Chad’s WLFI Weather Blog

Snowfall Information

January 24th, 2015 at 9:38 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

It was a mild, breezy to windy day with sun mixed with clouds.

DMA Map i

Rain will move in Sunday morning, but this will change to snow from north to south through the day.

By 1 p.m., current data suggests it will be all snow along & north of U.S. 24.

By 3 p.m., trends suggest all snow area-wide, except for areas south of I-74.

By 5 p.m. looks like all snow area-wide with it winding completely down by midnight.

Strong winds with gusts of 35-40 mph will blow & drift the snow tomorrow evening-night with gusts of 25 mph during the day.  Winds will tend to be southwest/west early in the day, then go northwest.

Only change to forecast is a shift of 4-6″ band south & a trim to its back edge.





Strong Winds with Blowing/Drifting Snow & Wind Chills Below 0 Sun. Night

January 24th, 2015 at 3:15 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Still looks as if rain & rain/snow Sunday morning will increase & go to all snow from north to south Sunday afternoon-evening as temperatures fall.

West, then northwest Winds will be brisk at 15-25 mph, but the strong winds will arrive Sunday evening-night with sustained winds near 25 mph with gusts of 35-40 mph.

This will lead to blowing & drifting snow & tough travel conditions.

With lows in the mid to upper teens, wind chills will drop below zero.


Latest Update On Sunday-Monday Morning Rain/Snow to All Snow Event

January 24th, 2015 at 10:00 am by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Latest data show rain showers moving in mid-morning with rain/snow in the north.

Change to all snow should work southeastward with time with the line along 18 by early afternoon as temperatures fall.

Should be all snow for everyone by 6 p.m.

Should be in heaviest snow Sunday evening, as a general rule for viewing area as a whole.

Looks like snow will exit area by 2 a.m. early Monday morning.

Small tweaks are still possible with this very tedious forecast.  Any slight wobble will shift banding & thus snowfall totals.

Winds will run 15-30 mph Sunday & 20-35 mph Sunday night, so drifting snow will be an issue.  Since the snow is wetter than previous snows, it will not be as light & fluffy to easily blow.  Regardless, west to northwest winds will causes the snow to blow over roads.


The Great Blizzard of 1873…….Latest Sunday-Monday A.M. Snowfall Forecast

January 23rd, 2015 at 10:22 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

The more I study this storm, the more I put it on the same level as the great Blizzard of ’78, Blizzard of 1918 & New Year’s Eve 1863-New Year’s Day 1864 blizzard.

These are the outstanding storms for our area since 1860 in regards to snowfall rate, snow depth, wind, visibility, extreme cold & all-out true blizzard conditions.  All buried structures due to extreme wind with the heavy snow & all had extreme cold during & following storm.

It was one of the heaviest snowfalls ever recorded in Lafayette & in the viewing area as a whole.  This blizzard occurred just 3 weeks after “The Great Blizzard” in the Plains from Kansas to Minnesota with extreme wind & snowfall with that area of the country paralyzed for weeks.  It was a great hardship for early Plains pioneers.   Then, the Great Easter Sunday Blizzard struck the Plains in the spring that dealt a blow to the Plains not seen until the rough winter of 1883-84 & 1884-85.

Here, it was the wind made it a blizzard & was the worst snow storm since the legendary New Years Eve-Day storm of 1863-64.

Interestingly, 1864, 1867, 1873 all featured, historic snow storms in the area.  Per data, 1864 & 1873 appear to reach true blizzard thresholds.

15.0″ of snow fell on Lafayette in the 1873 blizzard with drifts 4′ deep in town & over 6′ deep in the countryside.  There was already 3″ on the ground before this storm even began.

24″ was reported on the ground after the storm at Terre Haute with trains buried in snow.  This was reported to be the deepest snow that any of  the oldest inhabitants had seen……these were the early settlers of the Terre Haute area that were then in their 80s & 90s.

The entire region was shut down.  A train became stuck in the snow at Templeton.  A train with 4 locomotives blew a cylinder on one, owing to the extreme power needed to plow through the very deep snow.

Trains finally completely ceased plowing tracks in the storm due to lack of any futile effort it made in the storm.

Surface low moved from southern Texas to Arkansas to southern Illinois to near Indianapolis.  There, it strengthened tremendously & resulted in a complete white-out here with howling winds & rapidly falling barometer.  Storm then raced to near Fort Wayne.  Arctic high over the Dakotas sharpened the already tight pressure gradient of the low, resulting in one of the great blizzards in our weather history.



Latest snowfall information is below for Sunday-Monday a.m.

Again, it may begin as rain & rain/snow before going to all snow.  Gusts to 35 mph Sunday night-Monday will cause even this wetter snowfall to blow & drift.

Stay tuned as we monitor & fine-tune this forecast.  We will watch to see if the heavier bands shift any to the southwest or snow shifts any to the northeast.

Spurt of cold with highs in the 20s will get us Monday-Tuesday (lows in the 10-16 range).

Snow is also possible mid-week before rain/snow mix occurs late week before very cold weather moves in & lays foundation for potential winter storm near February 1.


Snowfall Forecast for Sunday-Monday Morning

January 23rd, 2015 at 5:48 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Rain/snow should go to all snow with time later Sunday & end by Monday morning.

Winds will be gusty Sunday to 30 mph & to 35 mph Sunday night-Monday morning.

The snow will be wet & gloppy, but such wind should still drift the snow some.


Latest Weekend Outlook

January 23rd, 2015 at 1:07 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Nor’Easter is headed for the Northeast U.S. Up to 12″ of snow may fall in Pennsylvania with localized amounts of 20″ Massachusetts to Maine.  However, general 6-10″ snow is likely for highly-urbanized area from Hartford to Boston.


There have been holes in the overcast in our far southeastern areas & in Illinois, but for many, it has been a solidly gray day with temperatures in the 30s.

After 20s tonight, upper 30s to 40s are possible tomorrow with southwest winds at 15-30 mph.  Skies look mostly cloudy.

Few rain/snow showers will pass Sunday with snow late Sunday-Sunday night to perhaps Monday morning.

Still thinking significant snow of up to 6″ will fall northeast of the viewing area.  GFS model actually is pushing the “up to 6″ ” band southwestward into our area.  We will continue to monitor, but I have my doubts about that scenario at the moment.

Regardless, winds from the southwest, then west & northwest will be strong Sunday with gusts to 30 mph.  Winds may gust to 35 mph Sunday night.  Any snow that does fall will blow & drift around.



Latest Outlook to Mid-February

January 22nd, 2015 at 10:28 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Some holes may develop in the low overcast tonight.  Where those holes develop & last the longest, frosty conditions with some freezing fog & lows near 20 are likely.  Where clouds hang on, lows in the mid to upper 20s are likely.

Tomorrow, wind will not be much of an issue with partly to mostly cloudy skies & highs of 36-43.

The wind will kick up Saturday with southwest winds at 15-30 mph & highs of 37-46 with mostly cloudy skies.


With the split flow pattern & us being dominated by the polar jet’s clippers, there is no big, moisture-laden storm seen here through the weekend.  Where the polar/subtropical jets merge, southern storm will blow up into East Coast Nor’Easter with heavy snowfall for the coastal Northeast.  More than a foot may fall in some areas.

Sunday looks windy with southwest winds at 15-30 mph going westerly & northwesterly late.  Highs of 37-45 look good with scattered rain showers moving in.

They may mix with wet snow late in the day-evening as temperatures fall some.

However, second clipper may bring accumulating snowfall Sunday night-Monday morning.  Right now, looks like the main band of significant snowfall would be northeast of our viewing area.  There 3-6″ may fall.  Here, some minor accumulating snowfall is possible with the potential of parts of the viewing area getting a couple of inches.

Winds will be brisk at 15-30 mph Sunday night-Monday, so what snow does fall may blow & drift some.

We will continue to monitor.

We will get clipped by a chunk of COLD air that will largely affect the Northeast U.S.  It will be noticeably colder here, however, with the lowest overnight lows since January 16 & the coldest highs since January 14.


One clipper looks to pass Wednesday with the potential of minor accumulating snowfall, while the Thursday one looks like snow, then rain & snow.

These two may work to pull a chunk of COLD air in.


Again, the area to watch for significant winter weather is the Northeast, as pattern favors Nor’Easter development.

The big system to watch for us really may originate in northern Mexico near Thursday, January 29.  This storm could spread heavy snowfall & blizzard over the southern Rockies & higher elevations of the Southwest U.S. with heavy rains in the valleys.  Heavy 2-4″ rainfall could fall on central-eastern Texas by January 31 with heavy snowfall possible Oklahoma to northwestern Texas into New Mexico.

By the evening of January 31, it appears that heavy rain of several inches may be falling eastern Texas to Mississippi to Arkansas.  Heavy snowfall may be falling from Oklahoma to northwestern Arkansas to Missouri.  Center of the surface low may be near New Orleans, but upper low near Texarkana, Arkansas.

By Sunday afternoon, February 1, the surface low may be near Birmingham, Alabama with snow from Arkansas to Indiana.

Trends put this storm offshore from Delaware with no Nor’Easter development by early Monday, February 2.  At this point, data puts Arctic high from North Dakota to Texas with due north winds & cold weather North Dakota to Indiana to the Gulf Coast.

Strong Arctic high will move over area by the morning of February 3.  With potential snow pack, temperatures could drop well below 0.

Southwest winds & icy mix may occur around February 6.

Overall, trends support colder, snowier pattern before there is great moderation by Valentine’s Day.

Below-Normal Winter Snowfall As of Late January

January 22nd, 2015 at 4:27 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Snowfall is running below-normal for the winter now as we move into late January.


Sunday Night-Monday Clipper

January 22nd, 2015 at 2:45 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Split flow pattern continues with all of the deep moisture locked up south of our area with us being in the clipper pattern with the polar jet over our area.

So, we are just stuck in a hum-glum pattern with low clouds, relatively mild weather & no big storm, nor big cold wave, nor big warm-up.

This was the pattern in December.  It broke in the early part of January, now it is back & has been around since about January 16.


Few rain & rain/snow showers are possible Sunday, followed by snow Sunday night.

Best potential of significant snowfall will reside northeast of the viewing area Sunday night-Monday morning.

Here, minor snowfall is possible.  Could it be couple/few inches?  That is not out of the question, but I am much more confident that the better potential of good accumulations will run northeast of us. 

However, there are signs that an interaction of this clipper & southern storm may produce nasty Nor’Easter over the Northeast U.S. with bitterly cold air to follow there.  Some data is suggesting 15-20″ of snowfall from Connecticut to Maine with as much as 12″ all the way back to northeastern Pennsylvania.


Two waves of cold will surge southward this weekend-early February.

The first will largely be centered east of our area & we will be on the far western fringes of it, while the second one looks to have more of an effect here as we move into February.



The Great 1867 Snowstorm

January 21st, 2015 at 10:37 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

I went ahead & kept a few flurries/brief snow showers in the forecast for the overnight with overcast skies.  With lows in the upper 20s, some slick spots are possible on the wet pavement or any thin veneer of snow that resides here & there.

Temperature should rise above freezing by 10 -11 a.m.



A historic snowstorm affected Indiana January 21, 1867.  Heavy snow with temperatures in the 20s & breezy conditions resulted in blowing/drifting, poor visibility & all travel  ground to a halt.

12″ or more of snowfall fell nearly state-wide, making this an exceptional storm.  Nearly 2 FEET fell in the southwestern third of the state.  It was regarded as the heaviest snowstorm at Indianapolis “in forty years”.

Lafayette reported 14″ with 3-4′ drifts, while Plymouth received 12″, Logansport 14″, but Chicago 4″.  Winchester & Brookville, Indiana to Dayton Ohio all reported 12″, as did Bloomington, Indiana.  Evansville measured 17″ & Louisville 15″.

Columbus & Cleveland, Ohio all measured 8″, while the St. Louis area reported 18-20″, the heaviest snowstorm in that area since 1837.

Nearly 2 FEET reportedly fell at Springfield, Illinois.

The precipitation reportedly fell AS ALL SNOW at all of these locations, making this system unique.  I have seen winter storms dump 1.50-3″ of liquid, but it is usually snow, freezing rain & sleet all together, rarely snow.  That kind of water was likely produced by this system & the mechanics allowed an all snow event.

Similar system dumped up to 36″ of snowfall on southern Indiana in December 2004, but it was not as widespread as this one.  However, it was similar the fact that the ENTIRE DURATION of the heavy precipitation event was ALL SNOW.


This is the great, historic North American major winter storm/blizzard January 29-February 3, 2010.

In our area, it dumped freezing rain of up to 0.30″ ice accretion, up to 4″ of sleet & 15″ of snow.  Completely water-logged with tremendous lift, it produced thunder & lightning over several of our counties.  The winds caused drifts of snow in our north of up to 5′.

Such a scope was likely the 1867 storm.


Historic snowfall occurred at San Antonio, Texas.  This reportedly caused great issues in the cattle country of south-central Texas at the time.  6″ of snowfall fell in central Missouri with 10″ in Arkansas.  Then, the widespread, major snowfall in our area to Detroit, back to Kentucky fell.

Then, some amazing things happened.  This stormed seemed to reform into meteorological bomb on the East Coast after a trek from northern Mexico to the Ohio Valley.

32″ of snow, accompanied by thunder & lightning, fell in 30 hours in Delaware as the water-logged storm blew up into one of the great Nor’Easters of East Coast weather history.

24″ of snow fell in the Boston area with drifts to 8′.  20″ fell in New Haven Connecticut with 8′ drifts 20′ long.  Over 12″ fell in Central Park, New York with drifts to 3′ in depth.

Up to 36″ fell just inland.