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Blog / Weather Blog

My Weather Blog

This is my weather journal begun in 2002, where I record local meteorological events that interest me enough to write about them. This page includes the last ten entries, with the most recent one first.

My Chase Journal is where I record what happened (or didn't) on each storm chase, including chases while on storm chasing tours (such as with Extreme Tornado Tours 2009).

Archive

Most of the blog entries for 2002-2004 were devoted to winter weather; and there is a long gap from April 2004 to November 2005, since the winter of 2004-2005 contained no significant snowfalls. There has only been one entry since March 2010 (in January 2013).

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015        

Recent Entries

2012 Year in Review

Man, it's been nearly three years since I added to this blog?!?! Shame on me. Last year was notably warm and dry; here's how I summarized it on Facebook:

My climate report for 2012 (with 7 full years of data): 1) the average temperature was 1.7 degrees warmer than the next warmest year [2006] and 2.5 degrees above the 7-year average; and 2) precipitation was 6" (22%) less than the next driest year [2010] and 13" (37%) less than the third driest year [2007]. In short, 2012 was remarkably warm and dry for us.

Our regional forecast office (IWX) has a much more detailed look back at 2012 for their CWA: The Year in Weather - 2012

UPDATE 2013-01-09
The National Weather Service also has a detailed look back at 2012 for the entire country: State of the Climate - National Overview 2012

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awc 2013-01-05 02:46:49

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

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

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

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

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

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" 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

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

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
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