Blizzard of 2011 - Snowfall Map, Peak Wind Gusts, and Images

FEBRUARY 1st BLIZZARD

A quick-hitting blizzard affected much of northwest Ohio, northern Indiana, and southwest Lower Michigan during the late afternoon and evening hours of February 1st. This system began as a potent upper level disturbance across the Southern Plains that ejected northeastward towards the Middle Mississippi Valley and Southern Great Lakes. Impressive lift with this negatively tilted trough led to rapid cyclogenesis during the morning hours of February 1st across the Lower Mississippi River Valley, with continued deepening as the surface low tracked north-northeast into east-central Illinois by late in the evening. Moderate to heavy precipitation rapidly spread into the forecast area during the mid to late afternoon hours. Precipitation began as mainly snow north of Highway 24, with a mixture of snow and sleet along and south of Highway 24 due to a warm layer aloft. This warm layer filtered northward during the evening which allowed the heavy snow to change over to sleet north of Highway 24. A strong surface pressure gradient between the aforementioned surface low and a 1050 mb arctic high pressure system across the Plains created strong winds during the height of the storm. Sustained winds generally ranged between 30 and 40 mph in the evening, with gusts between 40 and 55 mph. This combined with the heavy snow and sleet created blizzard conditions, especially along and north of Highway 24, where visibilities were reduced to less than an eighth of a mile for several hours early in the evening.  The mixed precipitation and strong winds abruptly came to an end during the overnight hours as low pressure tracked into northern Indiana and a dry slot moved into the area.

The snowfall graphic above includes total snow accumulation between January 31st and February 2nd as a weak lead shortwave trough moved through the previous night dropping between 2 and 5 inches of snow across the CWA (County Warning Area). Snow and sleet accumulation during the blizzard portion of the storm generally ranged between 4 and 10 inches, heaviest across the north where 1-2 inch per hour snowfall rates were common.

 

LOCATION SNOW TOTALS   LOCATION SNOW TOTALS
Portage 0.9 ESE 15.7   Jonesville 5.9 ENE 8.0
La Porte 1.6 SW 15.1   Peru 8.0
Kingsbury 5.0 ENE 14.7   Goshen 1.9 NW 7.9
South Bend 2 NE 14.5   Bronson 5.9 SE 7.8
Hebron 3.7 NE 13.2   Millersburg 0.5 SW 7.6
Fort Wayne 5.4 WSW 12.6   Granger 2.9 W 7.6
South Bend Airport 12.3   Woodburn 3 N 7.6
Valparaiso 5.7 WSW 12.1   Wakarusa 2.4 NNE 7.5
North Webster 2 SW 11.0   Niles 2.7 W 7.4
Plymouth 2.5 WSW 10.5   Huntington 0.3 W 7.3
Valparaiso 1.8 NW 10.4   Woodburn 2.8 WSW 7.0
Fort Wayne Airport 10.2   Bluffton 0.9 SE 7.0
Leesburg 6.7 ESE 10.2   Brooklyn 2 ENE 6.8
Chesterton 4.2 E 10.2   Elkhart 3.1 SSE 6.8
Hudson 4.1 NNW 10.0   Paulding 6.6
Rensselar 9.8   Bluffton 1 N 6.0
Logansport 1.7 ENE 9.5   Hamilton 1.7 E 6.0
Napoleon 9.3   Attica 3.4 SSW 5.5
Hicksville 9.0   Lafayette 2.2 S 5.5
Stevensville 1.7 SSE 9.0   Berne 0.8 WSW 5.0
North Judson 5.7 ESE 8.8   Lima 2.7 NE 5.0
Huntertown 2.6 ESE 8.7   Litchfield 0.3 ENE 4.8
White Pigeon 3.4 ESE 8.7   Atlanta 4.4 W 4.5
LaGrange 9.9 E 8.6   Marion 5.4 NNE 3.7
Warsaw Airport 8.5   Kokomo 6.8 W 3.6
Rochester 8.5   Covington 0.4 WNW 2.8
Angola 4.1 N 8.4   Upland 2.4 SSE 2.4
Chalmers 5W 8.3      
 

 *The values listed in this table were snowfall totals given at roughly ~9am on Wednesday, February 2nd.
Additional snow has fallen since 9am on Wednesday morning and is not accounted for in this table or the map.

 

To see snowfall totals and record snowfall totals from across the Chicago area, click here.

To see snowfall totals and other information concerning the Blizzard of 2011 in southern Wisconsin including Madison and Milwaukee, click here.

 

Peak Wind Gusts Reported

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORTHERN INDIANA
947 AM EST WED FEB 2 2011 /847 AM CST WED FEB 2 2011/

WIND INFORMATION FOR THE PAST 24 HOURS...

LOCATION HIGHEST OB TIME WIND PEAK WIND OR
AND OB TIME PEAK OB TIME GUST

INDIANA...

AUBURN 33 MPH / 1023 PM 47 MPH / 1103 PM
FORT WAYNE 40 MPH / 954 PM 54 MPH / 913 PM
GOSHEN 26 MPH / 1040 PM 43 MPH / 1035 PM
GRISSOM AFB 40 MPH / 807 PM 52 MPH / 855 PM
KNOX 33 MPH / 845 PM 47 MPH / 745 PM
ROCHESTER 31 MPH / 845 PM 41 MPH / 845 PM
SOUTH BEND 24 MPH / 954 PM 41 MPH / 943 PM
WARSAW 36 MPH / 1025 PM 46 MPH / 1045 PM


MICHIGAN...

BENTON HARBOR 22 MPH / 553 PM 36 MPH / 706 PM
COLDWATER 30 MPH / 934 PM 41 MPH / 1034 PM
HILLSDALE 37 MPH / 955 PM 48 MPH / 1134 PM
STURGIS 35 MPH / 854 PM 44 MPH / 1115 PM
THREE RIVERS 26 MPH / 1015 PM 35 MPH / 1015 PM


OHIO...

DEFIANCE 29 MPH / 1001 PM 43 MPH / 959 PM
LIMA 35 MPH / 553 AM 52 MPH / 549 AM

 

 

Photos

 

Images from the North Webster and Leesburg areas in Indiana:

 

 

 (Photos courtesy of J. Ball)

 

Image taken just west of Hoagland, IN

 

(Photo courtesy of Jim Koch)

 

Do you have pictures or video of this event?

If so, NWS Northern Indiana would love to see them! With your permission, we would like to use these pictures or videos in webstories and future outreach events. Please include a description of the image/video including date and location and permission to use the file.  All images or video can be emailed to our webmaster w-iwx.webmaster@noaa.gov

 

WEISSER / STEINWEDEL



Return to News Archive

USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.