The snow has been falling all afternoon and will continue for the rest of the night. The snow will remain mostly light in nature with a few areas seeing moderate snow at times. The heavier pockets of snow will fall in southern Wells, Adams, Grant, Blackford, and Jay counties. These are the areas most likely to see the ‘heftier’ totals. Below is a look at midnight local time of a high-resolution model showing the precipitation moving out.
Still thinking the same accumulations from the map made last night. Most locations 1 to 3 inches with the heavier totals in our southern counties. Also, the winds will stay gusty this evening with NE winds gusting to 25 or 30 at times. Stay updated on your forecast by checking our forecast video!
The arrival of the snow is pushed back a few hours. A few rain showers will be possible this morning before the transition to snow for most locations around the lunch hour. Jay and Blackford Counties may see rain even into the early afternoon before changing to snow. We’re still anticipating this to be a minor event with most locations only seeing 1″ to 3″. Where the heavier snow falls (from about Bluffton through Van Wert) could see up to 4″, but that would be isolated.
The snow is expected to move out after sunset. Temperatures will plummet into the lower teens by Monday morning, so slick spots are still likely as you begin your workweek.
A very tricky clipper system is now pushing into the Midwest, and will bring our area accumulating snow through the day Sunday. Here’s a look at the developing system on satellite and radar as of Saturday afternoon. Notice how it will swing southeast over the next 24 hours.
Snow amounts, heaviest snow band placement, and timing are always more tricky with these systems, and this one has proved no different. Model data has been all over the place (even this close to the event.) Given the latest trends, our weather team is feeling confident in the following forecast.
The timing of the snow arrival still looks to be Sunday morning. The snow will pick up in intensity throughout the morning and early afternoon before wrapping up Sunday evening.
Everything’s on track for a significant weekend snowfall.
Saturday’s conditions will be relatively quiet with just on/off snow showers during the day and only a coating/dusting of snow on the ground by day’s end.
Saturday’s snow forecast
By Sunday morning, though, snow will be more widespread and will be falling at a stronger intensity. This snow will continue through the day, potentially without many breaks. 3″-5″ are possible by Sunday night as the snow winds down. More snow (1″ or less) will be possible on Monday.
Accumulating snowfall begins by mid to late morning Sunday
Snow mixes with rain as temperatures reach the middle 30s by Sunday afternoon
Accumulations are expected to be anywhere from 2 to 4″ from Fort Wayne and north.
New forecast model runs are in and are suggesting a little more moisture as this clipper type system gets closer. There are some issues that we need to cover about this system which make it a bit more complicated though.
The onset of snowfall according to Futurecast will be early to late morning on Sunday. This will make for some quick snow accumulation. However, the complicated part of the forecast comes later in the afternoon when we get temperatures above 35 degrees. Forecast solutions suggest that temperatures at the mid levels of the atmosphere stay below freezing and at the surface are only a degree or two above freezing. Around Fort Wayne I believe as of right now we can assume that all of the precipitation will fall as snow.
However, south of Fort Wayne around Bluffton and Decatur and down to Portland that may be a different story. Mid level temperatures may just be a degree warmer so we may see rain drops re freezing and becoming ice pellets or sleet and even some plain old rain for a brief period of time. Both of these scenarios would take the snowfall amount down south of Fort Wayne greatly.
So take a look at our snowfall accumulation forecast and you will see that I have drawn the 2″ to 4″ contour through Fort Wayne and south of Allen county I have the 1″ to 2″ snowfall contour.
This could change depending on the track of this low but for right now it looks like a pretty good bet.
Launching in just over a year, in March 2016, NOAA/NASA’s new weather satellite, the GOES-R (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite R-Series) will provide improved views and analysis of weather here on earth.
Plus, there’s a Fort Wayne connection. ITT Exelis builds the components of these satellites right here. In fact, the company notes that, “Exelis has built every imager and sounder onboard the GOES satellite series (15 completed to date).”
To understand the weekend forecast we need to look at two different scenarios. #1. The huge east coast storm which strikes first. This storm will carry abundant moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. It is the type of system we look at for a lot of snowfall. This system will NOT be directly affecting our area.
However scenario #2 will bring a clipper type system from the northwest. These systems are generally starved for moisture. They do not feed into air from the Gulf of Mexico, so we usually do not see heavy snowfall amounts with these systems. This system has up to .32″ of moisture available on the latest European forecast solution run.
The other component coming in with this system will be some arctic cold air. Right now we have temperatures forecast to be in the 20s with single digit lows next week.
Of course this scenario can and will change. I have a little concern that this is a secondary system which is only really carried on one forecast solution. The ‘bomb’ that hits the east coast will be the major concern for forecasters and may overshadow this secondary system in a number of ways.
As we sit here in January, in the midst of winter, it’s hard to imagine a warm spring, summer or fall day after rain has just fallen. While the rain, itself, doesn’t necessarily conjure up positive thoughts in people, the smell in the air that comes as a result of the rain often does.
Researchers at MIT say the source of rain’s distinctive smell has been a long-standing mystery, but believe they’ve now figured it out. Their explanation is captured in this cool slow-motion video.
Just over a month ago I posted about a day that was much colder than forecast. We showed this same diagram because the change in forecast was due to a temperature inversion. Just to refresh your mind a temperature inversion is the reverse of what we typically see. Instead of air temperatures getting colder as we go up in altitude they get warmer.
The same is true for what happened today. The mid levels of the atmosphere were warmer and had not cooled as fast as the surface. Because we had warmer air at the mid layers we had liquid moisture which was created and it stayed in the that form and when the liquid reached the surface it froze on impact.
That is the simple definition of freezing rain.
The good news is that the mid layers of the atmosphere are getting colder so instead of liquid we have snow development.
As the snow approaches the area tonight, starting to fall before midnight, I wanted to share with you our latest snow outlook.
The incoming snow will be lightly accumulating from tonight through the day on Wednesday. It likely will be falling more commonly from Fort Wayne and northward, although occasional snow will still fall south of Fort Wayne throughout the day and into the night.
Accumulations will add up to 1″ or less by the end of the day. So, not much to shovel, but certainly enough to cause some slick driving conditions.