No big Arctic Outbreaks foreseen for Central U.S. in the next few weeks

Yesterday, I wrote an extensive blog concerning the wet outlook for the first half of this November.

Today, let’s look at the temperature outlook for the first few weeks of November. With a broad, southwesterly flow within the main branch of the jetstream, the Pacific Northwest, down into the Four-Corners Region will remain cooler than normal for the first two weeks of November. This will allow a higher chance of a much-welcomed Indian Summer for much of the Great Lakes into the Southern States.

It won’t be warmer than normal every day, but areas shaded in orange have a higher than 50/50 chance of ending the two week stretch with warmer-than-average temperatures. -ES


Posted under cold blast, weather geek

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

Halloween: The Past 40 Ghouligh Years

Look at climate data for the past 40 years and you’ll find some interesting facts about Halloween.  When looking for the warmest high
temperature, surprisingly we have had several Halloweens that were in the 70s.  The warmest was back in 1974 when we hit 75 degrees.
The average temperature for Halloween day is 56 degrees, so when your local meteorologist forecasted a high of 36 degrees back in 1996, you
could say we were running just a bit below average. 21 out of 40 Halloweens we have had to dodge a few raindrops.  In 1985, we had to dodge a lot, about 1.17 inches of rain fell on that Halloween day.  Now are you ready to hear about the chances for snow on Halloween?  In the past 40 years, it has never snowed, not even a trace on Halloween. The last time it snowed on Halloween was back in 1918.


Posted under 13 Climate Authority, weather, weather geek

This post was written by Cyndi Kahlbaum on October 31, 2011

A very wet November would have significant impact on spring flooding

October will be remembered as a month with very little rainfall. Officially, we received only 1.58 inches which is exactly an inch below normal for October.

The weather pattern for the first few weeks of November won’t necessarily be a cold one for the Upper Midwest, it will be a much wetter one! The jetstream is expected to dive south along the Pacific coast, bringing bouts of chilly weather to the Desert Southwest. As the jet steers storm systems into the Central United States it should allow a nice conveyor of moisture to work north out of the Gulf of Mexico. There are indications we could receive upwards of 3 inches of rainfall for the first half of the month. That’s significant considering November’s monthly precipitation average is just 3.15 inches!

This type of situation is important and could have long-term implications for winter and even spring. During wet autumns, moisture is absorbed into the soil and stored throughout the winter. This, coupled with a forecast of abundant snowfall next season, could mean a significant risk of late-winter, early-spring flooding! -ES


Posted under rain

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

Nor’easter Slams East Coast

An out of season nor’easter is slamming the East Coast this weekend causing 1.5 million people to be without power.  Storms like this one usually happen in January or February, not the end of October. Nor’easters produce torrential rains, gusty winds and heavy wet snow that cancel flights and down power lines and tree branches.  More than 1,000 flights have been cancelled and there will be more to come as this system intensifies overnight and into Sunday.  The heaviest snowfall is forecasted for parts of Connecticut,New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.  They could more than a foot of snow when this is all done.  The pictures that are on the left are from Berkeley Springs,WV.  Woody Mott received these from a friend and was nice enough to share them with us.  4-6 inches of snow has already fallen in WV.  This nor’easter will likely break several more records across New England by Sunday.  One record was already broken in New York for the snowiest October with 1.3 inches that was measured in Central Park.


Posted under end of the world, rain, record weather, snow, weather geek, Wind, winter storm

This post was written by Cyndi Kahlbaum on October 29, 2011

Forecast texts will be sent out earlier on weekdays

NOTE: Late last week, we made the decision to change the times we send out our 13 Weather Authority forecast texts (click link to learn more). Because moms and dads are preparing kids for the day we will now be sending out the morning forecast text at 6:00am. However, on weekends they will be sent out at 9:00am.


Posted under weather

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on October 28, 2011

First snowfall accumulation next week?

Today, I introduced our first chance of some rain/snow mix for next Wednesday night into Thursday. The GFS (image to the left) develops a low pressure system over the Texas panhandle. The stormtrack goes from Tulsa to St. Louis to South Bend which keeps us on the cold, northwest side of the storm. This track would bring a very cold rain to the area, changing to snow or mixed precipitation Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

The other reliable model, the European (or ECMWF) keeps the storm system going from the Texas panhandle toward Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and then straight east into Virginia…much farther south. This scenario would keep most of the rain (and light mix) to Central Illinois Wednesday night into Thursday.

Anytime we are talking about specifics on a storm five days out, there will be tweaks and shifts. Just looking at the calendar suggests the snowy scenario is a long shot. However, folks in Denver and the winter storm in the Northeastern United States believe in long shots.

For tradition-sake: Stay tuned! -ES



Posted under winter storm

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on October 28, 2011

Winter storm to affect Northeast this weekend

Winter Storm Warnings are now hoisted immediately northwest of Philadelphia and New York City in anticipation of a very early-season winter storm. The amount of snow could be significant, on the order of 5-10 inches in some areas. With many trees still with leaves on them, this could bring down trees onto power lines putting many folks in the cold, dark!

One caveat: Our computer models may be overdoing the snowfall a bit. After all, the temps may trend a few degrees warmer. And models also have a tough time during times of precipitation-type changes (rain to snow to rain).

The storm will hit the western parts of this map on Saturday with New England seeing the heavy, wet snow on Sunday. La Niña is underway! This is just the first of big storms this fall and winter! -ES


Posted under weather geek, winter storm

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on October 28, 2011

Frost Friday Morning

A frost advisory is in effect for Winnebago, Boone, Lee, Ogle, and DeKalb counties until 7am this morning.  During the overnight hours, our skies cleared out of any cloud cover and winds went calm.  We all know that combination brings us cold temperatures for our morning hours.  The good thing is with the clear skies we’re seeing this morning, our temperatures will quickly warm up thanks to all the sunshine.


Posted under weather

This post was written by Cyndi Kahlbaum on October 28, 2011

Thursday Text Poll Results

Global climate change is a touchy subject and when we decided to ask if humans are having a role in our warming climate, we were unsure how it would go.

Of all of the votes counted, it remained very close with 46% of those saying climate change may be happening because of human activities. 53% believe climate change is happening regardless of human activities.

Thanks for voting! We’ll find another interesting subject for next Wednesday night with the results Thursday night at ten. -ES


Posted under climate/climate change, weather

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on October 27, 2011

First inch of snow: usually a month from now

About 50 of you on the 13 Weather Authority Facebook page guessed when we typically see the first inch of snow. Many thought it occurred in November. However, over the past 20 years the average first date is December 7th.

The earliest we’ve gotten an inch of snow in the past 20 years was November 21, 2007. The latest inch of snow in the past 20 years occurred on January 30, 2001! -ES


Posted under climate/climate change

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on October 27, 2011