Rockford, Alaska?

If you’ve ever wondered what Alaska is like in the winter, you don’t have to anymore. And you won’t need to take the 3,000 mile trip! Check out the comparison between Northern Illinois and Northern Alaska! The temperature will likely be warmer up in the 49th state for four days in a row!
FAIRBANKS
61Rockford’s temperature is set to go below zero Sunday afternoon, staying negative until Wednesday afternoon for a total of 61 consecutive hours. On top of that, we’ll have a strong northwesterly wind that could bring our wind chill values into the -45 to -35° range. This would qualify for “Wind Chill Warning” status, enough to cause some delays/closings in schools, and depending on the temperature, could make it hard to start the car Monday-Wednesday morning.

We’ll keep tracking this strange January weather. Bookmark the blog and you’ll have updates at least once a day.

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Posted under cold blast, end of the world, weather geek

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on January 2, 2014

Strange booms startle many in Northern Illinois

The strange booms you heard on Sunday night weren’t the stomps of Bears or Packers fans, they were likely from cryoseismic activity! Lisa Kammes from Sycamore says “My husband went to the back yard to check on [the booms]. My neighbor called police. We heard lots, until we finally fell asleep at 3am. Kelsey Brown of Pecatonica said it sounded like someone “hitting the side of the house.” In South Beloit, Bobbi Bilderback reports that her dogs started barking. And down the road from her in Rockton, Marcie Severson-Haselton said she heard three loud booms. “My son even woke up and came to our room immediately!” At my house in Southwest Rockford, it sounded like someone threw something heavy onto my roof. For me, it was more of a thud. I didn’t put two and two together until I heard about other people who heard the strange sounds.crysoseisms

Some of you on Facebook were correct when I asked what the strange sounds were from: a cryoseism. Because our ground is pretty dry, the warm air on Sunday allowed water to seep deep into fissures and cracks. The water flowed down into and around the rock and limestone. When the Arctic cold front came through during the day, the temperature dropped quickly. We all know that water expands as it freezes (the reason why soda cans explode when they freeze and why a milk jug of water will expand to a ball-shape if it freezes). The water in all of these cracks expanded so quickly, it created mini explosions…explosions of water and ice all over the region. These booms aren’t enough to physically shake the ground, but they are enough to startle livestock and unsuspecting people!

Cryoseisms are a fairly rare occurrence here in Northern Illinois, as the temperature drop has to be fairly quick…from above freezing to very cold, in a short amount of time. If you heard them, chime in on our Facebook page! -Eric

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Posted under end of the world, weather geek

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on December 30, 2013

Motorcyclist struck by lightning near Seattle

motorcycliststruckCheck out this bizzare story from Washington state. Just after 9am Thursday morning, a 60 year old motorcyclist was struck by lightning while riding his bike on Interstate 5 near Chehalis, Wschington. According to KOMO-TV, he was disoriented but was able to pull his motorcycle to the shoulder of the highway. An eyewitness tells KOMO-TV “All of the sudden him and his bike lit up…I felt the concussion (of the thunder), it was a pretty good jolt.” They were able to call 9-1-1 and the rider was transported to the hospital.

The victim suffered some burns and hearing loss but is in satisfactory condition. Photos from KIRO-TV show his helmet damaged and burned, but likely transferred the electricity around the vital organs of his body…saving his life!

Just another testament to the safety of wearing your helmet when you ride! -Eric

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Posted under end of the world, safety, severe weather

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on September 5, 2013

AMAZING VIDEO: Floodwaters break into Galesburg, IL college

Between 3 and 4 inches of rain came down on Wednesday across Western Illinois. Galesburg got hit the hardest with the rain quickly causing flash flooding. This video was captured by surveillance cameras as the water broke into the main campus of Carl Sandburg College…literally!

 

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Posted under end of the world, flooding

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on May 29, 2013

We’re Still Here! Now it’s Winter…

It is December 21,2012 and we are still here! .. and if for some reason the Mayans end up being right before midnight you’ll never read this anyway! So since we appear to have dodged the apocalypse, it is important to note that today is also the first day of winter. That means not only is it cold outside, but we see less daylight today than on anything other day, receiving only 9 hours and 5 minutes of it. Our average high and low aren’t that impressive either at 31° and 16° respectively. Let’s fast forward three months just for fun. March 21st, the first day of spring. Our average high climbs to 49° and overnight temps average 29°. That pesky darkness also slips away and our day will be 12 hours and 11 minutes long. That doesn’t sound so bad does it? -Greg

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Posted under end of the world, First Look, statistics, winter weather

This post was written by GregBobos on December 21, 2012

Superstorm for New York?

Tropical Storm Sandy is expected to become a hurricane in the next few days as it moves over Cuba, exiting the Caribbean, entering the Atlantic Ocean. Very warm ocean temperatures will promote deepening of the hurricane as it moves northward, skirting the Carolinas. While climatology says this will likely move east, away from the Northeastern United States, the reliable ECMWF model shows a very dire situation come Tuesday of next week. The graphic to the upper left shows a very powerful hurricane off of the Carolinas Monday morning which would significantly batter the coastline from Virginia, northward to Cape Cod.

Now here is the ECMWF solution for Tuesday morning with a landfall on the tip of Long Island and/or Connecticut. At this point, the hurricane may have morphed into a subtropical hurricane as it changes from a warm-core system to that of a cold-core. Still, extreme wave heights, tidal surges, and heavy rain could batter the coast of New England for days.

In addition to the threat of coastal problems, this “super storm” scenario could bring significant snows to Pennsylvania the day before Halloween.  

 

And here is the afternoon forecast discussion from NOAA’s Hydrometeorological Prediction Center. EXTENDED FORECAST DISCUSSION
NWS HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL PREDICTION CENTER COLLEGE PARK MD
329 PM EDT TUE OCT 23 2012

VALID 12Z FRI OCT 26 2012 – 12Z TUE OCT 30 2012

…POTENTIAL FOR MAJOR STORM OVER THE MID ATLANTIC & NORTHEAST
EARLY NEXT WEEK…

PRELIMINARY UPDATE…

UPDATED THE PRELIMINARY FRONTS AND PRESSURES FOR DAYS 3 THROUGH 7
USING THE 00Z/23 EUROPEAN CENTRE ENSEMBLE MEAN, WITH A SMALL
INCORPORATION OF THE 00Z/23 EUROPEAN CENTRE DETERMINISTIC MODEL TO
LEND MORE DEFINITION TO THE SYNOPTIC GRADIENTS ACROSS THE NATION.
USED THE MOST RECENT FORECAST FROM THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER
FOR THE TRACK OF TROPICAL STORM SANDY THROUGH DAY 5, WITH A CURVE
TO THE NORTHWEST DAYS 6 AND 7 BASED ON THE ECENS MEAN. THE 00Z/23
GEM GLOBAL CONTINUES TO CLUSTER WITH THE ECMWF FOR THE BEHAVIOR OF
SANDY ONCE IT TRANSITIONS TO AN EXTRATROPICAL SYSTEM, INDICATING
THAT THE CYCLONE GETS PULLED BACK TOWARD THE SHARP UPPER TROUGH
CLOSING OVER THE OHIO VALLEY. THE ECMWF AND GEM GLOBAL HAVE
SEVERAL RUNS OF CONTINUITY NOW WITH THE EVOLUTION OF THIS EVENT,
WITH THE DETERMINISTIC GFS LESS STABLE. THERE HAVE BEEN GFS
ENSEMBLE MEMBERS QUITE SIMILAR TO THE ECMWF/GEM CAMP FOR THE LAST
FEW DAYS OF MODEL CYCLES, PUTTING THE DETERMINISTIC GFS SOLUTIONS
IN A BROADER FRAMEWORK WITH THEIR TRACK OF SANDY WELL OVER THE
OPEN ATLANTIC. WILL BE UPDATING THE TRACK OF SANDY THROUGH DAY 5
FOR THE FINAL PACKAGE WITH THE ADVENT OF THE NEW NATIONAL
HURRICANE CENTER FORECAST, AND ITS BEHAVIOR AS AN EXTRATROPICAL
LOW THEREAFTER AS PER OUR HOTLINE COORDINATION.

FINAL…

ELECTED TO STAY THE COURSE BY KEEPING THE MAJOR EAST COAST STORM
IN PLAY FOR THE FINAL FORECAST. THE 12Z/23 DETERMINISTIC GFS SENDS
SANDY’S CIRCULATION OUT PAST BERMUDA BY THE END OF THE PERIOD,
WHILE THE 12Z/23 GEFS MEAN INCORPORATES IT ALONG THE EAST COAST IN
LINE WITH THE HPC MANUAL FORECAST. THE 12Z/23 GEM GLOBAL KEEPS
SANDY OUT OF REACH OF THE DIGGING TROUGH OVER NORTH AMERICA,
THOUGH LIKE THE LATEST GFS, IT IS PERHAPS BEST TO REGARD SUCH A
DETERMINISTIC SOLUTION AS A SLIGHTLY SOUPED-UP ENSEMBLE MEMBER.
THE 12Z/23 ECMWF STILL INCORPORATES AN EXTREMELY DEEP
POST-TROPICAL SANDY INTO THE MID-LEVEL PIVOT POINT OF THE POLAR
JET IN THE VICINITY OF LONG ISLAND EARLY NEXT TUESDAY, THE DYNAMIC
TRANSFER RESULTING IN A MINIMUM PRESSURE OF AT LEAST 932MB.
THEREIN LIES THE STORM’S MENACE- A POWERHOUSE CAPABLE OF WHIPPING
THE ATLANTIC INTO A FRENZY AND CHURNING UP DANGEROUS TIDES. OF
PARTICULAR NOTE IS THE COINCIDENCE OF THE FULL MOON ON SUNDAY,
OFTEN A SIGNIFICANT FACTOR IN HISTORICAL EVENTS. THE OCEAN EFFECTS
OF THE SYSTEM MAY STILL BE REALIZED EVEN IF POST-TROPICAL SANDY
DOES NOT MAKE LANDFALL IN THE UNITED STATES. BESIDES THE WIND, THE
OTHER SENSIBLE WEATHER THREAT IS HEAVY RAINS, WITH HEAVY SNOWS
POSSIBLE ON THE SOUTHWEST SIDE OF THE HYBRID CIRCULATION WHERE
CONTINENTAL POLAR AIR RUSHES ACROSS THE CENTRAL APPALACHIANS.

HAVE PREFERRED THE EUROPEAN CENTRE GUIDANCE FOR HANDLING OF THE
MAIN BAND OF WESTERLIES FOR SEVERAL DAYS NOW, ITS SYNOPTIC NUANCES
BEST SERVING THE CENTRAL AND WESTERN UNITED STATES WHERE THE FLOW
OPENS UP IN THE WAKE OF THE AMPLIFICATION OF THE EASTERN TROUGH.

CISCO

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Posted under end of the world, tropical weather

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on October 23, 2012

2012′s driest stretch?

In January, we went nine days without seeing rain or snow in Rockford. So far, that holds the record for the most consecutive days without precipitation this year.

With today’s bright sunshine, we are up to 5 days (the largest streak of dry weather this month). While that doesn’t make our bar graph exciting, it could be in a few more days! (Something should be said that I believe it’s possible for a bar graph to be exciting, but I digress…) Our forecast remains void of any measurable precipitation for at least another 5 days in a row. That will make this streak the driest so far this year!

And it’s certainly possible that we go above 10 days without precipitation. The GFS and ECMWF model are both dry from today through October 5th! -Eric

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Posted under climate/climate change, drought, end of the world, record weather, statistics, weather geek

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on September 26, 2012

Cold!

Summer seems to have officially packed its bags and fall is setting up shop as we speak. We reached a high of 89° yesterday afternoon with ample amounts of sunshine. Today, the story couldn’t be more different! High temperatures today will sit in the upper 50s and low 60s under dense cloud cover and scattered showers. The temperarture change between this afternoon and yesterday afternoon is greater than 20° across the entire region, and overnight lows will drop back into the 40s tonight! -Greg

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Posted under cold blast, end of the world, rain

This post was written by GregBobos on September 13, 2012

Rockford’s first June 100 degree high since 1988!

Three official reporting stations hit the century mark in Northern Illinois and they all begin with Chicago! Chicago-O’Hare Int’l Airport, Chicago-Midway Int’l Airport, and Chicago-Rockford Int’l Airport. -ES #blamechicago

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Posted under end of the world, news, record weather, weather geek

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on June 28, 2012

Mayan mural contradicts 2012 doomsday myth

Breaking News from Guatemala today as National Geographic News reports a large Mayan mural has been found and it contradicts the myth concerning doomsday happening later this year!

According to the article, the excavation revealed walls with calculations that helped the Mayans track centuries of time. “Contrary to the idea the May

a predicted the end of the world in 2012, the markings suggest dates thousands of years beyond that.”

The paintings were originally discovered in 2010 by a team of archaeologists from Boston University. It took a year to excavate and clean off the glyphs in order to read them. One of the archaeologists is quoted as saying “The reason the room is so interesting is that this was a workspace. People were seated on this bench [painting books that have long since disintegrated].”

It is thought that the books that were painted had elaborate calculations to predict cities’ fortunes for centuries.

In 2010, I had the opportunity to tour a Mayan ruin near Tulum, Mexico. (The picture to the left was taken at one of the entrances to the city.) I was fascinated learning how smart the Mayan civilization was. They were likely the first, true Astronomers and Meteorologists. It’s really sad the history that brought the demise of their empire. The Spaniards came without warning and the Maya had no opportunity to fight back.
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Posted under end of the world, news

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on May 10, 2012