I hope everybody is doing well and feeling well. The late winter flu that has been going around has hit my family. My daughter is home from school for the third straight day. She seems a little better today but this thing going around seems to linger on forever and I have been fighting it for most of this week. No way will it keep me down. There is just too much interesting weather to track. Now the big question is will we need urgent care when it comes to our weather today and tonight. First of we can blame all the illnesses going around on the incredible ups and downs in our weather and there really is no end in sight. Take a look at forecast high temperatures by Friday.
This morning we did need to slow it down on area roadways with visibilities down to near a quarter-mile in many locations with patchy dense fog. This was due to a warm, moist south wind that caused our dewpoints to rise while at the same time our temperatures were slowly falling. The closer your temperature and dewpoint the better chance of fog developing, especially with light winds and that is exactly what happened. The worst of the fog will be out of here by mid-morning as we start heating up and the wind picks up ahead of rain.
Speaking of rain....how much is on the way and will there be flooding?
Let us start with the area rainfall. So far this month we have had 2.52" of precipitation in Lafayette. February is normally our driest month of the year and we average only 1.57" of precipitation. Well this year we will likely double our February monthly averages and on top of that we have melted down about .75" of liquid that was stored in the snow pack we had. This means we do need any more rain or snow. The ground is saturated and our rivers and creeks are still not far from bankfull. Well, I have good news! The latest model data has most of our viewing area receiving less than an inch of rainfall. The main track low pressure track will be heading to Chicago and it is far northern Illinois and Indiana that will have the heaviest rain. So even our friends in Remington, Rennselaer, and Winamac should be okay. We could see a slight rise once again in our river levels but I am not expecting flooding at this time. Bottom line is that most of us end up with less than an inch of rain.
Severe weather potential: I went through a big list of things this morning that includes wind shear, helicity, upper-level winds, and instability indices. The good news is I think we will not only dodge the worst of the rain but also the severe weather. Things are just not lining up right at this time. The atmosphere will be most unstable at 9 p.m. but the main cold front that will add lift to the atmosphere does not arrive until after midnight. The jet stream that usually adds spin to our thunderstorms that can lead to damaging wind, tornadoes, and even large hail is well south and west of Indiana. Areas near Oklahoma and Arkansas look to be the bullseye for the big thunderstorms. You see the severe weather risk above and I agree that it should stay west of our viewing area.
The one thing that I did find interesting is that once the front comes through after midnight we could briefly see wind gusts in the 40 to 50 mph outside of thunderstorms. When you are going from temperatures from near 60 today to only near 30 by late tomorrow this huge temperature gradient creates big pressure differences and a higher likelihood of high wind gusts. I do think the high wind gusts will not last more than a couple of hours so a high wind advisory will not be likely. It will remain breezy though with wind chills falling into the teens by late on Friday.
Tonight make sure to tune in and we will track the rain and wind together and find out about a very cold weekend ahead. It may be so cold that chances of snow will be possible as far south as Alabama, Georgia, and even the beaches of South Carolina. We will take a closer look at major changes that have taken place in the atmosphere over the last 10 days and why it may be a sign of a much colder March. Remember to send in some rain totals and I do think we could still hear a few rumbles of thunder tonight but the line of storms will dramatically weaken as it moves our way after midnight. This afternoon we will have a weak line of scattered showers which means we can still head to the park before winter makes a comeback. It is time for lunch! I am ready for some egg salad and soup! Be safe and stay healthy!