Friday’s storms could pack a wallop!

It seems more possible that severe weather could be in the cards for Friday afternoon and evening. Models coming into line with a solution that tracks low pressure from near Ames, Iowa through Central Wisconsin during the day. This puts us closer to the “triple point” where the low meets up with both the warm and cold fronts. It’s often a place where severe weather is maximized in systems like this.

Nothing is set in stone here, but it’s time to put up the yellow flag. There are still many conditions that may not be met with this system. Check back for updates.

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This post was written by qni_it on April 30, 2008

Only one Washout

Rain is in the forecast for the first three days in May, but only one day out of the Thursday through Saturday timeframe will be a washout. The showers on Thursday look to be isolated in nature meaning that not everyone will pick up on the wet weather. Rainfall totals look fairly light on Thursday to boot. Widespread thunderstorms should get going at some point on Friday with some locations receiving as much as an inch of liquid. The image to the left is of a strong line of storms firing up Friday afternoon. This rainmaker has shown signs of slowing down a bit so I would put the period of heaviest rain to fall sometime Friday afternoon or Friday evening. We stand at a slight risk for severe weather at this point, and this will be something we continue to monitor as this storm system evolves. The rain on Saturday should be pretty light in nature with the showers being scattered across the Stateline. -ADAM

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This post was written by qni_it on April 30, 2008

May to begin on a wet note

April 2008 will be remembered as a cool and wet month! However that is music to your ears if you have a farm or garden. Having a surplus of rainfall before the start of the growing season is wonderful. Let’s hope we continue to see enough without instigating further river flooding.

Our next chance of rain comes on May 1 as a warm front lifts into the area. Low pressure will develop and track across Iowa and Wisconsin Thursday and Friday. With the low’s track to our north, a decent chance of showers and thunderstorms will be warranted. Lingering showers can be expected for at least the first half of our weekend.

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This post was written by qni_it on April 29, 2008

Cloud Seeding

Last week, I used this picture on my morning weather quiz segment “What exactly is this?” I wanted to put it on the blog and analyze it some more, but needed to wait for a quiet day before it could get its due diligence.

This is a picture of the process known as ‘cloud seeding’. Cloud seeding is a controversial practice of humans attempting to modify the weather. This is attempted by dispersing different kinds of chemicals in the air to increase rain amounts, increase snowfall, suppress the size of hailstones, and reduce stretches of dense fog. The chemicals commonly used are silver iodide and dry ice (solid carbon dioxide). This testing has taken place over drought stricken areas, ski resorts, as well as around airports. There is no substantial proof that it works since it is tough to figure out how much precipitation would have fallen had the cloud not been ‘seeded’.

You may hear about this much more this summer since the host of the Summer Olympics (on NBC) is the country with the largest cloud seeding system. Beijing is one of the many cities in China that attempt to add rainfall to its arid regions. It plans on using cloud seeding prior to the Games to remove the pollution from the air in time for the festivities. Some of the neighboring arid countries have even argued with China stating that they are “stealing rain” from them.

It sounds like a good idea, but I don’t know whether or not I am for it. I get a little scared anytime someone wants to tamper with Mother Nature. -ADAM

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This post was written by qni_it on April 29, 2008

North American Oscillation could mean colder spring

Get ready for more chilly weather! There are a few signals that a “Greenland Block” may be in the developing stages! A Greenland Block is when the jet stream buckles to the north over Greenland. Consequently, over North America a big trough brings down cold air for the Upper Midwest. This configuration is referred as the North American Oscillation, or NAO. Occasionally this pattern will maintain itself for longer periods of time (perhaps a few days to a few weeks).

If the NAO develops in this fashion perhaps a few more frosty mornings can be expected. We will be sure to let you know!

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This post was written by qni_it on April 28, 2008

Virginia tornadoes

Photos below coming out of WVEC in Norfolk.

The suburb of Colonial Heights near Richmond, Virginia and the city of Suffolk were both affected by powerful tornadoes this afternoon. Based on the information we’re seeing s far, the Colonial Heights tornado struck a shopping area. The video we saw of the Suffolk tornado damage looks like it also tore through a shopping area as well as a residential area with many homes sustaining severe damage.

NBC affiliates WWBT and WAVY have the latest.

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This post was written by qni_it on April 28, 2008

Green Thumbs Take Note

A FREEZE WARNING is in place from midnight to 7am on Tuesday for all of northern Illinois. If you have already spent some time in the garden this year you may want to take some precautions tonight. The disturbance causing today’s rain and snow will move out by midnight tonight. As it does so, the skies will clear our rather quickly. The airmass behind this piece of energy is quite cool for this time of year. That coupled with very little cloud cover and light winds should send our temperatures into the upper 20s for the first time since April 2nd. That being said, you may want to cover up your plants/flowers or just bring them inside for the night.

Statistically, in a typical year the last frost of the spring occurs on April 30th. After tonight we should be able to stay above the freezing mark for the next seven days. I haven’t glanced beyond that, but climatologically speaking after tonight we should stay above the freezing mark until next October! -ADAM

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This post was written by qni_it on April 28, 2008

It IS almost May… right?

Today’s blog graphic is what I’m looking forward to. I don’t want to talk about tomorrow’s weather, although I suppose I ought to… just don’t blame us for ugly weather! (Feel free to credit us when the weather is nice, however.)

A disturbance currently in the northern tier of the U.S. is slipping southward. It will be creating some lift, producing occasional rain showers. Since much of the atmosphere will be cool, some snow may mix in throughout the day. In fact, there’s enough lift (and possibly localized sunshine) that will cause isolated intense showers. If you find yourself under one of those, you’ll be dealing with a higher chance of snow (more rapid rising motion leading to more pronounced cooling aloft) as well as some small hail. In any event, no significant snow accumulations are expected due to the warm surface and wet nature of the snowflakes. Some sticking may occur on grassy areas or overpasses/bridges, but I doubt that’ll be a widespread issue.

Beyond that, the timing of the departure of clouds will impact how low our temperatures drop Tuesday morning. We’re looking at upper 20s/low 30s area-wide. This is obviously problematic for plants out there, so keep tabs on tomorrow’s forecasts for updates to the forecast low.

By the middle of the workweek, high pressure will be to our east, helping to give us more sunshine and a return flow. We’ll be back up around normal for at least a couple days.

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This post was written by qni_it on April 27, 2008

Cold!

I know that I’ll be breaking out the hot chocolate tomorrow and Monday.

Sunday and Monday will be some 20 degrees below normal. It’s going to seem even worse after enjoying 70s, which were 10-15 degrees above normal. The good news is that we’ll climb back up to normal by the end of the week.

In the meantime, bundle up tomorrow!

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This post was written by qni_it on April 26, 2008

Heavy rain for some. Sprinkles for others.

Here’s a look at Friday’s rainfall totals. Out of any place in Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin, Rockford saw the most fall with 1.37 inches reported at the Chicago/Rockford Int’l Airport.

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This post was written by qni_it on April 26, 2008