More than five inches of local rainfall since Thursday

Monday, January 14, 2013

If you park your car or truck outside, you probably got a free car wash this weekend. But that was about the extent of the good news on the local weather front.

And if you're unlucky, that same car or truck might be a little difficult to open today with freezing temperatures coming in the aftermath of the rain and warmth of Saturday and early Sunday.

After all, Greencastle was one of the soggiest weekend spots in Indiana with 3.5 inches of rain being recorded between the time the rain began about 5:15 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. Sunday.

Diana Foust, who records daily precipitation totals at her home about four miles southeast of Greencastle, not only logged 3.5 inches on Sunday morning but had earlier reported 1.44 inches when she checked her gauges for the 24-hour period ending at 7 a.m. Friday.

Foust reported another half-inch of rain (.48 inches actually) over the past 24 hours when she checked again at 7 a.m. Monday.

So in the past four days, the Greencastle area has seen nearly 5.5 inches of rain, which coupled with a major snowmelt from unseasonably warm temperatures, has produced flooding across parts of the county.

As of presstime Sunday, Putnam County remained in a flood advisory area along with Parke County, eastern Clay County and northern Owen County.

Greencastle and South Putnam schools were on two-hour delays for Monday, partly due to localized flooding.

Lowland flooding is expected to continue along rivers in central and southern Indiana, affecting some local and state roads and low agricultural land and some river parks, according to the National Weather Service.

Heavy rain fell ahead and along a cold front that brought the warm temperatures central Indiana enjoyed on Saturday to an end.

Saturday's high in Greencastle reached 64 degrees between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m., weather watcher Foust reported. That came after a high of 58.3 degrees on Friday.

After a high of 36 on Sunday, the mercury dropped to a low of 15.8 degrees overnight, Foust reported Monday morning

"Keeps things interesting," she commented.

Of course, had it been cold enough to snow instead of rain, that five-inch Greencastle rainfall could have produced some four feet of snowfall, when you compute the moisture content on the old inch-of-rain-equals-10-inches-of-snow formula.

Meanwhile, the Weather Service reports that the 1.28 inches of rain recorded Saturday in Indianapolis broke the one-day record rainfall for Jan. 12 of 1.19 inches set in 1930.

The Greencastle area actually received more rain in one 24-hour period (4.94 inches) than typically falls during a normal January (2.66 inches). The normal January in central Indiana also generally sees 8.6 inches of snowfall (or about one-third of the average winter total).

Most areas received two to three inches of rain, but there were isolated higher amounts southwest of Indianapolis, NWS said.

Nearly four inches of rain fell northeast of Bloomfield in Greene County, and 3.12 inches of rain was reported in Daviess County with more than three inches also falling in Greenfield.

The vigorous, spring-like storm system that plowed through Indiana late Saturday night and early Sunday morning produced strong winds that caused minor damage in areas like Greenwood, where some trees and part of a fence were brought down near Fairview and Morgantown roads.

Dry weather is in store for the next several days, with high temperatures in the 30s, near normal for this time of year.

A flood advisory also is in effect for Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Marion, Morgan, Shelby and southern Madison counties.

Of those areas still under a flood warning, most of the sites are looking to crest in two or three days.

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  • Of course, had it been cold enough to snow instead of rain, the colder air could not contain nearly as much moisture as the 60 degree air and there would have been a lot less snow than what the author states in the article.

    -- Posted by Geologist on Mon, Jan 14, 2013, at 5:15 AM
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