February, 2013

This is What a Real Blizzard Looks Like

February 28th, 2013 at 2:19 pm by under Weather

Photo courtesy Clyde Wheeler – Near Laverne, OK

Greg’s latest blog post, linking video of the Oklahoma Blizzard from earlier this week, has inspired me.   The National Weather Service posted an excellent review of this same storm here.

Honestly, I am a little jealous.   I grew up in Minnesota and if it’s going to be cold, why not have some fun snow to play in?   No, I am not asking for a crippling snow storm of this magnitude, but how about just once chance to have to use the four wheel drive in my Jeep Wrangler.

So, let’s put this in to perspective.   So far this year, we have had 18 inches of snow here in Fort Wayne.   That is how much northwestern Oklahoma picked up with this one storm:

Snow Totals from the Winter Storm of February 24-26, 2013, courtesy the NWS Norman, OK.

When you factor in the strong winds, you have yourself a full out blizzard:

Wind Gusts During the Winter Storm of February 24-26, 2013, courtesy the Oklahoma Mesonet

So, what’s the chance of this happening here before the end of this winter?  I have learned to never say never in this industry, but I am growing doubtful by the day.


Amazing Snow Video

February 28th, 2013 at 11:16 am by under Weather

If you’re wondering where all the snow from this winter went you may want to check the out the Plains. This is amazing video from February 25th of the Oklahoma blizzard. Tornado Titans Video of Okalahoma Blizzard


Spring flood outlook

February 28th, 2013 at 10:59 am by under Weather

While we have stressed mostly negative aspects of the drought there are a few positives. Since we don’t have a snow pack across our area and river levels are slightly below normal the chances for considerable flooding are down through May of this year. Of course this could change with significant and even rainfall well above normal. Here is the outlook for area rivers:

...SPRING FLOOD AND WATER RESOURCES OUTLOOK...

HERE IS THE 90 DAY PROBABILISTIC FORECAST FOR LOCATIONS IN THE
MAUMEE RIVER BASIN IN NORTHEAST INDIANA AND NORTHWEST OHIO AND FOR
THE UPPER WABASH RIVER BASIN IN NORTHERN INDIANA. IN THE TABLE 
BELOW THE 95 THROUGH 5 PERCENT COLUMNS INDICATE THE CHANCE THE 
RIVER COULD RISE TO OR ABOVE THE LISTED STAGE LEVELS IN THE NEXT
90 DAYS. FOR EXAMPLE... THE MAUMEE RIVER AT FORT WAYNE... INDIANA  
HAS A FLOOD STAGE OF 17 FEET. IN THE NEXT 90 DAYS THERE IS A 10
PERCENT CHANCE THE RIVER WILL RISE TO OR ABOVE 19.2 FEET. WABASH
INDIANA ON THE WABASH RIVER HAS A FLOOD STAGE OF 14 FEET. IN THE 
NEXT 90 DAYS THERE IS A 10 PERCENT CHANCE THE RIVER WILL RISE TO
OR ABOVE 13.8 FEET.

        CHANCE OF EXCEEDING STAGES AT SPECIFIC LOCATIONS
        ...VALID FEBRUARY 21 2013 - MAY 26 2013... 

MAUMEE RIVER BASIN...
LOCATION         FS(FT)  95%  90%  75%  50%  25%  10%   5%

ST. JOSEPH RIVER...
SAINT JOSEPH RIVER OHIO
MONTPELIER OH     12.0   8.9  9.5 11.1 11.9 13.0 14.2 14.9
NEWVILLE IN       12.0   9.7 10.7 12.3 12.8 13.6 14.7 15.9
ST. JOE FT W. IN  12.0   5.9  7.7  9.1 10.6 12.5 15.3 19.2

ST. MARYS RIVER...
SAINT MARYS RIVER
DECATUR IN        17.0   9.1 11.5 13.1 16.4 17.8 20.5 20.9
MULDOON BRIDGE IN 14.0   5.9  6.9  8.3 10.6 12.3 15.0 16.8

MAUMEE RIVER...
MAUMEE RIVER
FORT WAYNE IN     17.0   7.5 10.8 14.0 15.5 17.9 19.2 21.6
DEFIANCE OH       10.0   3.6  4.3  5.2  6.2  7.0  8.9  9.5
NAPOLEON OH       12.0   0.0  0.0  0.0  0.0  0.0  0.0  0.0

TIFFIN RIVER...
TIFFIN RIVER
STRYKER OH        11.0   9.5 11.4 12.4 13.0 13.7 15.2 16.1

BLANCHARD RIVER...
BLANCHARD RIVER
OTTAWA OH         23.0  18.4 18.9 20.0 21.5 22.9 23.8 23.8

AUGLAIZE RIVER...
AUGLAIZE RIVER
FORT JENNINGS OH  13.0   6.1  7.2  9.6 11.8 13.5 15.4 16.9
DEFIANCE OH       21.0  10.9 11.5 13.8 15.4 17.5 20.1 21.3

UPPER WABASH RIVER BASIN
LOCATION         FS(FT)  95%  90%  75%  50%  25%  10%   5%

WABASH RIVER...
WABASH RIVER
LINN GROVE        11.0   7.5  7.9  8.7  9.7 10.7 12.5 13.2
BLUFFTON IN       10.0   0.0  0.0  0.0  0.0  0.0  0.0  0.0
WABASH IN         14.0   7.8  9.1 10.5 11.6 12.9 13.8 14.5
LOGANSPORT IN     15.0   6.2  7.0  7.7  8.2  9.1 10.2 11.0

TIPPECANOE RIVER...
TIPPECANOE RIVER
ORA IN            12.0   8.6  9.3 10.3 11.3 12.1 13.6 15.3
WINAMAC IN        10.0   6.7  7.3  8.2  9.1  9.9 12.1 15.1

MISSISSINEWA RIVER... 
MISSISSINEWA RIVER
MARION IN         12.0   4.4  4.6  6.2  7.2  8.1  9.3 10.2

THIS LONG-RANGE PROBABILISTIC OUTLOOK CONTAINS FORECAST VALUES THAT 
ARE CALCULATED USING MULTIPLE SEASON SCENARIOS FROM 30 OR MORE 
YEARS OF CLIMATOLOGICAL DATA INCLUDING CURRENT CONDITIONS OF THE 
RIVER... SOIL MOISTURE... SNOW MELT AND 30 TO 90 DAY LONG-RANGE 
OUTLOOKS OF TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION. BY PROVIDING THE COMPLETE 
RANGE OF PROBABILITIES... THE LEVEL OF RISK ASSOCIATED WITH LONG 
RANGE PLANNING DECISIONS CAN BE DETERMINED. 

THESE PROBABILISTIC FORECASTS ARE A PART OF NOAA NATIONAL WEATHER 
SERVICES ADVANCED HYDROLOGIC PREDICTION SERVICE. ADDITIONAL SUPPORTIVE 
DATA AND EXPLANATIONS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE INTERNET AT 
WWW.WEATHER.GOV/IWX INTERNET ADDRESSES ARE ALL IN LOWER CASE LETTERS. 
AHPS CAN BE FOUND UNDER CURRENT CONDITIONS/LAKES AND RIVERS AHPS.

...SNOW COVER/SOIL MOISTURE CONDITIONS...
VERY LITTLE IN THE WAY OF SNOW COVER EXISTS ACROSS A LARGE PART OF 
NORTHERN INDIANA AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY. THE EXCEPTION IS ACROSS THE
NORTHWESTERN PARTS OF THE AREA...ADJACENT TO LAKE MICHIGAN WHERE SNOW
DEPTHS UP TO 5 INCHES OR MORE ARE OBSERVED. MOST OF THE REST OF THE 
AREA HAVE SNOW DEPTHS OF AN INCH OR LESS. LOCAL OBSERVATIONS 
INDICATE FROST DEPTHS ARE ON THE ORDER OF 3 TO 4 INCHES. 

...RIVER CONDITIONS...
RIVER CONDITIONS REMAIN AT OR SLIGHTLY BELOW NORMAL LEVELS. GIVEN THE
PERSISTENT DROUGHT CONDITIONS OVER THE PAST YEAR...VERY LITTLE IN THE
WAY OF RIVER RISES HAVE OCCURRED THIS SEASON. A STORM SYSTEM CURRENTLY
OVER THE PLAINS STATES WILL MOVE ACROSS THE REGION FRIDAY AND SATURDAY
AND WILL BRING WITH IT RAIN...FREEZING RAIN AND SNOW. AT THIS TIME...
LIQUID EQUIVALENT AMOUNTS ARE EXPECTED TO BE LESS THAN A HALF INCH.

...WEATHER OUTLOOK...
THE LARGE SYSTEM OVER THE PLAINS WILL EXIT THE AREA DURING THE WEEKEND.
THE LATEST THREE MONTH OUTLOOKS VALID THROUGH THE END OF MAY INDICATE
A 40 TO 50 PERCENT OF ABOVE AVERAGE TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE ARE WHILE 
THERE IS A GREATER THAN 40 PERCENT CHANCE OF ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION 
THROUGH THE PERIOD.

...FLOOD TERMINOLOGY...
THE TERM MINOR FLOODING IS USED TO INDICATE MINIMAL OR NO PROPERTY
DAMAGE. HOWEVER...SOME PUBLIC INCONVENIENCE IS POSSIBLE.

THE TERM MODERATE FLOODING IS USED TO INDICATE THE INUNDATION OF 
SECONDARY ROADS. TRANSFER TO A HIGHER ELEVATIONS MAY BE NECESSARY 
TO SAVE PROPERTY.

THE TERM MAJOR FLOODING IS USED TO INDICATE EXTENSIVE INUNDATION AND 
PROPERTY DAMAGE USUALLY CHARACTERIZED BY THE EVACUATION OF PEOPLE 
AND LIVESTOCK AND CLOSURE OF BOTH PRIMARY AND SECONDARY ROADS.

LONG-RANGE PROBABILISTIC OUTLOOKS WILL BE ISSUED MONTHLY AND UPDATED
AS NEEDED FOR THE MAUMEE AND UPPER WABASH RIVER BASINS.

Lake Country Takes the Cake

February 27th, 2013 at 6:01 pm by under Weather

Snow forecast for Wednesday Night

Since it has been snowing for the last 24 hours in Angola and not Fort Wayne, Lake Country had the highest snow accumulations in the area with about 4 to 5 inches total.  Officially in Fort Wayne, we have only had 1″ of snow, still leaving us 9″ behind for the season so far.

Our snow will continue for tonight, but with temperatures hoovering right near freezing, look for very wet snow with no major snow accumulations.  Expect about 1″ of wet snow tonight, but mainly on the grassy areas and not on the roadways.

Even though we will see some light snow showers Thursday, don’t expect much in additional accumulations, only another dusting on top of our wet inch tonight.


Cold Start to March

February 27th, 2013 at 11:09 am by under Weather

Negative North Atlantic Oscillation

A negative NAO suggests cold start to March (www.ralieghwx.americanwx.com)

Last week I blogged about a tropical oscillation which would bring two more large tropical waves from the eastern pacific across our area. Well, we saw wave one Tuesday and it appears that wave two will be here in a week with another snow storm possible.

The oscillation that we are looking at here is a much more prominent one that is active all winter long and has a dramatic effect on our weather pattern. For instance, if we have a negative NAO which is predicted by the Ensemble Model 6 to 10 day model outlook cold air is released across the eastern third of the United States.

Negative NAO (UCAR)

This is the pattern that a negative NAO creates. A strong or tight gradient is created between high and low pressure which causes the release of wet weather for the western U.S. and cold weather for the east.

The effects of an NAO (UCAR)

Here is another diagram to show the effects of a Negative Atlantic Oscillation across the eastern U.S. As cold air is ‘drained’ southeast from Canada to Alaska. This creates much below average temperatures for the eastern U.S.

In other words, it will most likely be a very cold start to the month.


Winter Blast Heavy Snow, Just Not Here

February 26th, 2013 at 9:43 pm by under Weather

Snow totals from Monday, 25 February, courtesy NWS Amarillo, TX

The same weather system that brought us the freezing rain across our area Tuesday morning, put down some very heavy snow across parts of TX and OK.  Above is the snow total map for the Amarillo National WEather Service Office forecast area.   Back in Oklahoma, there were reports of over 18″ of snow:

 --- NORTHWESTERN OKLAHOMA ---

ALVA 1W..................13.5
AMES..................... 4.0
AMES 4ESE................ 2.0
ARNETT 3NE...............10.0
FAIRVIEW 1N.............. 4.0
FORT SUPPLY 4SE.......... 7.1
FREEDOM.................. 9.0
LAVERNE 6S............... 6.0
LAHOMA RES. STN.......... 4.5
ORIENTA.................. 3.7
QUINLAN.................. 7.0
SHATTUCK 1SSW............ 5.3
WAYNOKA..................12.0
WOODWARD................. 7.9

For another way to find out who has the most and deepest snow cover across the Lower 48, click here for an interactive snow map from the National Weather Service.

So, how much snow can we expect to get out of this same system in the next 24 hours?   Only a fraction of what happened in the panhandles:

Snow total forecast through 11PM Wednesday.

I don’t expect the snow to stick around very long either, especially with temperatures hovering near freezing the next few days.

So why did we miss out on the heavy snow?   Mainly because most of it came as rain.   So far Tuesday, we had about .75″ of rain at FWA.  If this came all as snow, it would have added up to about 7 to 8 inches.   But of course, that has pretty much been the case this entire winter.  If you used that same reasoning with our January rainfall at 3.5″, we would have had 35 inches of snow in January.

If you are holding out for one big snow storm this winter, I wouldn’t hold your breath.   We can see big snow in March, but I feel our window of heavy snow this winter is rapidly closing shut.


Icy morning and afternoon

February 26th, 2013 at 12:40 pm by under Weather

Tree branch down in Wabash (Didi Harlan)

Liz Edwards Fort Wayne

Jim Curran (Bluffton)

Great Storm pictures and you can see more by going to our web photo gallery at Wane dot com.


Light Ice in Allen County

February 26th, 2013 at 11:31 am by under Weather

Light ice on deck and trees in SW Allen County late Tuesday morning.

We are still in the danger zone with temperatures right at 32°.  Rain and freezing rain showers are forming  light ice on the trees in SW Allen County.  It’s only .1″ so far, but if we get to .25″ with our current winds, we may some a few power outages.

Light ice on trees in SW Allen County late Tuesday morning.

Temperatures are expected to climb into the mid 30s by early afternoon, so hopefully we miss a significant icing event.  Once we get through today, get ready for a wet mess of snow tonight and tomorrow.   Stay tuned for an updated snow forecast by the late afternoon.


Spotter Training Tuesday Night in Fort Wayne

February 25th, 2013 at 9:11 pm by under Weather

Ralston Oklahoma Tornado, 1 May 2008

Even though it is still winter and we are expecting a mixed bag of freezing rain, rain and snow over the next 48 hours, now is the time to get your spotter training before severe storms arrive this spring.

The National Weather Service is offering spotter training in Fort Wayne at the Allen County public library on Berry Street at 630PM.   Click here for more information.

It is highly suggested that if you are new to weather spotting, that you take the online spotter training first.

To my understanding, this is the only spotter training that will be offered in Allen County this year, mainly due to budget cuts.  If the weather is bad enough to cancel the training, we should know by 4PM Tuesday.


Winter Storm Watch Now Winter Weather Advisory

February 25th, 2013 at 3:47 pm by under Weather

WANE TV does not issue weather watches or warnings, the National Weather Service does and just now, they cancelled the Watch and issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the counties highlighted in tan above.   This is only until noon Tuesday.

What does this mean?

Even as I look at the current and newest weather data, this appears to be more of rain event with ice than a big time snow event for Tuesday.

HANDS DOWN, IT MAY BE VERY SLICK FOR A FEW HOURS LATE TUESDAY MORNING!!!!!!

I am still putting together the forecast, but here are my thoughts:

Tuesday Timeline for Fort Wayne:

  • Early lunch precipitation starts as freezing rain or sleet.
  • Ice chances over to rain by early afternoon into the early evening.
  • Rain changes over to snow by mid evening.
  • Totals include: .25″ ice, .50″ rain and about 2″ of snow.
  • Another round of snow is possible Wednesday, about another 1-2″ possible.