Friday, December 31, 2010

NYE Threat

Carefully watching the severe weather and how it might impact Kokomo later today. This has been a fast line of storms dropping tornadoes, causing damage, and taking lives.

Keeping Watch

The end if the year may end with a bang from Mother Nature. While the warm temps today are nice, they also increase the chances of severe weather. Right now the threat remains south and west. I will keep watch as things progress to see how the evening will be effected. Otherwise, enjoy the warm for now.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Warm & Wet

We should get on the warm side of freezing on Wednesday. Not by much but Thursday and Friday will be much warmer. The only concern looming is the chance for freezing rain Wednesday evening for a few hours. It might make for some slick spots before temperature rises enough to change everything over to just rain.

Thursday and Friday will be the first days all month with a high above 40. We will just break it on Thursday and go all the way to 50 on Friday. While warm, there will be rain showers. The severe weather threat mentioned earlier in the week has disappeared for us.

The cold will return as early as Saturday. It won't be as frigid as before with highs in the 30's. Long term I don't see any potential accumulating snow through next week.

I will be doing a year end wrap up in a couple of days. As always, thanks for following Kokomo-Weather.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Warm Up Coming...

Some flurries from lake effect snow could trickle into out area through tomorrow morning but no measurable accumulations expected. A gradual warm up expected for the first half the week followed by a significant warm up into New Years Day 2011.

Highs reaching near or above 50 looks likely for Friday and Saturday. It won't last however with more seasonal temperatures coming back by Sunday.

Of course the warm weather comes at a price. First anticipate the snow pack to melt away and some dense fog as well. Also a snow rain mix on Wednesday night changing to all rain for the remainder of the week.

The models have suggested severe weather is on tap for New Years Eve and Day. While no specific forecast for now, I might suggest anyone with an outdoor celebration make alternate plans.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Snow on Radar

The Christmas snow is coming!  Allow extra time when traveling this evening and overnight.  Snow should be down to flurries by mid morning tomorrow but it might be later for roads to be cleared.  Take your time and you should get were you are going.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

It's a Christmas Miracle...

Ok, maybe not but after a week on the weather roller coaster, I am ready for the ride to end.  The good news is we are going to get fresh snow for Christmas.  Not a lot but 1-2 inches.  Unfortunatly it will fall from Friday last afternoon through noon on Saturday; prime Christmas travel.

Look for more snow south and west.  Travelers heading west will find snow as well.  (Notice the east coast is not under the gun anymore?  It looks likes the "Historic Storm" was mostly fantasy too.)

We have a Winter Weather Advisory from Friday afternoon until Christmas morning.  Look for poor road conditions when traveling.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Maybe A Historic Storm On Tap For Christmas

There looks to be historic snow storm system that might rival the 1993 Storm if the Century.  Remember that big one?  We received 1.5 inches.  Of course that might be wishful thinking for those on the East Coast looking to get slammed by this beast.  If it is still on the table this time tomorrow, then they might have reason to think it will verify. 

For the Ohio Valley, it seems the apocalyptic snow that got everyone's attention with Sunday's model runs is all but a memory.  The GFS which was holding strong with its northern solution finally gave up tonight and went south with the European's solution.  I guess it still is the king with finding the correct solution before anyone else.

Now tonight's GFS didn't show the historic snow like the Euro.  It went out to sea with the low pressure which is sub 960mb.  It could be quite the beast. 

So what is in the cards for us?  The models have been really dry and I think too dry.  Chris Wright on WTHR tonight (11 PM Tuesday) went with 2-5 inches for Christmas Eve and continues flurries into Christmas.   That seems like a reasonable forecast with the higher amounts south and west.  I will out out some amounts and a time line tomorrow evening.

Across central Indiana, look for slick road conditions and accumulating snow.  Nothing that would prohibit holiday travel but it will make it slow and treacherous.  If you take your time, you should make it where you are going.

There will able be lake effect snow cranking too so if you are traveling around the areas which get hammered from Lake Michigan, take heed.

For now the final track of this big system will likely be revealed in another 24 to 36 hours.  If you are traveling out of state, make sure to check the weather conditions.  East Coast travel might be impossible this weekend. 

I will keep an eye on this since there might be some final corrections tomorrow but am not expecting any big change.  Merry Christmas to everyone.

(Did I mention there was a monster system around New Years which could extend school's winter break another week?  Some day one of these beasts will verify for us.  Someday.)

Stupid Weather Models...

First I will say we had a great snow last night and I am pleasantly surprised.  I will have a total later but I looks like we are nearing a foot of snow already for December.

The problems this morning remain the same.  What is the storm track, does it phase and if so, when, and who gets bombed?

In general, the European model seems to be considered the King and normally sniffs out the track and intensity before all others.  The GFS is one of several American models and occasionally scores over the King but not often.  On Sunday both models agreed on the Christmas storm and showed a really nice hit for most in the midwest and Ohio valley and further east.

On Monday the Euro decided to jump south and leave us with nothing.  Normally one would expect a correction by the Euro or the GFS (and others) would start trending in that direction.  Nope.  There are still two very distinct solutions with very different outcomes and impacts for our region.

The short range models are just beginning to key in on the system and have some spread to them but none nearly as south as the Euro.  So what to think?  Still waiting for something to budge one way or another.  Of course I have my preference which solution I want to win out but anything and everything remains on the table for now.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Overnight & the Christmas Storm...

The clipper isn't losing its punch as it moves into our area as thought.  Generally Indiana was to get just receive the leftovers.  However this looks like an over performer.  Some areas nearby will top 4 inches while we should see a couple of inches.  The storm is diving southeast and we started later than places like Lafayette and our duration will be shorter.  A changeover to frozen precipitation (sleet/rain) should occur after 1 to 2 AM.  The extent of the glaze on roadways will be the determining factor for schools.  I am not sure the snow will make a difference on the call.

On to the Christmas storm everyone is talking about.  It is difficult to narrow down the track at this time.  Besides the typical model variations, the 12z runs from today took some unexpected dives south.  One would expect some corrections with tonight's runs.  Even without a firm track, there are a few things we can discuss.

This is not some monster blizzard that will go down in the history books are one of the worst.  This instead is a widespread 3 to 6 inch storm with some 8 to 10 inch bands.  Snow could cover an area from I-40 to 1-90 and from the Rockies to the east coast.  All happening from late Wednesday night through Sunday.  You can imagine the travel disruptions if this happens over the Christmas weekend.

Currently, the NWS didn't buy the extreme southern solutions.  That would be bad for us.  However they didn't completely discount it either.  The noticeable changes from the NWS were the scaling back on the amounts of accumulating snow locally.  Still they show us in the 3 to 5 inch range across the area. 

I think it will be tomorrow afternoon before the solutions start to come to consensus and we can talk more about the track and timing.  Hopefully it will all be laid out come Wednesday morning.  Hopefully.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Snow, Snow, Snow...

The Monday night into Tuesday snow system won't be a miss but will be rather weak and moisture starved.  Still look for 1 to 2 inches to fall with a possible glaze if frozen too.  More slick conditions and fun on the roads.

However the big story will be the late week storm for Friday and Saturday or as we know them, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Lots of travel plans will get changed because of it.  I will not dwell on it now but I urge you to keep abreast of the forecast for problems.

(Sorry for the weak forecast.  The holidays kept me rather busy today with traveling and family.)

Sunday Morning...

The early week storm will be another nickel and dime event with a couple of inches falling.  Possible from freezing rain will make it this far north on Tuesday.  Just enough for slick conditions.

The bigger focus is on the Christmas storm.  It is a different kind of beast that what we have had with the "clipperish" type of systems.  This should impact a much larger area and at a minimum will create poor travel conditions. 

Big forecast coming this evening...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Our next snow...

Not looking like a big event as was shown a couple of days ago.  Might be some mixing but it could end up still being a couple of inches.  Should fall mostly during Monday overnight into Tuesday.  Hopefully better model agreement tomorrow.

Another system comes along for Christmas.  More on that one later...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Here we go again...

The storm for next week looks good.  Not a lock but it seems that a solution of 2+ inches looks likely.  More tomorrow...

Better than expected...

We got more snow than I expected.  Over an inch, maybe nearly two but I need to check the reports to get an official measurement.  I foolishly didn't clear my measuring spot at home so not early measurement from me.

The good news is I have seen 3 to 7 inches for our next storm system on Monday-Tuesday.  This snow will still be here so it should be fun!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


No reason to stay up and watch disappointment unfold.  Look for an inch or less by morning.  Much higher totals south where there will also be some icing problems so I guess it isn't all but for us.

After this system, the cold continues and storminess into next week.  A couple of chances for snow and I do think a white Christmas is a lock.  Enjoy.

The odds of a delay tomorrow for Howard County schools is minimal.  Western/Northwestern are the most likely candidates but still pretty slim. 

No Mositure Means No Snow

Simple fact, you cannot have precipitation when there is limited moisture in the atmosphere.  You can see all the way down from 500 mb (18,000 feet) how dry the air is.

You can see the warnings and advisories follow the dry air.  The north edge will have a sharp cut off to total.  No reason to change my 1-2" accumulation for Kokomo but I could even see it even being just a trace.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

No Magic Happening...

I don't see anything to make me believe there will be more moisture to work with on the northern edge of the clipper.  No model is showing a decent hit for us.  One inch with a very slight chance for two is about all we have to hope for.  Just messy roads and enough to freshen up the snow pack.

Wednesday Night - Thursday Morning

The models are not showing a big hit in the region and we are on the north side of the system.  If the clipper has the sharp cut off in precipitation as advertised, 1-2 inches would be our maximum.  About the only good news is the snow would fall between midnight and 6 AM and should provide the ingredients for a two hour delay.

It should be noted that there has not been a high of 40 degrees yet for December in Kokomo.  I don't see anything long term which would threaten that mark.  Assuming the models and weather pattern continues, December will be one of the coldest months on record.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tomorrow morning...

I think that there will be two hour delays.  Conditions seem to warrant and it will be cold enough. 

The later week system looks like it might run out of juice before it arrives.  It might produce a two hour delay but no snow day looks likely.

Still a stormy mess on the models so we still might get out chance.  I am rather excited that my idea of a strong winter storm right about Christmas looks like it might come true.  More on that later.

Put this one in the books...

I am marking down 2 inches for the storm system.  I wished I could find a reason for a bigger total but my measurements plus the NWS cooperative observer and local reporting amateur's all seem to point towards that poor amount.  (At least the clipper system should do better.)

Snow Day Update: Eastern did close today but it was boiler related.  I think had they had heat, they would have went today.  Now sure how I will count this one in the books. 

Lake Effect Snow

It seems 3 to 4 inches of accumulations are being reported this morning around the area.  Some lake effect is still possible today with another inch by end nightfall.  You can see the three lake effect bands pointing like fingers towards Howard County.

Some chances for snow later this week with a clipper system.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Where is the snow?

It seems the snow just doesn't want to fall in Howard County.  Sure, we have some but the accumulation total is down.  The initial precipitation outran the cold front limiting snow.  The daytime snow total also took a big hit with the dry slot.  Right now we await the lake effect snow to move east across the county.  That should coincide with significant forcing overhead.  In the end, I think 3 or 4 inches will be on the ground by noon on Monday.  (Hey, it has to finally go as planned sometime.)

Cold temperatures, gusty winds, and intermittent snow would seem to have all the right ingredients for a school closing.  I am leaning towards thinking at least some area Howard County Schools will close tomorrow.

A system later in the week also has the potential for a couple of inches, maybe more.  It is a clipper system and those are much less likely to have issues with a dryslot. 


An inch has fallen and awaiting the wrap around bands and lake effect snows plus winds to make for an ugly evening and overnight.  The dry slot has kept our totals down so far. 

Cold Front is Here

Kokomo dropped from 39.4 to 32.5 degrees in 15 minutes. That is rather impressive.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Winter Weather Advisory Until Noon Monday










Another LES map

Should be some advisory wording from the NWS anytime now...

Lake Effect


Friday, December 10, 2010

Some Changes

The models have trended back south from the north track.  Looking at the actual system, it also is deviating south from the forecast track.  Winds look to be the most wicked portion of the system for us so even 2 to 4 or possible 5 or 6 inches of snow will make roads all but impossible to navigate. 

The National Weather Service in Indianapolis currently has no weather headlines but would anticipate some with the morning package.  Advisory levels for counties north of Indianapolis or high wind warnings. 

Tomorrow will being a mainly nowcast type of forecast with some assistance from very short range high resolution models. I will be here throughout the weekend providing updates.

Do whatever you need to do tomorrow during the day.  After that about anything can happen...


Noon Forecast

Here is my map for this event lasting into Monday. Look for the snow to start sometime after 9 pm Saturday evening.

Todays runs of the forecast model:

NAM: 4.7"
GFS: 9.6"
ECMEF (European): 3.4"

The models are still rather undecided on what will happen.

Lake Effect Snow

While the synoptic snow idea has left us with not much to talk about, maybe the western edge of the lake effect snow can hammer us a bit on Sunday and Monday.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Weekend Snow...

Before I discuss the weekend, tonight looks rather unimpressive except that a tiny amount of frozen precipitation could fall right about the time when school administrators care making decisions on weather to delay school or go on time.  No call but I wouldn't be surprised to see some school delays on the morning news.

The weekend system remains a difficult forecast.  Model shifts have been 300 to 400 miles over the past 24 to 36 hours.  There is some limited agreement from the big three (NAM/GFS/ECMWF) and time is getting close enough that forecasters must begin make public forecasts.  What appears to be the best areas for significant snow in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa have issued advisory or watches for winter weather.  That seems prudent.

The solutions which could produce a historic snow system is not completely off the table.  Some model solutions continue to show just that and even the big three shows hints.  Forecasters have identified this system rather unique and models are generally not well equipped to handle it.

We are also missing significant amounts of data.  Taking a moment to understand how the entire model process will help us better understand the data problem.  Weather models need data about current conditions worldwide and use complex math and physics to predict upcoming weather.  The data comes from sorts of places.

Data over land is easy to gather.  Besides an extensive ground network of reporting stations, weather balloons are released twice daily from various locations.  These travel up tens of thousands of feet in the atmosphere recording conditions all the way up.  Additionally commercial air planes record weather data and report it.

However much of the earth is covered in water.  For us, the last real data samples happen in Japan.  Over the Pacific Ocean, there are reporting buoys, ships, and air planes but these are not as dense as the land network.  There are no weather balloons.

This is why you sometimes hear people talk about the storm not being sampled yet.  Until the system comes ashore much less data is available to feed the computer weather models.

The current system is not expected to get sampled well until tomorrow morning.  At that time, expect models to make final corrections.  Even still it may not be 100% set in stone.  While some small shifts are expected, now and then there are surprise storms.  This system probably has one of the highest chances to do something wildly unexpected.

I remember Paul Kocin, formally the winter weather expert at The Weather Channel, telling a story about a major east coast snow storm which paralyzed the big cities up and down the seaboard over Christmas.  Nothing was forecast and everyone including the NWS thought it was going to be a quiet holiday weekend.  Something changed and he awoke and while enjoying his morning coffee he almost went into a panic when looking at current conditions.  A few hours later he was on air warning people about the system which nobody had even considered.  The moral is to never say never.

So what do I think will happen?  As long as the north track holds (and the north track seems to be the dominate group think), then we will see rain mixed with occasional sleet with a change over to all snow.  Sunday will see 2 to 3 inches of backside snow.  It will start after midnight Saturday and taper off by Monday morning.  While that seems pretty insignificant and is not more than we had with last weekends clipper, this will be anything but.

Winds will whip 15 to 25 MPG gusting to 30 to 35 MPH.  Temperatures will single digits by Monday morning.  I would expect a two hour delay for all area schools.  Conditions will be marginal for all of Sunday.

As always, things can and likely will change.  I mean we have more model runs coming right up.  You can see the CPC hazards map still has us right on the edge for heavy snow.

The two lows pressure systems might just phase and cause this storm to bomb out over Indiana.

As you can see, there is a lot of spread on the low tracks between the models.  Each mark shows another model ensemble forecasting a different locations.  Not a lot of consensus when you look. 

Stay tuned for more...

Added 11:49 PM - IndianaWeatherOnline has a great write up on this weekends forecast and the possibility of a secondary low bringing us snow.  Give it a read here.

Which Jet...

The question is where will this system enter the US from the Pacific.  That can determine how this storm's direction over our area.  At this point there is not a lot of model agreement and we are about 48 hours from this event beginning to impact the region.  You can see the various tracks below.

This is a great representation of forecasters and NWS offices still today with regards to deciding the actual track.

Some respected NWS mets have said that most solutions remain on the table.  Even a few that show a historic snowstorm.  For us, the idea of a historic snowstorm seems to have past.  I think at best we would see some impacts but not a direct hit.  More than likely we remain with a change over to snow on Sunday and accumulations will likely be 1 to 3 inches if go with the major models and their limited agreement.  (I will say this and get burned by the afternoon run of the Euro.) 

Did I mention there looks to be another weekend storm next week? More fun to come...

You Pick It...

Think of a number between 1 and 20.  Got it?

That random guess is about as good as number from the computer models regarding our snow total.  The mayhem continues.  Any number thrown out is speculation at this time. This has been one of the most frustrating systems to figure out. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Anyone have a clue?

The forecast models are still rather divergent on their solutions.  There was some better consensus last evening but that has taken a step backwards now.  Reading forecast discussions from the various NWS offices doesn't help any with trying to figure out the weekend system.

Tonight on WTHR, Chris Wright and Jude Redfield even went on to explain the model problem.  Chris sighted the wild 19" snow amount from yesterday as one the outlandish solutions.

I doubt there will be any magical agreement tonight either.  Probably another 24 hours away from coming closer.  Still, almost every solution still produces 3 to 4 inches of snow and winds for us.  I think we will get something.  Will we get buried?  Like everyone else, I am still not sure.

Noon Update

There were a couple of model runs last evening which were rather nice.  Back to the double digit accumulations.  The European which many consider the king of the models given its track record of being right more often than not and for also being the first model to catch on to a solution did finally break away from its northern solution and came south matching the track of the other models.  it dumped about 4-6 inches over our area.

With that said, the GFS decided to become less amplified today and was slower with the phase.  That keeps the system from bombing out over Indiana.  However a 3-4" snowfall continues to be on the table.  We now need to wait and see what it does this time around.

With that said, let's review the past 4 runs of the GFS ending Monday evening.  These are newest to oldest and are from runs 6 hours apart.  None leave us high and dry.

Updated Threat/Hazards Map:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What we know...

Many are asking what is known at this point.  The truth is not much.  But let's highlight what we do know...

  • There is a significant weather system heading our way for the weekend into Monday
  • High winds (25+ mph) are anticipated with the system
  • Near zero or below temperatures for in tap for the overnights starting Sunday.
As always the track is important but I do believe this will have a much wider area of impact than many storm systems. Still a few counties either way can make the difference between heavy snow amounts and more moderate or lighter accumulations.

A large number of model solutions have us receiving rain before a change over to snow.  Only a very small number have us all rain.  Finally there are a few models runs which deliver the dream solutions for snow lovers; heavy snow and blizzard like conditions.

I would be very surprised is we received no snow.  Even the rain and snow mix solutions are in the 3 to 5 inch range.   The one bad thing with that type of scenario would be the currently snow pack probably would melt with the rain before the changeover to snow. 

The latest hazards map show the axis of heavy snow has been tilted slightly to now include our area by a hair.

I am not going to stay up for the GFS model or the Euro tonight.  They are still in a battle for north versus south and I doubt there is a winner tonight.  (Watch me get burned by that comment.)  Tomorrow night will be the night to stay up to watch.  (I wished model runs finished before 1:30 AM.)

Anyway, goodnight all.  Sweet dreams of snow which can be measured in feet!

One last thing...

You can check out the a page which interpolates the snow/frozen precipitation/sleet/rain along with temps and wind here.  The latest two model runs for the GFS are saved and they alternate with updates.

I think with a bit of examination, you can figure out what everything means.

Getting Closer

A brief mention of the Thursday/Friday clipper.  Forget about it.  Less than half an inch likely with an inch being the top amount but very unlikely.

The weekend storm still remains very plausible.  The exact track remains a mystery but any travel plans Saturday through Monday or even Tuesday.  I have made a map of the areas of primary concerns.

It generally mimics the Hazards Map.  Notice the area of high winds.  This could make blizzard like conditions.  There will also be a deep cold snap to follow.  Very late 70's like if you will. 

Our solutions go from a rain snow mix to all snow.  No matter which scenario plays out, I have always seen us receiving several accumulating inches.  Some are much more dramatic.  The recent run of the GFS is 19 inches for Sunday and Monday. 

Click HERE for the recent output from the snow tool.  I have saved it as a PDF since it is time sensitive.  Very juciy...  (Find the column labels TotSN for the snow total.  It does reset if there is no snow for a 3 hour period.)

Still On Track

The models are still moving around the details but the pattern remains favorable for a potential blockbuster snow for the weekend.  Still a couple of days away before the details are known. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Quick Update

The weekend system coming is rather complicated and could have major impacts for us.  It might be the biggest snow maker since I started this March of 2007 which was just after the big Valentine's Day storm in 2007.  I plan to give a better update later tonight after the models finish running and I have had time to digest the data.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Cold & Snowy

I decided to put 3 inches in the record books for the clipper system.  It seemed like the right number even if there was some compaction of the snow.  The light and fluffy snow has a tendency to do that.

An occasional flurry possible tonight and tomorrow but nothing more than a trace is anticipated.  The big story will be cold temps in or very near single digits with highs in the 20's through Wednesday.  Some warming for the end of the week.

The end of the week and the weekend have a couple of snow chances then too.  A clipper looks to come through first probably dropping a couple of inches at best.  There should be mixing issues with this system and that could limit our snow chances. 

The system which follows is still up in the air on exactly how it comes together but several models have made this system into a big snow producer.  Accuweather has us receiving double digit snow totals but that may be too much.

One good thing which happened with the last system is things came together on the models in plenty of time.  I am hopeful we have good idea on the solution for the weekend storm by Wednesday. 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Ready for more?

This was a great little system and a fine way to kick off winter.  This clipper was not a true clipper but it had many characteristics of a clipper with its track and performance.  Like a clipper, there was a sharp cut off on accumulations along the outer edges.  For us we were modeled to be on the eastern edge just a couple of counties to our east the snow totals are rather low and unimpressive.

Also like a clipper, they have a tendency to over perform with with narrow bands of heavy snow.  I had held out hope that we would be the recipient of one of those bands but we didn't luck out. 

I think the total I will put in the book will be 3 inch but I will wait for the morning cooperative reports around the area before I decide.  There was an interesting debate online on how to measure snow officially for the NWS.  The reason this came up is the snow is compacting as it sits.  Measuring in shorter time increments can inflate snow totals. Snow measurements are supposed to be taken no closer then 6 hours apart or 4 times daily.

When I measured, I think we had 3 inches but it had compacted to 2 inches by evening.  So I am undecided on how to count it and why I am waiting on other measurements.  I usually do that anyway.

In the title, I asked you were ready for more.  Besides some lake effect flurries over the next couple of days, there looks like some late week and weekend potential with a couple of systems.  It looks like a lot of late nights next week working on forecasts.  Here is a preview map of both systems and the associated snow totals.

A reminder this is just eye candy for now and no need to panic yet.  We should also experience quite the cold snap this week.  The first arctic deep freeze is on...

Winding Down

Here is the 7 AM snow report.  You can see how sharp the cutoff is on the now.  I suspect Lafayette will top out near 5 inches while we just approach 3 inches. 

Looking Good...

Kokomo didn't hit the jackpot but this clipper system did over perform.  They can do that and one just hopes it sets up over their house when it does.  The good news is the call for 2-3" for Kokomo/Howard County looks good.  More snow to come today.  Enjoy.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Winter Weather Advisory

...Winter Weather Advisory in effect from 1 am to 7 PM EST Saturday...

The National Weather Service in Indianapolis has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for snow...which is in effect from 1 am to 7 PM EST Saturday.

*Roads may become slippery due to snow and thus make travel difficult.
*Accumulations of 2 to around 4 inches can be expected.
*The snowfall is expected to begin in the northwest after 1 am and spread east across the area. The heaviest snowfall rates are likely to occur between 5 am and noon.

Precautionary/preparedness actions... A Winter Weather Advisory for snow means that periods of snow will cause primarily travel difficulties. Be prepared for snow covered roads and limited visibilities...and use caution while driving.

Noon Update Included | Final Call

It is time for a final call.  I will stick with 2 to 3 inches widespread by the end of the day Saturday.  Some sweet spots could reach 5 inches.  The bulk of the snow accumulations will be during the daylight hours of Saturday.  Winds should be very light so as mentioned earlier, this will be a peaceful snowfall.
There might be a nice long fetch off Lake Michigan which could deliver some lake effect snow for us adding a couple of more inches.

Snow ratios will be above average with 12 to 1 to 15 to 1 likely.  This will be the light and fluffy stuff.

I expect to have another high resolution map around lunch.  About the same time I expect a Snow Advisory from the NWS in Indianapolis.  Here is their current thinking which I also like...

Noon Update: No revisions to the call at this time.  My only concern would be we are on the eastern edge of the sharp cut off and get minimal accumulations.  It could happen.  Hope it doesn't.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


The GFS is completely its run and the NAM finished but was terrible.  The GFS remained steady which is good.  Any changes to the forecast will be tomorrow morning.  Enjoy your sleep...

High Res Map

Another high resolution map...

Snow Map

Not bad but no room for error.  (This is Friday through Sunday.)

Afternoon Update

Not much time today to write about the weekend snow but after yesterday's fantasy amounts of snow, we are now down to more believable solutions.  I think the call of 2-3 inches I made this morning will be good for now.  Nothing at this point gets me thinking we are going to get more that that much with this system. 

More later!

Good Morning

Overall we look on target for snow From late Friday though Sunday morning.  The best snow will be during the daylight hours on Saturday.  I am going to make a small increase in my forecast now calling for 2 to 3 inches.  Some sweet spots could hit 4 inches.  The models are still wobbly on the best track so no final call yet.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Late Wednesday Update

Some expected model run to run changes. Nothing concerning so far. The one to two inch first call still seems solid. I should have an updated call tomorrow sometime.

Night all.

[UPDATED] Saturday's Snow...

Before you make plans for a big shopping trip on Saturday, you might want to check out the forecast.  We are going to get snow!

Before we get into the forecast, let's take a trip down memory lane to a clipper system which hit during the overnight of February 19-20, 2008.  The system didn't get much attention from forecasters.  Even the weather enthusiasts like me didn't get too hyped up about an ordinary clipper coming though the area.  I called for one to two inches and the NWS in Indianapolis finally got on board with my call and acknowledged the clipper forecasting the same accumulations.

This ordinary clipper decided to thump its chest a few times and roar.  When the morning came, it had left behind four to five inches across Howard County.  What a sweet busted forecast.  Take a look at the snowfall map below.

Fast forward to today and we have another clipper forecast to come across the region now.  Unlike the clipper above, the forecast models have been a bit more bullish with this system.  This system looks to be a powerful clipper system.  (Please note that clipper systems are not generally potent systems.)

The NAM shows a decent swath of precipitation with the clipper system and cold (but borderline) temps.  

A high resolution snow map for our area show 8-10 inches for Kokomo.  Well, that is just poppycock.  But it does give some credence to a higher than normal total for this system.  The one item to take special note with this map is the narrow path of decent snow with a very tight gradient on the edges.  A shift of a couple of counties either way will have significant changes to the total accumulations.  Right now it is too early to lock anything in but the potential for a solid snow for someone in our area is there. 

The GFS is not nearly at crazy with the snow totals as the NAM and shows a more realistic 2-4 inches across Howard County.  I could support that idea.

The European model be out a bit later.  This will be the first year I have access to those maps in detail.  (Don't tell the wife I am spending $20 per month for a weather map subscription.)  Hopefully it will also show us in the snow path of the clipper.

As for now, I will continue to hold with my initial call of one to two inches.  The good news is I feel pretty good about it now.

Update: The Euro and Canadian models are also in line with the GFS.  The NAM is still the outlier.  

Another positive quote from an area NWS meteorologist:

Usually with moisture-starved clippers we halve the QPF to make our forecast. However, looking at water vapor and the pacific origins of this system GFS/ECMWF QPF progs may not be too far off. This system has my attention...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

2010-2011 Snow Logs (For Kokomo, Indiana)

Total (Updated 3/6/2011): 34.3" + 6 Traces | Snow Days: 5
Forecast 22-24" Snow Days Predicted: 0

11/30/2010 - T
12/1/2010 - 0.4"
12/4/2010 - 3" (Hybrid Clipper)
12/5/2010 - T
12/9-10/2010 - 1" (Overnight Clipper)
12/12-13/2010 - 2.1"  (Synoptic and LES/Snow day @ Eastern. Related to boiler problems.)
12/16/2010 - 2" (Better than expected!)
12/20-21/2010 - 2.3" (Overnight Clipper)
12/22/2010 - T
12/24-25/2010 - 1" + T (An additional 0.2" fell in eastern Howard County on Christmas. Not recorded in the 1" measurement.)
1/6-8/2011 - 1" (Several small waves of snow from the passing clippers.)
1/11-12/2011 - 4.5" (Widespread Snow.  Schools dismissed early on Tuesday and then did the delay/cancel shuffle on Wednesday.)
1/20/2011 - 1.75"
1/ 24-25/2011 - 1.2"
1/27/2011 - 1.5" (Clipper)
1/29/2011 - .25" (Whole lot of nothing.)
1/31/2011 - 1" (Snow)
2/1-2/2/2011 - 3" (Mainly Sleet)  (2/1-2/3 - 3 Snow Days (Kokomo Center only 2))
2/5/2011 -  6" (HUGE surprise - Biggest snow of the season!)
2/20/2011 - T (Snow/sleet mix AM)
2/21/2011 - 0.3" (Wintry mix with Zr, SN, and rain too.)
2/25/2011 - 4" (Dry air killed a great storm system. County wide snow day.)
2/26/2011 - T
3/5/2011 - T (plus 1+ inch of rain)

Update: Snowless November - Was it?

Update:  I am going to acknowledge today's snow and place a T in the records book.

The flakes came down pretty good for a bit this afternoon but I didn't see any accumulations to speak (write) of so I am thinking the snowless November prediction remains pretty much in tact.  What did fail was my call for 3/4" to 1" of rain with the system.  About half that amount seems to be what fell.  Oh well...

The weekend clipper is still very undecided on track and the amount of precipitation available.  I don't think my 1" to 2" call of snow is bad one at this time.  I could see us getting missed but am hopeful it doesn't happen.  A lot of model watching is going on and the snow lovers (like me) are really fretting the details on a pretty wimpy system.  I guess knowing December is supposed to be "our month" can make one nervous when things don't look very good right now.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ready For Snow?

Rain is approaching and we should receive more drought relief with this system.  I think 3/4" to 1" is likely.  A small possibility of back end snow.  Maybe enough to write your name on the windshield and make a few slick spots on the sidewalk.

The weekend storm is not exceptionally interesting but it should also bring some snow on the back end of the rain.  At this moment, the snow will be late Saturday evening into the overnight and could total a couple of inches.  This is a clipper system which has been waffling on exactly how far south it digs in.

A possible better solution would be to take a miss to the north allowing the system early next week to come across across the US in a bowling ball fashion.  No predictions at this moment but one of the best bowling ball storms of recent was the Valentines Day storm of 2007.  A nice 15" to 18" fell across our area.  (Wouldn't that be a sweet solution for next week?)

If the system digs in deep, the better system next week could be pushed south.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Rainy Start To The Work Week...

Looks like another drought busting type of system will be over the area for the start of the work week.  Look for a late afternoon/early evening start with the heaviest precipitation to occur Monday night into Tuesday early.  Totals anywhere from three quarters to an inch or maybe more of a good rain band can set up over the area. The GFS and NAM both have moisture coming up from the GOM for the system.  (It would have been great for severe weather to have this set up.)

The system for next weekend is still undecided on how it will end up.  I think this first system will need to exit before we can figure out the weekend.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Snowless November

Currently Kokomo has remained snowless for November.  There have been a few flakes mixed in with the cold rain but nothing accumulated even in the elevated crevasses which normally collect snow.  There is a good chance we finish snowless for the month too.  There is a change on Tuesday for a change over to snow but we have highs near 40 in the afternoon and then the temps start dropping.

Many places remain  without snow or have recorded just a trace or slightly more.  The next real shot at snow is the 4th or 5th of December.  That is a weekend of course.  The model consensus now is for a decent amount of precipitation for that time frame to be over the Ohio Valley/Great Lakes regions.  Sometimes it is much to warm for snow and sometimes not.  Looks like there will be some model watching needed next week.

Temperature wise we are currently above normal for the month but not by much.  I think we will finish there given a short lived warming trend happens for the final two days of the month.  Precipitation is also catching up too.  Locally Howard County is probably down 10 to 15% for the past 90 days but slightly above average year to date. 

I want to wish everyone a great finish to the Thanksgiving weekend and look for some more details on the December snow maker in a few days.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


The NWS in Indianapolis really is buying into the heavy rain idea...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wet Thanksgiving

Draw a line from St. Louis to Indianapolis to Columbus, OH, to Pittsburgh for the northern boundary and the Ohio River as the southern boundary and you have what should be the heaviest rain over Wednesday and Thursday.  Over two inches is likely. 

For our area, expect one to two inches with possible snow mixing in at times.  Accumulation seems unlikely but a dusting to a half inch on some surfaces could happen either at the front or tail end of the system.  Very marginal. 

Cold temps through the holiday weekend.