Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Comet Watching & Looking and Smelling Like Spring

What a spectacular Mardi Gras sunset showing high-level moisture traced all the way back to the tropical Pacific Ocean. Our Fine Fat Tuesday will give way to a Wonderful Wednesday today!

It was a Mardi Gras to remember at WLFI....it got a little wild....most of the night crew got up on the roof. It was my idea of course since comet Lulin was in the Lafayette sky last night in the southeast. I told everybody to look east-southeast or almost the exact opposite direction from where Venus was setting in the West. Unfortunately nature put a bit of a damper on our "sky party" with cirrus clouds that blocked out what could have been a breath-taking view of a two-tailed comet. Usually comets only have one tail but the solar wind has distorted Comet Lulin's tail with speeds approaching one million miles per hour! The amazing part is this comet is passing only about 14 million miles from the moon which means it is not all that far from the earth astronomically speaking. It is a rock throw away. The night crew was a bit disappointed and thought I was just teasing everybody. Now, I have never been known to do that....well not too much at least. :) The comet did not appear yesterday evening but I told them we will have ample opportunity to see this amazing comet as we head into March. I will keep you updated on it here on the blog. It should be visible without binoculars which is impressive. Comet Update as of 12:30 a.m. Reports of Comet Lulin in the area....now that is more like it. Send in those pictures please!


Now a lot of folks are excited about our Spring pattern and I was educated as to one of Indiana's first signs of Spring today thanks to Richard Beedle. The picture above tells the Spring story nicely. That is right the skunk cabbage is out and its flowers are among the first signs of Spring. Here is a nice picture sent in from Attica yesterday. Richard tells me that this cabbage does actually smell like a skunk if you break its leaves in two. One other interesting tidibit...the smell of skunks in the air this time of year is a sure sign of Spring. It does not come from the cabbage above but from actual skunk mating season that takes place this time of year. The male skunks apparently spray each other when fighting for the females! The mor
e traditional signs of Spring were also in the air yesterday with singing robins in Monticello, flocking geese to the north in Stockwell, sandhill cranes over Lafayette, and believe it or not daffodils and tulips two inches out of the ground on the southside in Lafayette. Spring is everywhere you look including the latest weather maps in tonight with back to back days in the 50s expected. Is it here to stay? No, it looks like we are still in that same wild pattern we have had most of the winter with plenty of extreme weather.


This winter has been a very average winter when you look at days above average, days below average, and near average. Snowfall is at 18.2" which is exactly normal for this time of year to date! I will have the entire breakdown on tonight's news. It has been called a rough winter when in fact it is really a typical Indiana winter. We just have been spoiled rotten over the last couple decades. Now that the Pacific Ocean is flip-flopping to a colder cycle and the sun is going into a solar minimum and settling down, the winter we had this year will be more common with even snowier and colder winters becoming more likely. The only thing certain about our weather in Indiana is that it does not stay quiet for long and our tranquil sunsets can turn into raging rivers and creeks in an instant like you see above! Tami Conn shows us a picture of the Wea Creek earlier in February when flooding hit the area. When will this happen again? Sooner than you think. Tune in tonight and I will have more on the blog shortly! Here is your weather quote of the day:

"Its not about how hard you can hit, its about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward".

-Rocky Balboa


This sounds more like a weather quote to me and sums up our weather very nicely this winter. We have been hit over and over but nature has not been able to knock us out. We have just too much heart. The weather bloggers on here and our wonderful viewers cannot be denied about the fact that Hoosiers are seasoned and tough. Nature will throw a few more left hooks and combinations at us before we get the warm weather to stick around. But by working together we will come out victorious Rocky! Rocky! Rocky! We can nickname Thursday's storm Mr. T. I will have more on "T" tonight and what we will need to do to prepare for it!


32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Comets and meteor showers....what a fun display from the heavens....

Get out and look!!! It is very impressive!!!!


Chris in Tipton

Anonymous said...

I went out and looked. I may have looked to hard but didnt see anything. The clouds are rolling in from the west as of now. almost half way over Attica.


Looking towards Spring
Richard

fishhawk said...

I was wondering why it smelled so skunky around here?? Seriously. Now that I read the blog I know why? I didnt remember this from years past, I guess thats because I lived in town. HAHAHAH

Rick

Anonymous said...

Another sign of spring is the red-winged blackbirds. Yesterday, I spotted four males perched along a country road!!!!
F/C

Anonymous said...

Oh dang...I missed the meteor showers. Bummer. It is 31 here this morning and the sunrise thru the trees is gorgeous. I have had some robins at the feeder and in the yard. Teri...is your daughter feeling better. Mine is...but is still hoarse. Poor thing and she has a birthday this friday and is so wanting to feel better. God love her! Richard never saw cabbage like that before....Yuck...smells like skunk... Glad I haven't had to see it then. If the days get longer....will my 4yr old think he can stay up longer. Well, I for one like the snow...but with the taste of spring we had....kind of wanting it to come our way....now. LOL Everyone have a good day and be safe.
Jamie

Anonymous said...

Jamie,
Hope your daughter gets feeling better! The picture is the flower of the skunk cabbage and the first to emerge. I posted a link about it.
Temp at 11:45 is 48. Here in Attica. Looks like we will hit the high 50`s. Enjoy the day bloggers!!!
http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/Org/caer/ce/eek/veg/plants/skunkcabbage.htm

Anonymous said...

Ok link got cut off. Just search skunk cabbage.


Richard

Anonymous said...

Hey Bloggers looks like we got more wild weather to track!

I have Lafayette in the inch to an inch and a quarter possible for rainfall and slightly higher amounts around Newton and Jasper county. With rainfall looking between an inch and a quarter to an inch and a half. Could be slightly higher and it needs to be watched!

I have the rain moving in in the afternoon tomorrow. With winds between 10 and 15 mph with the chance for a few thunderstorms and higher winds later on that evening.

Winds could gusts to 35 mph maybe 40 mph at times. I think main things to watch with this system are going to be possible Flooding, High gusty winds, And there is that slight chance for some possible pea size hail.

This is another taste of spring weather for us. Yes we will drop once again to highs in the 30s after tomorrow but it is that time of year where we go up and down for a while. Just can't let it get to you!

So for this storm I think the more south you go of Lafayette rainfall will be less and just north of Lafayette higher rainfall. Now the NWS does have us in that slight risk for severe weather so we will watch things closely but again I think main things will be.....
__________________________
The Heavy Rainfall, Possible Flooding, And Gusty Winds
__________________________


Mike I love the pictures. We have a few flowers starting to come up slowly!

Spring is really in the air and it is SOOOOOOO NICE out today! Just anoher beautiful day here in Indiana.....

Have a good day EVERYBODY!!!!!

Justin.

Anonymous said...

Hi all! Just got in from work, drove home with the window down, Is beautiful out!

Richard thanks for sharing the info on Skunk cabbage! I saw Mike talk about it on the news last night.

Justin, yucky rain on the way!!

Jamie my daughter is still not better, she was home from school again today! I spoke with the Dr. who told me it could take a couple of weeks for her to get over it..hope your gal gets to feeling better for her B'day. Mine has a big dance she is looking foward to.

Teri

Anonymous said...

My kids are luckily all healthy. My youngest has adopted a cat from the street. She named it Yuckie. How cute it that? I worked in the yard today cleaning up leaves. It was so nice being outside. Guess I better get started with supper. We're having chicken on the grill. Got to make the most of such a nice day.

Everyone take care and enjoy the nice weather.

Anonymous said...

WELCOME HOME!!! 38th Infantry Division Military Police Company!

I know of one happy young man who was very surprised by his dads homecoming!!

God Bless all of you!

Anonymous said...

I dont think tomorrow will be a total washout, but some boomers on the way with a cold front!

Anonymous said...

I see the weekend forecast and etc. has been changed. A South Bend station is not forecasting any precipation this weeekend. I wonder why WLFI has changed its forecast??? Unfortunately, I do not receive WLFI on my cable network.

F/C

Anonymous said...

well he didnt say anything on the news worth while? He talked so fast...I think they should give him more air time for the weather! He has no time for a good forcast at all if you listen to the Indy stations they are way more detailed on the weather forcasts....GIVE MIKE MORE AIR TIME!!!I think the weather is very important! but some of the crap they put on the news isnt!!!

Anonymous said...

I hope we can all get over our colds/sickness soon.
It looked so nice out today and lifted my mood a bit, but since kids still have colds we didnt take them out. I even had the patio door open all day.
Renee in Laf.

Anonymous said...

Mike does need more air time agreed! And so will our new future evening met...

Anonymous said...

Mike, are the snow symbols on the 7-day outlook just a glitch?

Anonymous said...

Mike was saying in the weather that we may have snow by Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

I got a high of 59 today!!! Didn't feel that warm....but that is what my thermometer read!

C in T

Anonymous said...

It was a beautiful day would have to agree with Chris we were up in the temps, but it still had a nip in the air. WOW! Teri...daughter is feeling better, but sounds hoarse still, but not as bad. She turns 12 and is so excited as we had a full evening planned. Let's hope we don't get so much rain. That won't be good. Are we still up there on the rivers?
Have a good night all.
Jamie

Anonymous said...

JUSTIN!! While I really appreciate your efforts at forecasting do you realize how MANY times this winter you have said, "more precip north of lafayette in the Jasper/Newton county areas??? i dread storm season with a passion, I know some of you really enjoy severe storms but I am one who is terrified at them. Every bad storm that comes up is a possible EF-5 to me.

Just kidding, Justin ..i really do appreciate your forecasts and dont want you to stop :-)

Off to bed I am very sleepy tonight! Have to rest up for the STORMS coming in, lol!

MA in REM

Anonymous said...

I looked at my thermometer for at least a minute....went out and shook the sensor....and then looked again. I would have bought 45 but not 59!

I DO LOVE SEVERE STORMS....I do not like the damage....I dispise tornadoes.....and I only like hail if my trailblazer is parked in the garage. I would take snow or ice any day!!!!

C in T

Anonymous said...

just got home from work. speaking of which i about had a heart attach when i hit a moth yes i said a MOTH. was like wow not seen any bug buts on the window for LONG time!! so with that counted 5 moths from lafayette to monticello and another bug of some sort. wow what a hermit, to get excited over hitin bugs has to say something for our weather. have 41 here at present time! not looking forwad to the rain. ill be down at norway dam around 10ish in am trying to hook me a walleye or 4!! have a good night and enjoy the am before the rain!!

scott in monticello

Anonymous said...

Mary Anne, I now have rainfall between a Half inch to an inch for your area. This is better news as last night we was calling for an inch or more!

Lafayette rainfall between a half inch and three quarters of an inch.

Rain is still expected after noon time.

Maybe some thunder however nothing bad at this time. Still a few gusty winds to 35 mph.....

I got to get to bed Night all!

Justin.

Anonymous said...

Becareful everyone it is really foggy outside.I can't see all of my back yard as of now so driving watch out.

Cc

Anonymous said...

A very foggy morning in Rochester. Temp. is above freezing, so we do not have to worry about freezing fog, which is occurring north of US 30.

My school is on a two hour delay!!!

F/C

Anonymous said...

It shows 42, there is fog and Twin Lakes is on two hour delay for fog! Had sprinkles for about 10 seconds yesterday afternoon around 3 and must of had some over night as my deck is wet. Has to remember to turn the guage over. Everyone becareful driving. Have a Safe and Wonderful Day!
Jamie

Anonymous said...

I woke at 2;00 am to let my pup out. Was very foggy in Laf..I thought there would be school delays..still very foggey out!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Justin for lowering my rain fall :-) :-)

Wow is right with the fog! Should have known this last night. Leaving a meeting the windows were covered with moisture that would not wipe away with wipers.

Have a great day, all!

MA in REM

Anonymous said...

jconline weather forecast for Mon and Tues
Monday

45°F | 29°F
Sunny
Sunshine and milder in the morning. Sunshine and milder in the afternoon. Partly cloudy in the evening. Partly cloudy overnight.

Tuesday

43°F | 27°F
Intermittent Clouds
Times of clouds and sun in the morning. Times of clouds and sun in the afternoon. Clouds and breezy with a shower in spots in the evening. Cloudy and breezy overnight.
ok now agian ay 8 am the 7 day weather map has changed agian come on Davis whats up cant plan by your weather sry

Anonymous said...

At this point and in the past have ever really been able to follow the 7-day forecast? not really. If the forecast dictates snow, that is fine, but realize that this time of year its chances of sticking around is getting lower. The sun burns it right up. But, last year's spring break, we left for florida when it was snowing. Or flurries.

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