Tornado season will ramp up in a few days

Severe weather season has been quiet so far. According to The Weather Channel, this is the longest fatality-free start to storm season in 99 years! While we can hope that string of good luck continues, the pattern will certainly get more active in the days to come.

stormthreat

This map shows the threat areas forecast by the Storm Prediction Center. Instead of showing you each day’s risk area, I superimposed all of the areas on one map. Parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas are in the risk area for three days. An outbreak of severe weather is possible this weekend, which could affect the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Wichita areas. Tornadoes will be possible.

For us in the Upper Midwest, we’ll be far removed from the most unstable air. A chilly, over-running rain event is set to begin Sunday, possibly lasting through Tuesday of next week. Saturday’s high temperature will be 56 with sunshine. Rain and 52 for a high on Sunday.
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Posted under severe weather, tornado

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on April 22, 2014
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Playing Catch Up

dayI hope you’ve gotten to enjoy today’s sunshine and comfortable spring weather! Rain returns to the forecast tomorrow and Thursday, but that is a good thing. Since March 1st, we have fallen into a rainfall deficit that has us -1.86″ below where we should be through this date. That isn’t a horrible deficit, but it would be beneficial all around if we could head out of April on track or even with a surplus. The rain that we will see tomorrow and Thursday could net us as much as an inch, which would be a great help toward getting us back to where we should be. – Greg

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Posted under rain, statistics, weather

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on April 22, 2014
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Welcomed Rain

I know what you’re thinking, “Who welcomes rain on Monday?” While you may have been dragging just a bit at least it didn’t come sooner! Easter Sunday was one of the warmest on record here in Northern Illinois!

radarThe rain came pretty widespread today. While some spots (like Freeport) only got 0.05″ of rain, some spots in Carroll County got a gully-washer! The Sauk Valley, especially Dixon, did well with nearly a half inch. The rain is over for a few days with wet weather returning Wednesday night into Thursday.

RAINRainfall amounts will generally be less than an inch again. However, a few thunderstorms will be possible, and those could produce some locally heavy rain. But that’s Thursday. Enjoy the sunshine between now and then!

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This post was written by Eric Sorensen on April 21, 2014
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47th anniversary of the Belvidere Tornado

Today marks the 47th anniversary of the tornado that devastated the growing Boone County town. The storm killed 24 people, many on buses at Belvidere High School. Here is a tribute video that was put together in 2012.

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This post was written by Eric Sorensen on April 21, 2014
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Pleasant Weekend

Pleasant. Gorgeous. Beautiful. Nice. Spectacular. Any one of these adjectives could describe our weekend forecast!

Sunshine and a breezy south wind awaits us on Saturday. A few clouds will dot the sky but things will remain dry.

SATURDAY

Saturday Forecast

Temperatures will rise into the upper 60s across far northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Those living along the Interstate 88 corridor may flirt with 70 degrees by late afternoon!

FutureTrack: Saturday High Temperatures

FutureTrack: Saturday High Temperatures

Sunday will see a mix of sun and clouds and a southwest breeze….perfect for an outdoor Easter egg hunt! A cold front draped across northern Wisconsin will begin to move south by evening. A few showers are possible mainly after dark.

Sunday Forecast

Sunday Forecast

Temperatures will rise into the lower 70s, at least, for Sunday afternoon and early evening. Not bad at all!

FutureTrack: Sunday High Temperatures

FutureTrack: Sunday High Temperatures

Beyond the weekend, a fairly mild pattern will continue. Showers are a good bet on Monday and late next week.

-Joe

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This post was written by Joe Astolfi on April 18, 2014
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Drought Monitor

Spring is upon us. Farmers and gardeners are paying close attention to the forecast, especially this time of year. As we all know, rainfall is a key ingredient for healthy crops, fruits, vegetables, and flowers in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.

Many of us begin to monitor how much rain we receive. Government agencies such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provide weekly updates of the U.S. Drought Monitor. This tool keeps track of rainfall deficits and dry conditions across the country.

Apr. 17 Drought Monitor

Apr. 17 Drought Monitor

Thursday’s update shows that abnormally dry conditions are present in parts of our area.  A portion of northwestern Illinois roughly bounded by US Route 20 on the north, US Route 30 on the south, the Rock River on the east, and the Mississippi River on the west is drier than normal.

Rainfall Statistics

Rainfall Statistics for Meteorological Spring

While 1.71 inches of rain has fallen in Rockford during the month of April, just 1.03 inches of precipitation fell in March. Based on historical averages, we have a rainfall deficit of nearly an inch-and-a-half. This deficit is slightly higher in the area highlighted above.

We could use a little rain around here! A few showers are in the forecast for late-day Sunday and Monday, although current forecast trends give us less than a quarter-inch of rain.

-Joe

 

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, drought, First Look, rain, statistics, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on April 17, 2014
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Weekend Outlook

The Easter weekend is upon us and the weather will cooperate for most of it. CaptureTomorrow will be full of sunshine and highs into the 50s. Saturday we begin to cloud up but pump up the temperatures into the low 60s! Easter Sunday brings us middle 60s and the chance for a few scattered showers, though most of those should hold off until late in the day. If you have the umbrella on standby you should be good to go! Have a great weekend! – Greg

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Posted under event, First Look, weather

This post was written by GregBobos on April 17, 2014
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On Our Way Up

The last five days have been very interesting in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin:

  • Nearly 80 degrees with strong thunderstorms on Saturday
  • Soaking, all-day rains—between 1 to 2 inches for many of us—on Sunday
  • A light coating of snow on Monday that pushed us into 5th place for most snow
  • Chilly temperatures that barely made it out of the 30s on Tuesday
  • Gusty south winds—over 40mph at times—on Wednesday

What in the world will happen next?!

The overall temperature trend is up, mild-weather fans! High temperatures will be in the middle 50s for Thursday and Friday. A few isolated sprinkles or light showers are possible, although most of those days will be dry and partly cloudy.

Trending Up

Trending Up

By the weekend, 60-degree temperatures will return to the Stateline. Sunshine will be plentiful on Saturday but showers will dot the sky on Sunday.  The 60s will stick around next Monday before our thermometers make a run for 70 degrees next Tuesday & Wednesday.

Back Above Average

Back Above Average

Feels like we’re riding a roller coaster!

-Joe

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on April 16, 2014
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Thank the Wind

Most of our warm days this year have also been on the windy side, but there is a reason for that. Our warm days have typically fallen after a prolonged period where we were entrenched in cooler temperatures. If it wouldn’t have been for the wind, the few warm days we have seen would never have come about. The stiff southerly breezes we have encountered have quite literally pushed the warmer air into our area. CaptureSo, when we make it into the mid to upper 50s this afternoon, thank the 40mph wind gusts. Without them, it most likely would have been yet another day in the 40s.. far too late in the season! – Greg

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This post was written by GregBobos on April 16, 2014
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Windy & Warmer (Kind of)

We have had to endure two very chilly and dare I say wintry days to start this new week. It leaves all of us with fleeting memories of last week’s 60s and this past weekend’s near 80s! Our temperatures will be lucky to get much higher than 40 degrees this afternoon, but a slight warm up can be expected tomorrow and Thursday. CaptureA strong southerly wind with gusts near 40mph will develop late tomorrow morning into the afternoon. The wind will escort slightly warmer air from our south into our area boosting our temps into the mid 50s. This is still a good 5 degrees below average, but not nearly as unbearable as the 30s we have tolerated the past two days. – Greg

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This post was written by GregBobos on April 15, 2014
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