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.




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

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

Weekend Outlook

The Easter weekend is upon us and the weather will cooperate for most of it. CaptureTomorrow will be full of sunshine and highs into the 50s. Saturday we begin to cloud up but pump up the temperatures into the low 60s! Easter Sunday brings us middle 60s and the chance for a few scattered showers, though most of those should hold off until late in the day. If you have the umbrella on standby you should be good to go! Have a great weekend! – Greg


Posted under event, First Look, weather

This post was written by GregBobos on April 17, 2014

All in the Timing

It has been smooth sailing so far this week with highs in the 60s and plently of sunshine to go around. Aside from a few popcorn showers Monday and Tuesday, the week has been nearly picture perfect. That trend will continue as we head into the weekend, at least with respect to the comfy temps. Highs will continue to break the 60 degree mark straight through Saturday. However, we have a pretty decent shot as some scattered showers and possibly a boom of thunder during the first half of tomorrow. Capture

The big transition day comes this weekend. Our highs will try their best to make it into the upper 60s and approach 70 on Saturday, but an incoming cold front might keep us dreaming of a 70. It will be a race between the front and the temperatures. If the front wins and we begin to cloud up in the afternoon hours, the temperatures will lose and we will be capped to highs in the mid 60s. If the front holds off and we don’t see our first clouds and showers until closer to dark, 70 is looking pretty promising! – Greg


Posted under First Look, rain

This post was written by GregBobos on April 9, 2014

New and Improved!

You might have noticed a different 7Day Forecast if you caught 13 News Today or 13News at Noon. We are graciously retiring the old 7Day in favor of a brand new and much easier to understand 7Day. Gone are the little suns and clouds, and in come views out your window on a given day. If you see raindrops on the window, then there is a good bet that you’ll see some on YOUR window at some point in the day (but again pay attention to the percentrages!). More raindrops means heavier rainfall is possible. You don’t have to guess what it will look like outside anymore! Graphics will represent what you are most likely to see during the afternoon of any given day. You won’t find a 7Day forecast like this on any other station in Rockford, or in the country at that matter. The 13 Weather Authority built this from scratch to give you, the best viewers Rockford has to offer, the most accurate forecast. – Greg 1


Posted under First Look

This post was written by GregBobos on April 2, 2014

Signs of Spring

RAINToday we will make it up to around 40 degrees, which is considerably warmer than yesterday, but still not even close to where we should be this time of the year (mid 50s). The good news is that in the next 7 days we have a few signs of spring ahead. Warmer temperatures and spring showers will both impact the Stateline. We only have two days in the next 7 that have a shot at being above average, and those will fall on Sunday and Monday when we could be up near 60 degrees. Our chances for showers and even an isolated thunderstorm or two will be tonight into tomorrow and as we head into next week on Monday. Tonight, we can expect scattered showers to settle in and don’t be caught off guard if you hear a brief rumble of thunder or two. Tomorrow, you won’t want to leave home without the umbrella because scattered showers and heavy rail will persist on and off throughout the day. – Greg


Posted under First Look, rain

This post was written by GregBobos on March 26, 2014

Back & Forth

We got a little taste of spring early this week, but winter has reared its ugly head once again. Fortunately, we are settling into a pattern where the two seasons will start to battle it out with each one winning a few days at a time. Tonight will easily be the coldest night in the forecast. Our low temperatures will drop down to 9° with wind chill close to zero as you’re waking up tomorrow. A slow rebound begins tomorrow with highs in the mid 30s. CaptureFriday we set out for the low 50s once again, only to cool back into the 40s and 30s for the weekend. Next week will follow in suit with a gradual warm up to the low 50s by Tuesday. – Greg2


Posted under First Look

This post was written by GregBobos on March 12, 2014

Wintry Mess on Monday

Sunday will be an uneventful day….the calm before the storm, so to speak.  Our attention is focused on Monday, when a wintry mess will push through the Midwest.  The next system to impact the Stateline will arrive in the continental United States late Sunday. It will be knocking on our door very early Monday morning.

Model trends continue to track an area of low pressure through southern Iowa, central Illinois, and central Indiana.  This track would result in mainly snow for our local area.  At the onset, this system will have to overcome dry air in our atmosphere.  As moisture from the system evaporates in our atmosphere, the air will cool until precipitation forms and falls to the ground.  As a result, a wintry mix of snow, sleet, rain, and freezing rain will be possible very early Monday morning.  Ice accumulations will be minor, if any.



As the morning quickly progresses and our atmosphere continues to cool, a change over to all snow is expected in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.  Far southern Whiteside, Lee, and DeKalb County may hang on to a wintry mix through late morning.  Temperatures will top out around 30 degrees in Rockford, upper 20s in southern Wisconsin, and lower 30s along the I-88 corridor.

There are still a few “what-if’s” with this system, including speed and exact track.  A change in the path of this system of 40 or 50 miles will change our snowfall potential.  As far as the timing goes, it appears that the bulk of this system will occur during the daylight hours of Monday.  By late afternoon, it should be on its way out. Our first look at potential snowfall shows several inches.  The highest totals will fall about 200 miles north of the center of low pressure; it appears central Wisconsin may bear the brunt of the heaviest snow (perhaps 6 inches or more). Again, should the track of the low change, snowfall totals will change.

First Look: Saturday Night Model Run

First Look: Saturday Night Model Run

We will keep you up to date as new information becomes available! What could potentially be the highest or second-highest one-day snowfall event of the winter will be followed by melting snow and above average temperatures by the middle of next week. That could be our silver lining!



Posted under First Look, snow, weather, winter weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on February 15, 2014

Looking Back & Ahead

January 2014 ended up with just over 15 inches of snow in Rockford. With 19 days of measurable snowfall, the piles kept adding up little by little. Even though there was no particular day with a record-breaking amount of snow, the month did enter the record books as the 14th snowiest January in history.  Snowfall was 5.1 inches more than normal.

January Re-Cap

January Re-Cap

As far as temperatures go, January 2014 will go down as the 8th coldest January in history. Our average high was 22 degrees and average low was 2 degrees, including 14 days with below zero temperatures!

Looking ahead to February, our temperature averages climb, as one would expect.  Our “normal” high on February 1st is 31 degrees, rising to 40 degrees by February 28th.  The temperature outlook, however, looks to be colder than normal.

February Outlook

February Outlook

Normal snowfall for February is just 7.7 inches.  With 2.5 inches already observed for the month (on February 1st) and several more inches possible Tuesday, we are on track to exceed our February normal snowfall.

The stats sure speak for themselves! It has been a cold and snowy winter…..with no immediate sign of change.



Posted under 13 Climate Authority, First Look, record weather, snow, statistics, weather, winter weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on February 1, 2014

10 Things You Could Have Done During The Streak Below Zero

We have now gone over 30 hours without seeing a our temperature at or above zero. This isn’t our longest streak for the winter which is at 40 hours set earlier this month, but it is still pretty impressive. If you’re like me, the colder it gets, the less motivated you are to do anything productive. Aside from work, I have closed up shop the past day and a half and gone into hibernation. Here is a look at 10 things we all techincally could have accomplished in the 30 hours we have been below zero. Granted, you’d have to really book it to get a few done, but let’s daydream shall we?10

In 30 hours you could…

1)   Take up a new craft: a recreational pilot’s license can typically be aquired in 30 hours.

2)   If you don’t want to learn how to fly, you could hop on a plane to China, have an authentic Chinese dinner, fly back and still have some time to spare.

3)   Though the weather isn’t ideal… or even remotely near safe, we technically could play 7 straight rounds of of golf (with a beverage and hot dog at each turn).

4)   Feeling really ambitious? 30 hours is long enough to complete an entire semester of one college course.. without the homework, stress and the extracurricular parties.. I mean activities!

5)   Are you a nerd? I am! Shocker right? This would be my pick.. In 20 hours you could watch all six Star Wars films beginning to end. TWICE. May the Force (and many bathroom breaks) be with you.

6)   Want to get a little exercise in with your 30 hours? Take a walk. You would make it all the way to Chicago before you ran out of time.

7)   Don’t want to exercise? Then indulge your sweet tooth. You could bake roughly 180 batches of chocolate chip cookies, and become my new best friend.

8)   You could make $86,000 in 30 hours, if you’re Alex Rodriguez. Wait.. he might not be either! Poor Alex.. but it makes me feel slightly warmer knowing that I’m not missing out!

9)   All you music junkies out there could listen to 600 songs at roughly 3 minutes a piece, or In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida 100 times on a continuous loop.. if you dare.

10)   If I scratch my Star Wars DVDs this is option two. You could drive from Rockford to either Chicago airport, hop on a plane and fly to Orlando. When you arrive, you could drive to Disney World, ride every single attraction in all 4 parks, lay out at the pool for 6 hours to acquire a nice tan (burn), drive back to the Orlando airport and fly home. Though you better be the Mouse’s best friend or good luck with that 3 hour Space Mountain queue line.

So next time we encounter another deep freeze or stretch of bad weather, let’s not be so pessimistic, there is always something to do with our time.

-Greg Bobos


Posted under First Look, humor

This post was written by GregBobos on January 28, 2014

Winter is Here

Good news, cold weather fans!  Meteorological winter has arrived!  The time frame of meteorological winter is different from astrological winter.  Meteorologists classify the three calendar months with the coldest average temperatures as winter.  Therefore, the entire months of December, January, and February (December 1 through February 28) are considered to be meteorological winter. For statistical and climatological purposes, this makes sense.


Astrological winter—which is what most people follow—arrives on the winter solstice.  This year, astrological winter begins on December 21 at 11:11am CST.

What can we expect during the winter months?

December’s average high temperature slides from the upper 30s to near 30 by the end of the month. On average, 11.3 inches of snow falls throughout the month.


January is our coldest month of the year. Average highs are in the upper 20s. Average snowfall is 10.2 inches.


February’s average high is around 30 degrees at the start of the month and rises to 40 degrees by the end of the month.  Average February snowfall is 7.7 inches.


So on average, about 30 inches of snow falls during meteorological winter with a seasonal average high temperature around 32 degrees.

Of course, these are just statistical averages.  We all know high temperatures can and will be in the single digits on a few days; other days will bring temperatures that are well above average. Below zero temperatures are not uncommon either. Snow storms can often bring a month’s worth of snow in just one or two days time.

No need to panic, though.  Significant snow accumulations are not in the short-term forecast. Although next weekend will be downright chilly!



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

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on December 1, 2013