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January 21, 12:30 PM: Powerhouse Storm Tuesday-Wednesday, Then Clippers

Some ice, snow to rain, then ice to snow with strong winds ahead.

Posted: Jan 21, 2019 10:28 AM
Updated: Jan 21, 2019 1:17 PM

It was a bitterly cold Martin Luther King Day morning:

Low temperature (actual air temperature):

-9 Rochester-Fulton County Airport

-9 Winamac (Mesonet)

-8 Kokomo Municipal Airport

-6 Logansport-Cass County Airport

-5 Grissom Air Reserve Base

-5 Attica (Mesonet)

-3 Flora Municipal Airport

-3 Peru Municipal Airport

-3 Fowler (Mesonet)

-2 Monticello-White County Airport


-1 Covington (Mesonet)

-1 Purdue University Airport

0 Remington

1 Jasper County Airport

1 Crawfordsville Municipal Airport

2  Morocco (Mesonet)

3 Frankfort Municipal Airport

Minimum wind chills this morning:

-19 Grissom Air Reserve Base

-17 Winamac (Mesonet)

-16 Kokomo Municipal Airport

-15 Purdue University Airport

-15 Logansport-Cass County Airport

-14 Peru Municipal Airport


-12 Attica (Mesonet)

-12 Monticello-White County Airport

-11 Fowler (Mesonet)

-10 Covington (Mesonet)

-9 Frankfort Municipal Airport

-9 Rochester-Fulton County Airport

-9 Crawfordsville Municipal Airport

-7 Jasper County Airport

-6 Morocco (Mesonet)


On this Martin Luther King Day, clouds will increase & it will becoming breezy with temperatures in the teens to 20.  Temperatures should keep rising tonight through the teens & 20s.

It is hard to believe that after such a bitterly cold start that rain could fall late Tuesday-Tuesday night.  This is a powerhouse storm that will have a tremendous pull of warm air northward with howling winds.

However, there will still be a bit of snow & ice with it.



The winds will be strong with this storm system.

They will increase gradually today & really ramp up after 2 a.m. tonight.  Gusts of 30-40 mph are possible by early to mid morning tomorrow with sustained winds at 15-25 mph (all from the south-southeast).  This first peak in winds should occur by noon, then decrease slightly to 25-33 mph gusts.

However, the second (& main peak) should be 5 p.m. to midnight.  Sustained winds should peak at 20-30 mph with gusts 40-45 mph.  Some localized gusts may reach 50-55 mph.  Direction should be from south to southwest.  A few isolated power outages are possible.

Wind will gradually decrease after that.  Gusts should drop below 30 mph after 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Gusts 20-25 mph are still likely Wednesday with sustained winds 10-15 mph.


Substantial blowing & drifting snow from south-southwest to south winds will occur tonight to late morning Tuesday.  After this, the temperature should warm enough for the top layer of snow to get sticky & be less likely to drift.

Makes me think of potential of localized snow rollers!  As that upper layer gets sticky, it could blow enough for some snow rollers.  We shall see.

Snow rollers...........image courtesy of


Wind-driven precipitation should come in after 2 p.m. Tuesday.  It could begin as brief freezing rain.  Also, pavement temperatures may run 30-32 for a while with the rain, even though the 10m air temperature may run 35-38.  So, some icy spots on secondary roads may last to as late as 4 p.m.

Rain will be with us through the night with howling winds slamming that rain against the windows facing southeast to south & southwest.

Rain should transition to some wind-driven snow Wednesday morning in the 6-8 a.m. time frame.  This snow should taper west to east after 1 p.m.

Potential is there for an inch, locally two.

After temperatures 36-41 overnight, temperatures should fall Wednesday from suddenly 28 in the morning to 20 by later afternoon.


Late Thursday:

Clipper late Thursday may bring some snow with perhaps an inch, maybe two with 20s to 30s.


Friday looks brutally cold with highs struggling above 0 with dangerous wind chills to -30 to -20.  A few flurries & snow showers are possible.


Highs 8 to 25 northeast to southwest Saturday with gusty winds will give way to vigorous clipper with snow.  It still looks like intense frontagenetical forcing is possible north of strong warm front.  Snow ratios of 30:1 are possible, so it would be a light, fluffy snow that shrinks after it falls.  At this point, 1-3" is possible. 

This could be increased quite a bit if we get into the sweet spot of the best frontagenetical forcing (very warm, moist air thrust into the SGZ with strong upper jet overhead, which would be ideal for the most efficient snowfall production).


Another clipper (third one) with snow could follow Sunday night to Monday morning.


Thoughts to February 12:

Cold, snowy weather will continue into February.  However, I do think that a sudden, quick big thaw could occur for 36-48 hours in early February.  Short-lived indeed, but it could be a big melt.  Blast of colder air again should follow (with snowfall potential).

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Widespread Snow For Wednesday
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