Severe Storms & Flooding Rain Possible!

For the first time in 2012, we will have a threat for flooding rains and repetitive severe chances this week.

Here’s the set up. We’ll have a stationary front to our north which keeps us in the warm, humid airmass. As impulses of low pressure work from west to east on the front, they will allow for more lift in the atmosphere. This increases our storm chances. Timing these will be a little harder once you get beyond day 2 or 3 on the 7 Day. However, it appears the first impulse will be here on Wednesday afternoon. Large hail and damaging wind will be possible, along with flooding rain.

Here’s a look at the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center’s forecast for five-day rain. This may be conservative if we get some repetitive thunderstorm clusters. In fact, in one day we could get an inch or two out of storms!

So, timing the storms will be the key this week. I don’t expect anything significant Monday night or Tuesday as there really isn’t any forcing out there.

By Wednesday afternoon and evening, some storms could get a little feisty, especially with the near 80 degree temperatures! -ES

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Posted under severe weather

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on April 30, 2012

Active Weather Pattern Starts Tomorrow

We are looking at an active week ahead of us with several chances for showers and thunderstorms starting tomorrow.  Our first of many low-pressure systems will slide through the Central Plains tomorrow allowing the associated warm front to rise over our area by tomorrow afternoon.  As the warm front lifts, it will allow our atmospheric instability to increase slightly creating a few showers and thunderstorms to form during the afternoon/evening hours.  For Wednesday, our chances for showers and thunderstorms will increase, especially during the afternoon hours as a cold front passes through the area.  These storms will have a better chance for being strong to severe due to the conditions of our atmosphere.  Higher levels of moisture and temperatures into the 80s will allow storms to become severe.  We will monitor Wednesday’s weather closely and keep you updated on any changes.

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Posted under rain, weather

This post was written by Cyndi Kahlbaum on April 30, 2012

Temperatures are on the Rise!

A nearly stationary frontal boundary will begin to lift north Monday evening.  By Tuesday evening, it will have moved through our area.  That will usher in some warmer temperatures and bring in moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.

Average high temperatures for the first week of May are typically in the upper 60s.  Thanks to the warm air mass that will be in place, high temperatures on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday could climb as much as 10 degrees above normal!  Even by next weekend, highs will be at or slightly above normal.

The only downside to this warmer weather is the threat for showers and thunderstorms that will accompany it.  There’s a chance of rain for the entire time period; however, precipitation will be scattered in coverage.

-JA

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This post was written by Joe Astolfi on April 29, 2012

Rain Possible Sunday Afternoon

A stationary front draped across the southern Great Plains and Ohio Valley will begin to push north during the day on Sunday.  Coincidentally, our chance for rain will increase from southwest to northeast throughout the day.  The morning hours should remain dry and mostly cloudy.  A few breaks in the clouds are possible as well.

By afternoon, areas south and west of Rockford will see an increased chance (about 30%) for scattered showers.  Later in the afternoon, that chance increases in the Forest City.  By evening, our entire area will have the chance for precipitation.  Keep in mind, the showers will be scattered in nature.

Late Sunday night and very early Monday morning, however, steadier rain will move through the area. There may even be a few rumbles of thunder.  Chance of rain during this time is 80%.  The potential exists to pick up nearly half an inch of rain area-wide.

-JA

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Posted under rain, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on April 28, 2012

Get Your Umbrellas Out!

Get ready for a chilly and damp start to our weekend!  A center of low pressure will slide to our south and unfortunately we’ll stay on the cold side of the front.  A steadier rain will move into the picture late Friday night and during at least the first half of Saturday.  A few showers will linger into Saturday afternoon.  Some areas may see over half an inch of precipitation.

High temperatures on Saturday will be 15 to 20 degrees below average, with the mercury struggling to reach the upper 40s!  Our wind will be sustained out of the east at 15 to 25mph with even higher gusts.  That will make it feel even chillier.

Beyond that, every day in the 7 Day Outlook has a chance for precipitation.  Scattered showers are in the forecast for late Sunday and during the first half of Monday.  Tuesday through next Friday will bring the threat for on-and-off showers and thunderstorms as we enter an unsettled pattern.  On the bright side, temperatures on those four days will climb into the 70s!

Based on our model data, we have the potential to pick up over 3 inches of rain, with nearly half of that due to convection and thunderstorms.  You might want to keep that umbrella by your side for a while!

-JA

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Posted under rain, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on April 27, 2012

Get ready for chilly conditions tomorrow!

With tomorrow’s combination of clouds, rain, and a warm front to our south, we will have to deal with well below average temperatures.  Highs for the end of April are supposed to be in the mid 60s; tomorrow we will have highs in the mid and upper 40s.  Now, you may ask yourself is this common to have temperatures this cold at the end of April?  Looking back at our records,Rockford has had highs in the 40s on April 28 only six times.  Surprisingly one of those years was last year when we had a high of 45 degrees.  The coldest was way back in 1908 when temperatures were in the lower 40s (43°F in Rockford).  So even though tomorrow will be a ho-hum day, just think about the 70s that will be here by the middle of next week.

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Posted under cold blast, rain, weather

This post was written by Cyndi Kahlbaum on April 27, 2012

An Average April?!

As April 2012 is quickly coming to an end, the climate data shows that we are pretty much where we need to be, in regards to temperature.  Believe it or not, April 2012 is actually a bit above average!  We are averaging a high of 61.7°F and a low of 38.9°F.  A normal April will bring temperatures of 60.7°F and 38.1°F.

We all remember March 2012 as a very warm month.  In fact, it was the warmest March in Rockford’s recorded history!  Our high temperature averaged 62.5°F and our low temperature averaged 42.3°F.  Based on the upcoming forecast and observed trends, April 2012 will actually be cooler than March 2012!

Looking ahead to May, our average high temperature is 71.8°F and average low is 48.4°F.  Day by day, the average high temperature climbs 10 degrees between May 1 (67°F) and May 31 (77°F). -JA

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, statistics, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on April 26, 2012

Rain Returns for Friday and Saturday

  Our next low-pressure system will be working through the Central Plains later today and inch closer the Midwest by tomorrow.  We will start Friday with some cloud cover. As the low-pressure system move east, our cloud cover will thicken up and our rain chances will increase.  We could see a few light showers as early as Friday afternoon, but the highest rain chances arrive late Friday and last through Saturday.  For Saturday morning, a few embedded thunderstorms are possible and could produce heavy rainfall.  Rain totals will vary depending on if you experience one of those thunderstorms, but overall we could see up to a half to three-quarters of an inch.  As the low-pressure system passes to our south, we will get to enjoy the sunshine once again on Sunday.

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Posted under rain, weather

This post was written by Cyndi Kahlbaum on April 26, 2012

Update: Severe Weather Potential for Later Today

We were greeted this morning to a round of light to sometimes-moderate showers thanks to a warm front that is lingering off to our west.  The potential for more showers and thunderstorms will increase as we head into the late afternoon and evening hours (4pm-9pm). The track of the low-pressure system will slide just to the south near I-80, which means most of the storm development will be just along and behind the warm front.  We will have to watch our atmospheric conditions throughout the day, because the more sunshine we get this afternoon, the more unstable our atmosphere becomes.  If any of the storms this afternoon/evening become severe, the main threat will be large hail and damaging winds.  This will not be a widespread event; however, you should still keep in mind that the potential is there.  We will continue to monitor the weather throughout the day and keep you updated with the latest information once it becomes available.

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Posted under rain, severe weather, Threatrack, weather

This post was written by Cyndi Kahlbaum on April 25, 2012

Rain check & Threatrack

It has been a pretty dry spring so far. The map to the left shows every one of our 13 counties in a deficit for the past 30 days. There is a small section of Ogle and Stephenson County with above-normal precipitation, right around German Valley.

There are prospects for thunderstorms on Wednesday. In fact, a few storms could get pretty energetic in the afternoon. A warm front will be draped over the area with most of us in Northern Illinois in the cool sector with temperatures in the 60s.

Southeastern Iowa and Central Illinois may get temperatures up near 80 with some sunshine. This will spark some thunderstorms during the late afternoon hours in Eastern Iowa. Storms will move southeast into Central and Eastern Illinois by the evening hours. Threatrack is at level-2 for mainly our southwestern sections, especially Carroll, Whiteside, and Lee Co. Large hail will be the primary concern with some near-severe wind gusts possible.

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Posted under drought, Threatrack

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on April 24, 2012