Tsunami kills dozens in Samoa

tsunami6:15pm – LALOMANU, Samoa (AP) — A Samoan reporter says tsunami victims `are everywhere’ in local hospital; counts up to 20 dead.  Associated Press reporter Keen Elsa said three or four villages on the popular tourist coast near the southern town of Lalomanu on Samoa’s main island of Upolu had been “wiped out” by waves that roared ashore early Wednesday.
Keni said he had visited the town’s main hospital where “there are bodies everywhere,” including at least one child.
The Samoan government reports nearly 40 people are dead. Officials in neighboring American Samoa say at least 14 people have been killed there.

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Posted under earthquake/tsunami

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on September 29, 2009

climate_authority3

The August 2009 climate data is in and has been analyzed. Globally, August 2009 ranks as the second warmest August on record since records began in 1880.

august2009global“Dot maps” are a product of a merged land surface and sea surface temperature anomaly analysis. Temperature anomalies with respect to the 1961-1990 mean for land and ocean are analyzed separately and then merged to form the global analysis. Note that blue is below average and red is above average. The size of the dot is proportional to the magnitude of the anomaly. Temperature anomalies are noted in degrees Celsius. These maps are courtesy of the United States’ National Climatic Data Center.

If you’ve been saying that our weather (here in the Upper Midwest) has been cooler than what you expected, you’ve been exactly right. Much of North America, including middle America and Canada experienced cooler than average temperatures. However, averaging this deficit to the surpluses worldwide indicate a significant warming.

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on September 29, 2009

Hello Rockford!

Hello Rockford!

My name is Aaron Brackett and as of this upcoming weekend, I will be your new weekend meteorologist here at WREX!

I have always been interested in weather since I can remember. Back in school at Luther Academy here in Rockford, I used to give local forecasts from my desk until the teacher had enough. When it came time to graduate Lutheran High, I took this passion and decided that I wanted to make it my career.

I attended Valparaiso University in Indiana for meteorology. While there, I became the president of VUSIT (Valparaiso University Storm Intercept Team). If you are wondering that that is, we are the group of individuals that drive towards severe weather while others (the smart ones) drive away in hopes of learning the how and why of storm development. During my time in Indiana, I went on two 11-day storm chases lead by our professor, Dr. Bart Wolf. During these chases, I logged over 13,000 miles and have been in 17 states in pursuit of the perfect storm. In addition to storm chasing, I spent a semester working with WGN’s Tom Skilling in Chicago. Just last summer, I returned home and forecasted at WIFR on their digital channel.
Having lived here my whole life, I am glad to call Rockford’s Weather Authority my new home and I look forward to forecasting for all of you here in the Stateline!

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Posted under weather

This post was written by Aaron Brackett on September 28, 2009

High Winds on the Indiana Dunes Lakeshore

The high winds that we have been seeing here in Rockford have been seen around much of the Midwest as well. The following pictures are looking east from the Indiana Dunes, about 30 minutes east of Chicago. In fact, if you look close enough to the last picture, you can see the skyline over the waves. We recorded a gust of 52 mph, but sadly, that was after our cameras broke from the sandblasting that we experienced! Look for wind speeds to gradually subside a bit as we go into the evening hours.

-AB

48 mph wind!

Waves

Chicago in Background

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Posted under Wind

This post was written by Aaron Brackett on September 28, 2009

winter_alert

9:30pm – Tornado Watches have been cancelled for our area. No additional severe weather is anticipated (other than some pretty strong wind gusts later tonight). -ES

8:30pm – The cold front is just about through the Rockford area. This will bring an end to all thunderstorms tonight! -ES

A Tornado Watch is in effect for areas along and east of I-39 which include the Rockford metro, points east. Storms this evening will continue to progress east. I do not believe this will be a major problem for us as the greater instability will remain east of the metro, toward Chicago.

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Posted under severe weather, tornado

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

What’s wrong with this picture?

whatswrongwiththis

Here is an analysis for next Thursday, October 1st. There’s one thing wrong however. Can you spot it?

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Posted under weather

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

Maybe it’s live, maybe it isn’t.

isitlive(Sorry for the blurry picture, my camera phone isn’t that great). This was on the upper-left corner of my TV this morning during “Wake Up with Al” on The Weather Channel. I understand putting a “live bug” on the screen when something’s live, but how about taking the “live bug” off the screen when it’s being aired later instead of putting “previously recorded” under it. Totally ridiculous! :)

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Posted under humor

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

Funnel clouds spotted over Winnebago County and southeast Rockford

Special thanks to Andrew Wilkins and Mike Reinders for sending in these pictures of funnel clouds that were taken around 5pm this afternoon. Upon coordination with the Chicago office of the National Weather Service, we have come to the conclusion that they were landspouts or cold-air funnels. Only in rare instances do they ever touch the ground, and even rarer do they do damage. While another funnel may form over the next few hours, it is unlikely that it will warrant any statement or warning. If you spotted anything in the sky this afternoon (as always) send them to weather@wrex.com.

funnel2

11

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Posted under tornado

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

The egg trick!

egg_on_end

Today is the autumnal equinox which means that the sun’s direct rays are pointed directly on the equator. Unfortunately for us that means we’ve got six months of days with more darkness than light. What many people think of when we say the word equinox is the balancing egg trick. For many years people tried balancing an ordinary egg on its end on this day. However that same egg will balance on end just as easy on any other day of the year! Bottom line is there isn’t any difference in gravitational force on any different day.

Read more on snopes.com…and more on about.com.

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Posted under Uncategorized

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

Here comes the Rain Again

As I was into work from Wisconsin this afternoon I heard the Eurythmics’ “Here Comes the Rain Again” on B103. How fitting that the windshield wipers were going full-blast. Of course I began singing. Could that be the reason my dog started howling? Nah…it was the fact he forgot what rain looked like.

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Posted under rain

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