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2008

In chronological order

Winter Storm miss; warmest January night ever

The winter storm predicted for New Year's Eve into New Year's Day failed to live up to expectations. Although snowfall was predicted (as late as New Year's Eve morning) to arrive in the afternoon or early evening, nothing happened until after 2100, and then it was only rain.

The rain did eventually change to snow, with light to moderate snow throughout New Year's Day. We wound up with 3" of snow by nightfall. A brief cold snap followed, with the high temperatures for the next two days at or just below 20°F.

That was followed by several days of moderating temperatures, culminated yesterday with the warmest January 7th ever, and, in fact, the warmest January low ever. The official high of 66°F shattered the previous daily record of 59 set in 1989; while the official low of 55 erased the previous record warm low for January of 52 set in 1950.

January 7th ended with a line of strong thunderstorms, the preceding edge of a large blob of precipitation which has dumped slightly more than an inch of rain on us so far.

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awc 2008-01-08 10:06:51

Blast of cold air with unusually low pressure

Last week was chilly with light snow about every other day; culminating in a low of -1°F on Friday (25 Jan). Temperatures moderated over the next couple of days, and then steadily warmed from Monday until 20:25 Tuesday evening (29 Jan).

At that point, with the temperature at its high of the day of 52.8°F, the barometric pressure bottomed out at 28.95", the wind picked up, and an intense downpour moved through. By 21:00, we had nearly 0.2" rain, the winds were gusting to nearly 25mph, and the temperature had dropped to 46°F. For the next hour, light rain was blown about by gusty 20-25mph winds, and the temperature continued dropping to 35°F at 22:00. The rain ended, replaced with occasional light snow blown around by winds gusting up to 30mph for the next couple of hours as the temperature continued to fall, reaching 14.4°F at midnight.

The winds howled all night, with a maximum gust of 32mph, as the temperature continued drifting lower, bottoming out at 6.1°F by 07:30 this morning (30 Jan).

The temperature dropped 38.4°F in 3½ hours, or nearly 1 degree every 5½ minutes. The pressure reading of 28.95" was the lowest I've recorded here in Fort Wayne (data collection began in Dec 2005), smashing the previous low of 29.10".

The NWS had previously issued a Winter Storm Watch for our area for last night; but late yesterday afternoon canceled it. The snow line, as seen on the natural color MODIS image shown here, was fairly sharp, and stayed about 40 miles to the west and then north of us.


The NWS is making big promises for Thursday night into Friday morning:

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORTHERN INDIANA
413 PM EST WED JAN 30 2008

…SIGNIFICANT WINTER STORM POSSIBLE THURSDAY NIGHT INTO FRIDAY…

ANOTHER WINTER STORM WILL TAKE SHAPE OVER OKLAHOMA ON THURSDAY AND TRACK INTO THE OHIO VALLEY BY FRIDAY MORNING. A SWATH OF MODERATE TO HEAVY SNOW IS EXPECTED TO AFFECT MUCH OF THE FORECAST AREA…WITH SNOW DEVELOPING THURSDAY EVENING AND INCREASING IN INTENSITY THURSDAY NIGHT INTO FRIDAY MORNING. WHILE THE EXACT LOCATION OF THE HEAVIEST SNOWFALL REMAINS IN QUESTION…6 TO 10 INCHES OF SNOW IS POSSIBLE ACROSS THE WATCH AREA ALONG WITH BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW. LISTEN TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO OR YOUR LOCAL MEDIA FOR THE LATER UPDATES ON THIS SITUATION.

…WINTER STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM THURSDAY EVENING THROUGH FRIDAY EVENING…

ANOTHER WINTER STORM WILL AFFECT THE AREA THURSDAY NIGHT AND FRIDAY WITH SIGNIFICANT SNOW ACCUMULATIONS POSSIBLE. THERE WILL BE THE POTENTIAL FOR HEAVY SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 6 TO 10 INCHES… AS WELL AS STRONG GUSTY WINDS CREATING BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW.

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awc 2008-01-30 16:24:35

Major winter storm anticipated

Earlier this afternoon, the forecast for the winter storm expected to move into our area tonight from the southwest indicated a significant chance for a period of sleet or freezing rain tomorrow morning. Consequently, the forecasted snowfall from the storm was "5 to 15 inches". Quite a spread!

The latest guidance is that we will get all snow.

NWS Forecast for: Fort Wayne IN
Issued by: National Weather Service Northern Indiana
Last Update: 3:08 pm EST Jan 31, 2008

This Afternoon: A 10 percent chance of snow. Cloudy, with a high near 26. Calm wind.

Tonight: Periods of snow with areas of blowing snow, mainly after midnight. The snow could be heavy at times. Low around 23. Breezy, with a east wind between 15 and 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 5 to 9 inches possible.

Friday: Periods of snow with areas of blowing snow. The snow could be heavy at times. High near 30. North wind around 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches possible.

This is a lot better: 9 to 17 inches! However, as we all know, they tend to overestimate the snowfall that will fall at my house (i.e. they tend to not take into account that I live here).

The hourly forecast for water equivalent and snowfall is show below. The total snowfall according to that graphic is 13.3 inches.

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awc 2008-01-31 15:19:59

Yet another winter storm flop

The forecasters persisted throughout the night and into the morning (Feb 1) with >6" predictions; but finally threw in the towel at 1100 and cancelled the winter storm warning. By 0900, we had only 4½" of snow and nothing promising on the radar.

To make matters worse, while snowblowing this morning I twisted my knee falling on the ice … and laid sprawled on the street at the end of my driveway for a couple of minutes before I was able to get up. And then as I was finishing up the sidewalk area at the corner (where the snow trucks pile the snow), the auger on my snowblower broke with loud banging, leaving a divot in the sidewalk.

Not exactly a good way to start the month.

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awc 2008-02-01 13:31:23

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