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6 PM Weather Forecast Update: Cold Weather Records & Accumulating Snowfall Projections

History has told us this is about as cold as it can possibly get in March.

Posted: Mar 4, 2019 5:27 PM
Updated: Mar 4, 2019 6:25 PM

This Arctic Outbreak (relative to the time of year) is penetrating farther south than any other Arctic air since December-January.  Temperatures in deep south Texas to Florida will end up some of the coldest of the entire winter season.  Mid 20s are possible to deep South Texas with lower 20s into the Deep South of the U.S.  Frost may get to nearly Orlando tomorrow night.

Extensive damage to peach & blueberry crop is expected in the Deep South.  Also, corn has been planted in deep South Texas & is up.  It will likely be frozen off.  Vegetation is also highly-advanced for the time of year in southeastern Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina & Florida after a very warm February.  Flowering Dogwoods are in peak blossom throughout southern Georgia already.

Katy Smith took this picutre of parahelic circle this morning south of Burnettsville.  With temperatures as low as -3 in the area, ice crystals were being shed out of any clouds due to intensity of the cold.  The refracting of light in the ice crystals causes the parhelic circle.

Halos, perhelic circles & perhelias (sun dogs) often occur in record-breaking cold in winter to early spring with the air filled with ice crystals from any clouds.

This all occurred after 1-2" south half & 1" or less of snow north half yesterday.

Lows this morning dropped to as low as -4.  Wind chills bottomed out to as low as -24.  The record low for West Lafayette is -5 in 1884.

Today's high of 11 ranks as a tie for the coldest March high temperature on record back to 1879.  The record low high of 11 was set twice in early March 1960.

However, what makes our high of 11 today so extraordinary is that the 1960 11-degree highs occurred with 12-14" of snow on the ground.  Ours occurred with March sunshine & 1".

The 1884 -5 record low had 4" of snow on the ground.

Some scattered snow showers & flurries are likely tomorrow with dustings of snow in places with gusty west winds to 30 mph.  The wind will blow snow around tomorrow.

After single digits & wind chills -20 to -10 tomorrow morning, highs will run 16-21.

Some snow possible in the morning...................

Some more in the afternoon.................

Dustings with less than 0.5" are possible in places...........

Current thoughts are on 6-9" Benton, parts of Newton, Jasper & 3-6" snowfall elsewhere Thursday PM-Thursday night to Friday morning.

Snow may end as drizzle/light rain & freezing drizzle/light freezing rain Friday morning.

Winds will be gusty during the snow Thursday night from the southeast to the east with gusts to 30 mph.

Confidence has reached a high enough threshold to go ahead & put a map out with numbers.

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