The Latest On This Weekend’s Winter Storm

Good afternoon, let’s get straight to it, below is what one of the higher resolution forecast models are depicting.  Now this model runs from 7 pm Friday evening through 7 pm Saturday evening.  At this time, we expect precipitation to begin in the form of snow across northwest Indiana between 10 pm and midnight, while precipitation will spread into the western portion of the state by sometime after midnight.  Some of the initial precipitation may not reach the ground.  At this time, we expect areas north of I-70 to remain all snow, but we can not totally rule out a brief period of freezing rain, but I think it’s highly unlikely.  Areas along and just south of I-70 could start off with snow, before mixing in and changing over to freezing rain, before becoming rain by Saturday afternoon.  The southern portions of the state should remain all rain.  As colder air moves in and the area of low pressure gets to its closest point of approach by late Saturday afternoon into the evening, some drier air could move in and bring an end to the snow for the northern counties, while central counties will remain snow, but the southern counties may begin to see a changeover to snow.

3km nam 01171912z

3 KM North American Model from 7 pm EST Friday to 7 pm EST Saturday.  Graphic courtesy of tropicaltidbits.com

Before we get to the snowfall predictions, we are expecting a period of freezing rain, again mainly across areas near or just of I-70.  Some ice accumulations are possible, with the highest between a tenth and a quarter inch just south of Indy.  Less than an tenth of an inch will be possible for the Indy area and points east.  We think that the highest time frame of freezing rain will be during the the late morning into the early afternoon hours.  slide2

Now what everyone is really waiting for, the snowfall potential.  While there’s plenty of disagreement in the models, the placement of the highest snowfall totals, I tried to go with a good blend of all the data, and here we go.  For the northern portion of the state, it will remain all snow, but at the same time, I think as the colder air moves in Saturday afternoon into the evening, the drier air that is normally associated with the colder air will cut off the snow, therefore will cut off overall totals, but going with 3 to 6 inches, with local amounts of up to 8 inches possible.  Like the last storm, it’ll be central Indiana that will see the highest totals, as for now I have 5 to 8 inches, with amounts up to 10 inches possible.  This could change depending on the final track.  South of I-70, is where totals will begin to sharply cut off.  Areas south of Indy, but near and just south of Bloomington, 2 to 3 inches of snow seems possible, but this will be mainly during the afternoon and evening hours on Saturday.  Furthest south, it will be mainly a rain event, but as the colder air moves in, some snowfall will be possible and only 1 to 2 inches will be possible. slide1

Another factor that wasn’t with the last winter storm will be the winds, we expect 20 to 35 mph winds, with gusts of 35 to 45 mph, and blowing of snow will be possible adding in to what will already be hazardous travel.  Like last week, travel will not be recommended on Saturday, especially areas north of I-70. The final graphic below shows the increase of the winds as the storm approaches.  nam3km_mslp_wind_ncus_fh36-60

Finally, in the wake of this winter storm, very cold air will move in on late Saturday and continue into Sunday and Sunday night.  Below is the expected high and low temps Sunday and Sunday night across the state, where subzero temperatures are likely, especially in areas with fresh snowpack.

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To sum everything else, a high confidence in a winter storm impacting Indiana this weekend, high confidence that accumulating snow is likely, especially areas north of I-70.  Lower confidence however in overall snowfall potential as the track of the low will determine where the heaviest snowfall will lie.  Finally, a high confidence in the wake of this winter storm, very cold air will move into the area and will make for a very cold Sunday and Sunday night.  Additional updates will be on the Equinox Weather Facebook page.

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Quick Update To Potential Winter Storm This Weekend

Good morning, we will have a more in depth update this afternoon, but I wanted to do a quick update this morning as in the past two model runs, the track of the low have been trending more southward, which would mean lower snowfall totals and placement of the heaviest snowfall potential will be more to the south.  It remains a bit too early to determine exact snowfall numbers, but I have at least for now removed the heavy snowfall accumulations for portions of central Indiana and replaced it with moderate to heavy snowfall accumulations possible, with lesser totals to the north and south.  There remains a tight snow gradient as there will be a sharp snow cutoff and that area was also moved a bit to the south, with mainly rain for the southern third of the state, with snow mixing in at times, then changing over to all snow before ending.  Still can’t rule out freezing rain for areas south just south of I-70 as well.  So here is the snowfall potential map, again we will have a more detailed update this afternoon, so stay tuned for the update.  slide2

Wintry Mix Thursday Before The Potential For a Major Winter Storm This Weekend

Good evening, a pretty busy time in the weather department over the next few days.  We are watching an area of low pressure that will bring some wintry precipitation Wednesday night through Thursday night, then the potential for a major winter storm for the weekend.  But first in the very short term as far as tonight and Wednesday is concern, cloudy skies with areas of freezing drizzle and freezing rain.  At this point, we are not expecting anything more than a glaze of ice, but will be enough to cause some hazardous road conditions, especially on untreated roads, bridges, and overpasses, you will see some of that freezing drizzle on FutureCast that will be posted below.  As we head into Wednesday night into Thursday, an area of snow, rain, and freezing rain will move through the area.  Precipitation should begin mainly as snow for areas north of I-70, and rain south, but as temperatures get slightly above freezing, there could be a period of rain in the afternoon, which will limit snowfall totals.  As far as snowfall potential from Wednesday night through Thursday, a general 1 to 2 inches of snow will be possible, may be enough for a Winter Weather Advisory issuance from the National Weather Service, we’ll just have to wait and see.

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Heading into the weekend, we will watch another area of low pressure gathers moisture and strength as it nearly follows the same path as the previous weekend’s winter storm.  Below is one of the models that we are following on what could happen with the storm.  The center of the low will move directly east, moving into the area late Friday night into early Saturday morning.  Areas north of I-70 should remain all snow, with the potential for some freezing rain along or just south of I-70.  Areas south of I-70 should see just enough warm air so that it will be rain, but as colder air moves in at the tail end, could end as snow.  As the storm moves east of the area, the aforementioned cold air will move in, resulting in the coldest air of the season.  More on that in a bit, but as far as snow accumulations, it is still a bit too early to determine exact amounts, but areas that could see light, moderate, and heavy snow accumulations is below.  At this time, I think portions of central Indiana, just north of I-70 could see the highest snow accumulations, with moderate to heavy snow accumulations possible further north.  To the south, there will be a sharp cutoff on snow, with light snow accumulations possible along and just to the south of I-70, but precipitation could mix with freezing rain, sleet eventually becoming all rain, then changing back over to snow before ending.  Along and south of a Bloomington-Columbus line, we are expecting mainly rain, it could briefly mix with sleet or freezing rain, before ending as snow.  Also, unlike with the previous system, this system could be a wind producer, so there could be some blowing and drifting of snow, along with near blizzard conditions, so I would not be surprised if either Winter Storm or even Blizzard Watches are issued as early as Thursday morning.01151918z gfs runslide2

Finally, on the back side of this storm, a cold blast will move in and highs on Sunday will struggle to get out of the lower to mid teens, with lows heading into Monday morning likely in the sub-zero category, especially where there’s a fresh snow pack.  Below is just one of the models depicting these very cold temperatures.01151918z gfs sunday possible highs01151918z gfs monday morning possible lows

Finally, a look at the Three Day Forecast for Indy, Kokomo, and Muncie from Saturday through Monday.  You will clearly see how the colder air moves in on the tail end of this storm.  Forecast highs on Sunday will struggle in many cases to get out of the teens, with lows into Monday morning below zero, with wind chills in the -10 to -20 range.slide16slide17slide18  To sum up, there remains a lot of uncertainties as far as final track, where the heaviest snow will fall, which areas will see freezing rain, sleet, and rain.  The track will greatly play a role, the further north the low goes, the further north the axis of heaviest snow falls and the more “warmer” air that will feed northward, therefore more areas will see rain.  The further south, the axis of the heaviest snowfall will move southward, and less areas will see snowfall.  Stay tuned for continued updates and as the models get in better agreement, we should begin to narrow and hone in details of snowfall.

 

Latest on Hurricane Lane and impacts on Hawaii

Good morning, before we get to the latest information on Hurricane Lane that continues its approach to the Hawaiian Islands, here is the latest on Hurricane Watches and Warnings…

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…

Oahu

Maui County…including the islands of Maui, Lanai, Molokai and Kahoolawe

Hawaii County

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…

Kauai County…including the islands of Kauai and Niihau

A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. A warning is typically issued 36 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm- force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.

A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area. A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous.

At 11 pm, Hawaiian Time, the eye of Hurricane Lane is located about 350 miles south of Honolulu.  Lane is moving slowly to the northwest near 7 mph and this slow motion is expected to continue with a turn to the north-northwest, then a turn to the north is expected by Friday before turning back west by Saturday.  On the forecast track, Lane will come dangerously close to the main Hawaiian Islands today into Friday.  Maximum sustained winds are near 145 mph.  Lane is an extremely dangerous category 4 hurricane.  Some slow weakening is forecast, but Lane will remain a hurricane for the next few days.  Slide11

As you can see above the official forecast on the track of Lane, it is expected to gradually turn to the north-northwest later today and to the north by Friday as Lane gets dangerously close to the Hawaii, the timing of the turn to the west is very critical as it could move over the island of Oahu if the turn to the west can do not occur before getting to the island.  Once the turn to the west do occur by Saturday, it would parallel the Hawaiian island chain.  A look at the radar, you can see the eye well defined south of the Hawaiian islands, with outer rainbands affecting the Big Island, where there have been reports of a foot of rain have already fell.  Flash Flood Warnings are in effect for Hawaii County.Slide7

Impacts on the Hawaiian Islands…

Rainfall/Flooding…Rain will continue to overspread the Hawaiian Islands today through Friday, with very heavy rainfall occurring at times.  Rainfall totals of 10 to 20 inches, with localized amounts of 30 to 40 inches will be possible.  Life threatening flash flooding and mudslides will be possible as Lane will be slow moving and hours upon hours of heavy rainfall is expected.

Winds…Tropical storm force winds will also continue to spread across the Big Island today, with hurricane force winds for the Big Islands to occur as early as tonight or early Friday morning.  Tropical storm force winds could reach Maui County as early as this afternoon, with hurricane force winds possible by late tonight or early Friday morning.  For Oahu, tropical storm force winds could begin late tonight into Friday morning, with hurricane force winds possible by Friday afternoon or Friday night.

Storm Surge/Surf…With the slow movement of Lane, large and destructive winds will pound the Hawaiian Islands for several days, which in turn could actually increase coastal flooding concerns, especially for south and west facing beaches.  Storm Surge flooding of 2 to 4 feet on top of battering waves will be possible.

Tornadoes/Waterspouts…A few tornadoes and/or waterspouts will be possible, especially on the northeast quadrant of Lane.

Those who have family or interests in Hawaii, time is quickly running out for the Big Island, all preparations should be near completion this morning, and preps on the other islands should be complete by the end of today!  Slide12

The final portion of this blog is on other preparedness information from the National Weather Service…

Now is the time to complete all preparations to protect life and property in accordance with your emergency plan. Ensure you are in a safe location before the onset of strong winds or possible flooding.

If you are relocating to safe shelter, leave as early as possible. Allow extra time to reach your destination. Many roads and bridges will be closed once strong winds arrive. Check the latest weather forecast before departing and drive with caution.

Failure to adequately shelter may result in serious injury or loss of life. Always heed the advice of local officials and comply with any orders that are issued. Remember, during the storm 9 1 1 Emergency Services may not be able to immediately respond if conditions are unsafe. This should be a big factor in your decision making.

Keep cell phones well charged. Cell phone chargers for automobiles can be helpful, but be aware of your risk for deadly carbon monoxide poisoning if your car is left idling in a garage or other poorly ventilated area.

It is important to remain calm, informed, and focused during an emergency. Be patient and helpful with those you encounter.

If you are a visitor, be sure to know the name of the city or town in which you are staying and the name of the county or parish in which it resides. Listen for these locations in local news updates. Pay attention for instructions from local authorities.

Rapidly rising flood waters are deadly. If you are in a flood-prone area, consider moving to higher ground. Never drive through a flooded roadway. Remember, turn around don`t drown!

If in a place that is vulnerable to high wind, such as near large trees, a manufactured home, upper floors of a high-rise building, or on a boat, consider moving to a safer shelter before the onset of strong winds or flooding.

Closely monitor weather.gov, NOAA Weather radio or local news outlets for official storm information. Be ready to adapt to possible changes to the forecast. Ensure you have multiple ways to receive weather warnings.

Severe Threat Potential Looms on Friday

Good afternoon, the latest update from the Storm Prediction Center is in and instead of doing the afternoon update, I’m going to combine it all in one large blog post, this may be a bit on the long side, so bear with me.  We are going to break down some of the larger cities that’s under each of the categorical risk.  The entire state is under the gun for severe storms on Friday, so everyone need to be weather aware tomorrow.  The following cities/locales are under the enhanced risk…Evansville, Jasper, Bedford, Madison.  The following cites are under the slight risk, Indianapolis, Anderson, Muncie, Bloomington, Terre Haute, Richmond.  Finally, these cities are under a marginal risk, South Bend, Fort Wayne, Kokomo, Lafayette, Gary.  Now overall for the state, an enhanced risk of severe storms is possible for southwest and south-central Indiana, with a marginal risk for central Indiana, and a marginal risk for northern Indiana.  Slide15

***Potentially a significant severe weather event is possible, especially in the enhanced risk area***  Showers and thunderstorms will be ongoing Friday morning and we won’t how the morning storms will play in the afternoon/evening severe weather, but right now, conditions are in place for a rather active afternoon/evening.  A new round of showers and thunderstorms look to develop during the afternoon hours and move southeast.  Initial storms may be supercellular in nature and could produce very large hail (up to and possibly slightly over 2 inches in diameter), damaging winds, and isolated tornadoes, before storms congeal into line and bowing segments, when damaging winds will become the primary threat, but large hail, and isolated tornadoes will also be possible.  The severe threat may wind down by the early to mid evening hours, but chances of showers and thunderstorms will remain in the overnight hours.  Following graphics is what the FutureCast radar predicts from 1 am to 8  pm Friday.  Errors in timing between 1 and 2 hours either way…

We are going to end this blog with potential hazards, beginning with the enhanced risk area.  All modes are in play, including the risk of isolated tornadoes, but damaging winds, and large hail, some possibly over 2 inches in diameter will be possible.  Within the slight risk area, I also think that all modes of severe weather are possible, with damaging winds and large hail being the primary threat, but isolated tornadoes may also be possible.  Finally for the marginal risk area, damaging winds and large hail will be the primary threats, but can not totally rule out a tornado or two.

To end this blog, I will say what I normally would say, there’s a lot of uncertainties in regards to the overall severe weather potential, we have seen where conditions dynamically looked favorable, little or no severe weather occurred.  This could very well happen again tomorrow.  The keys is again how the morning convection, how fast it can move out of the area, and whether we see strong surface heating, if the sun can remain in check and we are dominated with cloud cover, then the severe threat will be limited, however, areas that end up seeing prolonged sunshine and strong surface heating, then those will be the areas that will most likely see the severe weather.  The best you can do is remain weather aware, follow the safety tips below, have a plan of action in the event of warnings, and we will get through tomorrow together, whether severe weather occurs or not.  As far as coverage, we will likely begin coverage as the morning storms move into the state, likely during the overnight hours around 1 or 2 am and we will continue until the severe potential is over.  Tomorrow will be declared a “Weather Alert Day”.  Updates will be available on our Facebook page.  Slide51

Cooler, Drier Air Returns to Indiana

Good morning, one more day of hot and humid conditions as a cold front will continue to push east and southeast into the state through the day.  As of this morning, the front was analyzed as a cold front from southeast Wisconsin into north-central Illinois, then as a stationary front from north-central Illinois to the Illinois/Missouri border, then as a cold front again from the IL/MO border south and west.  By this afternoon, the cold front will move further east and southeast and will extend from southeast Michigan to northwest and west-central Ohio to southeast to southwest Indiana.  By early Tuesday morning, the front will be well east of the area.

As mentioned, today there will be the last day at least for a few days of the hot and humid air.  Highs today will range from 86 to 89 and dewpoint temperatures in the low to mid 70s, so we will have more of that tropical air and any thunderstorms today will bring the potential for heavy rainfall.  Once the front passes through and we head into Tuesday, temperatures will warm from 80 to 88, but the dewpoint (which is the temperature to which the air must be cooled to become saturated with water vapor), will be much lower and in the comfortable to tolerable category from the lower 50s to lower 60s.  Wednesday will very much be the pick of the week, as highs will only warm in the 79 to 84 degree range and dewpoints only in the 50s to lower 60s.  Thursday, we begin to warm up a bit, but still in the low to mid 80s and dewpoints in the 55 to 60 degree range, so still will remain very comfortable.

Even beyond Thursday, the temperature outlook from the Climate Prediction Center shows a greater chance of below normal temperatures for the rest of this month.  You can find those maps on the Forecast and Long Range Probability Maps section of the website.  Have a great Monday, and enjoy the cooler temperatures that’s to come!

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