Rain is a Good Thing

Thanks to the spotty nature of our shower and thunderstorm activity over the last couple of weeks, many of us are looking for some beneficial rainfall. The weather observation site at Chicago Rockford International Airport reported a just few sprinkles the last two days. The last two weeks have been nearly bone dry across the area as well. Our lawns, gardens, and farm fields are thirsty!

June Surplus, July Deficit

June Surplus, July Deficit

Meteorological summer kicked off in a wet fashion. The month of June was the 8th wettest June on record in Rockford with 8.06 inches of rainfall. The first half of July followed suit with 2.44 inches of rain falling through the 15th. The second half of July has been anything but rainy. Just 0.02 inches of rain fell in Rockford from July 16th through July 30th. The month is now in the red for normal rainfall, down 1.35 inches.

Beneficial Rain Not in the Forecast Through the Weekend

Beneficial Rain Not in the Forecast Through the Weekend

Looking ahead through this weekend, we will hang onto the slight chance for a few showers (even a rumble of thunder Friday). Since these isolated showers will not affect every corner of northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, rainfall totals will be slim unfortunately.

-Joe

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, FutureTrack, rain, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on July 30, 2014
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Staying Relatively Cool

Tuesday was the hottest day of the summer so far. Rockford clocked in at 90 degrees for just the second time this year. But now we are back to below average temperatures….and overall, it looks to stay that way for a while.

Long range forecasting models continue to show a northwest flow weather pattern for the rest of July. The jet stream will bring in an airmass originating from northwestern Canada, keeping the heat confined to the southern United States.

July: High Probability of Below Average Temperatures

July: High Probability of Below Average Temperatures

Generally speaking, temperatures have a high likelihood of remaining below our climatological average. Statistically speaking, our average high for the rest of July is 84 degrees. Our average low is 63 degrees. Many of the upcoming days will only see highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s.

Looking ahead to August, it appears the trend for below average temperatures will continue. That’s not to say we won’t have a hot and humid day every now and then. However, data compiled through the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) suggests that odds are about one-third higher than usual for cooler-than-normal temperatures for much of the upper Midwest, including northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.

August: Moderate Probability of Below Average Temperatures

August: Moderate Probability of Below Average Temperatures

As far as rainfall goes, many of us could use a few showers. Wednesday marked the 8th day in a row without rain at RFD Airport, the longest such dry streak of the year. The chance of rain will increase Friday and into the weekend.

Next Two Weeks: Near-Average Rainfall

Next Two Weeks: Near-Average Rainfall

Over the course of the next two weeks, model trends indicate a near-normal rainfall forecast. “Near-normal” means between an inch or two of rainfall.

-Joe

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, statistics, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on July 23, 2014
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First of the Season

It took one month since the summer solstice arrived, nearly two months since meteorological summer began, and 53 days since we last reached this threshold. I’m talking about, of course, a 90-degree temperature in Rockford!

90° on Tuesday

90° on Tuesday

For the first time this summer and only the second time this year, the Forest City clocked in at 90 degrees on Tuesday afternoon. Heat index values rose into the 100s across much of the Stateline, making it the hottest and hottest-feeling day of the summer.

Area High Temperatures on Tuesday

Area High Temperatures on Tuesday

Now typically this shouldn’t be such a big deal. But with the way this summer has progressed, 90 degrees is somewhat out of the ordinary! A typical summer in Rockford averages around eight 90-degree days. With July almost over, we have some catching up to do! At this time last summer, we already had seven 90-degree days and ended the season with a total of eleven. In the summer scorcher of 2012, we had a total of 42 days with high temperatures at or above 90-degrees, including six days at or above 100-degrees.

Don’t expect anymore 90s anytime soon. It appears we will remain below normal through the rest of the month.

-Joe

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, statistics, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on July 22, 2014
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Brief Taste of Heat & Humidity

The hottest day of the month—and potentially the hottest day of the summer so far—lies ahead of us on Tuesday. High temperatures will rise into the upper 80s and flirt with 90 degrees by the afternoon. It’s going to be hazy, hot and humid. Dew point values will rise into the 70s giving the air a tropical-feel.

Flirting with 90° Tuesday

Flirting with 90° Tuesday

Combining our air temperature and relative humidity gives us the heat index. The heat index is more or less a “real-feel” index when outside in a hot and humid airmass. The index Tuesday afternoon will reach the middle and upper 90s across northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. If you’re going to be outside during the heat of the day, make sure to drink plenty of water and dress appropriately.

Feeling Pretty Hot

Feeling Pretty Hot

By Tuesday evening and night, a cold front will slide through the area. This will bring some scattered showers and thunderstorms.

Threatrack Level 2 - Low Risk

Threatrack Level 2 – Low Risk

There is a chance for an isolated stronger thunderstorm or two. Heavy rain and gusty wind are the main concerns. There is a small window for thunderstorm development before the front passes through and our airmass changes again. Cooler, less humid air is on tap for Wednesday through Friday with highs in the upper 70s.

-Joe

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Posted under severe weather, warm up

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on July 21, 2014
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Oppressive Heat Absent

For those of you waiting for a good old-fashioned summer heat wave, you’ll have to keep on waiting! It is true, however, that we will see a warm-up through the weekend and into early next week. Highs will rise into the low 80s for Saturday and Sunday. Middle and upper 80s are on tap for the first few days of the new work week. There is a good chance that Tuesday will be the warmest day of July so far! In fact, Tuesday may tie for one of the warmest days of the year!

noheatyet

The warmest temperature of meteorological summer was 89 degrees, which occurred on June 1st and June 17th. We haven’t even reached 90 degrees yet this summer! We did reach 91 on May 31st, which is technically still in meteorological spring. Compare this year’s one 90-degree day with last year and the year before. In 2013, we already had five 90-degree days by the middle of July. In 2012, we checked in with an incredible 31 90-degree days, including six days sizzling in 100-degree heat!

Even though we have yet to have a heat wave this summer, it hasn’t been a terribly cool season. The month of June had 23 days with highs in the 80s, four days with highs in the 70s, and two days with highs in the 60s. July, however, has had seven days with highs in the 80s, seven with highs in the 70s, and two with highs in the 60s. The way things are shaping up, the month of July is on track to finish cooler than the month of June! What can we expect in August? Overall, models continue to hint at a slightly cooler than average month!

-Joe

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, statistics, warm up, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on July 17, 2014
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Warmer Days Ahead

George Jefferson might say “We’re movin’ on up.” Miley Cyrus might call it “the climb.” All pop references aside, we are talking about a decent warm up in our near future! From now through early next week, high and low temperatures will rise a couple of degrees each day.

From Below Average to Above Average

From Below Average to Above Average

Low humidity values and comfortably warm temperatures will be the name of the game through Saturday. By Sunday, highs will make a push for the middle 80s with more mugginess in the atmosphere. Upper 80s—above average for a change—will arrive by Tuesday.

Warming Up

Warming Up

We will get to enjoy plenty of sunshine throughout the next seven days as well. The next decent chance for rain will not arrive until Tuesday night and Wednesday.

-Joe

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This post was written by Joe Astolfi on July 16, 2014
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Chilly Mid-July Low Temperatures

Wednesday morning’s low temperatures were a bit on the chilly side! Although we are in the middle of July, temperatures bottomed out in the upper 40s and lower 50s across northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. These kind of temperatures are what we usually expect in mid-May or mid-September!

Weds. July 16, 2014 Low Temps.

Weds. July 16, 2014 Low Temps.

Rockford did not reach a record low temperature, however. The record low for July 16th is 46 degrees from the year 1945. Rockford bottomed out at 50 this morning. It could have been worse, though. Parts of northern Wisconsin and Minnesota fell into the upper 30s!

Chilly Weds. Morning in Wisconsin

Chilly Weds. Morning in Wisconsin

The forecast for Thursday morning remains cool. Low temperatures may flirt with the record low of 49 degrees, set in 1976.

FutureTrack: Another Cool Morning Thursday

FutureTrack: Another Cool Morning Thursday

If you’re wondering when things are going to warm back up around here, check out THIS BLOG POST.

-Joe

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Posted under cold blast, FutureTrack, record weather, statistics, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on July 16, 2014
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What Month is it?!

Unseasonably cool air will stick around for the next couple of days. Even though the calendar says it’s the middle of July, our temperatures will keep things feeling like it’s the middle of September! Our average high temperature this week is 85 degrees. Our average low is right around 63 degrees. Statistically speaking, this is usually the warmest time of the year.

Forecast Low & High Temperatures vs. Normal

Forecast Low & High Temperatures vs. Normal

Our low temperatures will bottom out in the 50s through Saturday morning. It appears that our record low temperatures will remain untouched. Record low temperatures for the next couple of days are in the middle 40s. However, a couple of our usual cool spots may dip below 50 degrees for an hour or two, especially Wednesday morning.

Low 50s (maybe even cooler Wednesday morning)

Low 50s (maybe even cooler Wednesday morning)

High temperatures will be hard-pressed to reach 70 degrees Tuesday afternoon!

Barely Hitting 70 on Tuesday

Barely Hitting 70 on Tuesday

After Tuesday, though, high temperatures will increase a couple of degrees every day. Here’s a look at the 7-Day Forecast; temperatures will be comfortably mild by the end of this week. Next week, there is a good chance for us to see a string of days with above normal temperatures.

-Joe

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Posted under cold blast, FutureTrack, statistics, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on July 14, 2014
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Look Up!

We will once again enjoy another clear, calm and cool night. So if you are looking for something to do on this Wednesday night, why not go outside and do a little star-gazing? As an added bonus, you’ll be able to view two of our solar system’s planets!

theplanets

Look up into the south-southwest sky after sunset with the moon as your guide. The planet Saturn will be visible up and to the right of the waxing gibbous moon. A little more to the right and higher in the sky will be the faint red glow of Mars. These two planets will remain visible until about midnight or one o’clock.

Looking ahead, the next full moon occurs Friday night into Saturday morning (officially at 6:26am Saturday, July 12th). This full moon will be a supermoon! What is a supermoon, you might ask? It is a full moon that occurs while the moon is the closest distance to Earth on its orbit around Earth. This means that the moon will look larger than normal. Unfortunately, we may have a hard time seeing this supermoon. Keep and eye on the forecast, because cloudcover may keep us in the dark.

-Joe

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Posted under space, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on July 9, 2014
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Drying Out a Bit

We are going to get some much needed dry time over the next 60 hours or so! Our weather pattern remains similar to what we’ve experienced for most of the summer. With a jet stream diving out of Canada, a northwest flow pattern will allow numerous weather systems to quickly move through the Stateline area.

Our Weather Pattern

Our Weather Pattern

The good news is that the chance of rain through Thursday night is slim to none. At most, a quick shower or two will dot the sky. Otherwise we will get to enjoy many hours of sunshine and pleasant temperatures. Highs will be in the upper 70s and lows will be in the middle-to-upper 50s through Friday (some may call it a perk of a northwest flow pattern)!

FutureTrack Rainfall through Thursday: Little to None

FutureTrack Rainfall through Thursday: Little to None

Rain has been plentiful over the last several weeks. The month of June is in the record books for the 8th wettest June in Rockford’s climate history, thanks to over 8 inches of rainfall. It rained on 20 out of 30 days during June 2014! The month of July is currently on par for rainfall. It rained on 4 out of 8 days so far this month.

Rainy Meteorological Summer So Far

Rainy Meteorological Summer So Far

We actually had rainfall deficits for March, April and May. The rain so far this summer has more than made up for it. Our yearly precipitation total is almost 19 inches which is slightly above average. Looking ahead, the best chance of rain will come Friday and into this weekend with scattered thunderstorm activity each day.

-Joe

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, FutureTrack, rain, statistics, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on July 8, 2014
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