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Blog / Wx Blog Archive - 2010

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2010

In chronological order

Still waiting for a significant snow here in Fort Wayne

We've had a few minor snow events since the remnants of the Christmas 2009 Snowstorm moved through here, but nothing amounted to an inch. There was about an hour of moderate snow on the 30th (about 3/4 inch), there was another half inch of snow throughout New Years Day afternoon / night, and we had almost a full day of lake effect snow today. The morning commute on I-69 was treacherous, even though we'd had less than a 1/4 inch of snow. Another 1/4 to 1/2 inch has fallen throughout the day.

As usual for northwesterly winds across Lake Michigan, Fort Wayne is on the southeastern fringe of the lake effect snow.

IWX Nexrad

We had mostly clear skies late Saturday and early Sunday, bringing us our coldest temperatures of the season, with a low of 2.0 F.

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awc 2010-01-04 21:16

Is There Snow on the Way?

The 06Z NAM shows us getting about 1/4" water equivalent precipitation between 10AM and 10PM on Thursday (07 Jan); with the expected temperatures in the low 20s, we would expect almost 6" snow. One can only hope. We are within the "at least 10% probability" area for >4" snowfall on the HPC Day 3 outlook.

Overnight we got another dusting of lake effect snow; and reportedly west and northwest of here was another nightmare on the roads. I experienced mostly just wet roads coming into downtown from northeast Fort Wayne; of course, the roads were still mostly snow-packed in Arlington Park (though less than 1/2" thick), despite their attempts at scraping them early this morning.

UPDATE 05 Jan at 22:40 EST

The 06 Jan 00Z NAM has weakened the Thursday storm a bit, promising us only about 4" snow; possibly some slightly heavier snow south of us (from Indy down to Louisville) and also west of us (over Illinois). The storm appears to break apart as it leaves Illinois, with the stronger branch heading up the Ohio Valley (joined by a weak impulse out of the Gulf of Mexico) and then spinning up into a strong storm well off the coast of Maine and the Canadian maritime provinces.

UPDATE 06 Jan at 09:55 EST

I checked my original math (actually, I couldn't read my own writing), and yesterday's 06Z NAM predicted about 4" snow; so the computer model really hadn't changed that much. Today's 06Z NAM still shows us getting about 4" snow between 8AM Thursday and 4AM Friday.

I don't see that impulse from the Gulf joining in and breaking up the storm that I saw on the 00Z NAM; but the western half of the cold front does run into more moisture over east Texas, so the heaviest precipitation area migrates there.

The storm finally wraps into a well-defined low off the coast of Maine by 7PM Friday; but the precipitation stays off the coast, even as the low parallels the Canadian Maritimes.

The winds off Lake Michigan are currently forecast to be too northerly for us to get any of the lake effect snow in the aftermath of this system; but it looks like South Bend should get an additional 6" lake effect snow through Saturday afternoon, and Indy might even get a couple additional inches on Friday.

UPDATE 06 Jan at 19:50 EST

The 18Z NAM has Fort Wayne getting about 3.5" snow between 8AM and 9PM Thursday, and then another 1" snow between 5AM and 2PM Friday. The lake effect snow in the wake of this system is not forecast to be as strong as earlier forecasts; there will be lake effect snow in South Bend, but moderate only for a few hours on Saturday (so probably only 2 to 3").

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awc 2010-01-05 09:41

The anticipated snow storm arrives

Sometime between 7:30 and 8AM this morning, light snow began falling at our house in northeastern Fort Wayne. Within an hour it started slowly intensifying, and snow has fallen moderately most of the morning, sometimes meeting the criteria for heavy snow (less than 1/4 mile visibility). I went out during one of these periods of heavy snow, between 11 and 11:45AM, to take some photographs here in downtown Fort Wayne; hopefully I will get some of those uploaded this evening. The snow lightened up for a while around noon, but has become borderline heavy again as I write this (12:30PM).

When I went out at 11, we had received at least 2" of snow, and probably added at least 1/2" while I was out.

Stay tuned for further updates.

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awc 2010-01-07 12:30

Snowstorm measures up to forecast

The NAM forecasts for the last couple of days came to fruition in Fort Wayne today. As expected, we got 4" of snow (as of 6:30PM) and now have 7" on the ground.

During one of the heavier bands of snow (just before noon) I went walking around downtown Fort Wayne and took some photos which are in my latest photo series. Also included is a nice nighttime shot as I drove home.

Click on any photo to see an enlargement.

IMG1 IMG2 IMG3 IMG4 IMG5 IMG6 IMG7

all photos © 2010 AWColley

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awc 2010-01-07 21:01

Final total for the recent snowstorm

After 6:30PM last night (07 Jan), and probably before 1AM this morning, we had an additional 3/4" snow; bringing the total for the storm to about 4 3/4".

Looks like our next best chance for snow is Monday, with a more classic Alberta Clipper giving us an inch or so. The GFS is showing a major storm for next weekend (15-17 Jan) affecting the Gulf Coast, Southeast, and Mid-Atlantic; but staying south of us (and just south of Indy). We can only hope the actual storm track will shift a hundred or so miles northward.
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awc 2010-01-08 17:06

Uncommon situation with satellite IR imagery this morning

Due to the thick snow cover, and an arctic-like high over the region, the temperatures over the Great Lakes regions hovered near or below zero (F) overnight. However, most of the Great Lakes remain unfrozen, which means the water temperatures are at least 30 degrees warmer than the surrounding landmass.

At the same time, light NNW lower level winds were blowing across Lake Michigan into Indiana. The warmer moist air flowing off the lake overflowing the much colder snow-covered ground formed low clouds (and probably fog near the lake).

In this strange quirk of winter and geography, the clouds were warmer than the surrounding air and showed up on the infrared satellite imagery darker than the surrounding clear areas. We are use to detecting clouds because they are brighter than the ground; as in the accompanying image the higher level clouds across WI and northern MI are brighter than the surrounding (though still frigid) surface areas.

Shortly after midnight here in Fort Wayne, the temperature was 4F. Then these clouds moved over and within an hour we had climbed to nearly 14F.

0945Z IR Image

You can tell the brighter area (specifically Illinois) was clear, because you can distinctly make out stationary land features like rivers and lakes. Also, if you view a loop (time-lapse) of this morning's IR satellite images, the darkness is clearly a moving, slightly morphing, blob.

The same effect was occurring over eastern Ohio with winds blowing across Lake Erie; but the clouds did not extend as far because the wind was blowing across the narrow axis of Lake Erie and thus did not have a chance to warm up as much as the winds that were blowing across nearly the entire north-south length of Lake Michigan.

Update 2010-02-02

Actually, it apparently isn't that uncommon. Nearly every day since then I've noticed low clouds warmer than the surrounding clear (and usually snow covered) areas. I still find it "fascinating".

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awc 2010-01-10 12:35

Joined CoCoRaHS

On Monday (11 Jan) I went to the Northern Indiana WFO for my CoCoRaHS (Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network) training … and to get the official CoCoRaHS rain gauge provided free ($30 online), courtesy of Purdue University, to Indiana residents getting official CoCoRaHS training. When I found out the training was at the WFO, it was a "no brainer" for me to deal with the SA-APD and make arrangements to be trained in person.
Northern Indiana WFO

Josh went with me (safety in packs), and in addition to the training we got a brief tour of the WFO from Sam Lashley, the meteorologist in charge of CoCoRaHS training. Sam was friendly, informative, and had a good sense of humor; he made us feel welcome and answered our questions without being annoyed or condescending. In the photo below he is demonstrating and explaining the AWIPS station where he monitors the weather and makes forecasts.

Sam Lashley explains an AWIPS station

I installed my new rain gauge on the same post as my Vantage Pro 2 (VP2) instrument suite this is not the time of year to be trying to dig a post hole. The two are far enough apart to not interfere with each other. This will let me confidently compare the manual rain gauge readings with my VP2 and see how accurate the VP2 is (which is not at all when the temperature is below freezing somebody want to buy me a rain gauge heater?).

To see my data reports, go to the CoCoRaHS View Data page, pick a category, and then search for Station Number/Id IN-AL-39.

I am such a geek.

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awc 2010-01-13 16:17

The weekend storm may graze us Sunday

The center of the storm coming out of Texas over the next few days will pass well to our south and east. However, the 12Z NAM is indicating that Fort Wayne will be on the northern fringe of the precipitation area between 1300 and 1900 ET Sunday (17 Jan), giving us between 0.1" and 0.2" precipitation (water equivalent).

Unfortunately, except for a very thin layer at the surface, the bottom 2 km of the atmosphere is forecast to be above freezing; and it looks like the surface won't dip below 30F. Definitely no snow, but freezing rain is a possibility; especially since tomorrow will stay near or below freezing, thus letting branches, wires, etc. stay cold enough to support ice build-up.

The 12Z GFS keeps the storm further south and east of us, and leaves us completely dry. I'll give the NAM slightly more weight and go with a 60% chance of freezing rain AT MY HOUSE Sunday afternoon and early evening, with less than 0.2" ice build-up (if any).

The heaviest precipitation in Indiana from this storm would be along and south of an Evansville-Dayton line, where they could get up to 0.4" rain.

UPDATE 15 Jan 16:30

Almost as soon as I post this, the 18Z NAM is finally done. That run actually gives us more precipitation, but less chance of it freezing. Precipitation would arrive around noon Sunday and move out by 1AM Monday. For the first couple of hours, the surface temperature will be at or slightly below freezing, for the remainder of the event it would be about 34F. Total precip of about 0.25".

UPDATE 16 Jan 00:40

The 16 Jan 00Z NAM now has the storm mostly missing us … staying further east. It has us getting only about 0.05" rain, and only between 7PM and 10PM Sunday evening. I wish it would make up its mind.

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awc 2010-01-15 16:18

Not even close

The storm coming out of the Gulf Coast is now expected to stay well south and east of us. However, a little trough is expected to come through on Tuesday (19 Jan), starting out as snow/freezing rain/sleet from about 6AM thru 10AM, then turn over to all rain until it moves out by 5PM. About 0.08" w.e. frozen precip, then another 0.06" rain. This isn't a widespread thing … in fact a narrow east-west band of precip across northern IN and then northern OH, no more than about 50 miles wide. Kind of odd for winter (looks like the precip pattern of a convective cell).

We have rather heavy fog at the moment, visibility no more than 1/4 mile.

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awc 2010-01-16 23:54

Typical winter weather…

for Fort Wayne seems to be near freezing temperatures with a nearly featureless gray overcast and occasional fog. This has been a typical week of winter weather. I WANT SOME REAL WEATHER!

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awc 2010-01-19 19:54

Two oddities on the recent IWX NEXRAD

First, there is the large WNW-ESE cigar shape that seems to shoot from South Bend over to Fort Wayne and then drop due south into northern Wabash and Huntington counties. There was no weather, and the area once developed moves southward at about 15mph.

Second, is the smaller thinner linear feature (which becomes slightly bowed) heading out of near Racine WI southeastward across Lake Michigan, winding up a bit north of Michigan City IN (on the southeast "corner" of the lake). This features moves at about 27mph.

Curious … anyone have an explanation for either of these?

UPDATE 2010-01-20 08:33:14

This is the reply I got when I emailed the NWS Northern Indiana WFO (where the IWX nexrad is located):

Hi Tony,

Excellent question! We have been discussing this for nearly a half hour. Our leading thought is that what you see coming across Lake Michigan may be chaff, which is used in military training for pilots. It can get caught up in the mid level flow and travel downstream with the wind. Our radar is able to see this because chaff reflects energy just as precipitation does. What is most curious is looking at our radar images on AWIPS, the southward sinking boundary over us actually looks like it splits and diverges. This may be a function of the chaff somehow "seeding and feeding" the lower stratus clouds that were in place and we are seeing some type of dissipation. We are going to check with a group of radar experts who may be able to look at it and offer their opinions. Anytime we get an inversion in the atmosphere, we can see strange things as the radar beam gets bent and ducted back toward the surface. I will let you know if we hear anything different.

Sam

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awc 2010-01-19 20:47:58

There is an annoying shield around Fort Wayne

There was freezing rain throughout the state the last couple of days; but very little of it was able to penetrate the apparent weather shield surrounding Fort Wayne.

All day Wednesday, the storm to our west / southwest was sending bands of freezing rain ENE across Indiana … and into a strong, relatively dry, low level easterly wind. The bands began to weaken in the middle of the state, and some intrepid precip cells managed to make it to western Allen County. But absolutely nothing managed to make it as far as the city limits.

Overnight Wednesday and Thursday morning, the storm was more to our southwest and sending bands of rain / freezing rain in a more northerly direction across Indiana. The still strong, still relatively dry, low level easterly wind just wore them down as they advanced and again, few could make it past the southern Allen County line. We had a couple of brief showers in the early afternoon make it to downtown; but that was it.

Overnight last night, the storm had moved to our southeast, and it was sending bands of rain / freezing rain at us from the southeast. Around 11pm, one band managed to survive the trip and pushed through Allen County, leaving us with a thin glaze of ice on some surfaces (like my grill cover, trash can, and snow board), but no buildup was noticed on trees or anything that would pose a hazard.

COME ON ATMOSPHERE, IS THAT THE BEST YOU GOT! WHY DON'T YOU MAN UP AND SHOW US WHAT YOU CAN REALLY DO! I BET YOU CAN'T TOUCH US!

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awc 2010-01-22 12:50

First test case for my CoCoRaHS rain gauge

We've had three bands of rain move through today, the first around 5AM brought 0.21", a minor one came through around 10AM and added just 0.03", and then we picked up 0.12" in the most recent band around 7PM. At times this afternoon, we had a few breaks in the cloud cover. This, along with the strong southerly breeze all day, drove our high to just over 52F this afternoon.

The real news of the day however is that my Davis Vantage Pro 2 rain guage reported exactly the same amount of rain as the official CoCoRaHS rain gauge; providing the initial vote of confidence in the accuracy of my 4.5 yr old Vantage Pro.

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awc 2010-01-24 19:57:20

Heavy snow … for about 3 minutes

We had two brief intense snow showers during the day today.

The first was actually an intense downpour of graupel (snow pellets), which were mostly about 1/8" (3mm) in diamter. This happened around 12:15PM and lasted maybe 3 minutes. Visibility during this event was down to about 1/4 mile.

The second was near a near white-out, with visibility almost down to 1/10 mile … I could barely see the Lincoln Tower less than two blocks away. This was regular snow, and it left perhaps as much as 0.2" of snow in 3-5 minutes.

The rest of the day had periods of light snow and/or graupel; and we almost had a break in the clouds around 1PM … but couldn't quite pull it off.

We've had more snow showers this evening, and it is now nearly 30 degrees cooler than it was 34 hours ago -- Sunday's high was 52.2 at 3:06PM, at 1:06AM (Tuesday), it is 23.2.

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awc 2010-01-26 01:18:49

Minor snow event expected

It may only be the promise of a minor snow event, but this winter just hasn't had much to offer.

HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORTHERN INDIANA
415 AM EST THU FEB 4 2010

THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR PORTIONS OF NORTHWEST OHIO…SOUTHWEST LOWER MICHIGAN AND NORTHERN INDIANA.

.DAY ONE…TODAY AND TONIGHT

HAZARDOUS WEATHER IS NOT EXPECTED AT THIS TIME.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN…FRIDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY

ACCUMULATING SNOW IS EXPECTED FRIDAY AND FRIDAY NIGHT AS A STORM SYSTEM MOVES INTO THE OHIO VALLEY REGION. AT THIS TIME…THE HEAVIEST SNOW ACCUMULATIONS ARE EXPECTED SOUTH OF US ROUTE 24 WHERE 2 TO 4 INCHES OF SNOW IS LIKELY THROUGH FRIDAY NIGHT WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS POSSIBLE. FURTHER NORTH…LIGHTER AMOUNTS OF 2 INCHES OR LESS ARE CURRENTLY EXPECTED.

ACCUMULATING SNOWS ARE POSSIBLE AGAIN BY MONDAY NIGHT AND TUESDAY OF NEXT WEEK.

Once again, the heavier snow is expected to stay south and east of us. Grrrr…

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awc 2010-02-04 15:53:11

Minor snow event actually happened … a bigger one on the way?

The historic snowstorm which buried the mid-Atlantic states in 2 or more feet of snow brushed us on its way by. Moderate snow started falling around 1630 on Friday (5 Feb) and continued til about 2330. It was quite windy at times; gusts at my house reached 20mph (on my fairly sheltered anemometer, located just 2m AGL. This wind caused white-out conditions near the ground, only occasionally more than 3 feet off the ground.

We had 3" of snow; followed today by a rare (for this year, so far) sunny day.

The 00Z 07 Feb NAM model shows us getting about 0.5" LWE for late Monday through Tuesday evening; with temperatures in the lower 3km in the mid to high teens. This could give us as much as 10" snow. That would be so cool!

The HPC is less optimistic, giving us a 40% chance of >4", but no chance of >8".

Even >4" would likely make this the biggest snow storm so far of this pathetic winter here in Fort Wayne.

The Northern Indiana WFO most recent Special Weather Statement shows guarded optimism:

1020 PM EST SAT FEB 6 2010

…SIGNIFICANT SNOWFALL POSSIBLE MONDAY NIGHT THROUGH TUESDAY NIGHT…

A STRONG STORM SYSTEM WILL ORGANIZE OVER THE CENTRAL PLAINS ON SUNDAY AND MOVE EAST…SPREADING SNOWFALL INTO THE REGION MONDAY NIGHT. SNOW MAY POTENTIALLY BECOME HEAVY ON TUESDAY AND PERSIST INTO TUESDAY NIGHT WITH SEVERAL INCHES OF SNOW POSSIBLE ACROSS THE AREA. GUSTY WINDS WILL ALSO ACCOMPANY THE SYSTEM…ESPECIALLY TUESDAY NIGHT CAUSING CONSIDERABLE BLOWING AND DRIFTING.

SIGNIFICANT UNCERTAINTY REMAINS REGARDING THE TRACK OF THIS SYSTEM…WHICH COULD HAVE A MAJOR IMPACT ON FORECAST PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS. REGARDLESS OF THE FINAL TRACK…A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT WILL BE FELT ACROSS MUCH OF THE GION. BE PREPARED FOR A SIGNIFICANT WINTER STORM MONDAY NIGHT THROUGH TUESDAY NIGHT…AND STAY TUNED TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO AND LOCAL MEDIA OUTLETS AS FORECAST DETAILS EVOLVE.

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awc 2010-02-07 00:07:18

Is the "Big One" on the Way?


GO COLTS!

Update on the approaching winter storm from the Northern Indiana WFO:

1033 AM EST SUN FEB 7 2010

…SIGNIFICANT WINTER STORM BECOMING MORE LIKELY MONDAY NIGHT THROUGH TUESDAY NIGHT…

A STRONG STORM SYSTEM WILL ORGANIZE OVER THE CENTRAL PLAINS ON SUNDAY AND MOVE EAST…SPREADING SNOWFALL INTO THE REGION MONDAY NIGHT. SNOW MAY POTENTIALLY BECOME HEAVY ON TUESDAY AND PERSIST INTO TUESDAY NIGHT BEFORE TAPERING TO SNOW SHOWERS WEDNESDAY MORNING.

SOME UNCERTAINTY REMAINS REGARDING THE TRACK OF THIS SYSTEM… WHICH COULD HAVE A SUBSTANTIAL IMPACT ON FORECAST SNOWFALL. IT IS POSSIBLE THAT SOME AREAS MAY SEE SNOWFALL IN EXCESS OF 6 INCHES BY WEDNESDAY MORNING.

GUSTY WINDS WILL ALSO ACCOMPANY THIS SYSTEM…ESPECIALLY TUESDAY NIGHT…CAUSING CONSIDERABLE BLOWING AND DRIFTING OF ANY SNOW THAT FALLS.

REGARDLESS OF THE FINAL TRACK…A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON TRAVEL IS LIKELY. BE PREPARED FOR A SIGNIFICANT WINTER STORM MONDAY NIGHT THROUGH TUESDAY NIGHT…AND STAY TUNED TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO AND LOCAL MEDIA OUTLETS AS FORECAST DETAILS EVOLVE.

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awc 2010-02-07 14:54:33

Is the "Big One" on the Way? UPDATE

Sadly, the Colts lost Super Bowl XLIV. Better luck next year (and maybe you should go ahead and try for a perfect season the next time you have the opportunity).

The NI WFO is getting more excited about the developing winter storm:

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORTHERN INDIANA
1026 PM EST SUN FEB 7 2010

…WINTER STORM WATCH FOR LATE MONDAY NIGHT THROUGH WEDNESDAY EVENING…

.A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM OVER THE SOUTHERN ROCKIES THIS EVENING IS EXPECTED TO MOVE EAST ACROSS TEXAS ON MONDAY AND THEN CURVE NORTHEAST AND INTENSIFY AS IT MOVES INTO THE OHIO VALLEY AND LOWER GREAT LAKES ON TUESDAY AND TUESDAY NIGHT. SNOW ASSOCIATED WITH THIS SYSTEM IS EXPECTED TO OVERSPREAD THE WATCH AREA LATE MONDAY NIGHT AND MAY BECOME HEAVY ON TUESDAY AND TUESDAY NIGHT. STRONG NORTHWEST WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO DEVELOP ON THE BACKSIDE OF THE LOW ACROSS OUR AREA TUESDAY NIGHT AND WEDNESDAY… CAUSING CONSIDERABLE BLOWING AND DRIFTING OF THE NEWLY FALLEN SNOW. THE NORTHWEST FLOW IS ALSO EXPECTED TO RESULT IN LAKE ENHANCED SNOW SHOWERS WEDNESDAY… ESPECIALLY ACROSS NORTHWEST PORTIONS OF THE AREA. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS FROM THIS STORM ARE EXPECTED TO BE 6 TO 9 INCHES SOUTH OF A ROCHESTER TO DEFIANCE LINE…WITH 9 TO 12 INCHES TO THE NORTH.

1026 PM EST SUN FEB 7 2010

…WINTER STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM LATE MONDAY NIGHT THROUGH WEDNESDAY EVENING…

A WINTER STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM LATE MONDAY NIGHT THROUGH WEDNESDAY EVENING.

  • TIMING…SNOW IS EXPECTED TO OVERSPREAD THE AREA LATE MONDAY NIGHT AND BECOME HEAVY ON TUESDAY AND TUESDAY NIGHT. SNOW SHOULD TAPER TO SNOW SHOWERS ON WEDNESDAY WITH SNOW SHOWERS MOST NUMEROUS OVER NORTHWEST PORTIONS OF THE WATCH AREA. NORTHWEST WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO INCREASE TUESDAY NIGHT AND WEDNESDAY… CAUSING CONSIDERABLE BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW.
  • MAIN IMPACT…SNOW WILL CAUSE HAZARDOUS TRAVEL CONDITIONS LATE MONDAY NIGHT THROUGH TUESDAY NIGHT BEFORE TAPERING OFF TO SNOW SHOWERS ON WEDNESDAY. INCREASING NORTHWEST WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO CAUSE CONSIDERABLE BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW LATE TUESDAY NIGHT AND WEDNESDAY… POSSIBLY RESULTING IN WHITEOUTS AND SOME IMPASSABLE ROADS IN RURAL PORTIONS OF THE AREA.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A WINTER STORM WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT SNOW…SLEET…OR ICE ACCUMULATIONS THAT MAY IMPACT TRAVEL. CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS.

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awc 2010-02-08 01:24:43

2010's "Big One" Nears

The NI WFO is getting quite serious about the developing winter storm … and will probably jinx it. Also, they've probably not taken into account the "Tony Effect", which usually defuses all but the most stubborn winter storms (it stinks to be me).

The clouds have moved in and are lowering. Hopefully, we'll see SOME additional snow over the next 48 hours.

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORTHERN INDIANA
421 PM EST MON FEB 8 2010

…WINTER STORM WARNING FOR LATE MONDAY NIGHT THROUGH WEDNESDAY EVENING…

…SIGNIFICANT WINTER STORM BEARING DOWN ON THE REGION…

.LOW PRESSURE DEVELOPING OVER THE SOUTHERN PLAINS WILL MOVE NORTHEAST INTO THE OHIO VALLEY REGION BY LATE TUESDAY AFTERNOON. SNOW ASSOCIATED WITH THIS SYSTEM IS EXPECTED TO OVERSPREAD THE AREA LATE TONIGHT AND EARLY TUESDAY MORNING. THE SNOW IS LIKELY TO BECOME HEAVY TUESDAY AND TUESDAY NIGHT. BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW WILL DEVELOP AS WINDS INCREASE TUESDAY NIGHT INTO WEDNESDAY. NEAR BLIZZARD CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE BY WEDNESDAY WITH WINDS 15 TO 25 MPH GUSTING TO 30 TO 40 MPH. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS ARE EXPECTED TO GENERALLY RANGE BETWEEN 6 TO 14 INCHES…WITH THE HIGHEST AMOUNTS ACROSS FAR NORTHERN INDIANA INTO SOUTHERN LOWER MICHIGAN.

421 PM EST MON FEB 8 2010

…WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT EST TONIGHT TO 7 PM EST WEDNESDAY…

  • TIMING…SNOW IS EXPECTED TO OVERSPREAD THE AREA OVERNIGHT AND BECOME HEAVY TUESDAY AND TUESDAY NIGHT. THE SNOW WILL TAPER TO SNOW SHOWERS ON WEDNESDAY. NORTHWEST WINDS WILL INCREASE TO 15 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 35 MPH LATE TUESDAY NIGHT INTO WEDNESDAY. TOTAL SNOWFALL BY LATE WEDNESDAY SHOULD RANGE FROM 7 TO 11 INCHES…WITH SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER DRIFTS.
  • MAIN IMPACT…HEAVY SNOW WILL CAUSE HAZARDOUS TRAVEL CONDITIONS LATE MONDAY NIGHT THROUGH WEDNESDAY. INCREASING NORTHWEST WINDS WILL CAUSE CONSIDERABLE BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW LATE TUESDAY NIGHT AND WEDNESDAY…RESULTING IN NEAR BLIZZARD CONDITIONS WITH WHITEOUT CONDITIONS AT TIMES AND SOME IMPASSABLE ROADS IN RURAL AREAS. TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES AT THE FORT WAYNE AIRPORT AND ON INTERSTATE 69 AND ROUTES 24 AND 30 WILL CAUSE SIGNIFICANT DELAYS AND IMPACT TO COMMERCE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL…KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT…FOOD…AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.

Forecast plot

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awc 2010-02-08 01:24:43

2010's "Big One?" Begins

0845ET Water VaporAccording to the time lapse camera I have set up looking out my office window downtown, the snow began downtown shortly after 4am today. At my house, we had 1.4" by 8am. The storm is beginning to organize itself.

The upper level low (the center of the whirlpool-like feature in the 0845ET water vapor image at right) has moved to the central Iowa-Missouri border. It has tapped into the big pool of upper level moisture (the lighter shades of gray indicate greater moisture) over southern Texas and Louisiana. The upper level low is also detectable as the pool of colder air (the magenta colors) in the 1000ET surface analysis (bottom image at right).

The surface low is visible in the water vapor image as the bend on the western edge of the very moist air stretching from Ohio down into Alabama, and the closed surface low shown on the surface analysis. Over the last couple of hours, the center of this surface low has jumped from the Gulf Coast to along the Kentucky-Tennessee border.

So, the merging of these two systems appears to be well underway. We can only hope that this merger will concentrate the snow-making energy over northern Indiana before moving east and blasting Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey.

1000ET Surface MapHere's the latest statement from the NI WFO earlier this morning…

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORTHERN INDIANA
426 AM EST TUE FEB 9 2010
…WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH WEDNESDAY EVENING…

.A SURFACE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM OVER MISSISSIPPI AND AN UPPER LOW ACROSS IOWA WILL MERGE TODAY OVER THE OHIO VALLEY REGION. SNOW ASSOCIATED WITH THIS SYSTEM WILL OVERSPREAD THE AREA EARLY TODAY AND THEN CONTINUE INTO WEDNESDAY. LAKE ENHANCED SNOW SHOWERS WILL BOOST SNOW AMOUNTS DOWNSTREAM OF LAKE MICHIGAN LATE TONIGHT AND WEDNESDAY. STORM TOTAL SNOWFALL BY LATE WEDNESDAY IS EXPECTED TO BE GENERALLY 8 TO 12 INCHES…WITH 10 TO 15 INCHES LIKELY OVER FAR SOUTHWEST LOWER MICHIGAN INTO NORTHWEST INDIANA. NORTHWEST WINDS WILL INCREASE TO 15 TO 25 MPH WITH 30 TO 40 MPH GUSTS LATE TUESDAY NIGHT AND WEDNESDAY RESULTING IN BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW WITH NEAR BLIZZARD CONDITIONS POSSIBLE.

A WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 PM EST WEDNESDAY.

  • TIMING…SNOW WILL CONTINUE THROUGH TONIGHT…BUT THEN DIMINISH TO LIGHT SNOW SHOWERS WEDNESDAY. NORTHWEST WINDS WILL INCREASE TO 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 40 MPH LATE TUESDAY NIGHT AND WEDNESDAY. TOTAL SNOWFALL BY LATE WEDNESDAY SHOULD RANGE FROM 8 TO 12 INCHES…WITH SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER DRIFTS.
  • MAIN IMPACT…HEAVY SNOW WILL CAUSE HAZARDOUS TRAVEL CONDITIONS THROUGH WEDNESDAY. INCREASING NORTHWEST WINDS WILL CAUSE CONSIDERABLE BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW LATE TONIGHT AND WEDNESDAY…RESULTING IN NEAR BLIZZARD CONDITIONS AT TIMES AND SOME IMPASSABLE ROADS IN RURAL AREAS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL…KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT…FOOD…AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.

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awc 2010-02-08 01:24:43

2010's "Big One?" takes a break

The snow has taken a break here in Fort Wayne. It continued throughout the day, with some extended periods of moderate snow; we never had any periods of heavy snow though. By 7pm we had picked up an addition 3"; and added another 1.6" by 11pm. Total for the storm so far, then, is 6.1". Our big one of the season so far, but an awfully pitiful "big one".

The upper level low dropped down into the lower Ohio Valley and began following the Ohio River northeastward. It is now over the Cincinnati, Ohio, area.

The surface low tracked in a north-northeasterly direction over east central Kentucky and through Ohio. It now centered just east of Cleveland.

It seems the two never quite got it together today, leading to our less than hoped for performance. However, I don't think it is quite done with us yet. Although the inevitable dry slot has pushed the snow north of Fort Wayne for now, it looks like snow on the backside of the low should drop back into our area within a couple of hours. Perhaps we'll get another couple of inches.

Sometime during the day, the NI WFO backed down the projected storm totals from "8 to 12 inches" to "5 to 10 inches"; presumably they noticed the upper level low and surface low weren't working together as hoped much sooner than I did, since they get paid to do that and I don't.

Final Update (written 2010-02-19) The total snowfall for the storm came in at 6.6", with a liquid equivalent of 0.37".

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awc 2010-02-10 00:29:37

Not much snow lately

Since our pitifully wimpy "big one" of the 2009-2010 winter season reported in my previous blog entries, we have had only one minor snow making system pass through. We received 1.8" of snow on February 16th and 17th; the first half was rather dry fluffy snow and the second half included graupel and some freezing drizzle. The liquid equivalent for the event was 0.11".

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awc 2010-02-19 10:19:56

We might be in the sweet spot this time

HPC 3DAY >4We might actually be in the sweet spot for the next snowstorm brewing in the Plains, expected to affect our area from Sunday evening through Monday evening (21-22 February). The 2AM (ET) HPC 3-day forecast (shown at right) puts us on the edge of a 40% probability for >4". The NI WFO (IWX) has issued this Special Weather Statement:

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORTHERN INDIANA
714 AM EST FRI FEB 19 2010

…POTENTIAL WINTER STORM SUNDAY NIGHT THROUGH MONDAY NIGHT…

A WINTER STORM WILL ORGANIZE OVER THE SOUTHERN PLAINS SATURDAY NIGHT AND MOVE THROUGH THE OHIO VALLEY SUNDAY NIGHT AND MONDAY… LIKELY CAUSING SNOW TO OVERSPREAD THIS AREA.

THE CURRENT FORECAST TRACK OF THIS LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM SUGGESTS THAT PORTIONS OF THE AREA COULD RECEIVE IN EXCESS OF 6 INCHES OF SNOW BETWEEN SUNDAY NIGHT AND MONDAY NIGHT. HOWEVER… THERE REMAINS MUCH UNCERTAINTY WITH RESPECT TO THE TRACK OF THIS SYSTEM. A FARTHER NORTH TRACK WOULD RESULT IN THE SNOW CHANGING TO RAIN OR FREEZING RAIN IN THIS AREA… WHILE A FARTHER SOUTH TRACK WOULD RESULT IN ALL SNOW ACROSS THIS AREA… BUT LESS ACCUMULATION.

REGARDLESS OF THE FINAL TRACK AND SNOWFALL AMOUNTS…THERE IS THE POTENTIAL FOR TRAVEL TO BE IMPACTED EARLY NEXT WEEK. STAY TUNED TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO AND LOCAL MEDIA OUTLETS FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION ON THIS POTENTIAL WINTER STORM.

The meteorologists at IWX are forecasting about an inch of snow out ahead of this system, from about 1AM Saturday through 7AM Sunday. The winter storm then begins about 7PM Sunday, and through 7PM Monday they expect 3.8" snow (LWE 0.38"). Snow continues after 7PM Monday but they have no specific forecasted amount that far out.

LWE forecastThe IWX folks were working off the 06Z NAM; today's 12Z NAM forecast (from twisterdata.com) shows even more potential out of this storm. From 03Z on the 22nd (2200 ET Sunday) through 00Z on the 23rd (1900 ET Monday), the NAM shows us getting 0.93" LWE. The temperature hovers at or just below freezing in the lower 150mb of the atmosphere; it looks like we may actually get cold rain for a while (which would totally screw things up). However, if we were to manage to get all snow, we would get about 9".

The animation at left shows 3 hour accumulated precipitation covering the full 84 hours of the 12Z NAM forecast (from 7AM today through 7PM Monday). The last frame of the animation (which lasts longer) shows the 24 hour accumulated precipitation for hour 84 (i.e., the amount of precipitation between 7PM Sunday and 7PM Monday). These are LWE (liquid water equivalent); at the forecasted temperatures, multiply by 10 to estimate snowfall.

I'm not holding my breath; I'll believe it when I have to shovel it.

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awc 2010-02-19 12:15:36

Looking messier for Monday

On the radar, a minor band of snow / freezing rain is imminent for Fort Wayne (at 9AM Saturday). This is unrelated to the low pressure system expected to arrive late Sunday.

We still look to be on the eastern fringe of the sweet spot for the low expected to come out of the Plains Sunday night through Monday; however, the temperature profile forecasted by the 6Z NAM (1AM today) shows a warm layer (i.e. above freezing) from just above the surface up to about 1 mile above the surface until late Monday afternoon (when colder air moves in. The surface temperature hovers at freezing the entire time, so this could be a major ice storm … or it could be just disgustingly cold rain. We are still forecast to get about .9" of moisture; with only the last quarter inch coming as snow before it ends, leaving us with a couple inches of wet snow by Tuesday morning.

This morning's statement from the IWX meteorologists:

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORTHERN INDIANA
414 AM EST SAT FEB 20 2010

…WINTER STORM EXPECTED TO AFFECT THE AREA SUNDAY AND MONDAY…

A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM MOVING INTO SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA THIS MORNING IS EXPECTED TO MOVE EAST TO THE SOUTHERN PLAINS ON SUNDAY AND THEN CURVE NORTHEAST AND MOVE THROUGH THE OHIO VALLEY ON MONDAY AND TO THE LOWER GREAT LAKES BY TUESDAY.

PRECIPITATION ASSOCIATED WITH THIS LOW SHOULD SPREAD INTO THE AREA ON SUNDAY AND THEN CONTINUE SUNDAY NIGHT AND MONDAY… BEFORE TAPERING OFF TO SNOW SHOWERS MONDAY NIGHT. GIVEN THE CURRENT FORECAST TRACK OF THE LOW… SIGNIFICANT SNOW ACCUMULATIONS ARE EXPECTED ACROSS SOUTHERN MICHIGAN AND NEAR THE MICHIGAN BORDER IN OHIO AND INDIANA. FARTHER SOUTH… ALONG THE ROUTE 30 CORRIDOR INCLUDING PLYMOUTH… WARSAW… FORT WAYNE… AND LIMA… A MIXTURE OF SNOW AND RAIN WITH LESSER SNOWFALL ACCUMULATIONS IS EXPECTED… BUT THERE IS ALSO A RISK OF FREEZING RAIN IN THIS AREA SUNDAY NIGHT. FAR SOUTHERN PORTIONS OF THE FORECAST AREA FROM MONTICELLO TO PERU TO PORTLAND SHOULD MAINLY GET RAIN FROM THIS SYSTEM… WITH SOME MINOR SNOW OR ICE ACCUMULATIONS POSSIBLE.

THE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM REMAINS A LONG WAY FROM OUR AREA AT THIS TIME… THUS… THERE CONTINUES TO BE SOME UNCERTAINTY ON THE EXACT TRACK IT WILL TAKE. A MORE NORTHERLY TRACK WOULD RESULT IN LESS SNOW ACROSS OUR AREA WHILE A MORE SOUTHERLY TRACK WOULD RESULT IN MORE. PEOPLE PLANNING TO TRAVEL ACROSS THE AREA SUNDAY AND MONDAY SHOULD CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS CONCERNING THIS WINTER STORM.

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awc 2010-02-20 09:06:25

Late Winter Wrap-up

Nothing much came of the storm anticipated on 20 February; in fact, although we had measurable snow every day from the 22nd through the 25th, the total snowfall over those four days was 1 inch. That's right, ONE MEASLY INCH.

Our last "big" snowfall of the winter was 1.8" on 26-27 February. They've had blizzards in OKLAHOMA that dumped more snow in one day than we have gotten since 1 January.

Grumble.

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awc 2010-03-24 15:54:51

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