Winter Storm 09 Review
A few random thoughts on these two significant events that we have unfortunately had to deal with over recent weeks....
-Similarities between Ike and the Feb. 11 Wind Events:
Although these two systems were very different in their origins (tropical system vs mid-latitude cyclone), both of these systems looked eerily similar as they swept through our region. As you can see in the pictures below, as the centers of circulation were moving north of our area, the central pressure with Ike fell to 993 mb, the central pressure with this past Wednesday's system fell to 998 mb over Paducah, but was deepened to 994 mb as it passed over Mt. Vernon. Also, both of these systems had incredibly fast forward speeds...both moving at near 50 mph...which contributed to the winds at the surface. Peak winds reflected the similarities with these systems....with Ike, sustained winds of 56 mph/max gust to 65 mph were recorded at the NWS Paducah.....on Feb. 11, sustained winds of 51 mph/max gust to 63 mph were recorded at the NWS. Pretty remarkable similarities!
Ike centered over central IN.....central pressure 992 mb
Low-pressure on Feb. 11...central pressure over central IL of 990 mb
On to some thoughts on ice storms....First, I have had several people over the past few days ask me if there is another ice storm on the way. Apparently, they say that the Farmer's Almanac accurately predicted our historic storm last month, and that it is predicting another, even more significant event toward the end of this month. About this, first let me say that I really think what we experienced a few weeks ago was probably a once every 100 years type of storm (which fits wonderfully with my third and final though below). I need your help in tracking down this information....I stopped by a store this afternoon and tracked down a copy of the Old Farmer's Almanac, and I honestly cannot find a thing about the last ice storm or the prediction of another one on the way. If you have a copy of the almanac that predicted the past storm, I'd love to see it. I can tell you that as far as the computer models that we look at, there are no ice events on the horizon for the next 7-10 days, and beyond that, I really don't think there is any accurate way to tell.
For my third and final thought, some of you may have already heard about this, but if not, this is worth reading. I mentioned that our recent ice storm was one that we probably only experience once every 100 years or so.....well actually 107 years to the day earlier, a very similar storm hit the Paducah area, and was written about in a book by W. G. McFadden, called “Souvenir of Paducah: The Great Sleet Storm of January 1902”. Here is part of an article that recently appeared in The Paducah Sun about that account of a past ice storm:
The storm came in two waves, with the first hitting late Sunday night into Monday morning, and the second two days later. “Thursday morning, Paducah was a city transformed, albeit a city wrecked.”
That's it for now. Hopefully this is the last of our ice and wind events for a long long while. As of today, only 33 days remain until the first day of spring, and here's hoping for a peaceful and quiet spring season.