National Weather Service’s Winter Outlook (2014)

The National Weather Service issued their forecast for the upcoming winter season today.  Let’s take a look, shall we?

Temperature outlook for Winter 2014

Temperature outlook for Winter 2014

The 2014-2015 outlook has chances for warmer weather on the West Coast and the northern sections of the U.S., with colder than average temperatures in the South.

Precipitation outlook for Winter 2014

Precipitation outlook for Winter 2014

The weather pattern looks to be drier than average along the Great Lakes and Pacific Northwest, with the South and East Coast looking wetter than average.

Midwest temperature outlook, Winter 2014/2015

Midwest temperature outlook, Winter 2014/2015

Midwest precipitation outlook, Winter 2014/2015

Midwest precipitation outlook, Winter 2014/2015

For the Stateline specifically, we have a good chance for below average precipitation (snowfall) this winter, with equal chances for above or below average temperatures, according to the National Weather Service.  That means there isn’t a strong indicator one way or the other right now for a warmer or colder winter for the Midwest.

A couple things to keep in mind:

-These are probabilities for above/below temperature/precipitation, not definites.  For example, the prediction for below average precipitation for the Midwest means that more likely than not we will have less than usual snowfall, however there still may be a chance that snowfall will be above average.

-Remember that this is a prediction for the whole season- there are plenty of smaller or short term weather patterns that can occur that will throw the prediction off, and because they are smaller in scale or time, they cannot be factored in yet.  For example, remember this pattern from last winter?

This is a Greenland Block pattern, when high pressure near Greenland "clogs up" the weather pattern, keeping very cold air diving down into the center of the U.S.

This is a Greenland Block pattern, when high pressure near Greenland “clogs up” the weather pattern, keeping very cold air diving down into the center of the U.S.

Short term patterns like the Greenland Block can change up the weather for a few days to weeks, and may affect or contradict the overall prediction for the season.

-As mentioned above, this is an overall look at the winter season.  It won’t provide any specifics, like if or when a blizzard may hit, how many snow storms may occur, or how cold it will be on some random date, like January 15.

-It would be really nice to have a clear picture, but forecasters are limited some this year by a lack of strong climate indicators.  For example, a weak El Nino pattern has been struggling to form.  When it finally does form, weak El Ninos are generally harder to deal with because their impacts are not as clear cut as a strong El Nino.  By the way, El Ninos usually bring wet weather for all of the southern U.S., so if you aren’t a fan of snow, keep rooting for El Nino to keep the wet weather to the south of us!

So let’s revisit this some time in March or so, after winter is over, and see how the National Weather Service’s prediction played out.  A few things are guaranteed for this upcoming winter: it is coming, it will be cold, and there will be some snow. ;)

-Alex

 

Share

Posted under 13 Climate Authority, weather, winter weather

This post was written by Alex Kirchner on October 16, 2014

It Rained; It Poured

Scattered showers and thunderstorms pulsed up across northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin on Friday. While not everyone got wet, those who did got soaked! So much rain fell in the Forest City that Flash Flood Warnings were issued. Standing water was everywhere.

august1st

A new record was achieved in Rockford. The airport picked up 1.35 inches of rain in about two hours on August 1, 2014. This set the record for maximum daily rainfall. In other words, it has never rained so much on any August 1st since records began in 1906. The old record for maximum daily rainfall was 1.32 inches in 2000.

-Joe

Share

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

This post was written by qni_it on August 2, 2014

Cool in July

It’s official! July 2014 was the third coolest July on record in Rockford. Most of us are probably not surprised by this! After all, we only hit 90 degrees once that month. Climate history in the Forest City began in 1906. July 2014 has tied with July 1992 and July 1996 as the third coolest of all time. There have only been two other Julys cooler than this year.

july3rd

Here are the statistics! Our high temperature averaged out to 79.2 degrees which was 5.3 degrees cooler than normal. Our low temperature averaged out to 59.1 degrees, or 3.9 degrees cooler than normal. When factoring in highs and lows, July 2014 had a temperature average of 69.1 degrees. The coolest July on record occurred just five years ago in 2009, with an average temperature of 67.0 degrees. To put this into perspective, a normal July has an average temperature of 73.8 degrees.

-Joe

Share

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

This post was written by qni_it on August 2, 2014

Rain is a Good Thing

Thanks to the spotty nature of our shower and thunderstorm activity over the last couple of weeks, many of us are looking for some beneficial rainfall. The weather observation site at Chicago Rockford International Airport reported a just few sprinkles the last two days. The last two weeks have been nearly bone dry across the area as well. Our lawns, gardens, and farm fields are thirsty!

June Surplus, July Deficit

June Surplus, July Deficit

Meteorological summer kicked off in a wet fashion. The month of June was the 8th wettest June on record in Rockford with 8.06 inches of rainfall. The first half of July followed suit with 2.44 inches of rain falling through the 15th. The second half of July has been anything but rainy. Just 0.02 inches of rain fell in Rockford from July 16th through July 30th. The month is now in the red for normal rainfall, down 1.35 inches.

Beneficial Rain Not in the Forecast Through the Weekend

Beneficial Rain Not in the Forecast Through the Weekend

Looking ahead through this weekend, we will hang onto the slight chance for a few showers (even a rumble of thunder Friday). Since these isolated showers will not affect every corner of northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, rainfall totals will be slim unfortunately.

-Joe

Share

Posted under 13 Climate Authority, FutureTrack, rain, weather

This post was written by qni_it on July 30, 2014

Staying Relatively Cool

Tuesday was the hottest day of the summer so far. Rockford clocked in at 90 degrees for just the second time this year. But now we are back to below average temperatures….and overall, it looks to stay that way for a while.

Long range forecasting models continue to show a northwest flow weather pattern for the rest of July. The jet stream will bring in an airmass originating from northwestern Canada, keeping the heat confined to the southern United States.

July: High Probability of Below Average Temperatures

July: High Probability of Below Average Temperatures

Generally speaking, temperatures have a high likelihood of remaining below our climatological average. Statistically speaking, our average high for the rest of July is 84 degrees. Our average low is 63 degrees. Many of the upcoming days will only see highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s.

Looking ahead to August, it appears the trend for below average temperatures will continue. That’s not to say we won’t have a hot and humid day every now and then. However, data compiled through the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) suggests that odds are about one-third higher than usual for cooler-than-normal temperatures for much of the upper Midwest, including northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.

August: Moderate Probability of Below Average Temperatures

August: Moderate Probability of Below Average Temperatures

As far as rainfall goes, many of us could use a few showers. Wednesday marked the 8th day in a row without rain at RFD Airport, the longest such dry streak of the year. The chance of rain will increase Friday and into the weekend.

Next Two Weeks: Near-Average Rainfall

Next Two Weeks: Near-Average Rainfall

Over the course of the next two weeks, model trends indicate a near-normal rainfall forecast. “Near-normal” means between an inch or two of rainfall.

-Joe

Share

Posted under 13 Climate Authority, statistics, weather

This post was written by qni_it on July 23, 2014

First of the Season

It took one month since the summer solstice arrived, nearly two months since meteorological summer began, and 53 days since we last reached this threshold. I’m talking about, of course, a 90-degree temperature in Rockford!

90° on Tuesday

90° on Tuesday

For the first time this summer and only the second time this year, the Forest City clocked in at 90 degrees on Tuesday afternoon. Heat index values rose into the 100s across much of the Stateline, making it the hottest and hottest-feeling day of the summer.

Area High Temperatures on Tuesday

Area High Temperatures on Tuesday

Now typically this shouldn’t be such a big deal. But with the way this summer has progressed, 90 degrees is somewhat out of the ordinary! A typical summer in Rockford averages around eight 90-degree days. With July almost over, we have some catching up to do! At this time last summer, we already had seven 90-degree days and ended the season with a total of eleven. In the summer scorcher of 2012, we had a total of 42 days with high temperatures at or above 90-degrees, including six days at or above 100-degrees.

Don’t expect anymore 90s anytime soon. It appears we will remain below normal through the rest of the month.

-Joe

Share

Posted under 13 Climate Authority, statistics, weather

This post was written by qni_it on July 22, 2014

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

Share

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

This post was written by qni_it 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

Share

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

This post was written by qni_it 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

Share

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

This post was written by qni_it 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

Share

Posted under 13 Climate Authority, statistics, weather

This post was written by qni_it on June 26, 2014