More T’Storm Development

After a day that brought ground-covering hail and temperatures near 80 to far northern Illinois, the threat for more thunderstorms is in the forecast. Scattered showers were beginning to develop in Iowa late this afternoon. It is expected that these showers further develop into thunderstorms as the afternoon and evening wears on.

waiting

Our chance for thunderstorms increases especially after sunset, as development in Iowa pushes east. A broken line of thunderstorms could produce very gusty wind and large, damaging hail. Frequent lightning and heavy rain will be likely under any thunderstorm.

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A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is in effect for far northwest Illinois and south central Wisconsin until 10pm tonight.

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Keep it tuned to the weather blog, Facebook, Twitter, WREX.com, and 13 News Weekend for the latest updates.

-Joe

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Posted under Exactrack|HD, severe weather, Threatrack, weather

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

1This afternoon will be one of the warmest of the year with highs in the upper 60s, and we will only get warmer tomorrow with highs in the 70s for the first time since October! But, by late in the day, things will quickly begin to change. We will introduce a chance for some rain showers and could even pop off a few thunderstorms late tomorrow afternoon into the evening/overnight. Scattered rain showers will be likely Sunday-Tuesday as well as we usher in much cooler air (highs in the 40s) for the beginning of next week. – Greg

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Posted under rain, weather

This post was written by GregBobos on April 11, 2014
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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:

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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.
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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 Eric Sorensen on April 10, 2014
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Longest Stretch on Record?

Our last 70 degree came back on October 12th, which is six months ago from this upcoming Saturday! We have forecasted highs  of 69° for both tomorrow and Saturday meaning there is a shot we could end that streak by the time we exit the weekend. But, if we don’t there is a good chance we won’t see anything that remotely resembles a 70 as we chug along into next week.Capture

Currently, we have gone 180 days since our last 70° day, and the all time record for most consecutive days in Rockford is 203. If we make it to May 3rd without a 70, we will break that record! – Greg

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This post was written by GregBobos on April 10, 2014
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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

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Posted under First Look, rain

This post was written by GregBobos on April 9, 2014
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Two very different cold fronts

1A quick look at a weather map can usually give us a quick idea whether it will produce severe weather. On the left is the scenario for Thursday. A weak cold front will work in from the north. Because of its east-west orientation, there may be just enough convergence at the surface to produce some showers. However, long-lived thunderstorm activity isn’t expected. With east-west cold fronts, the jet stream is almost always parallel to the front. While rain is possible, big thunderstorms aren’t likely.

2However, with thunderstorms that sweep in from the west, there is usually more convergence which leads to higher rain and thunderstorm chances. Southerly winds in advance of the front can bring in higher levels of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. In addition, there’s usually a strong jet stream perpendicular to a north-south front. This leads to higher wind shear…and a higher intensity of thunderstorms! So as we head through the spring season, be on the lookout for the north-south orientation on the weather map.

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Posted under severe weather, weather, weather geek

This post was written by Eric Sorensen on April 8, 2014
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A Martian in the Sky

Tonight we will have a big and bright view of Mars thanks to its positioning and a mostly clear sky. Today is the “Opposition of Mars”, meaning that it a day when the Earth is directly between Mars and the Sun. As the sun sets in the west, look off to the east and you will find Mars slowly beginning to rise. Around midnight, look straight up! Mars will shine brightly and appear up to 10 times brighter than the brightest star in the sky. It will have a burnt orange color. If you have a telescope, it will be close enough to pick out the frozen north pole of the Martian planet. CaptureOh, and if you take any pictures, post them on our Facebook page or email us! – Greg

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This post was written by GregBobos on April 8, 2014
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Warmest Stretch of the Year

morelocal1This week’s forecast is looking to be one of the warmest we have seen in months! High temperatures on Monday and Tuesday will be in the low to md 50s, just a tad below average. However, Wednesday through Saturday will bring us four days in a row in which the Fahrenheit will be at or above 60 degrees! Thursday and Saturday actually have a shot at the upper 60s! We will be dodging a few slight chances for showers as we head thoughout the week, but no wash-outs are expected. Enjoy the warmth!  – Greg

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Posted under heat wave, rain

This post was written by GregBobos on April 7, 2014
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April Showers

Mild temperatures are finally in the forecast for an entire week, as the 7-Day Forecast shows. But our overall weather pattern will be a bit unsettled. There is a chance of rain on five of the next seven days.

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No need to worry though—it won’t be a complete washout. On Monday and Tuesday, northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin will be sandwiched in between two weather systems. Heavy rain is a good bet southeast of our area, including the southern suburbs of Chicago, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. Some steady showers are likely across Iowa with another system to our west.

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We will be caught in the middle, so a few showers will be possible Monday afternoon, Monday night and Tuesday. Showers will be widely scattered and light, with a tenth of an inch of rain at best.

Futuretrack: Now through Tuesday Evening

Futuretrack: Now through Tuesday Evening

Rainfall has been scarce lately and we could use some. Looking at the rest of the week, rain chances will continue to be small. A few showers (rumble of thunder?) will be possible again late Thursday. A better chance of rain may be in the works for next weekend.

-Joe

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Posted under FutureTrack, rain, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on April 6, 2014
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Local Travelcast

With temperatures warming up a little more than Saturday, Sunday is going to be another great day to be outdoors. It’ll also be a good day to go for a drive! The forecast calls for temperatures rising into the upper 50s by the afternoon with a south breeze. Clouds will be on the increase throughout the day. Look for some filtered sunshine early and a mostly cloudy sky by nightfall.

If you plan on venturing along the Stagecoach Trail in Stephenson & Jo Daviess County, look for increasing clouds earlier in the day. If you plan on taking the Blackhawk Trail along Route 2 south of Rockford, temperatures may be a degree or two warmer. Cloudy skies will take control for Sunday night with a very slight chance for a few sprinkles. Low temperatures will fall into the upper 30s.

-Joe

 

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Posted under travel, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on April 5, 2014
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