Funnel clouds spotted in Boone County

tornado3-31belvideretornwrex17:45PM UPDATE – We could change the title of this blog post now thanks to Dan Zellers who snapped a cell phone picture of the tornado on the ground. He was on the northwest side of Belvidere near the fire station and post office, looking west. He estimates that the tornado was about 1/2 mile west of here. Thanks so much for being on the lookout Dan (and the many others who reported their sightings at reportstorms@wrex.com.

7:15PM UPDATE – Awaiting a cell phone photo of a tornado on the ground near Belvidere that was taken around 5:40pm. Will post here on the weather authority blog when I get it. -ES

tornadosighting

7PM UPDATE – No reports of damage. However we have several eyewitnesses who say the tornado did in fact touch down near Irene Road and US20 in western Boone County. It is quite possible that there were several different funnels with this storm…or that some of the funnels that were reported to us were just scud clouds. Remember a low-hanging cloud isn’t a funnel unless it spins. In most cases if it is a funnel you are looking at, you will know!

DEVELOPING STORY – At 5:35pm the Boone County Fire Department got a call of a funnel cloud off of Irene Road. Shortly thereafter we got a phone call from a storm spotter near Belvidere High School reporting a funnel cloud extending 35% of the way to the ground. The sirens went off thereafter.

In addition, at 6:00pm a broadly rotating storm over Northern DeKalb and McHenry County may produce a few funnel clouds or brief tornadoes.

http://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/md/md0353.html

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Posted under tornado

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on March 31, 2009

A little insight on the flooding up north.

Blog entry from Sean Lewis at CLTV (former morning anchor in Rockford).
The reason we should pay attention in history class…

red%20river%20flood.jpg

Right now, our neighbors to the North, in North Dakota and Minnesota, are fighting off an absolute disaster.

The Red River, which flows north between the North Dakota and Minnesota border, is at near-record flood stage. Read the full story here.

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Posted under flooding

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on March 26, 2009

Winter storm possible for the weekend!

Are you ready for more snow? We really have been spoiled over the past month with little/no snow. It appears that will be changing come this weekend. A very strong area of low pressure will take a classic “panhandle hooker” track from Colorado into Oklahoma, Arkansas then spinning up into Lower Michigan. These systems are very efficient users of Gulf moisture. Thermal profiles will be iffy at the onset so there could be a pretty significant round of rain to start off. In order to figure out how much snow falls we have to see how much rain we need to subtract from the total moisture available. Right now that’s impossible because we can’t get a specific track nailed down yet. snow1For instance, look at this image. Each line represents a unique computer model. This is the reason why we don’t throw out snowfall forecast numbers this far in advance. Honestly it’s 1-11 inches. Stay tuned and we’ll work on that range for you!

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Posted under winter storm

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on March 26, 2009

Youngest person ever to appear on WREX?

babyJust before nine this evening the population of Rockford got just a little bigger. Good friends of mine, Jeremy Behling and Britney Konkol, welcomed their first son into the world. Being just outside the delivery room gave me goosebumps…to hear that first cry.

So, here’s to the most happy birthday Jaeden!

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This post was written by Eric Sorensen on March 25, 2009

Damage reports from Tuesday night’s severe weather

Roscoe [Winnebago Co, IL] broadcast media reports TSTM WND DMG at 10:10 PM CDT — extensive tree damage in roscoe. also roof and siding damage to a home in roscoe.

2 W Rockford [Winnebago Co, IL] emergency mngr reports TSTM WND DMG at 11:12 PM CDT — damage reported to a small yard barn.

Crystal Lake [Mchenry Co, IL] trained spotter reports TSTM WND GST of M55 MPH at 11:12 PM CDT –

Beloit [Rock Co, WI] law enforcement reports TSTM WND DMG at 10:49 PM CDT — numerous reports of power lines and trees down across rock county. power lines in trees…possible fires. some power outages

Roscoe [Winnebago Co, IL] emergency mngr reports TSTM WND DMG at 10:00 PM CDT — damage reported to the roof and fence of a house.

Roscoe [Winnebago Co, IL] emergency mngr reports NON-TSTM WND DMG at 10:00 PM CDT — trees and wires down in the town of roscoe.

Rockford Airport [Winnebago Co, IL] asos reports TSTM WND GST of M67.00 MPH at 09:58 PM CDT —

2 E Dixon [Lee Co, IL] law enforcement reports TSTM WND DMG at 09:35 PM CDT — garage destroyed…roof off building…trees down.

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Posted under severe weather

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on March 24, 2009

Severe Weather Alert

(10:26:25 PM) nwsbot: LOT continues Severe Thunderstorm Warning for  Boone, De Kalb,
McHenry [IL] till 11:00 PM CDT 

(10:05:59 PM) nwsbot: LOT: Rockford [Winnebago Co, IL] asos
reports TSTM WND GST of M67 MPH at 09:58 PM CDT -- 

(10:08:03 PM) nwsbot: LOT continues Severe Thunderstorm Warning for  Boone, Ogle, Winnebago
[IL] till 10:15 PM CDT 

(10:04:51 PM) nwsbot: MKX issues Severe Thunderstorm Warning for  Dane, Rock [WI] till
10:45 PM CDT 

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN CHICAGO HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
  NORTHWESTERN BOONE COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL ILLINOIS...
  EASTERN OGLE COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL ILLINOIS...
  EASTERN WINNEBAGO COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL ILLINOIS...

* UNTIL 1015 PM CDT...

* AT 946 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE RADAR INDICATED A LINE OF
  SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS LOCATED ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM BYRON TO 9
  MILES SOUTH OF BYRON TO 15 MILES SOUTH OF BYRON...AND MOVING
  NORTHEAST AT 65 MPH. THESE STORMS ARE CAPABLE OF PRODUCING DAMAGING
  WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH.

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WILL BE NEAR...
  WINNEBAGO BY 955 PM...
  ROCKFORD AIRPORT BY 1000 PM...
  ROCKFORD BY 1005 PM...
  ROSCOE...AND LOVES PARK BY 1010 PM...
  SOUTH BELOIT BY 1015 PM...

MOVE INDOORS AWAY FROM WINDOWS UNTIL THE LINE OF STORMS HAS PASSED.
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This post was written by Eric Sorensen on March 24, 2009

“Project: Tornado” coming soon to a school near you!

projecttornado1 It may seem like an impossible task, but the 13 Weather Authority Team is going to do it. Starting May 1st, we will be visiting one school per day through the entire month of May!

The goal is to teach students about the power of severe weather so they are ready should the unthinkable happen.

Our program is totally free of charge and is a public service of WREX-TV. Administrators, instructors, and active parents, all you need to do is pick a date on our calendar (on the next page) and contact us at weather@wrex.com

We only have 17 spots available (as of 6:45pm) and I can guarantee they will fill up quickly. We cannot take requests via phone. Our E-Mail system will categorize the inquiries by date so we’ll keep it “first come, first serve.” For additional information, click on the button to the right. And as always, if you have any questions about “Project: Tornado” just ask Adam, Justin, or me.

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Posted under Uncategorized

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on March 24, 2009

Heavy rainfall to ease up this evening

scannerHere’s a look at 13FutureTrack’s estimate of precipitation. Creeks are running bankfull in Freeport and Stephenson County with the heaviest rain falling in northwestern Ogle Co. If you have a report of rainfall, please report it by clicking on the Report Storms icon to the right. We will highlight some of your totals tonight at ten o’clock. The rain should be east of the area by then…Thank Goodness!

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Posted under flooding, rain

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on March 24, 2009

Storm threat increases Tuesday afternoon

severe1A potent storm system is churning through the plains this evening. Severe storms have been numerous in parts of Eastern Nebraska, Kansas, and northeastern Oklahoma with two tornadoes spotted as of 4pm. A moderate risk of severe exists through early evening across southwest Iowa through Omaha, Kansas City, southward into Kansas. These thunderstorms are expected to keep translating eastward into parts of Iowa this evening (perhaps reaching the Mississippi River by 1 or 2 in the morning). Once they reach here, the storms will have weakened but some heavy downpours and thunder are possible through the early morning commute.

severe21On Tuesday, the low will move into far southeastern Minnesota. The bulk of the severe will occcur south of Peoria through southern Illinois and Missouri. However we will sit right along a warm front with a dry punch of air coming in the evening. This will cause storms to be fast movers and I believe some gusty 55-65mph wind will be possible. In addition, in more unstable circumstances this would be the place for an isolated tornado. While we can’t rule it out, it is highly unlikely from this vantage point.

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Posted under severe weather

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on March 23, 2009

WLS-TV weathercast from 1973

Whoa how times have changed!

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Posted under Uncategorized

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on March 20, 2009