Interestingly, the Tornado Watch issued late last week for northern Florida & Georgia was one for the record books! According to Patrick Marsh at SPC, between its issuance & last watch issued was the longest period of time WITHOUT any convective watch in the U.S. since 1986! Talk about a severe weather drought. There has also been an overall lack of tornadoes since 2011 after a record year then. So, the U.S. is also in a tornado drought.
According to my great friend & colleague, Tyler Snider at the University of Oklahoma, if we would have gone through all of February without a watch, it would have been a first! We almost did!
The U.S. has been dominated by continental polar air from Canada with a trough in the east & warm, dry air will upper ridging in the west, proving hostile to much t’storm activity, let alone any severe weather.
5-9″ of snow covered most of the area, except in the far north where 3-5″ fell. The heaviest totals occurred in southeastern Tippecanoe to Clinton & far southwestern Carroll counties with 9-10″ consistently measured. There were a couple of isolated 9″ totals in Howard & Tipton counties, too.
The 5-9″ covered a larger area than expected. I figured it would focus along 24, southward to West Lafayette with 3-5″. The far north forecast worked out well & the 5-9″ in that zone worked well, but totals were higher in the south. The heaviest band was more along 28, than between 24 & 52.
Looking back, it looks like a larger area of lift than expected with more moisture via stronger low-level jet & multiple zone of intense frontgenetical forcing a bit more south due to the cold being further entrenched. Really, overall looking at all the factors, it was a domino effect of the cold being entrenched longer. Temperature was 23 & not 31 early Sunday morning with the warmth having a hard time making it to the surface.
Snowfall totals from NWS COOP, CoCo, WLFI/NWS Spotters:
Tonight, sleet, then freezing rain is likely after midnight. Icing of up to 0.10″ is possible in the Lafayette area with up to 0.25″ in the northeast. Less than 0.10″ of ice is likely in the southwestern areas. A dusting of sleet is possible.
Ice should change to all rain by noon tomorrow with strong, gusty southerly winds.
Rain will continue through the afternoon to tomorrow night, before ending perhaps as a bit of snow/sleet.
Significant flooding is not expected, but ponding from clogged drains & rises in creeks & streams is likely. The Wabash may rise above flood stage late week. Some local ice jamming is possible, but nothing like last year.
It looks like highs of 38 in the north to 47 in the south.
Winter storm may dump ice & snow from Texas to Kentucky & southern Indiana Wednesday-Wednesday night. Icing could occur as far south as northern Louisiana, Mississippi & Alabama to Georgia.
This looks to stay south of our area, but we will continue to monitor for any changes.
Thursday could be the 3rd coldest March 5 on record with a high of 17°.
TOP 5 COLDEST MARCH 5THS AT WEST LAFAYETTE:
1. 12° 1960
2. 16° 1890
3. 17° 2015*
4. 20° 1978
5. 22° 1954