Prepared Monday, 31 January 2011 at 8:00 PM for Tippecanoe County Amateur Radio Emergency Services
An area of snow and sleet stretches from St. Louis to Champaign to Fort Wayne. Reports of 1″ of snow in Lafayette and 0.1″ of ice in Brownsburg have been received already this afternoon. Larger precipitation amounts are likely to have been received in places where convective development has occurred. Precipitation is likely to be ongoing for the next few hours as the system moves generally east-northeast.
Tippecanoe County is under a Winter Storm Warning from 7 PM this evening until 7 PM Wednesday. The surrounding counties of Warren, Fountain, Montgomery, Clinton, Carrol and White are included. Benton County is under a Blizzard warning from 4 PM EST Tuesday until 4 PM EST Wednesday.
Forecast: 0-12 hours
Models are in agreement that the precipitation will continue into the overnight hours. Although snow is expected to be the dominant type, periods of sleet and freezing rain will be included, especially before midnight. Heavy snow can be expected during portions of the evening hours as the stronger precipitation in Illinois moves east-northeast. Precipitation should slacken by 8 am, with 2-3″ of snow and potentially some ice on the ground. The exact amounts will depend on the mix of precip types.
Forecast: 12-24 hours
Tuesday morning will be relatively quiet. By mid-afternoon, winds will pick up to 15 knots, and snow will begin falling more heavily. Precipitation should remain light-to-moderate snow through the end of the period. Depending on the timing, an additional 4-6″ of snow may accumulate during this period.
Forecast: 24-36 hours
Tuesday night the snow returns in earnest, accompanied by winds of 20-25 knots. Heavy snow is likely through much of the period. The bulk of the weather impacts will occur from sunset on Tuesday into early Wednesday morning. Snowfall rates in excess of 2″ per hour are possible, leaving street crews unable to maintain passage on roads. By sunrise Wednesday, an additional 8-10″ of snow may have fallen, meaning total snowfall of 14-19″ is possible.
Forecast: 36 hours and beyond
Light snow will continue through the day on Wednesday, with perhaps another 1″ of accumulation. Winds will remain greater than 15 knots, creating the possibility of blowing snow. Temperatures will begin to drop Wednesday night and into Thursday as the winds shift to the north. Below-zero lows should be expected on Thursday and Friday mornings.
The Lafayette area will be fortunate enough to miss the crippling ice storm that will impact the Interstate 70 corridor, including Indianapolis. Road crews should be able to keep streets passable through Tuesday afternoon. Travel will become difficult, if not impossible from Tuesday evening until at least Wednesday afternoon. Rural areas may remain blocked by snow until Thursday. Widespread power outages should be expected to our south and southeast, potentially lasting several days.