Weatherman abandons studio during tornado

From NBC affiliate in Evansville, Indiana. The video was posted yesterday, but I don’t know when the event actually took place. -ES

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This post was written by qni_it on January 31, 2008

Road Conditions

ROAD CONDITION HOTLINES:
Illinois Highways 800-452-4368
Illinois Tollways 800-452-4368
Wisconsin Highways 800-762-3947
Iowa Highways 800-288-1047

Here is a live view from our three skywatch cameras.
Left: I-39 & I-90 Junction (Cherry Valley)
Middle: State Street Bridge (Downtown Rockford)
Right: E. State Street & Water Street (Downtown Rockford)

Lower left: I-294 (Tri-State Tollway) and Grand Avenue.
Lower right: North Michigan Avenue (Downtown Chicago)
Courtesy WMAQ-TV

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This post was written by qni_it on January 31, 2008

Exclusive Storm Analysis

3:15pm – The National Weather Service in Romeoville has just issued a Snow Advisory for Winnebago, Boone, McHenry, DeKalb, Lee, and Ogle County.

2:15pm – No traffic problems have been reported thus far. Here is a glimpse of road conditions at the junction of I-39 and I-90 (left) and the State Street Bridge downtown (right). I will post live views in a few minutes so you can see how the snow affects the roadways between now and the evening rush.

2:00pm – Here is the 1:50pm doppler radar view. Light snow is falling within the light blue ring. Moderate snow is coming down around Peoria up to La Salle. The trajectory takes most of the precip to the northeast into Northeastern Illinois. Our snowfall forecast won’t change as of now. While Rockford will get a nuisance 2-3 inches, isolated 4-5 inch totals will be possible southeast of Rockford around Rochelle, DeKalb, Sycamore, and Genoa. -ERIC

10:30pm – Here’s the first edition of our exclusive Storm Analysis. When we’re about 24 hours away from a winter storm/severe weather event we will give you all of the information that you need and its impact on travel.

For this event, we’re looking at a very sharp cutoff. Areas that only receive a dusting of snow (Galena) will be less than 100 miles from some six inch accumulations (Joliet). For the Rockford metro, 2-5 inches seems reasonable with the heavier snow east and south. Accumulations should begin around 4pm Thursday and end by 6am Friday.

The morning commute won’t be impacted, but by the time we head home from work some slick conditions can be expected.

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This post was written by qni_it on January 31, 2008

Big snow or big bust?

This next storm system is coming too close for comfort! Low pressure will stregthen over the Mid Mississippi River Valley tonight and tonight spreading a big swath of snow from St. Louis into Michigan. It looks as if we’ll remain on the northern fringes of this system, however ANY change in track WILL affect snowfall amounts. ExacTrack is plotting a 3+ inch snowfall for parts of DeKalb Co. with little/no accumulation from Galena up to Monroe. This is where it gets tricky. I will be putting Lee & DeKalb Co. in a 3-6 inch possibility just because of the proximity of this storm. 1-3 inches will be forecasted elsewhere with lighter amounts northwest of Rockford. Confidence is not very high so check back often as this forecast may change.

Snow should begin around 3pm Thursday and last until 6am Friday.

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This post was written by qni_it on January 30, 2008

Narrowing Down the Next Storm

The graphic to the left is the positioning of the snowmaker estimated around 6am Friday. This is a sample from the GFS model. This storm system appears as though it will be sweeping to the south of us. It will start this afternoon over the panhandle of Texas, and move into Arkansas before it heads towards the New England area. As I talked about last night, the snowfall with this one is going to align a bit differently than usual. Areas southeast of Rockford such as Marengo, DeKalb, and Sycamore stand a chance at several inches of snow. On the other hand, areas northwest of Rockford such as Monroe, Freeport, and Stockton probably will see significantly less snowfall. The impacts will be felt between noon Thursday and noon Friday with the heaviest snow flying late Thursday night and early Friday morning (7pm – 7am).

Remember the snowstorm that hit 6 weeks ago on December 15th? That storm system took a very similar path and ended up dumping 3 to 6 inches of snow on our area. For those in need of some numbers, Eric will have the specific numbers for tomorrow’s snowstorm on the Blog later this afternoon. -ADAM

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This post was written by qni_it on January 30, 2008

Focus Shifts to Dangerous Cold

The actual “storm” portion of this area of low pressure has ended with the snow moving over Lake Michigan. Now our attention shifts to the extremely windy conditions and dangerously cold temperatures. It doesn’t matter if your county is in a WIND CHILL ADVISORY (light blue) or if your county is in a WIND CHILL WARNING (dark blue). With northwest winds sustained around 30 mph, the entire viewing area is going to see wind chills hovering between -20° and -30°. I’ve already seen reports of wind gusts as high as 50 mph. Even two trees were reported to have been knocked over by the winds just south of DeKalb. These intense winds will keep howling through the morning commute.

Wind chills were this low last Thursday morning and many schools cancelled classes for the day. If those making the call stick to their past criteria, I would guess there will be quite a few schools closed for the day Wednesday. Regardless, I’ll be back Wednesday morning to help you brave the cold! -ADAM

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This post was written by qni_it on January 30, 2008

Need to Know

As of 4pm, we’ve got sleet coming down outside the WREX studios with minor accumulations on the streets. This is going to change over into all snow fairly quickly. There is another batch of snow out into eastern Iowa. This should move through the region around dinnertime. You can expect a quick inch or two of snowfall out of this band. Behind that the skies are clearing out rapidly in western Iowa. Look for the precipitation to end before 9pm.

What little snow we do pick up is going to be blown across area roadways because northwesterly winds are currently gusting up to 35 mph. They will likely strengthen further and stay strong overnight, with some gusts as high as 45 mph. With blowing snow, visibilities in some spots will drop below one mile. Drive carefully and courteously tonight.

The last bit of housekeeping is to mention that Jo Daviess, Stephenson, Carroll, and Whiteside County have been downgraded to a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY as the Blizzard Warning criteria are not likely to be met. All other counties in the Stateline viewing area remain under a WINTER STORM WARNING through 9am Wednesday. The added length to the warning is for dangerous wind chills for tomorrow morning’s commute. -ADAM

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This post was written by qni_it on January 29, 2008

Wind will be the Main Problem

Update 9:50pm = Each NWS office is calling for a different advisory on Tuesday’s winter storm. The Milwaukee office is still going for a WINTER STORM WATCH (light blue). The Chicago office is going with a WINTER STORM WARNING (purple). The Quad Cities office has gone as far as calling for a BLIZZARD WARNING.

It is always trickier forecasting snowfall totals when the widespread precipitation initially begins as rain. With that being said, I am sticking with up to 2 inches of snow in Winnebago County with slightly higher totals to the west. Regardless of how much snow you pick up, it is going to be extremely difficult to get a good measurement with winds gusting up to 40 mph. One of the main reasons I am undercutting what other outlets are forecasting is that it appears as though much drier air will move in aloft around 6pm. This should shut off the snow during the early evening hours. However, this will do nothing to help the winds relax.

6pm discussion: Now let’s get into the nuts and bolts of this storm system. The advisories are NOT being issued because of large snowfall totals. They are being issued because northwest winds on the backside of this storm have the potential to gust as high as 45 mph.

The occasional rain shower may pass through the region tonight, but rainfall totals will stay below .10″. The showers should grow and become fairly widespread shortly after lunch on Tuesday. The precipitation will start as rain, but change over into snow during the mid-afternoon hours. I would expect most folks to receive 1 or 2 inches of snow by Tuesday night. It doesn’t sound like much, but with blustery winds it is going to cause the blowing and drifting of snow. Visibilities at times will drop below 1/4 mile, which is why the advisories have been posted. Travel is going to be a little stressful Tuesday evening. -ADAM

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This post was written by qni_it on January 28, 2008

Monday’s Midwest Weather

For the Midwest today…the weather picture looks a little something like this from AccuWeather:

Illinois will remain in the clear and away from the brutally cold temps and blizzard like conditions that are forming in Canada and Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.

The low pressure system separates us from the cold..but that low pressure will move up to the north and east.

Even though a blizzard is not in the forecast for us (thank goodness!) we will feel the effect of that system on Wednesday with a temperature drop to only 19 degrees.

For today though winds and mild temperatures from Kansas city and Omaha will bring temps up to the mid 40’s across the stateline. It looks to be a washout for the entire state of Wisconsin today and much of Central and Northern Illinois look to get a good dose of rain as well.

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This post was written by qni_it on January 28, 2008

Crazy Weather Across the Pacific

Yes, the stateline has experienced its ups and down in the month of January (60 degree temps, a tornado, below zero temps, and of course more snow) but let’s take a quick look at some crazy weather in the great land of China.

I got this article off of the website RedOrbit which always has some interesting articles in terms of science.

Severe Cold Spell Causes More Deaths in China

Beijing – An unprecedented cold spell hitting half of China has caused at least another dozen deaths, injured thousands and stranded multitudes of travellers in the freezing weather by Sunday [27 January].
A bus carrying 41 people overturned on a slippery freeway in east China’s Jiangxi Province early Sunday, leaving five dead at the scene and injuring 10 others. The victims included three children, two of whom were dead and one seriously injured.
The provincial meteorological bureau has warned drivers to take caution since Friday as continuous sleet has covered highways and all urban and rural roads with ice.
In the mountainous Guizhou Province in the southwest, a hospital in the capital city of Guiyang has received at least 1,500 patients in the last five days, most suffering fractures after falling on slippery roads.
Guizhou has suffered five deaths, 1,631 collapsed homes and widespread blackouts.
At a hospital in the Buyi and Miao autonomous prefecture of Qiannan in the remote south of Guizhou, snow and sleet have cut electricity and tap water since 15 January. 15. A hospital had to save power by cancelling surgery to light up the emergency ward.

“If the power supply doesn’t resume any time soon, heating will be a real problem,” said Luo Laiquan, 63, of Qiannan.
The price of charcoal had climbed from eight yuan to 14 yuan a kilo, he said.
The local government said bad weather had also stranded more than 40,000 passengers in at least 5,000 broken-down vehicles on expressways between Guizhou and neighbouring Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
“We’re trying to provide them with food and water, but several have passed out in the cold, including a new mother and her one- month-old baby,” said Huang Zhengfu, secretary-general with the prefectural government.
He said the elderly and children were taken to a nearby hotel on Saturday.
In the central Hunan Province, one of the worst hit areas, seven people have died and snow is affecting the lives of 25.22 million people in 14 cities and 112 counties across the province.
Among the dead were three power company workers who died when their equipment collapsed as they were removing ice from a 50-meter tall tower on Saturday afternoon.
Heavy snow has also blanketed Diqing, a Tibetan autonomous prefecture in the southwestern Yunnan Province, starting from Jan. 19. As of Sunday morning, Shangri-La had reported 35 centimeters of snow.
Though no deaths or injuries have been reported, the local government estimated at least 100,000 people were affected as snow has cut roads, power and drinking water, damaged at least 500 homes and destroyed at least 10,000 hectares of cropland.
In the eastern Jiangsu Province, the heaviest snow since 1984 virtually closed the airport in the provincial capital of Nanjing on Sunday. In several cities, the average precipitation was around 20 millimeters.
In the aftermath of the massive train delays on the trunk rail link between Beijing and Guangzhou on Saturday, the number of passengers stranded in Hangzhou, capital of the eastern Zhejiang Province, soared to 30,000 on Sunday compared with 5,000 reported on Saturday.
The delays of at least 136 trains in Hunan Province, a result of power failure, stranded almost 150,000 passengers at Guangzhou Railway Station on Saturday night.
Officials in Guangzhou have predicted as many as 600,000 people will be stranded at the Guangzhou railway station if the problems are not solved by Monday.
Local authorities said they were trying to provide shelter to passengers at schools and other public facilities close to the railway station, including the subway tunnels after the subway stops operation at midnight.

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This post was written by qni_it on January 27, 2008