Thank the Wind

Most of our warm days this year have also been on the windy side, but there is a reason for that. Our warm days have typically fallen after a prolonged period where we were entrenched in cooler temperatures. If it wouldn’t have been for the wind, the few warm days we have seen would never have come about. The stiff southerly breezes we have encountered have quite literally pushed the warmer air into our area. CaptureSo, when we make it into the mid to upper 50s this afternoon, thank the 40mph wind gusts. Without them, it most likely would have been yet another day in the 40s.. far too late in the season! – Greg

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Posted under Wind

This post was written by GregBobos on April 16, 2014
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Windy & Warmer (Kind of)

We have had to endure two very chilly and dare I say wintry days to start this new week. It leaves all of us with fleeting memories of last week’s 60s and this past weekend’s near 80s! Our temperatures will be lucky to get much higher than 40 degrees this afternoon, but a slight warm up can be expected tomorrow and Thursday. CaptureA strong southerly wind with gusts near 40mph will develop late tomorrow morning into the afternoon. The wind will escort slightly warmer air from our south into our area boosting our temps into the mid 50s. This is still a good 5 degrees below average, but not nearly as unbearable as the 30s we have tolerated the past two days. – Greg

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This post was written by GregBobos on April 15, 2014
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Total Lunar Eclipse Tonight

Tonight will be the first of 4 total lunar eclipses visible across all of North America within the next year and a half. UntitledOur chance of being able to see it is at 50% however, thanks to clouds that will be decreasing as we head through the night. The eclipse will begin at roughly 1am, be at its brightest at 2am and conclude at 3am. The moon wont fully disappear though. It will instead turn an orangish red color. This happens due to the light caused by the sunrises and sunsets across the Earth. Those red and orange tones reflect off of the moon instead of typical sunlight.1 If we miss tonight’s eclipse, the next three are listed in the chart below. Unlike solar eclipses, a lunar eclipse is visible with the naked eye and won’t cause any harm to your eyes. Happy viewing (if we are lucky)! -Greg2

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This post was written by GregBobos on April 14, 2014
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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
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Rainy Sunday

Periods of rain, even some embedded thunderstorms, will end our weekend on a wet note.  Rain will be off-and-on throughout the day. FutureTrack suggests a break in the action early Sunday morning.

FutureTrack Sunday morning: few showers

FutureTrack Sunday morning: few showers

By late Sunday afternoon into Sunday night, rainfall may be heavy at times. Plenty of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and a frontal boundary draped through the area will provide some generous rainfall totals.

FutureTrack Sunday evening: heavy rain

FutureTrack Sunday evening: heavy rain

By the time things quiet down in the pre-dawn hours of Monday morning, a good one to two inches of rainfall will be possible.

Rainfall Potential: 1-2"

Rainfall Potential: 1-2″

We will dry things out for Monday evening and Tuesday.

-Joe

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Posted under FutureTrack, rain, weather

This post was written by Joe Astolfi on April 13, 2014
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Severe Thunderstorm Watch

3:00am Update: A small line of storms will quickly move east out of McHenry County. The severe thunderstorm threat is over.

2:30am Update: Severe Thunderstorm Warning is in effect for Winnebago (east of IL-251), Boone, and northwest McHenry County until 3:15am. Wind gusts to 60mph, quarter-size hail, frequent lightning, heavy rain all likely with this storm. Far east Rockford, Roscoe, Cherry Valley, Belvidere, Poplar Grove, Caledonia, Timberlane, Candlewick Lake, Capron, Chemung, Harvard, Hebron all in line for this warning.

Severe T'Storm Warning until 3:15am

Severe T’Storm Warning until 3:15am

2:00am Update: Gusty wind—up to 50mph—will be possible across Lee, Ogle & Winnebago County ahead of the line of storms. The storms in Stephenson, northern Ogle and Winnebago County will contain some hail and frequent lightning.

Gusty Wind Ahead of the T'Storms

Gusty Wind Ahead of the T’Storms

1:40am Update: Severe Thunderstorm Warning is in effect for western Whiteside County and southwestern Carroll County until 2:15am. Gusts to 60mph, hail, and frequent lightning all possible with this storm. This storm will reach the Morrison and Prophetstown area around 2am.

Severe T'Storm Warning until 2:15am

Severe T’Storm Warning until 2:15am

Origional Post: Severe Thunderstorm Watch is in effect for most of the area until 5am Sunday morning. Clusters of showers and thunderstorms over Iowa have developed into a line of thunderstorms. This line will continue to move east across Iowa and take aim at the Stateline area overnight. An approximate time frame is between midnight and 4am.

Severe T'Storm Watch until 5am

Severe T’Storm Watch until 5am

The main threats overnight will be strong gusty wind, damaging hail, frequent lightning, and heavy downpours. The threat for tornadic activity is extremely low.

11pm Exactrack HD Radar

11pm Exactrack HD Radar

I will update the blog and social media as needed throughout the night.

-Joe

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Posted under Exactrack|HD, severe weather, weather

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

threatty

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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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:

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 Eric Sorensen on April 10, 2014
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