Chad’s WLFI Weather Blog

On This Date In 1855, Remants of a Major Hurricane Affected the Area

September 30th, 2013 at 4:49 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

On this date in 1855, a combination of a surface cold front & the remnants of a major Category 3 or 4 hurricane brought 1-2″ rains to the region.

The hurricane, referred to as the “Middle Gulf Shore Storm”, caused incredible damage in Louisiana to Mississippi.  However, the region was not nearly as settled as when Katrina took nearly the same track in August 2005.

Usually hurricanes that strike that area will bring us rain as they move north, then swing east & northeast.  The farther east on the Gulf Coast they strike, the less likely we will get rainfall from them.

Just a year later in August 1856, a catastrophic storm completely submerged Isle Derniere & wiped the early settlement away.  Nothing is left of the area today, but sandbar remnants of the islands & marshes utilized by marsh & seabirds.  13.14″ of rainfall was measured in downtown New Orleans & eventually the storm brought widespread rainfall to Indiana.  Argueably, 200 people were killed, but the count was likely higher.

In late September-early October 1893, another major, catastrophic storm destroyed the resort town of Cheniere Caminada.  At least 2000 people were killed & this town is now marsh & cypress swamp.

The 1893 storm did not affect our area, however.


Fog/Low Stratus Will Burn Off With Time

September 30th, 2013 at 11:12 am by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Fog/low stratus over part of area will burn off with time, leading to a mostly sunny afternoon.

Visibility is still 0.5 mile at Logansport as of 11 a.m., but latest Fulton County Airport observation is “partly cloudy” & visibility is now 7 miles there.

Grissom Air Reserve Base had visibility down to 0.13 miles a bit earlier & it has recently gone up to 7 miles, but low stratus remains.

After a report of visibility at less than 0.1 mile in Pulaski County, I received a report of the sun out & visibility much better at +5 miles as of 11 a.m.

Kokomo Municipal’s visibility is now up to 2.5 miles after being down to 0.15 miles a bit earlier.

Here in West Lafayette, I estimate the visibility was as low as 2.5 miles earlier, but it is much better at +6 miles now.  The low stratus remains, however.

Even Danville, Illinois’ visibility was down to 0.15 miles & I had a report of visibility in western Fountain County at “about 500 feet” this morning.

Fog/stratus has cleared in our far northwestern & southeastern areas & like a domino effect, the holes will expand & grayness/fogginess will be eaten & eroded away as the air mixes with heating.

Highs in the 70s look good.


Areas of Fog……….Return of the 80s

September 29th, 2013 at 10:29 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Areas of fog & perhaps some low clouds are possible late tonight-early Monday morning with lows in the 40s. 

It will turn mostly sunny with highs of 74-78 & east to southeast wind will become south & southwest at 5-15 mph.

After 50s Tuesday morning with some fog/low clouds it will turn mostly sunny with south to southwest winds 10-15 mph with highs at 79-84.


Outlook to October 16

September 29th, 2013 at 2:14 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog


After 81-85 yesterday, this week will turn just as warm.

Highs Tuesday-Friday will run, generally, 80-85.

Some periodic showers/storms are likely late Thursday-Friday night with the main line/band of rain/storms most likely Friday evening-night.

Severe threat will run western Illinois to Iowa, Nebraska to Oklahoma.

Severe threat may be expanded to our area.  We will have to keep a close eye on it.

This looks like a widespread 1-2″ rainfall viewing area-wide.


Saturday may start out with temperatures around 66, but then fall to near 61 in the afternoon with any showers tapering off.

After lows near 45 Saturday night, highs Sunday will run at only 61.


Frost is still a good bet in the October 10-14 time frame with lows of 30-36.

This will be followed by a warm-up with temperatures around 73 by October 16 & showers moving back in.

Another “Green Fireball”

September 28th, 2013 at 11:38 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Lastnight, another “green fireball” was sighted.  This was the second one in 3 days.

These become a bit more frequent this time of year, but they are by no means common.  They are a lead-in to the Orionids meteor shower in October.

A link to video of it & information concerning it are below.


14 Years Ago Today 3 Major HP Supercells Affected the Area

September 28th, 2013 at 4:59 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

If you experienced these storms, I would love to hear your memories of them!  Thank you for sharing, in advance!  -Chad

September 28, 1999 – The Autumn HP Supercells

Three high-precipitation supercell t’storms popped on the outflow boundary from morning/afternoon rain/storms to the north & west amidst a hot, humid airmass on September 28, 1999.  Ahead of a strong fall cold front that was to usher in the first light frost of the season & under strong jet stream winds amidst substantial wind shear, the cells very rapidly pulsed up & became severe.  The first report of severe weather was a 58 mph wind gust at Pine Village.  This was the beginning of a long track of destruction across the heart of the WLFI viewing area from as the three supercells evolved into a cluster, then bowing line segment.  Flash flooding was an issue with these high-precipitation supercells & 3 corridors of substantial flash flooding developed as extreme rainfall rates occurred.  You can certainly understand why this event is one of the top autumn severe events.  Imagine +100 mph downbursts, 2-3″ per-hour rainfall rates & golfball sized hail.  In fact, up to 6″ of hail accumulated on the ground 1 mile north of Buck Creek & old State Road 25 was close northeast of Lafayette by up to 4″ of hail on the roadway.

Interestingly, after the storms, very dense fog formed over these areas that had so much hail, making travel difficult.

The rain was very welcome, however, as the area was in the midst of a significant drought.

Supercell #1:  Pine Village to South of Yeoman


Reports of extremely high winds began in northeastern Warren County, then continued east-northeastward, blasting Montmorenci, West Lafayette & Klondyke.  The highest measured non-tornadic wind gust on record in our viewing area occurred from this storm with a 103 mph gust near Montmorenci.  Hundreds of acres of corn & soybeans that were about to be harvested were totally flattened by the apparent macroburst (damage diameter greater than 2.5 miles).  A 5th-wheel camper was overturned, injuring the occupant & 2 dozen homes received damage.

Numerous trees were blown down in Pine Village & several roads were reportedly blocked by fallen trees in Lafayette. As I said formerly, an amazing hail depth of up to 6″ was reported 1 mile north of Buck Creek.


The storm continued east-northeastward & dropped an F1, 105 mph tornado on the southwest corner of the supercell, which tracked 4 miles to east-southeast to near Buck Creek.  Up to a half-mile wide, it produced over $300,000 in damage.  3 farm tool sheds were totally destroyed with the structural debri found in the tops of trees as far as 1-2 miles away.  With the tornado touchdown, golfball-sized hail began to fall from the storm.  A second downburst (in this case a microburst) belched from the storm with a measured wind gust of 64 mph at Buck Creek.  There is evidence of wind gusts to 80 mph east of Buck Creek.  This combined with golfball hail caused siding & roof damage to several homes & destroyed fields of unharvested crops all the way to western Carroll County.  Gaping holes were ripped in roofs by the wind-driven large hail.  Route 225 was impassable due to fallen trees.


Supercell #2:  South of Attica to Flora


Golfball-sized hail began to fall with this supercell southwest of Lafayette.  In Lafayette proper, $100,000 in damage was done (largely to cars).  Large hail continued with the storm with northeastward progression.  Golfball hail was reported at Radnor & Flora.  The first downburst (microburst) with this storm occurred near Radnor with a 64 mph wind gust measured & an 80 mph gust causing substantial tree damage.  A barn was destroyed by this microburst.


In White County, southwest of Brookston, the large hail core accumulated a snow-like covering several inches deep.  Radnor, in Carroll County also reported golfball-sized hail with substantial hail accumulation with a wind gust to 64 mph, as a third microburst was belched from the storm.  A barn was destroyed east of Radnor with estimated microburst gusts around 80 mph.  Golfball-sized hail was reported at Flora.


Supercell #3:  South of Otterbein to Brookston to Fulton (Storm Continued Northeastward with Sporadic, But Impressive Damage to Near Fort Wayne)


The third severe supercell popped just south of Otterbein, tracked into White County & began to produce a prolific golfball hailstorm.  Hail accumulated several inches near Brookston.  Entire fields of crops were destroyed & trees were totally stripped of leaves.  The storm continued northeastward with several inches of golfball hail in northwest Carroll County.  The first downburst (in this case microburst) was belched out northwest of Logansport with a 75 mph wind gust that caused tree & power line damage with crops fields damaged.  The storm then belched out the second extreme macroburst of the evening with 100 mph wind gust doing heavy damage southwest of Fulton to  Nyond Lake & South Mud Lake.  This macroburst alone produced over $125,000 in structural damage.  This storms second gust, a microburst, produced tens of thousands of dollars in structural damage north of Macy in Miami County. This same storm produced winds up to 80 mph in Whitley, DeKalby & Allen counties.  Significant damage to trees & powerlines occurred in Columbia City with many homes receiving minor structural damage.  Much of the city had no power for at least 24 hours.


The damage costs to these supercells were phenomenal.  In Tippecanoe County alone, just the hail caused over $100,000 in damage to structures.  Damage to automobiles was upwards of an additional $100,000 (Tippecanoe County, alone).  +$100,000 was done to structures via damaging winds.  $300,000 in damage was incurred by the tornado.  Crop damage in Warren, Tippecanoe, White, Carroll, Cass, Fulton & Miami counties mounted into the tens of millions of dollars as thousands of acres of crops were flattened or completely destroyed.


Weekend Outlook

September 27th, 2013 at 10:24 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Today was a nice, warm, mostly sunny day.  Tonight will drop to 47-55 with some patchy fog, followed by mostly sunny skies, breezy & warm conditions Saturday.  80-85 for highs look good with south-southwest winds at 15-25 mph.  Skies will become partly cloudy by evening.

Band of scattered showers & perhaps isolated t’storms will pass in the 11 p.m. to 12 p.m. time frame Saturday night-Sunday across the viewing area.  Sunday afternoon looks good with partly cloudy skies, west winds at 5-15 mph & highs of 73-76.


Above-Normal Temperatures For Next 7 Days (6 of Next 8 Days [Including Today] At/Above 80°)

September 27th, 2013 at 3:56 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Our high so far today at WLFI has been 81.6 degrees.  Tomorrow, as well as next Tuesday-Friday will feature highs at/above 80 degrees. 

The last time we had so many days in the 80s in early October was October 2011 with 83, 86, 87, 85 & 84 October 8-12.  This was accompanied by a HIGH Fire Danger, relative humidity down to 13% & drought across the area.

Prior to that, October 2007 had 5-day stretch of hot, hot weather in early October with 87, 89, 89, 91 & 89 at the Purdue Ag Farm October 5-9.

October 2-6, 2005 had highs of 80, 82, 87, 87 & 84.


Drought Update…….Today’s Totally Cloudless Day

September 26th, 2013 at 9:40 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

NOAA’s Drought Monitor, released today, shows improvement in the conditions over most of the area, but where the heavier rains did not fall last week, Moderate Drought remains in our west.

Lack of rainfall has caused the drought to reach “Severe” status in central Illinois & “Extreme” status in a part of Iowa.


Today was one of only 4 totally cloudless days this year.  Not a single cloud was observed in the sky, nor passed overhead 12 a.m. to 10 p.m. tonight.  It will remain clear through 12 a.m., making this a rare cloudless day.

Last year, in the great drought year of 2012, we had 20 cloudless days, the most recorded at West Lafayette in the 2009-now data set.


Meteor Information (with Video of Meteor)

September 26th, 2013 at 5:03 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Here is the latest on the meteor this morning:


(courtesy of Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC) and Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison)