January 2019 Weather Review

Here is a look back at the month!

Posted: Feb 1, 2019 1:24 PM
Updated: Feb 3, 2019 9:43 PM

January 2019 Summary:

Colder & Snowier to Much Snowier Than Normal with Above Normal Precipitation Over the Viewing Area.........

It was the snowiest January since 2014............

January 2019 at WLFI:

Mean Temperature Anomalies:

Snowfall Anomalies:

Precipitation Anomalies:

Top 5 Events of the Month:

1. January 30-31 Arctic Outbreak

Parhelic Circle with falling ice crystals ("glitter") from a cloudless sky on the morning of January 30......

Image 1:  Maury Runnion........Image 2:  Ashley Helms

Arctic outbreak arrived on the evening of January 29 & persisted to January 31. Wind chills dipped to -54 to -35 over the viewing area with actual air temperatures dropping to -23 to -12. Purdue University cancelled classes for only the 12th time in 42 years & for the first time since the January 2014 major winter storm & extreme cold (-40 wind chill at the Purdue Airport & wind chill to -46 in our northwestern counties).

Frost quakes occurred & loud, interesting, billowy accoustics were heard from planes & jets passing overhead from the cold. The troposphere shrunk to its thinnest thickness since January 1985 with the 480 dm thickness reaching our area. Also, ice crystals fell from a clear sky at times (bitter, dry could not hold the moisture) on January 30 with sun dogs & halo occasionally observed around the sun. The crystals refracted the sunlight, causing the optical phenomena. These crystals also made the sky hazy at times.

Flash freeze occurred as the first of two Arctic cold fronts brought the extreme cold in. Snow of up to 1" also accompanied the the surges of cold with three rounds of strong winds with some gusts of up to 48 mph.

Much of the area was shut down due to the life-threatening nature of the cold & a Wind Chill Warning was issued viewing area-wide for the first time since January 2014.

This was all preceded by the weakening of the Polar Vortex into three sections, which allowed extreme cold to invade the central & eastern U.S. & Europe. Intense cold with wind chills <-25 & multiple rounds of snow (but also a brief thawing with around to to some 40s) preceded this Arctic outbreak. This Polar Vortex weakening & segmenting followed a significant stratospheric warming event in late December. These warmings usually occur weeks before the actual outbreak hits.

The lowest wind chills since January 1994 or January 1985 (depending on where you were) occurred on the morning of January 30 & the morning low of -17 at West Lafayette broke the daily record low of -12 set in 1966. This occurred on the same day that Anchorage, Alaska saw record warmth with a record warm low temperature of 33! The January 31 reading of -19 at West Lafayette broke the -13 daily record set in 1899. A record low daily high was set as well.

Interestingly, January 30 has the warmest record low temperatures for any day of the month in the 1879-2019 West Lafayette data set. There is a climatological bump upward in the temperature at the very end of the month with signals of the typical late January thaw that often just precedes Groundhog's Day in early February.

TOP 5 LOWEST WIND CHILLS RECORDED SINCE 1950:

1. -51 January 20, 1985

2. -45 December 24, 1983...January 23, 1963...January 24, 1963

3. -44 January 18, 1994

4. -41 January 15, 1977 (New #4 Now -42 January 30, 2019)

5. -40 January 15, 1972...January 15, 1994...December 22, 1989...January 6, 2014*

*Note - several hours of data were missing prior to -40 reading in 2014, so it may have gotten lower.

TOP 5 LONGEST DURATIONS WITH WIND CHILLS OF LESS THAN -40:

1. 16 Hours: January 20, 1985

2. 15 Hours: December 24, 1983

3. 7 Hours: January 18, 1994

4. 5 Hours: January 16, 1977

5. 3 Hours January 23, 1963...January 24, 1963

2.  January 19 Winter Storm

COUNTY PLOWS RESUMED THE FIGHT AT FIRST LIGHT AND ARE HAMPERED BY ABANDONED VEHICLES AND CONTINUOUS DRIFTING AROUND THE COUNTY. JOINT OPS WERE DONE THRU THE NIGHT WITH BENTON COUNTY ALONG SR 26 RESCUING SEVERAL STRANDED MOTORISTS. EMS IS CURRENTLY OUT WITH FIRE AND SNOW PLOWS ON ROUTINE 911 CALLS WITH VERY EXTENDED RESPONSE TIMES DUE TO THE SNOW. PLOWS ARE HAVING TROUBLE NOT BECOMING STUCK THEMSELVES. UTILITY WEBSITES SHOW SPOTTY POWER OUTAGES WHICH ARE BEING PROMPTLY ADDRESSED.

-One report from the emergency manager in Warren County to NWS Indianapolis on evening of January 19.

January 19 winter storm greatly impacted travel & resulted in travel watches & advisories for the area. Some roads were impassible & closed by extensive blowing & drifting snow. Benton & Warren counties were under a travel ban (warning), the highest level of travel alert on the scale. Multiple power outages occurred Fountain to Montgomery & Clinton counties from wind breaking ice-weighted limbs.

Snowfall was 3-6" over much of the area, except in the south, where more ice than snowfall occurred. Even in the heart of the area, snow began as a brief period of light freezing rain & some sleet. In the south, up to 1" of sleet & up to 0.25" of glaze ice reportedly occurred. Viewing area-wide 1-7" of snow/ice occurred.

4-8" was forecast with the potential of more ice cutting amounts in the south. There was also the potential of a few locations elsewhere, just failing to reach the 4" mark & a few locations just exceeding 8". Two locations reported more than 6", that was the NWS COOP observer 1 mile north of Flora with 7".

Light freezing rain/sleet at first & domination of ice in the south cut totals some, especially in the south.

Wind was a big factor, especially in the evening.

COUNTY-BY-COUNTY BREAKDOWN OF MEASURED SNOWFALL (CoCoRaHs, NWS COOP & WLFI Spotter & Observer Totals [Private Citizens to EMA to Law Enforcement]):

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

2.0" Linden (Snow & (Ice)

2.0" 5 Miles West-Northwest of New Ross (Snow & Ice)

2.0" 3 Miles Northeast of Crawfordsville (Snow & Ice)

1.7" 6 Miles Southeast of Crawfordsville (Snow & Ice)

1.0" Crawfordsville (Snow & Ice)

FOUNTAIN: 1-4"

4.0" 3 Miles Northeast of Attica

3.5" Attica

1.0" Veedersburg (Ice & Snow)

1.0" Covington (Ice & Snow)

1.0" 3 Miles East of Covington (Ice & Snow Together with 0.25" Ice)

WARREN: 2.2-4"

4.0" Pine Village

2.2" 1 Mile Southwest of Pence (Snow & Ice Together)

WHITE: 3.3-6"

6.0" Burnettsville

6.0" Brookston

5.0" 3 Miles North of Monticello

4.5" Wolcott

3.5" Monticello

3.3" 5 Miles West of Chalmers

TIPPECANOE: 3-6"

6.0" Battle Ground

6.0" Buck Creek

6.0" 4 Miles Southwest of Delphi

4.5" 4 Miles Northwest of West Lafayette

4.1" 2 Miles West of West Lafayette

4.0" 3 Miles North of Romney

4.0" 2 Miles Southwest of West Lafayette

4.0" 5 Miles Northeast of Dayton

3.8" 6 Miles Northwest of West Lafayette

3.5" Lafayette

3.2" 3 Miles Northeast of Lafayette

3.0" 1 Mile Southeast of Lafayette

BENTON: 3-6"

6" 5 Miles West of Round Grove

4.0" Otterbein

4.0" Fowler

3.5" Earl Park

3.0" Ambia

CARROLL: 3.5-7"

7.0" 1 Mile North of Flora

6.0" 5 Miles Northeat of Delphi

5.0" Camden

3.5" Burlington

CLINTON: 1-4"

4.0" Frankfort Disposal (Snow & Ice)

4.0" Rossville (Snow & Sleet)

3.0" Michigantown (Snow & Ice)

2.5" 1 Mile East of Frankfort (1" of Sleet & Glaze of ice)

1.0" Colfax (Mostly Sleet & Ice)

HOWARD: 3.5-5"

5.0" East of Greentown

4.0" 1 Mile Northwest of Kokomo

4.0" Kokomo

4.0" Russiaville

3.5" 1 Mile East of Kokomo

CASS: 3.5-6"

6.0" Young America

6.0" Twelve Mile

5.0" Logansport

4.0" Walton

MIAMI: 2.3-4.5"

4.5" 4 Miles East of Peru

4.0" 1 Mile North-Northwest of Peru

2.3" 1 Mile Northeast of Denver

FULTON: 4.5-6"

6.0" 1 Mile West-Northwest of Rochester

5.0" Rochester

5.0" 6 Miles Northwest of Rochester

4.5" Akron

PULASKI: 4-5"

5.0" Francesville

4.0" Winamac

JASPER: 3-5"

5.0" Wheatfield

4.8" 4 Miles Southwest of Demotte

4.2" Demotte

3.5" Remington

3.5" 2 Miles South-Southwest of Rensselaer

3.5" Southside of Rensselaer

3.5" 5 Miles Southwest of Rensselaer

3.0" Rensselaer

NEWTON: 2-5"

5.0" Roselawn

3.5" Kentland

3.5" Morocco

3.5" 2 Miles Northeast of Kentland

3.5" Goodland

2.0" 1 Mile Northwest of Morocco

WIND (Measured Wind Gusts Via AWOS, ASOS, INDOT & Mesonet Stations):

42 mph Fowler

42 mph 5 Miles Northeast of Delphi

39 mph Kokomo Municipal Airport

39 mph Purdue University Airport

38 mph 2 Miles West of West Lafayette

38 mph Rossville

37 mph Morroco

37 mph Kentland

37 mph Attica

36 mph Dayton

36 mph 5 Miles North of Rensselaer

36 mph 7 Miles North of Medaryville

35 mph I-65/Iroquois River

35 mph Galveston

34 mph Peru Municipal Airport

34 mph I-65/Indiana 28

33 mph I-65/US 24 (Remington)

33 mph Rensselaer-Jasper County Airport

33 mph Logansport-Cass County Airport

32 mph White County Airport

32 mph Grissom ARB

28 mph Rochester-Fulton County Airport

28 mph Winamac

LOW TEMPERATURES ON THE MORNING OF SUNDAY, JANUARY 20:

4 Kokomo Municipal Airport

5 Grissom Air Reserve Base

5 Peru Municipal Airport

5 Logansport-Cass County Airport

7 Morocco (Mesonet)

7 Flora Municipal Airport

7 Winamac (Mesonet)

8 Fowler (Mesonet)

8 Attica (Mesonet)

9 Rochester-Fulton County Airport

9 Monticello-White County Airport

9 WLFI-TV

9 Covington (Mesonet)

10 Frankfort Municipal Airport

10 Purdue University Airport

12 Remington

12 Jasper County Airport

3.  January 12 Winter Storm & Ensuing Bitter Cold & Dense Freezing Fog & Hoarfrost Episode

A significant winter storm affect a large swath of the middle U.S. from Colorado & New Mexico to Virginia & Maryland January 11-13. It was the most significant winter storm for the country since the historic storm in the Southeast in December, following the November 30-December Plains blizzard & Thanksgiving period historic blizzard in the Plains & parts of the Midwest.

This storm was historic in parts of central & eastern Missouri to western Illinois with up to 20" of accumulation. Columbia, Missouri measured 18.2" of snow, Montgomery County, Missouri saw 20.0", while Jacksonville, Illinois saw 16.5". Many areas of central Illinois saw 12". So far, 13 deaths have been blamed on this storm.

Most of our viewing area saw 5-8". The exception was the far northern fringe with parts of of Pulaski, Fulton & Miami counties seeing 4-5".

There were two bands of enhanced snowfall that resulted in some +8" amounts. One extended from Kentland to Wolcott (this band of isolated higher amounts actually extends back to north-central Iroqouis County, Illinois with 10" measured northwest of Watseka).

Another extended from north of Otterbein to Brookston. Isolated areas in these two bands saw up to 9", even 9.5".

COUNTY-BY-COUNTY BREAKDOWN OF MEASURED SNOWFALL (CoCoRaHs, NWS COOP & WLFI Spotter & Observer Totals [Private Citizens to EMA to Law Enforcement]):

MONTGOMERY: 5-6"

FOUNTAIN: 5-7"

WARREN: 5-8"

TIPPECANOE: 5-9"

BENTON: 5.5-8.7"

WHITE: 6-9.3"

CLINTON: 5-7"

CARROLL: 6-7"

HOWARD: 5-7.8"

CASS: 6-7.3"

MIAMI: 4-4.8"

FULTON: 4-6"

PULASKI: 4-4.5"

JASPER: 5-7"

NEWTON: 5-9.5"

MONTGOMERY: 5-6"

6.0" Linden

5.6" 5 Miles West-Northwest of New Ross

5.0" 3 Miles Northeast of Crawfordsville

FOUNTAIN: 5-7"

7.0" 3 Miles Southwest of West Point

6.0" Veedersburg

6.0" Covington

5.6" 0.4 Miles West-Northwest of Covington

5.0" 3 Miles East of Covington

WARREN: 5-8"

8.0" Pine Village

8.0" Rainsville

5.0" 1 Mile Southwest of Pence

WHITE: 6-9.3"

9.3" 4.3 Miles West of Brookston

9.0" Wolcott

9.0" Brookston

7.8" 5 Miles West of Chalmers

7.0" Monticello

6.0" 3 Miles North of Monticello

TIPPECANOE: 5-8"

8.0" Battle Ground

8.0" Buck Creek

8.0" 4 Miles Southwest of Delphi

7.7" 3 Miles Northeast of Lafayette

7.2" 1 Mile Southeast of Lafayette

7.0" Off Prophets Rock Road, West Lafayette

7.0" 2 Miles West of West Lafayette

6.9" 5 Miles Northeast of Dayton

6.8" Lafayette

5.9" 4 Miles Northwest of West Lafayette

5.8" 8 Miles South of Lafayette

5.0" 6 Miles Northwest of West Lafayette

BENTON: 5.5-8.7"

8.7" 4 Miles Northwest of Otterbein

8.1" Otterbein

8.0" Fowler

6.5" Earl Park

5.5" Ambia

CARROLL: 6-7"

7.0" Delphi

6.5" 1 Mile North of Flora

6.5" Oakdale Dam

6.0" Camden

CLINTON: 5-7"

7.0" Frankfort

7.0" Rossville

6.0" 1 Mile East of Frankfort

6.0" Colfax

5.0" Michigantown

HOWARD: 5-7.8"

7.8" 1 Mile Northwest of Kokomo

7.3" 6 Miles North-Northeast of Burlington

7.0" 3 Miles West-Southwest of Kokomo

7.0" Russiaville

6.5" 1 Mile East of Kokomo

5.0" Kokomo

CASS: 6-7.3"

7.3" Young America

7.0" Walton

6.0" Logansport

MIAMI: 4-4.8"

4.8" 1 Mile North-Northwest of Peru

4.0" 1 Mile Northeast of Denver

FULTON: 4-6"

6.0" 1 Mile West-Northwest of Rochester

6.0" Rochester

4.0" 6 Miles Northwest of Rochester

PULASKI: 4-4.5"

4.5" Francesville

4.0" Winamac

JASPER: 5-7"

7.0" Remington

7.0" 2 Miles South-Southwest of Rensselaer

7.0" Southside of Rensselaer

7.0" 5 Miles Southwest of Rensselaer

6.0" Rensselaer

6.0" Demotte

6.0" 1 Mile Southwest of Demotte

6.0" 4 Miles Southwest of Demotte

5.0" 1 Mile North-Northwest of Demotte

5.0" Wheatfield

NEWTON: 5-9.5"

9.5" Kentland

8.2" 2 Miles Northeast of Kentland

7.8" Goodland

6.5" Newton

5.7" 1 Mile Southwest of Morocco

5.0" Morocco

Bitterly cold morning & dense freezing fog with picturesque hoarfrost followed on the morning of Monday, January 14. With clearing skies, calm winds & fresh snow pack, temperatures tanked. It could have even gotten colder if not for a chunk of the night being overcast. Even cleared surfaces saw black ice re-develop from the fog & frost.

Development of an inversion led to dense freezing fog due to moisture from the snow. This adheared to surfaces to produce the heavy frost & even some light snow. Lows dropped below 0 in places.

LOW TEMPERATURES MONDAY, JANUARY 14:

-1 Morocco (Mesonet)

0 Monticello-White County Airport (Data Stopped Transmitting at 7:15 A.M., However)

1 Flora Municipal Airport

1 Fowler (Mesonet)

1 Logansport-Cass County Airport

2 Winamac (Mesonet)

2 Kokomo Municipal Airport

3 Frankfort Municipal Airport

4 Attica (Mesonet)

4 Grissom Air Reserve Base

5 Rochester-Fulton County Airport

6 Purdue University Airport

6 WLFI-TV

9 Peru Municipal Airport

10 Covington (Mesonet)

Pics:  1. Dave Burns........2.  Melissa Widhalm.......3.  Dr. Robin Tanamachi........4. Dara Entwistle

4.  January 23 Heavy Rainfall Event Over Snowpack & Then Flash Freeze

We went from -1 to 44 in 30 hours, then back to 16 in a few hours, followed by a low temperature the following morning of 7.8 degrees!  Wind Chill Advisory followed after the burst of warmth with temperatures reaching up to 48.

These suddenly warmer temperatures occurred with still extensive snow pack in the area.  Heavy downpours of rainfall occurred in the early morning hours of January 23 with 3-4" of snow still on the ground at the WLFI observation site.

The transport of high amounts of precipitable water from the south led to quite high rainfall rates.  It was odd to see downpours with snow on the ground.  Much of the rainfall of up to 2" fell between midnight & 7 a.m.

Flooding occurred on some area creeks & streams & the Wabash saw a quick, substantial rise to flood stage.

Winds gusted up to 42 mph with this Arctic front.

Often dry or tricking Williamsport Falls after the January 22-23 rainfall:

5. The Late Month Clipper Train Including Two In a Row January 25-26

Two clippers passed in rapid succession over the viewing area January 25 less than 12 hours apart.  This was part of a clipper train that lasted January 25-31 with multiple minor snowfall episodes.  At least one was accompanied by strong winds & widespread blowing & drifting snow.

Clipper #1 January 25:

This system produced around 1" to as much as 2" of snowfall, but no big wind issues.

Clipper #2 January 26:

Several hours of strong, gusty winds followed this clipper, resulting in substantial blowing & drifting snow.

MONTGOMERY: 2"

2.0" Linden

2.0" 2 Miles Southwest of Crawfordsville

FOUNTAIN: 2"

2.0" 3 Miles Northeast of Attica

2.0" Veedersburg

2.0" Covington

WARREN: 1.5"

1.5" Pine Village

WHITE: 1-2.5"

2.5" Wolcott

2.0" Monticello

2.0" Brookston

2.0" 3 Miles North of Monticello

1.0" 5 Miles West of Chalmers

TIPPECANOE: 1-2"

2.0" Buck Creek

2.0" 3 Miles Northeast of Lafayette

2.0" Battle Ground

1.9" 2 Miles West of West Lafayette

1.8" 1 Mile Southeast of Lafayette

1.8" 2 Miles Southwest of West Lafayette

1.7" Lafayette

1.0" 8 Miles Northwest of West Lafayette

1.0" 6 Miles Northwest of West Lafayette

1.0" 8 Miles South of Lafayette

BENTON: 1-2"

2.0" Earl Park

1.8" Fowler

1.5" Ambia

1.0" Otterbein

CARROLL: 1.4-2"

2.0"" Delphi

2.0" Burlington

1.5" Camden

1.4" 1 Mile North of Flora

CLINTON: 1.5-3.1"

3.1" 1 Mile North of Frankfort

3.0" Frankfort Disposal

2.5" 1 Mile East of Frankfort

2.2" Rossville

1.5" Michigantown

HOWARD: 1.5-2"

2.0" Russiaville

1.5" East of Greentown

1.5" Kokomo

CASS: 2-2.5"

2.5" Young America

2.3" Logansport

2.0" 5 Miles Southwest of Galveston

MIAMI: 1.8-2"

2.0" 1 Mile North-Northwest of Peru

2.0" Peru

1.8" 1 Mile Northeast of Denver

FULTON: 2-3.3"

3.3" 6 Miles Northwest of Rochester

2.0" Rochester

2.0" 1 Mile West-Northwest of Rochester

PULASKI: 1.5-2"

2.0" Winamac

1.5" Francesville

JASPER: 1.5-2.1"

2.1" 4 Miles Southwest of Demotte

2.0" Wheatfield

1.8" Demotte

1.5" Rensselaer

1.5" Remington

1.5" 2 Miles South-Southwest of Rensselaer

NEWTON: 2-3"

3.0" Roselawn

2.5" Kentland

2.0" Morocco

2.0" 7 Miles Southeast of Lake Village

Article Comments

West Lafayette
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 65°
Kokomo
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 66°
Rensselaer
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 63°
Fowler
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 63°
Williamsport
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 65°
Crawfordsville
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 63°
Frankfort
Overcast
66° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 66°
Delphi
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 65°
Monticello
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 63°
Logansport
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 63°
Windy and cooler Monday
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