February 4th-5th, 2014 Winter Storm

Updated 2/7/2014 9 pm EST

Overview

Regional Snowfall 

Local Snowfall

Reports

What Caused This Event?

Radar Loop 

Products Issued

Snow began to overspread the area from southwest to northeast Tuesday afternoon and early evening with many locations picking up between 3 and 6 inches of snow by midnight Wednesday, especially across areas along and south of the US Route 24 corridor.  A brief lull in the intensity of snow was then experienced late evening and into the early portions of the overnight hours as low level forcing pushed off to the east.  Some of the heaviest snowfall of this event (snowfall rates of 2+ inches/hour) occurred late Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning as an upper level front associated with this storm system became more active.


72-hour Regional Snowfall Totals

regional snow totals


Local Storm Total Snowfall

What Caused This Event?

700-500 millibar layer temperature lapse rates, (Fig. 1, the rate at which temperature decreases with height) can often give some indication as to the amount of instability present within a layer, with greater lapse rates generally indicating greater instability.  At 7pm EST Tuesday evening, note the pocket of mid level instability across the southern/central Plains depicted by the red shading.

This stronger instability aloft would eventually race northeastward and reach the local area by early Wednesday morning. This increased instability aloft was also located in close proximity to a frontal boundary in the mid levels of the atmosphere.  The combination of this mid level front on the back side of this winter storm and unstable conditions resulted in bands of heavy snow early Wednesday morning. Storm total snowfall accumulations in excess of 1 foot were reported for areas which were impacted by these heavy snow bands.

water vapor loop
Fig. 1 00Z Feb 05 700-500mb layer lapse rate Fig. 2 12Z Feb 05 700-500mb layer lapse rate

 

water vapor image loop
Fig. 3 Water vapor satellite loop 05-17Z


Products Issued

Note the rapid intensification to multiple snowbands as seen in radar data (Fig. 6) across the area that occurred during the early morning hours of the 5th...especially over northern Indiana and southern Michigan. Dark blue and purple colors denote intense snowfall rates of 1 to 2" inches/hr respectively.  In fact multiple observers reported 1.5-2.0"/hr snowfall rates.  This was a result of the increasing instability aloft in advance of the parent strong mid level circulation that passes through northern Indiana later in the morning and denoted in the loop of water vapor imagery (Fig. 3). Bright yellow in the water vapor loop indicates the position and northeast progression of a 150 knot upper level jet streak which led to a pronounced and deep vertical motion plume to develop across the mid level frontal boundary across the area.

National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) issued a satellite precipitation estimate message shown in Fig. 4 which denote nicely the areas of heaviest snowfall.  In addition, the Storm Prediction Center issued a mesoscale discussion as shown in Fig. 5

 satellite precipitation message  mesoscale discussion
Fig. 4 1124Z Satellite Precipitation Estimate Message Fig. 5 1039Z Storm Prediction Mesoscale Discussion


Radar Loop

Below is a radar loop from 0604Z to 1725Z on February 5th. The vast majority of the snow fell in a 5 hour period early Wednesday morning.

radar reflectivity loop
Fig. 6 Northern Indiana Doppler Radar Reflectivity Loop


Below is a text summary of snowfall reports received during the event.  The NWS would like to thank spotters, emergency management, the public, cooperative observers, CoCoRaHS observers, broadcast media, and amateur radio operators for providing valuable reports during this event.

 

 

Location Snowfall Time/Date of Report
INDIANA    
     
...ADAMS COUNTY...    
1 N DECATUR 10 700 AM  2/05
DECATUR 8 930 AM  2/05
     
...ALLEN COUNTY...    
S FORT WAYNE 10 148 PM  2/05
5 SW FORT WAYNE 9.6 100 PM  2/05
MONROEVILLE 9.6 1130 AM  2/05
3 ESE HUNTERTOWN 9 900 AM  2/05
2 N WOODBURN 9 955 AM  2/05
     
...BLACKFORD COUNTY...    
HARTFORD CITY 8 730 AM  2/05
     
...CASS COUNTY...    
1 ESE GALVESTON 7.8 800 AM  2/05
     
...DE KALB COUNTY...    
AUBURN 10 1120 AM  2/05
1 NE AUBURN 5 1000 AM  2/05
     
     
...ELKHART COUNTY...    
NAPPANEE 8.7 300 PM  2/05
     
...FULTON COUNTY...    
AKRON 9 341 PM  2/05
     
...GRANT COUNTY...    
2 N MARION 7 700 AM  2/05
     
...HUNTINGTON COUNTY...    
BIPPUS 8 638 AM  2/05
HUNTINGTON 7 1030 AM  2/05
     
...JAY COUNTY...    
PORTLAND 10 307 PM  2/05
PENNVILLE 9 845 AM  2/05
     
...KOSCIUSKO COUNTY...    
2 SW NORTH WEBSTER 13.6 242 PM  2/05
OSWEGO 13.5 200 PM  2/05
1 S WINONA LAKE 13 1200 PM  2/05
WARSAW 12 925 AM  2/05
4 ENE LEESBURG 12 154 PM  2/05
2 SW LEESBURG 12 1041 AM  2/05
2 N NORTH WEBSTER 10.6 100 PM  2/05
CLAYPOOL 10 850 AM  2/05
1 NNW WARSAW 10 541 PM  2/05
     
...LA PORTE COUNTY...    
2 SW LA PORTE 6.4 1000 AM  2/05
2 SW LAPORTE 6.4 1000 AM  2/05
5 N LA PORTE 5 1055 AM  2/05
     
...LAGRANGE COUNTY...    
1 ENE LAGRANGE 8 200 PM  2/05
TOPEKA 8 1120 AM  2/05
     
...MARSHALL COUNTY...    
BOURBON 12 1130 AM  2/05
CULVER 10 1235 PM  2/05
4 W PLYMOUTH 9 1130 AM  2/05
     
...MIAMI COUNTY...    
2 NW PERU 9.6 141 PM  2/05
MEXICO 8.5 1211 PM  2/05
     
...PULASKI COUNTY...    
5 N MEDARYVILLE 5.5 800 AM  2/05
     
...ST. JOSEPH COUNTY...    
LAKEVILLE 6 953 AM  2/05
2 S ROSELAND 4.9 1158 AM  2/05
     
...STARKE COUNTY...    
KNOX 9 554 PM  2/05
4 SW NORTH JUDSON 6.5 900 AM  2/05
     
...STEUBEN COUNTY...    
METZ 9 1015 AM  2/05
4 NNW HUDSON 8.7 1140 AM  2/05
PLEASANT LAKE 8 800 AM  2/05
5 N HUDSON 6.2 900 AM  2/05
     
...WABASH COUNTY...    
NORTH MANCHESTER 9 130 PM  2/05
1 NW LA FONTAINE 5 900 AM  2/05
     
...WELLS COUNTY...    
1 SE BLUFFTON 7 800 AM  2/05
     
...WHITE COUNTY...    
HEADLEE 9.6 517 PM  2/05
5 W CHALMERS 7 600 AM  2/05
     
...WHITLEY COUNTY...    
COLUMBIA CITY 12 1241 PM  2/05
LARWILL 9.5 1140 AM  2/05
     
MICHIGAN    
     
...BERRIEN COUNTY...    
1 WNW BUCHANAN 6 1000 AM  2/05
BENTON HARBOR 5.5 921 AM  2/05
SAINT JOSEPH 4.5 700 AM  2/05
     
...BRANCH COUNTY...    
8 N COLDWATER 7 220 PM  2/05
     
...CASS COUNTY...    
5 NNW DOWAGIAC 6.2 900 AM  2/05
     
...HILLSDALE COUNTY...    
W READING 6 130 PM  2/05
1 NE MOSCOW 5.5 441 PM  2/05
5 E PITTSFORD 4.5 1220 PM  2/05
LITCHFIELD 4.3 1235 PM  2/05
     
...ST. JOSEPH COUNTY...    
2 E CONSTANTINE 4 800 AM  2/05
     
OHIO    
     
...ALLEN COUNTY...    
3 NE LIMA 8.1 900 AM  2/05
SPENCERVILLE 8 849 AM  2/05
     
...DEFIANCE COUNTY...    
1 E DEFIANCE 8.7 1000 AM  2/05
     
...FULTON COUNTY...    
WAUSEON 5 600 AM  2/05
     
...HENRY COUNTY...    
NAPOLEON 8 745 AM  2/05
     
...PAULDING COUNTY...    
PAULDING 11 1211 PM  2/05
GROVER HILL 9.5 1115 AM  2/05
ANTWERP 8.5 1100 AM  2/05
     
...PUTNAM COUNTY...    
COLUMBUS GROVE 8 919 AM  2/05
     
...VAN WERT COUNTY...    
VAN WERT 9 319 PM  2/05
     
...WILLIAMS COUNTY...    
1 NW BRYAN 8 859 AM  2/05
1 WSW MONTPELIER 1WS 5.7 751 AM  2/05

 


 

 

 

Updated 2/7/2014
CEO/NDM/TH

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