Friday, February 13, 2009
We Remember the Blizzard of 2007 & Prepare for Light Snow this Weekend
This is the two year anniversary of the blizzard of 2007 and it will always be a special day for me. I remember February 13th like I would a close friend's birthday. You can see Stanley Knight's car buried in the snow. This blizzard was our second biggest snowstorm of all-time in Lafayette with 17 inches of snow and snow drifts up to 4 feet high. Our weather staff did not go home for 3 days. We had 26 consecutive hours of snow with 5 hours of wind gusts of 35 mph or greater and and 8 hours of visibilities reduced to a quarter mile or less. The official definition of a blizzard is when you have 3 hours of reduced visibilities of a quarter mile or less and/or wind gusts of 35 mph or greater. We met the blizzard criteria and then some. West Point had the highest snow total in the area at 18 inches. Frankfort and WLFI both had 17 inches of snow. Monticello and Brookston checked in with 14 inches of snow while Logansport, Monon, and Remington had 12 inches of snow.
Jackie Vukobratovitch wrote a nice passage to sum up the mood around Lafayette.
Jackie wrote: "There is nothing more beautiful than to see a community come together and help get each other out after this historic storm. Some of my other neighbors went out this morning and started to shovel down the street trying to get people out. They have agreed to go back out when the plow pushes the snow back in our driveways."
Yes we live in a great community and it showed during the snowstorm. Everybody pitched in and helped each other and it is that Hoosier hospitality that always comes through when things get rough.
The horses around the area apparently loved galloping in our biggest snowstorm since 1929. This blizzard was officially our snowiest on record and outdid the blizzard of 1978 when we had 11 inches of snow in Lafayette. Some called it the Valentine's blizzard of 2007 since the snow did not stop into very early in the morning on Valentine's Day. Legend has it that many blizzard babies were born 9 months later. This was the biggest baby boom we had seen since the late 1970s blizzards. No wonder we are building all these new schools. It all goes back to the blizzard. :) This is a storm I will tell my grand kids about. Yes! Our weather team was the first to predict this blizzard and confirm blizzard conditions for the National Weather Service in Indianapolis before they issued the blizzard warning! It will go down as one of the biggest highlights of my meteorological career, especially when people thought we were crazy calling for more than a foot of snow while other media outlets had flurries in the forecast. I will not name any names, but I still have the newspaper in my closet. LOL
Now how much snow is on the way this weekend for our Valentine's Day? I will post the latest maps here for you shortly. It does not look like a big snowstorm that is for sure. So do not cancel any plans. Nature is showing us some love this time around. The bulleye still looks like it stays up near Chicago. A first estimate would be in the one to two inch range for Lafayette and two to three inches along and north of Highway 24. Extreme northern Indiana and Chicagoland I would put in the three to six inch range. This weekend's weather-maker will be a walk in the park compared to what we just experienced that is for sure. Have a nice day and I will see you and talk to you soon. Happy Anniversary Lafayette and an early Happy Valentine's Day! Also tune in tonight for the latest river levels which should be receding by late this afternoon.