New Yorkers in awe over fairly ordinary clouds

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This post was written by qni_it on June 30, 2009

Bits N’ Pieces

burke4Summer started only a week ago and it is already starting to feellike fall.  Last week heat indicies in the Rockford area were in the lower 100s.  This week is on the opposite side of the spectrum with feel like temperatures in the 50s, more than 50 degree swing!  Tomorrow’s forecasted high temperature, keep in mind it is July 1st, is only a mild 62°.  The coolest afternoon high temperature ever recorded for July 1st was 66° set back in 1986. 

The cut-off low pressure system over the Great Lakes is the cause for these milder temperatures.  The cooler air aloft and thick cloud cover is not allowing surface temperatures to rise.  Today, the heavy cloud cover only allowed us to warm up six degrees from our low temperature overnight, that is crazy!  Eventually, the stubborn cut-off low will move eastward come next week, but models are forecasting another low pressure center to take its place over the Great Lakes.  Unfortunately, a cool northwesterly flow is the trend for the rest of this week and next week.  The 4th of July weekend does warm up quite a bit due to breaks in the cloud cover, temperatures are forecastedaround 80° for both Saturday and Sunday.

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Posted under weather

This post was written by qni_it on June 30, 2009

Time to camp out!

Did you participate in the Great American Backyard Campout?

Last Saturday, National Wildlife Federation hosted the fifth annual Great American Backyard Campout.

Camping out is a great way for families get unplugged and back outside into nature. We know that Americans are leading increasingly indoor, sedentary lifestyles which have lead to all sorts of problems, from an obesity epidemic to a growing ignorance about and fear of the natural world.

If you missed the Great American Backyard Campout last weekend, not to worry. You can camp out in your own backyard at any time of the year! It’s a great way to have a “staycation” in these tough economic times!

Folks can get everything the need to know about camping out on the National Wildlife Federation website, including basic camping tips, fun games, activities and crafts to do while camping out, tips on nighttime wildlife watching, camp recipes, and more.

The site also has a feature called Naturefind which will help folks find all the great places to hike, wildlife watch, learn about nature and even to go camping, all right in their own community.
To learn more, check out this clip from the Today Show:

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Posted under weather, wildlife

This post was written by qni_it on June 30, 2009

Close lightning strike caught on camera

Check out this lightning strike. Click the “HQ” button and wait until 0:25. The telephone pole never stood a chance!

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Posted under weather

This post was written by qni_it on June 29, 2009

Weekend Forecast

boatandbeachThe beginning of your 4th of July weekend forecast is looking exceptionally nice.  If boating or the beach is in your weekend plans… you are in luck.  The pesky, cut-off low pressure system parked to our northeast will finally dissipate and move out of our region.  This low-pressure system has been the source of the gusting winds and cool northwesterly flow over the past several days.  Boating forecast looks good as this weekend should have much calmer winds and lower wave heights.  Beach forecast also looks good as skies will be mostly sunny with high temperatures of 82°.  However, Sunday carries the chance of an isolated thunderstorm or two with it.  These thunderstorms aren’t anything to cancel your plans over, but something to keep in mind when scheduling your activities.   -EB

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Posted under weather

This post was written by qni_it on June 29, 2009

Severe T’Storm Watch

Update – 7:30pm: All severe t’storm warnings have expired.  A T’Storm Watch is still in effect, but I do not anticipate any additional severe weather this evening.  Showers with embedded thunder will continue in the viewing area for the next couple of hours, however.
(4:56:01 PM) nwsbot: DVN issues Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Clinton, Jackson [IA] and Carroll, Jo Daviess, Stephenson [IL] till 6:00 PM CDT

Update – 4:55pm: A line of thunderstorms with severe t’storm warnings on them is currently located roughly along the Mississippi River and moving eastward at about 35mph.  Main threats will be gusty winds of around 60mph and heavy downpours, as well as the possibility of hail up to around 1″ in diameter.  Storms should move into Stephenson Co in about a half hour.

Original post – 3:40pm: A *Severe Thunderstorm Watch* is in effect for all counties in the stateline viewing area until 10 PM.  Also, a Flash Flood Warning is in effect for Winnebago County until 10:30 PM.

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Posted under severe weather, weather

This post was written by qni_it on June 27, 2009

winter_alert5

6:15pm – Thunderstorm threat is going away with virtually all of the dynamics and energy wiped out. Next chance for severe storms will arrive Saturday afternoon and evening. Thanks to everyone for the reports. -ES

(6:10:13 PM) nwsbot: MKX expires Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Jefferson, Rock, Walworth [WI]

(6:04:28 PM) nwsbot: MKX: Whitewater [Walworth Co, WI] mesonet reports TSTM WND GST of M62 MPH at 05:46 PM CDT — measured on uw-whitewater campus.

(5:41:06 PM) nwsbot: MKX: 3 S Fort Atkinson [Jefferson Co, WI] trained spotter reports TSTM WND GST of E40.00 MPH at 05:30 PM CDT — also pea size hail.

(5:32:54 PM) nwsbot: MKX issues Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Jefferson, Rock, Walworth [WI] till 6:15 PM CDT


(5:16:35 PM) nwsbot: MKX issues Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Dane, Jefferson, Rock [WI] till 5:45 PM CDT

(4:30:52 PM) nwsbot: DVN: 1 Ne Orangeville [Stephenson Co, IL] trained spotter reports TSTM WND DMG at 04:02 PM CDT — 8 inch diameter live trees down near intersection of bolender road and ridge road.
(4:30:52 PM) nwsbot: DVN: 1 Nw Orangeville [Stephenson Co, IL] trained spotter reports TSTM WND DMG at 04:02 PM CDT — 8 inch diameter trees down near winslow and staver roads.

(4:27:42 PM) nwsbot: DVN: Dakota [Stephenson Co, IL] public reports HAIL of ping pong ball size (E1.50 INCH) at 03:45 PM CDT —

(4:11:26 PM) nwsbot: LOT issues STRONG THUNDERSTORM MOVING THROUGH WINNEBAGO COUNTY for Winnebago [IL] till 6:15 PM CDT

(4:05:20 PM) nwsbot: DVN cancels Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Stephenson [IL]
(3:53:26 PM) nwsbot: DVN: Afolkey [Stephenson Co, IL] trained spotter reports HAIL of quarter size (M1.00 INCH) at 03:44 PM CDT — nickel size hail with a few the size of quarters.

(3:57:35 PM) nwsbot: LOT issues Severe Thunderstorm Watch for Boone, Cook, De Kalb, DuPage, Ford, Grundy, Iroquois, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Will, Winnebago [IL] and Benton, Jasper, Lake, Newton, Porter [IN] till 9:00 PM CDT

(3:54:47 PM)
nwsbot: DVN issues Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Clinton [IA] and Rock Island, Whiteside [IL] till 5:00 PM CDT

(3:52:08 PM) nwsbot: DVN: 4 Sse Winslow [Stephenson Co, IL] trained spotter reports HEAVY RAIN of M1.00 INCH at 03:49 PM CDT — rainfall in past half hour. still raining.

(3:34:03 PM) nwsbot: DVN: 4 Sse Winslow [Stephenson Co, IL] trained spotter reports HAIL of nickel size (M0.88 INCH) at 03:30 PM CDT —

(3:41:18 PM) nwsbot: DVN issues Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Stephenson [IL] till 4:45 PM CDT

1:45pm – A Severe Thunderstorm Watch continues for areas west of I-39 in North-Central Illinois. Damaging wind gusts will be the main threat out of these storms as they develop. A smaller risk of large hail exists, however high freezing levels may allow most of the damaging hail to melt as it falls.

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This post was written by qni_it on June 25, 2009

Weather observations

burke3The National Weather Service, Federal Aviation Administration, and Department of Defense all heavily rely on accurate and timely weather observations.  Together, these three government organizations helped create the nationwide Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) network.  ASOS stations are automatic weather stations that report and record many weather variables.  ASOS stations are located throughout the entire United States and provide necessary weather information such as temperature, dewpoints, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind speed/direction, and precip measurements, just to name a few.  With the largest and most modern weather sensors, ASOS has significantly expanded the information available to forecasters and the aviation community. The ASOS network has more than doubled the number of full-time surface weather observing locations. ASOS works non-stop, updating observations every minute, 24 hours a day, every day of the year.  However, ASOS stations are not the only weather stations located throughout America.  Many volunteers run their own co-op weather stations in order to help out the NWS.  These volunteers monitor and record their station’s data twice a day, every day of the year.  ASOS and co-op weather stations together provide the nation’s  forecasters with the most accurate data.  This data is also compiled to generate climate data and normals for each location.

burkeIf you have your own weather station in your backyard, here are a few things to consider in order for your temperature readings to be accurate.  Thermometers should be shielded from the sun, rain, snow and other sources of light, heat, or cold that can cause false readings. If an instrument shelter is used (preferably a white shelter), it should be designed to allow the maximum possible free flow of air while providing protection from heat, precipitation and light. A shady location on the northeast side of a home is a preferred site. The thermometer should be 4.5 to 6 feet above the ground and in a grassy location. A flat, open clearing is desirable so that the thermometer is freely ventilated by the flow of air. Stay at least 100 feet away from concrete or paved surfaces. Also avoid balconies, patios, and enclosed porches.

-EB

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This post was written by qni_it on June 25, 2009

Tornado confirmed in Rock County last night

rockcotornadoFrom the Milwaukee office of the National Weather Service – A single thunderstorm cell developed in Rock county Tuesday evening producing an EF0 landspout tornado. A damage survey and radar images indicate the tornado touched down at approximately 8:10pm. The first report of a funnel cloud was recieved at 7:55 pm from a pilot flying into the Janesville airport. Subsequent funnel and tornado reports were recieved from the Janesville aiport tower, trained spotters and the public. The tornado produced minimal damage around Clear Lake. A screen porch including metal foundation was flipped over a trailer just southeast of Clear Lake. Some tree and powerline damage was also observed mostly southeast of Clear Lake.

This storm was very small in size and the only one in southern Wisconsin Tuesday evening. The first funnel cloud reports came in just 15 minutes after the cell developed. It weakened and the cell dissipated about half an hour later.

A landspout tornado is one that is not associated with a broad area of rotation known as a mesocyclone. Landspout tornadoes are normally smaller and weaker than the average supercell tornado.

This metar report was recieved from the Janesville airport at 8pm. It’s pretty rare for airport observers to see and report a tornado in their official observations.

SPECI KJVL 240100Z COR VRB03KT 10SM +FCRA FEW055CB BKN180 28/23 A2988 RMK TORNADO N MOV S

Click here for an animated radar of the storm.

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Posted under tornado

This post was written by qni_it on June 24, 2009

Possible tornado this evening in Rock Co.

28PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MILWAUKEE/SULLIVAN WI
930 PM CDT TUE JUN 23 2009

…TREE AND POWERLINE DAMAGE REPORTED NEAR CLEAR LAKE IN ROCK
COUNTY…

A VERY STRANGE SITUATION EVOLVED AS A TINY THUNDERSTORM DEVELOPED
VERY QUICKLY AROUND 750 PM OVER THE CITY OF EDGERTON ON TUESDAY
EVENING. BY AROUND 755 PM…IT BEGAN TO PRODUCE A FUNNEL CLOUD 3
MILES SOUTHEAST OF EDGERTON AS REPORTED BY AN AIRPLANE PILOT. THE
JANESVILLE AIRPORT CONFIRMED THIS. THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WAS
CONTACTED AT 800 PM. AS A RESULT…A TORNADO WARNING WAS ISSUED AT
800 PM.

BY 810 PM…A TORNADO WAS REPORTED ON THE GROUND BY THE PUBLIC 5
MILES SOUTHEAST OF EDGERTON…OR NEAR CLEAR LAKE. THE STORM
GRADUALLY WEAKENED…AND THE TORNADO WARNING WAS ALLOWED TO EXPIRE
AT 830 PM.

AROUND 915 PM…ROCK COUNTY 911 CALLED THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
MILWAUKEE TO REPORT TREE DAMAGE NORTH OF CLEAR LAKE. TREE DEBRIS
COVERED THE GROUND…BLOCKING CLEAR LAKE ROAD.

BECAUSE OF THESE FACTORS…A DAMAGE SURVEY WILL BE CONDUCTED AROUND
9 AM WEDNESDAY WHICH WILL INVESTIGATE THE REPORTS OF A TORNADO.

————————————————————————–

(8:25:38 PM) nwsbot: MKX continues Tornado Warning for Rock [WI] till 8:30 PM CDT …AT 800 PM CDT…THE JANESVILLE AIRPORT REPORTED A TORNADO NORTH OF THE AIRPORT…MOVING SOUTH. AT 820 PM…THE AIRPORT NOTED THE TORNADO HAD DISSIPATED. THE STORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO WAS LOCATED NEAR MILTON…MOVING SOUTHEAST AT 10 MPH.

(8:13:05 PM) nwsbot: MKX: 3 Se Edgerton [Rock Co, WI] airplane pilot reports FUNNEL CLOUD at 07:55 PM CDT — airplane pilot spotted funnel cloud almost touching the ground near edgerton.

(8:13:05 PM) nwsbot: MKX: 5 Se Edgerton [Rock Co, WI] public reports TORNADO at 08:10 PM CDT — tornado reported on the ground.

(8:00:36 PM) nwsbot: MKX issues Tornado Warning for Rock [WI] till 8:30 PM CDT …* AT 759 PM CDT…TRAINED WEATHER SPOTTERS REPORTED A FUNNEL CLOUD NEAR EDGERTON. A TORNADO MAY DEVELOP AT ANY TIME! DOPPLER RADAR SHOWED THIS TORNADIC STORM MOVING SOUTHEAST AT 10 MPH.

(8:06:14 PM) nws-bill.borghoff: Just issued a tornado warning for northern rock county after receiving a report of a funnel cloud almost touching the ground as a shower rapidly developed. It does show some weak rotation and does have a hook, so we had to take it seriously. Feeling is that there is enough low level instability still to spin something up very briefly.

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Posted under severe weather, tornado

This post was written by qni_it on June 23, 2009