BLIZZARD WARNING!!February 1st, 2011 at 8:52 am by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
<–BLIZZARD WARNING!! I’m going to try and get a little sleep – I”ll be back late this morning. Wraparound snow will accumlate another 1-4″ this morning and then it’ll diminish to flurries. THUNDERSNOW!! At least 20 flashes near Middleville! Lightning near Grant, Kalamazoo, Eaton Co., Lansing and near Hudsonville. Two hours of lightning Tue. evening in DOWNTOWN CHICAGO 5 AM update – 911 center “closing down around 3 AM – can’t handle more calls – dozens of stranded vehicles – National Guard called out in the Chicago area (cars abandoned, people trapped – 123,000 without power in the Chicago area) and a Civil Emergency in SE Wisconsin. Snow emergencies in Kalamazoo and Battle Creek. Snow totals as of around 4 AM: 15″ near Wyoming, 14″ Hart, Muskegon, near Hudsonville, 11″ Hastings and West Olive, 7-8″ Kalamazoo…drifts up to 5 feet in Alma. As of midnight – 14.5″ S. Bend…11.2″ of snow in Benton Harbor since 3:30 PM – so that’s 11″ in 8 1/2 hours! Portage Road in Kalamazoo has a number of abandoned vehicles. Abandoned vehicles in Allegan and Holland. At least an inch an hour here in downtown G.R. Michigan State Univ., Ferris and even Calvin College closed (first time in over 20 years) today. Pontiac, Illinois reporting ZERO visibility in heavy snow with a steady wind of 44 mph with gusts to 56 mph! Gusts to 45-50 mph at Aurora (gust to 59 mph at Aurora), Dekalb, Kankakee and Joliet, Illinois. Clark and Addison in Chicago closed by Wrigley Field in Chicago because of debris in the road. Snowfall rates could reach 2-3″ an hour!! Gust to 48 mph in East Grand Rapids. South Bend has had 4″ in the last 2 hours! Gusts to 40-50 mph in Chicago with a gust to 70 mph at the Harrison Crib 3 miles out in Lake Michigan! The Crib had a sustained (steady) wind of 48 mph. 16″ with 3-foot drifts at Columbia MO. We’ll have team coverage and all day tomorrow. This is going to be an event many of you will remember for a long time. Gusts as high as 60 mph have been reported in Oklahoma. Fort Worth, Texas at 1 PM Tue. their time was 17 degrees with a northwest wind of 26 mph gusting to 37. Amarillo, Texas was 6 above with a wind chill of -18 at 1 PM. We have a Winter Storm Warning from Newaygo and Mecosta Co. to the north, that will come down around midday. The National Weather Service forecast is pretty much the same as mine…10-14″ for the blizzard warning area (I’ve got 10-16″ – somebody is going to get 16″ out of this in Southern Michigan) and 6-10″ in the winter storm warning area. It’s not just the snow, it’s the wind. We had a steady 25 mph with gusts to 45 mph (similar to the Blizzard of ’78). The wind has caused severe drifting (though it will act to blow the snow off roofs, so that will keep us from getting many roof collapses out of this). It’s going to be hard to sleep through this (to a meteorologist, a storm like this is like a termite in a lumber yard), but I’m taking a sleeping bag into the station. NE Oklahoma reported up to 19″ of snow, along with heavy sleet and freezing rain. SW Missouri’s up to 16″ and it’s still coming. Good thing the Steelers and Packers got to Dallas yesterday. The airport was closed this morning. Check the threads below for links. I’ll update when I can which will be seldom. Wikipedia article on the storm already.