Last Snowmaker of ’07

4:00pm – Roads are quickly becoming nasty out there this afternoon and evening. Use EXTRA caution if you’re venturing out for evening festivities. 2-4 inches can be expected from north to south in the Rockford metro area before it winds down this evening.

With 2007 quickly winding down we should get one more chance at catching a few snowflakes. Although this system won’t be nearly as strong as the one that hit us last Friday. The heaviest snowfall totals today will fall along Interstate-80, where they could pick up as much as 4 inches of snow. If you live close to I-88, you might have to shovel between 1 and 3 inches of snow. Winnebago County will generally have totals below 1 inch, while portions of Green and Rock County completely miss out on the snow. Obviously, if your New Year’s Eve plans take you into Chicago tonight be prepared for a longer drive than normal. -ADAM

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This post was written by qni_it on December 31, 2007

Party Planner

Unless you have to work at 3:30am tomorrow morning (like me), I’m sure you have plans for New Year’s Eve. Here is how it is going to work weatherwise:

By 7 o’clock tonight there probably will still be a little bit of light snow across the region, but the majority of the accumulating snow will be behind us. If you were feeling spontaneous, you could take your party outside temporarily to play in the nice snowpack. By the time the ball drops at midnight, your noisemakers won’t be the only thing you hear ringing in your ears. Northwesterly winds will be howling by then ranging between 15 and 25 mph. By the time 2 o’clock rolls around wind chills will be close to zero! That bitter cold is probably why you will just want to hit the hay by then. Like a wise man once told me (Eric Sorensen), nothing good ever happens after 2am anyway! -ADAM

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This post was written by qni_it on December 31, 2007

Freezing Fog Advisory

UPDATE 4am: I just drove into work from the east side of Rockford to the town of Winnebago and visibilities along Hwy. 20 are near zero. Most locations are currently reporting visibilities below a quarter of a mile. Remember to drive carefully and courteously. -ADAM

A Freezing Fog Advisory will run through the morning hours Monday for all of northern Illinois. A Freezing Fog Advisory means visibilities will frequently be reduced to less than one quarter mile and frost may deposit on the roads and other surfaces. If you are driving…SLOW DOWN…use your headlights…and leave plenty of distance ahead of you. Be especially alert for frost on bridges causing slick roads.

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This post was written by qni_it on December 31, 2007

The Year in Review.

Since the year is coming to a close…I thought I would post an article wrapping up the year in terms of weather. The earth is warming up…maybe 2008 will prove to be a scorcher in terms of news and weather.

2007 a Year of Weather Records in U.S.

By SETH BORENSTEIN
WASHINGTON – When the calendar turned to 2007, the heat went on and the weather just got weirder. January was the warmest first month on record worldwide – 1.53 degrees above normal. It was the first time since record-keeping began in 1880 that the globe’s average temperature has been so far above the norm for any month of the year.
And as 2007 drew to a close, it was also shaping up to be the hottest year on record in the Northern Hemisphere.
U.S. weather stations broke or tied 263 all-time high temperature records, according to an Associated Press analysis of U.S. weather data. England had the warmest April in 348 years of record-keeping there, shattering the record set in 1865 by more than 1.1 degrees Fahrenheit.

It wasn’t just the temperature. There were other oddball weather events. A tornado struck New York City in August, inspiring the tabloid headline: “This ain’t Kansas!”
In the Middle East, an equally rare cyclone spun up in June, hitting Oman and Iran. Major U.S. lakes shrank; Atlanta had to worry about its drinking water supply. South Africa got its first significant snowfall in 25 years. And on Reunion Island, 400 miles east of Africa, nearly 155 inches of rain fell in three days – a world record for the most rain in 72 hours.
Individual weather extremes can’t be attributed to global warming, scientists always say. However, “it’s the run of them and the different locations” that have the mark of man-made climate change, said top European climate expert Phil Jones, director of the climate research unit at the University of East Anglia in England.
Worst of all – at least according to climate scientists – the Arctic, which serves as the world’s refrigerator, dramatically warmed in 2007, shattering records for the amount of melting ice.
2007 seemed to be the year that climate change shook the thermometers, and those who warned that it was beginning to happen were suddenly honored. Former Vice President Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” won an Oscar and he shared the Nobel Peace Prize with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an international group of thousands of scientists. The climate panel, organized by the United Nations, released four major reports in 2007 saying man-made global warming was incontrovertible and an urgent threat to millions of lives.

Through the first 10 months, it was the hottest year recorded on land and the third hottest when ocean temperatures are included.
Smashing records was common, especially in August. At U.S. weather stations, more than 8,000 new heat records were set or tied for specific August dates.
More remarkably that same month, more than 100 all-time temperature records were tied or broken – regardless of the date – either for the highest reading or the warmest low temperature at night. By comparison only 14 all-time low temperatures were set or tied all year long, as of early December, according to records kept by the National Climatic Data Center.
For example, on Aug. 10, the town of Portland, Tenn., reached 102 degrees, tying a record for the hottest it ever had been. On Aug. 16, it hit 103 and Portland had a new all-time record. But that record was broken again the next day when the mercury reached 105.
Daily triple-digit temperatures took a toll on everybody, public safety director George West recalled. The state had 15 heat-related deaths in August.
Portland was far from alone. In Idaho, Chilly Barton Flat wasn’t living up to its name. The weather station in central Idaho tied an all-time high of 100 on July 26, Aug. 7, 14 and 19. During 2007, weather stations in 35 states, from Washington to Florida, set or tied all-time heat records in 2007.
Across Europe this past summer, extreme heat waves killed dozens of people.
And it wasn’t just the heat. It was the rain. There was either too little or too much.
More than 60 percent of the United States was either abnormally dry or suffering from drought at one point in August. In November, Atlanta’s main water source, Lake Lanier, shrank to an all-time low. Lake Okeechobee, crucial to south Florida, hit its lowest level in recorded history in May, exposing muck and debris not seen for decades. Lake Superior, the biggest and deepest of the Great Lakes, dropped to its lowest August and September levels in history.
Los Angeles hit its driest year on record. Lakes fed by the Colorado River and which help supply water for more than 20 million Westerners, were only half full.
Australia, already a dry continent, suffered its worst drought in a century, making global warming an election issue. On the other extreme, record rains fell in China, England and Wales.
Minnesota got the worst of everything: a devastating June and July drought followed by record August rainfall. In one March day, Southern California got torrential downpours, hail, snow and fierce winds. Then in the fall came devastating fires driven by Santa Ana winds.
And yet none of those events worried scientists as much as what was going on in the Arctic in the summer. Sea ice melted not just to record levels, but far beyond the previous melt record. The Northwest Passage was the most navigable it had been in modern times. Russia planted a flag on the seabed under the North Pole, claiming sovereignty.
The ice sheets that cover a portion of Greenland retreated to an all-time low and permafrost in Alaska warmed to record levels.
Meteorologists have chronicled strange weather years for more than a decade, but nothing like 2007. It was such an extreme weather year that the World Meteorological Organization put out a news release chronicling all the records and unusual developments. That was in August with more than 145 sizzling days to go.
Get used to it, scientists said. As man-made climate change continues, the world will experience more extreme weather, bursts of heat, torrential rain and prolonged drought, they said.
“We’re having an increasing trend of odd years,” said Michael MacCracken, a former top federal climate scientist, now chief scientist at the Climate Institute in Washington. “Pretty soon odd years are going to become the norm.”

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This post was written by qni_it on December 31, 2007

Top Ten List

Thanks to yesterday’s snow….December 2007 is now one of the snowiest on record for Rockford. The 5-6 inches of snow that fell in Rockford yesterday clinched December 2007 a spot on the top ten list. Here is the list.

10. 1950= 17.8″
9. 1983= 18.3″
7. 1951= 18.4″
7. 2007= 18.4″
6. 1973= 20.0″
5. 1987= 21.7″
4. 1977= 23.3″
3. 1978= 25.1″
2. 1909= 26.5″

And the number one snowiest December on record for Rockord is:
1. 2000= 30.0″

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This post was written by qni_it on December 30, 2007

Send Us Your Pics!!!

Thanks go out to Tony from Loves park who took pictures from yesterday’s snowstrom in his yard and his neighbor’s. Any time you want to send us pics just See it, Snap it, Send it and we will post it for you.

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This post was written by qni_it on December 30, 2007

Snowy Scenes!

Thanks to everyone for submitting snow reports and pictures today! These great pics come in from Val and Mike Andres in Roscoe where 5.6 inches of snow fell. Have a great weekend everybody! -ERIC

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This post was written by qni_it on December 29, 2007

Record warmth coming in a week or two?

With a cold snap in the offing for early next week, it’s time to find the light at the end of the tunnel…and it’s not too hard to find!

Our ensemble models are starting to indicate a significant warm pattern to take shape by the end of next week and continue straight through January 12th! The image to the left shows the deviation from normal for Monday January 7th. The darkest orange shade represents temperatures 25-30 degrees above average! If there was no snow on the ground and we had a healthy dose of sunshine we could have middle 50s here in Northern Illinois a little over a week from now!

Usually we don’t see our spring thaw in late February/March. Could 2008 bring it in January? Stay tuned. -ERIC

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This post was written by qni_it on December 28, 2007

EXCLUSIVE WINTER WEATHER COVERAGE

4:3pm – Thank you to everyone sending and phoning in their snowfall reports. Here is a list of storm totals. Our 3-6 inch forecast verified with around 3 inches for DeKalb County and up in Green Co. A narrow band of 6 to 6.5 inch snows fell in a thin line from Carroll County into Freeport stopping just short of Beloit.

ANESVILLE 4.5 (ROCK CO)
DELAVAN 5.0 (WALWORTH CO)
MONROE 4.5 (GREEN CO)
STOCKTON 5.8 (JO DAVIESS CO)
FREEPORT 6.2 (STEPHENSON CO)
GERMAN VALLEY 6.5 (STEPHENSON CO)
ROSCOE 5.5 (WINNEBAGO CO)
WREX-TV STUDIOS 6.0 (WINNEBAGO CO)
BELVIDERE 4.5 (BOONE CO)
STILLMAN VALLEY 5.0 (OGLE CO)
KINGSTON 4.0 (DEKALB CO)
DEKALB 3.9 (DEKALB CO)
ROCHELLE 5.0 (OGLE CO)
OREGON 5.2 (OGLE CO)
POLO 6.5 (OGLE CO)
DIXON 5.0 (LEE CO)
STERLING 5.5 (WHITESIDE CO)
THOMPSON 6.5 (CARROLL CO)
LANARK 6.0 (CARROLL CO)

2:53pm – Here is a look at some official snowfall reports from the NWS. Snowfall will be ending in the next hour areawide. Road conditions are also improving late this afternoon.

1pm – The big batch of moderate snow is still directly over the Stateline at this time. I would expect the snow to continue at this pace for another couple of hours. Numerous folks have called in to say how poor the driving conditions are right now. Remember to drive carefully and courteously. Franklin Grove just reported in with 3.25″ of snow. Eric will have more updates this afternoon. -ADAM

11:50am – I just measured 4.25″ of snow out here at the station, which if you don’t know is 2 miles north of the town of Winnebago. I wouldn’t call it a heavy snow right now, but certainly still at a moderate pace. Keep those snowfall reports coming!

11:11am – Huge snowflakes continue to fall across the Stateline. This batch of heavy snow extends past the Quad Cities to Burlington, Iowa. This means that we are in for several more hours of heavy snow. I would say we are almost halfway through the event. Therefore, if you go outside and measure the snow right now… double that and it should be pretty close to your ending total. The latest models still show the accumulating snow ending for the most part by 5pm. After that time, the winds will strengthen out of the west and our focus will turn to blowing and drifting snow.

10am – The heaviest snow has moved into the heart of the viewing area. Early snowfall reports as of 9:15am near Stockton, Pearl City, and Council Hill are at 1 inch, but final totals will be significantly higher. If you do not need to drive during lunchtime today, you will want to stay off the roads.

9am – Moderate snow falling right now with a couple of heavier bands of snow around the Quad Cities. This area of snow will continue to move slowly to the northeast. Several reports of 2 to 3 inches have already come in from eastern Iowa.

8:05am – Just watching SkyCam over downtown Rockford, the roadways have become snowcovered in the last half hour.

7:35am – This snowmaker will pretty much be a sunrise to sunset event. Snow will be pretty constant with heavy bursts of snow late this morning and early this afternoon. In some of these bursts, snow could accumulate at a rate of 1 to 2 inches per hour. That is bad news, because with a clip like that snowplows have a tough time keeping up.

7:20am – Radar scans are picking up on widespread snow moving into the area. The snow has just started to reach the ground at the WREX-TV studios. If you are one of those people that hate driving in snow, and you have to go into work today, you better get on the roads as soon as possible. I say this, because road conditions will only deteriorate from here.

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This post was written by qni_it on December 28, 2007

Snow Advisory for Friday

All three weather service offices have issued Snow Advisories for Friday’s event. Snow should begin shortly before sunrise and last for most of the daylight hours. There will likely be some bursts of heavy snow during the peak (late-morning hours) with snowfall totals nearing six inches in some spots. Right now, we’ll keep with the well advertised 3-6 inch forecast, but depending on where the heaviest band sets up we may get an isolated 7 inch amount. This whole system should be all said and done by evening.

A few things: Afternoon models are giving us an average of about 0.40″ of liquid. With a 13:1 snow water ratio that yields just over five inches. With such a quick moving system a lot of that might end up coming in a two-three hour window making for some difficult driving/visibility problems around noon.

If I had to rate this on a 1-10 with 10 being December 1st of last year, I’d put this one around a five. If we recieve more than 3.8 inches, it’ll be the biggest snow so far this season! -ERIC

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This post was written by qni_it on December 27, 2007