We have the weather pick of the week today in Lafayette but beware of the "California Crusher". It was easily the strongest storm system of the year to impact California. Los Angeles may end up with close to 2 inches of rain before all is said and done which is like us receiving 10 or more inches of snow. It does not happen all that often. Winds have gusted to 55 mph and the mountains in southern California may end up with close to 3 feet of snow above the 8,000 foot level. Water spouts have also been reported just off the coastline. This storm is our next weather maker here at home and the the storm tracks have been anything but consistent. Take a look at what the models were showing yesterday for possible storm tracks. I had to run an extra 2 miles at the gym and even did stairs. What a way to start the week. The blue arrows above show the southern boundary of all the storm tracks (this would have brought our area more of a wintry mix, ice, and snow accumulations) while the yellow and orange arrows above (would have brought a better chance of damaging thunderstorms and heavy, flooding rain to our area) show the northern boundary of the more than 40 storm tracks.
Luckily, early this morning the models have a better handle of what exactly is moving our way and it is a much better scenario for us. I think the red arrows show the closest storm track which would keep it mainly a rain event, while at the same time dodging the worst of the heavy rain and thunderstorms. Here is how much rain you can expect and if you notice the yellow areas representing the one to two inch rain bands stay well south of our area. I think we will end up close to the half-inch mark.
Nature has upped the ante on how much rain we receive and what it means to flooding. Last week we needed to stay below 3 inches to avoid most of the major flooding. This week we can ill afford much more than an inch of rain or we are in deep trouble on area rivers and creeks. The good news is that I think we are on track to keep the second crest on area rivers in the minor flooding category which is welcome news.
You can see so far in the month of February we have almost had two months worth of precipitation, not counting all the runoff from the melted ice and snow and we still have a good part of the month to go. The average precipitation for the entire month is only 1.57". The ground is saturated and cannot handle too much more rain. If our storm track shifts farther north like we saw last week then these forecast amounts go higher. Our weather team will take it hour by hour that is for sure and it is a good thing we have our own Live Doppler 18. I am optimistic about the California Crusher not getting its act together until it moves south and east of our area.
This is where I am expecting the phasing of the two jet streams or the polar and subtropical branches you see above. This tends to give storms a lot of extra punch and I am glad this is not taking place over us. The upper-levels always hold valuable clues to exactly what goes on here at ground level and this storm is no exception. Now the polar jet stream will eventually catch up with us and turn our rain over to a period of snow. We could easily pick up an inch or two of snow on Wednesday night and early Thursday with higher amounts possible to our north. Temperatures will start out in the 40s with our change-over to snow coming in late Wednesday afternoon and evening as temperatures fall to the 30s. Slick roads return as we wake up on Thursday.
A much bigger snow event is possible this weekend. Now it is a clipper which is not traditionally our biggest snow-maker but clippers this time of year have more of an attitude to them and I will be back to explain more about that on tonight's newscasts and here on the blog. I will also have forecast snow totals on the way! Have a great day and just so you do not get too mad about all this snow talk in the forecast I thought I would balance out the blog today with a late February to late March forecast. If you like Spring you may love these maps! Yes, all those red colors mean Spring will likely come early this year!
We talked about how the La Nina is still alive and that traditionally brings us an early Spring here in Lafayette. In March of 2000 we set record highs near 80 degrees on two consecutive days. Temperatures ran about 7 degrees above average for the month. This pattern may repeat itself as a high pressure ridge off the southeast coast builds in early and chases winter away early this year. If you are in Wisconsin or Minnesota do not get too excited. It looks like you will have a snowy March with even a blizzard possible. Now we always worry about severe weather if we warm up too quickly here in Indiana and I will take a look at this with you tomorrow here on the blog with forecast precipitation amounts on the way. So much to talk about and so little time. I better go run an extra few miles all over again. You have to be in tip-top shape to forecast in Indiana and of course have the best bloggers and weather watchers on earth to stand a chance. Here are a few inspirational runner's quotes to fire you up for your next workout.
"At the end of the day, you will never say 'I wish I never worked out today.”
"Run your own race."
"It's very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit." George Sheehan
"Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it's all about."
-PattiSue Plumer, U.S. Olympian
"Ask yourself: 'Can I give more?'. The answer is usually: 'Yes'."-Paul Tergat, Kenyan professional marathoner
"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start."
"What distinguishes those of us at the starting line from those of us on the couch is that we learn through running to take what the day gives us, what our body will allow us, and what our will can tolerate."
- John Bingham, running writer and speaker
"Running is a big question mark that's there each and every day. It asks you, 'Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?'"
- Peter Maher, Canadian marathon runner
"You have a choice. You can throw in the towel, or you can use it to wipe the sweat off of your face." -Gatorade Ad
"The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare."
-Juma Ikangaa, 1989 NYC Marathon winner
I am now ready to sign up for my next marathon and I think it may have something to do with pigs or flying pigs!! There is so much for all of us to look forward to as we head into the Spring which of course includes T-Shirts and our picnic. I am still working out details on this, but it is happening. Now I am off and running!!! YES!!