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January 18, 2:45 PM: Similarities & Differences Between This Winter Storm & Last Weekend's Winter Storm

Winter Storm Warning is up for part of the viewing area.

Posted: Jan 18, 2019 1:55 PM
Updated: Jan 18, 2019 2:22 PM

This weekend's winter storm is very similar to last weekend's in snowfall amounts, snowfall arrival & exit & temperature.

Totals were 5-8" over much of the area last weekend with a bit less in the far north & two narrow corridors of isolated +8" amounts.

This storm looks to have amounts of 5-8". 

However, there are 3 main differences:

1.  More wind.  Last weekend's storm had gusts reach 22-28 mph, which resulted in minor blowing & drifting.  This storm will have east to northeast, then north gusts reach 35-40 mph with a couple isolated gusts of 40-45 mph possible.  This will lead to much more in the way of blowing & drifting snow.  Snow should have normal 10:1 ratio, so it is not really wet & gloppy, but not dry & fluffy either.  I should still be able to blow freely.  Travel will be greatly hampered to nearly impossible, especially in open, rural areas.

It was much easier to clear & open roads last weekend following the storm, this weekend will be harder with the wind & cold.

Also, although the winds diminish Sunday afternoon-night, they ramp back up Monday to Monday night, which will result in renewed blowing & drifting snow.  Those winds will be from the south-southeast to the south up to 40 mph by Tuesday morning.  Travel will be affected, especially in open, rural areas.

2.  Ice in the south.  I does look as if there will be a period of freezing rain & sleet in Fountain & Montgomery counties.  We just have to watch & make sure it does not move northward, as it could chew into snowfall totals some.  0.1" or less of sleet & freezing rain is possible in Fountain & Montgomery counties with more in the southern parts of these counties than the northern parts.

3.  Bitter cold immediately follows.  Last weekend's storm did not have bitter cold arrive quickly as the storm ended.  It arrived a day later with an overnight near 0 with the dense freezing fog & heavy frost with black ice.  Once the storm ends, temperatures will plummet to a Sunday morning low of 7-13.  With the gusty winds, wind chills may drop to as low as -14.  With the cold Sunday & the below zero Sunday night (though winds will diminish) it will be harder for chemicals to work to melt snow.

How about the similarities:

1.  Snowfall duration.  Snowfall may sneak into the northwest by 11 p.m. to 12 a.m. tonight, but will not completely overspread the area until after 3 a.m., like last weekend.  It should end pretty quickly in the evening like last weekend it.  I do not think this will linger beyond 6 p.m.  Last weekend's did linger a bit beyond that, but it is still pretty similar.

2.  Snow piles up quickly.  The snowfall rates will run up to 1" per hour in the morning to early afternoon.  So, the snow will pile up very quickly, as it did last weekend.  Much of it fell morning to early afternoon with up to 1" per hour snowfall rates.

3.  Amounts.  Amounts look pretty similar.  5-8" looks good.  I currently doubt isolated +8" amounts, but we will monitor.  It would not surprise me if a few isolated locations just fail to reach 4".  5-8" overall looks good, though.

4.  Temperature.  The temperatures should run 27-32.  This is quite similar to last weekend.

Wind gusts (in knots) projected Saturday 7 a.m.-Sunday 10 a.m.:

Wind chills may drop to -14 Sunday morning with area of blowing & drifting snow.  With clouds & some sun & the potential of a few lake effect flurries & snow showers (fluffy dusting to coating in places), highs will only reach the teens.

Sunday night looks mostly clear (only fly in the ointment is whether some patches of lake-effect cloudiness remain in the north), star-lit frosty & bitterly cold with areas of freezing fog possible.  -8 to 2 for lows is possible with a great view of blood-red lunar eclipse for a good chunk of the area (as long as those patches of lake effect clouds can diminish!)

Image courtesy of Sky & Telescope:

Blowing & drifting snow Monday-Tuesday morning is likely from south-southeast to south winds 20-30 mph increasing to 25-40 mph with highs Monday at 17-22, then rising to 27-32 by Tuesday morning as clouds increase & thicken.

Brief spurt of some freezing rain & sleet is possible Tuesday morning, followed by a cold, wind-driven rain with highs 35-40 with strong winds from the south.

Arctic front should come through in the late afternoon-evening, quickly knocking temperatures down from 35-40 to 17-24.  This could result in near/flash freezing conditions.

A quick, wind-driven inch to couple inches of snow is possible, which will blow around a lot with gusts 35-40 mph & isolated gusts 40-50 mph.

Brief shot of bitter cold should be replaced with a burst of a warm-up with potentially multiple Alberta clippers bringing minor snowfall.  This would be late next week.  We should warm from near/below zero to highs in the 28-32 with clippers' approach.

West Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 30°
Kokomo
Clear
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Hi: 49° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 26°
Rensselaer
Clear
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Hi: 48° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 26°
Fowler
Partly Cloudy
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Hi: 49° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 30°
Williamsport
Partly Cloudy
38° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 29°
Crawfordsville
Partly Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 29°
Frankfort
Clear
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Hi: 50° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 29°
Delphi
Clear
34° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 27°
Monticello
Clear
34° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 27°
Logansport
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 26°
A few showers, then much warmer weather is ahead...
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