Thursday, January 15, 2009
Coldest Day Since 1994 Gives Way to Coldest Night Since 1999
These numbers are just the tip of the iceberg from last night. That is right it is going to get even colder tonight. It will get worse before it gets better. This will be an arctic outbreak we will all remember! Officially in Lafayette we had a low of -10, Boswell -11, and Frankfort had a low of -13 degrees last night but with no clouds and lighter winds than last night most models are showing the Lafayette area being at least 5 degrees colder than last night.
Here is the latest....stay inside is my best advice. Willie the Chihuahua or Justin New's dog has got it right. In that little sweater he is wearing he would still have frostbite in just a few minutes if he went outside in this. It is painful out there. It is actually colder than a typical household freezer that has an average temperature of zero degrees. This dangerous cold will not be moving out of the area until tomorrow afternoon and believe it or not we could be near 30 by Saturday or about 50 degrees warmer than tonight. The worst of this cold wave hits tonight as the core of the arctic air builds in with high pressure. Here are the latest forecast lows and that is right.....some -20s!!!
Officially the record low for Lafayette is -20 set back in 1972 and even though it looks like we will not be quite that cold here in Tippecanoe County. Areas to the north which had a little more snow yesterday should have no trouble getting into that record territory, especially from Newton and Jasper Counties off the east in northern White, Cass, and Miami Counties.
You see the visible satellite picture from this afternoon and it shows the snowpack clearly in the white. Usually this time of year the white would indicate clouds but it was clear outside and it certainly shows where the snow is and you can make out all the river valleys. Basically the more snow, the lower you go. So while Tippecanoe County averaged about 3.5" yesterday, areas to the north were closer to 5" and this would mean even colder temperatures tonight. Snow is very effective at radiating heat away and with lighter winds moving in with clear skies and high pressure it all adds up to more trouble for us.
Check out the picture from today. You can tell this air mass if from the arctic. It is cold, dry, and very heavy so the air has trouble getting much lift. That is why there was not a cloud in the sky today. In fact on average many areas near the North Pole are like deserts with less than 10 inches of snow due to the fact they have these big high pressure areas that are formed in the very cold air like we are seeing here at home. Here are more cold hard facts that include today's daytime temperatures that stayed sub-zero and it looks like they will not go above zero until Friday afternoon at the earliest.
Gene and Charlotte in Monon actually lost power for about an hour. This is frightening. I am glad the power is restored. Stay safe and make sure to tune in tonight at 11 p.m. for latest on the arctic outbreak from where you live. Keep posting temperatures here on the blog if you can. The more the better. I will keep checking them. Our models have trouble many times dealing with a huge arctic outbreak like this so we had better use all the humans we can. You are my eyes and ears! Stay warm.