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 qni_it on June 5, 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 qni_it on April 17, 2014

Rainfall Totals: 10-15-13

Capture2Today is a real two-parter. The first half of the day gave us some light to moderate rain for a good 5-6 hour period, but the rain is exiting the area and the sky will begin to clear out a bit. Don’t be surprised if you even see a little sunshine late this afternoon! CaptureWe missed most of the heavier rainfall with parts of Minnesota and the Dakotas clocking in at more than an inch and a half of rain in the past 24 hours, but even just a few tenths (which is what we added to the bucket for the month) are very welcomed. That won’t be enough to put a dent in our slight drought that persists from late summer, but we will still take every drop we can at this point. We will stay dry until we look toward the weekend. – Greg

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Posted under drought, rain

This post was written by qni_it on October 15, 2013

Fall Foliage Report

1Who’s up for a road trip?

Get set for one of the best weekends for fall color! Aside from a cold front sparking a few showers on Saturday, both Illinois and Wisconsin will be completely dry and sunny on Sunday. WISCONSIN: In Wisconsin, we’re looking at some spots in the Northwoods past peak already! But there’s still great color in the Wisconsin River Valley from Portage to Prairie du Chien. Also, the lakeshore from Milwaukee to Door County is looking great this weekend! Peak for South-Central Wisconsin will likely occur next weekend.

2ILLINOIS: Down in the Land of Lincoln, we’re actually nearing peak in many spots along the Mississippi River already! The color isn’t nearly as good as we had hoped. Blame drought conditions on that one! Still, areas downstate have a few weeks to get to peak. But many of you say now is the time to take that trip down Illinois Route 2 from Rockford to Dixon. A close second in our Facebook poll is US20 from Freeport to Dubuque. Should be peak next few weeks there!

If you get any great photos of fall color, post on our Facebook page, Tweet me, or send them in via email.

And special thanks to Anna Filipowicz-Piccirilli for asking when we should see peak color on Facebook!

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Posted under drought, news, photos, statistics, weather

This post was written by qni_it on October 11, 2013

Drought Monitor: 10-10-13

This week’s drought monitor has just hit the shelves and it doesn’t show much of a change. Last weekend was good to us, by bringing a nice soaking rain to the Stateline, but not quite enough to put a dent in our drought level. The good news is that we haven’t seen drought conditions worsen, and that we are in the most minimal of drought categories. CaptureDrought conditions across all of Illinois and Wisconsin have gone down slightly in the past two weeks, but not to a point that marks significant change. We have two chances for rain in the next 7 days, so let’s hope for some decent rainfall to get us all the way out of the drought. – Greg

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Posted under drought, rain

This post was written by qni_it on October 10, 2013

Scarce Rain Events

We all know that the past few months have been trying in terms of finding much rainfall to work with as drought conditions slowly settle in. However, we have a very good chance at picking up over an inch of rain by the end of the weekend! We have seen very few significant rain events in the past two months. CaptureThe last time we saw more than 0.2″ of rainfall in one day came back on September 15th when we wracked up 1.10″, and we have to look all the way back to August 22nd to find the last time before that. On August 22nd we pulled in 1.39″ of rain. When we add up the two totals from the last two healthy rainfalls, they account for 77% of all rainfall we have received in that time frame. This week’s rainfall will be good to the last drop! -GregCapture2

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Posted under drought, event, rain

This post was written by qni_it on October 1, 2013

Fairly Dry September

As expected, our last batch of rain was not enough to help with our local drought conditions.  Saturday rainfall totals were generally light across the Stateline.  Galena and Monroe were the big winners.  The rest of the area was lucky to pick up a tenth of an inch of rain!

Saturday 09/28/13 Rainfall

Saturday 09/28/13 Rainfall

With no rain in the forecast for the last day of September (Monday), Rockford will end the month with a deficit of 1.74 inches.

Other Saturday Rainfall Totals

Other Saturday Rainfall Totals

Our drier-than-average trend began in July.  When looking at the observations taken at Chicago Rockford International Airport, the Forest City has received a little more than half of its normal rainfall over the past three months.  Officially just 6.45 inches of rain fell at the airport between July 1st and September 29th.  Rainfall deficits are higher for areas west and south of Rockford.

Rainfall Deficit

Rainfall Deficit

No rain is in the forecast for the first two days of October—Tuesday and Wednesday—but there are signs of potentially heavy rain by Thursday and Friday.  Since it’s so far out, there will be changes made to the forecast.  As of this blog post, models are all over the place with potential rainfall for the end of the week.  Some are hinting at a quarter to half an inch of rain while others are hinting at two or three inches of rain!  It is still too early to pinpoint.

Change on the Way

Change on the Way

Keep it tuned to the weather blog throughout the week as this will be an interesting system to watch evolve.

-Joe

P.S.  Much cooler temperatures are in the forecast for next weekend.  Highs may struggle to hit 60 degrees in some spots!

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Posted under drought, rain, statistics, weather

This post was written by qni_it on September 29, 2013

Drought Sticks Around

September continues to be drier than normal.  During the month that acts as our gateway to Autumn and the harvest season, Rockford picks up about 3.35″ of rainfall on average.  As of today (September 26), the Forest City has only picked up 1.54″ of rain.  We’ve got a long way to go to get back to normal.

 

Drought Monitor 09/24/13

Drought Monitor 09/24/13

The latest United States Drought Monitor update shows an expanded ‘Severe Drought’ for central Illinois, including areas as far north as southern Whiteside County.  ‘Abnormally Dry’ conditions were present across almost 90% of the Prairie State.  Wisconsin actually saw areas with ‘Severe Drought’ conditions decrease ever so slightly, with ‘Abnomally Dry’ conditions covering 60% of the state.

Locally, the U.S. Drought Monitor continues to classify a small section of north central Illinois as drought-free, including metro Rockford.  This can be a bit misleading.  While it is true that Rockford has about a 5″ rainfall surplus for the year, the last three months have had significant rainfall deficits:

  • July 2013: deficit of 2.03″
  • August 2013: deficit of 1.67″
  • September 2013: deficit of 1.41″ so far

The prospect for rain is in the forecast as the month of September comes to a close.  However, the prospect for drought-busting rain is not in the forecast.

Staying Below Average

Staying Below Average

Models continue to trend low on our rainfall amounts for this Saturday evening and Saturday overnight.  Rain showers are likely, but it appears we will only see our rain gauges pick up 0.30″ at most.  The majority of the energy with this weekend’s system will stay in northern Wisconsin, Minnesota, and south central Canada. Some areas in the Northwoods could pick up over 1″ of rain.

-Joe

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

This post was written by qni_it on September 26, 2013

Drought conditions will persist well into October

You’ve gotta wonder when we’ll make up for the lack of rainfall. With the latest model guidance in, we’re not set for any gang-buster rains until at least the second week of October! Consider this, if we don’t get into a wet pattern until November or December, we could be making up for our summer and fall deficit in the form of winter storms!

tempHere’s a look at the latest #GFS model for Rockford. Over the next 16 days, we are set to receive 1.44 inches of rainfall. However on average we should see 1.72 inches over that timeframe. While models are subject to change, the overall pattern looks pretty dry.

This isn’t as bad as getting drought conditions in June and July when the crops are growing, but it does make a difference when we look at area water tables (still low from last year’s drought).

untitledHere’s a look at the seven day precipitation forecast for the whole country. There is good news here: Drought-stricken areas of Texas and Louisiana are set to get some healthy rains. The unfortunate part of it is the cool front approaching from the west this weekend may rain itself out before it gets here. We’ll see! -Eric

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Posted under climate/climate change, drought

This post was written by qni_it on September 23, 2013

Every Drop Counts: Drought Monitor 9-19-13

Here is a look at the latest drought monitor. Wisconsin’s drought has stayed virtually the same as last week, however Illinois has seen a slight increase in drought percentages. The good news is that little to none of that gain was seen across the Stateline. -GregCapture2

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Posted under drought, weather

This post was written by qni_it on September 19, 2013