Broken Line of Storms Possible Saturday Evening-Night with Sporadic Severe Wind Threat

August 3rd, 2012 at 10:47 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Impressive squall line of severe t’storms is racing through Minnesota & Nebraska.  This will hang on with a wind damage threat until it reaches Wisconsin & eastern Iowa.  There, it will diminish rapidly & collapse.  Its outflow boundary will surge east & southward.

As debri cloudiness thins to our northwest & we heat up rapidly through the 90s to near 100 Saturday with strong south-southwest winds, outflow boundary ahead of southward-surging surface cold front will serve as the trigger for new development from Michigan to northern Illinois to northeast Missouri Saturday afternoon.

Outlook to Saturday Night

August 3rd, 2012 at 3:26 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

A few isolated storms are possible this evening along & south of Route 26 with 15-20% coverage, otherwise it looks dry.  North of that zone (& southward), it looks too dry for any storm to develop.

After a largely dry, hot, breezy Saturday, storm threat will arrive Saturday evening-early night.

A broken squall line with wind threat is possible Saturday evening-early night as it moves out of Iowa, Wisconsin & Illinois into our area.  Any wind threat would be over by 11 p.m., however & tend to be after 5 p.m.

Exceptional Drought In Parts of Our Southwestern Counties

August 2nd, 2012 at 10:37 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Highs today were as high as 101 in our southwestern areas with 97 at WLFI, 96 at Rossville & 100 at Crawfordsville & Covington.

Those 100s occurred over an area that is now officially in the “Exceptional Drought” category from NOAA.  This is the worst drought category.  A good chunk of the area remains in “Extreme Drought” with the rest largely at “Severe” status. Parts of Newton & Jasper counties are considered to be in a Moderate Drought, owing to more frequent rainfall compared to other areas during the summer.

The drought is massive in extent & impressive in the amount of land area of the Lower 48 in “Extreme” to “Exceptional Drought”.  Half of U.S. counties are considered disaster areas as the great 2012 drought reaches a threshold now not seen since 1936.

Will maintain 20% coverage of storms for Friday p.m. with highs of 96-103.  I have dropped the coverage today from 30 to 25, now to 20% due to lack of good forcing.  With any storm in such extreme heat & large dew point depressions, you can rule out an isolated severe wind gust.

“Drought Issues Continue In Our Landscape & Urban Forests”

August 2nd, 2012 at 3:36 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

From Terre Haute to Rockville, Indiana up to Perrysville & Covington, temperatures are now hitting 100°.  Interestingly with that 99.8 at Covington, the dew point is incredibly low at 48°, bringing the relative humidity down to 17%.

At WLFI, our 96.6° is accompanied by a 40° dew point, giving us a relative humidity value of 14%.

Drought issues continue in our landscapes and urban forests.

Lindsey Purcell, Urban forestry Specialist, Purdue University

“Historically, a drought like the Dust Bowl would happen every 100 years, but what we’ve found is that modern droughts are shorter and can be more severe,” according to the journal Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. “Historic data observed showed that those trends are expected to produce conditions in which droughts would be short, harsh and costly, but rare.”

Indiana landscapes are suffering from the worst drought conditions in over 100 years and trees are dying. This seemingly endless pattern of dry weather are affecting crops and plants of all kinds, so, now what? With a little help from us, we can salvage and save trees from anticipated problems next year and be prepared for the future.

Drought can have a major impact on tree health and survival. The effect slows and reduces growth. It reduces carbohydrate production, which significantly lowers energy reserves, and production of defense chemicals in the tree. If drought is severe enough or lasts long enough it also can cause death to all or parts of the tree.

In most situations, prolonged dry weather weakens trees and they become more susceptible to pests, which normally cannot invade a healthy tree. These pathogens enter, weaken and kill all or part of the tree, depending on how badly the tree is predisposed to a weakened state. At this point in the environmentally induced decline we can expect some permanent damage to our urban forests.

A “biological lag” effect is common in trees where environmental conditions during the year of bud formation controls shoot length and expansion. Drought during the year of bud formation decreases the number of new leaves formed in the bud and new stem segments. Drought then influences the number of leaves, size of leaves, and twig extension the following year when those buds expand.

The results of prolonged dry conditions may not inhibit the first growth flush, but may decrease the number of stem units formed in the new bud that will expand during the second (or third, etc.) flush of growth. If drought continues, all growth flushes will be affected. Thus, tree growth next year will be atypical and again, create predisposed conditions to diseases and insects if not monitored and managed properly.

Always protect tree trunks, especially young trees, from mechanical damage such as string trimmers, lawn mowers and other equipment. Preventing damage to the bark and wood at the base of the tree maintains a continuous ring of water and food transporting tissues.

Reduce competition for available moisture with other plant materials such as turf, shrubs and groundcovers, where feasible, by removing plants and adding mulch. Maintain an adequate mulch layer throughout the year. Add extended mulch beds and rings under the drip line of the tree canopy to protect those fine “feeder” roots from drying out.

Water trees, whenever rainfall is insufficient for extended periods of two weeks or more, Especially on newly planted trees and those less established. A proven recommendation is to use the 5 + 5 rule. Which is to provide 5 gallons of water plus 5 gallons for every diameter inch of tree trunk. This should provide plenty of water to help the tree during times of inadequate moisture.

For mature and well-established trees, a good rule is to provide an inch of supplemental water every two week or so to keep leaves turgid. To determine the amount of irrigation, place a tuna can or similar catch device to measure the amount of irrigation provided to the root zone of the tree planting space. It is advisable to water plants though the fall until the ground is frozen; maintaining adequate moisture to survive the winter months and allow the trees to be ready for spring growth.

Incredible Dry Air Today!

August 2nd, 2012 at 2:41 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

As of 3:08 p.m., it is 96degrees at WLFI with an incredible dew point of 36!  This is about as dry as it can possibly get during the growing season in our area.  This gives us a relative humidity of just 12% at the station!  At the Purdue Airport, the temperature is 95 & the relative humidity is 16%.

In our eastern counties, where soils have more moisture & the vegetation is a bit greener (more transipiration), dew points are actually in the 50s (dew point 55 Rochester, 58 Grissom, 54 Peru, 55 Kokomo, 56 Logansport).


Outlook to Mid-September

August 2nd, 2012 at 12:05 am by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog


We are getting into that intense round of heat advertised originally for August 1-5.  I think August 2 & 3 will be the two hottest days with highs in the 90s to lower 100s.

It appears we are on-track with that slightly cooler weather of 80s & 90s with lows in the 50s & 60s August 6-12 with a lack of 100 or greater.  Now, this is NOT going to be any sort of big cool-down & temperatures will still run a bit to quite a bit above normal.  The two hottest days of this stretch will likely be centered around August 9-10 with highs of 93-97.  Nonetheless, we will fit in quite a few comfortable overnights with some fogs (55-60 more frequent).

This said, however, the extreme Plains heat wave IS NOT going away.  It will sit in the Plains & will likely only expand northward to Canada with time.  In fact, 100s may stretch from Manitoba to Mexico by mid-August.  This will likely SURGE EASTWARD in latter August.  So, I do think that 100 or greater is likely again in latter August, perhaps another intense heat wave of 100s for several days.

After this intense heat wave as we exit August & move into Labor Day weekend in September, current long range analysis & analog data suggest a shift of the heat wave to the south & southwest.  So, by Labor Day, it appears the intense 100-110 heat will reside from Arizona, Utah, New Mexico & Colorado to Texas.  Some troughiness in the East may actually bring highs of just 80-85 & overnight lows of 50-55.  We will see if this comes to fruition, but it certainly appears the heat wave will shrink for a bit & lows in the 40s will occur from Minnesota & Michigan to New England.

Beyond that, analog data certainly shows a round of intense heat with highs in the mid 90s in the second week of September with poor air quality & stagnant upper ridging as a pretty strong, more autumn-type storm in the West pushing the heat eastward again.  It is not out of the question this could be 2-4 days of record/near record heat for September before a nice cool-down.


Rainfall, overall, looks below-normal now to mid-September.  There are no signs of a large pattern change now-September supporting widespread, enhanced, drought-busting rainfall for the area.  The only wild card with be a tropical system that cannot be deciphered so far out & I am not overly-excited about the prospects for some reasons you will see below.

A few scattered storms are possible Friday & again Sunday-Monday (30%).  After that, the next potential of rainfall rests around August 10, but these storms look scattered (30%).  It appears 2-3 MCSs (storm clusters) with origins to our northwest may flirt with us OR pass through with some rainfall for parts of the viewing area in mid-August on the periphery of the big Plains heat wave.

Once the heat wave overspreads the Midwest in latter August, rainfall will be rare here, except for perhaps a few random pops in the heat.  A stronger cold front passage to end August will bring scattered storms with better coverage & perhaps severe weather if a a broken squall line can organize (45%).  Of course, then the cooler weather near Labor Day will set in before that September heat wave arrives.  Current numerical analog guidance suggest very little rainfall in the first half of September.

STAY TUNED AS THERE IS ONE SINGLE WILD CARD IN THIS FORECAST……………….A TROPICAL SYSTEM.  Right now, an unusually HUGE, strong ridge in the Atlantic MAY keep a lot of the tropical systems more towards the southern Caribbean & Mexico than the U.S.  With a developing El Nino, shear across the Atlantic may increase, which may rip some systems apart or just keep them from blowing up into major hurricanes.  WE WILL WATCH & SEE HOW THIS EVOLVES.

July 2012

August 1st, 2012 at 3:49 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

July was generally the hottest since 1936 in the viewing area, including the West Lafayette area.

Average temperature for all three West Lafayette weather stations were 80 or 81 degrees with rainfall around 0.90 to just over 1″.

So rainfall ended up near 3″ below normal.  Overall, June & July combined are the driest since either 1991 or 1988 & July was the driest since 1936 at WLFI (comparing total to West Lafayette data set), 1967 at the airport & 1991 at the Purdue Agronomy Farm.

Overall, all three weather stations are 9-10″ below normal for 2012.

Lindblom Changes Zip Codes

August 1st, 2012 at 3:34 pm by under Sports 18

After catching a red-eye flight from LA to Washington D.C. Josh Lindblom will make his Philadelphia Phillies debut tonight in our nations capitol with first pitch set for 7:05 against the Washington Nationals.

Lindblom will join a Phillies bullpen who has struggled mightily to get the ball to Paplebon for save situations. If he had to be traded…I can’t think of a better situation for him under the circumstances. He will get plenty of opportunities to lock down the 7th and 8th innings for the Fighting Phills!

Yes the Phillies are as Charles Barkley says,”TRBL” this year but most seasons Lindblom will be playing for an orginazation that always has a chance to win.

While I was talking to Josh last night the one thing he told me was how excited he is to spend time with and learn from Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and Jonathan Papelbon.

A new chapter of his baseball career is just beginning and we wish Josh all the best on and off the field.

follow me on Twitter at RossBolinWLFI


Torrid Heat Thursday & Friday

August 1st, 2012 at 2:30 pm by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

Highs Thursday will run 93-101 & Friday 96-102 across the viewing area.

Below, you can see in the NAM model numerical guidance, it is picking up on the extreme Plains heat wave expanding once again to the northeast.  It will make more headway this time compared to Tuesday.  Right now, I think the NAM’s 102 for Lafayette is too warm, but 99 will do.  97 Friday looks decent.  I prefer 99 for Lafayette for a high temperature projection.

 KLAF   NAM MOS GUIDANCE    8/01/2012  1200 UTC                      
 DT /AUG   1/AUG   2                /AUG   3                /AUG   4 
 HR   18 21 00 03 06 09 12 15 18 21 00 03 06 09 12 15 18 21 00 06 12 
 N/X                    58         102          64          99    73 
 TMP  89 90 83 70 65 61 64 88 97102 97 81 72 67 71 91 97 96 89 78 76 
 DPT  56 54 54 57 56 55 56 59 56 55 58 57 54 55 58 62 60 59 60 68 69 
 WDR  02 01 02 07 00 14 15 22 19 13 14 11 15 15 16 18 18 17 18 17 13 
 WSP  08 07 05 02 00 01 02 06 05 05 06 05 03 02 04 09 08 09 08 06 07 
 P06         2     3     4     4     2     8     7     5    31 33 42 
 P12                     6           6          12          39    43 
 Q06         0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0  1  5 
 Q12                     0           0           0           0     5 
 T06      4/ 3  1/ 0  4/ 0  4/ 3 19/ 7 19/ 1 10/ 1  9/ 1 34/10 54/ 3 
 T12            4/ 4        4/ 3       24/ 7       16/ 2    77/12    
 CIG   8  8  8  8  8  8  8  8  8  8  8  8  8  8  8  8  8  8  8  6  7 
 VIS   7  7  7  7  7  7  6  7  7  7  7  7  7  7  7  7  7  7  7  5  4 
 OBV   N  N  N  N  N  N HZ  N  N  N  N  N  N  N  N  N  N  N  N HZ BR

In terms of the relative humidity, it looks BONE DRY Thursday.  With those very high temperatures, dew points will ONLY BE IN THE 40s & 50s, which if remarkably dry.  Thus, Fire Threat is up quite a bit, but at least winds will only run 5-15 mph from the west & southwest & not gusts to 22 mph like today.  Nonetheless, Elevated to perhaps High Fire Danger wording is still needed.

Intense Plains Heat Wave Re-Expanding Into Area Thursday-Friday

August 1st, 2012 at 12:40 am by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

The intense Plains heat wave nudged in today & brought 99 to the Edgar County Airport, northwest of Terre Haute & 99 & 98 up that Wabash Valley to Perrysville & Covington.  Crawfordsville reached 97, while Terre Haute had 97.  Charleston, Illinois hit 102.

We had 93 at WLFI, but you can see in the new numerical model guidance displayed below, the NAM model is projecting 100 & 97 Thursday & Friday.

I believe as the Plains heat wave re-expands a bit, 100s are a good bet for parts of the area (namely the southwest half) Friday &/or Thursday.  Obviously, the new guidance suggested the intense heat arriving to Lafayette by Thursday.

I think 93-99 will do for Thursday, right now & 95-102 will do for Friday.

 KLAF   NAM MOS GUIDANCE    8/01/2012  0000 UTC                      
 DT /AUG   1            /AUG   2                /AUG   3          /  
 HR   06 09 12 15 18 21 00 03 06 09 12 15 18 21 00 03 06 09 12 18 00 
 X/N                    91          59         100          67    97 
 TMP  68 64 66 80 88 90 84 71 65 61 65 88 97100 95 81 74 69 74 95 90 
 DPT  61 59 59 59 57 56 57 59 58 58 59 61 56 54 56 57 56 59 63 65 66 
 WDR  04 02 05 04 03 02 04 08 00 12 15 22 23 19 15 13 13 14 17 20 20 
 WSP  03 02 02 06 08 07 06 02 00 01 01 06 06 06 06 05 05 04 04 10 07 
 P06         3     3     2     2     4     4     4     4     8  8 18 
 P12                     6           5           7          12    21 
 Q06         0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0  0  0 
 Q12                     0           0           0           0     0 
 T06      0/ 0  2/ 4  3/ 3  1/ 2  3/ 0  4/ 1 13/ 8 22/ 2 20/ 2 28/17 
 T12            2/ 4        3/ 3        4/ 1       25/ 8    26/ 5    
 CIG   8  8  8  8  8  8  8  8  8  8  8  8  8  8  8  8  8  8  8  8  8 
 VIS   7  5  5  7  7  7  7  7  7  5  5  7  7  7  7  7  7  7  5  7  7 
 OBV   N BR BR  N  N  N  N  N  N BR BR  N  N  N  N  N  N  N BR  N  N