MagicTrak Fun!

Our weather clicker is like the “Wii of weather clickers.” We have the capability of drawing right onto the map…which is great when we’re zooming into streets and highlighting storms. Not so great is when yours truly isn’t careful when putting the fronts on. :-) Check this clip out from tonight’s 10pm news:

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Posted under Uncategorized

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on May 28, 2009

climate_authority32009-medNew research by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) suggests that melting ice off of Greenland will contribute to higher ocean levels along the east coast of North America from Canada down to the Mid-Atlantic States. Using NCAR modeling software, they predict that by the year 2100 the levels may rise 12 to 20 inches.

Scientists have been cautious about estimating average sea level rise this century, in part because of complex processes within ice sheets. The 2007 assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projected that sea levels worldwide could rise by an average of 7 to 23 inches later this century, but many researchers believe the rise will be greater because of dynamic factors in ice sheets that appear to have accelerated the melting rate in recent years.

The new research was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and by NCAR’s sponsor, the National Science Foundation. It was conducted by scientists at NCAR, the University of Colorado at Boulder, and Florida State University.

Click here to read the entire article by NCAR.

As always we welcome your comments on our 13Climate Authority reports.  -ES

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on May 28, 2009

A Very Wet Spring

ericb2Although we have only seen 3.48 inches of rain this May, the spring of 2009 is the ninth wettest in Rockford’s history.  Meteorological spring encompasses the time frame from March 1st to May 31st.  With four days remaining in May, the current forecast seems to gaurantee Rockford the ninth spot overall. 

This rainy spring has affected everyone from farmers to Little League baseball players.  How has the rain affected you this spring???

-EB

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Posted under rain

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on May 28, 2009

Slight Chance of Severe Weather

severe1You are probably wondering where the rain has been all day, don’t worry it is still working its way northward into our area.  Heavy showers and localized downpours are expected in some areas, but accumulation will vary from area to area.  The atmosphere continues to become less stable as dinnertime approaches and we will have to keep a close eye on the radar as the night wears on.  The NWS Storm Prediction Center has given our area a 2% chance of tornadoes tonight, but that doesn’t entirely rule out chances of a thunderstrom or two.

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Posted under severe weather

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

Strange Weather Phobias

quiz1First of all, Happy Memorial Day to everyone.  Today, as Justin and I were brainstorming ideas for tomorrow’s weather trivia question the topic of weather-related phobias came up.  Looking into this topic I happened to stumble across a few unique weather phobias that I figured I would share with you.

Lilapsophobia: Fear of Tornadoes/Hurricanes

Ombrophobia: Fear of Rain

Chionphobia: Fear of Snow

Nephophobia: Fear of Clouds

Pagophobia: Fear of Ice/Frost

I can almost guarantee that  there are hundreds more weather-related phobias out there but these seemed to be the most interesting.  Lucky for me, having no weather-related phobias is a prerequisite for being a meteorologist, kidding. -EB

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Posted under humor

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

Sopping Wet Florida

floridaThis visible satelite image shows the disorganized low pressure system currently sitting in the Gulf of Mexico.  Precipitation totals throughout most of Florida have been around ten inches with Ormond Beach recieving a whopping twenty-five inches in just four days!  As this tropical system continues to trek northward, we should expect to see some showers (not 25 inches) in our area by the middle of next week.

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Posted under rain, tropical weather

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on May 22, 2009

Get severe weather warnings on your cell!

servicelogoI had several inquiries today about how to receive severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings via cell phone. In my personal opinion, I think that’s the best part of 13YourCast. So without further ado, here’s how to get it!

[Right click and open this link in a new window] 13YourCast

Follow the instructions to sign up. This will require you to insert your name and address (so we can tailor the forecast to your location). clickhereOnce you’re signed up you’ll see the basic YourCast page (complete with a personalized forecast for your home). Now click on “Wireless Bulletins.”

It is important that you enter the E-MAIL address of your phone instead of your phone number. For instance, my cell service is through Sprint and my cell’s E-Mail address is XXXXXXXXXX@messaging.sprintpcs.com

If you don’t know your cell phone’s E-Mail address, call your cell phone store and they will help you. Our service works via computer to send the alert to your phone…it’s not a phone-to-phone text so it has to be done this way.

warnings1Once you’ve done this, you need to select the type of warnings you want to be notified of. Click on “Alert Types.”  Check “Severe Thunderstorm Warning” and “Tornado Warning.” Now it’s time to click on “Regions and Counties” to select your county. I wouldn’t suggest getting all of the alerts (unless you REALLY want to know everything).

Now you’re all set up! Lastly, make sure you don’t get charged with your cell plan for incoming text messages. Some service plans charge, others do not. If you only check “Tornado Warning” for your county the price is nominal for the extra warning you’ll receive the next time you’re really threatened by severe weather.

As always if you have questions about this, we’re here to help! E-Mail any of us at weather@wrex.com.

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Posted under severe weather

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on May 21, 2009

Cooler Than Usual?

eightiesIf you think this spring has been cooler than usual, you are absolutely correct.  The climatology for the past twenty years has shown that we average 4.35 days of 80°+  temperatures until today, May 20th.  This year, however, we are below the norm having only hit the eighty degree mark three days thus far.  Looks like we can add one more eighty degree day to the list for this spring by tomorrow and after that just seventies to look forward to.

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Posted under climate/climate change, heat wave

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

Hello everyone!

Hey bloggers my name is Eric Burke and I am the new weather desk intern at WREX for the summer.  I will be a frequent poster this summer and I just figured I would write a few lines to formally introduce myself.  I recently just graduated from Northern Illinois University in Dekalb this May with my Bachelors Degree in Meteorology.  In the fall I plan on heading back to NIU to earn a minor in broadcast journalism.  Chief meteorologist Eric Sorensen is elated to have another fellow Huskie hanging out at the weather desk for the summer.

My hometown is Homer Glen, Illinois in the southwest suburbs of Chicago and I graduated from Lockport Township High School in 2005.  In my spare time I enjoy playing rugby, attempting to play golf, and of course, forecasting the weather.  In the near future when I am finished with school I plan on becomming a broadcast meteorologist.

Well that is all for my brief biography.  You won’t see me on TV just yet but I will be helping out this summer answering your questions and filling up your meteorologist’s coffee cups.

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Posted under weather

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on May 19, 2009

“Buy a car. If it rains, we’ll give you your money back…”

cargivaway“…and you can keep the car!”

Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Check out this story from Mike Hooker at KCNC in Denver, Colorado:

KCNC-TV – Greeley, Colorado – A car dealer in Greeley is trying to boost business with a promotion it hopes will help beat the recession. It’s a sales gimmick that has buyers keeping a close eye on the weather.

At Weld County Garage in Greeley, customers are looking forward to Memorial Day weekend — and they’re hoping for “perfect” weather.

“I hope it does rain … a lot,” auto customer Michael Newby said.

“If it rains an inch, that vehicle is free,” Steven Boldry with Weld County Garage said.

They’re taping promotional flyers to all the windshields — buy a vehicle between May 13 and 16 and then pray for rain. Click here for the full story.

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Posted under humor, rain

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on May 18, 2009