One extreme to the other!

As we blogged earlier this month, August 2007 broke a record for the wettest month on record here in Rockford. September has taken us on a 180° turn. We’ve been extremely dry and warm. In fact, so far this month, 22 of the 29 days have been warmer than average. Back on the week of the ninth, we thought that autumn was here to stay. Boy were we wrong about that! After that frosty Saturday morning on the 15th, we made it to 90° three more times. Almost unprecedented for this time of year!

We’ll remain above normal for a week…but when do you think the cool weather will finally get here?

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This post was written by qni_it on September 29, 2007

Hurricane Lorenzo: Short Lifespan

Tropical Storm Lorenzo gained Category 1 hurricane status on Thursday with top sustained winds of 75mph.

Lorenzo will move inland on Friday causing some damage to coastal towns of Mexico. This system will diminish upon landfall and will be little/no threat for Texas and the US mainland. -ERIC

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This post was written by qni_it on September 28, 2007

Fun Fact

This morning I threw an “80″ on the seven day outlook for Sunday’s high temperature. Then I started thinking about how often we typically break the 80 degree mark this late in the year. After some digging, I found out the last day of each year that we hit 80 degrees and averaged it out over the past decade. It isn’t a huge sample, but the past ten years should suffice for this purpose. I found out that our average last 80 degree day has occurred around October 5th. This means that the summer heat is usually gone by the first week of October.

The majority of the first week of October should hold above average temperatures. We might be able to hit the 80 degree mark a couple more times before all is said and done. -ADAM

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This post was written by qni_it on September 27, 2007

Harvest Moon Tonight

How many moons does Earth have? Let’s count:

The Wolf Moon, the Snow Moon, the Worm Moon, the Pink Moon, the Flower Moon, the Strawberry Moon, the Buck Moon, the Sturgeon Moon, the Harvest Moon, the Hunter’s Moon, the Beaver Moon, and the Cold Moon.

Twelve.

Actually, we have one…but tonight’s full moon is the Harvest Moon. If you get a chance, get out there and enjoy all of the moonlight!

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This post was written by qni_it on September 27, 2007

Shades of autumn seen from space!

A special thanks to the UW-Madison Satellite Blog
for this animated photo. (If it doesn’t animate, just click on it.) It’s fascinating to see how the forest green colors of Northern Wisconsin change into browns and oranges.

Even though our trees haven’t switched colors yet, can you guess why think the colors change so much in Northeastern Iowa and Southern Wisconsin? If you thought “corn” you thought right! The majority of land in these parts is covered with cornfields. The corn plants lost their green color in early September, revealing the orange color seen from space.

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This post was written by qni_it on September 26, 2007

September Rain Recap

After a record breaking rainfall month in August, September has had a significant turnaround in the drier direction. During the first 24 days of the month we received less than 3/4 of an inch of rain. We quickly saw that amount and more in a short time span yesterday. Approximately 75% of yesterday’s 0.87″ of rain fell during the microburst storm that moved over the Rockford Airport rain gauge around 2pm. We can combine those two totals and it still sets us well below average for rainfall for the month of September. This month we are almost an inch and a half behind the norm. There are only 5 days left in September and it looks like at least 4 of them will be completely dry. -ADAM

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This post was written by qni_it on September 26, 2007

Today’s Storm Analysis

Between 1:40 and 2:00pm this afternoon, a severe thunderstorm produced widespread damage in a narrow swath of Rockford.

At 1:37pm a severe thunderstorm developed southwest of Rockford. The bright pink color indicates a significant hail core. (A hail core is an area within the thunderstorm where intense lift creates a significant amount of hail…and sometimes very large hailstones). We didn’t receive any reports from this area…probably because the area is pretty rural.

At 1:41, the hail core abruptly went away. Where did it go? We all know the saying “what goes up must come down.” At 1:41pm, the hail core was falling out of the cloud. The core was probably about 7 miles tall and 2 miles wide. Imagine all of this air coming straight down to the ground. As the wind hits the ground it is sent out in a forward direction. In this case, it headed east-northeast. The first areas to be hit were around the South Rock Industrial Park at IL2 and Hwy 20 where several trees were snapped off. The Aldrich family lost numerous trees and a few power poles at the 3000 block of Clarine Lane (right behind Bing’s Drive-In).

Seven minutes later, the storm was producing severe damage on the other side of the Rock River along Brooke Road and on 9th Street in Southeast Rockford. A large tree fell at the end of 6th Street (at 23rd Av). Another tree fell on a car in the 3000 block of 9th as well as numerous trees falling on power lines in the neighborhood sending more people into the dark. This storm was so localized, it didn’t even produce significant wind at the Chicago/Rockford Int’l Airport (just two miles south).

1:56pm – It’s been nearly ten minutes since the hail core dropped over far SW Rockford. The wind gust is beginning to fan outward and diminish as it moves northeast. The Rockford Register Star reports that at this time scaffolding equipment at OSF Saint Anthony Hospital on East State Street. While the initial wind gust may have been near 80mph when it first formed, it was probably down to around 40-50mph in fifteen minutes…only to weaken more as it headed into the city’s far east side.

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This post was written by qni_it on September 25, 2007

EXCLUSIVE SEVERE WEATHER INFO

3:15pm – Chicago/O’Hare Int’l Airport reporting delays over one hour….delays increasing.

3:10pm – Storms winding down. One last shower/storm will move through Roscoe and South Beloit through 3:30pm.

3:09pm – Marengo [Mchenry Co, IL] law enforcement reports TSTM WND DMG at 02:20 PM CDT — tree down in marengo

3:00pm –
Rockford area: power outages numerous on the east side. Traffic signals out at Perryville and Newburg. Harrison and 9th. Harrison and 11th. Tree down at Brooke Road and Saner Av. on Rockford’s south side.

2:38pm – Thank you for your weather reports/comments. I have relayed them to the National Weather Service Chicago office. -ES

2:25pm Severe storm threat has diminished across Winnebago, Lee, Ogle, and Boone County. Storms will continue to push through DeKalb and McHenry County through 3:15pm. Storms will have a potential to produce damaging straight line winds. -ES

2:23pm Rockford [Winnebago Co, IL] trained spotter reports TSTM WND DMG at 02:05 PM CDT — 1 1/2 foot diameter tree down in rockford on 23rd ave and 6th st

2:23pm Belvidere [Boone Co, IL] law enforcement reports TSTM WND DMG at 02:15 PM CDT — 2 small trees down from sheriff

2:09pm expires Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Ogle, Winnebago [IL]

2:04pm Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Boone [IL] till 2:30 PM CDT

1:55pm Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Ogle and Winnebago until 2:15pm.

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This post was written by qni_it on September 25, 2007

A Damp & Dreary Day

The month of September has been so dry that it is a actually a welcome sight to see the radar scans lighting up a bit today. Showers and storms will continue intermittently through sunset tonight. That is when I expect the wet weather to taper off. A slight risk of severe weather exists for our friends southeast of Winnebago County, but for our viewing area we should just be sticking with some general rainfall this afternoon. Take a look at the Microcast image to the right. You can easily determine where the thunderstorms will form and where the showers will form. Thunderstorm activity can produce downpours in short periods of time, while showers must occur for many consecutive hours to reach the same rainfall totals. Needless to say, the soggiest areas on this Tuesday will be over eastern Illinois, northern Indiana, and southern Michigan. -ADAM

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This post was written by qni_it on September 25, 2007

NOAA Weather Radio Outage

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This post was written by qni_it on September 24, 2007