February 6, 2 PM: River & Stream Flooding Developing...Isolated Hail Risk, 47* Temperature Drop, -12* Wind Chill & Accumulating Snowfall Ahead

Active, changing weather continues.

Posted: Feb 6, 2019 12:49 PM
Updated: Feb 6, 2019 2:00 PM

After showers & storms lastnight Flood Warnings are up on the Tippecanoe, Eel & Wabash Rivers for Minor to Moderate flooding expected.  A widespread river flood is already in progress from Iowa to Ohio to Kentucky.  Most creeks & streams in the area are high or in some degree of flood right now.

Conditions will worsen over the next 36 hours on smaller waterways, peaking tomorrow midday to afternoon.  The peak on rivers will occur Friday-Sunday.

Farther south the potential of a significant to major flooding episode in the Ohio Valley is likely over the next week.

The Wabash at Lafayette is expected to crest right around Moderate state or about 18' Saturday. 

All flooding information can be found here: 

https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/forecasts.php?wfo=IND

https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/forecasts.php?wfo=iwx

I am a bit surprised the Flood Watch has not been expanded northward given the fact that we are looking at 1-2" (some +2" amounts) total (lastnight to Thursday) atop ground that has little or no capacity to hold anymore water.

Totals lastnight vary from 0.30-0.90" of rainfall.

Now-Thursday 5 a.m. projection (pink, purple is freezing rain, rust is sleet, blue is snow):

Here is the Simulated Radar Reflectivity:

Note how after a break this afternoon, showers & isolated thunder (at times) come back in this evening & into the overnight.  Areas of dense fog are possible at times.

Thursday 5 a.m.-Friday 5 a.m.:

Simulated Radar Reflectivity Thursday 5 a.m.-Friday 5 a.m.:

Widespread showers & storms will pass Thursday morning in the 5 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. time frame.

A couple/few may produce pea to marble hail.  It would not surprise me a bit if one storm ends up producing severe hail of 1-1.25" in diameter (quarter to half dollar size).  The best potential of that hail size would be south of Indiana 26 or the southern half of the viewing area.  Isolated smaller hail size could occur anywhere in the viewing area.

After all of the showers/storms exit we should get in a brief break with warm, windy, hazy weather.  A gusty line of showers will follow afternoon-evening with passage of the Arctic cold front.

South to south-southwest wind will run at 20-35 mph in the afternoon in the break, but gusts of 35-45 mph from west are possible as the cold front roars through & immediately behind it.  The temperature drop will be extremely rapid with 60 & showers to 32 & flurries/snow showers happening within 3 hours.

Any flurries/snow showers should be brief.

Moisture & water on pavement may freeze pretty quickly.

Here comes that cold that will roar in with the cold front as it passes in the 2-5 p.m. time frame over the viewing area.

Wind chills by Friday morning may reach -12 in the northwest & -4 in the south & southeast.  Wind chills in Greater Lafayette may drop to as low as -6 with actual air temperatures of 8-15.

Friday will be a bright, but a windy & cold day with highs only 14-21.  Wind chills will run -5 to 6 all day with gusty west-northwest winds 15-30 mph.

After 0-7 Saturday morning, highs Saturday should run 22-27 with wind chills 16-21.  It looks like a bright, mostly sunny to sunny day.

It will cloud up late Saturday night & into Sunday.  Snow is possible late Sunday to Sunday night.

At this point, 1-2" of accumulation is possible.  It is not out of the question that a few locations see amounts exceed 2".

The heaviest snow of 3-5" looks to stay just southwest of the area from central Missouri to south-central Illinois.

However, this could change.  We will monitor closely.

Wind does not look like a big issue with this snow currently.  Also, this snow will tend to be wetter, given temperatures of 27-31 expected.

We will be in a pattern conducive for snow events from mid-next week, right into the following week.

Arctic high will be stationed to our north, bleeding in cold air, while polar jet & moisture-bearing subtropical jet will tend to merge over the southern Plains.  As storm systems roll into Oregon, northern California, then Utah, Arizona, New Mexico & Colorado, the jet merger will tend to re-develop these storms in Colorado, western Kansas to the Texas Panhandle (the change in topography induces strong vorticity for a low pressure to develop in this location anyway............so several factors support good storm development in that location).

This Colorado Lows & Panhandle Lows often bring substantial to significant snows to the region.

We need to monitor this closely.

It appears that multiple storm systems will be lined up.

A winter storm could occur in the area Tuesday evening to Wednesday morning of next week.  It would tend to fall as all snow.  Strong winds of up to 38 mph would be possible from the northeast, causing substantial to significant blowing & drifting snow.

I am not sold on this being just a rain event with mild weather.  Could it become that?  Yes with a track shift.  However, data supports more cold domination than warm.

So, there are still uncertainties, but just be aware of the pattern next week & beyond & the bursts of very cold weather ahead.  I think some overnight lows below zero late next week & again the week after (with some wind chills -30 to -20) are possible.

I also think that more & more of the bitter cold will penetrate deep into the southern U.S. with freezing deep into Florida.  A snowfall event in the Deep South to even the Gulf Coast would not surprise me before February is finished.

A big Nor'Easter in the Northeast would not surprise me either before February is finished in this active pattern.  Late winter continues to show strong evidence of going out with a bang.

Note the strong northern upper jet & the merger of a strong southern branch of the jet & system after system (with Arctic high to our north) to February 22. 

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