The spring-like February continues…

It wouldn’t be ‘February 2017’ if we didn’t end the month with temperatures WAY above average, right?

Today will be calm and quiet. Winds will stay around (or under) 10 mph out of the south and for the most part, we’ll see sunshine. Temperatures will top out in the lower 50s.

We’ll add to the warmth on Tuesday and we’ll ditch the quiet conditions.

An area of low pressure will push out of the Plains and into the Midwest, which will bring us a few showers late tonight and possible a few thunderstorms after midnight. These thunderstorms look non-severe but may give a few heavy downpours. We’ll likely see a few light and very widely-scattered rain showers on the first half of Tuesday.

Things get a bit more active come Tuesday afternoon and evening.

Warm and moist air surges in on Tuesday afternoon (temperatures near 60 and dew points in the 50s) with very strong winds high above us and an incoming cold front. Together, these could pop a few strong or severe thunderstorms in our area. An early, general time-frame says we should watch for those storms between 4PM and 9PM. We will narrow that time-frame as we get closer to tomorrow evening.

A Storm Outlook shows areas near Little Rock, St. Louis, and Springfield have the highest chance for severe storms. Our risk is considered low, though we’ll keep a closer eye on the areas between I-80 and north of there near I-88.

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This post was written by Morgan Kolkmeyer on February 27, 2017

The #WimpyWinter continues…

I’m officially declaring this a #WimpyWinter for Northern Illinois!

It’s no secret that we’ve received far below the average amount of snowfall we typically get in Rockford and the surrounding areas. Typically during January, Rockford gets just over 10 inches of snow. This past January we received less than three quarters of an inch! That makes January 2017 the eighth least snowy month ever recorded! Are you agreeing with my #WimpyWinter hashtag yet?

While we didn’t get much snow, January was far from dry. Rockford received 2.25 inches of rain last month! In fact, if that rain would have fallen as snow instead, we would have shoveled anywhere from 18 to 27 inches of snow.

The first day of winter was December 21st, 2016. Since that date we’ve only picked up 1.5 inches of snow…TOTAL! Including today, it’s been 62 days since at least 1 inch of snow has fallen in 24 hours. I think it’s a safe bet that we’re all on board with the #WimpyWinter hashtag at this point in the article.

By the way, don’t expect to see snow in the near future. Temperatures could break records with the warmth that’s expected in Rockford this weekend.

TOP 10 LEAST SNOWY JANUARYS ON RECORD:
1) 1907 – T
2) 1911 – T
3) 1928 – T
4) 1934 – T
5) 1922 – 0.4
6) 1973 – 0.4
7) 1933- 0.5
8) 2017 – 0.7
9) 1921 – 1.0
10) 1956 – 1.2

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Posted under rain, record weather, snow, weather, weather geek

This post was written by Morgan Kolkmeyer on February 16, 2017

Happy Meteorological Winter!

Happy Meteorological Winter! 12-1-16 met winter

What’s that, you ask?

December 1st marks the first day of Meteorological Winter, which is a 3 month period that meteorologist use to keep track of weather data and history. “Meteorological” seasons are based on yearly temperature data, whereas “astronomical” seasons (what most people use) are based on where the Earth is in relation to the sun.

So how long are we in this Meteorological Winter?

Here’s the answer: Three. long. months.

Just kidding, I’m actually pretty excited to get into colder temperatures. In fact, I’m hoping for a couple of big snowfalls this winter, especially after a few days in the 70s this November.

So let’s talk a little bit about what Meteorological Winter (December, January, February) is typically like for us here in northern Illinois.

December
Early December afternoon temperatures typically bring us to a high near 40 degrees or just below that. However, the entire month holds an average high temperature of near freezing (33.2 degrees), with an average overnight low temperature of about 18 degrees. We average in a little more than 11 inches of snow.

January
Say hello to the coldest month of the year! High temperatures average around 29.5 degrees and low temperatures around 13.5 degrees. January usually brings us around 10 inches of snowfall.

February
Ah yes, the final meteorological winter month. February turns out pretty similar to December, with an average high temperature near 34 degrees, and a low near 18 degrees. It does differ in snowfall, bringing in an average of 7.7 inches to Rockford.

Enjoy the next three months- Meteorological Spring will be here before you know it!

-Morgan Kolkmeyer

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, cold blast

This post was written by Morgan Kolkmeyer on December 1, 2016

Two Potential Rounds of Severe Weather

Two rounds of severe weather are possible on Wednesday, exactly 1 year after the tornado that swept through Sublette and the Woodhaven Lakes area.

My first note will be to say that the timing and specifics are subject to change, as we get closer to the overnight hours of Tuesday into Wednesday.

6-21-16 outlook 1
Let’s start with Wednesday morning:

An hour or two before sunrise we’ll start to see thunderstorms enter northern Illinois, and they’ll persist through the late morning hours. An organized cluster of thunderstorms that lasts for hours will bring us heavy rain with possible flooding. There’s a risk for large hail, followed by a low threat for strong and damaging wind gusts, with these morning thunderstorms.
The thought now is that those thunderstorms will push out by around 10:00AM or 11:00AM. The earlier those end, the higher the threat for a severe afternoon/evening.

Here’s why: The atmosphere will be destabilized (ripe and juicy) during this time to allow those AM thunderstorms to pop up. A large, long-lasting, cluster of thunderstorms will likely “use” much or all of that instability (juice). Once the thunderstorms end, the atmosphere can start recharging (heating back up, destabilizing) which will give some juice to evening thunderstorms. The later those morning thunderstorms last, the less time the atmosphere has to recharge, meaning the less juice available for the next round of storms.

6-21-16 outlook 2

More on Wednesday mid-afternoon through evening: A warm front should lift northward sometime in the early afternoon on Wednesday. South of that warm front, will be a warm and humid airmass (dewpoints near 70 degrees) that will be unstable. In addition to an unstable airmass, strong winds high up in the atmosphere will be exceptionally high, giving the air a better ability to spin.
*IF* we get thunderstorms to fire up in the mid-afternoon through evening, the chance of those turning severe is likely.
Time frame for the afternoon/evening round of storms is pretty wide, with the expectation to narrow it after seeing how Wednesday morning storms affect our atmosphere. Right now, be weather aware again between 3PM-8PM, with a bigger emphasis on the second half of that time frame. Thunderstorms would move east-southeastward into the Chicagoland area after that. All threats are possible with this. Large hail, a few tornadoes, and damaging wind gusts.

6-21-16 when what

Overall here’s an important note: What happens in the morning will play a very big role on what happens in the mid afternoon/evening.

There’s plenty of time to prepare instead of panic. Put fresh batteries in the weather radio, practice your safety plan, and stick with the 13 Weather Authority.

 

– Meteorologist Morgan Kolkmeyer

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This post was written by Morgan Kolkmeyer on June 21, 2016

LATEST- Severe Weather Risk

A risk for severe weather is in play for all of us in the Stateline, mainly by mid-late afternoon and into the evening. In fact, parts of Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Missouri have already seen severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings earlier this morning.

12-23-15 radar 545

Expect rain showers all day, beginning in the morning and lasting until around midnight tonight. A few thunderstorms could pop up by late morning/very early afternoon, though there is a low risk for those to turn severe.

There’s a better chance at some severe thunderstorms by mid to late afternoon and into the evening, as a cool front sweeps through the Stateline- clashing a cool air mass with a warm one. Damaging winds and an isolated tornado are both risks associated with these thunderstorms. Be weather aware today, many of us aren’t thinking of severe weather during the month of December. It has happened before, and could happen again today/tonight.

12-23-15 TT

If you’re headed south or southeast for the holidays, be on the lookout. An enhanced risk for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are in place for far southern Illinois and Indiana, central and western Kentucky and Tennessee, northwestern Alabama, central and northern Mississippi, eastern Arkansas, and southeastern Missouri.
If you’re headed east toward Chicago, south into central Illinois, or southwest toward the Quad Cities, a slight risk for damaging winds and an isolated tornado is in place.

Otherwise, a foggy morning with temperatures in the upper 40s will be in place through the late morning. We’ll climb to near 60 degrees this afternoon, with winds gusting up to 30mph (higher, when in a thunderstorm). Rain and t’storms until about 7 or 8PM tonight, then a little rain possible until midnight.

-Meteorologist Morgan Kolkmeyer

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This post was written by Morgan Kolkmeyer on December 23, 2015

One thing’s for sure; it’s going to be windy.

We’ve seen them before, thunderstorms (severe and non-severe) during the month of November in the Midwest. In fact, the anniversary of the 2013 Washington, Illinois tornado that took 8 lives is one week from today. In just under two weeks, we’ll pass the anniversary of the 2010 Caledonia, Illinois tornado that was responsible for snapping trees and high-tension transmission power towers.

This Wednesday looks far from those events for the Stateline, but we may get in on a few rumbles of thunder. First, let’s talk about what’s happening:

An area of low pressure is sitting over Colorado right now, and will track northeast in our neck of the woods as we get closer to Wednesday night. We should dodge most (if not, all) of the severe weather that could come along with this system.  Especially for places as far north as Rockford.

Regardless of thunderstorm activity, winds will be gusty Wednesday and Wednesday night (around 40mph without thunderstorms) through Friday. IF we generate a thunderstorm or two on Wednesday night, those winds could get strong to severe (upwards of 50 mph).

What does all of that really mean? There is a *slight* chance for thunderstorms on Wednesday night and through those overnight hours. There is a much better chance to just see some rainfall, and possibly Wind Advisory set up out of this as well.

What to expect: Rainfall
Don’t rule out: Thunderstorm with strong to severe winds

While most of the marbles add up to just seeing some rain/gusty winds, be prepared for some strong winds during those hours, especially near and south of I-88.

Because of this, the Storm Prediction Center has the Stateline area under a marginal risk for severe weather, with a few areas (including Dixon and Rochelle) under a slight risk. The biggest threat still looks to be damaging winds. The bigger threat stays to our southwest, in eastern Iowa and western Illinois. We’ll keep you posted on air and right here on the 13 Weather Authority Blog.

 

-Morgan

 

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Posted under First Look, rain, safety, severe weather, Threatrack, tornado, Wind

This post was written by Morgan Kolkmeyer on November 10, 2015

Chill Out This Weekend

We’re about a month early to be seeing temperatures like we’re having today and Saturday. October averages middle to upper 60’s for high temperatures within the first 10 days of the month, but fall came knocking a little early across the Stateline.
The first week of September brought us high temperatures in the 90’s and low temperatures in the 70’s, and we’ll have to subtract about 25 degrees from that for the weekend.

weekendTemperatures will range from the middle to upper 60’s today and Saturday, to the low 70’s by Sunday. But that’s not the chill that’s going to make you want the heat on.

10 DEG COOLOvernight low temperatures (very early Saturday and Sunday morning) will dip down to the 40’s! In some spots, that’s about 10 degrees cooler than this morning.

My advice- sleep in until we hit at least 50 degrees 😉

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This post was written by Morgan Kolkmeyer on September 11, 2015

Weekend Weather!

There are so many exciting things about today! The two that come to mind first for me, Edwards Apple Orchard opens up and Friday Night Football starts. So let’s check out that weekend forecast.

We could see a few light showers as we head into the late afternoon and early evening today, although the heavy stuff is falling to our northwest, and tracking northeast toward central and north central Wisconsin.

8-28-15 satrad 1030

There’s a better chance to see a few showers and thunderstorms in the late evening and overnight tonight. We could run into some heavy rainfall overnight, leading us into as much as an inch of rainfall.

8-28-15 tonight

We’ll hold onto the chance for some of those showers and t’storms to stick around throughout Saturday morning, however most of it looks to clear up by the time we head later into the afternoon hours.

One thing that isn’t going anywhere- the clouds. A cloudy and mostly cloudy sky will hang tight throughout the afternoon today and tomorrow. Expect some more sunshine by the time we head into Sunday, that’s when temps finally reach (and exceed) average.

The good news is- the bulk of the rain looks like it’s happening overnight Friday into early Saturday morning.

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This post was written by Morgan Kolkmeyer on August 28, 2015

8 Lightning Deaths This Month, 13 This Year

A fear of tornadoes is a widespread uneasiness. The worry of lightning is not quite as widespread, and the severity isn’t always taken as serious.

Did you know there have been more fatalities from lightning strikes than tornadoes in the United States this year?

Did you know lightning strikes in the United States about 25 million times each year?

6-29-15 lightnings

Many people wait too long to go indoors when a thunderstorm is approaching, and do not abide by the old saying “When thunder roars, go indoors.”

In fact, the United States has had 13 deaths due to lightning just this year. 8 of those deaths happened in the last 29 days. EVERY single one of them happened outdoors.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has recorded 5 women and 8 men were struck and killed by lightning, doing activities such as walking, riding a motorcycle, camping, fishing, and more. For information on where these deaths occurred, click here.

So how about reviewing some lightning safety?

If you’re outdoors, there’s not a lot you can do to substantially reduce your risk of being struck by lightning. Your safest option is to find shelter in a safe building or vehicle.

If you absolutely cannot seek safe shelter, there are some outdoor lightning safety tips that will slightly lessen your risk of being struck:

-Avoid high heights, the tops of hills, and open fields.
-Stay away from tall isolated objects such as trees-If you’re with a group of people, spread it. This could avoid the current traveling from one person to the next.
-Stay away from wet objects and metal objects. Water and metal do not attract lightning, but they are great conductors of electricity.

For more safety tips with specific locations, click here.

 

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This post was written by Morgan Kolkmeyer on June 29, 2015

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Amboy got drenched with a few more heavy showers earlier this morning, adding to the 3.12″ of rainfall they received on Monday. Roadways in that region as well as a sports park are being flooded with rainfall on top of already-saturated soil from the weekend.

6-17 BLOG 1

Many of you have sent in photos of the flooded regions in your area (thank you!) but what about our rivers/creeks? Some of those have taken on too much water.

Let’s start with a few that are near flood stage. The Pecatonica River at Freeport has reached 12.7 feet, which is just 0.3″ shy of being considered flooded. Experts forecast a decline in the river’s stage as we head into the next week. The Pec River near Shirland is also nearly flooded, totaling in at 10.99″, which is about 1 inch from being flooded. It is expected to to top out around 11 feet, then start the decline process in the coming week. The Rock River also has some near-flooded areas. At Byron, it’s reached 11.6 feet, just shy of the 13 foot flood stage mark. At Dixon, the Rock River is 2.4 inches shy of being flooded. Both are expected to rise slightly, though stay below flood level before declining in the coming week. All of these areas are under a Flood Advisory issued by the National Weather Service.6-17 BLOG 2

We’re not all in the clear, however. There is minor flooding happening in the Kishwaukee River at Perryville. There, the river has risen to 12.4 feet and is still in the minor flood stage at 12.1 feet. It is forecast to decline out of that stage by Friday, but not before reaching 12.9 feet. A Flood Warning has been issued for this area by the National Weather Service.

6-17 BLOG 3

Moderate flooding is happening in the Rock River at Como near Sterling. There, the river has reached 11.62 feet and is still in the moderate flood stage at 11.04 feet. Flood stage for that area is 10 feet, and it’s expected to still be in moderate flood range today near 10.8 feet and be in the clear by the weekend.

6-17 BLOG 4

-Morgan

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This post was written by Morgan Kolkmeyer on June 17, 2015