Mix of snow, sleet, freezing rain & rain has been falling over the area this morning.
1-3" of snow has fallen in the north with lesser amounts southward. Winter Weather Advisory is up from NWS for this snow in Newton & Jasper counties.
Here at West Lafayette, it has been brief snow, then sleet, then sleet/freezing rain, then rain, then rain/sleet & recently, snow, now light rain/snow mix with a temperature now of 36. Trace of snow, sleet & freezing rain have been measured with 0.01" of rain. Tim in Veedersburg has reported all rain since the onset of precipitation.
Wind gusts have been measured at 25-38 mph over the viewing area so far this morning (from the southeast to south).
2.5" 4 Miles Southwest of Demotte
1.0" 2 Miles South-Southwest of Rensselaer
0.5" Twelve Mile
0.5" 3 Miles North of Monticello
0.5" Earl Park
0.2" 1 Mile Northeast of Denver
0.1" 1 Mile North of Flora
Trace Pine Village
Trace 2 Miles West of West Lafayette
The first of two Arctic fronts is in northwestern Illinois right now. The temperature drops from 36 to 18 very rapidly with the passage as seen with the passage there.
Rain/snow, rain, some freezing rain/sleet & snow should continue to early afternoon (more snow north, more rain south). Temperatures will run 33-38 from north to south with gusty southerly winds up to 38 mph at times.
This first Arctic front should reach Newton County by 2 p.m., then Tippecanoe County by 3:30-4 p.m. & Howard County by 5 p.m.
Brief burst of heavy snow with line of snow squall/showers could accompany this frontal passage with the potential of brief sudden gust of 40-50 mph from the northwest. A quick 0.1-0.5" snow is possible with its passage.
Sudden temperature drop from 34 to 24 is likely. Our northwestern counties may reach 0 by midnight! Greater Lafayette should drop to single digits by 2 a.m.
Winds will still gust 25-40 mph behind the front with scattered snow showers as wind chills drop to -27 to -15 by early tomorrow morning.
Widespread lowing & drifting of the limited amounts of snow atop the frozen-hard old snow pack will occur.
Frost quakes are possible Tuesday to Thursday.
An additional 1-1.5" of snow could fall in the north with 1" or less elsewhere now-tonight.
Secondary Arctic front should pass Tuesday evening with line of heavy snow squalls/showers with some localized wind gusts up to 45 mph.
Front should pass in the 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. time frame.
Blowing & drifting of the limited snow pack atop the hardened, frozen snow pack will occur.
1" of snow or a bit less is expected for much of the area Tuesday night-Wednesday. However, a few isolated +1" amounts cannot be ruled out.
After highs of 8-16 Tuesday, temperatures should quickly fall below zero following passage of this second Arctic front Tuesday late afternoon-evening.
Wind chills by Tuesday evening will drop to -25 to -17.
Wind chills will drop to -45 to -30 by Wednesday morning with temperatures of -25 to -15.
A rare Wind Chill Warning will likely be issued for the viewing area. This would be the first one issued since January 2014. Before that, you have to go back to 1996, 1994, then 1989, 1985 & 1984, then 1983 for that issuance in the area.
Temperatures should bottome out Wednesday at -26 to -17 with wind chills -50 to -30.
Thinking wind chills will bottom out at -50 to -45 in the northwest counties with -35 to -45 in the heart of the viewing area (around -40 Greater Lafayette area) & -35 to -30 in the south.
Exposed skin could see frost bite in 7-15 minutes on Wednesday.
Skies will be partly cloudy with parhelic circles, parhelias, perhaps a halo & sun pillar around the sun as ice crystals fall as glittery snow. This could even fall with very few clouds in the sky as air will be so cold, that it will not be able to hold much moisture at all. It will fall as glittery ice crystals. A light dusting of this snow is possible.
Band of snow will occur Tuesday to nearly the Gulf Coast!
Winter Storm Warnings are up from western North Carolina to central Mississippi with Winter Weather Advisory to southern Louisiana.
We will not see the air temperature reach above zero until Thursday afternoon. This means we could end up below zero for 48 hours, ranking this cold wave in the top 5 longest periods of below zero temperatures on record (since 1879) at West Lafayette. It could end up being the longest stretch since 1985 or 1994.
Clipper with minor accumulating snowfall of possible 1-2" is likely Thursday night.
It looks like a flash thaw will arrive next week with sudden burst of 50s with rain & strong southerly winds. This sudden thaw will create ice jams with wide fluctuations of creek levels (some areas on creeks may back up & flood), ice clogs on creek & river bridges & loads of pot holes & sudden cracks in roadways.
There are some indications of not just one flash thaw, but two (two 24-36 hour bursts of sudden 50s) with rain. The potential is there for Arctic blast behind the first thaw, then another sudden, quick thaw. This will really create a lot of road potholes & cracking. This will test the expansion & contraction of our bridges & railroad tracks.
Cold air should return after that with potential of a winter storm or two with snow. It would not surprise me if another round of extreme, near/record cold hits in the second week of February!
The last half of February looks cold & snowy. This pattern should continue into early March.