Project: Tornado…The Final Days

The end is near, but the reason has only just begun!
Severe weather season is in full swing, and the 13 Weather Authority has been making sure Stateline students know how to handle it by continuing Project: Tornado.

Within the last three weeks, we have traveled to 19 schools across Northern Illinois educating elementary students on how thunderstorms form and how to stay safe during a tornado. As of today, roughly 2,651 students are prepared for severe weather, and we’re still not done!
Next week, we finish off our final week of Project: Tornado, as we head to Spring Creek Elementary, Rolling Green, Barbour Language Academy, Swan Hillman and St. Mary’s School to educate another 1,200 students. This means almost 4,000 Stateline students will know exactly what to do when severe weather strikes.

Each student receives a Project: Tornado booklet, filled with pictures, games, and important information to help them understand thunderstorm processes, tornadoes, safety, and local historic tornadoes.
Here’s a sneak peek:

PT1 PT2 PT3

 

 

 

 

 

 

PT4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Severe weather ready’ students are from Conklin Elementary, Perry Elementary, Pecatonica Elementary, Keith Country Day, Jefferson Elementary, Immanuel Lutheran School, Ellis Arts Academy, Lincoln-Douglas Elementary, Rockford Lutheran Academy, Thurgood Marshall School, Ralston Elementary, C. Henry Bloom, Holy Family Catholic School, West View Elementary, Shirland School, Highland Grade School, Loves Park Elementary, Lewis Lemon Elementary, and Nashold Elementary.

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Posted under event, Exactrack|HD, history, Project: Tornado, safety, science, severe weather, tornado, weather, weather geek, Wind

This post was written by Morgan Kolkmeyer on May 15, 2015

Heavy Rainfall

A nearly stationary frontal boundary is to blame for the heavy rain and flash flooding that affected a large swath of real estate in northern Illinois. Showers and thunderstorms developed along the front Wednesday evening through Thursday morning. Thunderstorm activity sustained itself over the same area for almost 12 hours!

The result was extremely heavy rain, some hail, and plenty of flooding. The hardest hit areas included much of western and southern Lee County, northern Ogle County, far eastern Whiteside County, Carroll County, and western Jo Daviess County. Creeks and streams have filled up and there is a lot of standing water in area farm fields.

Radar-estimated Rainfall

Radar-estimated Rainfall

Isolated pockets of 4 to 6 inches of rain fell along the Route 72 corridor from near Lanark east to Monroe Center, including Shannon, Forreston, Byron, Stillman Valley and Davis Junction. The Dixon, Sterling and Rock Falls area picked up similar rainfall amounts. Southern Lee County—south of Amboy and Sublette—had radar-estimated rainfall totals greater than 8 inches!

More on the Way?!

More on the Way?!

Looking ahead to Thursday evening and overnight, more heavy rain is an unfortunate possibility across our region. Another couple of inches is not out of the question where heavier thunderstorms persist. -Joe

Similar Set-Up for Tonight

Similar Set-Up for Tonight

Local Rainfall Reports over 2 Inches

(observations are recorded by volunteers and submitted to the National Weather Service)

  • Lanark 5.79″
  • Dixon – 5.14″
  • Rock Falls – 5.01″
  • Dixon – 4.97″
  • Mount Carroll – 4.63″
  • Amboy – 3.72″
  • Mount Carroll – 3.07″
  • Galena Territory – 3.04″
  • Sterling – 3.02″
  • DeKalb – 2.70″
  • Amboy – 2.58″
  • Elburn – 2.55″
  • Galena – 2.48″
  • Byron – 2.46″
  • Davis Junction 2.23″
  • Ashton – 2.18″
  • DeKalb – 2.10″
  • Malta – 2.08″
  • Sugar Grove – 2.06″
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Posted under Exactrack|HD, flooding, FutureTrack, rain, weather

This post was written by qni_it on June 19, 2014

Flood Watch

Flood Watch is in effect for northwestern Illinois and southern Wisconsin through Monday morning. Our local Illinois counties under this watch include Carroll, Jo Daviess, Stephenson and Whiteside. Our local Wisconsin counties under a Flood Watch include Green, Rock and Walworth.

Flood Watch

Flood Watch

Additionally, a Flood Watch is in effect for the Kishwaukee River in southern Winnebago County for possible rising water early this week. Periods of rain with embedded thunder will continue through Sunday afternoon, evening and overnight. Rain will be heavy at times, especially in the evening and nighttime hours.

Weekend Rainfall through 3pm Sunday

Weekend Rainfall through 3pm Sunday

Local rainfall totals from Saturday through early Sunday afternoon have varied across the area, with Rockford picking up about half an inch. Parts of Jo Daviess County and much of southern Wisconsin have seen their rain gauges add up to nearly an inch.

Additional Rainfall Potential through Monday Morning

Additional Rainfall Potential through Monday Morning

Additional rainfall of one to two inches is possible overnight through early Monday morning.

-Joe

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Posted under Exactrack|HD, flooding, FutureTrack, rain, weather

This post was written by qni_it on April 13, 2014

Severe Thunderstorm Watch

3:00am Update: A small line of storms will quickly move east out of McHenry County. The severe thunderstorm threat is over.

2:30am Update: Severe Thunderstorm Warning is in effect for Winnebago (east of IL-251), Boone, and northwest McHenry County until 3:15am. Wind gusts to 60mph, quarter-size hail, frequent lightning, heavy rain all likely with this storm. Far east Rockford, Roscoe, Cherry Valley, Belvidere, Poplar Grove, Caledonia, Timberlane, Candlewick Lake, Capron, Chemung, Harvard, Hebron all in line for this warning.

Severe T'Storm Warning until 3:15am

Severe T’Storm Warning until 3:15am

2:00am Update: Gusty wind—up to 50mph—will be possible across Lee, Ogle & Winnebago County ahead of the line of storms. The storms in Stephenson, northern Ogle and Winnebago County will contain some hail and frequent lightning.

Gusty Wind Ahead of the T'Storms

Gusty Wind Ahead of the T’Storms

1:40am Update: Severe Thunderstorm Warning is in effect for western Whiteside County and southwestern Carroll County until 2:15am. Gusts to 60mph, hail, and frequent lightning all possible with this storm. This storm will reach the Morrison and Prophetstown area around 2am.

Severe T'Storm Warning until 2:15am

Severe T’Storm Warning until 2:15am

Origional Post: Severe Thunderstorm Watch is in effect for most of the area until 5am Sunday morning. Clusters of showers and thunderstorms over Iowa have developed into a line of thunderstorms. This line will continue to move east across Iowa and take aim at the Stateline area overnight. An approximate time frame is between midnight and 4am.

Severe T'Storm Watch until 5am

Severe T’Storm Watch until 5am

The main threats overnight will be strong gusty wind, damaging hail, frequent lightning, and heavy downpours. The threat for tornadic activity is extremely low.

11pm Exactrack HD Radar

11pm Exactrack HD Radar

I will update the blog and social media as needed throughout the night.

-Joe

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Posted under Exactrack|HD, severe weather, weather

This post was written by qni_it on April 12, 2014

More T’Storm Development

After a day that brought ground-covering hail and temperatures near 80 to far northern Illinois, the threat for more thunderstorms is in the forecast. Scattered showers were beginning to develop in Iowa late this afternoon. It is expected that these showers further develop into thunderstorms as the afternoon and evening wears on.

waiting

Our chance for thunderstorms increases especially after sunset, as development in Iowa pushes east. A broken line of thunderstorms could produce very gusty wind and large, damaging hail. Frequent lightning and heavy rain will be likely under any thunderstorm.

threatty

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is in effect for far northwest Illinois and south central Wisconsin until 10pm tonight.

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Keep it tuned to the weather blog, Facebook, Twitter, WREX.com, and 13 News Weekend for the latest updates.

-Joe

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Posted under Exactrack|HD, severe weather, Threatrack, weather

This post was written by qni_it on April 12, 2014

Keeps Adding Up

A quick-moving Alberta Clipper system pushed through the area during the predawn hours of Sunday.  Between midnight and 6am, Rockford’s official climate site at Chicago Rockford International Airport observed 2.5 inches of snow.  A handful of reports from weather observers across the area fell within the 2 to 4 inch range with this latest round of snowfall.

Local Snowfall Totals as of 8am Sunday

Local Snowfall Totals as of 8am Sunday

So far for the month of January, Rockford has received 14.3 inches of snow, which is 5.7 inches more than normal.  Rockford’s seasonal total is up to 33.0 inches.  We are now 11.3 inches—almost one foot—snowier than normal through January 26th! Meteorological winter (December, January, February) averages 29.2 inches for the entire season….and we’ve already surpassed that!

A few light snow showers are possible for the rest of Sunday, especially when the cold front pushes through during the late afternoon and early evening hours.  Minor additional accumulations are possible.

Sunday Night through Monday Morning

Sunday Night through Monday Morning

The main concern will be blowing and drifting snow late Sunday, Sunday night, and Monday morning.  A light south wind will become west-northwesterly late Sunday morning as wind speeds gradually increase to 10-20mph.  By this evening, wind speeds will increase to 20-30mph with gusts to 40mph.  Near-blizzard and whiteout conditions will cause treacherous travel overnight, especially on north-south roads in open areas.

-Joe

EDIT: Additional / New Snowfall Reports

  • Loran – 4.0″
  • Whitewater – 4.0″
  • Lake Geneva – 3.4″
  • Freeport (Willow Lake) – 3.0″
  • Rockton – 3.0″
  • Janesville – 2.9″
  • Spring Grove – 2.9″
  • Dixon – 2.8″
  • Genoa – 2.8″
  • Rockford (Northeast) – 2.8″
  • Byron – 2.7″
  • Mendota – 2.5″
  • Morrison – 2.5″
  • Rockford (Northwest) – 2.5″
  • Rock Falls – 2.4″
  • Roscoe – 2.4″
  • DeKalb – 2.2″
  • Polo – 2.2″
  • Ashton – 2.0″
  • Paw Paw – 2.0″
  • Shannon – 2.0″
  • Malta – 1.9″
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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, Exactrack|HD, snow, statistics, travel, weather, Wind, winter weather

This post was written by qni_it on January 26, 2014

Thunderstorm Update

4:00pm UPDATE:  Showers and thunderstorms have diminished in coverage locally, with severe weather affecting suburban Chicago.  It appears that the threat for any strong thunderstorms has moved out of the Stateline area.

4PM ExacTrack Radar

4PM ExacTrack Radar

(2:24 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS MKX: Como [Walworth Co, WI] trained spotter reports HEAVY RAIN of M1.02 INCH at 02:15 PM CDT — 1.02 inches of rain in 1/2 hour ending at 215 pm.

(1:57 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: N Capron [Boone Co, IL] public reports HAIL of penny size (M0.75 INCH) at 01:37 PM CDT — relayed via media.

(1:56 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: Harvard [Mchenry Co, IL] public reports HAIL of penny size (M0.75 INCH) at 01:35 PM CDT — relayed via media.

(1:54 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: N Capron [Boone Co, IL] cocorahs reports TSTM WND GST of E50 MPH at 01:40 PM CDT — winds estimated around 50 mph and heavy rain.

1:45pm UPDATE: Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Walworth County in Wisconsin until 2:30pm. Moderate-to-large hail (up to half-dollar size) is the main concern, with heavy rain and gusty wind likely as well.

ORIGINAL POST: Saturday morning’s extensive cloud cover, which limited the heating and energy from the sun—one of the components for stronger thunderstorms—has helped to lower our already small severe weather threat.

Minimal-to-Low Severe Risk

Minimal-to-Low Severe Risk

With the cold front pushing its way across the Mississippi River accompanied by light showers, the best chance for strong-to-severe weather appears to be focused east of Interstate 39.  This is great news, considering this system produced tornadoes in Iowa on Friday.  I’ve lowered our Threatrack to Level 1 west of I-39 and kept it at Level 2 east of I-39, where a few storms from central Illinois could brush our eastern coverage area.

1:30pm ExacTrack Radar

1:30pm ExacTrack Radar

Until the cold front passes, pop-up showers and thunderstorms will contain heavy downpours with potentially small hail.  An isolated stronger storm may also contain gusty wind.  By dinnertime, the front should be east of our area.  Keep it tuned to the weather blog for more updates as necessary.

 

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Posted under Exactrack|HD, severe weather, Threatrack, weather

This post was written by qni_it on October 5, 2013

Moist Air vs. Dry Air

An area of high pressure over southeastern Wisconsin—providing partly cloudy and dry conditions across the Stateline Saturday night—will drift east into lower Michigan on Sunday.  This will set the stage for a battle of dry air versus moist air on Sunday.  A warm front lifting north through Iowa will allow for scattered showers and a few thunderstorms to develop across parts of the Great Plains Saturday night. 

 

The Setup

The Setup

As the showery and thundery weather pushes east overnight, it will encounter our dry air which will erode much of the moisture from the atmosphere.  However, a few leftover showers are possible on Sunday, with the best chance in far northwestern Illinois and southwestern Wisconsin.  A mostly cloudy sky will take us through the day; however, the majority of the cloudiness will be along and north of the Stateline.  A partly cloudy sky is likely at times, especially for our southern counties.  Highs will climb into the upper 70s; low 80s are likely with more sunshine along the Interstate 88 corridor.

FutureTrack 9pm Sunday

FutureTrack 9pm Sunday

FutureTrack 5am Monday

FutureTrack 5am Monday

 As this system moves east, scattered showers and thunderstorms are a good bet Sunday night through early Monday morning.  Rainfall totals will be the highest along and north of the Illinois-Wisconsin border.

-Joe

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Posted under Exactrack|HD, weather

This post was written by qni_it on August 10, 2013

June Deluge

Incredible rains since June 21st, spanning less than one week’s time, have inundated Rockford and the Stateline region.  At Chicago Rockford International Airport, 5.59 inches of rain has fallen since that date.  Rainfall totals were locally higher in some backyards across the metro area.

With just a few days left (and a few more chances of rain left), June 2013 can already claim the 13th wettest June on record in Rockford!  As of this blog post, 6.89 inches of rain were observed during June 2013 in the Forest City.  Records began in Rockford in 1906.

June is statistically the wettest month and on average sees 4.65 inches of rain.  Last year was a different story.  June 2012 was the 3rd driest on record in Rockford, with a measly 0.66 inches of rain.

-Joe

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, Exactrack|HD, rain, record weather, statistics, weather

This post was written by qni_it on June 26, 2013

Scattered Storms Tonight

Thanks to Saturday morning’s showers and considerable cloudiness, a stable atmosphere was in place over northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin for much of the afternoon.  As a cool front pushes toward the area, though, thunderstorms will develop ahead of this boundary for the evening and nighttime hours.  The thunderstorms will be scattered in nature.

 

Looking at the latest trends, the best threat for any severe weather appears to stay just south of our area.  However, we may see a stronger thunderstorm or two across some of our thirteen counties.  The stronger storms will contain heavy rain, small hail, frequent lightning, and brief gusty wind.

The scattered thunderstorm activity will wind down after midnight, allowing for some breaks in the cloud cover.  Patchy fog may develop toward dawn.  It looks like we’ll sneak out a dry day on Sunday, with much of the stormy activity confined to central Illinois and points south.  We can’t rule out a widely-isolated thunderstorm, especially south of Interstate 88.

-Joe

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Posted under Exactrack|HD, rain, severe weather, Threatrack, weather

This post was written by qni_it on June 15, 2013