Weather

Gradual warming this week

April 26th, 2015 at 10:28 am by under Weather

We’re about to enter a quiet stretch of weather with high pressure dominating our weather pattern for much of the upcoming week. The only exception may be a passing disturbance on Wednesday and Thursday, which will bring a few clouds. The latest models don’t show much moisture with this system, keeping us mainly dry during the day. Otherwise, we’re on track for more sun and warmth for the tail end of the work week and into next weekend.

Temperatures will be hovering near seasonable levels midweek, then climbing above by the weekend.

Temperatures will be hovering near seasonable levels midweek, then climbing above by the weekend.

We’ll likely be adding a few more “blue days” (below average temps) to our calendar before the month of April is out. I’m thinking we’ll be on track to see temperatures for the month be right around average – we’re above a bit now, but I think the cool start  to this week should bring that number down.

The coolest weather of April arrived for the end of the month.

The coolest weather of April arrived for the end of the month.

 


April rain gauge update

April 25th, 2015 at 11:01 am by under Weather

We’ll be adding to our monthly rain gauge totals today with rounds of rain pushing through the Midwest as low pressure slides east. We had a few showers pass through last night, with most of the rain falling to the north of Fort Wayne.

Just enough to wet the ground in Fort Wayne last night.

Just enough to wet the ground in Fort Wayne last night.

So far for the month, we’re running close to average rainfall, though after the 0.5″ to 1″ we’re expecting today, we’ll likely be above average.

Monthly rain gauge through Friday night. We'll be adding to this today.

Monthly rain gauge through Friday night. We’ll be adding to this today.


A wet Saturday forecast

April 24th, 2015 at 9:01 pm by under Weather

Rain or shine (though, “shine” is unlikely), I’ll be out at the “Touch-a-Truck” event at the Ivy Tech Coliseum Campus on Saturday morning from 10 am – Noon.  It’s a great event for young kids who get to explore different vehicles associated with a variety of careers.  I’m bringing Fury Tracker 15, our storm chase vehicle, and you’ll be able to learn how we send live storm coverage back to the station with this vehicle.  Just be sure to wear your raincoat and have your umbrella.

Touch-a-Truck's an annual event geared to families with young children.

Touch-a-Truck’s an annual event geared to families with young children.

 

Many rainy moments are expected throughout the day Saturday.  It’s going to be windy, again, too.  Expect scattered rain in the morning, becoming more widespread (and, potentially, heavy at times) during the afternoon.  The rain scatters out and ends late Saturday night.  With rain falling through the day, it’s going to give us a good soaking.  Rainfall amounts between a half-inch and an inch are expected by the end of the day.

 


Another cold start, rain arrives Saturday

April 24th, 2015 at 11:34 am by under Weather

Brrr! We woke up to temperatures below freezing AGAIN this morning. In fact, many places even dropped down into the mid to upper 20s. This morning’s low at the airport in Fort Wayne bottomed out at 28°, which is just a degree shy of the record low for this date.

The record low on this date has held for 85 years!

The record low on this date has held for 85 years!

We won’t be nearly as cold tonight with temperatures expected to only drop into the lower 40s thanks to increasing clouds. Some scattered showers will build in overnight, with more widespread rounds of rain on the way for the daytime on Saturday. Some rain could be heavy at times. Futurecast estimates rain gauge totals to be on the order of 0.5″ to 1″ through Saturday night.

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Rain gauge totals through Saturday night.


April cold and snow

April 23rd, 2015 at 6:23 pm by under Weather

Our month of April is closing out on a cold note…just days after we hit 80° last Saturday.  Lows this morning dropped to 30° in Fort Wayne and you should prepare for more freezing weather tonight with temps falling to the upper 20s by early Friday.  Cover up the plants and bring the pets in tonight!

Overall, our temp story for this month has been one of warmth, with our average daily temperature currently ranking 3.5° above average for the month.  However, more cold weather during the next week will drop this number down in the days ahead.

The current cold snap brought us snow, of course, too.  We picked up a trace of accumulation in Fort Wayne yesterday, which tied the record snowfall for the date.  You might not realize it, but 1″ of snow is the average amount we see during this month.  Of course, this snowfall is more likely to happen during the first half of the month, as we’re emerging from winter, than the second half of the month.

Our April 22 snow showers were a reminder that the snowflakes are still possible this late into the month.

Our April 22 snow showers were a reminder that the snowflakes are still possible this late into the month.

Don’t think we’re out of the woods yet on more snowfall, either.  While unlikely, it’s not out of the question.  Fort Wayne’s highest late season snow happened on May 9, 1923 when 1.1″ fell.

 


Hubble telescope turns 25

April 23rd, 2015 at 9:38 am by under Weather

While flipping through the channels on TV last night, I had the chance to catch a fascinating documentary on the history of the Hubble Telescope. From the scientific plans to maintenance performed on the telescope via spacewalks, I was fascinated. Perhaps even more captivating were the images taken by this impressive instrument. Experts in the documentary went on to argue that the Hubble Telescope has provided one of the largest contributions to mankind by helping to answer questions about our universe. This morning, NASA revealed a recent image taken by Hubble to commemorate it’s 25 anniversary:

Based on Hubble images, astronomers estimate that there are between 10^22 and 10^24 stars in the known universe!

This image commemorates the Hubble Telescope’s 25th anniversary. Based on Hubble images, astronomers estimate that there are between 10^22 and 10^24 stars in the known universe! Image: NASA.

For more on the history of the Hubble Telescope, include an array of stunning images taken by the machine, check out this great site put together by NASA.


Lyrid meteor shower forecast

April 22nd, 2015 at 3:51 pm by under Weather
Snapshots of a past Lyrid meteor shower in progress.  Credit: NASA

Snapshots of a past Lyrid meteor shower in progress. Credit: NASA

The annual Lyrid meteor shower will reach its peak after 10:30 tonight, continuing toward dawn.  NASA’s head of Meteoroid Environment Office, Bill Cooke, tells CBS News, “I’m expecting 15 to 20 Lyrid meteors an hour.”

Our main problem in viewing this meteor shower here in northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio will be our mostly cloudy sky.  Although clouds will decrease overnight and into early morning, there will not necessarily be enough breaks in them to view the meteor shower at first.  I expect viewing conditions to improve in the hours leading up to dawn, but, even then, there’s no guarantee that enough breaks in cloud cover will develop for you to get the perfect sky view to see the Lyrids.

You can, of course, go outside…look up…and give it a shot.  Or, you might just choose to check out NASA’s streaming video page, which will host footage of past Lyrid meteor showers followed by a LIVE stream at 11 pm ET from NASA’s Marshall Space Center in Huntsville, AL.  However, it should be noted, a mostly cloudy sky and rain showers are in Huntsville’s forecast for tonight, which could also affect viewing from that location.


Some light snow today

April 22nd, 2015 at 11:36 am by under Weather

We had some light snow this morning north of Fort Wayne. Doesn’t seem like April but it’s not all that unusual to see snow in April in northern Indiana.


Today’s wind recap

April 21st, 2015 at 9:07 pm by under Weather

As expected, gusty winds blew across the entire region today – generally at speeds between 40 and 50 mph.  However, in some spots, gusts were in the 50-60 mph range.  Take a look at some of the highest observed wind gusts recorded across northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio today.

Highest wind gusts reported on April 21, 2015

Highest wind gusts reported on April 21, 2015

Such strong winds can cause damage…and, sure enough, they did today.  Here are a couple of damage reports that were filed with our local National Weather Service office.  Note: The tree that fell in Huntington was a dead tree, so it was weaker and more prone to fall due to the strong winds of the day.

Wind damage reports from 4/21/15

Wind damage reports from 4/21/15


The reasons why winds are so gusty

April 21st, 2015 at 9:44 am by under Weather
Low pressure causing gusty winds

Low pressure causing gusty winds

You may be asking yourself, why is the wind so gusty today? There is a meteorological explanation for this annoying problem.

1. Let’s talk about the ‘set up’: We have low pressure system that is basically over staying it’s welcome here. It’s been cut off from the very strong jet stream winds and so this orphan low pressure area really has no place to go. At least it’s not in a hurry to get there. Upper air winds move very slowly and really will not force a pariah like this to move anywhere quickly. It also has components that take it into the upper part of the troposphere, so it’s quite massive as well.

2. Since this massive upper air low has no place to go it really finds a home across the Great Lakes Region. This region has the perfect set up for one of these systems to sit for days. It creates kind of a wind hole for it to sit in and spin. That spinning is the other problem. Think about a bunch of rubber bands all tied together. If you wrap them around something there is a resistance that you form and eventually the bands will break or in the case of this example they unravel. This unraveling is what a low pressure area does over and over again. It spins like a bicycle tire, round and round. This round and round motion creates pressure differences as the pressure drops lower and this causes clouds to rise without resistance.

3. In our case this unraveling and spinning creates those changes in pressure. The atmosphere is always going to try and equal that pressure differential out and so there is great force and friction created as the forces try to equal the pressure. This creates wind and because this pressure difference is so large it is create very gusty winds over the next 24 hours.

Here's how low pressure looks drawn on a weather map. (AMS Education, Datastreame)

Here’s how low pressure looks drawn on a weather map. (AMS Education, Datastreame)

This drawing of a low pressure area on a map may help to visualize this low. The lines of equal pressure (isobars) are very close together and represent the pressure difference or sometimes called the pressure gradient.