Friday, February 20, 2009
Red Sky at Night a Snow Lover's Delight
It was a cold Thursday but it was a fine finish with an absolutely gorgeous sunset. You are looking at a nice shot of a sun pillar that is more common in Alaska than Indiana. Ice crystals usually found at 30,000 feet were huddled close to the ground in our arctic air mass and it resulted in this beautiful phenomenon. The beam of light is being caused by sunlight being reflected off the undersides of fluttering ice crystals. Now the old saying is that a red sky at night is a sailor's delight, but in this case it is a snow lover's delight. If you read one of my favorite books called the Weather Companion by Gary Lockhart you would find some interesting research on if this weather proverb is actually reliable. It actually is a good indicator of the weather to come and is correct 71% of the time in the summer. But it is not foolproof by any means and is only on target 57% of the time in the summer due to those late day and sometimes overnight thunderstorms that fire up. So our next snow maker on the way has already defied the odds. We will have some unsettled weather moving in by late tonight. The question is will this storm pull another trick out of the bag and surprise us with a much bigger snowfall. One model already says it will! Take a look.
Now all of our anchors were rooting for models 1 and models 3 and of course I was ready for model #2. Our snowfall so far this winter is at 17.5 inches of snow which is slightly below our average to date of 18 inches. My pre-winter forecast of between 25 and 30 inches needs a little help so I say bring it on! What meteorologists do is look for consistency in the models and numbers one and three have been very steady over the last couple runs while model two continually changes with the wind. So I will have to go in the two to four inch category with still an outside shot of higher amounts. These clipper systems have been known to surprise this time of year and it is moving our way at 120 mph. Sometimes our models cannot handle this type of set-up so we will take it hour by hour as the snow closes in on us this evening and overnight. Here is my latest snowfall forecast which could still change, but my forecast confidence is much higher tonight than last night. Prime time for snow will be from about 4 a.m. through 11 a.m. on Saturday. The farther north you go the more the snow you can expect so be careful!
Of course our weather team will keep you updated throughout the day and I will do special blog updates as needed. Look for a winter weather advisory to be issued today. Make it a great one and Happy Friday!
Bloggers thanks for staying up late with me again tonight. It was almost like we were playing the Price is Right.....and I think most of us agreed that number 2 was still just a little too high! I think tonight's snack choice in honor of our snow will be some mint chocolate chip ice cream. I will run it off later! :)