Monday, January 5, 2009
Storm Comes at Us in Pieces Keeping Accumulations Light
We knew another rough period of wintry weather was on the way. The good news is the latest models are showing most of the heavier precipitation staying well south of Lafayette. This means the amount of snow and ice should remain on the lighter side. Todd Weber of Lafayette sent in this picture on his way home and no it was not caused by all the carpoolers. :) Our atmosphere is very dry and with highs only reaching near 30 degrees today this tells me that this will in fact keep most of the ice and snow away. This storm's moisture is having a hard time moving our way and we got this incredible paint brush effect across the sky as a result. The sky holds many clues to what is heading our way and this is another good example.
One other big obstacle this storm will not overcome is the lack of phasing between the northern and southern branch. Last week we talked about this having to happen for us to have a big storm. But instead this phasing will not take place until Wednesday or after this activity is past Indiana. Timing is everything and for snow lover's it is not on our side. We should have plenty of more opportunities coming our way in January and February and when you here me say "phasing is taking place" you can get your shovels out. But this time around I do not see it. I circled the two pieces of energy I am watching that stay distinctly separate. We will get a few snow flurries on Wednesday from that second piece of energy. So this system is coming at us in pieces which will keep the main system farther south and spare us from a major storm. No matter what you hear or have been reading I still see Lafayette ending up with a good 25 inches snow this winter and we will talk more about this on the weather blog this week.
Right now I have Lafayette in the one inch or less category with areas of White County and the far north in the one to two inch range BUT THIS COULD BE PUSHING IT with not much moisture at all to work with. I think an inch or less will do for most areas just be careful heading south toward Indianapolis where they will have a little more moisture and periods of light snow and freezing rain that could cause problems on the roadways. There is a winter weather advisory from Montgomery County southward so allow extra time in the morning on Tuesday. Take a look at all the advisories.
The purple areas show the huge areas of winter weather advisories and the green areas show all the flood warnings and watches. The great news out of all this is our area rivers will not be impacted by this storm with less than .20" over most areas. You can certainly make out the main storm track which stays south of Lafayette. I will not give this storm an official name as a result but may make some sort of compromise. Check back on the blog to see what that may be and of course tune in tonight for more on this storm.