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 more 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".
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!