February 11-13, 2019 Powerhouse Storm: Ice to Rain & Dense Fog to Wind Event & Ground Blizzard

Icing, dense fog, howling winds with isolated power outages & white-out conditions occurred with strong storm system.

Posted: Feb 13, 2019 5:22 PM
Updated: Feb 13, 2019 8:53 PM

Our powerhouse storm Late February 11- Early February 13:

Icing event occurred initially with this storm, accompanied by east winds gusting up to 30 mph.  It was an all-out damaging ice storm from eastern Iowa, across northern Illinois, just north of of the viewing area, all the way to northern Ohio.  Up to 0.60" of ice was measured in northern Illinois.  Hundreds of thousands of households were without power.

Up to 0.25" of ice was reported in the far northeastern part of the viewing area with many areas seeing 0.10-0.15" ice in the northern half.  Even in the Greater Lafayette area & southward, some areas saw 0.05" ice & very slippery travel.

East winds blew in low-level cold air while, the southwest flow aloft brought in deep moisture & warmer air.  This liquid rain fell & since the cold air was so shallow, the rain drops did not have a chance to freeze into an ice pellet or sleet.  Thus, much of it fell as rain & froze on contact on surfaces.  One of our spotters, Cindy, reported that there was brief sleet at Winamac, showing that the cold layer was briefly deep enough for some ice pellets.

Another interesting thing noted was that even when the 2m temperature read 33 or 34, the ice on the trees began to melt, but the rain continued to freeze on roadways & the ground.  The ground was still partially covered in snow & frozen.  After low temperatures to the single digits only a few days earlier, the ground was still ice cold.  It took until the temperature reached 35-36 for the ice to stop accumulating on the ice-cold ground.  The ice on the trees & powerlines melted much sooner & took longer to see ice accumulation as their surfaces were at the actual air temperature.

A few limbs were reportedly downed in Pulaski & Fulton counties from the ice with the east winds up to 30 mph.

Then, widespread dense fog enveloped the area on the morning of February 12 with visibilities 0.25 mile or less over nearly the entire viewing area for up to 5 hours.

Total freezing rain, plain rain & snowfall amounted up to 1.25" for the area.

Gusts of up to 56 mph late February 12 to early 13 occurred.

A couple isolated power outages were directly attributed to the wind.

The howling winds with the falling & accumulating dry, powdery snow resulted in ground blizzard conditions in the viewing area late evening to the overnight.  White-out conditions occurred in open, rural areas.

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