Oppressive Humidity

The image to the left is a snapshot of the dew points across the country as of 11am. Dew points right now are hovering around 70 degrees. The cool front that sparked last night’s showers is currently extending from Milwaukee to Rockford to the Quad Cities. The strange thing that is occuring is how far the lag extends between the cool front and the drier air. It is still very muggy as far as 250 miles away. Dew points are still as high as 65 degrees back into northern Wisconsin and southern Minnesota. Typically the drier air is about half that distance away.

What this means is that we will have to deal with the steamy conditions at least into this evening. Also, because there is so much water vapor still in the atmosphere an isolated shower or two cannot be ruled out this afternoon. -ADAM

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This post was written by qni_it on July 27, 2007

BULLETIN: It’s going to rain tonight

9:37am UPDATE: Flash Flood Watch has been cancelled for northern Illinois. I stopped running the crawl at 4am this morning as I felt the widespread rain was already done across the area. This Flash Flood Watch seemed like more of a precautionary measure by the NWS than anything else. -ADAM

A solid line of storms will work into the Rockford area around 12:30am Friday morning. The storms are expected to weaken as they approach the area. While a few wind gusts of 50mph are possible as well as pea-sized hail, widespread severe weather is not anticipated tonight.

Flash Flood Watch will continue for the Rockford metro, points southeast. -ERIC

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This post was written by qni_it on July 27, 2007

First Atlantic hurricane of 2007: A week or two away?

We’ve gone quite a ways into the Atlantic Hurricane Season without a named tropical storm or hurricane. If the latest computer weather models are correct, we’re just about done with the “tranquil tropics!”

Sub-Tropical Storm Andrea formed back on May 9th causing many doomsdayers to say that this would be a catastrophic season. Tropical Storm Barry lasted less than 48 hours on June 1st and 2nd before making landfall in Florida. When the best hurricane forecasters make their long-term predictions, I am the first to throw them out the window. After all, I know how hard it is to forecast seven days in advance, let alone the entire season! Another thing: it really only takes one massive hurricane making landfall to wreak havoc. Anybody remember Katrina? Nonetheless, early in the season most Meteorologists placed bets on this season being an active one.

The computer models are now hinting at more activity a week or two from now. The GFS computer model develops a Tropical Depression in the Middle Atlantic late early next week with it gaining tropical storm strength by midweek. The system is steered west-northwest toward Florida with modest upper-level wind shear. As a Bermuda High Pressure develops, it is pulled north into the Carolina coast. If this scenario occurs (looking at a model 16 days out is quite the crapshoot) it would bring a major hurricane into the US Eastern Seaboard by August 10th. Climatology does tell us that tropical activity increases almost exponentially in August.

If it happens, remember you heard it here first. -ERIC

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This post was written by qni_it on July 26, 2007

Storm threat will increase tonight

4:32pm – 1 NW Brodhead [Green Co, WI] trained spotter reports HAIL of marble size (E0.50 INCH) at 04:24 PM CDT —

4:18pm – As expected, Flash Flood Watches are now in effect for the Rockford metro, points southeastward. Showers and thunderstorms are pooling along a cold front that is sweeping through Minnesota late this afternoon. Showers and storms will grow quite numerous on 13Skywatch Doppler by 10pm tonight. While Severe Thunderstorm Watches are in effect for much of Northern and Central Wisconsin, our threat remains fairly low. -ERIC

4:12pm – Albany [Green Co, WI] law enforcement reports HAIL of pea size (E0.25 INCH) at 04:00 PM CDT

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This post was written by qni_it on July 26, 2007

Flash Flood Watch to be issued

The National Weather Service in Chicago will be issuing a Flash Flood Watch effective overnight Thursday into Friday morning. An average of 1-2 inches of rainfall is anticipated with the approaching front. We have a very moist environment which should fuel thunderstorms with locally heavy downpours.

Will add a graphical display of the FFW later this afternoon when it’s issued. -ERIC

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This post was written by qni_it on July 26, 2007

Weekend Sneak Peak

I know it is still Thursday, but how about a sneak peak at the weekend! This weekend looks like yet another spectacular one with ample sunshine and mild/warm temperatures. I don’t even remember the last washout weekend we had!?!

The big, blue “H” will be in control this weekend. Remember high pressure gave us tranquil weather last weekend. Furthermore, high pressure causes the air to sink. This sinking motion disallows thick cloud cover to form. The majority of the clouds you see puff up on top. Without that rising air, expect to do a lot of suntanning this weekend! -ADAM

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This post was written by qni_it on July 26, 2007

Wet East of I-39…Slight Risk of Severe Later

Update: 10:30am: The Storm Prediction Center has hoisted a “slight risk” of severe thunderstorms for this afternoon. While instability will be greatly affected by this morning’s clouds, a few storms may pop up later today.

Update 8:50am: An Urban and Small Stream Flood Advisory has been issued for McHenry County until 11:45am due to radar estimates of 2 to 3 inches of rain falling this morning.

A batch of showers and storms is currently moving south at 25 mph through Walworth, Boone, McHenry, DeKalb, and Kane Counties. I expect most of this activity to remain west of Interstate 39 this morning. At this time there are NO severe weather threats from these thunderstorms. This is the first impulse of energy expected to move through today. The second impulse of energy comes in the form of a cold front tonight, which should produce more widespread wet weather. Gusty winds with these storms, but our severe weather threat should remain fairly low. All in all, some much needed moisture should be falling periodically from the sky over the next 24 hours. -ADAM

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This post was written by qni_it on July 26, 2007

Do you twitter?

One of my friends who is a Meteorologist in Chicago suggested that I join Twitter. So now I’m on there (as ERICSORENSEN) but I don’t know what to do with it. I think you’re supposed to let people know what you are doing at any given moment…which pretty much means I am either forecasting, making weather graphics, playing with Theo (the weather lab), or sleeping. If you know more about twitter, let me know! -ERIC

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This post was written by qni_it on July 26, 2007

Dry weather will take the back seat

Wednesday will mark the seventh straight day without rainfall here in the Rockford area. But will Wednesday be totally dry? A front will near from the northwest late in the day providing a decent chance for showers and a few thunderstorms. With the front moving through during the overnight hours, widespread severe weather is not anticipated. Flooding rains aren’t expected either as low pressure develops along Texas’ Big Bend. This should shunt a lot of Gulf moisture into the high plains of West Texas…just where they don’t need it! Flash flood watches and warnings are already in place for the expected rains in the Lone Star State.

We’ll keep tabs on our front’s progress over the next 24 hours. Have a wonderful night! -ERIC

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This post was written by qni_it on July 25, 2007

Showers expected to dry up

A few showers are being denoted on Doppler Radar late this morning. These showers are moving southwest (in response to an upper-level low pressure system in Ohio). These showers are expected to dwindle as they move into a drier airmass. Dewpoint temperatures are in the 70s across much of Lake Michigan and East-Central Wisconsin while we have much drier air here with a dewpoint temperature of 61° here. While a few showers can be expected northeast of the Rockford metro late this afternoon, the widespread showers and storms should hold off until Friday. -ERIC

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This post was written by qni_it on July 25, 2007