Winter Storm Blog - Dec. 15-16, 2007

The NWS Indianapolis blog is a venue for NWS meteorologists to make informal and unofficial comments on the current weather situation, and will be updated only as time and essential duties permit. To report hazardous weather information, send email to or call 1-800-499-2133. For the latest watch and warning information, see our hazardous weather page.

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Storm Total Snow at Indianapolis (as of 3 AM) - 3.0 inches
Storm Total Ice at Indianapolis - Approximately 0.15"

December 16th, 2007

3:00 AM EST...I ventured out back to do an intermediate measurement.  We’ve had another half inch of snow since 100 AM EST, bringing our storm total to 3.0, with more on the way.  It is a bit surreal to hear the ice-coated trees creaking in the gusty winds.

2:45 AM EST...At the risk of being cliche’, it’s quiet...too quiet.  You can always tell when much of the population has gone to bed during a storm event, as calls drop dramatically and reports through other sources begin to slow to a trickle.  We’re glad folks are inside, staying off the roads and staying warm and safe from the storm, but if you’re up with us, feel free to send us a report on conditions at your location.  Send email to or call 1-800-499-2133.

2:34 AM EST...WLFI passed along a recent report of thundersnow from Grant County in Northern Indiana.

2:30 AM EST...WLFI and a spotter reports 5.5-6" storm total snow at Lafayette, with blizzard conditions due to gusty winds and continued heavy snow.

1:21 AM EST...Cooler air has begun to win out over central Indiana at this time. The freezing line has retreated a bit southward, and precipitation along the I-70 corridor has begun to change to all snow. Along the freezing line, from roughly Sullivan to Greensburg, and 20-30 miles either side of that line, rapidly changing precipitation types may be observed over about the next hour. Periods of mixed precipitation can be expected before the snow changeover occurs. Snowfall rates of one inch per hour will be possible in the heaviest snowfall, particularly in a band currently stretching from northeast of Terre Haute to near Delphi. As the night wears on, snow may be heavy at times, and winds will continue to increase. This may cause power outages and hazardous travel as winds bring ice laden trees and power lines down in spots, and cause drifting of snow. Travel will be extremely difficult in many areas through tomorrow morning.

1:18 AM EST...A spotter at Paragon reports a changeover to all snow.

1:00 AM EST...We have finally changed over to snow at Indianapolis.  We’ve measured a trace of new snow in the last 6 hours, due to the aforementioned sleet.  Snow depth has actually decreased to 2 inches, due to settling and other effects of the freezing rain and sleet experienced earlier.  It appears the long awaited transition across central portions of the state is slowly but surely progressing southward.

12:27 AM EST...We’ve gone to a sleet/freezing rain mixture here at Indianapolis.  A spotter in Westfield reports 0.3" of ice accumulation, with smaller trees beginning to show the effects of the weight of the ice.

12:26 AM EST...A spotter 3 miles south of Paragon reports a changeover from freezing rain to sleet.

12:23 AM EST...A spotter in Alexandria reports 0.2-0.25" of ice on trees and power lines, with temperatures in the upper 20s.

12:19 AM EST...Precipitation has changed back over to all snow at Terre Haute, according to WTHI.

12:03 AM EST...Knox County EMA reports a mixture of sleet and snow, with slick spots on area roadways.  Their temperature hovers around 32 degrees at this hour.

12:00 AM EST...Storm totals for Indianapolis for yesterday are 2.5" snowfall, 0.43" liquid precipitation (total melted snow, sleet, freezing rain, and rain).

December 15th, 2007

11:57 PM EST...A spotter in Carmel reports 0.2-0.3" ice accumulation on power lines and trees, with roads and sidewalks beginning to glaze over.

11:42 PM EST...A spotter in Westfield reports 2 inches storm total snow from earlier, about 1/16th inch of ice on surfaces.

11:30 PM EST...Temperatures continue to cool very slowly across portions of central Indiana.  Bloomington just began reporting freezing rain, and a spotter in southern Morgan county reported a changeover to freezing rain.

11:15 PM EST...A spotter in Tipton reports heavy sleet falling over the last 90 minutes, with winds beginning to increase.

11:00 PM EST...WLFI in Lafayette reports 3.0 inches of storm total snow, with snowfall increasing in intensity.

10:51 PM EST...A spotter reports that freezing rain continues in Alexandria with a temperature of 27 degrees.

10:39 PM EST...WRTV weather watcher reported 1/4" of icing in Marshall.

10:32 PM EST...WTHI reports that precipitation is once again in the form of freezing rain at Terre Haute.

10:30 PM EST...Reports from a local radio station are that road conditions are deteriorating rapidly on the north side of Indianapolis.

10:25 PM EST...WLFI in Lafayette reports storm total snow up to 2.5 inches.

10:07 PM EST...Many areas through central portions of the state have been experiencing freezing rain for the last few hours, with up to a quarter inch of ice reported thus far.  Folks in these areas should be prepared for possible power outages tonight as winds increase with gusts as high as 40 mph.  Wind loading is drastically increased on ice covered surfaces, which may bring power lines down overnight, or cause limbs to fall on lines.

10:05 PM EST...A spotter in Brownsburg reports moderate freezing rain with 0.2" storm total ice.  Untreated and elevated surfaces are icing over rapidly.

10:00 PM EST...WTHI reports precipitation rapidly changing to snow in Terre Haute.

9:50 PM EST...Contract observer at Midwest Weather in the IND control tower reports 0.1" of glaze.

9:25 PM EST...WLFI reports 2" new snow in Lafayette.

9:20 PM EST...WRTV has passed along that one of their observers in Frankfort has reported a mix of heavy sleet and freezing rain for the past two hours, which is now beginning to transition to snow.

9:10 PM EST...Freezing rain has begun again at Indianapolis in the last half hour, and is coming down at a pretty good clip at this time.  Visibility has fallen to 3 miles, with a temperature of 31 at the airport.  Temperature out back is 30.0.  In the parking lot, light icing has begun on our cars.  A National Weather Service meteorologist in Brownsburg reports mainly freezing rain, with some sleet mixed in.  Ice is beginning to accumulate on surfaces.  A meteorologist for WTHI Terre Haute reports about 0.1" ice accumulation on surfaces, except for roads as the temperature remains at 32 degrees.  However, roadways throughout central Indiana are likely slick and hazardous in many spots at this time, and will continue to deteriorate through the evening as more freezing rain and sleet falls before the snow changeover occurs.

8:15 PM EST...A caller about 20 miles southeast of Lafayette on Interstate 65 reports heavy sleet and extremely slick conditions on the highway.  At this time, it appears that mainly rain is falling over southwest portions of the area, with freezing rain along the Interstate 70 corridor, and sleet in areas of northwest central Indiana south and east of Lafayette.  In extreme northwestern central Indiana, all snow is falling, including at Lafayette.  Precipitation types have been changing rapidly at times throughout the evening, and this will continue until colder air has a chance to move in from the northwest.  Stay tuned!

8:10 PM EST...A spotter at Frankfort reports one quarter inch of glaze from freezing rain.

7:00 PM EST...Six hourly snowfall total at Indianapolis is 1.0 inches, for a storm total of 2.5.  Precipitation has ended for the time being here, but additional precipitation should develop as the low begins to intensify rapidly.

5:45 PM EST...A spotter in Brownsburg reports freezing rain and drizzle accumulating to around 0.1" in the last hour.  Roads are slushy and snow covered.  Here at Indianapolis, we remain at 33 degrees in light rain.  We continue monitoring the evolution of our next significant band of precipitation stretching from Kokomo to Terre Haute and into eastern Illinois.

5:00 PM EST...Storm total snow is right at 2.5 inches as of 500 PM EST at NWS Indianapolis.  We’ve gone over to rain as the temperature at the airport has climbed to 33 degrees.  Out back, we’re at 31.4, so this rain may still be freezing on some elevated surfaces.  At Lafayette, back into portions of eastern Illinois, precip has transitioned back to all snow.  We’ll continue monitoring the evolution of precipitation type as the evening wears on.

4:00 PM EST...Snow accumulations across the northern two thirds of central Indiana appear to be in the 1-3 inch range as of 400 PM EST this afternoon.  Areas from Indianapolis south have begun to experience light freezing rain, with some areas reporting up to 1/8" of ice accumulation thus far.  We have hit a bit of a lull in the action right now as the dry slot moves overhead.  An inverted trough stretches from the low center over the southern Mississippi Valley up through the Wabash Valley at this time, and this feature is forcing an area of light precip even in the absence of deep moisture in this dry slot, which appears to falling mainly as a freezing rain/sleet mixture.  Round two will come tonight in the form of moderate to heavy snow due to strong forcing as the low rapidly intensifies and moves into Ohio overnight.  The heaviest snow appears to be lining up for the northwest half or so of central Indiana, especially northwest of a Crawfordsville to Muncie line.  This snow, coupled with winds gusting as high as 40 mph, will result in a rapid deterioration of conditions overnight and into Sunday morning.  Be safe, and stay with us here at NWS Indianapolis for the latest warnings and updates.



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