.
The Allen family just moved here from Texas. Welcome to Indiana and enjoy our beautiful state. We also have what we call Hoosier hospitality to go along with the great weather. This came about because of all the storms that we make it through year in and year out and helping your neighbor and caring about others is instilled in the way people go about their lives here. It is the Indiana version of southern hospitality which I think you will really enjoy! It more than makes up for all of our bizarre weather and tornadoes. :) The kids were not the only ones having fun in the snow today. How about them dogs. Justin New sent in a picture of Pickles who could not get enough of the snow.
This is on average our snowiest week of the year so we are calling it the dog days of winter in honor of pickles and the other dogs that love to get out and play in the snow. Nature is on cue and we are not done yet with plenty of bark and bite in your forecast. Get out there and make sure those sidewalks are cleared and your areas around the mailbox cleared for the mailman. Also take breaks if you are shoveling snow because only 20 minutes of shoveling 5 inches of snow is like running a 5k or 3.1 miles. I took a break yesterday and will probably feel it tomorrow. Be smart and take care of yourself. Shovel now before it is too late! I am tracking a little bit of everything and will have more answers on nature's big dogs on our doorstep in the forecast coming up. Thanks again for the pictures. I will try to get a little sleep. LOL
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
The good news is blowing and drifting snow does not look like a big concern today with north to northwest winds remaining at 10 mph or less, but this could change late tonight and Thursday. I expect southwest winds to pick up to 10 to 20 mph causing some drifting problems on some north-south roads. The reason for this is we have a clipper coming our way but it looks like it will produce more wind than snow at this point. I will talk more about this tonight and here on the blog later. Here are some preliminary snowfall totals I have in and of course we will add pictures and finalize things by tonight's newscasts. My girls are excited with their snow day.
Preliminary Snowfall Totals:
Battle Ground 6.0"
Make sure you take frequent breaks shoveling. I can skip my run today because you exert way more energy than you think so be careful. More tidbits on the way and have a great day.
The main low pressure is now in northern Kentucky and ready to move to our southeast. This means we will transition to the drier side of the storm over the next few hours with our potential for any big surprises or heavy snow bands stalling over the area quickly diminishing. I do think we will have most of the Lafayette area finish in the 4 to 6 inch range with those isolated 8 inch totals for Montgomery and Clinton Counties. Logansport and Monticello will likely end up close to 4 inches of snow before all is said and done. North of Highway 24, I see totals closer to 3 inches. A big thanks to all our bloggers again. I do think we can get a few hours of sleep tonight based on what I am seeing. Be very careful in the morning that is for sure. Keep those totals coming in. I will check on the snow off and on throughout the night and if anything changes I will be back. For now though it is time to get a little rest so we can have fun in the snow tomorrow.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
So folks that went to bed thinking things will be a piece of cake with this storm will have a rude awakening when they wake-up and hopefully they remember to slow down and allow plenty of time to get to work. It is not worth risking your life in this weather. This is another reason a winter storm warning would have worked better because it means folks take the storm more seriously. You never let your guard down with the weather in Indiana. The storm isn't over until it's over.
WEATHER TEAM 18 ALERT: A WINTER STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR CLINTON AND MONTGOMERY COUNTIES AND A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY CONTINUES FOR MUCH OF THE REST OF OUR AREA UNTIL NOON WEDNESDAY. THIS MEANS TRAVEL IS NOT ADVISED AND CONDITIONS WILL CONTINUE TO DETERIORATE LATE TONIGHT INTO WEDNESDAY MORNING. AN ADDITIONAL 3 TO 5 INCHES OF SNOW IS STILL LIKELY WITH THIS STORM IN ADDITION TO WHAT WE HAVE ALREADY RECEIVED. AREAS TO THE NORTH INCLUDING MONTICELLO WILL ALSO SEE ROAD CONDITIONS BECOME DANGEROUS AS THE SNOW PICKS UP AFTER 11 P.M.
Looking at the latest satellite and radar composites, weather watcher and blogger snowfall, liquid to snow equivalents, and the latest model data it still looks like we are on track for 4 to 8 inches of snowfall across our area. You see some of the hometown forecasts above showing the total forecast snowfall between now and Wednesday afternoon. Here are the snowfall totals so far below as of 7 p.m. Remember the storm is still forming down in Arkansas.
I really appreciate all of your snowfall totals and I have been also sharing these with the National Weather Service offices to help them as well since they are still on the fence whether to issue a winter storm warning for our area. The 2 p.m. run of models seemed to have a bit of trouble handling the amount of moisture riding to the north so they were forced once again into a wait and see approach. But if you are seeing what I am on the latest radar trends I think we can all agree that a better safe than sorry approach works here and with all the travelers between here and Indianapolis I think a winter storm warning is warranted especially with a good portion of our area expecting an upwards of 6 inches of snow and more. Precisioncast 18 verifies this nicely below with those heavy blue bands having no trouble moving in here by 11 p.m.
The Weather Service offices will take another look at this during the evening ahead of our heaviest snow which will move in between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. The newest data I plugged into our WLFI SUPER SNOW MODEL is showing an additonal 4 to 6 inches of snow in our area in addition to what we have already received which easily meets warning criteria. Whatever happens we all know to take this Super Bowl storm seriously and the guys at the Weather Service who do a great job want to make sure you take it seriously no matter if they upgrade or not, especially with all of the accidents taking place out there. I am going to go post an updated storm web video on wlfi.com and will check back with you in a bit. Remember to send in some pictures and keep those snow totals coming because they do make a huge difference.
Preliminary Snow breakdown: Look for 4 inches of snow by midnight and another 2-4 inches by 7 a.m. for Lafayette (Grand total of 6" to 8" of snow with locally heavier amouts for Frankfort and Crawfordsville where totals may push 10" in spots)
Monticello I see 2 to 3 inches of snow by midnight and another 1 to 3 inches by 7 a.m. (You are in the 4 to 6 inch band) this includes all of our northern counties with a 2 to 4 inch band for northern Newton and Jasper County.
This is what I am thinking right now but my final call will be made at 4 p.m. today and of course it is Indiana so we will be watching this thing closely in case we have to add more....this monster storm has a lot of potential to be much bigger for us or should I say the Super Bowl Storm.
Oh yes for those wanting facts: Fact: the QPF or quantitative precipitation forecast has doubled since 1 a.m. last night and yes the northern trend continues with the main low pressure track now 100 miles farther north.
I only deal in facts when live's and people's safety are on the line. Remember this is WLFI, your one and only local weather authority and our weather team takes it seriously. We are here for you and only you! These are the snowy facts. Please be safe and remember I just tell it like I see it and am just the messenger. If I really wanted to get folks worked up I could have called for a lot more snow which is still possible. I just gave an average snowfall forecast.Carry on bloggers!
I have not forgotten about you. Here is the latest! There seems to be more agreement with exactly how much moisture we will have to work with but again with a potent jet stream it could add just that little extra lift that makes the difference between 3 inches of snow and 6 inches of snow and since this storm is still developing I did not want to deviate too much from the original forecast. I do like the upper-level divergence over our area early tomorrow evening and I do think we will see about 3 to 4 hours some hefty snowfall between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Lollipops of 6 to 8 inches with this storm are still possible from Indianapolis to Montgomery and and even Clinton County. Lollipops is another term for "bullseye" that I like using sometimes. You of course remember those swirly lollipops that looked like they had "bullseyes" painted on them. Tomorrow we will fine-tune this even more. Be safe on the roads and get those errands done in the morning and early afternoon. I will get a little rest and appreciate you staying up with me....oh yes here is how far we have come on the models and how off they have been! This is why we will watch this storm hour by hour.
This chart is the average snow forecast of the dozens of weather models I have been watching since last week for our snowstorm that will be moving in late today and tonight. You think my three daughters give me gray hairs but really it is weather models. LOL...Although it will be a combination of the two by time they reach their teenage years. I know I will need your help!!
I ignored the models most of last week and even over the weekend since I knew the models were not handling things very well. Remember the snow Sunday morning? I did feel they would not catch on until the storm was almost here and sure enough I finally have more confidence in them here about 14 hours before the snow really starts to come down. Better late than never.
Our original forecast of 3 to 6 inches we gave late Friday night is looking like a winner. What can possibly go wrong between now and tomorrow night. Plenty! We know how Indiana weather is and the good news is we will have updates no matter what here on the blog and on the tube and we have Live Doppler 18 we can turn to.
Now the question is how far north will the 6 inch band actually go and if some of our southern counties could actually have spotty 8 inch amounts. I certainly would not rule it out at this point. It should be fun to watch. I will go try and get some sleep. Now I will have updates for you in the early morning if I see any big changes. I will likely wait until late morning and early afternoon to get another model run under our belts before you hear from me. Sweet dreams!!
I wanted to thank all of you bloggers and most of all the great people that write in. I am really touched by a lot of your comments. You are first class and while it is officially called "Mike's weather blog" I wanted to make sure you knew that is successful because of you and I feed off of your energy as well. I will only take a little credit and give you most of the credit. I sit here reading in amazement at how lucky I am to have viewers like you and while I should be asleep and resting for the storm, I just get these bursts of energy thanks to you and sleep is the farthest thing from my mind. The music is cranking along with the maps! Current song on the radio: Kid Rock.... Unmistakeably yes!! I think that fits in this type of pattern with nature rocking a good portion of the country.
Just like when I run marathons I know to get in with a solid group that keeps a steady pace. That is you. You can hang with me or even run with me anytime. That would be quite a sight...all of the weather fanatics running down the Sagamore Parkway! I love what I do and really it is because of you. Yes, the weather part of course I have been crazy about since I was 4 years old when our sunny forecasts in Maryland turned into 6 inches of snow. But it is you that truly makes this job what it is and when I talk into the camera I just know that WLFI has the best viewers and weather fans on earth! I will try to force myself to get some rest before 2 a.m. so we can go full steam ahead tomorrow. BUT FOR NOW I AM PREPARING ANOTHER BLOG UPDATE! :)
Remember it will be like a marathon and we all have to pace ourselves....tonight I see very little snow and the roads should be fine in the morning....after 4 p.m. tomorrow things will quickly go downhill.
Monday, January 26, 2009
The latest storm track is slightly farther north which I expected and already adjusted for in my snowfall forecast earlier. So as of now we are still in the 3 to 5 inch snow band.
One big concern is that with the warmer temperatures tonight I am worried about the ice mixing in farther north which could include areas just south of Interstate 74! Watch out, the dreaded winter of ice may come back to haunt some Hoosiers tomorrow and we will have to watch it even here at home. I will make sure to keep you updated.
Usually I go and get a bottle of water out of my cold car between shows but not tonight. I am glued to the latest Precisioncast model runs and have noticed our viewing area is now showing up in some of the heavier snow bands or what I like to call the bolder blues. A first call of 3 to 5 inches for most of our area looks good at this time. The five to eight inch lollipops currently south of Indianapolis I really think may never transpire. They will have too much mixed precipitation involved. This is why I put the 5 to 8 inch band between Indianapolis and just north of Lebanon. But this band may eventually shift into our area at the rate we are going. On the evening newscasts we talked about taking it hour by hour with a big thanks to all the bloggers and weather watchers out there helping to keep us ahead of whatever nature dishes out at us. Here is the latest forecast of snowfall between tonight and Wednesday morning as of 7 p.m. I will update this as needed with our main area of low pressure yet to even form. Keep the faith snowmobilers and snow geese!
The interesting part about this storm is it certainly will be one to watch hour by hour. It is not very often that you have a sub-tropical jet stream roaring into Indiana with winds of over 150 mph by later tomorrow. Our models have been known to do poorly in these situations. Now my blog over the weekend did say we had the potential of 3 to 6 inches of snow for storm number one which is tonight through Wednesday morning with another 1 to 2 inches possible for our Thursday into Friday storm. This would give us a grand total this week of 6 to 8 inches. I still think we could come out close to 6 inches by the end of the week in Lafayette with at least 3 to 5 inches of snow between tonight and tomorrow night looking likely. I will break all this down for you here on the blog soon so it is nice and clear-cut, although again things still may change.
Our models have been so bad in the past week we have had reconnaissance aircraft fly out into the Pacific Ocean to help fill in some data points. This is why on Saturday when there was only a 20% chance of snow for our area according to the latest models I said to NOT believe it. My how things have changed. Now that the models are showing snow over us I am still thinking we have to all work together and watch this very carefully. In addition you see the circled area above showing the energy that will eventually form the main area of low pressure that will be bringing us snow. That is right the low hasn't even formed yet. Stay tuned.
Now the question is how much will the storm track change in the next 12 to 24 hours. Will it wobble north. Well, there is no blocking to the north and even though we do have a lot of cold dry air in place this will not be enough to keep a nice surge of moisture coming our way. At least two models are showing at least .25" of precipitation over Lafayette and with high snow ratios of 20 to 1 that would come out to close to 5 inches of snow before all is said and done with our first storm. Snow growth will be maximized in our area because of the cold temperatures. Areas in southern Indiana may have icing issues and again this would bring those heavier bands of snow farther north into our area.
So we will stick by a 3 to 5 inch forecast for now with storm number one (most of the heavier snow will move in tomorrow afternoon and evening) which starts late tonight into late Tuesday night with a break in the morning and another 1 to 2 inches of snow Thursday and Friday giving us plenty of snow for the kids to sled on. We still may have to increase these numbers. It should be fun to watch. Of course the storm could also wobble farther south as well and it would decrease our totals. Stay tuned and keep up the great job blogging.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
First things first...today be careful of dangeruos road conditions with a quick inch of snow likely and with the "fluff" factor or this being a Colorado-type snow with all the cold, dry air in place some areas could push two inches. The snow will taper off this afternoon but roads remain slick as temperatures stay well below freezing in the teens not allowing the road salt to do much of anything.
The second bigger storm that has already prompted winter storm watches to our south will bear the most watching. I have Lafayette in the 3 to 6 inch snow band at this time. We may have to add to these totals but this is a first good estimate that may hold true. Icing issuses could be very likely south of Interstate 74 as the northward trend continues on the models meaning more warm air will likely mix in. So when all is said and done it will be in fact be the Lafayette area that has the highest snow totals. Be careful today and I will keep you updated. More snow is likely on Thursday but it looks lighter. When all is said and done, 6 to 8 inches of snow is likely for Lafayette this week. Now it is time to go to church and pray for everybody's safety this week. I love when we can wax up the sleds but understand it sometimes comes with a price for those that do not slow down or have patience on the area roadways. I pray that everybody stays safe this week so our kids and even us adults can take in nature's beauty to the fullest.
I will check in with you later today and tonight to keep you ahead of the storm and look for a special funny blog posting in the near future that will likely bring some smiles on your faces. It is always good to laugh and most importantly laugh at yourself from time to time. My weather hop approach to bowling apparently turned some heads last night. Have a great day and be safe!
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Today will be a great day to stay in and do the honey-do list. Temperatures will be stuck in the teens and wind chills in the single digits and even near 5 below zero first thing this morning. This is ingredient number one needed for our first big snowstorm of the year. I like how the latest runs continue to play up the colder pattern rather than warmer and I think our chance for ice are much lower than before which keeps me in the heavier snow camp. Today I will painting, hanging out with the family, and when I am not painting looking at the latest model runs. Here are a couple maps to look at along with two main storm tracks I will be watching next week. Notice the two predominate storm tracks above. I like the one farther north because of the battle of jet streams you see below.
There is a southern bias on many of the models as expected and with the jet streams eventually merging together it will help to pull the moisture a good 150 to 200 miles farther north putting Lafayette in line for snow. I know there are a lot of snow mobilers ready to fire them up here at home instead of going to the Upper Peninsula. My kids are also ready for good sledding weather insteady of being iced in like we have been so often this winter.
Right now if I average out the 50 or so different storm tracks I have looked at we come out in the two to four inch range next week with the two systems but I am still leaning between 6 and 8 inches with a couple waves of moisture Tuesday and again Thursday. I will keep you updated. Now I had better get some paint and new paint brushes. I also have some chips and dip to watch some great basketball on WLFI today. Keep up the great job on the blogs. We live in Indiana and we know how things change every five minutes. Your observations are invaluable. The more data we all have and the more we all work together the more prepared we will be for whatever nature dishes out!
Happy blogging and thank you so much for keeping me going even at this late hour on Friday night. It is truly a reflection of how pumped up you make me after reading your comments and seeing how much interest there is out there when it comes to our weather. This after all is the weather hub of the country and we have high standards. You keep the bar high that is for sure!! A big thank you.
If you are from Tipton and Frankfort and you know who you are :) please share your comments. I expect to keep our lines of communication wide open this weekend and it is all possible with our blog. Justin, Teri, and Mary Anne I cannot wait to hear from you as always. Brow and Dena make sure to take a few weather pictures for us. I want to hear about and see the weather like never before with the best bloggers in the world! We will eventually extend this network to Australia. That is a story for another day.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Long lines at area car washes yesterday and for good reason! It was our warmest day since January 4th and our second warmest day of the year on Thursday.
It was a day we will all remember. The birds were singing and my weather watchers weren't just sending in the good news on how warm it was, but actual wrote me some poems. Check out Kandy Teel's poem above and notice I chose a robin background because I had several robin sightings across the area. As we get closer to Spring we will see more and more of our warm weather friends. Is this unusual? Well not really because there are many robins that do not migrate like they used to and Lafayette's true first sign of Spring is when we see those red-winged blackbirds. It was still exciting seeing the robins and folks taking advantage of the weather by taking nice long walks. You can see why with these weather watcher highs:
Compare and contrast the pictures above with what happened one week ago! Check out the vaporization experiment successfully done by Carol Goodrich with temperatures well below zero. Now that is an impressive cloud created by some incredibly low temperatures.
Things are going to change in a hurry today. You can still wash your car but I would do it first thing this morning our you could be frozen in your car and that would not be good with the weekend upon us! Do not be fooled by the warm start this morning. Take your heavy winter coat to work no matter how warm it feels. I will be back to tell you more about some shocking changes on the way which by Indiana standards are pretty impressive! I will also post the expected snowfall over the next week here shortly which once again shifted Indiana into one of the higher risk areas. The long-range models are still flipping like fish out of water but I know all of us will be ready no matter what nature decides to do next week!
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Take Care and Stay Warm Mike!
Thanks again Dena. The least I can do for you after you sending in this great montage of pictures is tell you about a big snowstorm on the way next week. But first things first! You can really see what appears to be a spotlight (sun pillar) emanating from the ground. This of course really is the sunlight reflecting off of the ice crystals in the cirrostratus clouds. The weather proverb, "red sky in the morning, Hoosier's take warning" did not apply in this case and is a good example of why even our beloved proverbs are not always correct. The red sky in the morning usually is a sign of moisture in the atmosphere and when clouds move in from the west to the east at our latitude it usually creates a nice red sky and can be a sign of an approaching front on the way which can bring precipitation. In this case, the high clouds were a sign of warmer air coming up and over our cold dome of air that has been stuck in place for much of the last two weeks. Here are the stats on Monon where Gene and Charlotte Austin are cheering on the red sky in the morning! The red sky in the morning means they are going to break the freezing mark for the first time in more than 200 hours! We did a nice fly through to Monon on the weathercasts last night as you see below. Stay tuned, I may zoom into a street corner near you in the near future.
There were no major fronts and not enough moisture in the atmosphere to produce rain or snow so in this case the red sky yesterday morning in essence was a sign of a tranquil weather pattern or a Pacific air mass giving our cold, polar air the boot! John Allen confirms this nicely with a great shot of last night's sunset. What a shot!
Beware.....next week this Hoosier proverb will work, especially when we wake up on Wednesday! Those red skies in the morning will likely mean a winter storm warning! I see a major storm system developing and moving our way. I am still awake here in the wee hours of the morning for a reason. I have been going back and forth with a couple of our weather bloggers who cannot sleep a wink worrying about if we will be getting snow next week. I thought I was the only one that did this but obviously that is not the case. Well they are going to sleep soundly after I messaged them back with the big news on the latest model runs! What I am seeing early this morning has the weather blogger snow geese (name given to those that absolutely love snow and blog 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) jumping for joy. I have been celebrating by cranking some 80s music! We now have confirmed a storm is on the way next week. Remember the timing still needs to be watched carefully. All of the big 5 snow hound models I like checking out before calling for a big snowstorm are barking up a storm! They are unanimous in confirming an Oklahoma or Panhandle low pressure forming and moving our way!! Here is the interesting pattern developing!
Even though nothing was showing up on Wednesday on any of the long-range models and there were plenty of folks giving up on any big snowstorms next week at several media outlets, I was not one of them. I had faith in the pattern not the models. The models usually do not perform well when you are transitioning into a different weather pattern and when your temperatures go from 80 degrees in Texas to near 0 degrees in Minnesota. But it is this temperature contrast you see above that allowed me to keep the faith and it is why we are in for an interesting 10 days.
This weekend will be very important to see exactly where the arctic boundary sets up. If we can keep temperatures in the teens I am confident we should have plenty of cold air in place for a big snowstorm. If we do not see a big push of arctic air to the south I will become more concerned about mixing issues or precipitation type issues. We do not need anymore ice but it cannot be ruled out since we are going to be right in the middle of the storm zone or clash zone between Spring and Winter. Remember we get our biggest snowstorms with temperatures near 32 degrees.
At least two of the five snow hound models have six or more inches of snow on the way with highs forecasted near 32. The other three are having storm track and feedback issues but have enough moisture to bring us a major storm.
So there you have it! Enjoy our warmest weather in a couple weeks today and Friday while you can. Have a great day and I better find a car wash for my poor car. If you do not like snow or cold weather I still think we will have a much warmer February with even some 60s not out of the question. My aim is to please everybody, but actually you can give nature all the credit and our wild Hoosier weather!
I will post the 5 different storm tracks on here by early Friday morning and update possible snow amounts on all five models as we get closer to our big snow day next week. The models will flip around like fish but we all know that they are just models and that is normal in this pattern. Bring it on!