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> Ohio Valley I-70 Transitional Winter Ice/Snow lines
IndySouth
post Nov 16 2008, 07:26 PM
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Here are a few questions that I never got a chance to pose to local meterologists: the Indianapolis I-70 phenomena in the winter. It is really not a phenomena since it is only an Interstate, but nevertheless there has to be an explanation as why it occurs not only in forecast but also in actual terms of the results of winter events.

In my area during a typical winter the all snow line is usually north of I-70. In successive winters (25+) this interstate usually can be relied upon as the demarcation between an all snow event north and a snow/ mix bag event south. I guess my question(s) regarding climate are: Does I-70 itself pose some sort of meterological phenoma? Could the Interstate provide some sort of steering mechanism to meterological events? and does the flatter terrain of this corridor have an effect as opposed to the hills further south? Overall, with few exceptions, the temperatures during these events are usually the same or maybe 1-2 degrees difference at most.

Could this be just a coincidental outcome of the common winter southwestern and Colorado type systems that eventually run up the Ohio River Valley 100-125 miles to the south (of I-70)? Furthermore, if the annual temperature decreased by 1C hypothetically how much further south would the (average) all snow line be located from this interstate? 50,100 miles etc.

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indiana man
post Nov 18 2008, 07:16 PM
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yeah they always use that dividing line for some reason i live in terre haute
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Removed_Member_wfreeck_*
post Nov 19 2008, 10:55 AM
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QUOTE(IndySouth @ Nov 16 2008, 08:26 PM) *
Here are a few questions that I never got a chance to pose to local meterologists: the Indianapolis I-70 phenomena in the winter. It is really not a phenomena since it is only an Interstate, but nevertheless there has to be an explanation as why it occurs not only in forecast but also in actual terms of the results of winter events.

In my area during a typical winter the all snow line is usually north of I-70. In successive winters (25+) this interstate usually can be relied upon as the demarcation between an all snow event north and a snow/ mix bag event south. I guess my question(s) regarding climate are: Does I-70 itself pose some sort of meterological phenoma? Could the Interstate provide some sort of steering mechanism to meterological events? and does the flatter terrain of this corridor have an effect as opposed to the hills further south? Overall, with few exceptions, the temperatures during these events are usually the same or maybe 1-2 degrees difference at most.

Could this be just a coincidental outcome of the common winter southwestern and Colorado type systems that eventually run up the Ohio River Valley 100-125 miles to the south (of I-70)? Furthermore, if the annual temperature decreased by 1C hypothetically how much further south would the (average) all snow line be located from this interstate? 50,100 miles etc.


1. Sometimes I-80 is the transitional zone for Winter.

2. I always thought is was a coincidental outcome.

This post has been edited by wfreeck: Nov 19 2008, 10:55 AM
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Ilovelakeeffect
post Nov 19 2008, 11:26 AM
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Excellent question! Back in 1950, when the Eisenhower administration was drafting plans for the interstate highways across America, they took a close look at weather the occurred in certain regions. Initially, the plan was to take I-70 30 miles north of Indy and 30 miles north of Columbus, and connect into the city with feeder roads. Well, a man by the name of John Smith who was the superintendent assigned to constructing the highway, despised working in the snow with concrete. And so much, that he asked the administration to take a close look into where the snow generally transitioned over to rain in this region. To make a long story short, Mr. Smith got his wish and enjoyed many winters working in the rain. The administration nailed it with the rain/snow line. He hated the west bound lane construction however because on that side of the road (north), it snowed. Eastbound was always all rain. And if you believed that line of junk I just typed, sorry, but it is a joke. I had 10 minutes left on my lunch break and thought I would add some humor to the forums. And yes, I have a life!

This post has been edited by Ilovelakeeffect: Nov 19 2008, 11:27 AM


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Hey Accuweather! Please send us our very own Great Lakes, Ohio Valley, Midwest blogger. Heck, with the Lake Effect alone, our winters can be more interesting than many other locations around the country not to mention the synoptic snowfalls.

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MAC292OH10
post Nov 21 2008, 10:26 PM
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i live in buckeye lake about 30mi east of Columbus about 1 mi south of i-70...i've been wondering about this also,even more so since the models seem to be torn on mostly rain and or ice changing over to snow....

the DEC 2004 ICE storm was crippling,and so was the MAR 07 snow storm....
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WeatherMatrix
post Nov 22 2008, 09:42 AM
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QUOTE(IndySouth @ Nov 16 2008, 08:26 PM) *
Here are a few questions that I never got a chance to pose to local meterologists: the Indianapolis I-70 phenomena in the winter. It is really not a phenomena since it is only an Interstate, but nevertheless there has to be an explanation as why it occurs not only in forecast but also in actual terms of the results of winter events.

In my area during a typical winter the all snow line is usually north of I-70. In successive winters (25+) this interstate usually can be relied upon as the demarcation between an all snow event north and a snow/ mix bag event south. I guess my question(s) regarding climate are: Does I-70 itself pose some sort of meterological phenoma? Could the Interstate provide some sort of steering mechanism to meterological events? and does the flatter terrain of this corridor have an effect as opposed to the hills further south? Overall, with few exceptions, the temperatures during these events are usually the same or maybe 1-2 degrees difference at most.

Could this be just a coincidental outcome of the common winter southwestern and Colorado type systems that eventually run up the Ohio River Valley 100-125 miles to the south (of I-70)? Furthermore, if the annual temperature decreased by 1C hypothetically how much further south would the (average) all snow line be located from this interstate? 50,100 miles etc.


Interstates are put where they are for a reason, based a little on where we want them to run, and a lot on elevation, so that is why they may appear to have an effect. If you look at a topographic map, you will probably see what I'm talking about.

I'm moving this to Weather Questions as I don't really think it's related to Climate Change.


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