Wintry mix hits Stateline tomorrow

March 2, 2015: A complex winter storm will hit the Stateline very early Tuesday morning and provide a variety of precipitation, making roads slippery during the morning commute.  A Winter Weather Advisory will be in effect, highlighting when the icy precipitation will occur (3 AM to noon Tuesday).

Tuesday's Winter Weather Advisory

Tuesday’s Winter Weather Advisory

A warm front will help generate the precipitation, and as the air becomes increasingly warmer with the new air mass pushing in, the precipitation type will change throughout the day.

futuretrack 2

Futuretrack for early Tuesday morning

Basically, the further south you go, the more warm air will be available above the ground to generate sleet and freezing rain.

precipitation

Precipitation will change from snow to freezing rain the farther south you go tomorrow, as you are getting closer to the warm front.

As a result, the snow forecast drops off from north to south. North of I-88 will see the most snow, while south of I-80 will see the most freezing rain and sleet. In between is where the most mixing of precipitation types will occur.

snow forecast

Precipitation changes from snow to freezing rain the father south you go, resulting in less snow but more ice.

Regardless of what’s falling tomorrow, allow extra time to get to your destination.  That means you can drive slower, increasing stopping time and distance between vehicles and avoiding any issues on the slick roads. This may mean leaving home earlier than usual or arriving to work or school later than usual, so plan accordingly.

Allow extra time to reach your destination.

Allow extra time to reach your destination.

By Tuesday afternoon, most of the frozen precipitation will be over, with rain either mixing in or completely taking over. Watch out for icy and slushy spots, but conditions should improve through the afternoon.

-Alex

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Posted under ice, snow, weather, winter storm, winter weather

This post was written by Alex Kirchner on March 2, 2015

Disappearing Snow

February 11, 2015: Last Friday, the official snow depth for Rockford (measured at the Rockford airport) was measured at 12″.  Heading into today, the depth is down to half that value.

The temperature and snow depth trend from February 6th to the 10th.

The temperature and snow depth trend from February 6th to the 10th.

The above freezing temperatures over the weekend went a long way to melt off some of the snow. That is the primary reason for losing plenty of snow pack. The difference between this weekend’s melting and ones previous this winter is the added influence of a higher sun angle and the increase in daylight.  This is why we were able to melt 6″  of snow in roughly 3 days rather than taking more time than that.

Changing the sun's angle to the ground changes the intensity of the sun's energy on the ground.

Changing the sun’s angle to the ground changes the intensity of the sun’s energy on the ground.

In the heart of the winter, the sun is low on the horizon, so the sun’s energy is coming in at an angle, and isn’t all that intense. The daytime hours are also very short, so there isn’t much time to provide a lot of energy.

Now, the sun is higher in the sky, so the sun’s energy is more directed at the ground rather than at an angle to the side. Because the energy is more directed at the ground, the energy can be more intense, helping heat the ground or snow up quicker. The longer days means more energy being put into the atmosphere.

-Alex

 

 

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Posted under science, snow, weather, winter weather

This post was written by Alex Kirchner on February 11, 2015

Will we lose a lot of snow this weekend?

February 6th, 2015: We are now almost a week removed from last weekend’s blizzard, and the snow depth remained unchanged this week, with much of the ground around the Stateline covered by a foot of snow. With the prospect of above freezing temperatures this weekend, will the snow depth change dramatically?

Earlier this winter, we had a string of snowy days that amount to a snow depth of 6″ by mid-January. A streak of milder weather set in at that point, and between the mild temperatures and at least partial sunshine, we were able to melt off all of the snow within about a week.

The change in snow depth from earlier this winter. The top portion shows the high temperature each day plus the average amount of cloud cover, with the bottom columns showing the snow depth at the end of each day.

The change in snow depth from earlier this winter. The top portion shows the high temperature each day plus the average amount of cloud cover, with the bottom columns showing the snow depth at the end of each day.

This graphic illustrates that there is a decent amount of energy that has to go into our environment to melt off that amount of snow. We lost an inch of snow per day between the 15th and the 19th, but that was because we had temperatures above freezing each afternoon plus some sunshine each day, and it still took 5 days to melt off all of the snow.

In our current case, we have double the amount of snow, and the forecast in the sunshine department doesn’t look too promising.  We should be able to see our snow depth numbers go down a little over the weekend, but it will take a good stretch of mild day coupled with sunshine, like earlier this winter, before it all goes away.

-Alex

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Posted under snow, weather, winter weather

This post was written by Alex Kirchner on February 6, 2015

Blizzard Warning

February 1st, 2015: Blizzard warnings have been issued by the National Weather Service, and will last until midnight.  Dangerous whiteout conditions will make travel impossible at times, so only venture out if absolutely necessary.

Now that we have a blizzard in the Stateline, what does that mean exactly? Besides the obvious of heavy snow showers and high winds, here is the criteria used by the National Weather Service for when they issue their warnings:

Blizzard criteria from the National Weather Service

Blizzard criteria from the National Weather Service

Heavy snow showers or considerable blowing snow, strong wind gusts, and greatly reduced visibility all need to add up to issue a blizzard warning. Not only that, but these conditions need to last or be in the forecast for at least 3 hours.  This means that you don’t necessarily need it to be snowing to have a blizzard; ‘ground blizzards’ can occur when fresh snowpack is blown around for 3 hours or more, keeping visibility down.

Overall, blizzards are strong snow storms that make it impossible to see if you are out on the roads.  Please only travel if it is absolutely necessary.  You can stay up-to-date with www.wrex.com/weather for the latest on this winter storm.

-Alex

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Posted under snow, Wind, winter storm, winter weather

This post was written by Alex Kirchner on February 1, 2015

Seasonal Snow Update

With a quick dusting of snow Monday night in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, our seasonal rank moved up a notch!  Officially 0.2 inches of snow was observed at Chicago Rockford International Airport, bringing our seasonal snow total to 56.6 inches.

statss

This ties us into 7th place with the snowy 2008-2009 season.  Here is a look at the top 10 snowiest seasons on record in Rockford:

  • 74.5″ —– 1978-1979
  • 72.9″ —– 2007-2008
  • 62.1″ —– 1951-1952
  • 61.0″ —– 1942-1943
  • 58.2″ —– 1974-1975
  • 56.7″ —– 1925-1926
  • 56.6″ —– 2008-2009
  • 56.6″ —– 2013-2014
  • 55.9″ —– 1911-1912
  • 55.2″ —– 1959-1960

-Joe

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, record weather, snow, statistics, weather

This post was written by qni_it on March 25, 2014

Overnight Snow

We are heading into the last full week of March and snow is still a gameplayer in the forecast. 3p1This evening into the overnight, snow will settle into the area from the northwest to the southeast. Don’t expect much in the way of accumulation, but a dusting to an inch is likely for most of us. Due to the timing of this system’s passing, the roadways will be a bit slick and possibily snow covered for the first few hours of tomorrow morning. Take it slow just in case! – Greg 3p1

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Posted under snow

This post was written by qni_it on March 24, 2014

Round of Light Snow

The calendar says Spring, but Old Man Winter doesn’t want any part of that! Temperatures will be well below average through Wednesday. Highs will only reach the lower 30s today, Monday and Tuesday. With forecast high temperatures hovering near the freezing mark, any precipitation will come in the form of snow.

FutureTrack: Snow Monday Evening

FutureTrack: Snow Monday Evening

An Alberta clipper system will push through the area late Monday and Monday night. This will bring a round of light snow to northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Rockford has picked up 56.4 inches of snow since November 2013, and it looks like we will add another inch or inch-and-a-half to that total by Monday night.

First Look at FutureTrack:Snow (Saturday Evening Model Run)

First Look at FutureTrack:Snow (Saturday Evening Model Run)

Snow will wind down late Monday night, tapering to a few morning flurries on Tuesday. With sunshine likely by Tuesday afternoon, melting will quickly begin!

-Joe

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Posted under FutureTrack, snow, weather

This post was written by qni_it on March 22, 2014

Another Round of Light Snow

After 50 degree temperatures and plenty of melting snow on Friday, a fresh layer of the white stuff will blanket the Stateline by Sunday morning. Clouds will thicken up throughout the day Saturday as highs reach 40 degrees. Light snow will develop by the evening hours, possibly mixing with a few raindrops along the I-88 corridor of northern Illinois.

FutureTrack: Saturday Night

FutureTrack: Saturday Night

Light snow will continue Saturday night and eventually taper off in the early morning hours of Sunday. Snowfall totals will be light. Ground and air temperatures will help melt some of the falling snow initially, but as the night wears on our temperatures will fall into the upper teens. Snow will begin to accumulate, although it looks like just an inch will coat the ground. An inch and a half is possible for our far western counties.

Around 1"

Around 1″

After a little early morning snow on Sunday, temperatures will be lucky to reach 30 degrees with a gusty northwest wind. Our wind chill will be in the single digits!

Spring….what’s that!?

-Joe

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Posted under FutureTrack, snow, weather, winter weather

This post was written by qni_it on March 14, 2014

Heavy snow likely between I-80 and I-88

radar

A batch of very heavy snow currently stretches from north of Galesburg to Mendota to Chicago. Thunder is possible as this lifts northeast. Notice the sharp cut off south of Rochelle from heavy snow to nothing at all. That’s going to be the story of the night. Areas south of Rockford will see heavy snow while the Forest City escapes most of the snow. For that reason, we’re expecting little/no complications for the morning commute. However, if you’re headed a half hour east on I-90 or a half hour south on I-39, you will run into a heavy, wet snow. Drive carefully!

2Areas along I-88 will receive 3-6 inches of snow, while Freeport and Rockford may only see an inch or two. -Eric

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Posted under snow

This post was written by qni_it on March 11, 2014

Morning Rush

Our snow system had the models all worked up last night and early this morning, but things have settled down and we are back to expecting just a few inches here across the Stateline. The timing puts the snow overnight into tomorrow morning. So, of course, our morning commute could suffer. Even minimal snow accumulation could make for a slippery and longer travel from point A to point B tomorrow, so if you have to head out, be sure to hit the road a few minutes early and take it slow! – GregUntitled

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Posted under snow, travel, winter weather

This post was written by qni_it on March 11, 2014