Another Dynamic System with Severe Weather (Near Our Area)……….Another Round of Howling Winds

October 15th, 2012 at 2:43 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

I updated the gust list, as airport weather station sites updated from data recorded yesterday.

Narrow, low-topped squall line produced gusts as high as 59 mph Sunday evening.  Had report of transformers blown in Fowler & scattered power outages.  Took a phone call from a northwest Tippecanoe County resident who had 7″ diameter limbs down in his yard & a fence damaged.  This was apart of the 56 mph gust swath from Benton County.  Wind gust of 59 mph measured at Crawfordsville High School.  Indianapolis International gusted to 56 mph.  Corby Harshbarger, sent me a pic of a large 36-40″ diameter tree that fell on 600 W in Clinton County.

Outside of the line, winds gusted to 47 mph.

Strong fall storm system will pivot up through the Northern Plains Wednesday.  Roaring upper jet will split in the southwestern Corn Belt, resulting in cluster(s) of storms in Missouri to Illinois.  This will all move eastward & affect us in the evening.

Although it appears they will weaken as they move eastward & encounter more stable air, the severe threat will be close as a large linear MCS (with a damaging wind threat) affects areas to our southwest.

Strong west to southwest winds of up to 45 mph will be possible Thursday with sun & 60s.

Low clouds & a few showers will pivot in Friday with 50s & windy conditions in the morning followed by less wind in the afternoon-evening.





Native Tree of the Week: Common Hoptree (Ptelea trifoliata var. trifoliata)

October 15th, 2012 at 11:29 am by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Most are not familiar with this species of this small understory floodplain & low woods, often near streams, rivers & lakes.  A native Hoosier member of the Citrus family, it is sort of an odd ball species with leaves that look like poison-ivy & interesting, papery & circular seeds, like Rock & Slipper Elm, but larger.  With nicknames of Wafer Ash, Skunkbush (its flowers, wood & bark have an unpleasant odor) & Prairie grub, it doesn’t get too large at 30′ with a diameter of 1′ underneath much bigger trees.  Liking the same habitat as Ashleaf Maple (Boxelder), Black Maple, Ohio Buckeye, American Sycamore & Black Willow, it may prefer the understory of low woods, but can be found in full sun, too on swamp borders & near lake sides.  An example are the hoptrees growing at Celery Bog near the trail by the apartments at the end of Cumberland Avenue.  Here, it grows with Black Willow, Green Ash & Rose Mallow, as well as Swamp Milkweed.  In the understory it may be crooked with one trunk, but trees more in the sun often have multiple trunks.

The most common associates of Common Hoptree are Black Willow, American Sycamore, Silver Maple, Green Ash, Ashleaf Maple, Eastern Cottonwood, Buttonbush, Black Walnut & American Elm.  In far southern Indiana, you can find it with Cherrybark Oak & Sweetgum, as well as Swamp Privet.  So, it can tolerate periodic, but not long, long duration flooding & germinates on fresh floodplain loam of the understory woods in shade or sun.  It has impressive flood depth tolerance, similar to Ashleaf Maple, Silver Maple & American Sycamore.  Like Silver Maple, it doesn’t mind a deep flood, it just can’t have constant, consistent standing water.  That is an oddity about Silver Maple, it tolerates floods well, but if it will struggle big time if it is growing in a long-duration submergence event as a young tree & even older one.  I have seen Silver Maples all wilted, half dead & with red & orange foliage in summer when stuck in tight clay soil with standing water.  Ohio Buckeye likes brief floods in loamy/sandy loam floodplain soil & low, wet woodland, but doesn’t like persistent inundation & saturation.  Common Hoptree is no different.

Leaves of the hoptree turn often yellow in the fall & occasionally red & orange.

A slow-grower, this tree blooms in late spring-early summer & sheds its seeds through late fall & into winter.  Frequently, the papery seeds will cling to the tree well after the foliage has been shed in fall.  The seeds are carried by wind on its papery “wings”.

There are several subspecies of Common Hoptree in the United States.  Ours, which is found viewing area-wide is found strictly in the historic prairie/barrens band from Missouri to Illinois, Indiana & Ohio to southeastern Ontario.  This subspecies does have an affinity for the low, wet woodland near/around prairies, savannas & barrens.

About 5 other subspecies are found in the U.S.  One from Arizona to Mexico to Texas, another Texas to Kansas, another in the southeastern, even another in Florida.

Ptelea trifoliata - Common Hoptree

[Ptelea trifoliata Common Hoptree at Minnesota Landscape Arboretum]
photo1456638.  Leaf buds of a common hoptree, Ptelea trifoliata, sprouting in spring.

Common Hoptree (Ptelea Trifoliata)

Overall Outlook to Late October

October 14th, 2012 at 10:43 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog


This October, weather in the first half of the month (cool to cold & wet with frost & freezes [20s])) was what you would expect for the second half of October.  Weather in the second half of October is more of what you would expect in the first half.  We have a lot of warm weather on the way with some showers & storms (with even severe potential nearby, perhaps here).

The GFS model has the lowest temperature as 39 at West Lafayette now-Halloween.


Windy, warm weather will move back in this week with 70s by mid-week.  Showers/storms are likely Wednesday evening-night.  Dynamics may bring some severe weather nearby/here, but instability will be lacking, so there is still a question regarding storm severity.


After a cooler, seasonable end to the week, windy, warm weather will dominate next week with lots of 70s.


Showers/storms are possible late, late in the month with a domination of warm weather with temperatures above normal to perhaps well-above normal.  Dynamics are very suitable for multiple rounds of severe t’storms in the Plains & parts of the Midwest late, late month.

As late as Halloween, there is no indication of any big cool-down.  In fact, long-range GFS brings a hurricane into the Florida Panhandle just before Halloween!




Squall Line Gusts: 59 mph Crawfordsville…56 mph Fowler

October 14th, 2012 at 8:41 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Narrow, low-topped squall line passed this evening with some strong to severe gusts.  I lost a few shingles from our home’s roof as the line came through.  Had a report of transformers blown at Fowler from Beth & there were a few sporadic power outages.

Outside of the line of storms, winds gusted to 47 mph.


Crawfordsville (High School)    59 mph (Thank you for this report Bill!)

Fowler    56 mph

Frankfort    53 mph

WLFI-TV    52 mph

Morocco    51 mph

Rensselaer    48 mph

Winamac    48 mph

Peru    47 mph

Grissom Air Reserve Base    47 mph

Covington    46 mph

Rochester    46 mph

Attica    45 mph

Purdue University Airport    44 mph

Jasper County Airport    43 mph

Crawfordsville    4o mph

Cass County Airport    39 mph

Line of Storms Racing Through……Rainbow Watch

October 14th, 2012 at 6:02 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Low-topped squall line is racing through.  Winds have gusted to 56 mph with it.  Brief, weak EF0 tornado threat will remain with it & sporadic severe gusts are still possible.

Right behind line, sun may come out quickly & produce a rainbow.  This would be brief before low clouds pivot in quickly behind clearing slot.


Cass County Airport    39 mph

Crawfordsville    40 mph

Jasper County Airport    43 mph

Purdue University Airport    44 mph

Attica    45 mph

Rochester    46 mph

Covington    46 mph

Grissom Air Reserve Base    47 mph

Rensselaer    48 mph

Morocco    51 mph

WLFI-TV    52 mph

Fowler    56 mph


October 14th, 2012 at 4:23 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Few severe gusts, weak EF0 spin-up of a tornado & pea-sized hailer threat will remain this early to mid-evening.

Line of storms continues to morph in eastern Illinois (tornado warnings in Chicago earlier & some scattered severe t’storm warning Illinois to Michigan) after discrete, gusty, scattered storms in the viewing area a bit earlier.

There is no watch, owing to lack of widespread nature of any severe threat.

Non-t’storm gusts of up to 47 mph continue.

Overnight Low Just 66……….Strong Wind & Potential of Some Severe Weather Remains

October 14th, 2012 at 11:29 am by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Lastnight was very warm by mid-Octrober standards.  The low at WLFI & the Purdue Airport was 66.  The average high temperature is 64.  Temperatures are climbing into the 70s viewing area-wide as of 11:30 p.m.

The leftovers of the Plains severe event are or have passed in the area with clouds & a few showers.  Now, the sun is largely out & we will watch areas just east of the center of the surface low in Illinois for new storm development.  These would tend to be discrete, then gell into a couple low-topped broken lines.  Given 80 mph winds forecast at not even a mile off the ground today & impressive shear, a few damaging storm gusts &/or perhaps an EF0 spin-up of a tornado cannot be ruled out.  A little small hail cannot be ruled out, either.

Less than ideal lapse rates & the best directional shear outrunning area will preclude a more substantial severe situation.

Outside of storms, winds will gust as high as 47 mph at times.  Gusts have already been high this morning:

Fowler    43 mph

Covington    41 mph

Attica    38 mph

Logansport/Cass County Airport    38 mph

Grissom Air Reserve Base    38 mph

Frankfort     38 mph

Burlington     38 mph

Atlanta     38 mph

Crawfordsville    36 mph

Morocco    36 mph

Rensselaer    36 mph

WLFI-TV    35 mph

Winamac    33 mph

Purdue University Airport    31 mph

Rochester    31 mph

Warm, Windy Tropical Night After Warm Frontal Rains & T’Storms……..Sunday Storm Forecast

October 14th, 2012 at 12:02 am by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog


Warm front has totally pulled through after producing rain & embedded t’storms Saturday.  Tonight temperatures are around 70 with strong south to southwest winds.  Combined with abundant humidity (high dew points), it feels very tropical for mid-October.  Rain may have held the temperatures down some today with slowing of warm front, but visiting my parents, sisters & nieces & nephews in southern Indiana, the sun was out & I was in shorts (south of that warm front).  This kind of warmth & humidity helped to produce 72 reports of severe weather from Missouri to Texas with 5 tornado reports.  All of the tornado reports have been in Texas, not Oklahoma & Kansas, however.  One storm in Texas had twin tornadoes with it.  Storm chasers reported tornadoes beside each other on the ground.


Some showers & perhaps a storm are possible later tonight-Sunday morning as weakening rain/storm band arrives from Plains severe event.

After that, re-development of showers & storms is possible as the actual center of the surface low passes through central Illinois to northern Indiana midday-early afternoon.  With some developing sun, these will tend to form a line with time as temperatures warm to 70-75.  A few severe wind gusts/brief EFo tornado spin-up, even a hailer, cannot be ruled out AREA-WIDE given impressive dynamics.  Given this, along some buoyancy from the warmth & humidity, some of the severe gusts may be brought down  to the surface & the showers/storms may tap into the low-level shear.

It will be windy tonight & specifically tomorrow with some gusts as high as 47 mph at times from the south & southwest.  This would be outside of any storms.  Thus, the National Weather Service has a Wind Advisory in effect for the day.

Not Good

October 13th, 2012 at 11:16 pm by under Sports 18

Saturday, October 13,

There’s no other way to put it. The performance by Purdue Football in its Homecoming game against Wisconsin was very poor. Even though the Boilermakers scored in the opening minute of the game to take a 7-0 lead, the Badgers dominated. Wisconsin racked up more than 600 yards in total offense. Ouch.

Purdue Head Coach Danny Hope used the word “underperformed” when describing his team’s performance. The Boilermakers’ leader was being kind and certainly—as he normally does—-didn’t throw his players under the bus.

A lot of fans were even more frustrated about today’s performance by the Boilers than last Saturday’s struggles against Michigan.

Can the Gold & Black bounce back next Saturday against nationally-ranked Ohio State? After what’s happened the past two weeks, most of Boilermaker Nation would answer “probably not”

Blog to you soon,




October 12th, 2012 at 10:32 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Looks like a wave of some scattered showers & t’storms will pass with the warm front in the 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. time frame.  Coverage will run generally 45%.

After this, there will be a long break with some sun & lots of wind with gusts to 35 mph from the south & southwest.  Saturday night will turn overcast with temperatures in the 60s with south to southwest gusts to 35 mph.

Rain/storms will pass Sunday morning with weakening squall line.  It may hold together long enough for a few damaging gusts or perhaps a very brief EF0 in the far western counties.  If it were more unstable severe threat would be much higher & over the entire area.

Weakening line of storms may re-intensify once it gets out of our area Sunday morning as it moves eastward.