It’s about time! We are making a run for 40 as we head into the afternoon. It feels like a mini heat wave, but when today is put into perspective, this should be just another ordinary March day. The average high in early March puts us in the low 40s. This is the first of three 40 degree days out of the next seven, but by mid to late week, we are back to cooler weather again. The next two weeks will remain below average. – Greg
Average high temps during the first week of March are in the 40 lows, but we haven’t been in that ballpark so far this month. That is about to come to an end as soon as tomorrow. Your Friday high temperature will crack 40 degrees for the first time this month, and for the first time out of 3 that we will see in the next 7 days! The other two will take place on Monday and Tuesday of next week. Enjoy the brief warmth while you can, because signs point to another cool down mid to late next week. – Greg
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The Great Lakes are almost completely frozen over! Theoretically, you could skate from Milwaukee to Michigan. NOAA says the ice is covering 90.5% of the surface of all five lakes. The largest amount ever recorded was back in 1979 when ice covered 94.7% of the Great Lakes. If the cold weather continues, there’s a chance that record could be broken in the next few weeks!
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This morning we all woke up to snow covered sidewalks and streets. The accumulation was minimal, but enough to slow down the morning commute. Tomorrow morning will start off in a similar manner, however some folks could be waking up to even more snow than this morning. A weakening clipper system will track across the area tonight into the first hours of tomorrow morning. We can expect roughly 2-4 inches of snow from the system with the higher totals piling up to the west, especially along the Mississippi. Areas to the east and south of Rockford are likely to see the smallest totals. -Greg
Get ready for a new coating of snow early Tuesday. While accumulations won’t be that great (only around an inch), there will be just enough to cause some slick driving conditions. Allow some extra time! There’s nothing worse than being in a hurry on a snowy morning. And get used to driving on snow-covered roads because there’s more coming Tuesday night.
Tuesday night into Wednesday morning looks to be a bit heavier. Some models are giving us more than 3 inches. Here’s a look at the amounts on Futuretrack (including what is forecast for early Tuesday). So totals will likely end up in the 2-5 inch range. Be careful everybody! -Eric
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Giant snow drifts & potholes - While potholes occur due to freeze/thaw (which we haven’t had too many of), pothole season is going to last longer into March. On top of that, we’ve had to deal with monstrous snow piles on the sides of roads. A snowmobiler was seriously injured last month as he lept over a pile and crashed into a pick up truck. In some spots, the snow was piled up higher than the road signs! On top of that, the drifting snow this winter has been extreme, especially in rural areas.
Dirty cars: all winter long! It’s been so cold and so snowy, there aren’t any dry, warm days to get the jalopy shined up. I actually feel bad for my car because I can’t remember the last time I had it washed! When was the last time you washed your car? Did you give up on it back in January?
Animals having a hard time - It may not get our attention, but imagine all of the animals who have had to get through the extreme winter. Last fall, I noticed the squirrels gathering lots and lots of acorns. I wonder how they knew? From horses to cows, eagles to finches, and even our four-legged friends, it’s been a hard winter.
Too many snow days! At last count, Freeport, Illinois had canceled school 11 times due to the snow and cold. Luckily, with the extreme temperatures behind us now that we’ve entered March, we’ll only be able to add up true snow days from here on out. Problem is we usually see 4.8 inches of snow in March and we’re already up to 4.5 inches and it’s only March 3rd!
Extreme Bills. The extreme cold is now causing extreme sticker-shock when it comes to gas and electric bills! The cold weather from this winter has meant that some bills are twice as much as they were a year ago.
Alaska’s Warmer - With the jet stream bringing warm, Pacific air north into Alaska, Anchorage’s temperatures have been in the 30s and 40s for most of the winter season. Many dog-sled races had to be canceled earlier this winter due to warm, muddy conditions. All the while, temperatures were below zero as far south as Memphis and Nashville!
January 10th Flash Freeze – Our January thaw wasn’t nearly warm enough. On January 10th, temperatures rose into the middle 30s. Light snow changed to rain as temperatures rose above freezing. However, the evening commute was a nightmare because the ground temperature remained below freezing. The Illinois State Police said there were “hundreds of accidents in Ogle County alone! In Boone County, dozens of cars were stranded for six hours on Illinois 173, because of two jack-knifed semi trucks.
Freezing Water Mains – I’ve lived in Northern Illinois the majority of my life and I’ve never heard officials at the water department urging people to drip water pipes. Because it’s been so cold, the frost layer has gone so deep, it has frozen water mains. The problem is if the pipe freezes on its way into your home, you may have to wait quite a while for it to thaw out. And there’s good news if you’ve been dripping faucets. Some communities are pledging to give you some money back on your water bills.
Cryoseisms – We’ve talked about this several times this winter. And I can’t remember having to spend weather time on TV discussing it before. Cryoseisms, or “frost quakes,” are caused by water seeping deep into cracks in the ground. Then during times of quick temperature falls, the water turns to ice, expanding with an audible pop. These cryoseisms have awoken animals and people alike, with 9-1-1 centers seeing a spike in people reporting gun shots. Luckily, it’s just Old Man Winter celebrating his triumphs!
Polar Vortex - This became a household term this winter with repeated cold fronts. The temperatures dropped into the teens and twenties below zero many times this winter. The cold even caused snow to fall on the beaches of the Carolinas and on Bourbon Street in New Orleans! But as Meteorologist Greg Bobos said so eloquently back in January, the abnormally cold air isn’t because the Polar Vortex moved here. Think of the Polar Vortex as a chain-link fence. The dog inside of the fence is the cold air. This winter, there were holes in the fence that allowed the dog to get out. We all know you can’t move a fence into someone else’s yard. And we all should know that the Polar Vortex can’t move this far south.
Amy Urbanski nosebleeds form the dry air because the heat is ALWAYS running
Laura Polly Esther Mink-Coller My husband would say it’s the lack of leg-shaving on my part.
Shayna Ferguson The countless wet butts from the snow falling in the car when you open the door no matter how much you brush off first!
Carol Juhlin-Myers The dogs using the sidewalk as their restroom because the snow is piled too high for them to get into the yard. (That’s happened at the Sorensen homestead. As if I haven’t shoveled my driveway enough, I have to do it for another reason!)
Connie Garry I’m going the other direction: 1.we didn’t have a tornado in January.
Kim Baker-Swartz It’s like the Energizer Bunny, it keeps going and going and GOING!
Wendy Helmer Everybody complaining when there’s nothing they can do about the weather
Glen Zeal Snowing Every Weekend….Can you tell I have a snow business?….lol
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We have officially flipped the calendar into the month of March, but I think someone forgot to tell Mother Nature, because this stands to be one of the coldest March days on record. This morning was brutally cold once again with the low temperature in Rockford bottoming out at -11°. That reading blew our low temp record for this date out of the water. The previous record of -4° was set back in 2002. Our -11° also tied the record for the coldest March temperature ever recorded. As if those aren’t enough records for one day, if we do not top 18° this afternoon, today will go down as the coldest high temperature ever on this date! – Greg
It has been a record-filled first weekend of March. First came the snow on Saturday and then the cold on Sunday.
Thanks to two rounds of snow during the 24-hour period of March 1st, a total of 4.6 inches of snow fell at Chicago Rockford International Airport. This was the highest one-day total observed on any March 1st since 1906! The previous record was just 2.0 inches from 1943.
As arctic air settled in on Sunday, the high temperature in Rockford only topped out at a chilly 9 degrees. This is the coldest high temperature ever observed on any March 2nd since 1906. In fact, Sunday’s high replaced a 102-year-old record! The previous record was 14 degrees from 1912. What’s even more interesting is that March 2, 2014 will likely enter the record books as the coldest March high temperature ever!!! Until now, the coldest March high was 10 degrees on March 8, 1932.
If that wasn’t enough, two more records could fall on Monday….
Aside from a few morning snow flurries, Sunday will be relatively quiet. Arctic high pressure will build into the region, so cloud cover will gradually decrease as the day wears on. High temperatures will be about 30 degrees COLDER than normal for early March! High near 10 degrees.
Although our northerly wind will be light, between 5 and 15mph, our wind chill be quite cold. Wind chill values will range between -20 and -10 degrees throughout the day.
Air temperatures will fall below zero Sunday night through Monday morning and we’ll stay locked in with frigid air through Tuesday. Temperature records will be in jeopardy on Monday, including a record low (-4° from 2002) and a record cold high (18° from 2002).
A much-needed end-of-the-work-week warm up is in our forecast. Check out the 7-day for a couple 30+ degree high temperatures!