Diana Marion shares a picture with us that best describes the weather pattern we are having. It is hard to believe we are waking up with temperatures 15 degrees warmer than our average high and after feeling like April yesterday we will feel like May today. This really is gator weather and soon we will have migrating alligators crawling into the Midwest if we keep this up. Yes! Spring fever has hit the Lafayette area and my car's top will be going down this afternoon with highs in the upper 60s to near 70. The record for the date today is 69 set back in 1932 and I do think we will challenge that 77 year old record without a doubt. Our rain should hold off until after midnight and the combination of sunshine and a strong south to southwest wind at all levels of the atmosphere will do the trick. The good news is the windy weather will help evaporate our soggy soil. Now for our reality check. No migrating alligators for us because snow will be back in the forecast by Thursday. We may have dodged most of the rain last night with less than .20" in most areas but late tonight and Wednesday will be a different story as our Spring weather collides with winter. You can see why below.
Something had to give for nature to seek some sort of balance and here is our big storm on way late tonight and Wednesday. You can see the tightly cranked isobars. What I am carefully watching is the storm track. Based on this we could actually see a dry slot move our way during Wednesday after waking up with thunderstorms. This could cut our rainfall totals by at least a half-inch. The other good tidbit is that there is no stationary front that will stall out over the area like we saw during last winter's historic flooding. I do not expect a repeat. Here is the latest Precisioncast 18 numbers on forecast rainfall between now and Wednesday night.
If we can keep our rainfall totals under the critical two inches in the Wabash watershed I think we are in good shape and will dodge the worst. Right now I do think we stay under two inches based on the map above and hopefully closer to the 1.4 inches it indicates! This would likely bring minor flooding to the area. But we do need to remember while we have gotten rid of our snow there is still plenty of ice floating down our area rivers and creeks. Take a look at the North Fork of the Wildcat Creek in Carroll County this past weekend where they had ice jam problems. Joe Hufford took this eye-opening picture for us. Luckily this ice jam did not last long or there would have been some flooding problems as the water would have been diverted from this creek to areas where people live.
These possible ice jams are certainly something we need to take into account and even if we miss out on the heaviest rainfall we will have to be on guard for flooding. My motto is to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. With this said, I still do have bigger concerns for flooding from Indianapolis southward where there will certainly be a higher risk of seeing two or more inches of rainfall and they also melted down about twice as much snow as we did over the past few days. This could still change and our weather team will make sure you know of any changes to the storm track which could impact our forecast rainfall and river flooding in a big way. Another wild card to this whole equation will be thunderstorms which could dump heavy amounts of rain in short periods of time.
Thunderstorms will be feeding off our warm and tropical air mass that will be colliding with winter weather. We are in a severe weather risk area late Tuesday night and Wednesday. Your Live Doppler 18 is ready to go and you can see the shaded areas where I think strong storms could hit late tonight and Wednesday. Our viewing area is under the yellow shading which means our highest risk will be damaging wind gusts, but you never rule out isolated tornadoes as we found out last February. The orange shaded areas which runs roughly from Interstate 70 southward have a higher risk of strong storms and even isolated tornadoes. It could get very interesting on Wednesday. This is another reminder to have your family safety plan ready to go by late tonight and Wednesday.
Enjoy the great weather today and I will look forward to posting our May temperatures here on the blog later today. I will also have the latest on our forecast rainfall, strong thunderstorms, and river levels. Thanks for all the great pictures and remember our first day of Spring officially begins on March 20th, but meteorological Spring is only 19 days away and begins on March 1st! So if you like warmer weather do not let the forecast of snow back in the forecast get you down. The warm spell we are enjoying will be coming our way more frequently as we quickly move toward Spring!