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January 22, 6 PM Weather Forecast Update

Rain & snow.....

Posted: Jan 22, 2020 4:25 PM
Updated: Jan 22, 2020 6:32 PM

January 2020 has seen 2 to 3.5X the normal precipitation up to this date, the most for the viewing area as a whole since 2008 with January 2005 as a close second.  Both January 2005 & 2008 saw major flooding in the area as much of that rainfall fell within a week.

Mean temperatures are averaging 8.5 degrees above normal for the viewing area as a whole for the first 22 days of January 2020.

This is the warmest mean temperature for January since 2006.  January 2017 is close, as it was also a mild January after a mild January 2016.  January 2018 & 2019 were much, much colder!

In the West Lafayette data set, January 2020 has not quite made the top 20 warmest since 1879, however.  There are more than 20 Januarys that have been warmer than this.

It is also the least snowy since 1998.

I have recorded just 0.1" of snowfall for January 2020 so far at the station (though 8 days have seen at least a trace of snow!).  The Purdue Ag Farm 6 miles northwest of West Lafayette is the same at 0.1".  We have seen 6.8" of snowfall for the winter so far at the WLFI ob site in West Lafayette, much of it falling mid-November to mid-December in two main snow systems.

Totals for the 2019-20 snow season vary from 4-13" in the area with highest amounts in Montgomery & far southeastern Clinton counties.

Daily weather records from WLFI ob site:

A large amount of real estate over the U.S. has seen above normal precipitation.

Note the area of more than 4X the normal January precipitation so far from Texas to Indiana.

More impressive is the 3-4X anomalies from Louisiana to Mississippi, Alabama & Georgia that are normally wet this time of year.

After a wet, wet December in the Southwest U.S., note how it has completely turned off in January. 

Pockets of the West have had temperatures as much as 10 degrees below normal for January so far, but the warmth in the East shows up well, even with the latest cold snap.

It appears that ozone-stratosphere induced tightening of the Polar Vortex, frequent Southeast ridge dominance (& warmth) from warm sea surface temperatures, wet, warm MJO phases tied to sea surface temperatures around India to Australia & west of New Zealand have kept pattern overall mild since Christmas (though we had the coldest weather of the winter so far recently with a big blizzard Iowa to the Plains & brutal cold).

It shows you that you can be largely neutral ENSO-wise, have a sea-surface pattern in the Northern Hemisphere & snow pattern conducive to cold outbreaks & still hold the cold back, mostly based on what is happening in the Southern Hemisphere from India & Australia to near New Zealand!

That is the largest amount of real estate with temperatures 5-10 degrees above normal for January 1-21 since 2006:


Wet snow should overspread the viewing area west to east tomorrow early- to mid-morning tomorrow.

It could reach our western counties by 3 a.m. & the heart of the area by 8 a.m.

Snow should then change to rain from southeast to northwest over the area.

Everyone should be all rain by 1 p.m. with the far northwest being the last to change over.

Before the change-over 1" or less of snowfall is expected.  Best chance of 1" or even a hair more would be along & northwest of an Earl Park to Rensselaer to Francesville line.

Periods of cold rainfall Friday should change back to snow southwest to northeast over the area Friday evening night.

Snow may last into part of Saturday.

1-2" may fall over much of the area with some +2" amounts in our northwestern counties possible.

If low can track a bit more to the southeast or east & not overhead, we will see much more in the way of snowfall.

Winds will be rather strong at 15-30 mph from the northwest Saturday.

0.60-1.30" of liquid is possible.

If this were all heavy, driving snow, it would amounts to 6-13" with a 10:1 ratio.

A few spotty flurries/snow showers are possible Sunday with mostly cloudy to cloudy skies.

A shortwave may bring a few rain/snow showers Monday.

Rain should overspread the area late Tuesday with a rainy, breezy Wednesday.

Rain may end as all snow Thursday.

0.75-1.20" of liquid is possible from that system.

Both systems will make for chronically elevated river levels & lots of mud & ponding in fields & feedlots!

Much colder air with lows to the single digits should freeze everything up at the end of next week.

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