March Madness!

Here’s a glance at Rockford’s March 2013 one last time.

If you can believe it, the normal high temperature for Rockford in March is 46.9 degrees. Sadly, March of 2013 brought us an average high almost 10 degrees cooler at 37 degrees. Our average low temperature followed the same trend, being 5.4 degrees cooler than normal. We actually only had 4 days with average temperatures above 40 degrees! What’s even more interesting is that Rockford averages 4 or 5 days of 60+ degrees in March, but this year we had ZERO! As a matter of fact, almost one third of our high temperatures and 94% of our low temperatures were below freezing! Here are two facts we can put some blame on for those cool temperatures: 1) 15 out of 31 days had an average wind flow out of the northwest. 2) 16 out of 31 days averaged cloudy skies.

Now, let’s talk about snow. Finally, a category we were above average in! On March 5th, 2013, Rockford received 9.6 inches of snowfall, crushing the previous record of 5.4 inches back in 1959. Actually, the average snowfall for March in Rockford is 4.8 inches- we almost tripled that! This March, we received 13.9 inches of snowfall. Not to mention, Rockford recorded precipitation for 21 out of 31 days!

Now we can finally say goodbye to cold, snowy March as we spring into April.

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, climate/climate change, record weather, snow, statistics, weather, winter weather

This post was written by Morgan Kolkmeyer on March 31, 2013

Easter: Past & Present

Easter Weather History

Easter Weather History

Easter is upon us. And this holiday, since it occurs on a different date every year, can wear many hats! For March 31, 2013, the average high is 54 degrees.  The forecast for this year comes pretty close to that. We’ll see temperatures top out near 50 degrees with a gusty west-northwest wind and a partly cloudy sky. A quick sprinkle or two is possible later in the day.

Last year, Easter fell on April 8th. Rockford climbed into the upper 60s for a high.  The warmest (hottest) Easter on record occurred twice. Both April 12, 1925 and April 10, 1977 saw the mercury climb to 84 degrees!  The coldest high temperature and snowiest Easter occurred on March 29, 1964 with a high of just 26 degrees and almost 5 inches of snow!  It’s been as cold as 8 degrees on March 24, 1940. And as the old saying goes, ‘April showers bring May flowers.’ The wettest Easter was just 7 years ago.  Rockford’s official rain gauge measured 1.71″ of rain on April 16, 2006.

-Joe

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, statistics, weather

This post was written by qni_it on March 30, 2013

Light Rain on the Way

The bulk of the daylight hours of Saturday will remain dry. By late in the day, especially around dinnertime, scattered rain showers will enter the picture.  For much of the day, however, clouds will be on the increase and the breeze will pick up out of the south.  In the WREX area, highs will range from the middle 50s north to the upper 50s south. We’ll split the difference in Rockford, with a high near 57 degrees—second warmest temperature of 2013!

A frontal boundary will trek east out of the Great Plains and bring with it some light showers and even a few rumbles of thunder as close as central and southern Illinois.  We can expect up to a couple of tenths of an inch (0.10″-0.20″) in our rain gauges after the rain showers end.  The general time frame looks to be from around dinnertime/sunset until about 2:00am Sunday.

A few lingering sprinkles are possible generally before sunrise on Sunday. Otherwise, our Easter holiday will be partly cloudy with a brisk west wind. Temperatures will make a run for 50 degrees before an arctic cold front dives south late in the day.  With the passage of that front, another quick shower or two is possible Sunday night. As temperatures fall into the middle 20s overnight, a wet snowflake or two cannot be ruled out.

-Joe

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Posted under FutureTrack, rain, snow, weather

This post was written by qni_it on March 29, 2013

Diminishing Drought!

According to the United States Drought Monitor, Northern Illinois is still abnormally dry and the rest of Illinois is currently not under drought conditions.

Just three months ago, 78% of Illinois was abnormally dry, while 40% was under moderate drought conditions, and 9% (including us) under severe! We can thank those “spring” snow storms, along with the January and February rain and snow showers for pulling all but 16% of Illinois out of dry conditions.

We’ve actually had an excess of precipitation since the start of the year, compared to our normal of 4.82 inches for January, February, and March here in Rockford. January brought us 3.09 inches, slightly less from February at 2.98 inches, and just over 2 and a quarter inches so far this month. These precipitation amounts total to 8.36 inches and nearly double our precipitation totals for the same three months in 2012 (4.63 inches).

There is a little bit of rain and rain/snow mix in the forecast for the weekend, so don’t forget to check the updated U.S. Drought Monitor on Thursday. In the meantime, Northern Illinois will slowly chip away those abnormally dry conditions.

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, climate/climate change, drought, statistics, weather

This post was written by Morgan Kolkmeyer on March 29, 2013

Cloudy March

This March will wrap up on Sunday, and it has been a fairly cloudy one. In comparision to last year, we have seen a fairly similar number of clear days. However, this March we have seen more cloudy days than partly cloudy days meaning that there were 15 March days in which we saw very little or actually no sunshine at all. Enjoy the sunny Friday and let’s hope April brings us many showers and sunny days! -Greg1

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Posted under statistics, sunlight, weather

This post was written by qni_it on March 29, 2013

50 Degrees: A Rare Occurrence?

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz1The 50s.  No, not the 1950s. We’re talking temperatures.  Our thermometers have climbed to 50 degrees or higher just 4 times in Rockford during 2013. 

  • January 11th, 50 degrees
  • January 12th, 52 degrees
  • January 29th, 62 degrees
  • February 18th, 52 degrees

During the month of March, temperatures have remained about 12-13 degrees below normal.  We will finally surpass the 50 degree mark this month on Friday and Saturday and make a run for it on Easter Sunday.

-Joe

 

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, statistics, weather

This post was written by qni_it on March 28, 2013

Weekend Rain

The end of this week and start of the Easter weekend look down right egg-cellent. Then a cold front will move through and bring this spring break to a screeching halt. A line of scattered showers will move through late in the day on Saturday and will stick with us through mid Sunday morning. The cool air on the back of this system will take our high temperatures from the 50s on Friday and Saturday to the 30 on Monday. Enjoy this warmth while it lasts! -Greg0

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Posted under rain, weather

This post was written by qni_it on March 28, 2013

March 2013: Not Even Close to Average

march2013brrrrrrrrWe all remember March 2012, the warmest March on record in Rockford and many communities across the Midwest. As for March 2013, well, many of us will probably try to forget it!  Our average high temperature for the month through today (March 27) is only 34.2 degrees.  The normal high temperature for the month of March slowly rises from 40 degrees (March 1) to 54 degrees (March 31).  On average, our high is 46.9 degrees.  As of this blog post, this month is almost 13 degrees cooler than where we should be.

Only one day thus far has achieved a normal high temperature: March 10 at 44 degrees. The rest of the month witnessed high temperatures well below normal.  Will the trend continue as we wrap up the last few days of the month?  Yes!  However, Thursday through Sunday will have the mildest temperatures of March 2013.  Highs will range in the middle 40s on Thursday, near 50 on Friday, near average on Saturday, and near 50 on Sunday.

Once April 1 arrives, our normal high should be 55 degrees.  A passing cool front late Sunday will only keep us near 40 degrees on Monday.  A sign of things to come for April? I sure hope not! -Joe

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, statistics, weather

This post was written by qni_it on March 27, 2013

Clouds Contained

It has been a fairly gloomy and overcast March, but the end of this week might be just what you need to help lighten the mood. As temperatures slowly climb toward 50 degrees on Saturday, we will see a return to bright sunshine both Thursday and Friday. We have high pressure to thank for that. An area of high pressure will settle over us late week and will keep cloud cover out of the forecast until Saturday.2 -Greg

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Posted under sunlight, weather

This post was written by qni_it on March 27, 2013

Snowiest landscape in a decade!

UntitledThere is more snow on the ground today, than any March 26th back through 2003! (Unfortunately, our resources only allow us to go back ten years when it comes to snow cover.) Right now, 46.6% of the contiguous 48 states is covered by snow. Last year at this time only 7.4% of the country had snow on the ground. The ten year average is just 23.8%.

Snow cover is important to look at when you’re forecasting weather patterns. Snow reflects much of the sun’s incoming rays, keeping the air closest to the ground cool. Until the snow on the ground really melts in the center part of the country, our chance of seeing a real significant warm up (60s and 70s) will be slim to none.

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Posted under climate/climate change, snow

This post was written by qni_it on March 26, 2013