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February 8, 1:30 PM Weather Forecast Update

Here is your latest forecast update regarding the snow & cold....

Posted: Feb 8, 2021 1:02 PM
Updated: Feb 8, 2021 2:19 PM

DISCUSSION:

In digging into the analysis, I still think several models are greatly over-doing the cold.  GFS is is being especially notorious.  All winter, there as been frequent blow-ups of blizzards & historic & record cold outbreaks on social media, but deep forecasting analysis has revealed otherwise.  I have received inquiries three episodes this winter from people asking about Blizzard of '78 episodes playing out again. 

Remember the all-time blizzard rhetoric on social media with an early December blizzard forecast here?  The 30" of snow via models for parts of Indiana showing up that was being shared all across social media?  Remember the all-time record cold on social media for our area in January?  Even apps have forecast lows of 10 in San Antonio, Texas this week & the GFS had -27 for actual air temperatures in Indiana.

This is why I always say......beware of social media & know that anyone, anywhere can have a weather page now & share raw model data.  Beware of apps.  Most are nothing more than computer models pulling the numbers that flip-flop frequently.  Balint & I are going to start manually entering our app's 7-day forecast as it has frustrated me greatly watching it bust forecasts because it is the pulling of model data that governs it.

Will we as forecasts miss it sometimes?  Sure.  But we will have deep reasoning behind & try our hardest not too.  But at least you will have a human giving you an analysis of the situation & explaining the hows & whys of what is going on & help you understand what occurred.

In the current forecast situation a lobe of the Polor Vortex will make it as far south as the Northern Plains due to the Sudden Stratospheric Warming Event (SSWE) that occurred weeks ago in the Arctic tied to ozone concentrations & lack of Arctic ice. This will not be like January 2014 or 2019 where the lobe made it down to Indiana & Illinois.  Really 2019 was the most impressive Polar Vortex episode in a long time.  It was the only one being like the 2014 episode.  We had -54 wind chill without snow pack!!!

Here, we will get colder once again by Friday-Saturday & perhaps briefly early next week.  However, it is not extremely brutal & no where near record cold.  We will see some below 0 lows one again a night or two. 

This is a snowy pattern (including our viewing area) & there is very high risk of a couple of ice storms from the Northeast to Texas as the wetter phase of the MJO kicks in, but the warmer phase of it is blurred out by the loosening of the Polar Vortex due to that SSWE & some Greenland blocking occurring.

However, the far Southeast to Florida & the far East Coast are looking rather immune to the cold as the strong La Nina-enhanced Southeast ridge props up the warmth.  It looks warmer in eastern Maine that Arkansas this weekend.

It is a battle zone over the Southern Plains to Ohio Valley, Midwest & Northeast from the bitter cold in the northern U.S. & the warmth in the southeast U.S.

Eventually, the SSWE effects will wane.  Oftentimes their effects last 30-60 days.  We saw warming in January, so all effects should be gone by early March.

After February 20 more & more in the way of warmth will move back in.  Given SSWE effects, could a rogue, brief cold burst with snow & ice briefly occur up to March 2?  Sure, but spring-like warmth with above normal temperatures will show increasing dominance.

Latest analysis still suggests an early onset of spring with higher than normal potential of severe weather with above normal rainfall March-April.

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OUTLOOK:

0.5-2.2" snow has been reported over the area since lastnight.  Highest amounts have been in the northwest. 

In this periodic snow, we are in a bit of a lull right now as one area of light snow has exited over our north.  More areas of snow are moving eastward from central Illinois.

Periods of snow will move in & be with us through the night.

The heaviest, steadiest snow should occur south of our area, but we are still looking at 0.7-2.2" of additional snowfall later today-early tomorrow morning.  2-5" is possible in a band over the southern part of Indiana with even some ice just along & just south of the Ohio River followed by rain farther south.

High temperatures by this evening will run from 17 in the far northwest to near 28 in the far south & around 25 at Greater Lafayette.

Lows overnight will drop to 9 in the far northwest to near 19 in the far south & around 15 at Greater Lafayette.

Wind will not be an issue with the cold weather or for blowing & drifting, but slick & snow-covered roads should be expected this evening-tonight to Tuesday morning.

Some scattered lake effect snow showers & flurries are possible Tuesday sporadically in parts of the area, especially the north & northwest. 

Highs will run 24-30 north to south with northwest wind increasing to 10-20 mph, leading to localized blowing & drifting snow with some peeks of sunshine around.  10-19 for lows are likely Tuesday night.

A southern storm system & stalled front will lead to widespread icing & potential ice storm from Oklahoma & Texas to parts of the northeast U.S. Wednesday-Thursday.  Up to 0.60" ice accretion is possible in this band of ice.

This was a big player in this winter weather pattern forecast in mid-February with warmth in the Southeast & brutal cold in the northern Plains with deep snow cover. 

At least right now it looks like all snow here for this particular event as the snow overpsread the area near midday.

With an east-northeast to northeast wind 15-25 mph, blowing & drifting will occur as the snow falls & accumulates early afternoon to evening time-frame Wednesday.

In terms of accumulation, 1.5-4" seems reasonable at this point, though tweaks (less or more) may be made in further updates this evening-tomorrow.

It appears scattered lake effect snow showers are possible Thursday with colder highs in the teens to 20s

Friday looks dry with peeks of sunshine & highs 8-17 after morning lows of 3-10.

Saturday looks partly cloudy with highs 6-14 after morning lows of 0-8.

Snow is possible Sunday PM with highs 14-21 after morning lows of -10 to 0.

Icing to ice storm is possible Texas to the Northeast.  It looks like just snow here unless track shifts farther to the northwest, which is possible.

The model below is the GFS.  Although I agree that this will be a strong storm system with heavy rain & (& even some severe weather) from the Northeast to the Southeast, I highly doubt the ice getting as far south as this model indicates.

Here, it is unclear how much snow may fall as exact storm track is in question, but at least some accumulation is expected.

Strong north winds gusting 35-45 mph are possible on the backside of the system leading to potential rough conditions Sunday evening-night with widespread blowing & drifting snow & reduced visibility.

Stay tuned for forecast updates.

Major pattern change will occur on & after February 20.  Note the February 22-23 system.

It may begin as brief freezing rain with temperatures near 29-32, but then all rain & rain all the way to Ontario as howling southwest winds gusting up to 45 mph take over. 

Highs may very well surge into the 50s & there are signs of 60s in southwestern Indiana with some severe weather risk. 

If we can warm up enough & get it unstable enough, we may very well have a situation like in February 2014 when there were patches of snow left on the ground & there was severe weather risk as temperatures reached 61.

This rain & massive melt may lead to rivers reaching or exceeding flood stage & ice jams.

If you live very close to a creek or river, be aware of the upcoming ice jam risk & the sudden rapid rises as all the snow melts over a large area & potentially 1-1.75" of rain falls.

Lafayette
Clear
56° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 56°
Kokomo
Clear
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Hi: 50° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 49°
Rensselaer
Clear
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Hi: 49° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 50°
Lafayette
Clear
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Hi: 53° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 56°
Danville
Clear
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Hi: 54° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 55°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
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Hi: 55° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 52°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
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Hi: 53° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 52°
Monticello
Clear
51° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 51°
Monticello
Clear
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Hi: 53° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 51°
Logansport
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 46°
Warmest weather since December is ahead with good timing with the weekend rainfall...
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