Line of Storms on the Way

A Tornado Watch is in effect for Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago County in northern Illinois until 7pm Monday. A Tornado Watch is also in effect for Green and Rock County in Wisconsin until 7pm.

Exactrack HD Doppler Radar: 3:30pm

Exactrack HD Doppler Radar: 3:30pm

A fast moving line of thunderstorms will barrel out of eastern Iowa for the late afternoon and in the the evening hours. The main threats with this line are strong, damaging wind gusts over 70mph, some hail, dangerous cloud-to-ground lightning, and very heavy rain. This line of storms is expected to reach the Rockford area just in time for the evening commute. Storms will likely exit the eastern half of our area just before sunset. Please keep an eye to the sky!

Be prepared to seek shelter as these thunderstorms are fast approaching. There is the possibility of some rotation in this line of storms….something that will have to be closely watched.  Flash flooding is also a concern with the potential for a couple of inches of rainfall. Keep it tuned to the 13 Weather Authority for the latest information!

-Joe

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Posted under flooding, safety, severe weather, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on June 30, 2014

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 Joe Astolfi 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 Joe Astolfi on April 13, 2014

There are 525,948 minutes in a year. How many are spent in a weather warning?

Most of the United States is relatively safe when it comes to severe weather. Of course, we think of Oklahoma and Texas as being prime spots for tornadoes. But a new map shows us the average amount of time spent in a weather warning per county. Daryl Herzmann of Iowa State University released some great maps this week. Take a look!

First, here is the average time spent in a Severe Thunderstorm Warning.
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Of course, the higher likelihood for severe thunderstorms lies in the Tornado Alley state of Oklahoma. But notice the maximum over Eastern Tennessee and even Northern Ohio. It may be a little difficult to see the actual location of states because the dark black lines in this map represent the borders of the National Weather Service offices. Here in Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin, we are serviced by three different offices, Milwaukee-Sullivan, Quad Cities-Davenport, and Chicago-Romeoville.

Next up, the map showing the average minutes of the year spent in a Tornado Warning:

tor

A few things on this map stand out. First, the larger counties within a tornado-prone zone have a higher chance of being within a warning polygon. Of note is the number of minutes in McLean Co., IL (Bloomington-Normal) which is the largest county in Illinois in bright red compared to Putnam Co., IL (North of Peoria) which is blue.

Daryl went further and took square kilometers into account with the following map. This one is telling! It shows the highest likelihood of a Tornado Warning (not necessarily a full-fledged, on-the-ground tornado) to be in Mississippi.
tor2

So, while we may think of Tornado Alley being Texas and Oklahoma, the higher threat of tornadoes may reside in the Deep South…at least looking at the data over the past 20 years.

Finally, for your viewing pleasure? The map for Flash Flood Warnings per county. It’s easy to see the highest probabilities for flash flooding in the past 20 years are in Southern Missouri and in the Desert Southwest.

ffw

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Posted under flooding, severe weather, tornado, weather

This post was written by qni_it on April 10, 2014

Flooding Concerns

Even though we’ve got chilly temperatures for the next day or so, minor flooding will cause a few headaches this week. As the ground thawed out and much of our snowpack melted off last week, area creeks and rivers have been on the rise. Luckily, we’ve had a slow thaw and very little rain to agitate our waterways. Nonetheless, creeks and rivers have filled their banks in many spots, even flowing over their banks in others.

Washed out road in Ogle County

Washed out road in Ogle County

As the ice continues to break up, ice jam flooding will be a concern. Ice jam flooding can last a short amount of time or several hours and often comes with very short notice.

Ice jam along the Rock River

Ice jam along the Rock River

Flood warnings and advisories are posted for the Rock River in Ogle, Lee & Whiteside County. Minor flooding is also occurring along the Pecatonica River in Winnebago & Stephenson County. Smaller rivers and creeks have also been affected, including Turtle Creek near Beloit, Yellow Creek near Pearl City and Killbuck Creek near Lindenwood.

Minor flooding is forecast

Minor flooding is forecast

The National Weather Service offers river gauge and water level data for waterways throughout our region. Click on these links to monitor your local creeks and rivers:

With more melting expected for this upcoming week, minor flooding may continue. -Joe

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Posted under flooding, ice, safety, weather

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

March Melt

It happens every March. Temperatures warm up, the sun angle is high, and snow begins to melt. With a snowpack that has been in place for over 90 days, it will take a while for all of it to melt.

Although a major warm-up is not in our immediate future, this week’s high temperatures will be much closer to average than the first week of March. Our average high temperature during the second week of March is in the middle 40s.

Forecast High Temps vs. Average High Temps

Forecast High Temps vs. Average High Temps

In the 7-Day Forecast, we’ve got plenty of temperature ups and downs. A couple of the days will likely touch 50 degrees!

When was the last time we saw 50 degrees? This happened over three months ago on December 4, 2013. Even more impressive is the fact that our high temperature has only cracked the 40 degree mark five times in 2014!

With rapid snowmelt comes the threat for flooding. Thankfully, we won’t see a rapid snowmelt. But even with a gradual melt, we still have to monitor the potential for ice jam flooding on area rivers.

-Joe

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, flooding, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on March 9, 2014

Midwest Mix-Up

TIMINGTonight into tomorrow is going to be an interesting time across the Stateline. Within an 18 hour time frame we could be dealing with the following: snow, rain, freezing rain, thunderstorms, strong wind, dense fog and flooding. Here is a look at the most likely scenario heading into tonight. It is important to note that temperatures will be within a degree or two on either side of 32°, so any slight shift in this system could drastically impact the time frame and amounts of each precip type.

Late tonight a strong area of low pressure will begin to track into our area with temperatures a few degrees shy of 32°. The initial precip will likely be mixed with snow, freezing rain and rain. The best chance for snow and freezing rain will be in far Northern Illinois near the Wisconsin border, and Southern Wisconsin. A few inches of snowfall accumulation early tomorrow morning is in the cards, but any new accumulation will quickly melt heading into the afternoon.

Mid-morning brings us a transition to mainly rain, some of which could be heavy at times, with a few embedded thunderstorms not out of the question. During the time frame of late morning into early afternoon we could see a brief lull in activity with a resurgence of rain for the rest of the afternoon, again with thunderstorm potential. Throughout this process, temperatures will climb well above freezing into the low 40s. Dense fog and localized flooding in low areas due to snow melt is likely.

The evening hours will kick up the wind as the back side of the system slides in and brings with it a shot of colder air and the potential for a few additional inches of snowfall.

Again, I stress that the smallest shift in storm track could greatly increase or decrease snowfall potential and accumulation especially heading into tomorrow morning. Stay tuned for more updates! – Greg

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Posted under flooding, fog, rain, snow, Wind, winter storm, winter weather

This post was written by GregBobos on February 19, 2014

Destination: Warmer Weather

I wish there was a way for the weather to be instantaneously warm. But that’s not going to be the case. We are forecasting much warmer temperatures by the end of February. But there are several bumps in the road, just in the next week!

rough1Here’s a look at the snow events in the next five days. On Wednesday, we’ll see about an inch of snowfall. It’s not going to be that big of a deal, so long as you drive slow and allow extra time. Most of this will fall in the early afternoon hours.

More snow flurries are in the forecast for Thursday, but little/no accumulation is expected. A bigger snow system is possible for Saturday as the models show a vigorous Alberta Clipper moving in from the northwest. We’ll continue to watch this in the next few days. Right now, it looks like a 3-6 inch snow…but a lot depends on the eventual track. Models will resolve their differences in the next 24-48 hours.

 

 

2Next bump on “Warming Trend Road” is a quick shot of cold air coming in Friday. While it won’t be extreme cold…or nearly the scope of the cold that brought us down to -21° today, it will pause our warming trend. There are some indications we’ll be in the teens for highs, however will stick with the 20s due to stronger sunshine and a warmer start-up temperature Friday morning. Friday night will be mighty chilly if you’re planning a night on the town. We’ll dip to around 0° with high pressure overhead.

 

3

We could be warm enough for some rain to mix into our next system Monday. But with temperatures at the surface at or below freezing, there could be some ice accumulation. It’s way out there, but we’ll have to watch closely as our ground is still frozen solid, there’s quite a bit of snow on the ground, and rain could cause short-term flooding. Unfortunately, flooding will become a significant concern in the next few weeks.

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Posted under flooding

This post was written by qni_it on February 11, 2014

Weather Pattern Flip Flop

de3epfreezeThe cold weather pattern that began well before Christmas is showing signs of easing up. While temperatures will dip to -16° Tuesday morning, it looks like we’ll have a remarkable warming trend after that.

The maps to the left show the overall change in jet stream pattern in the next two weeks. Instead of a northwest-southeast orientation of the jet, we’ll have a southwest-northeast orientation. This will bring much milder temps to the Upper Midwest. 30s and 40s are likely for much of next week.

However, don’t pray TOO hard for warmth. Think of the fact we have snow on top of a very frozen ground. If we don’t gradually melt off the snow, we will see serious flooding beginning in a few weeks. So, let’s hope this thaw happens over a longer period of time so we don’t see extreme flooding.

But if you don’t have flood insurance and you live in a flood plain, you might want to think about getting it so you’re covered before the water rises! Of course, we’ll keep you updated on flooding potential in the next few weeks. -Eric

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Posted under flooding, snow

This post was written by qni_it on February 10, 2014

Wintry cocktail coming on Friday

CHALLENGES

We’ve got a few challenges to deal with on Friday. But in the whole realm of everything we’ve seen this winter, this is an easy one to live with. In the morning, we’ll have a few hours of very light freezing drizzle. Just a little can cause problems so be careful especially on the first few steps in your sidewalk.

As temperatures rise into the middle 30s by mid-morning, we’ll see all rain. It looks like we’ll get about a half inch of rain with some higher amounts east and south of Rockford. This will cause some roads to flood, especially where the rainwater has nowhere to go. So watch out, especially in the right lanes.

In addition, we’ll be keeping our eyes on the river levels. In the next few days, we could have some significant fluxuations due to ice jam flooding. Be careful if you live near or work around any of our rivers! -Eric temptracker

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Posted under flooding

This post was written by qni_it on January 9, 2014