Fall Foliage Report

There are quite a few orange and red maples showing up across the upper Midwest. Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin are already at peak color in the last week of September while we’re just starting to see some good color. Here in Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin, get ready for some really good fall color within the next few weeks!

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This post was written by qni_it on September 30, 2008

One Game Playoff


After a 162 game schedule the Minnesota Twins and the Chicago White Sox have the exact same record atop the American League Central Division. Due to this oddity the two teams are forced to play one game to determine who goes to the playoffs to live the excitement of October baseball. The rivalry gets renewed tonight at 6:30pm at U.S. Cellular Field on the south side of Chicago. In my weather forecast, I am calling for a few fairweather clouds with temperatures holding steady in the upper 50s throughout the game. If you are one of the lucky people that have the opportunity to attend the game, bring a jacket because a northwest wind at 10-15 mph should chill you down efficiently.

Now for Painter’s baseball prediction. Nate Daugherty and Mike Morig are busy covering sports on the local scene today, so I will take a stab at the outcome of the game. I am calling for a higher than normal scoring contest with a heated battle to the end. I’ve got to stick with my hometown squad: Twins 8, White Sox 6. What’s your prognostication? Let’s hear it! -ADAM

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This post was written by qni_it on September 30, 2008

Freefall continues

Over the weekend, my colleague Justin Gehrts posted on the arrival of the cold air. We’re off Saturday’s highs by twenty degrees areawide with additional falls likely over the next few days. Kind of sounds like Wall Street, doesn’t it? We can only hope our economy follows our temp-trend for late-week.

Let’s talk about this blast of cold air for a minute. While the surface cold front moved through early today the brunt of the cold air is moving in later. Large surges of cold air work from the top-down. Much of this is due to the friction of the surface of the earth (hills, valleys, buildings, vegetation, and even clouds) the air simply moves easier at higher elevation. So, over the next day or so the cold air will really be moving into the region aloft (and much of this will translate down to the surface). With so much cold air aloft tomorrow, there will be a big differential between the surface temps and those aloft. It’s a certainty that this will produce clouds and in turn keep us mightly cool. The interesting thing about this scenario is what happens when night falls. That temperature differential (surface-aloft) goes away after sunset so the clouds are likely to evaporate. We’ll have to watch this closely as clouds depart, our nighttime temps may get down into the upper 30s…enough for frost.

Bottom line: Get used to the chilly afternoons and cold nights…but let’s hold out for a “bail-out” which will in turn get us back on track…back into the 70s for the weekend. If only we could get Wall Street fixed by then, right?

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This post was written by qni_it on September 29, 2008

Bonus Weather Kid!


On the morning show today, we wished a happy belated birthday to Tianna. However, I do need to sneak in another birthday Weather Kid here on the blog. Today is my dad’s birthday, and there’s no gift better than some public embarrassment.

Hmm, on second thought… maybe the real gift is that I withheld his age? :)

These chilly days ahead will have him wishing it was the end of June, time to go fishing Up North!

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This post was written by qni_it on September 29, 2008

Showers/t’storms to overspread Stateline

Special Weather Statement (6:40am) – http://mesonet.agron.iastate.edu/p.php?pid=200809291139-KDVN-WWUS83-SPSDVN

Special Weather Statement (5:45am) – http://mesonet.agron.iastate.edu/p.php?pid=200809291040-KDVN-WWUS83-SPSDVN

Original post: A batch of showers and thunderstorms is pushing east out of Iowa and Minnesota this morning. The best chance for thunderstorms is closer to I-88. Stronger storms may produce wind gusts near 40mph and pea-sized hail. Closer to US20, a few embedded thunderstorms are possible with a lower threat of gusts and hail. Our Wisconsin towns will see generally rain, but may experience a few rumbles of thunder.

The severe weather threat is low today.

Much cooler air will begin spilling into the viewing area this evening.

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This post was written by qni_it on September 29, 2008

Change


We’ve been talking about it for a while, and it’s finally just about here. The big pattern change arrives tomorrow, thanks to a potent cold front. Meanwhile, the entire upper-level weather pattern will enter into what’s known as an omega block, because the orientation of the jet stream looks like the Greek letter omega. The block will be located over the western U.S., allowing a steady stream of cool, Canadian air to spill into the Midwest. We’ll be sandwiched right between the clockwise spin of a high pressure and counterclockwise spin of a low pressure. Be ready for some cool days ahead!

This pattern will hold for at least the next several days, as it’s difficult for an omega block to either move or break down. The GFS computer model breaks it down as early as Thursday, although it has a tendency to rush things with these patterns. Our other long-range computer models keep us in the chill through at least next weekend.

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This post was written by qni_it on September 28, 2008

Earth Gauge: Preppin’


Earth Gauge: Preppin’

September is National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to encourage all Americans to take easy steps to prepare for natural disasters and emergencies at home, work, and school. A study conducted by the Ad Council and DHS in 2006 found that 91 percent of respondents said it was “very” or “somewhat” important to be prepared for emergencies, but only 54 percent put together an emergency kit; only 39 percent created an emergency plan; and just 40 percent searched for information about preparedness.

Viewer Tip: Are you prepared? Taking a few simple steps now can help you and your family members stay safe if a natural disaster or other emergency occurs in your area.

  • Make an Emergency Kit. Gather enough supplies for at least three days. Some things to include are water, non-perishable food and can opener, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, flashlight, and first aid kit. Find a complete list of items for your kit: www.ready.gov/america/npm08/getakit.html.
  • Make a Family Emergency Plan. Make sure every family member knows who to contact in an emergency. Make sure you have planned for older and disabled family members, and pets. Download a family emergency planner: www.ready.gov/america/makeaplan/index.html.
  • Know Your Stuff. Find out what kinds of natural disasters are likely to occur in your area. Know evacuation routes and learn about emergency plans developed by your local or state government.

Visit the State of Illinois’ Ready Illinois site for more preparedness resources: www.ready.illinois.gov/

(Sources: Department of Homeland Security. November 14, 2006.”Homeland Security Launches New Ads to Demonstrate Importance of Family Emergency Planning.” http://www.dhs.gov/xnews/releases/pr_1163518483290.shtm; National Preparedness Month 2008. http://www.ready.gov/america/npm08/intro.html)

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This post was written by qni_it on September 28, 2008

Lake O’Hare!

On September 12th more than 6 inches of rain fell on top of Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. Thanks to Woody Mott for sending in these truly amazing pictures!

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This post was written by qni_it on September 26, 2008

Yes, I did spell out *that* word…

If you missed the noon show, I mentioned that the latest computer model runs had made a big change from before and are now holding off the big movement of cold air until the end of next week. I’m not buying into it yet, but if it does occur… light, wet s-n-o-w (I don’t want to say it yet) is possible somewhere in the Midwest in a week’s time.

The GFS computer model suggests the possibility of what could be light lake-effect snow on the southern end of Lake Michigan. Temperatures aloft could support it… but how cold will we be at the surface? Average highs a week from now would be in the upper 60s. Even upper 40s would be 20 degrees below average… and that big of a difference from what’s typical is fairly extreme. Not unheard of, though.

Eric will be taking a good look at this change in the forecast this afternoon, and I’ll be watching it closely this weekend. After about two weeks of quiet, warm weather… anything cooler than normal will feel especially chilly.

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This post was written by qni_it on September 26, 2008

Yay, warm! Boo, cold!


Autumn weather… mild, sunny afternoons… crisp mornings… too bad it isn’t always like that. We’re getting a dose of fall weather next week. However, it’s of the “blah” variety. We’ll be stuck in the lower 60s (and that may be a little optimistic) under cloudy skies and perhaps some showers.

In the meantime, southeasterly flow is keeping us warm today with our 8th straight day in a row with highs in the 80s. As a cold front approaches tomorrow, our wind will begin to shift to the west, and by later on Sunday, a northwest wind will have kicked in. And that northwest wind is going to drag an airmass down alllllll the way from the Yukon region – our first taste of a cold airmass. How long the cool weather will stick around is still up in the air since our computer models are having a tough time dealing with some of the “roadblocks” that may develop in our atmosphere. More often than not, we get stuck in a roadblock for longer than the models originally predict. Stay tuned…

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This post was written by qni_it on September 26, 2008