February, 2014

Details of Upcoming Winter Weather Event Becoming More Apparent

February 26th, 2014 at 1:39 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

It was a cold morning with low temperatures of -1 to 5.  Minimum wind chills were anywhere from -8 to -23.


A secondary Arctic front is racing southeastward & will pass late tonight-tomorrow morning, only pushing more Arctic air in.  Highs tomorrow will only reach 7-13 with a gusty northwest wind to 31 mph.  Wind chills Thursday & Friday morning may be as low as -25.


1.  Looks like wave of snow Saturday (morning to early afternoon)…………POTENTIAL exists for this to arrive earlier, like Friday night.  We will monitor.  Looks like 1-3″ right now.  The highest totals of more like 2″ & 3″ seem more likely in our northwestern & far northern areas with more like 1-1.5″ for everyone else.

2.  Break is likely for several hours Saturday with no snowfall.

3.  Snow will likely return Saturday evening-night with core of it (highest rates) Sunday morning-afternoon.

4.  I would not be surprised to see some sleet, perhaps some freezing rain, in our southern counties.

5.  All of the system snow will exit late Sunday night-early Monday morning.

6.  Saturday afternoon, north winds will run at 10-20 mph, which may result in blowing & drifting of that 1-3″ snow.  Saturday night-Sunday night, east-northeast to northeast, then north-northeast winds at 20-30 mph will result in considerable blowing & drifting snow.

7.  TOTAL accumulations (between both rounds) Saturday-Monday morning of 6-10″ look possible.

8.  Record-breaking cold is likely after the storm with lows of -7 to 0.

9.  Warmth last week & wind has broken up ice on Lake Michigan, so some scattered lake effect flurries/snow showers will be possible Monday-Tuesday.  Accumulations look to be 1″ or less.

10.  After this I see no snow, mix or even rain until Friday March 7. 

11.  40s look to return by the 8th with a thaw & meltdown.

12.  50s are likely after March 10.

13.  Rivers may exceed flood stage & some ice jam issues are possible at some point(s) March 6-12.



February 25th, 2014 at 10:16 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Arctic front has gone through & now winds are gusting to 26 mph with temperatures falling.  Temperatures are as low as 9 & wind chills as low as -11.

Wind chills will drop to -30 to -20 by early morning.

Accumulating snowfall will stay south of our area tonight.


Tomorrow will be blustery & very cold!  The sunshine will do very little for the temperatures.  However, lack of appreciable snow cover will make temperature warmer than it would be with a widespread, deep snow pack.


Thursday will continue to be blustery & very cold, despite sunshine.  With clear skies & calming winds Thursday night, lows near -5 are likely.  A slight warm-up to 18 is likely Friday.

 The weekend-Monday system looks substantial.  The system will likely have two waves of precipitation with it.  It looks like mainly snow right now, but the potential does exist for some icy mix for part of the area.  I say this given the reservoir of warmth that has been in place in the Deep South for a good 1-1.5 weeks.  Evidence of a wedge of warmth coming in (especially southern counties) looks possible.

It appears the first wave of snow will pass Saturday morning-early afternoon, perhaps even Friday night-Saturday (will pinpoint more exact timing within coming 24 hours).  1-3″ looks possible.  There will likely be a break later Saturday for several hours.

The second wave looks like a prolonged round of snow & even icy mix.  This will arrive most likely Saturday night & taper Sunday evening.

Substantial accumulations are likely, but it is unclear as to how much snow & just how much icy mix will occur.  Additionally, the amount of icy mix is in question.

Regardless, this looks like a moisture-rich, dynamic, impactful system that will affect travel Saturday-Monday.


Late February Weather Can Go Either Way!

February 25th, 2014 at 6:11 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

I will have new insights into the weekend-early next week outlook later this evening…………..

The weather can go either way in late February around here.  On this date in 1965, we were battling a blizzard, in 2000, we were in the 70s.  These were the highest temperatures in February since the unusual, record warmth of February 1876,, 1890 & 1999.  We can get aspects of April or mid-January with the beginnings of transition as we exit February.  It is interesting that the two warmest temperatures ever in the month of February at West Lafayette occurred in back-to-back years at West Lafayette: 1999 & 2000.

With deep snow, extreme cold was found in the area in late February 1963.  In fact, on the morning of February 26, 1963, the temperature dropped to -23 at West Lafayette.  This was the coldest February weather, overall since the Great Arctic Outbreak of 1899.  On February, Purdue University dropped to -21, -22 & -21 on February 9, 10 & 13.


February Snowfall & Temperatures

February 25th, 2014 at 3:17 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog


Temperatures are holding in the lower to middle 20s this afternoon with mostly cloudy skies viewing area-wide.  A few isolated to widely-scattered flurries are possible.

NWS now has entire viewing area under Wind Chill Advisories.  Wind chills to -25 are still likely tonight-early Wednesday morning.

I have received several inquiries regarding snowfall for February.

Here is the February climate data, so far at WLFI:


Here are November, December & January:


Wind Chill Advisory…………A Look Ahead to the Next Accumulating Snowfall

February 25th, 2014 at 11:13 am by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog


Greatest amounts of snow occurred in our southwestern counties this morning.

A band of 0.8-1.5″ from Springfield, Illinois to Vermillion & Parke counties in Indiana.  Southwest was on the northern edge of this band.

For the rest of the viewing area, totals ran from a trace to 0.5″.


It still appears the next wave of snow Tuesday night-Wednesday morning will stay south of the viewing area.


Main weather story for us in the near term is the cold.  Wind Chill Advisory is in effect for Newton, Jasper, Benton counties per NWS Chicago for wind chills of -30 to -20 from midnight tonight to around noon tomorrow.

I think wind chills to -25 are possible area-wide.

Lows tonight will drop to -3 to 1 with wind gusting to 35 mph at times from the west.

Highs Wednesday and Thursday will only run 10-15.  Even during the day wind chills will still run to -13.

After this wave of Arctic air ANOTHER wave will arrive mid-next week with lows at/below 0 with wind chills of -25.


Still looks like a substantial storm developing by the weekend to our southwest that may affect us with snow & perhaps even ice Saturday night-Monday.  Accumulations are likely, but it is unclear how much or the exact timing of the precipitation.

The potential exists for several inches of snow & perhaps even some ice for part of the area.

Stay tuned for updates as we monitor this.


February 24th, 2014 at 10:37 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Temperatures are in the lower 20s with light snow approaching.  Amounts of 1″ or less are likely by morning.

Brutally cold air will come in by tomorrow night-Wednesday after highs Tuesday in the lower to middle 20s (with snow tapering off).

Wind chills may drop to -25 by Wednesday morning.

Weak clipper Tuesday night-Wednesday morning still looks to stay south of our area.


Looks pretty dry & unseasonably cold until Sunday when snow may overspread area.  Low may track from Texas to Kentucky to to Ohio, which is favorable for significant snowfall here.

HOWEVER, this is still a LONG way out.  Timing & amounts are still in question.  At this point, it appears that several inches could be in the offing.

Another surge of Arctic air will roar in behind this storm.  However, it looks as if 40s may return by March 7.


Very Odd Scenario On Wildcat……….Very Snowy, Cold Winter

February 24th, 2014 at 5:23 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Wildcat Creek near Lafayette crested at 19.6′ on Thursday night.  The ice jam caused this to be 1) the 8th highest crest on record, 2) the crest was HIGHER than the 19.1′ crest on the Wabash River.  The Wildcat was just 0.4′ from “MAJOR” flood (25′) & 3) It crested twice…..around 19.5′ & 19.6′.  It appears one may have been due to the rain & snow melt & the other, ice jam.  The around 19.5′ would make it the 9th highest crest on record.


At WLFI, we have had 57.2″ of snowfall in 2013-14 November 1-current period.

This is the most since 1977-78 with 60″.  That 60″ is the highest in the 1887-present record.

Looking at the 1880-current record, the snowiest winter was 66.5″ in 1884-85 winter at West Lafayette.  Second is 60.0″ in 1977-78.  Data is from Purdue University & the Purdue Ag Farm

Totals are as high as 68.1″ in data available from our dedicated spotters.  Northeast of Frankfort between that city & Michigantown, Chuck recorded 68.1″.  Bud on the southside of Lafayette has received 56.2″.

Jim in Kentland has 57.7″, Randy in Frankfort has 61.1″, Mary Anne in Remington has 51.7″, so far.

We are now in the top 10 greatest number of below zero days since 1880.  We have unofficially tied with 1981-82 & 1911-12 with 17 this winter.


A Very Cold 7 Days In the Forecast & Coldest Start to March Since 1996

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

Starting Wednesday, a very cold seven days will lead to near/record cold temperatures at night.  Overall, it looks like the coldest start to March since 1996.

It appears that lows of slightly below zero to single digits will occur on 6 of the 7 nights of this forecast.

1″ or less of snow tonight-tomorrow morning.  It appears 1″ or less Tuesday night-Wednesday morning will stay well southeast of the area.  1″ or less may fall in southern Indiana to Kentucky & West Virginia (+1″ higher elevations of West Virginia).

This will give way to more substantial snowfall in the first week of March.  Several inches are possible.  It is too early to pinpoint amounts or exact timing.

Still looks like a thaw after this point with 30s, then 40s then some 50s.  However, I see NO 60s or 70s to March 17.


In my lifetime, this winter reminds me of the 1995-96 winter in the southern part of the state.  We had so much snow & cold.  I remember going to District FFA contest in March & it was 16 that day mid-afternoon.  Just as we thought we were rounding a corner (was working ground on March 18) we had a major snowstorm with over 14″ at Mom & Dads March 19-20.

That melted, planted broccoli, etc. about 7 days later with a 66-degree day, then it rain & snowed the next day.

The spring actually turned out pretty warm, though.  One thing I do remember is the violence of it though.  With so much residual cold air aloft & still strong jet from winter, we had many violent severe weather outbreaks.  The batting cages at our high school were found 1.5 miles away in a field & a grain leg & bins were completely destroyed north of there on a grain farm.  Although NWS did not come down & do survey, the storm did produce confirmed tornado near Bedford & it sure looked like EF1 damage near the school.

We will see how this spring unfold.  Evidence points towards a warm, violent spring after this cold weather lingering into March.

River/Flooding Info & Near Record/Record Cold On the Way

February 23rd, 2014 at 11:42 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Ice jams continue to be big issues on rivers & streams with flooding continuing.  The Wildcat crest has fluctuated due to ice jam as you can see.  Thankfully, it is now falling at Lafayette, but localized flooding issues remain due to ice.

I have been told the large ice jam from Cass & Carroll counties has traveled downstream into Tippecanoe County, but the river continues to flow the ice.   There has not been complete development of a jam.

Graph courtesy of NWS Indianapolis.


Wabash is cresting now in Lafayette at near 19.0′.  It will not fall below flood stage until Friday night.

Wabash at Covington will crest in a few hours at 24.2′.  It is currently 24.17′.

Wabash is cresting at the SR 225 bridge at Prophetstown over 6′ above flood stage.


Still looks like a weak, quick clipper will pass Monday night-Tuesday morning.  1″ or less of snow is likely.

Another weak, quick clipper may pass Tuesday night-Wednesday morning with 1″ or less of snow.

After this is look unusually cold to March 4.  Several overnight lows of 0 or a bit below 0 are likely with some near, if not tying or breaking record daily low temperatures.

Wind chills may drop to -20 in places.

Accumulating snowfall still good bet in first few days of March.

After this, temperatures should rebound to the 30s, then 40s & even 50s.

Snowfall Totals……Outlook

February 23rd, 2014 at 12:54 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Snowfall totals from Saturday evening-night:


It is becoming apparent that two weak Alberta clippers may bring at least some snowfall to the area this week.

1.  Monday night-Tuesday morning.

2.  Tuesday night-Wednesday morning.

These fast-moving clippers are finicky & timing/amounts with clippers can be difficult to totally pin down until just 8-12 hours prior to arrival.  Reason is that they are very fast movers & their features are on a relatively small scale.

Monday night-Tuesday morning:  1″ or less possible.

Tuesday night-Wednesday morning:  1″ or less possible

BRUTALLY cold weather will arrive late this week & last into the first 4 days of March, then warming trend & thaw will likely ensue.