From Wintery to Summery

Today was the warmest day of the year for most of northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. After morning thunderstorms with hail that coated the ground—making the landscape look like the heart of winter—temperatures soared well into the 70s Saturday afternoon. Many communities in northern Illinois recorded their first 80 degree temperature since last October. That’s over six months ago!

Today’s warmth has not occurred since October 3, 2013.  On that day, temperatures reached the upper 70s across the area.  Unfortunately for us, we will have to deal with cooler than average temperatures next week. Highs will be in the 40s on Monday and Tuesday; the 50s return for the rest of the week.

-Joe

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Posted under statistics, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on April 12, 2014

It’s Been a While

Ample sunshine and a breezy south wind will usher in the mildest temperatures of the year on Sunday.

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In fact, that last time our thermometers cracked the 60-degree mark was on November 17, 2013! On that day, our temperature rose to 69 degrees. While upper 60s are out of the question for Sunday, a few spots well south of Rockford could achieve that on Monday.

High near 60°

High near 60°

Monday—while more cloudy (possibly thundery) and very blustery—will see highs push into the middle 60s across northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. The last time we had back-to-back 60+ degree days was at the end of last October!

Enjoy the last two days of March, because things will cool down into the 40s for the first several days of April!

-Joe

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, BBQ Alert, FutureTrack, statistics, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on March 29, 2014

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.

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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 Joe Astolfi on March 25, 2014

3rd Place: Good or Bad?

SNOW. There hasn’t been a lot of “in between” this season; you either love it or hate it. Since November 11th, Rockford has witnessed 54.9 inches of snow. Little did we know that on December 8th, a record long stretch of days with snow on the ground would begin!

Since December 8th, our weather observation site at Chicago Rockford International Airport has steadily picked up 53.9 inches of snow. Thanks to record cold temperatures and a weather pattern that brought the white stuff as frequently as every other day, snow has remained on the ground for 90 days!

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We’re in record territory. December 9, 2013 through March 8, 2014 is currently the 3rd longest stretch of days with snow on the ground. This edges out an 89-day period with snow on the ground from 1977-1978.

As of March 8, 2014

As of March 8, 2014

Here are the Top 5 longest stretches of days with snow on the ground in Rockford:

  1. 107 days ending March 18, 1979
  2. 97 days ending March 18, 1962
  3. 90 days so far this season
  4. 89 days ending March 18, 1978
  5. 59 days ending February 11, 1984

With a warming trend in our forecast, our streak may soon come to an end. If we keep snow on the ground through next Saturday—which is possible—we will tie for 2nd place!

-Joe

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

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on March 8, 2014

Records All Around

We have officially flipped the calendar into the month of March, but I think someone forgot to tell Mother Nature, because this stands to be one of the coldest March days on record. This morning was brutally cold once again with the low temperature in Rockford bottoming out at -11°. 11pmwindchillThat reading blew our low temp record for this date out of the water. The previous record of -4° was set back in 2002. Our -11° also tied the record for the coldest March temperature ever recorded. 1As if those aren’t enough records for one day, if we do not top 18° this afternoon, today will go down as the coldest high temperature ever on this date! – Greg Capture

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Posted under cold blast, statistics, winter weather

This post was written by GregBobos on March 3, 2014

March 2nd Record Cold

It has been a record-filled first weekend of March. First came the snow on Saturday and then the cold on Sunday.

Thanks to two rounds of snow during the 24-hour period of March 1st, a total of 4.6 inches of snow fell at Chicago Rockford International Airport. This was the highest one-day total observed on any March 1st since 1906! The previous record was just 2.0 inches from 1943.

Local High Temps: March 2, 2014

Local High Temps: March 2, 2014

As arctic air settled in on Sunday, the high temperature in Rockford only topped out at a chilly 9 degrees. This is the coldest high temperature ever observed on any March 2nd since 1906. In fact, Sunday’s high replaced a 102-year-old record! The previous record was 14 degrees from 1912. What’s even more interesting is that March 2, 2014 will likely enter the record books as the coldest March high temperature ever!!! Until now, the coldest March high was 10 degrees on March 8, 1932.

New Record Cold High Temperature

New Record Cold High Temperature

If that wasn’t enough, two more records could fall on Monday….

-Joe

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, cold blast, record weather, snow, statistics, weather, winter weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on March 2, 2014

Quiet, Cold Sunday

Aside from a few morning snow flurries, Sunday will be relatively quiet. Arctic high pressure will build into the region, so cloud cover will gradually decrease as the day wears on. High temperatures will be about 30 degrees COLDER than normal for early March! High near 10 degrees.

FutureTrack Sunday Morning

FutureTrack Sunday Morning

Although our northerly wind will be light, between 5 and 15mph, our wind chill be quite cold. Wind chill values will range between -20 and -10 degrees throughout the day.

FutureTrack Wind Chill Sunday

FutureTrack Wind Chill Sunday

Air temperatures will fall below zero Sunday night through Monday morning and we’ll stay locked in with frigid air through Tuesday. Temperature records will be in jeopardy on Monday, including a record low (-4° from 2002) and a record cold high (18° from 2002).

Staying Cold

Staying Cold

A much-needed end-of-the-work-week warm up is in our forecast. Check out the 7-day for a couple 30+ degree high temperatures!

-Joe

 

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Posted under cold blast, FutureTrack, record weather, statistics, weather, winter weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on March 2, 2014

Snow Moving Out

As expected, snow will move out of the Stateline area between midnight and 3am. Areas along and south of the I-88 corridor will hang onto the snow the longest. Additional minor accumulations are possible. Patchy light drizzle will be a concern until about 3am; however, dry Arctic air will keep that chance fairly small. A quick flurry or two will dot the radar early Sunday morning.

Snowfall totals from our first round of snow on Friday night / Saturday post-midnight fell in line with our forecast of around one inch. The second round of snow followed suit with our forecast as well. A general three to five inches blanketed much of northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.

Preliminary Snowfall Reports: 11pm Saturday

Preliminary Snowfall Reports: 11pm Saturday

Rockford picked up 1.2″ from the first round and 3.4″ from the second round. This adds up to 4.6″ of snow that fell during the 24-hour period on Saturday—a record amount for March 1st!

Final totals will be posted as the information becomes available. Look for updates throughout the day Sunday.  -Joe

2ND ROUND FINAL TOTALS (updated Sunday morning):

  • Genoa – 5.1″
  • Rochelle – 4.5″
  • DeKalb – 4.2″
  • Freeport – 4.0″
  • Polo – 4.0″
  • Shannon – 4.0″
  • Somonauk – 4.0″
  • Schapville – 3.9″
  • Ashton – 3.8″
  • Belvidere – 3.8″
  • Lena – 3.8″
  • Loran – 3.8″
  • Malta – 3.8″
  • Marengo – 3.8″
  • Roscoe – 3.7″
  • Beloit – 3.5″
  • East Dubuque – 3.5″
  • Morrison – 3.5″
  • Rock Falls – 3.5″
  • Rockford (Airport) – 3.4″
  • Cortland – 3.3″
  • Galena – 3.3″
  • Dixon – 3.1″
  • Elizabeth – 3.1″
  • Byron – 3.0″
  • Capron – 3.0″
  • Mendota – 3.0″
  • Sterling – 3.0″
  • Rockton – 2.7″
  • Afton – 2.5″
  • Brodhead – 2.3″
  • Rockford (Northeast) – 2.2″
  • Delavan – 2.0″
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Posted under snow, statistics, weather, winter weather

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

A Very Rare Day

We are in the midst of a late February deep freeze that doesn’t come along that often. Today will easily break the record for the coldest high temperature on this date. The previous record was 18°, and today’s forecast high is a third of that, sitting at 6 degrees! stuff4That high temperature will also make this only the 3rd day in the last 109 years (since 1905) in which a high temperature did not break into the double digits from the last week of February on toward spring and summer. I wish I could end this post on a warm note, but it will take us at least two weeks to start to dig ourselves out of this very deep and cold hole. Highs will remain below average until we push into the middle of March. – Greg

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Posted under cold blast, statistics, winter weather

This post was written by GregBobos on February 27, 2014

This Winter vs. 1970s Winters

Meteorological winter will wrap up at the end of the month. Typically the coldest three months of the year, meteorological winter includes the entire months of December, January, and February. As we all know, this winter has been exceptionally snowy and cold. In fact, we are currently the 4th coldest winter on record!  Amazingly, the top 3 coldest winters in Rockford all occurred one after another in the late 1970s.

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The winters of 1976-77, 1977-78, and 1978-79 were the coldest, taking into account high and low temperatures.  The winters of 1977-78 and 1978-79 hold the title for the 13th snowiest and 2nd snowiest, respectively.  The snowiest meteorological winter was 2007-08 with 65.1 inches.

stuff2

With our current forecast through the end of the month (Thursday & Friday), we have a good shot at tying for the 3rd coldest winter! But what happens after meteorological winter?

March 1st is the start of meteorological spring. Meteorological spring encompasses March, April, and May. The average temperature  for the season is 48.9°F.  If we look at the harsh winters of the late 70s, many of them ended up with below average spring temperatures.  One year that bucked the trend was 1977: coming off of the 3rd coldest winter was the 2nd warmest spring on record!

Near the Chrysler Plant in the late 1970s

Near the Chrysler Plant in the late 1970s

Snow is likely during the first half of meteorological spring; it’s even possible into May.  However, after snowier-than-average winters in 1977-78 and 1978-79, spring snowfall was actually below average.  Hopefully that is a sign of things to come as we head through the next several weeks! Winter 2013-14 is, after all, the 9th snowiest on record.

Meteorological Winter vs. Meteorological Spring

Meteorological Winter vs. Meteorological Spring

In the weeks to come, there are a few signs that temperatures will warm above average. Unfortunately, it’s not until the middle of March! Looking beyond spring, the three late 1970′s meteorological summer seasons ended up just slightly below average on the temperature trend.

-Joe

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, climate/climate change, cold blast, news, photos, record weather, snow, statistics, weather, winter weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on February 26, 2014