February 3, 1:15 AM Weather Forecast Update

It was a near/record warm February 2! Big changes ahead, though after this 48-hour spring. This is also a glance into Summer 2020.

Posted: Feb 2, 2020 11:48 PM
Updated: Feb 3, 2020 2:23 AM

It was a near/record warm February 2 for the viewing area with highs that ended up at 56-64.  Peak wind gusts reached 30-46 mph.

It was the mostly sunny day for much of the viewing area since January 1.  For some areas, it was the first day that was not mostly to cloudy in nearly two weeks.

64 Frankfort Municipal Airport

63 Covington

62 Purdue University Airport; 5 E Attica

61 Crawfordsville Municipal AIrport; Rochester-Fulton Co. Airport; Peru Municipal Airport; Winamac; 4 NW Crawfordsville

60 Grissom ARB; 5 W Delphi

59 Logansport-Cass Co. Airport; Kokomo Municipal Airport; 5 E Fowler; Monticello-White Co. Airport; Galveston Airport; Flora Municipal Airport; Remington

58 Kentland Municipal Airport

57 Rensselaer-Jasper Co. Airport

56 Morocco


Clouds will increase tonight.  Backed off patchy to areas of fog wording due to surface mixing of the air.

Frontal boundary sinks southward into the area today, resulting in varying highs from 50 in the far northwest to 63 in the far south & southwest & around 59 for Greater Lafayette (so near record warm south half).

I am basing this off memory, but I think the record high for Greater Lafayette 1879-present for Monday is 60 set in 2016 & 1924.

Winds will run 5-15 mph from the northeast north of the front, light along the front & from the southwest at 15-30 mph south of it.  A few gusts to 40 mph are possible for a brief time in the south early overnight.

Today will feature much more in the way of cloudiness compared to Sunday with showers developing tonight (ROUND #1).

Some fog may develop with the showers as front stalls over the area tonight with lows varying from 33 in the far northwest to 50 in the far south & around 41 by early Tuesday morning at Greater Lafayette.

As temperatures plunge with arrive of second front Tuesday, with ROUND #1 changing to some freezing rain, sleet & snow before ending by late afternoon.  Winds will pick up from the northeast to north with gusts to 33 mph possible late in the day.

Temperatures will drop from 33-50 over the area early Tuesday morning to 25-32 by late Tuesday afternoon.

A thin very minor veneer of ice & dusting/semi-translucent, thin coating of snow is possible.

ROUND #2 comes Tuesday evening-night with sleet & snow.

Best potential is currently for southern half of the area with some minor accumulation possible as temperatures drop to 22-28.

Winds may gust up to 35 mph from the north to north-northeast with wind chills to 8-16.

ROUND #3 is possible Wednesday PM with potential of snow & sleet (even some mixed freezing rain in the far south) as surface low migrates northeastward from Oklahoma, Texas & Arkansas along the strong cold front.  Accumulation is possible.  It is unclear how much may occur.

Winds look strong from the northeast to north up to 40 mph, so if substantial accumulating snowfall can occur, blowing & drifting issues will develop.

Temperatures should be in the 20s with wind chills 7-17.

We will monitor as confidence is low on the exact numbers regarding Wednesday & track of the heaviest precipitation.  It may go much lower or much higher with amounts.

A few flurries are possible Thursday with 20s & lows single digits to teens possible.

Clipper Friday to Saturday may bring some snow with some very minor accumulation with highs in the 30s with gusty winds.

Sunday (February 9) looks dry with 30s.  The best potential of decent sunshine for the next 10 days is Sunday morning-midday, otherwise it appears that lots of clouds & grayness will dominate.  We will monitor.

Rain is possible Monday (February 10) with highs in the 30s to 40, followed by dry weather & 20s & 30s Tuesday (February 11), then ice & snow Wednesday (February 12) with 20s.

A clipper with a few snow showers is possible around February 14, followed by snow & ice risk around February 16, as well as February 18 as below normal temperatures dominate with an active storm track.

Southeast ridge will try to pump northwestward again, which will make for icing with this system & not just all snow (warmth from the Southeast looks to be thrust up & over the cold, cold air bleeding in closer to the surface).

You can see how it tries to flex north through February & March.  We are mostly below normal temperature-wise, but above normal is not far to our south overall.

Some brutally cold air will be consistent from the Northern Rockies & parts of the Pacific Northwest to parts of the Plains.

While the Southeast will be in bouts of seemingly perpetual spring.

This is VERY similar to last February.

Given the Southeast ridge & bitter cold in the Rockies & Northern Plains, we will likely have brief surges of impressive warmth amidst temperatures way below normal.

"Polar Vortex" cold?  We, there is a weakening trend with it to allow brutal cold to slip south, but how far south the really brutal cold that sends us to -20 is unclear.

If we can develop a very deep snow pack with it loosening a bit more & the Southeast ridge contracting far enough to the south, then yes.

Looks like an active storm track overall February to March with above normal precipitation.

Flooding will be an issue in the Ohio & Tennessee Valleys to Upper South.

Above normal soil moisture is occurring over a massive area from the Plains to our area to the South:

You can see since November 30, our soil moisture anomalies have increased a bit.

Here, it will be rain, ice & snow for the above normal precipitation February-March.

Snowfall looks above normal, but how much above is in question.

Normal for February-March is around 7-10" total for the viewing area.

It is an overall wetter than normal trend April-May-June right now.

Temperature trend for April-May-June evens out to slightly-above normal.

Note the large area of cool weather over wet soils in the Plains & Rockies.

This all tends to signal dominate Rockies to Plains upper troughing & Southeast Ridge dominance in the Southeast to Mid-Atlantic & New England.

So, wetness here makes sense between the two with cold spells here & warm spells evening out the anomalies here to around 1 degree above normal mean temperature (when the anomalies for the three months are divided).

I even wouldn't be surprise if some areas from parts of Florida to Virginia to Massachusetts end up below normal precipitation-wise for this three-month period given Southeastern ridge sinking air with the warmth.

Summer 2020 or June-July-August are trending much wetter than normal over the Northern Rockies & central & northern Plains.

Above normal rainfall is setting up for our area in a belt from the wet Plains, across the Corn Belt from Iowa to Ohio, then to Pennsylvania.

Ridging should shift south & west a bit & lead to potential drought & intense heat developing New Mexico to Georgia as signs of La Nina begin to take hold with time.

Carolina & Florida rainfall should go above normal due to risk of increased tropical activity in July & August.

Temperatures average above normal here a bit in Summer 2020, but there is not sign of temperatures exceeding 96 or getting to 100.  This seems unlikely given above normal rainfall expected, but we will monitor.

If Texas ridge overspreads area atop wet soil, then it could just be extremely hot & humid.  These situations bring the very high heat indices when you put a hot ridge over drought southwest & south of you atop wet ground with lush vegetation.

The Northern & High Plains, Northern Rockies, Southern Canadian Prairies to California should end up cooler than normal for the summer.

The biggest temperature anomalies will occur in areas that are typically hot anyway in summer:  New Mexico, Northern & central Mexico, Texas & across the Deep South.

An La Nina continues to develop, our August-September-October period actually looks quite dry & droughty & unseasonably warm at this point.

There are indications of rainfall 2-4" below normal for the period & temperatures 2-3 degree above normal for the three months.

Of course hurricanes are a wild card & if you get two substantial ones to hit the Gulf Coast & bring just two rounds of heavy rainfall here in that period, then the totals will be different.

However, dryness & warmth shows up well when analyzing the data from a model & analog standpoint.

Note how we trend to traditional La Nina with time (below -1) in the eastern Pacific El Nino 1, 2, 3 zones by mid- to late-summer after hovering around neutral for a long period of time.

This La Nina means warm spells earlier in spring (with freeze damage risk), much higher risk of severe weather outbreaks in our area (with random, sudden spring floods) & risk of extra-hot summers & droughts.  However, other players on the field can enhance or lessen the effects of La Ninas.  The stronger the La Nina, the more likely its effects will be exhuded the most. 

A trend I have also noticed here is that summers tend to be warmer than normal, but mid to late falls tend to be colder than normal, followed by mild winters.  Springs are variable, but spurts of unusual heat are tempered by sudden temperature crashes.  We have seen vegetation damage in La Nina springs from sudden early warmth, then massive cold with lots of severe weather thrown into the mix.  Heavy rain spells will be tempered by spells of drier weather.

It appears that this La Nina should peak in 2021 & may last to early 2022.  I think it could turn strong & should be at least Moderate (based on current analysis).

The last traditional La Ninas of Moderate to Strong strength (going back to 1950:







I threw all of years above in to see any commonalities in these La Nina episodes on a seasonal scale (using 2007-16 averages).  This is not a forecast, but glance into these years & their seasons.












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Warmer, dry weather is ahead for the weekend.
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