Today’s Severe Weather Thoughts

I want to give a detailed description of my thoughts on the potential for severe weather on Thursday. If you’d like to skip over the “why,” scroll to the bottom of this article. I’ve listed my thoughts on the timing and threat.

Showers and thunderstorms started to develop overnight Wednesday into Thursday morning. A cluster of non severe thunderstorms passed through the Stateline early this morning between 3AM and 7AM, with heavy rain as the main threat. Now, we’ve got a break in the heavy rain and thunderstorms this morning. We’ll likely see another round of non severe thunderstorms and showers pass through in the late morning and early afternoon.

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The threat of severe thunderstorms doesn’t come in until we head into the mid afternoon and into the evening. However, there are some question marks.
One of the biggest reasons has to do with something meteorologists refer to as instability, which is one of the key ingredients to produce a severe thunderstorm. Have you ever noticed that most thunderstorms occur in the late afternoon? That’s because of daytime heating. All day long, the sun heats up the surface and creates a big difference between the temperature around us and the temperature in the mid levels of the atmosphere. This helps to create more instability. Overnight, there is no sunshine to warm the surface, therefore instability is limited. This is one reason why the threat of severe thunderstorms overnight and early this morning was very minor.
Cloud cover is going to stick around early and late Thursday morning. The thick clouds will limit the amount of sun allowed to heat the surface, which will also limit the amount of instability in the atmosphere. This is the big question mark- will the clouds break in the afternoon, before thunderstorms devlop? IF they do, we run a higher risk of seeing severe thunderstorms. As of this morning, much guidances suggests clouds will start breaking after the lunch hour, which will allow the sun to help increase instability and raise the potential for thunderstorms to turn severe as we head into the mid afternoon through the evening.

The other ingredients we look for as necessary for severe development look to be in place. This includes a strong southerly surface wind, that changes direction as you go up into the atmosphere. Dewpoints reaching the low to middle 60’s combined with an incoming cold front will aid in development of scattered thunderstorms.

4-9 whats the threat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think the biggest threat today will be damaging winds, followed by large hail. I expect discrete thunderstorms to turn severe in the mid afternoon, lasting into the evening. There’s also a risk for a few isolated tornadoes to occur across and near the Stateline.

4-9 know your safe place

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is important to know your safe place today, whether you are at home, in school, at work, or driving.

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Be sure to have your NOAA Weather Radio working today and do not rely solely on outdoor warning sirens.

Chief Meteorologist Alex Kirchner, 13 Weather Authority’s Nick Jansen and myself will be in through the afternoon and evening to track the thunderstorms and update you on the risk for severe thunderstorms.

-Morgan

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This post was written by Morgan Kolkmeyer on April 9, 2015

Thursday’s Severe Threat

The threat for severe thunderstorms still exists on Thursday.

Before we get there, we see the development of showers and thunderstorms overnight on Wednesday, producing a quarter to a half inch of rainfall. As of right now, these thunderstorms do not look to have the capabilities of turning severe. Same story as we head into early Thursday morning. Scattered showers and possibly thunderstorms can occur. The chance of these posing a severe threat is low, but I DO NOT want to rule out the chance completely.

4-8-15 timing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Storm Prediction Center has much of Illinois (including the Stateline) under an enhanced risk for severe thunderstorms.

4-8-15 spc convective outlook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We start to see the potential for these to turn severe as we head into the early afternoon. As of right now, it looks like thunderstorms will continue to develop and pose a severe threat between 1PM and 6PM on Thursday.

If these t’storms turn severe, the possible threats include damaging winds, large hail, and isolated tornadoes. Now is the time to start thinking of your safe place at home, work, and school. Please remember, tornado sirens are for outdoor warnings within ear’s reach. A NOAA Weather Radio is a great way to receive weather alerts indoors.

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In the hours ahead, key ingredients to producing severe thunderstorms can change quickly. We will continue to analyze new information throughout the day. Chief Meteorologist Alex Kirchner will have the latest on 13 News at 5, 6 and 10 tonight, to let you know if the timing or the threat for these storms changes.
Keep up with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/13wxauthority and online at wrex.com/weather for the latest information.

 

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Posted under rain, science, severe weather, tornado, weather, Wind

This post was written by Morgan Kolkmeyer on April 8, 2015

Severe Weather Risk This Week

The Stateline is looking at the risk of severe weather toward the end of the work week.

The Storm Prediction Center has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Outlook that puts most of Illinois (including northern Illinois) under a marginal risk for severe thunderstorms.

4-6-15 SPC CONV OUTLOOK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A very strong area of low pressure heads northeast toward much of the Midwest on Wednesday night, bringing the potential for severe weather along with it. Large hail, damaging winds, heavy rainfall, and the possibility of isolated tornadoes are the threats associated with this system.

4-6-15 SEVERE RISK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 13 Weather Authority will continue to track this system throughout the week. We will keep you updated on our 13 Weather Authority Facebook page www.facebook.com/13wxauthority and on twitter at @13wxauthority

In addition to our Facebook and Twitter pages, you can head to www.wrex.com/weather and use our Radar Room to see incoming showers and thunderstorms, as well as the latest watches and warnings issued. You can also head over to our Interactive Radar to track the storm yourself!

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This week is a good time to review your severe weather plans!

-Morgan

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This post was written by Morgan Kolkmeyer on April 6, 2015

The Easter ‘Punny’ is Here!

We’ve got an EGGStraordinary forecast in store for the Easter bunny this year! As you SCRAMBLE to find plastic eggs during your early egg hunts, morning temperatures will rise to the middle to upper 40’s. HOPPING into the afternoon, temperatures will SPRING into the low to middle 60’s! HOPfully you like your Easter eggs SUNNY SIDE UP, because we’ll CRACK open the clouds and make way for sunshine. Unfortunately, we won’t have an EASTERly wind, as a high pressure system will funnel in a southwesterly wind throughout the day. To all the CHICKS out there, your HARE may be blowing around so you may want extra hairspray. Winds will be gusting up to 30mph. Don’t worry, it should still be an EGGSHELLent afternoon.

EASTER PUN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’ve had an OEUF of the clear sky, we work in some clouds later Sunday night, with a slight chance for a SPRINKLE.

Have a great Easter, YOLKS!

-Morgan

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Posted under humor, rain, science, sunlight, weather, weather geek

This post was written by Morgan Kolkmeyer on April 3, 2015

March Snow Vs. March Rain

Now that March is nearing an end, we’re taking a peek at how much precipitation Rockford has received.

Let’s start with snow (since it feels like winter out there)! Rockford normally sees almost 5 inches of snow throughout the month of March. Up until last Monday, we were well below the normal mark. Monday, 5.1 inches of snow fell at the Rockford Airport, bringing our monthly total to 7.6 inches!

2-26-15 march catching up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now for the rainfall.
Rockford usually gets 2.32 inches of rain throughout the month. So far, we’ve only gotten about an inch and a quarter of rain. This Sunday, there’s a good chance we’ll add to that rain total bringing us a little bit closer to average before rounding out the month of March.

 

-Morgan

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This post was written by Morgan Kolkmeyer on March 27, 2015

Unusual March

We’ve been so excited for the temperatures this March, the lack of rain and snow has gone unnoticed.

During the month of March, Rockford usually sees 2.3″ of rain. So far, we’ve seen less than half an inch! On average, we usually see almost 5″ of snow. Cut that in half- that’s as much as we’ve seen so far this month.

march so far

However, we could add to that as we head into the start of next week. We’ve got a chance to see some snow heading into Monday, which would bring us a little closer to that average mark.

Not only have we had very little snow and rain this month, but the precipitation that we’ve gotten, all fell in one day (March 3rd)!

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, rain, science, snow, weather, weather geek

This post was written by Morgan Kolkmeyer on March 20, 2015

It’s Cold, but is it Record Breaking Cold?

February 19, 2015: The Stateline is no stranger to wicked cold winter temperatures, and dangerously cold morning wind chills. We’re used to layering up, warming our cars, and heading out into the bitter cold. This morning was another day to add to the list of uncomfortably cold mornings with hazardous wind chills. But could this one be one for the record books?

Turns out, it might be TWO for the record books.

Potential record number 1:
If Rockford’s high temperature stays in the single digits today, a 79 year old record will be broken. February 15-18, 1936 holds the record for Rockford’s latest consecutive days of single digit temperatures. Yesterday, Rockford hit a high temperature of 8°. If we combine yesterday with today’s forecast of single digit high temperatures, we’ve got ourselves a record of the latest occurrence of 2 or more consecutive single digit high temperatures.

2-19-15 recordbreakingcold2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Potential record number 2:

If Rockford’s high temperature only climbs to 6° or less, a 56 year record will be broken. On February 19th, 1959 Rockford only reached a high temperature of 7°, which is still the coldest for this date on ever recorded.

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We’re so lucky, right?

-Morgan Kolkmeyer

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Posted under cold blast, history, record weather, statistics, weather, weather geek, winter weather

This post was written by Morgan Kolkmeyer on February 19, 2015

Say It Ain’t Snow!

All eyes have been on a system approaching this weekend that’s set to bring us measurable snowfall.

The timing of this system seems to be pretty consistent among forecasting models. Snow should start moving into the Stateline on Saturday evening, and  continue to give us snow throughout Sunday morning, afternoon, and even through the evening. However, by the time we head into Sunday evening, we’re talkin’ light snow. Which leads me to the next point- when are we talking the heaviest snow? Starting at 12AM Sunday (midnight Saturday) and lasting through lunch on Sunday is when we’ll see the heaviest snowfall across the Stateline.

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We won’t be seeing the heaviest snowfall out of the system. The bulk of the precipitation stays to our south, keeping us out of the “bullseye.” But don’t put the shovels away just yet! I’m anticipating 2-4″ of snow to fall across the Stateline, with places along I-88 to fall on the higher end of that spectrum. We cool down to the single digits overnight on Sunday, making way for icy conditions on your Monday commute.

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Stick with us throughout this evening and through the weekend as we continue to track this system!

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Posted under cold blast, First Look, ice, weather, winter storm, winter weather

This post was written by Morgan Kolkmeyer on January 30, 2015

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

Now that we’ve officially entered the first week of Fall, we’ve all got sweaters, boots, apple cider donuts and football on our minds, right?

Wrong.

You may want to replace those boots with sandals and the apple cider with  lemonade. Feel free to keep the football thoughts though ;) Our first week of fall is actually taking steps toward more summer-like weather. Did you enjoy the weather yesterday? Plenty of sunshine, calm winds, upper 60’s. Get used to it!
9-23 blog1

Wash, Rinse, Repeat. That’s the forecast through the rest of the week. BUT before you throw in the soap….
9-23 blog 2

 

Turn up the heat.

We’ll see high pressure continue to bring us sunshine this week, as well as calm winds. We could pick up a few clouds toward the end of the week due to a disturbance to our west, however high pressure helps to keep rain chances away. In addition to the sunny sky and light wind, we’ll see temperatures climb.
Today, temperatures top out in the low 70’s. By the end of the week, we’ll be looking at temperatures in the mid to upper 70’s.

Happy Fall, all!

-Morgan Kolkmeyer

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Posted under science, sunlight, warm up, weather

This post was written by Morgan Kolkmeyer on September 23, 2014

What Goes Up…

scaleMother Nature is giving us a pleasant surprise! Tuesday and Wednesday will bring us our first taste of summer weather! Temperatures will touch 80 degrees tomorrow and only fall to the 60s throughout tomorrow evening. We will cool off a few degrees on Wednesday, but it will still be t-shirt and shorts weather with temperatures at 76 degrees.

Unfortunately, what goes up must come down, and our summer tease will quickly turn back to spring starting Thursday. Like an old fashion scale, temperatures are going to crash down into the upper 50s on Thursday and Friday, and drop off a couple more degrees for the rest of the weekend.

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This post was written by Morgan Kolkmeyer on April 30, 2013