Category Archives: Uncategorized

Live Blog: Winter Storm January 19, 2019

We are happy to provide this live blog as this winter storm impact the state.  If you appreciate our hard work, please consider making a donation by clicking this link.  We thank you for your continued support!

2:45 pm EST update

The following is a Mesoscale Discussion from the Storm Prediction CenterMD 30 graphic

SUMMARY…Moderate to occasionally heavy snowfall continues across portions of the southern Great Lakes. Snowfall rates are expected to lessen across northern Indiana over the next few hours, with increasing snowfall rates across northern Ohio through the afternoon and into the evening.

DISCUSSION…The moderate to heavy snowfall bands which have set up across northeast Indiana have persisted into the mid-afternoon. Water vapor and radar trends suggest snowfall rates will decrease across this area in the next few hours and taper off into the early evening. Snowfall rates continue to increase in northern Ohio north of the rain/snow line. Correlation coefficient radar data from the KCLE 88D and surface observations show the freezing rain/snow line has lifted further north over the past few hours and is currently located just south of Mansfield to near Canton. This rain/snow line could progress another half a county north or so before stalling as the 850 flow backs ahead of the approaching surface cyclone, now around 998mb just west of Nashville. North of this boundary, snowfall rates will continue to increase with current rates around 0.5 to 1 inch per hour increasing to 1.5 inches per hour or greater by later this afternoon and into the evening as the mean mixing ratio increases to above 3 g/kg and lift is maximized north of the approaching surface low.

1:30 pm EST update

Taking a look at the latest Travel Status, several northern and central counties are now under Travel Watches, with nearly all of the northern counties, a good portion of central, and east-central counties under Travel Advisories.  Even though Delaware County is not under any kind of travel advisory, I would still use extra caution going through that county due to the freezing rain that fell this morning.  We may still see a few more counties go under watches and would not be surprised as the snow accumulates and the winds increase, that one or two counties go under Travel Warnings.  slide4

12:30 pm EST update

A look at the radar is showing the area of freezing rain diminishing in coverage somewhat as temperatures are beginning to fall.  Snow should begin to fall shortly in the Muncie area if not already and as we continue into the afternoon hours, snow will continue to expand in coverage.  Areas of heavy snow will be possible and again I have made some small changes to the snowfall potential, now putting portions of the east-central counties back in the 6 to 8 inch snow range, with a much of the state seeing 3 to 6 inches of snow, with isolated higher amounts, the other exception will be west-central counties, where 1 to 2 inches of snow will be possible.  We will have additional updates on the Travel Status and more after we take a bit of a break.  jan 19 2019 0929slide1

11:20 am EST update

Here’s the Mesoscale Discussion provided by the Storm Prediction Center…MD 28 graphic

SUMMARY…Moderate to occasionally heavy snow will continue into the afternoon. Snowfall rates of 1 to 1.5 inches per hour are expected.

DISCUSSION…A large precipitation shield has developed north of a deepening surface cyclone moving into the southern Ohio Valley. North of the rain/snow line, currently located just south of Marion, Indiana to near Delaware, Ohio, moderate snowfall has developed. A band of enhanced snowfall rates has developed from Rochester, Indiana to near Ann Arbor, MI. The location of this band matches 12Z NAM cross sections which had an area of negative saturated equivalent potential vorticity (EPV) above the low-level frontogenesis forcing. This area of conditional symmetric instability(CSI) is expected to wane by 18Z and then redevelop between 18Z and 21Z across northwest Ohio. Snowfall rates beneath these heavier bands will likely exceed 1 inch per hour with snowfall rates above 1.5 inches per hour possible. Outside of these stronger bands, snowfall rates will be around 0.5 to 1 inch per hour.

10:40 am EST update

Now let’s take a quick look at the Travel Status update, currently only Benton and Franklin counties are under Travel Watches, which basically means only “essential travel” such as to and from work is recommended.  Many of the northern and central counties are under a Travel Advisory.  Like everything else, we will keep an eye on the Travel Status throughout the day.  slide4

10:15 am EST update

For this update, we are focusing on the freezing rain that is falling along and just north of I-70.  As we mentioned in the previous update, reports of downed powerlines and power outages throughout Randolph County.  Taking a look at the radar, some of the heaviest freezing rain is falling where you see some of the darker red colors.  We have a zoomed in radar look below…jan 19 2019 0716

The potential highest ice accumulations through early this afternoon, will likely be over east-central counties, where up to a quarter inch of ice is not out of the question, with locally higher amounts.  To the west, ice accumulations of up to two tenths of an inch is also possible, add on the breezy conditions, this sets up for the potential for power outages and down branches and powerlines.  So even if the snow is not falling yet, the ice is far worse and will make driving very hazardous this morning, and any snow on top of the ice will only make things worse, so travel is NOT advised at this time for any areas along and just north of I-70, where freezing rain have been the predominate form of precipitation so far.  By this afternoon, any areas that have seen freezing rain is expected to change over to snow.  slide2

9:15 am EST update

slide6slide1

Good morning, here’s the latest that we have right now, every Indiana county except 5 are currently under Winter Storm Warnings, though the far northwest counties, the warning will expire at noon CST, while the north-central and northeast counties expire at 2 pm CST. Central and east-central counties will expire around 4 am EST Sunday morning. Southeast counties expire at 8 am and noon EST Sunday depending upon which southeast county you are in. Southwest counties expire at midnight CST, finally south-central counties expire at 7 am EST Sunday morning.

Now to the snow accumulations, the addition of Winter Storm Warnings further south, I had to up snowfall potential there to the 3 to 6 inch range. Based on snowfall reports, northwest counties could still see 5 to 8 inches, as well as east-central counties. West-central counties could only see 1 to 2 inches, while the rest of the northern and central counties could see 3 to 6 inches.

 

Randolph County EMA officials are reporting down powerlines due to freezing rain that is falling and continuing to fall as of this update, with obviously loss of power throughout the county.  Not many snowfall reports to pass on as of now, but the reports I’ve seen, so far only about an inch or two of snow has fallen so far across north-central counties.  Current look at the radar is showing rain falling mainly across areas south of I-70, with freezing rain falling across areas just north of I-70 including Muncie, Anderson, Elwood to name a few, snow falling further north.  A band of moderate snow falling in Frankfort, Kokomo, and over to Marion.  jan 19 2019 0635

We will continue to update this blog live throughout the day with radar updates, Travel Status updates, snowfall reports, and more.  Finally, if you appreciate our hard work, please feel free to make a small donation, you can by clicking here.

 

Advertisements

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.

slide11slide12

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.

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.

slide1

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

« Older Entries