Look Up!

We will once again enjoy another clear, calm and cool night. So if you are looking for something to do on this Wednesday night, why not go outside and do a little star-gazing? As an added bonus, you’ll be able to view two of our solar system’s planets!

theplanets

Look up into the south-southwest sky after sunset with the moon as your guide. The planet Saturn will be visible up and to the right of the waxing gibbous moon. A little more to the right and higher in the sky will be the faint red glow of Mars. These two planets will remain visible until about midnight or one o’clock.

Looking ahead, the next full moon occurs Friday night into Saturday morning (officially at 6:26am Saturday, July 12th). This full moon will be a supermoon! What is a supermoon, you might ask? It is a full moon that occurs while the moon is the closest distance to Earth on its orbit around Earth. This means that the moon will look larger than normal. Unfortunately, we may have a hard time seeing this supermoon. Keep and eye on the forecast, because cloudcover may keep us in the dark.

-Joe

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Posted under space, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on July 9, 2014
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Drying Out a Bit

We are going to get some much needed dry time over the next 60 hours or so! Our weather pattern remains similar to what we’ve experienced for most of the summer. With a jet stream diving out of Canada, a northwest flow pattern will allow numerous weather systems to quickly move through the Stateline area.

Our Weather Pattern

Our Weather Pattern

The good news is that the chance of rain through Thursday night is slim to none. At most, a quick shower or two will dot the sky. Otherwise we will get to enjoy many hours of sunshine and pleasant temperatures. Highs will be in the upper 70s and lows will be in the middle-to-upper 50s through Friday (some may call it a perk of a northwest flow pattern)!

FutureTrack Rainfall through Thursday: Little to None

FutureTrack Rainfall through Thursday: Little to None

Rain has been plentiful over the last several weeks. The month of June is in the record books for the 8th wettest June in Rockford’s climate history, thanks to over 8 inches of rainfall. It rained on 20 out of 30 days during June 2014! The month of July is currently on par for rainfall. It rained on 4 out of 8 days so far this month.

Rainy Meteorological Summer So Far

Rainy Meteorological Summer So Far

We actually had rainfall deficits for March, April and May. The rain so far this summer has more than made up for it. Our yearly precipitation total is almost 19 inches which is slightly above average. Looking ahead, the best chance of rain will come Friday and into this weekend with scattered thunderstorm activity each day.

-Joe

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, FutureTrack, rain, statistics, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on July 8, 2014
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4th of July Holiday Weekend

I hope you enjoyed our fantastic weather on the 4th of July! Over the holiday weekend, we will bring back the chance for showers and thunderstorms. Saturday will have a mix of clouds and sun with a nice south breeze. High temperatures will return to near 80 degrees. There is a slight chance for a shower or thunderstorm, mainly after dark. Saturday night lows will fall into the lower 60s with an isolated thunderstorm or two.

Rain & Thunder Chances This Weekend

Rain & Thunder Chances This Weekend

The warmth and humidity will increase on Sunday. Highs will reach the middle 80s under a partly cloudy sky. A stray thunderstorm is possible early, but more organized shower and thunderstorm activity may throw a wrench into our evening plans.

Threatrack Level 2 for Sunday

Threatrack Level 2 for Sunday

We will be under a Threatrack Level 2 for a low risk of severe weather late-day Sunday. Some thunderstorms may have strong wind gusts, hail, and dangerous cloud-to-ground lightning. Keep an eye to the sky on Sunday.

-Joe

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Posted under Threatrack, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on July 4, 2014
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Independence Day Records

Independence Day 2014 will not enter the weather record books. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t remember it! This year we had a mostly sunny sky with low humidity values. The day started off a bit cool with a low of 52 degrees in Rockford. During the afternoon, we warmed up to a comfortable 79 degrees. Overall, it was a pleasant holiday!

July 4th, 2014 High Temperatures

July 4th, 2014 High Temperatures

Looking back at the climate history books, only 23% of Independence Days in Rockford had a high temperature in the 70s. Most of the time—about 53%—our high is in the 80s. The coolest high temperature occurred on July 4, 1967 with a reading of only 62 degrees. It’s no surprise that July 4, 1967 also had the record cold low temperature. That was 46 degrees!

July 4th Records

July 4th Records

The hottest temperature to ever occur in the Forest City on July 4th happened just two years ago! Back in 2012, we sizzled in 102 degree heat! It has also stayed dry on the 4th of July for the last four years. In fact, about 54% of Independence Days remain dry. Since 1906, only twelve holidays have had rain totaling more than a quarter of an inch!

-Joe

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

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on July 4, 2014
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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
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So long, Rockford

550032_10151663061114167_1410337480_nI started this blog on the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, tracking all of the weather ever since. As the Chief Meteorologist, I had a rule that everyone had to update the weather blog once per shift. My apologies that this week I’ve broken my own rule…as I’ve had a lot to do.

A week from Monday (July 7th, 2014) I will begin forecasting the weather for a new TV station in a new town. I am so excited to bring what I’ve learned to WQAD-TV in Moline, Illinois. The move brings me back to mornings, where it all began here at WREX some 10 years ago.

Of all of the jobs I’ve had, I learned the most here. I came with 5 years of experience and leave with 15. I take the job more seriously and I take life more seriously these days. But moving two hours to the southwest means that I will immensely miss my friends, co-workers, and the wonderful people who make up this city, my hometown. I feel sad not because I would’ve done anything different, but because I feel like I’m quitting on all of you. Just remember, I won’t be far away. And I need to be able to bring my talents to the folks in the Quad Cities.

Social Media didn’t exist when I started this job. Now, I’ll be able to continue following the weather for Northern Illinois. Just now, I will add more of Western Illinois and Eastern Iowa! Please find me. I am on Twitter and Facebook. And I promise in the next few weeks I’ll get on Instagram.

Thanks for believing in me for ten years! I will always be proud to say I’m from Rockford.

Be well and keep in touch.

Eric Sorensen

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Posted under news

This post was written by qni_it on June 27, 2014
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Warmest Day of the Year

The National Climatic Data Center released some interesting statistics yesterday. Using our temperature averages from the most recent climate data period, we are able to determine when we can expect our warmest day of the year. The most recent climate data period encompasses 30 years worth of daily weather observations taken between 1981 and 2010. This is 10,958 days of temperature and precipitation data!!!

Heating Up: When We Typically See the Warmest Day of the Year

Heating Up: When We Typically See the Warmest Day of the Year

Based off this data, the warmest high temperature of the year usually occurs between July 6th and 10th for north central Illinois. This includes Rockford, Belvidere, DeKalb, Rochelle, Dixon, Sterling and Rock Falls. For far northern / northwestern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, the warmest high temperature of the year typically occurs between July 11th and 15th. This includes Galena, Savanna, Monroe, Beloit, Janesville and Lake Geneva.

This makes sense for our region! Our statistical average high temperature during this July 6th through 15th timeframe in Rockford is 85 degrees. The hottest temperature to ever occur in Rockford was 112 degrees on July 14, 1936.

-Joe

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, statistics, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on June 26, 2014
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June Rainfall Surplus

The chance for rain has been in the forecast for a while, and it’s going to stay there through the end of the month! We kicked off June 2014 with some rain and thunderstorm activity. Rainfall for the first week of the month added up to just under an inch. Close to another inch of rain fell in the span of two days during the second week of June.

June 2014 Rainfall (through June 24th)

June 2014 Rainfall (through June 24th)

Rainfall totals began to accelerate during the third week of the month. At Chicago Rockford International Airport, nearly 4 inches of rain fell from June 15th through June 21st. Other parts of our area, particularly south and west of Rockford, picked up as much as 8 to 10 inches of rain that week!

FutureTrack Rainfall Potential

FutureTrack Rainfall Potential

Rainfall is now at a surplus for the month of June. For the year, however, we are below average…..but not by much. Even though we’ll hang onto the chance for rain through the end of June, the heaviest rain looks to stay out of northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Long range models are giving us between a quarter and one inch through next Monday.

-Joe

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Posted under FutureTrack, rain, statistics, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on June 24, 2014
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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
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Hazy, Hot & Humid

The summer solstice arrives at the end of this week, so it looks like Mother Nature is cranking up the heat and humidity just in time. High temperatures this week will generally reach the mid-to-upper 80s with many of us flirting with that 90-degree mark.

This Week in a Nutshell

This Week in a Nutshell

When we factor in the humidity—which will become much more noticeable tonight through the middle of the week—there will be some discomfort in the air. Heat index values will rise into the 90s for at least Tuesday and Wednesday.

Tuesday Heat Index: 90s

Tuesday Heat Index: 90s

Scattered showers and thunderstorms are in the forecast every day this week, although much of the time will be dry. Off-and-on rounds of thunderstorms will roll through the region every 18 to 24 hours or so. There is the risk for stronger storms with locally heavy downpours and high wind. We will be monitoring the severe threat through Wednesday.

Threatrack: Overnight through Tuesday Morning

Threatrack: Overnight through Tuesday Morning

The spotty coverage and timing of thunderstorms and left-over thunderstorm clouds to our west will affect what happens here in the Stateline. Keep it tuned to the 13 Weather Authority for the latest information.

-Joe

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Posted under FutureTrack, severe weather, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on June 16, 2014
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