Update On Winter Storm

March 22nd, 2013 at 10:50 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Upped totals a hair based not on any storm track change, but mainly on 1) the very impressive band of lift that comes through Sunday afternoon-evening & 2) the development of pretty well-formed trowel Sunday night.  Snow in the trowel would fall without the strength of that strong late March sun angle.

I am doubtful for much additional movement to the north with this system.  If there is any change, it would tend to back to the west slightly late Sunday-Sunday night.  I say all of this due to persistent, blocking high that will continue to retrograde from Greenland & far, far eastern Canada, over towards Quebec & northern Ontario.  This will tend to block a sudden northward shift, I think.

The intense band Sunday p.m. may have 1-1.5″ snowfall rates for a while & a clap of thunder given intense frontagenical banding, PVA, upper jet dynamics (+145 mph upper jet) & bits of 50-100 J/kg elevated CAPE support static discharge or a thunder clap/lightning flash.

Otherwise, everything is status quo.  Snow will start to come in early Sunday morning, but it may take until midday to get the snow to really cover the area well (given depth of dry air, which will be bleeding in from the east).  In fact, thinking there may be one band of lift morning-early afternoon with snow, then some lulling & the really intense snow banding arriving in the afternoon-evening with that trowel snow Sunday night.

Gusty northeast to eventual north winds to 32 mph combined with 7:1 to 8:1 ratio snow (very wet snow) may bring down a few tree branches.  However, ratio may go up to 10:1 or 11:1 Sunday night (won’t be quite as wet & heavy).  I think the snow would most likely affect Eastern White Pine trees & may split some Eastern Redcedars.  A few localized, isolated power outages are also possible, given snow weight & the windy conditions.

I will update information on this winter storm this weekend.





Two days away from Purdue/Liberty game

March 22nd, 2013 at 10:00 pm by under Sports 18

I have arrived safely in Louisville, Kentucky! It’s nice that the Boilers are playing so close to home! It saved me from driving too far.

I hope you checked out my story on Purdue freshman April Wilson and her return home. She is very excited to be playing in front of her family and friends. Hopefully she helps pack out a crowd for Purdue!

On Saturday, I will be up bright and early. Purdue speaks at 10:50 am. I will be getting interviews with the team at that time. Then it will be time for me to get video of practices! I will be at three practices: Purdue, Liberty, and Louisville.

Once the practices and interviews are over with, I will be bringing you a story on Purdue at 11 on WLFI. Don’t miss it!

I have to give a prediction before Sunday! I say the Boilers get the win, 72-56. I really think Purdue will advance to the sweet 16 this year. I guess we will see if I am right!

I will continue to have blog entries all week, so make sure and keep checking back!

Update On Snowfall

March 22nd, 2013 at 4:25 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog


It seems you always have nice weather before a big snow in the spring.  I’ll never forget March 18, 1996.  It was a beautiful day down home with warm sunshine.  My thermometer reached 56 degrees, as I worked produce ground & planted potatoes.  I remember the soil worked so, so well, as it was just right to cultivate & till.  Next day, had heavy snow with winds gusting to 35 mph from the northeast.  On the morning of March 20, 1996 had 14.5″ of snow on the ground with drifts to 3 feet!

Heavy, wet snow will arrive from southwest to northeast early Sunday morning & peak in coverage & intensity by Sunday p.m.  It may take all morning to midday for snow to overspread the absolute entire viewing area (Rochester, Akron more towards midday).


I have noticed intense Vertical Velocities & 700-850 mb frontagenical banding with 50-100 J/kg of elevated CAPE (instability).  This may result in a clap of thunder/flash of lightning in the heavier snow bands.  Best chance of this would be south of Lafayette.


Snow will taper to scattered snow showers by Monday morning.  Winds may gust to 32 mph during the snow.  This, combined with the 7:1 to 8:1 ratio expected with the snow will result in that heavy, wet snow knocking down limbs (namely on Eastern White Pines [Pinus strobus]).  I would not rule out isolated power outages in a few places.

Scattered snow showers may even linger into Tuesday.

Total accumulations of 3-9″ are likely with the heaviest totals looking to be Lafayette south.

There is still the potential of the heavy 6-9″ band to shift north.  In that 6-9″ band, I think there will probably a few isolated 10-11″ amounts from Springfield, Illinois to Terre Haute to west of Indianapolis.

We need to watch this closely.  It will be intense analyzation of data this evening with this system.


New Information On Winter Storm Shortly

March 22nd, 2013 at 3:51 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Indianapolis NWS went ahead & pulled trigger on Winter Storm Watch, as did the western Ohio/eastern Indiana NWS office.  Central Illinois likely will follow suite soon & perhaps Chicago & North Webster NWS offices.

I will have a new update on snowfall totals, timing & winds shortly…………


Update On Snowfall

March 22nd, 2013 at 11:22 am by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog


Two things have changed since lastnight.

1.  It appears system may be speeding up a hair.  With this, it appears snow may reach I-74 by 1 or 2 a.m. Saturday night-early Sunday morning.  Heaviest snow will likely fall Sunday afternoon.

2.  I am going to shift the 6-9″ band slightly farther north, but not much.  3-6″ looks good for everyone with 6-9″ on the Fountain/Parke line & 6-9″ along & south of Route 234 in Montgomery County.  This line resides from Shades State Park to Ladoga to Jamestown & southward.  Around Kingman, Waveland, Ladoga, Shades State Park & Turkey Run State Park, as well as Lake Waveland & Lake Waveland Park are in this 6-9″ band right now.


Winds will gust to 30 mph during the snow.  The snow will be very wet & gloppy with a 7:1 to 8:1 ratio.  10:1 is normal, so this means the snow will hold a lot of water.


Winter Storm Watches exist as far east as western Illinois.  Winter Storm Watch may be issued for central Illinois by tonight & all/part of our viewing area may see Winter Storm Watch by Saturday morning.

I still like a more northerly track than what models were showing yesterday with this mainly being a southern Indiana & Kentucky event.

Friday-Tuesday Forecast

March 21st, 2013 at 9:37 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog


Snow Staying to Our Southwest & South……….7″ Reported in Southern Missouri, 5″ in Arkansas with Heavy Snow Still Falling

With mostly clear skies we will drop into the teens, burning those daffodils even more.  Meanwhile, heavy snow will fall in Arkansas to parts of Tennessee.  Up to 7″ has come down in Missouri where it was 80-85 degrees not too long ago.  Some places will get 8″ out of this clipper system.  Just saw parts of northern Arkansas have had over 5″ of snow.  Minor accumulations of up to 1″ may fall as far east as northern Alabama.




I increased high temperatures slightly tomorrow.  After teens in the morning, it actually won’t be too bad in the afternoon with the potential of some high & mid clouds.  This may dim the sun a hair at times.  So, partly cloudy wording looks good for now.  Winds look westerly at 5-10 mph.

Saturday-Saturday Night………..

Cirrus should increase & thicken Saturday with warmer highs well into the 40s.  Dimming & slowly fading sun with a thickening cirrus & eventual thickening/lowering to altostratus will give way to overcast skies by later Saturday night.  Virga will begin to develop by early, early Sunday morning.  Light north to northeast winds at 5-10 mph will be with us most of Saturday, but those winds will pick up from the northeast in the evening at 10-15 mph.  Saturday night to early, early Sunday morning, northeast winds will crank up to 15-25 mph.



Sampling of the System…………

Sampling of upper air is beginning in Pacific Northwest as upper energy that will eventually spin up Colorado low arrive into the Continental U.S.  This should help model performance from here on out.  Looking at the latest model consensus with a weight put on analog data, can start to piece together at least a rudimentary accumulation map here about 6-8 hours after last model output began to arrive.  We’ll be in a much better position tomorrow to begin to pin details & more exact totals with more & more sampling of the upper air.

It will be really good when the actual surface low is sampled as it forms in Colorado.  It is hard to put a large weight in models & crank out a forecast without analog when there is such a lack of upper air sampling in the Pacific.  There are large voids of data that prevent models from really giving us a the best foundation for forecasting.  Think of it as filling out NCAA brackets without knowing 70% of the teams’ records & any of their past performances.  Once you get that, you can make better projections on who might win each game.  If you can sample every player’s statistics & know what they do & what their abilities are, then your forecast should be much better.

All Snow……….

Feel all snow is a good bet from this & feel everyone will get at least some snow, right now.  Given very dry airmass ahead of the snow, precipitation will be all virga late Saturday night to early, early Sunday morning.  As low-levels saturate, evaporative cooling will take over, holding temperature down to near 33 Sunday.  It appears saturation, or snow making it to the ground would commence Sunday morning, beginning in our southwestern areas first.  Despite strong March sun angle, thinking snowfall rate will be enough for fairly efficient accumulation Sunday morning-Sunday evening.  Winds gusts will peak at around 30 mph Sunday.

Steady snows may be gone by Sunday night, but a flare up of snow showers will occur Monday (peak in the afternoon with peak heating with March sun angle) & even Tuesday.  Some of the snow showers could put out brief bursts of moderate to heavy snow.  Thinking 1″ or less of accumulation will do with highs near 34 or 35 on both days was upper low spins to our north & northeast, which will spin in waves of snow showers.

ADI Map IIMidwest IIMidwest III

Update……….Should Be Able to Pin Some Snowfall Numbers Down In 8-12 Hours

March 21st, 2013 at 6:08 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

There has been a trend to shift Sunday-Monday system south with only minor snowfall here & little/nothing north of U.S. 24.  That is not a forecast, though & a mere trend today among model solutions.

I am having a hard time going with that right now because analog suggests it is unusual for the heaviest snowfall to be so far south (heaviest along Ohio River) so late in the year.  It is not impossible, but the numbers favor a more northerly track than that.  This is going against the grain for current model trends & increases the likelihood of more snowfall in our area.

I think a good 8-12 hours of solid model data is needed before we can really hone in on numbers. 

I prefer “snowfall possible Sunday-Monday morning” with “scattered snow showers Monday-Tuesday time frame”.  Accumulation is possible, but it is still too uncertain to pin exact numbers down given uncertainty in storm track.  I feel confident precipitation type will be all snow, however.

Coldest Late March Morning Without Snow Pack In 17 Years

March 21st, 2013 at 2:46 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

NOTE:  New model data is not even totally in yet as of 5:06 p.m.  I will have no new updates on potential snowfall until new data is in soon.

It was a brutally cold morning by late March standards.  Lows ranged from 12 to 15 degrees.  However, no records were set.  Nearly every record low temperature for March 21 dates back to 1960.  West Lafayette dropped to 7 degrees on this date in 1960.

The last time it was this cold so late in the season was March 27, 2002 with 10 degrees.  However, there was also a snow depth of 7″.  Prior to that date, March 23, 1996 had a temperature as cold after March 18 with 12 degrees, but there was 1″ of snow on the ground.

The last time it was this cold without any snow on the ground was March 27, 1996, when the low temperature was 13 degrees.



Cumulus have bubbled up with some cirrus in our eastern half, but the western half is largely sunny.  Amazingly, even with strong late March sun angle & the sun, temperatures are struggling to get to 32 degrees.


Update On Late Weekend-Early Week Storm System

March 21st, 2013 at 9:59 am by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

One thing I have been able to confidently decide is that the Sunday-Monday (even some scattered precip possible Tuesday) system looks like all snow now.  Entire column will be below freezing early Sunday morning as precipitation moves in with excellent dendrite growth & saturation noted in the SGZ (Snow Growth Zone).

What I do not feel confident about is the storm track & corresponding snowfall amounts.  Whether the heavy band is directly across the area or just to the north or just to the south is in question.

Time will tell with new data over the next couple of days on whether this will be a significant late-season event or not.

Regardless, I like “snow possible” with removal of any rain or rain to snow wording for the forecast early Sunday morning-Sunday afternoon & evening, (before steadier snow ends Sunday night).  This looks to be followed by scattered snow showers Monday to even Tuesday that will be largely driven by daily heating.  There will be a lot of cold air aloft, so scattered of brief, occasionally intense, snow showers looks good there.

High of 34 looks good Sunday, low of 31 Sunday night & 34 Monday, 27 Monday night & 36 Tuesday.

Post March 20th Substantial to Significant Snowfalls At West Lafayette/Lafayette Area 1821-2012

March 21st, 2013 at 12:17 am by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

We will keep an eye on the Sunday-Monday system.  Models continue to point more & more towards all snow with a bit more southerly track.  HOWEVER, I need more data before we decide to start pulling the trigger on potential signficant snow around here.

Regardless, here is a look at snowfall events over 2″ on or after March 20 at West Lafayette/Lafayette area (1821-2012 [highly-fragmented records 1821-1864 from newspapers & diaries]):

April 18, 1821:  3.0″ snow

March 23, 1836:  6-8″ snow

April 2, 1837:  2.0″ snow with ice

Early April 1843:  4-5″ snow

April 1857:  4.0″ snow


April 3, 1886

April 6, 1886

March 28, 1894:  3.7″ snow

March 28, 1899:  2.2″

March 30-31, 1899:  4.5″

March 21, 1901:  2.0″

March 19-20, 1906:  8.5″

March 26, 1913:  6.0″

March 21, 1924:  4.2″

April 1926:  2″

April 18, 1926:  6.5″

March 25-26, 1930:  5.0″

March 22, 1932:  3.0″

March 23, 1933:  2.5″

March 25, 1933:  4.0″

March 27, 1934:  4.0″

March 25, 1937:  2.5″

March 20-21, 1947:  2.5″

March 22-23, 1955:  2.5″

March 26-27, 1955:  3.0″

April 9, 1957:  3.0″

March 21, 1965:  2.0″

April 2, 1970:  3.0″

March 22, 1977:  2.6″

April 6, 1982:  5.0″

April 9, 1982:  4.0″

March 21, 1983:  5.0″

March 22, 1984:  2.0″

April 6-7, 1994:  5.0″

March 20, 1996:  2.0″

March 25-26, 2002:  8.0″