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Potentially Significant Weekend Snowfall

After dodging one round of heavy snow, it looks like there's another on the way with our name on it.

Posted: Mar. 21, 2018 8:48 PM

Good Evening,

While some parts of downstate Indiana received more than 8” of snowfall over the last 24 hours, Greater Lafayette barely received a flake. The track of the system responsible for all of the accumulation down south remained on a track up the Ohio Valley leaving the majority of the moisture south of our region.

Higher pressure flowing in behind the passing low will make for a quiet, but cool remainder of the work week. The skies above the viewing area will stay much like they are now; unfortunately, our northerly wind flow will remain a constant as well. Afternoon highs aren’t expected to reach 50° in Lafayette again until early next week.

These tranquil conditions however, aren’t expected to carry over into the upcoming weekend. In fact, current model projections suggest that Mother Nature spared us this last round of snowfall just to dose us with an even more potent system of winter weather beginning this Friday night.

Portions of the western coast of the United States could see as much as 10” of rainfall during the next 24 hours; the same core of low pressure responsible for the deluge out west is expected to make its way east of the Rockies by Friday evening. By then, it’s possible that some of our westernmost counties could already be receiving scattered rainfall.

It’s at that point in which our constant northerly wind flow will begin to play a role. By then, temperatures throughout Greater Lafayette will be near or below the freezing mark. Their interaction with the leading edge of the precipitation will first transition some of it into a wintry mixture, then a wet snowfall.

The latest model data indicates that once the snowfall begins that night, it will likely last into late Saturday afternoon for many of us! It appears as though the last of the snow will exit south of the viewing area along with the passing low after dinnertime Saturday evening. Considering that we’re more than 48 hours out from the beginning of the storm and nearly 72 hours out from its conclusion, it’s still difficult to determine an exact track of the anticipated snowfall, making it even harder to project snowfall totals for the region.

That being said, let’s break down some of this model data. The latest run of the European model looks the most alarming, projecting as much as 10” of accumulation for parts of Montgomery County and around 8” for Lafayette! Next is the North American Model; it shows that the weekend system will deposit anywhere between 1” and 4” of snowfall across the region. The “happy” medium here is the GFS model, which goes with between 0.5” and 7” of snow with Tippecanoe County Seeing over 6” of snowfall by Sunday morning. Considering just these models alone, there’s a hefty amount of uncertainty associated with this round of potential winter weather.

With that however, it’s looking more and more likely that accumulating snowfall will affect parts of Central Indiana beginning Friday night and lingering into Saturday afternoon. If you have plans or are planning on traveling during that period, I’d have a Plan B ready to go. It’s going to be an interesting weekend to say the least.

Weather Team 18 will continue to watch the system closely and update you on it as more information becomes available.

Article Comments

West Lafayette
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Kokomo
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Rensselaer
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Flurries possible this morning, otherwise another cold and cloudy day.
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