Tuesday, February 1, 2011

3,000 Mile Storm Unleashing its Fury & Florida Will Dodge Its Worst

Tuesday, February 1, 2011----12 p.m. and updated again by 5 p.m.

Here is the Blizzard of 2011 as seen from space. This storm is a beast! Its clouds extend over 3,000 miles and it is wrapping in moisture all the way from the Pacific Ocean not far from Hawaii. So it has a huge domain of influence and is one of the biggest winter storms since the 1950s just by its sheer size and it will go down for many as the biggest winter storm in modern history. The latest models are in and as I posted here on the blog yesterday it still looks like Chicago will  be the bulls eye with 24 inches of snow possible. Their all-time record snow occurred on January 26-27, 1967 when they received just over 23 inches of snow.

Areas farther south in Indiana can breathe at least a little sigh especially south of Benton, Newton, Jasper, White, Miami and Pulaski Counties. Do not get me wrong, this will be a dangerous storm for all of Indiana. But it may not be as bad as it could have been and here is why. This storm is so strong that it will wrap what is called a dry slot into Indiana which will hopefully keep the catastrophic ice totals away. Indianapolis will hopefully have ice accumulation closer to an inch rather than two inches. Keep in mind anything over a quarter-inch is considered dangerous and treacherous and can cause numerous power outages. Lafayette, Indiana will have a wintry mix and hopefully the sleet and freezing rain accumulations will be held down closer to a quarter to a half inch of ice. Notice on the latest satellite/radar composite as of 5 p.m. the dry air has made its way into St. Louis. This storm will also be stronger and deeper which means it will actually cut off the warm air quicker. This should cut into the ice totals....hopefully! Check out the extent of watches and warning across the country. I have never seen anything like this. Every state or its adjacent waters has some type of weather issue!

Lafayette, Indiana I still have in a 4 to 6 inch snow band with maybe a few spots with a little more. There could be thunder sleet tonight before you see a break in the mixed bag. Then snow will fill back in by 4 a.m. and with wind gusts near 40 mph it will look like a blizzard when you wake up. You should actually meet blizzard criteria with visibilities due to blowing and drifting snow being reduced to a quarter mile or less for 3 hours or more. As we all know in Indiana, 4-6 inches of snow can drift into 3-4 feet with enough wind and that will be the case tomorrow. So my next big question for Indiana is when will the blizzard warning be extended farther south to cover Tippecanoe County. Areas toward Monticello and Remington I still think should be in the 8 to 12 inch snow bands with a blizzard warning issued for good reason. So remember if you are in Indiana there could be huge differences from south to north. Areas just south of Crawfordsville could end up with 2 inches of snow while areas toward northern Newton and Jasper Counties could see 16 to 18 inches of snow!

You see this accumulation snowfall map from one of the weather models and do not focus on amounts as much as where you see the brown and red areas. Those are the areas that could see the most snow. This also now includes southern Wisconsin where the cheese heads may not be able to get to the Super Bowl until later in the week. That is okay because it is very cold down in Dallas where they had snow  and ice today and the airport was shut down for the first time in 5 years! Temperatures will likely not go above freezing in Dallas until Friday! The Super Bowl will bring warmer weather for the Pack and Steelers with highs near 60 but temperatures could fall into the upper 40s by games end. Send in those pictures and I would love to post them here on the weather blog. I have a ton of viewers here at First Coast News that moved here from snowy climates and many of them love reminiscing and remembering when they had to deal with all that snow. Many I talk to actually miss the snow. I fall into the category but one thing I do not like is the ice and I hope the lower amounts come to fruition. Check back here on the blog for more and if you are in Jacksonville, do not worry....your local blog forecast is next....we are the lucky ones!

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