Winter Storm of January 26-28, 2009

(click images to enlarge)

Snowfall ending 7 am January 26
24 hour snowfall ending 
7 am January 26 
(from previous storm)

Snowfall ending 7 am January 27
24 hour snowfall ending 
7 am January 27
 

Midwestern storm total snowfall.  Image courtesy of the Midwestern Regional Climate Center.
Storm total snowfall across the Midwest.  Image courtesy of the Midwestern Regional Climate Center in Champaign.

 Storm total snowfall in central and southeast Illinois
Storm total snowfall ending January 29

 Snowfall in Lawrence County.  Photo courtesy Steve Hardesty
Nearly a foot of snow fell across Lawrence County, in southeast Illinois.  This picture was taken near the town of  Birds.   Photo courtesy Steve Hardesty.

A major winter storm affected a large part of the central and northeast U.S. during the week of January 25.  Snow, sleet and freezing rain caused major problems from Texas northeast to Maine, with the most damage in parts of the Ohio Valley region. 

Across central and southeast Illinois, impacts were felt from the evening of January 26th through the morning of January 28th.  The hardest hit areas were along and south of I-70, where heavy snow accumulated to between 6 and 12 inches.  Some sleet and freezing rain was reported across this area as well.  The snowfall totals steadily decreased further north, with 2 to 4 inches common along the I-72 corridor, and only 1 to 2 inches in the Peoria and Bloomington areas.

An Arctic airmass was firmly in place across the Midwest on January 26th, with a stationary surface front draped well to the south across the Tennessee River Valley southwestward into southern Texas.  During this time, the upper-level flow became southwesterly in response to a vigorous wave digging across the Desert Southwest.  As a result, warmer air began to push northward aloft, while the very cold airmass remained in place at the surface.  A strong upper-level frontal boundary eventually developed from the southern Plains northeastward into the Ohio Valley, and this boundary served as the primary focusing mechanism for widespread wintery precipitation. A piece of energy ejected from the main Desert Southwest wave and tracked northeastward along this front on the 26th.  As a result, the first round of precipitation developed across Oklahoma and Missouri during the day, then quickly spread into southern Illinois by evening.  Steady snow impacted locations along and south of a Shelbyville, to Mattoon, to Paris line through much of the night, resulting in accumulations from 2 to 4 inches.

Once the initial wave exited the region, a break in the precipitation was observed for much of the day on the 27th before the main wave began lifting northeastward by afternoon, bringing with it another round of precipitation.  Snow and sleet again spread across much of southern Illinois by afternoon then continued into the night.  As the atmospheric profile warmed slightly, the precipitation changed to a period of freezing rain along and southeast of a Flora to Robinson line; however, the bulk of the precipitation fell in the form of snow.  The snow was heavy at times through the night of the 27th, particularly along and southeast of a Taylorville to Danville line.  Meanwhile, two bands of lighter snow developed further north across the Illinois River Valley after midnight, then tracked eastward across the remainder of central Illinois.

As the main upper-wave pushed to the east, the snow finally came to an end by the morning of  the 28th.  By the time it was all said and done, many areas across east-central and southeast Illinois had picked up their most significant snowfall in several years.  The heaviest snow in the National Weather Service Lincoln's area fell across Clay, Richland, Jasper, Crawford, and Lawrence counties, where greater than 10 inches fell.  The highest total from this 2-day event was a whopping 12.5 inches recorded in Sumner in Lawrence County.

Snowfall Totals:

The Lincoln NWS would like to thank dedicated COOP, SWOP, and CoCoRaHS observers for the following snowfall reports:


  INCHES  LOCATION             COUNTY       TIME
  ------  -------------------  -----------  -------

 12.5    SUMNER               LAWRENCE     0800 AM

 12.0    5 NW FLORA           CLAY         0600 PM
 11.6    10 S MARTINSVILLE    CLARK        0600 AM
 11.4    6 N CLAREMONT        RICHLAND     0730 AM

 11.0    11 NE LAWRENCEVILLE  LAWRENCE     1100 AM

 11.0    PINKSTAFF            LAWRENCE     1100 AM

 11.0    6 SE FLORA           CLAY         1043 AM

 11.0    OLNEY                RICHLAND     0858 AM
 10.7    ROBINSON             CRAWFORD     0700 AM

 10.5    BIRDS                LAWRENCE     1100 AM

 10.5    7 ESE LAWRENCEVILLE  LAWRENCE     1100 AM

 10.3    1 E TRIMBLE          CRAWFORD     0600 PM

 10.2    4 SE CLAY CITY       CLAY         1011 AM

 10.0    PALESTINE            CRAWFORD     0500 PM

 10.0    1 NE SHELBYVILLE     SHELBY       0700 AM

  9.5    3 SW HIDALGO         JASPER       0600 PM
  9.5    EFFINGHAM            EFFINGHAM    0519 AM

  9.3    2 NE MARTINSVILLE    CLARK        0200 PM
  9.0    CLAY CITY            CLAY         0700 AM
  9.0    WATSON               EFFINGHAM    0806 AM

  9.0    8 NW NEWTON          JASPER       0730 AM
  8.7    3 E MONTROSE         JASPER       0700 AM
  8.6    5 SE CALHOUN         RICHLAND     0700 AM

  8.5    ALTAMONT             EFFINGHAM    0650 AM
  8.5    SHELBYVILLE          SHELBY       0500 AM

  8.3    3 NW WHEELER         JASPER       1159 AM

  8.0    MATTOON              COLES        0755 AM

  8.0    NEWTON               JASPER       0730 AM

  8.0    5 NW SIDELL          VERMILION    0700 AM

  7.8    ROSAMOND             CHRISTIAN    1053 AM

  7.5    CHARLESTON           COLES        0618 AM
  7.1    PARIS                EDGAR        0700 AM

  7.0    WINDSOR              SHELBY       0600 PM

  7.0    LAKEWOOD             SHELBY       0422 AM 

  6.5    7 N OAKLAND          DOUGLAS      0917 AM

  6.0    3 S SULLIVAN         MOULTRIE     0700 AM

  5.7    DANVILLE             VERMILION    0943 AM

  5.6    2 SW TAYLORVILLE     CHRISTIAN    0700 AM

  5.5    TUSCOLA              DOUGLAS      0700 AM

  5.0    ARTHUR               MOULTRIE     0203 PM

  5.0    LOVINGTON            MOULTRIE     0200 PM

  5.0    SULLIVAN             MOULTRIE     0733 AM

  4.9    OGDEN                CHAMPAIGN    0848 AM

  4.7    2 N HOMER            CHAMPAIGN    0700 AM

  4.5    2 ENE PHILO          CHAMPAIGN    0700 AM

  4.4    7 NE MAHOMET         CHAMPAIGN    0800 AM

  4.4    KINCAID              CHRISTIAN    0700 AM

  4.3    DECATUR              MACON        0700 AM

  4.2    URBANA               CHAMPAIGN    0600 PM

  4.2    3 SW CHAMPAIGN       CHAMPAIGN    0700 AM

  3.8    MONTICELLO           PIATT        0821 AM

  3.5    3 W BISMARCK         VERMILION    0816 AM

  3.5    CHATHAM              SANGAMON     0700 AM

  3.2    1 S MANITO           MASON        0801 AM

  3.2    RIVERTON             SANGAMON     0731 AM

  3.1    FISHER               CHAMPAIGN    0700 AM

  3.0    1 N COOKSVILLE       MCLEAN       0700 AM

  2.7    4 SW BEASON          LOGAN        0730 AM

  2.5    CLINTON              DE WITT      0300 PM

  2.5    MOUNT PULASKI        LOGAN        0600 AM

  2.4    BUFFALO              SANGAMON     0830 AM

  2.4    SPRINGFIELD          SANGAMON     0600 AM

  2.3    1 SW JEROME          SANGAMON     0700 AM

  2.0    BROADWELL            LOGAN        0730 AM

  2.0    3 SSW LOAMI          SANGAMON     0730 AM

  1.9    1 S MOSSVILLE        PEORIA       0852 AM

  1.9    HENRY                MARSHALL     0744 AM

  1.8    LINCOLN              LOGAN        1200 PM

  1.7    PETERSBURG           MENARD       0816 AM

  1.6    EUREKA               WOODFORD     0718 AM

  1.5    3 NE BLOOMINGTON     MCLEAN       0300 PM

  1.5    1 NW JACKSONVILLE    MORGAN       0815 AM

  1.5    JACKSONVILLE         MORGAN       0700 AM

  1.5    2 N ATHENS           MENARD       0700 AM

  1.5    LACON                MARSHALL     0700 AM

  1.5    5 W LINCOLN          LOGAN        0700 AM

  1.5    2 SW ATHENS          MENARD       0600 AM

  1.4    5 NW PEORIA          PEORIA       0800 AM

  1.4    2 N GERMANTOWN HILLS WOODFORD     0659 AM

  1.4    PEORIA               PEORIA       0600 AM

  1.3    1 N BLOOMINGTON      MCLEAN       0745 AM

  1.2    5 NE AVON            KNOX         0910 AM

  1.2    MORTON               TAZEWELL     0700 AM

  1.1    2 SW PETERSBURG      MENARD       0800 AM

  1.0    2 W PRINCEVILLE      PEORIA       0815 AM

  1.0    MINONK               WOODFORD     0730 AM

  1.0    1 SE PEKIN           TAZEWELL     0700 AM

  1.0    LEWISTOWN            FULTON       0700 AM

  1.0    1 SSW GERMANTOWN HIL WOODFORD     0600 AM

  1.0    HAVANA               MASON        0600 AM


 


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