Oppressive Heat Absent

For those of you waiting for a good old-fashioned summer heat wave, you’ll have to keep on waiting! It is true, however, that we will see a warm-up through the weekend and into early next week. Highs will rise into the low 80s for Saturday and Sunday. Middle and upper 80s are on tap for the first few days of the new work week. There is a good chance that Tuesday will be the warmest day of July so far! In fact, Tuesday may tie for one of the warmest days of the year!

noheatyet

The warmest temperature of meteorological summer was 89 degrees, which occurred on June 1st and June 17th. We haven’t even reached 90 degrees yet this summer! We did reach 91 on May 31st, which is technically still in meteorological spring. Compare this year’s one 90-degree day with last year and the year before. In 2013, we already had five 90-degree days by the middle of July. In 2012, we checked in with an incredible 31 90-degree days, including six days sizzling in 100-degree heat!

Even though we have yet to have a heat wave this summer, it hasn’t been a terribly cool season. The month of June had 23 days with highs in the 80s, four days with highs in the 70s, and two days with highs in the 60s. July, however, has had seven days with highs in the 80s, seven with highs in the 70s, and two with highs in the 60s. The way things are shaping up, the month of July is on track to finish cooler than the month of June! What can we expect in August? Overall, models continue to hint at a slightly cooler than average month!

-Joe

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, statistics, warm up, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on July 17, 2014

Drying Out a Bit

We are going to get some much needed dry time over the next 60 hours or so! Our weather pattern remains similar to what we’ve experienced for most of the summer. With a jet stream diving out of Canada, a northwest flow pattern will allow numerous weather systems to quickly move through the Stateline area.

Our Weather Pattern

Our Weather Pattern

The good news is that the chance of rain through Thursday night is slim to none. At most, a quick shower or two will dot the sky. Otherwise we will get to enjoy many hours of sunshine and pleasant temperatures. Highs will be in the upper 70s and lows will be in the middle-to-upper 50s through Friday (some may call it a perk of a northwest flow pattern)!

FutureTrack Rainfall through Thursday: Little to None

FutureTrack Rainfall through Thursday: Little to None

Rain has been plentiful over the last several weeks. The month of June is in the record books for the 8th wettest June in Rockford’s climate history, thanks to over 8 inches of rainfall. It rained on 20 out of 30 days during June 2014! The month of July is currently on par for rainfall. It rained on 4 out of 8 days so far this month.

Rainy Meteorological Summer So Far

Rainy Meteorological Summer So Far

We actually had rainfall deficits for March, April and May. The rain so far this summer has more than made up for it. Our yearly precipitation total is almost 19 inches which is slightly above average. Looking ahead, the best chance of rain will come Friday and into this weekend with scattered thunderstorm activity each day.

-Joe

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, FutureTrack, rain, statistics, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on July 8, 2014

Independence Day Records

Independence Day 2014 will not enter the weather record books. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t remember it! This year we had a mostly sunny sky with low humidity values. The day started off a bit cool with a low of 52 degrees in Rockford. During the afternoon, we warmed up to a comfortable 79 degrees. Overall, it was a pleasant holiday!

July 4th, 2014 High Temperatures

July 4th, 2014 High Temperatures

Looking back at the climate history books, only 23% of Independence Days in Rockford had a high temperature in the 70s. Most of the time—about 53%—our high is in the 80s. The coolest high temperature occurred on July 4, 1967 with a reading of only 62 degrees. It’s no surprise that July 4, 1967 also had the record cold low temperature. That was 46 degrees!

July 4th Records

July 4th Records

The hottest temperature to ever occur in the Forest City on July 4th happened just two years ago! Back in 2012, we sizzled in 102 degree heat! It has also stayed dry on the 4th of July for the last four years. In fact, about 54% of Independence Days remain dry. Since 1906, only twelve holidays have had rain totaling more than a quarter of an inch!

-Joe

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, history, record weather, statistics, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on July 4, 2014

Warmest Day of the Year

The National Climatic Data Center released some interesting statistics yesterday. Using our temperature averages from the most recent climate data period, we are able to determine when we can expect our warmest day of the year. The most recent climate data period encompasses 30 years worth of daily weather observations taken between 1981 and 2010. This is 10,958 days of temperature and precipitation data!!!

Heating Up: When We Typically See the Warmest Day of the Year

Heating Up: When We Typically See the Warmest Day of the Year

Based off this data, the warmest high temperature of the year usually occurs between July 6th and 10th for north central Illinois. This includes Rockford, Belvidere, DeKalb, Rochelle, Dixon, Sterling and Rock Falls. For far northern / northwestern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, the warmest high temperature of the year typically occurs between July 11th and 15th. This includes Galena, Savanna, Monroe, Beloit, Janesville and Lake Geneva.

This makes sense for our region! Our statistical average high temperature during this July 6th through 15th timeframe in Rockford is 85 degrees. The hottest temperature to ever occur in Rockford was 112 degrees on July 14, 1936.

-Joe

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, statistics, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on June 26, 2014

Healthy Dose of Rain

Thanks to some shower activity Tuesday night and a steady rain that fell between 1am and 10am Wednesday morning, our rain gauges have filled up nicely. Areas along and east of the Rock River picked up over an inch of rain. A few spots in DeKalb and McHenry County soaked up almost two inches! Parts of Carroll, Green, and Jo Daviess County hardly picked up anything.

24-Hour Rainfall Totals (10am Tuesday - 10am Wednesday)

24-Hour Rainfall Totals (10am Tuesday – 10am Wednesday)

At Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD), rainfall added up to nearly two-tenths of an inch (0.19″) fell Tuesday night. Just over eight-tenths of an inch (0.82″ as of this blog post) fell Wednesday morning.

Rainfall by Hour

Rainfall by Hour at RFD

A few spotty showers are possible early this afternoon, but any additional rainfall will be light and less than one-tenth of an inch (0.1″).

-Joe

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, rain, statistics, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on June 11, 2014

A Little Dry

Things are a little dry around here, believe it or not! The latest release by the United States Drought Monitor even classifies parts of Carroll and Whiteside County as “abnormally dry.”

Source: US Drought Monitor, June 5, 2014

Source: US Drought Monitor – June 5, 2014

If the trend continues, more of our area may be added to this category. So far this month, Rockford has picked up just under 0.40 inches of rain. However, we are down nearly 3 inches of rain for the year thanks to a drier than average spring.

Our farm fields, gardens, and lawns could definitely use a little help from the sky! That help may come Saturday and Sunday, although it appears we will not see much more than a few tenths of an inch of rain.

-Joe

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, drought, rain, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on June 5, 2014

Catching up on Rain

With not much else to talk about on this dreary Wednesday, I figured that we should take a look at rainfall! Heavy rain to the tune of 3 to 6 inches inundated parts of Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, and central Illinois last night.

Locally, our rainfall totals were much lighter. The heaviest rain—generally between one-third and one-half inch—fell in southern Whiteside, southern Lee, and southern DeKalb County. The highest local rainfall totals I found were observed in Mendota (0.45″), Amboy (0.34″), and Sublette (0.34″). These measurements will likely increase since they were observed at 7am.

Rainfall through 7am Wednesday

Rainfall through 7am Wednesday

We actually need the rain around here! Meteorological spring (March, April, May) saw 6.23″ of precipitation at RFD Airport, just 64% of what we typically receive. For the year, we have a deficit of 2.79″ (not including Wednesday’s rainfall).

Rainfall Deficit nearing 3"

Rainfall Deficit nearing 3″

We’ll catch a break from the rain with a couple of sunny days on Thursday and Friday. The chance for rain and thunder returns this weekend. Check out the 7-Day Forecast!

-Joe

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, rain, statistics, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on June 4, 2014

Meteorological Summer Has Arrived

It’s that time of year again! Meteorological summer begins on June 1st. After what seemed like a relentless winter and a haphazard spring, did you think we’d ever make it?

The timeframe of meteorological summer is simple; it constitutes the entire months of June, July, and August. This is the best way for meteorologists and climatologists to keep track of what are typically the warmest and wettest months of the year. Using the time period from the summer solstice to the autumnal equinox would require breaking up the months, something that is doable but less convenient!

Meteorological Summer: June 1st - August 31st

Meteorological Summer: June 1st – August 31st

Locally, our average high temperature rises into the lower-to-middle 80s. Average low temperatures are in the lower 60s for meteorological summer. However, we all know that these numbers are statistical averages from years past. We can and will have high temperatures in the 70s, 80s, 90s, and possibly 100s.

The three meteorological summer months are usually our wettest months. Summertime showers and thunderstorms bring an average of 4.65″ of rain in June, 3.95″ of rain in July, and 4.59″ of rain in August. Over one-third of our annual precipitation often falls within this one-quarter of the year. However, periods of drought or periods of excessive rainfall are not out of the ordinary here in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. In fact, we are headed into June with a spring rainfall deficit of 3.46″ believe it or not!

-Joe

 

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, First Look, statistics, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on May 31, 2014

Memorial Day Climatology

Memorial Day 2014 is upon us! What started as ‘Decoration Day’ in order to honor the graves of fallen soldiers just after the Civil War, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday in 1971. After that declaration, the holiday was observed on the last Monday of the month of May. Since the date changes from year to year, there is no statistical ‘normal’ from a climatology standpoint.

However, daily weather observations have been recorded for Rockford since 1905. Since records began, the majority (42%) of Memorial Days have had high temperatures in the 70s (41 out of 106 data years). About 26% of Memorial Days have had a high temperature in the 80s (28 out of 106 data years). This year, we’re going to be in the 80s! Last year, of course, was the 7th coolest high temperature for any Memorial Day at 61 degrees! It was also a little rainy.

Memorial Day Statistics

Memorial Day Statistics

Does it always rain on Memorial Day? A lot of people have been asking this question lately. The answer of course, is no, but it’s not a solid no. If history proves anything, we’ve got about a 50/50 shot at seeing at least some rain on Memorial Day! Since records began in Rockford, 52 Memorial Days have had rain while 55 have not! The wettest Memorial Day occurred in 1916, with 1.65 inches of rain falling in Rockford. May 28, 1984 was probably the most miserable Memorial Day from a weather standpoint: the high temperature was only 47 degrees with just over an inch of rain! This year, it looks like we’ll have to dodge some scattered showers and thunderstorms.

-Joe

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, record weather, statistics, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on May 25, 2014

Drought Monitor

Spring is upon us. Farmers and gardeners are paying close attention to the forecast, especially this time of year. As we all know, rainfall is a key ingredient for healthy crops, fruits, vegetables, and flowers in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.

Many of us begin to monitor how much rain we receive. Government agencies such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provide weekly updates of the U.S. Drought Monitor. This tool keeps track of rainfall deficits and dry conditions across the country.

Apr. 17 Drought Monitor

Apr. 17 Drought Monitor

Thursday’s update shows that abnormally dry conditions are present in parts of our area.  A portion of northwestern Illinois roughly bounded by US Route 20 on the north, US Route 30 on the south, the Rock River on the east, and the Mississippi River on the west is drier than normal.

Rainfall Statistics

Rainfall Statistics for Meteorological Spring

While 1.71 inches of rain has fallen in Rockford during the month of April, just 1.03 inches of precipitation fell in March. Based on historical averages, we have a rainfall deficit of nearly an inch-and-a-half. This deficit is slightly higher in the area highlighted above.

We could use a little rain around here! A few showers are in the forecast for late-day Sunday and Monday, although current forecast trends give us less than a quarter-inch of rain.

-Joe

 

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, drought, First Look, rain, statistics, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on April 17, 2014