Tag Archives: Rain

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!

10:37 pm EST update

The latest Mesoscale Discussion from the Storm Prediction Center…MD 37 graphic

SUMMARY…Moderate to localized heavy snow will continue in the deformation zone, with 1-2 inch per hour snowfall rates likely.

DISCUSSION…Regional radar shows an elongated axis of moderate snow stretching from northeastern Ohio southwestward into western Kentucky. This snowband has developed within a deformation zone located along the northwest side of a surface low over eastern Kentucky. Areas within this zone are experiencing rain that transitions to a brief period of freezing rain and then eventually snow with the east-to-west progression toward deeper cold-air advection. This snowband is expected to continue tracking east-northeastward as the system continues to lift northeast. Some localized banding is also evident in regional radar and is expected to continue with the presence of mid-level frontogenetical forcing for ascent. Snowfall rates of 1-2 inches per hour are likely, particularly within any localized snowbands that develop.

10:29 pm EST update

We now have our first two counties under Travel Warnings, Bartholomew and Warren.  With a travel warning, you need to refrain from all travel, comply with necessary emergency measures, cooperate with public officials, and obey and comply with lawful directions of properly identified officers.  Out of the 92 counties, only 15 or 16 counties are not under any travel advisories, but that could change, again blowing and drifting of snow will make travel very hazardous tonight and travel for anywhere is highly not recommended.slide4

8:55 pm EST update

Travel across much of the state is not recommended as several counties are now under Travel Watches, with many, many more under Travel Advisories.  If you don’t have to go out this evening, please just stay at home this evening.slide4

Now a look at the radar, snow has come to an end for the northwest portions of the state, moderate to heavy snow falling across the southeast portion of the state.  Areas of blowing and drifting snow will remain possible through the evening and into the overnight hours as winds will continue to gust 25 to 40 mph and will create dangerous wind chills tonight.  So to emphasize, if you don’t have to be out this evening, just stay home.  jan 19 2019 1805

5:24 pm EST update

We have the latest on areas under Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories.  We have three counties that are no longer under the warning, and 7 counties under a Winter Weather Advisory.  The other 82 counties are under a Winter Storm Warning.  slide6

There’s also many northern Indiana counties under Travel Watches, with many, many more counties under Travel Advisories.  Conditions will only become worse during the evening hours as colder air moves in and blowing snow becomes more of a factor.  slide4

4:32 pm EST update

A look at the radar, we are beginning to see the overall trend to more wintry precipitation and this will continue to occur from west to east and southeast.  The colder air is beginning to filter in and we are seeing wind gusts between 20 and 40 mph.  Also as the colder air moves in, the snow will transition from more of a wet snow to more of a fluffy snow and combine that with the winds, chances will increase from blowing and drifting of snow.  Temperatures are in the 20s and 30s, but will continue to gradually fall.  jan 19 2019 1332

4:30 pm EST update

The following is a Mesoscale Discussion from the Storm Prediction Center…MD 31 graphic

SUMMARY…Rain, freezing rain, and sleet will continue to transition to snow from northwest to southeast with moderate to heavy snowfall expected across this area through the remainder of the afternoon and into the evening.

DISCUSSION…In the last hour, winds have shifted to northerly up to 2 km on the KIND and KVWX VWP as the 850mb low has started to shift east of that longitude. This has started to switch rain to snow across portions of this area with a continued transition expected over the next several hours. The developing deformation band will likely have snowfall rates in excess of an inch per hour. Therefore, significant snowfall accumulations are likely through the evening before the system shifts east and drier air moves into the area. In addition to the impacts from the rapidly accumulating snowfall, winds of 20 to 30 mph with gusts as high as 40 mph will cause significant blowing and drifting and visibility restrictions. This will become particularly impactful during the evening hours as a colder airmass advects into the area and leads to a drier snow which will be more prone to blowing and drifting.

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

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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.

 

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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.

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.

 

Severe Weather Potential for This Afternoon

Good morning, we are monitoring the potential for strong to severe storms this afternoon for much of the state, with a focus for much of central Indiana.  We will get to that in a moment, but first, a current look at the radar.  We are seeing showers, some moderate to heavy falling across northwest Indiana.  Some lighter showers getting ready to move into west-central Indiana, and some new showers trying to pop up and develop between Bloomington and Washington.  Temperatures ranging from the mid 50s in northwest Indiana to the lower 70s across southern Indiana.Slide2

Now to the actual Convective Outlook.  The Storm Prediction Center has placed much of central Indiana under a slight risk of severe storms mainly for the afternoon hours.  A marginal risk is in place for much of northern and all of southern Indiana.  Some of the cities under the slight risk include Anderson, Muncie, Kokomo, Indianapolis, Noblesville, Westfield, Fishers, Richmond, Greenwood, Lebanon, Zionsville, Pendleton, Marion, Hartford City, Portland, New Castle, Shelbyville, and Greensburg to name a few.  Slide9

Now to breakdown the timing and what the radar could look like from 11 am this morning to 2 am Tuesday morning.  Showers and embedded thunderstorms will likely be ongoing mainly across northwest and moving into north-central Indiana, with some lighter showers possible in western Indiana.  As we head into the early afternoon, by 2 pm, is where we could see some strong to potentially severe storms possible across northeast Indiana, perhaps moving into the Kokomo area.  By 4 pm, storms could be moving into east-central and northeast Indiana, so areas like Fort Wayne could be seeing some stronger storms during that time.  Heading into the early evening hours, by 7 pm, we could see some strong to severe storms moving into the Anderson area and closing in on the Muncie area.  By the later evening hours, showers and thunderstorms will begin to decrease in coverage and intensity as daytime heating is loss.  A look at Futurecast radar is below.

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Finally the threats, for areas in the marginal risk, for those in the marginal risk area, expect damaging winds to be the primary threat.  Some storms could produce large hail, but with lapse rates looking meager, that threat is extremely low.  For areas under the slight risk, damaging winds again will be the primary threat, but there is the potential for isolated supercell storms, and with enough low-level shear, we can not rule out a tornado or two.  We expect the timing for the highest severe weather potential between 2 pm and 9 pm, but can occur anytime between noon and 10 pm.  For updates on radar and more you can like the Equinox Weather Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter.  Be weather aware today!Slide12

First Day of Winter, Coldest Air of the Season Looming, White Christmas Possibilities

Good Wednesday morning on what could be quite the blog post on the coldest air of the season looming, and the possibility of a White Christmas.  Let’s start with the first day of Winter is tomorrow and begins at 11:28 am EST, 10:28 am CST.  Weather for today, with the exception of rain chances in southern Kentucky and into West Virginia will be quiet and quiet region wide.  Then we will watch two fronts that will filter in the coldest air we have seen so far this season.  The first front will bring rain chances to the region, with the potential of a rain/snow mix for northwest Indiana.  The Arctic front will move through the region on Saturday and behind this front will bring a changeover from rain to snow from northwest to southeast and could also produce accumulation.

As far as the potential for accumulating snow and the chances of a White Christmas, any snow that accumulates will stick around with the very cold that will move in and that will be posted in the next section, with that in mind, there is still a lot of uncertainties in how much snow could fall, so I have highlighted the areas where a light snow accumulation is possible between Saturday and Sunday night.  This is highly likely to change so be sure to stay tuned for future forecasts and updates.Slide10

Finally, a look at the temperatures for the next week, most of the region will see the highest temperatures on Friday or Saturday and they will bottom out for the second half of the weekend into next week.  Temperatures for portions of Indiana and Ohio by Tuesday will likely not make it out of the teens with lows in the single digits and even subzero depending on the amount of snow cover.  Wind chills could be well below zero, so we are talking about some very cold air that will be moving in and we will have safety tips on the cold in future posts on the Facebook page.  Below is the temperature for select cities in the Ohio Valley.

We will continue to monitor weather data in the coming days as far as snow potential and the incoming Arctic air mass.  Don’t forget to like the Equinox Weather Facebook page for additional information and updates.  Also check out the Equinox Weather Store to donate,  if you need weather research, to sponsor, or start a weather subscription.