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! :)



39 comments:

Anonymous said...

I AM READY for a good update!

Chris in Tipton

Anonymous said...

I can wait longer if necessary!! Am I the only one up?

C in T

Anonymous said...

Nosir. A snow watcher on the South Side is waiting also with anticipation.

Anonymous said...

ALRIGHTY!! I am anxiously awaiting the update too! Glad to not be alone!!!

C in T

Anonymous said...

In my head....I would think that model numbers 3 or 5 would be close to what I am seeing.... wishing for #2!!!!

C in T

Anonymous said...

I do enjoy the Price Is Right....and even enjoy wathcing the old OLD ones on Game Show Network!! Yes....this reminded me of the CLOCK GAME...HIGHER...LOWER....HIGHER!!!!

I am all for HIGHER!!!! But....I too think 2-4 with 3 being a good average...looks like the target for us this time around!

C in T

Anonymous said...

I have to go to bed soon....as my students expect me to be AWAKE at 8AM....but I have a quick question for all of the bloggers...

Are you TOTALLY aware of what a great thing we have here?? Where else can we get on, talk about weather....life....sports....anything that is important to us....MOSTLY WEATHER....and have a meteorologist respond and update us? I know of NO OTHER SITE that offers such a great service. If this became a pay site, I would pay!!! What a treat we have!!!!!

Chris in Tipton (C in T)

Anonymous said...

Chris that is so true! I have not seen any other site that is anything like this! Mike you are GREAT!!!!!

I'M off to bed. Mike have another scoop of Ice cream for me! :P lol..... Have a good night bloggers and Mike. I'M off to bed!

Justin.

Boon said...

this site is the best

Anonymous said...

u guys and gals went to bed to early! im the one that may have woke u up with a train horn blaring from norht staley to catipillar! sorry its the rules. as for the snow if it was deer season would say bring on the 7 inches but being the fact that i would like to attend the boat sport and travel show, mostly for fishing items id like the lowest amount possible to make the trip to the state fair grounds! either way bring on the snow no other options!

scott in monticello

Anonymous said...

Pretty sunrise this morning, with a temp of 14* and humidity 78%!

All have a fun time watching this clipper move in! I will be checking though out the day to see if this system has shifted a bit. however at this time looks to be heavy snow north of tipp. co.

Anonymous said...

I agree this is a great blog and alot of very good people on here.
I am glad that Mike has this for blog for us to communicate about wx and of course a little bit of other interest (especially when the wx is nice and nothing going).
You all are GREAT PEOPLE and that includes you too MIKE.
Off to go eat breakfast catch up with you all later.

Richard

Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading and discussing weather....I do enjoy reading other sites where there is a "blog" - where the meteorologist gives his or her "take" on current conditions and the forecast ahead. However...this TRUE BLOG allows us to participate!! How awesome is that!!!! This is the future of warnings and real time reporting. We are so lucky to have this here!!!

C in T

Anonymous said...

haha, well I don't participate in the conversations on here but I'm pretty much addicted to this blog, I check it at school everyday in my study hall, then I read all the comments! I'm curious how many other people are just like me.

Anonymous said...

Just checking in real quick with the latest.

Today we can look for a high around 29* degrees with a low around 14* degrees. We can already see the snow up in North Dakota with some heavy bands in it. This is what will be moving our way here soon enough. I still look for the snow sometime around Midnight tonight so we will be up late and going strong here a little later. Here is the break down on how I feel things will go.....

Snowfall for now between 2" and 4" inches. With still that good chance for a possible Five inches but for now we will keep this 2" to 4" range.

Maybe some Blowing and Drifting snow to worry about with winds tonight and tomorrow. Winds tonight will be between 10 and 20 mph. Saturday morning to afternoon is when things will get gusty with winds between 15 and 25 mph with some higher wind gusts to 30 mph. This will make driving dangerous and hard. You will need to allow extra time to get where you need to go.....

Their is already some Winter weather Advisories out for Benton, Newton, and Jasper, counties and I would expect them to start to make there way to us here before long. Their is already some Winter storm warnings for areas in IL, This will be a good storm to watch and keep posted on.

And one more thing is we do look to have the moisture with this coming snow so I don't think that will be to much of a problem this time around..... Still as always we will watch it! ;)

See you all here a little later!

Justin.

Anonymous said...

Indy station has this storm moving more north. Calling for 1 to 2 inches now. How much truth is that statement? My husband and I both need to travel, hubbie is going south and I am going over to Purdue. Just wanting to know what I am in for...

Lanna in Frankfort

Anonymous said...

Yeah, me too. Do we believe Indy or Laffy? I was thinking of traveling to Bloomington, will I miss the (brunt of the) storm?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, me too. Do we believe Indy or Laffy? I was thinking of traveling to Bloomington, will I miss the (brunt of the) storm?

Anonymous said...

I still think that an average of 3 inches could happen. If you want to go to Bloomington IN, I think you will be ok...it depends upon when you leave. Blowing snow may be as big of a headache as the falling snow. Remember 3 inches with 30 mph winds can be brutal!

Chris in Tipton

I do NOT think that we will get an advisory with the next round of forecasts.....

Anonymous said...

Much more substantial, steady snow will fall from Chicago to Detroit, Indianapolis, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio Saturday. Accumulations in most of these areas will range from 3 to perhaps 6 inches.

The main batch of snow from the storm will swing toward the northern and central Mississippi Valley through tonight. As the storm encounters more moisture on this path, accumulations will ramp upward, and the width of the accumulating snow will broaden.

Anonymous said...

Where did you get that info? I think Indy is too far south to be in the 3-6 range.

C in T

Anonymous said...

I've got bad news. The NOAA.gov website just updated and we went from an 80% chance of snow tonight to 50% with less than an inch of snow and now for tomorrow it is saying rain and snow mixed with maybe 1-2inches of snow instead of the 2-4 they were calling for.

Anonymous said...

Weatherbug.com also has us at a 50% chance, and just about 1 inch. I hope it is right, I hate snow!

Anonymous said...

You might want to leave the area if you don't like snow!!! LOL

Anonymous said...

One hour accuweather had Laf. in the 3.2" range now is back up to 4.8" We are going to get it! Cass And White counties are now under a advisory. Tipp co is right on the line..snow may mix with sleet.And 3-5 inchs of snow. National weather service has laf. in a 50% chance of snow TONIGHT tomorrow percip 90% with some freezing possible mixing in.....

Anonymous said...

and wind gusts of 35 mph! it is going to be nasty either way you look at it!

Stay safe!

Anonymous said...

remember clippers are known to pull tricks on us..I am not going to let my gaurd down.. as of now it looks as the line is just over central indiana. North of that line 3-6 inches south 2-3 watch close!

Anonymous said...

Somebody earlier said that they don't often contribute writing in this blog but they sure are attentive to it...and that's the same with me!
I am always checking this thing, wanting to know the thoughts on incoming weather...and even weather systems developing for a few days out.
And I agree...I have not run across a blog quite like this. It's the one I go to the most.
I am a weather watcher...always have been. And that tendancy was reinforced when I was in the F-4 tornado that struck Belvidere, IL on April 21, 1967.
That sealed my fate...always alert to the weather!

Anonymous said...

so the forecast has change. Are we going to get 3-5inches when it is all said and done? Can somebody answer me that until Mike updates his blog. Thanks

Anonymous said...

wind wind wind!,, no matter if 2 inches or what will be bad! Look for snow to start falling around 2:00 am

Anonymous said...

We wont know for sure until Sat. afternoon.

Anonymous said...

Mother nature will answer, Mike and bloggers can only watch and post as the maps show at this time.

Anonymous said...

I remember last year when we were only to get an inch of snow but the clipper took a shift and we ended up with much more, and horrible wind! looked like a snow tornado out there!

Anonymous said...

it must be a really tricky storm because accuweather has 1-3inches tonight and 1-3inches tomorrow and the weather channel has wintry mix tonight and 1-2inches of snow tomorrow so the models must still be going crazy, i take it the track of the storm isn't set yet, since all of the weather websites are different.

Anonymous said...

No I do not think the track is all set in snow:) for this system Never is in Indiana:)will wait till it get closer, or when it gets here

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering if it isn't all set in snow for us here in Laf. does that mean it could be an ice event?

Anonymous said...

The blogger that predicted less than an inch of snow a couple of days ago may be correct. Good job blogger.

Anonymous said...

Looks to be a wintery mix, rain and snow. The temp an hour ago was 31* now is 29* The temps look to maybe going up tomorrow.. but still wonder

Anonymous said...

we got our answer, mike just update, the blogger from early in the week was right, it will be less than an inch for the laf. area, that stinks