The Great 1950 Thanksgiving Storm

November 26th, 2014 at 2:23 am by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Deemed “Storm of the Century” at the Time:  Record Warmth, Record Arctic Outbreak, Blizzard, Hurricane Winds, Flooding & Storm Surge………

The great November 1950 superstorm was unprecedented in its wind, surface pressure, snow & Arctic outbreak.  353 people were killed in the storm.

The great Thanksgiving 1950 storm was extreme with RECORD WARMTH on its east & northeast side & RECORD COLD on its west & south sides.  At one point of the storm, 50s & 60s were widespread across New England, but it was below-zero in northern Georgia & Tennessee with 20s well into Florida.  Similar in to the ’78 storm, it has a backward, southwestward-moving warming front that had wrapped entirely around the center of the surface low.

Damage was tremendous from the Midwest to New England & Mid-Atlantic.

Newark, New Jersey gusted to 108 mph!  New York City gusted to 94 mph, while the runways of La Guardia Airport were submerged in water from the extreme storm surge.  The storm surge flooded lower Manhattan, while winds reached 110 mph in New Hampshire & 10o mph in Vermont.  Albany, New York gusted to 83 mph with gust to 105 mph in Connecticut.  Wind gusts of 160 mph were recorded in the high elevations of New Hampshire.  Forest damage was extensive, as was home & business damage.

Up to 44″ of snow fell in east-central Ohio, while the entire state picked up at least 10″ (Youngstown 29″, Steubenville 44″, Dayton 11″) .  Drifts of 25′ were reported in eastern Ohio with winds across the state gusting over 60 mph.  This was by far the worst blizzard in Ohio on record until the blizzard of 1978.  The entire state was completely paralyzed for days.  Up to 62″ of snow fell in West Virginia from the storm, while Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania picked up nearly 3 FEET of snow.  MEANWHILE, extensive flooding occurred in central & eastern parts of the state.  Numerous building collapses were reported from Ohio to eastern Kentucky, West Virginia & Pennsylvania from the weight of the snow.

In just this one storm, Ohio & West Virginia broke the state records for overall snowiest November ever recorded.  The records stand to this day in 2014.  Over a foot snow fell in Ontario, Canada.  Thunder & lightning accompanied the heavy snow with intense thundersnow just north & west of the center of the storm that resembled the eye of a hurricane.

Extreme cold blasted in with the storm.  All-time record lows for the month of November were set over most of the central & southern U.S.  Atlanta dropped to an amazing -3, while Savannah tanked to 15.  Birmingham, Alabama dropped to 5, while Montgomery hit 13 with Jacksonville, Florida down to 23.  Nashville, Tennessee dropped to -1.  Below zero readings were found into North Carolina with -5 at Asheville & coastal, southeast North Carolina dropped into the teens with 16 at Wilmington.

The Superstorm & Our Area…….

Blizzard conditions developed in the viewing area with the storm winds , snow & record-cold blasting in.


November 25, 1950 6 p.m. – November 26, 1950 5 p.m. consistent SUSTAINED winds of over 25 mph.  Gusts over 45 mph.

11/25 – 6 p.m. – Sustained wind measured at 30 mph

11/25 – 10 p.m. – Sustained wind measured at 32 mph

11/25 – 11 p.m. – Sustained wind measured at 32 mph

11/26 – 12 a.m. – Sustained wind measured at 30 mph

11/26 – 1 a.m. – Sustained wind measured at 30 mph

11/26 – 2 a.m. – Sustained wind measured at 32 mph

11/26 – 4 a.m. – Sustained wind measured at 32 mph

11/26 – 5 a.m. – Sustained wind measured at 30 mph

11/26 – 6 a.m. – Sustained wind measured at 30 mph

11/26 – 7 a.m. – Sustained wind measured at 35 mph

11/26 – 10 a.m. – Sustained wind measured at 30 mph

11/26 – 11 a.m. – Sustained wind measured at 35 mph

11/26 – 1 p.m. – Sustained wind measured at 30 mph

Snowfall Total/Temperature Drop Just Prior & After Storm:

Kokomo    9.5″    37 to -5

Crawfordsville    9.5″    38 to -5

Wabash    8.8″    36 to -3

Monticello    7.3″

Rochester    7.2″    37 to -4

Wheatfield    7.1″    36 to -10

Logansport    6.9″

Veedersburg    6.6″    37 to -7

Rensselaer    5.6″    35 to -10

Winamac    5.5″    35 to -10

Frankfort    5.5″    38 to -4

West Lafayette    3.7″     38 to -5

Fowler    3.6″    35 to -8

Delphi    3.3″    38 to -5

Kentland    2.2″    38 to -9

Covington    2.1″

Whitestown   1.3″    35 to -6


10:17 P.M. Update

November 25th, 2014 at 10:12 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Clipper is diving south-southeastward tonight.  So, even as our low clouds gradually break up & clear with time, clouds will be rapidly approaching from the west from clipper.

1-3″ snowfall is likely west & southwest of our area (Des Moines to St. Louis to southern Illinois, but here, patchy dusting of under 1″ is possible.  With just a few snow showers & flurries Wednesday evening-night with & a few flurries perhaps to Thursday, any accumulation would be light.

After 34-40 Wednesday & 25-30 Wednesday night, highs Thursday will run just 26-31 with lows of 12-16 Thursday night.


Overall Outlook to December 20

November 25th, 2014 at 1:25 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

After some patchy trace snow amounts to even 0.3″ in the far north this morning, it is a rather gray, cold day with temperatures at 27-32 as of 1:25 p.m.

There are a few breaks in the clouds developing in Illinois & I wouldn’t be surprised to see a hole or two in the overcast today, but the main clearing trend will most likely occur tonight.

Alberta clipper will dive southeastward tonight-tomorrow, bringing us increasing clouds just as our skies finally clear.

A few scattered rain/snow to all snow showers are possible late Wednesday-Wednesday night, followed by a few flurries on Thanksgiving.  Highs tomorrow will run in the 30s to around 40 with only around 30 for a high on Thanksgiving.

The main area of snowfall accumulation will be west of our area.  Here, some of you may get a coating/dusting of less than 1″.

Meanwhile, Nor’easter will be roaring up the East Coast with significant snowfall accumulations.

Midwest Map II 15207

It still looks like a mild pattern in early December & that we may see 50s or even 60s around December 3 or 4 with showers/storms.  It also still looks like that may be a powerhouse storm with a severe weather event in the southern U.S., a soaking rain here (rivers will go back up) & perhaps a low-topped squall line with isolated severe gusts in Indiana again (perhaps even here).

Current analog/model combo suggests on Wednesday or Thursday morning of next week 56-62 at 7 with south winds sustained at 25 with gusts to 43 mph.  After that, we will cool to the 40s to December 11 with no sign of any significant storm system & really sustained surface high pressure.

Again, I am thinking with the first half of December being so mild, the second half will feature more in the way of cold & snow.  Looking at stratospheric temperatures, I see NO Arctic outbreaks or major cold snaps to December 15.  Beyond that, it is blurry, but analog trend in such a pattern shows tendency for snow/cold to come back in (after December 15)

11:10 P.M. Update

November 24th, 2014 at 11:11 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Snow showers are falling at a pretty good clip across our northern counties right now.

Scattered snow showers & flurries will remain possible tonight with potential of a dusting/coating in some places of less than 1″  (not everywhere).

Winds will be brisk at 15-25 mph, but nothing like we saw today.


Strong Winds Slowly Decreasing (But Still Gusty)

November 24th, 2014 at 5:50 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Scattered snow showers will continue tp pivot in this evening.

It is still gusty, but the high gusts are departing.  Gusts since 4:30 p.m. are below (as of 5:45 p.m.):



3 P.M. Update

November 24th, 2014 at 3:00 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Just saw measured gust of 69 mph from southern Indiana low-topped squall line this morning at Columbus, Indiana.

Peak Gusts Today (highest measured gust in area was 55 mph west of Galveston) are below, along with rainfall totals Saturday-present:


Some scattered rain/snow showers are around the area now, but it should be all snow showers this evening as they continue to pivot in from Iowa & Illinois.  If there is any accumulation, it would be less than 1″, but still watch for a few slick spots.

We are in the 33-38 range area-wide & headed for 20s tonight.


Lowland Flooding Information

November 24th, 2014 at 1:12 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Little squall line raked southern Indiana this morning to Ohio with wind gusts to 61 mph.  I see several reports of trees down from Lawrence County, Indiana to as far northeast as Columbus, Ohio.

Here, I did receive a report of a tree down on Old Romney Road & reports of some trees down in Cass & Miami counties.  Galveston reported gust of 55 mph this morning.

Looks like most of the peak gusts occurred with that squall rain band this morning.

It is still windy, but the +45 mph gusts are tending to pull eastward.

With a widespread, solid 1-2.50″ rainfall area-wide, creeks are high & Wabash will rise above flood stage.

Forecast river crests from National Weather Service hydrologists:

Howling Winds As Very Strong Surface Low Pivots Northward

November 24th, 2014 at 11:28 am by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

After a high temperature of 56 (at WLFI), early this  morning, we are now down to 37.  The winds continue to howl after nearly 1.50″ of rainfall since Saturday morning.

Some of the gusts are from the broken squall rain band/line from earlier, while others have occurred behind the band/line.  The highest measured gust has been from west of Galveston, where a personal weather station measured gust of 55 mph.

The storm system had dropped to 980 mb surface pressure in Michigan this morning & it is now down to 976 mb in western Ontario.  Both are typical of a high end Category 1 to low-end Category 2 hurricane.

Sporadic power outages are still possible in the area, especially in our northeastern counties & some limbs may come down.  Trash cans may be blown everywhere.

Flurries/snow showers are possible this afternoon with continued strong, gusty winds, but it appears the strongest gusts will depart by mid to late afternoon.

With all of the rainfall of 1-2.30″, lowland flooding is likely along the Wabash.  Flood Warning from NWS is likely out soon & forecasted crests from NWS will be on here after they come out.


Update On Deep System with Strong Winds

November 23rd, 2014 at 12:42 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Some scattered showers are moving in now, but it looks like widespread rainfall 3 p.m. & onward with perhaps even an isolated t’storm or two.

It is another mild after the seemingly being in the depths of winter only a couple of days ago!


After solid rainfall, we may get a break 1 a.m. to 5 a.m., followed by the squally rain band with a few t’storms on the actual cold front.

We will likely see our high FOR MONDAY around 5 a.m. at 55-60.

The surface low will rapidly strengthen as it pivots through central Illinois & may be as low as 984 mb around Chicago by morning (980 mb by central Michigan).  In this strengthening process & passage of strong cold front, winds will dramatically increase……..& I would be surprised to see a couple isolated 50-52 mph gusts make it to the ground with the squally band given the forcing/dynamics & 100-200 J/kg of SBCAPE & up to 400 J/kg of MUCAPE.  Low-level winds at 2500′ & 5000′ will be running 50 mph or more.

Looks like time frame of STRONGEST gradient winds may run between 8 a.m. & 3 p.m. with sustained winds at 20-30 mph & gusts of 45-50 mph.  This may lead to a few local power outages & blow your trash cans into the street.

Scattered showers are likely Monday & as we fall into the 30s after noon, the rain showers will likely mix & change to snow showers (wind-driven snow showers at that!).

If there is any accumulation, it would be less than 1″.

Rainfall will total 1-2″ area-wide.


Still looks like a Thanksgiving clipper.  This clipper looks to pass Wednesday night-Thursday with snow showers.  1″ or less of accumulation is likely with temperatures dropping to the 20s Thursday after highs in the 30s & 40s Tuesday-Wednesday.

The start of December still looks fairly mild with quite a few 40s days.



1:15 A.M. Forecast Update

November 23rd, 2014 at 1:17 am by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog


After tonight’s rainfall, Sunday actually looks overall dry until 3 p.m. & onward.  At that point, it appears more widespread rainfall & a few t’storms will arrive.  Highs will run near 56 with mostly cloudy skies & strong south winds.

A bit of a break is possible in the rainfall between 1 a.m. & 5 a.m. with strong south winds to 32 mph.  Temperatures may rise to as high as 60.

The actual front may pass around 5 a.m. with a squally, gusty rain band with a few t’storms.  It is still not out of the question to see it put out a few severe gusts southern Indiana to Kentucky with a much bigger severe risk in the southern U.S.  Here, gusts of 45 mph are possible with it.

Winds may gust to 45 mph behind the front (I am toying with the notion of some gusts to 50 mph, but no quite ready to forecast that yet).  These gusts may last until noon with a few lingering showers that may mix with/change to some snow as temperatures tank to near 36 by late morning.

A total of 1-2″ of rainfall still seems reasonable between the Friday night ice/rainfall to Monday.

The remainder of the day looks to feature gusts to 35 mph with mostly cloudy skies & temperatures near 40 with a few sprinkles/flurries & light rain/snow showers.


Tuesday-Wednesday look tranquil with 30s to lower 40s, but clipper will pass Thanksgiving with 1″ or less of snowfall with gusty northwest winds & temperatures falling into the 20s after 30s early.


AT THIS POINT, there are no major cold waves seen to December 6, with a lot of seasonable weather with 40s.  Outlying data suggests postive NAO/AO & above normal temperatures & rainfall December 7-9 with 50s & 60s, but that is a ways out.  There is a trend noted there, however.  SHOULD this happen, my analog data tells me in such a regime, colder, snowy weather may then affect the second half of December.