Snowflakes Flying Soon?

2:30pm- Two of the computer models forecasters use to forecast weather are now giving us a snowier future! The GFS and ECMWF (European) computer models are very similar in developing an intense low pressure center over southern Missouri for Wednesday. The system tracks to the northeast towards Detroit, Michigan by Friday afternoon. With the initial front coming through Rockford Wednesday evening, we’ll see rapidly falling temperatures. With below freezing temperatures expected Thursday into Friday, this system will definitely be cold enough for snow. Right now we’ve got to decide whether we want to place our bets on the GFS and ECMWF. If you’ve ever been to Vegas, you know that you shouldn’t put all your chips on one square. I’ve never been, but I’m not about to go hogwild snowy for Thursday night.

The Hydrometeorological Prediction Center forecasts for winter events. Notice the blue outline. That is at least a 10% chance of a 4″+ snowfall.

5:58pm- The midday GFS model is out with a bullseye of precip over Northern Illinois. The liquid precip forecast for this event is progged at 0.79″. In a perfect world, this would yield “many inches.” -ERIC

9:30pm- Evening computer models coming in now. The NAM computer model now points toward a snowy Friday. In fact, the NAM is giving us 1.24″ of liquid precip. If this all fell as snow, it would be more 5″. The track is crucial here, as the NAM is tracking the low about 50 miles east of the other models. This would put the heaviest snowfall east of the Rockford metro.

10:15pm- I’ve posted the new evening GFS model (to the left). Analyzing this new model run with the previous one (above) gives us an idea of how this will materialize. A few things stand out initially. First, the system is in a consistent track from Memphis to Indianapolis. What’s interesting is the freezing line (blue line). It’s trying to bring a little warmer air into the core of the system. This may actually increase the available moisture just a little bit. We’re still firmly in the cold side (below 32°) so snow looks rather likely. We’ve still got to watch how the models track this…it is still subject to change. But it still looks really impressive! -ERIC

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This post was written by qni_it on November 27, 2006

Big Changes Coming!

Over the past couple of days, temperatures have been fairly warm for the end of November and the upcoming days are going to be no different. Highs over the past weekend reached the upper 50s and lower 60s, and we’ll continue that trend straight through Wednesday. The reason: a very strong warm front just to the north of the Stateline is helping to usher in warmer weather straight from the Gulf of Mexico.

But things are going to be changing by Thursday. A strong cold front responsible for the 20s and teens in the northern Plains will sweep through the Great Lakes late on Wednesday/early Thursday. Rain will likely change to snow during the overnight and could even linger into Thursday. It will definitely be the winds of change. Gusty northwest winds will come howling in keeping temperatures by the end of the week only reaching the lower 30s and overnight lows in the upper teens and lower 20s. You can already see the big contrast in temperatures at the noon hour across the region. As warm as the upper 60s just to the south in southern Illinois to the single digits in North Dakota!

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This post was written by qni_it on November 27, 2006

Wintry Weather’s Out West!

While Rockford remains on the south (warm) side of a warm front Sunday night into early Monday, things are slick out west. Just a few hundred miles west of Rockford, things will be hazardous. If you have travel plans on Highway 20 or Interstate 80 through Iowa, use extra caution. For more information click on National Weather Service Sioux Falls or National Weather Service Omaha. -ERIC

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This post was written by qni_it on November 27, 2006

I’m afraid I’ve got bad news.

Southerly winds will continue to bring in the warmth, but our nice weather will be limited to the next two days. A major drop in temperatures is expected for midweek for much of the country. It will first affect the Upper Plains states Monday and Tuesday. The Midwest and Mid-South will feel the chill Wednesday and Thursday. The East Coast will shiver Friday.

Warm winds will fuel some rain and thunderstorms for the Rockford area Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning. If the front were to move through during the peak afternoon heating we’d be talking about the threat of severe. Right now it appears the atmosphere will be relatively stable. Still, we could have thunderstorms early Wednesday morning with snow flakes flying late in the day.

Temperatures will likely stay below freezing for the bulk of the Thursday-Sunday timeframe. -ERIC

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This post was written by qni_it on November 26, 2006

We’re Spreading Our Wings

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32cRf_r51Qk]

Do you remember when WREX-TV was an ABC affiliate? I was interning at the other swap-station at the time, but I remember it well. In fact I think I have one of those “informational booklets” that the stations gave out telling you what the switch meant. I will have to search for that! This is one of the 1995 promos that WREX-TV aired in celebration of the switch. It was a good move for WREX-TV as we became part of NBC’s “Must See TV” era.

Speaking of past eras, I was at dinner with my folks tonight. We were talking about past Rockford TV people. Do you remember names like Vince Danka, Bruce Richardson, Monica Schneider, John Ivanic, Bob Kevern, Eric Greene, and Jodi Muselin? If you wonder where these people are now, just try typing their names in google.com. -ERIC

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This post was written by qni_it on November 25, 2006

Breaking a Few Records?

Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better than yesterday well, think again!

Temperatures this morning started off fairly mild. A few lower and middle 30s, but with clear skies and a dry atmosphere to start off with, the mercury was quick to rise and at noon highs were already into the middle and upper 50s! Yesterday’s high of 58 degrees has already been surpassed. At 1pm temperatures have reached the lower 60s! Winds will continue to usher in warmer air from the southwest for this afternoon. And I wouldn’t be surprised if we tied the record for this date which was 65 degrees set back all the way in 1931! One limiting factor that may limit temperatures from going any further is that high cirrus clouds are beginning to move in and the dew points are starting to rise. So that may hold temperatures pretty steady.

Highs will remain fairly mild for the majority of the weekend. We’ll still be in the lower 50s, we will just see more clouds and less sun. A warm front will remain anchored over the Midwest through the weekend and as a result a few sprinkles or even some drizzle is possible Saturday afternoon.

But before you enjoy the weekend, get out and enjoy this afternoon. How often in November do you get to wear shorts? :) (Okay, maybe not shorts, but definitely “spring-like” attire)

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This post was written by qni_it on November 24, 2006

Freezing Fog Nightmare!

Watch out if your travels take you to Detroit or Toledo for early Friday morning. Dense fog with below-freezing temperatures is a recipe for disaster. Monitor the fog by clicking on the National Weather Service Northern Indiana homepage. -ERIC

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This post was written by qni_it on November 24, 2006

Subtle Changes Initially…Big Changes Next Week!

Thanksgiving was spectacular! High temperatures ranged from 55 in DeKalb to 63 in Moline today.

Things will change gradually. For the weekend we’ll remain mild with temperatures in the 53-57° range. However, the Gulf of Mexico will be open for business late into the weekend and especially next week. This will allow more clouds to build into the area. So, while we’re treated to plenty of warm air it won’t look quite like it was on Thanksgiving.

Beyond the weekend we’ve got a series of storm systems to contend with. The first brings some scattered showers for Monday. The second is colossal! Gusty south winds will allow temps up near 60° in most locations on Tuesday with some potentially big thunderstorms. The image to the left is the GFS computer model which brings a powerful front into the area on Tuesday afternoon. There could be a large area of potentially strong thunderstorms with a major surge of cold air behind…the likes of which we haven’t seen this fall season. Temperatures in the NW Territories of Canada have been below zero during the daylight hours the past week. While it looks like this surge of Canadian air will be harsh, it doesn’t look like it will last more than a week. For those of you who are jumping at the bit for snow, this one looks like a non-event. Precip will be winding down as the cold air surges in. Milder temperatures are forecast for most of the month of December. -ERIC

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This post was written by qni_it on November 24, 2006

If You Can’t Stand the Heat….Go Outside

While temperatures will rise close to 400 degrees in the oven this morning, temperatures outside will rise to the upper 50s this afternoon! So if you can’t stand the heat, just step outside because it is going to be a beautiful Thanksgiving. So maybe instead of watching football on TV this afternoon, you may want to try a family friendly game in the backyard. Enjoy it while it lasts because the colder weather will move in by early next week.

No problems are expected for holiday shoppers on Friday. Just a few more clouds during the afternoon as temperatures reach the lower 50s!

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This post was written by qni_it on November 23, 2006

Warm End to a Chilly Month!

I don’t know if you’re like me, but I won’t forget how cold October was. High temperatures were for the most part in the 40s and 50s for the whole month. While November was chilly during the first week or so, we’ve been relatively mild! Up through today we saw 14 days with highs in the 40s but only one day with a high below 40°. We’ve had five days above 50° with two 60° days.

The way things look for the last full week of November we’ll remain very mild. Our average high temperature is in the lower 40s. We’ll see highs in the 50s for the next three to five days! Enjoy it. -ERIC

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This post was written by qni_it on November 23, 2006