Soggy Memorial Day Weather

May 26, 2015: The past 3 days have left us feeling a little waterlogged.  Muggy air (meaning plenty of available moisture in the air) and a series of disturbances through the jet stream have produces nearly on and a half inches of rain since Sunday.

1 So where does this leave us for the month of May as a whole?  The weather has been a little soggy, but nothing too far beyond a typical May.

2

The regular rounds of rain have pulled us a little closer to getting back to average on the year. We now are within 1″ of being on-track for an average amount of precipitation for a calendar year.

Looking ahead to June (which starts next week), a large area of the country from the Rockies to the Deep South should see a wetter-than-average month.

off14_prcp

That chance for above average precipitation does extend into Illinois, but not quite to the Stateline. We are in the “equal chances” category, which means we could see either above or below average rainfall.  This usually points toward an average month, which for us means 4.65″ of rain.

– Alex

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This post was written by Alex Kirchner on May 26, 2015
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Project: Tornado 2015 Wrap-up

May 21, 2015: Project: Tornado has wrapped up for another year, as we visited our last school today. While this year’s round of presentations is over, our message about severe weather preparedness isn’t!  We’ll get to that in one second.

First, a special thanks goes out to all of the teachers, principals, and administrators that invited us to visit your school and students!  We had a great time talking to all of the eager and enthusiastic children in the Stateline we got to meet within the last 4 weeks.

project tornado

Overall, 4,176 students were taught about severe weather safety and tornadoes. Each student went home with a Project: Tornado book, so our hope is that for each student that reads and shares that book with their loved one, we reach many more thousands of people about the importance of weather awareness and safety.

Severe weather season is not over yet, so make sure you are always taking the proper steps to be aware and safe during severe weather, even though we haven’t had any since the April 9 tornado outbreak. This is the same message we shared with all of the students:

– have multiple ways to get weather alerts, such as the TV, radio, text message alerts, a weather app, and a weather radio.  You can sign up for text alerts at www.wrex.com/weather, download our 13 Weather Authority app for free for your smartphone, and we will hold several more weather radio events to program a radio for you.

– know where to go and what to do when severe weather strikes.  If you hear thunder, go indoors immediately. In the event of a severe thunderstorm, get inside and stay away from the windows. Know where to go in your house, work place, etc. if a tornado threatens.  You may only have minutes to act, so have a plan in place now.

– be weather aware: stay in-tune with the weather forecast, know when severe weather may threaten, and plan accordingly. If you see rapidly changing weather, it would be best to head indoors and check with 13 WREX for updates.

Thanks again to all of the schools we visited this year!  Look for sign-up for next year’s Project: Tornado sometime in March 2016.

– Alex

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Posted under event, Project: Tornado, safety, science, severe weather, tornado, weather

This post was written by Alex Kirchner on May 21, 2015
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A May Record (And Not the Good Kind)

May 20, 2015: Did you know that we have had as many days in the 50’s this month as we’ve had days in the 80’s so far? Yep. Three days a piece.  That doesn’t count the 40°, record-setting weather for today.

1

Today’s coldest high temperature record was 51°, set in 2002.  A high of 47° this afternoon definitely broke that record.  We ended up being 26° below average.

frz rain 1

The atmosphere was cold enough to produce ice pellets as rain added insult to the injury of the cold, May weather. The ice didn’t accumulate, but still wasn’t pleasant to see.

2

For those of you wanting to have the warmer weather back, you’ll get your wish.  We will rocket into the 70’s starting tomorrow.

-Alex

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Posted under cold blast, record weather, weather

This post was written by Alex Kirchner on May 20, 2015
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Cool May Weather

May 19, 2015: Conditions today felt more like March than May after a round of unseasonably cold weather slipped in behind a cold front on Sunday. The weather each day has been much cooler than the day before, dropping from the 80’s on Sunday to the 50’s today.

jet stream

The northern portion of the jet stream has dipped well southward, providing a quick spring chill to most of the upper Midwest and Great Plains states.

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Overall, we were 15 degrees below average today, and getting to be near record territory.  Today’s coldest high temperature was in the 40’s, so we were still 10 degrees off, but close enough to take a peek at the record books.

2

Wednesday will not be much better.  The upper 50’s stick around because of the extensive cloud cover and the cold air not moving out yet.  We should have much more summer-like conditions by the holiday weekend.

-Alex

 

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This post was written by Alex Kirchner on May 19, 2015
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Project: Tornado…The Final Days

The end is near, but the reason has only just begun!
Severe weather season is in full swing, and the 13 Weather Authority has been making sure Stateline students know how to handle it by continuing Project: Tornado.

Within the last three weeks, we have traveled to 19 schools across Northern Illinois educating elementary students on how thunderstorms form and how to stay safe during a tornado. As of today, roughly 2,651 students are prepared for severe weather, and we’re still not done!
Next week, we finish off our final week of Project: Tornado, as we head to Spring Creek Elementary, Rolling Green, Barbour Language Academy, Swan Hillman and St. Mary’s School to educate another 1,200 students. This means almost 4,000 Stateline students will know exactly what to do when severe weather strikes.

Each student receives a Project: Tornado booklet, filled with pictures, games, and important information to help them understand thunderstorm processes, tornadoes, safety, and local historic tornadoes.
Here’s a sneak peek:

PT1 PT2 PT3

 

 

 

 

 

 

PT4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Severe weather ready’ students are from Conklin Elementary, Perry Elementary, Pecatonica Elementary, Keith Country Day, Jefferson Elementary, Immanuel Lutheran School, Ellis Arts Academy, Lincoln-Douglas Elementary, Rockford Lutheran Academy, Thurgood Marshall School, Ralston Elementary, C. Henry Bloom, Holy Family Catholic School, West View Elementary, Shirland School, Highland Grade School, Loves Park Elementary, Lewis Lemon Elementary, and Nashold Elementary.

ptlewislemon

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Posted under event, Exactrack|HD, history, Project: Tornado, safety, science, severe weather, tornado, weather, weather geek, Wind

This post was written by Morgan Kolkmeyer on May 15, 2015
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Soggy Outlook

May 14, 2015: The outlook for the weekend is looking a little stormy. Friday and Saturday both feature chances for spotty showers and t-storms in the morning, but generally quiet weather by the afternoon and evening.

Threattrack outlook for the weekend, with generally low risk for strong storms.

Threattrack outlook for the weekend, with generally low risk for strong storms.

Sunday, however, could be a little more interesting.  There is a low risk for stronger to severe thunderstorms, due to warmer air and higher humidity.  This means the instability in the atmosphere is higher, adding fuel for those storms.  We’ll have to watch a cold front closely as it works in by Sunday evening.

Futuretrack for Sunday evening. Stronger storms may develop along and ahead of a cold front.

Futuretrack for Saturday evening. Stronger storms may develop along and ahead of a cold front on Sunday.

 

holiday travel

So, what does a low risk mean? Essentially, there is a risk, but we as this point won’t see widespread severe weather, nor is it likely.  There could be a severe storm or two, so stay alert!  We’ll provide updates on the situation leading up to Sunday.

-Alex

 

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This post was written by Alex Kirchner on May 14, 2015
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Big Changes This Week

May 11, 2015: We get a little variety in the weather this week after spending last week with nearly daily chances for rain.

changes

First off, a noticeable transition occurred today.  We had gloomy, rainy weather this morning, with the wind staying light.  Once a cold front passed by (the front generated the showers, by the way), sunny but windy weather whipped up for the remainder of the day.

headline 1

The Stateline gets the chance to dry out for a few days.  The rain has been beneficial, but if you were hoping to get some yard work done or just spend time outdoors, dry weather is a welcome sight.

headline 2

Overall, the weather was warm last week, outside of a few days. We should have much cooler weather this week, especially tomorrow.  Temperatures will be nearly 10 degrees (or more) below average.

If you want the warm weather back, you’ll just have to wait a few days.  The 70’s (at the least) return by the end of the week.

-Alex

 

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This post was written by Alex Kirchner on May 11, 2015
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Severe Weather Ready

We’ve got the opportunity to see some scattered thunderstorms this afternoon, carrying that over to the evening and overnight hours. Although the risk of these turning severe is very low, they’ll bring along lightning and gusty winds.

Most of your Saturday afternoon is looking dry, but we’ll likely see some lingering showers in the morning, and pick up some more as we head overnight into Sunday. The cloud cover is sticking around throughout the entire weekend, and cooler weather takes overs on Saturday after a cold front sweeps through.

Eyes to the sky as we head into Sunday night and Monday. A low pressure system accompanied by a warm, moist airmass will make way for a chance of severe thunderstorm activity. The main threats are strong winds and hail, but isolated tornadoes are possible.

rochelle wx radio

 

We’ve been talking about severe weather safety a lot lately, and it’s so important to not rely on an outdoor warning system in the event of severe weather. These sirens are only reliable if you are outdoors and/or within ear’s reach. Get severe weather ready with a weather radio. The 13 Weather Authority will be at the Walgreens in Rochelle from 5PM through 7PM programming weather radios for free! Don’t get caught in severe weather without a warning.

Good news: Things look to dry up by mid week next week! Temperatures hover the upper 60’s and lower 70’s.

-Morgan

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This post was written by Morgan Kolkmeyer on May 8, 2015
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Strong storms possible Friday, Monday

May 7, 2015: Keep a close eye on the weather Friday and especially on Monday- stronger storms may pop up both days.

The risk is very slight that we have severe weather tomorrow, but isolated strong storms are possible. If anything, higher levels of humidity may produce heavy downpours as the thunderstorms roll through Friday evening along a cold front.

spc outlook holiday travel

The risk for severe weather is higher on Monday. An area of low pressure will sweep a cold front through during the day on Monday, igniting showers and thunderstorms in the Stateline. Damaging winds and hail would be the main dangers, but an isolated tornado or two can’t be ruled out.

headline 1

Be sure to stay up-to-date on the weather, especially over the weekend as Monday approaches. Updates to the forecast can be found at www.wrex.com/weather!

-Alex

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This post was written by Alex Kirchner on May 7, 2015
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The 80’s Return!

May 6, 2015: We’ve waited long enough! The 80’s returned today!

Temperature map from 3 PM today

Temperature map from 3 PM today

Why is this such a big deal?  We haven’t warmed beyond the 80° plateau since late September. We’ve been close a few times, but today marks the first time in 7 months since we’ve last hit 80°.

80

Thankfully, we shouldn’t have to wait nearly a half of a year before weather this warm returns.

Not everyone saw the 80’s today, though.  Check out the areas along Lake Michigan, especially into Chicago. A breeze off of the lake kept location in the 50’s. According to the National Weather Service, in some spots of Chicago, the temperature dropped 30° within a ten mile stretch. Yikes!

You can see that breeze, in fact, on the radar on a quiet day.

radar

The lake breeze is caused by the air heating up well inland and rising, causing the air pressure to be lower in those spots.  The colder, denser air over the lake acts as an area of high pressure, so a breeze forms to fill in the lower air pressure over the inland areas. The flow from lake to shore acts as natural air conditioning, keeping the shore cool.  This breeze reverses at night.

We should have all areas in the 80’s tomorrow, as a strong southerly wind kicks in, moving even warmer air into the region. Highs should jump back to the middle 80’s in the Stateline!  Enjoy it!

– Alex

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This post was written by Alex Kirchner on May 6, 2015
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