“6 Week Forecast” comes true! Well, sort of.

Shown on 13News July 19th

Graphic shown on 13News July 19th

Back in July, many of you thought it was odd to hear locusts (actually cicadas) so early in the season. Folklore suggested that we were in for a mighty cold weather pattern for August 29th and 30th. I’ve gotta hand it to the cicadas and Justin Gehrts. First, the cicadas were very accurate in their forecast. Now we didn’t see any frost, but it was down to 38° in Rochelle this morning with near record-lows in Rockford this morning. Justin Gehrts is on the ball because he remembered this graphic and posted it on the 13 Weather Authority Facebook page.

So, what do you think of this? I think it’s awesome because it’s something that can’t be accurately explained. What pieces of folklore do you believe to be accurate? Please share!

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Posted under cold blast, science, weather, wildlife

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

Magic Waters: closed this weekend

Due to the very chilly weather, the Rockford Park District has decided to close Magic Waters. Time to find some indoor activities for the kids!

MAGIC WATERS CLOSED THIS WEEKEND, RE-OPENS SEPTEMBER 5 — Due to the weekend forecast for unseasonably cool temperatures, Rockford Park District’s Magic Waters Waterpark will remain closed this weekend. The waterpark is scheduled to re-open Saturday September 5 with normal operational hours of 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. for the Labor Day holiday weekend; the park will close for the season after Monday, September 7. The end-of-season special general admission daily fee is just $10.00.* (*Not valid with other promotions; tickets must be purchased at the gate.)

Current season passholders who renew their pass by September 7, as well as those who purchase a new 2010 season pass, can do so for a discounted rate, and receive a free gift (while supplies last). For details on the season pass promotion, the park, and its amenities and attractions, visit magicwaterswaterpark.com or call 815-96-MAGIC (966-2442).

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Posted under cold blast

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

2-5 inches of rain will cause rivers to rise

hydroWe will be watching for the possibility of river flooding this weekend. It appears the Kishwaukee River will need to contain the most water as the heaviest rain has come down southeast of the Rockford area. General 2-5 inch totals will cause at least a 3-5 foot rise in the river by this weekend. While the National Weather Service is forecasting the Kishwaukee to rise to “near flood stage,” we believe at least for the Kishwaukee there will be minor flooding. The Pecatonica and Sugar Rivers have wider flood plains in most areas so we expect these rivers to near flood stage by Saturday or Sunday.

If you were planning a kayaking, canoeing, or tubing trip for any of the aforementioned waterways this weekend, please reschedule those plans! We have yet to have a death on our area rivers this season. Play it safe and head to Pierce Lake instead.

Get more information from the National Weather Service by clicking here.

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Posted under flooding

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on August 27, 2009

“…and I love a rainy night.”

Yeah, I know. There are Flash Flood Watches in effect and we’re going to get more rain. (See blog posts below (and soon to be above)). I came across the clip that caused a split in my gut at last year’s regional Emmy awards featuring some recognizable Chicago and Milwaukee mets. Maybe I’ll get invited for this year’s…if they nominate some WREXers again.

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Posted under humor

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

Discovery’s launch scrubbed again!

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA has called off the launch of space shuttle Discovery because of a bad fuel valve.
Launch officials halted the countdown late Tuesday afternoon, midway through the fueling process. The seven astronauts had not yet boarded the shuttle for the scheduled early Wednesday morning flight to the international space station. A new launch date was not immediately set.
NASA spokesman Allard Beutel says engineers were trying to open and shut the fill-and-drain valve in Discovery’s engine compartment when it looked to be broken. The exact condition of the valve is not yet known.
The valve is used for the flow of liquid hydrogen from the external fuel tank to the main engines.
It’s the second launch delay in as many days for Discovery. Tuesday’s launch was called off because of thunderstorms.

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Posted under space

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

breaking_news

12:00am – Although unofficial as of this time, shuttle Discovery will likely not launch tonight. Continuing coverage can be found on our national news partner CNN. We will update you here on the weather conditions for a possible Tuesday night launch throughout the day.

11:53pm -  Meteorologists in Houston continue to assess weather for Discovery’s launch and possible emergency landing. According to NASA, there is now a “red for low clouds (ceilings).” This is a red in addition to lightning in vicinity, rain in vicinity, and lack of emergency landing capability.

11:45pm – Rain is now falling over the shuttle and launch site.

11:40pm – NASA: “No technical issues at this time. Weather continues to be the only thing that would prevent launch.”

11:34pm – It does not appear likely the shuttle will launch this evening however NASA has yet to make a decision as such. Next chance for Discovery to launch will be late Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning.

radar2

11:21pm – Lightning has been observed within four nautical miles of the launch site. NASA: “We would not be able to exit phase two lightning advisory but built-in hold time is built into the launch time.” NASA is not scrubbing launch yet however the weather is not expected to improve much within the next hour. No rain or lightning can be observed within 20 miles of the launch site for a launch to occur.

11:09pm – According to NASA: “Weather continues in the wrong direction and from a launch perspective, as we are now red for cumulus clouds,  lightning, and flight precipitation rules. Also space Meteorologists in Houston have been tracking thunderstorms which hamper return to launch site abort scenarios. They are a no-go with rain within 20 nautical miles of Kennedy Space Center. Transatlantic abort sites are observing rain as well.”

11:07pm – According to live 13Futuretrack doppler radar and the amount of lightning in the vicinity of Cape Canaveral, it is unlikely that shuttle Discovery will be able to lift off tonight. No official word from NASA. Will update the instant it is scrubbed or is deemed a go. -ES

10:55pm – NASA is going to “phase 2 lightning advisory” because of lightning striking within vicinity of the launch site. Launch time is 12:36am CDT.

radar110:42pm – According to NASA, there is now a 60% chance that weather will cause a delay in the launch of Shuttle Discovery. A lightning strike has been noted six miles east of the launch site.

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Posted under space

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

Discovery set for night launch

spottheshuttle

If you’ve ever been to Florida to see the shuttle take flight, you probably remember it vividly! For me, it was in the late ’80s after the return to space following the Shuttle Challenger accident. We were on the causeway going to the cape and the sonic booms still resonate in my ears. This neat graphic shows who will be able to see the shuttle tonight. Because it will be well after sunset, many will be able to get a glimpse. Forward our blog link onto your friends and family if they live in the circled areas in the east to let them know to stay up late tonight!


Here are some live views from Cape Canaveral, Florida as Discovery plans to ascend into space with a blast-off at 12:36am CDT tonight.

For more images from NASA, click here.

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Posted under space

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

Tropical Storm Danny coming this week?

tropicalsatellitetropicsTropical Storm Danny hasn’t been born, but it appears that we can expect a little bundle of joy sometime soon off the southeastern coast of the United States. Right now, the National Hurricane Center gives this disturbance a 30-50% chance of development. However our global computer models are developing this as a closed-circulation low off the east coast of Florida by the end of the workweek.

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Posted under tropical weather

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

10 Day Trend

tendaytrendWe will be showing an “extended-extended” on a trial basis where we will forecast for the next ten days.

Our thoughts? We know that the farther you forecast, it becomes a a crapshoot but we get a lot of calls wanting to know about long-term trends (ie. festivals, weddings, graduations, etc). What are your thoughts on this? We’d love some opinions either way!

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Posted under weather

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on August 17, 2009

Tropics to have an indirect effect on our weather

equationTo be honest, I spent longer thinking about a title to this graphic than I did making the graphic itself. Before reading further, can you tell what the graphic explains just by looking at the title bar? (The title of the blog post should’ve given you a big enough hint.)

The tropics are active (but not catastrophic) this week. Each system will cause the weather pattern over the whole continent to buckle in the middle. As an area of low pressure follows the buckle in the jet it will have no where to go but to turn up toward Quebec, tugging down some pretty cool air over our region by the weekend.

So, in a nutshell you can think of this week’s weather this way:

Ana + Bill + Claudette + Buckle in the Jet + Low Pressure under the jet = Cool Weekend

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Posted under tropical weather, weather

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on August 17, 2009