Welcome to Autumn!

Officially, fall begins in about three weeks but we weather weenies march to the beat of a different drum. Meteorological Summer begins June 1st and lasts through today. So, without further adieu let’s take a look back at this long, hot summer.

Temperatures were obviously significantly higher than normal. July was a scorcher with 100 degree temperatures reported for the first time since 1989! The month averaged some six degrees above the typical July (using a 30 year average). June was warmer than normal because of a few 90 degree days early on. August was for all intents and purposes a perfectly normal month here!

Summer rains were repetitive in July with Pearl City, Illinois being flooded out for the second year in a row! Overall, the pattern was fairly dry though. There was really just one or two weeks with significant rainfall which tips the scales into the surplus category. It only takes one significant event to cause disaster. While this summer will be remembered for significant flash flooding, it will go down drier than normal. -ES

Share

Posted under climate/climate change, flooding, heat wave

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on August 31, 2011

Ready for more heat?

Temperatures are expected to surge into the middle 90s for both Thursday and Friday. Coupled with the heat is a fair amount of humidity that will boost those pesky heat indexes into the 102-110 degree range in the afternoon.

Areas south of I-80 will have the potential of seeing 100 degree temperatures so if your travels take you south, be ready for the blast furnace!

While our weekend will begin on a very hot note, temperatures will dip to 45 degrees by Monday morning. -ES

Share

Posted under cold blast, heat wave

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on August 31, 2011

High heat index values to come

Here is a look at the latest ADONIS forecast model depicting tomorrow afternoon’s heat index. The heat lasts through Friday before a cold front and storms bring much cooler weather.

-Aaron

Share

Posted under heat wave

This post was written by Aaron Brackett on August 31, 2011

Climatologically speaking, many 80s to come

No, we aren’t “Living on a Prayer” with this forecast or even being “Rocked Like a Hurricane”, but there are many 80 degree temperatures still on the way. Climatology tells us that an  average of  21 days with afternoon highs at or above 80 are still to come from this point on through the end of the year. Look for 90 degree highs tomorrow and Friday with a big cool-down toward Labor Day.

-Aaron

Share

Posted under weather

This post was written by Aaron Brackett on August 31, 2011

Six Flags, six years after Katrina

A popular tourist destination, Six Flags was swamped after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans. With such extensive damage, it never reopened.

The ghost still sits just east of New Orleans today. Photographers have snapped some jaw-dropping photos of the abandoned park from inside the fence. Photos that could have come from a horror movie.

Click here to enter.

Share

Posted under news, tropical weather

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on August 30, 2011

Fake photos from Hurricane Irene

I have gotten many e-mails of Hurricane Irene photos. Many are indeed real, but the photos above are NOT photos from Irene. One of them is old, one is new, and one is photoshopped!

The photo of the shelf cloud over Pensacola, Florida was taken by a Meteorologist for ABC2 News in Baltimore. He wrote about his photo and how it went viral. Click here to read. -ES

Share

Posted under humor, news

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on August 30, 2011

Warm front to bring hot season ending temperatures

A warm front will slide through the area late tomorrow and usher in some very warm season-ending temperatures Thursday and Friday. As highs soar to the lower 90s and the sweat pours during downtown Rockford celebrations, keep in mind that big changes are forecast for the second half of this holiday weekend. By Monday, our afternoon highs may not get out of the 60s with overnight lows in the upper 40s Sunday night. If those temperatures do verify, that will be the coolest weather since May 26th!

-Aaron

Share

Posted under heat wave

This post was written by Aaron Brackett on August 30, 2011

Hurricane Katia: waiting in the wings?

While the area of low pressure is just designated a tropical depression, there is a near 100% chance of it becoming Tropical Storm Katia as soon as tonight. If that wasn’t enough, all but one global forecast model develop Katia into a hurricane within three days (graphic to the right). Out to 132 hours, the majority develop Katia into a major hurricane.

My first impressions of Katia: It’s starting out a little too far north to bring it into the Caribbean Sea (which is good). In addition, the spaghetti-plot (graphic on the left) keep it on a west-northwest track which could allow it to eventually be picked up by a trough and ricocheted northward, on a track similar but further out to sea than Irene.

Time will tell. There’s certainly no reason to get excited about this as it is at least one week from any landmass. -ES

Share

Posted under tropical weather

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on August 29, 2011

Eight day animation of Hurricane Irene

In this amazing NASA imagery, we are able to see Hurricane Irene from the day it struck Puerto Rico until it made three landfalls in North Carolina, New Jersey, and New York. Look closely and you can even see a few “eyewall replacement cycles.” This is where a hurricane’s power is transferred into intense convection (thunderstorms) around and over the eye. Eyewall Replacement Cycles typically weaken hurricanes because the eyewall (area around the eye) is spread out over a larger area.

This is one of the things that happened with Irene. There were several of these cycles when it was just east of Florida. This helped both the tropical storm and hurricane-force wind increase by hundreds of miles east and west of the center of the storm.

Click on the image to open the loop. NOTE: It is a very large file and will take several minutes to load depending on your internet-connection speed. -ES

Share

Posted under tropical weather

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on August 29, 2011

Reporters in the storm… what do you think?

With live coverage on major networks going almost wall to wall all weekend this begs the question: Do you gain anything from seeing a meteorologist/reporter getting battered by the elements. Granted these folks do take some precautions and set up in the best possible place, there is still a safety issue anytime you are out in a hurricane. Do you get anything from this type of reporting? Comments are encouraged below!

-Aaron

Share

Posted under weather

This post was written by Aaron Brackett on August 29, 2011