Merging traffic on Friday

A cut-off area of low pressure is now on the move north from Memphis. It’ll bring the clouds and a few intermittent showers to the Rockford area on Friday. However this system won’t be around long as a cold front sweeps down from Manitoba. These two systems will work together nicely to bring down some cold air for the weekend.

Temperatures will be very chilly for the Halloween Costume Parties on Saturday night. We may be down below freezing for early Sunday morning.

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This post was written by qni_it on October 26, 2007

Weather improves for California’s Wildfires

Weather conditions will improve in Southern California on Friday, but the air will be very hazardous for places like Bakersfield, Fresno, and Merced as the air moves north from the fire-stricken area. You can see how the air will now have more of a marine influence. They’ll see more humidity in Southern California in coming days. -ERIC

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This post was written by qni_it on October 26, 2007

Peak Fall Colors Right Now

In case you’ve been stuck inside lately, we are in the middle of peak colors for fall foliage across the Stateline. Be sure to get outside and soak it in, because these leaves will all be falling within the next couple of weeks. The weather for viewing the colors should be optimal this afternoon, the majority of Saturday, and then all day Sunday. In between, Friday looks a little dicey with mostly cloudy conditions and a little bit of drizzle. -ADAM

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This post was written by qni_it on October 25, 2007

We’ve Been Spoiled

If you think it has been cold during the morning commute lately, you haven’t felt anything yet. The statistic in this graphic shows just how spoiled we have been so far this Fall. Chicago-Rockford International Airport has yet to record a freezing temperature during this Fall season. The last time we lasted this late into October without a hard frost is not years, but decades ago. You have to remember back 34 years to 1973 for the last time it stayed above the freezing mark this long. In 1973, the first hard freeze occurred on November 4th, which is an indicator that our first hard freeze is probably right around the corner. -ADAM

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This post was written by qni_it on October 25, 2007

CNN’s "Planet in Peril"

CNN introduced a documentary-series on climate change last night called “Planet in Peril”. (It re-airs tonight at 8.)

I plan on watching it tonight and will blog more about it later. Did you see it? What did you think? If you didn’t get a chance to watch the show, you can click here for more video. (image courtesy: CNN)

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This post was written by qni_it on October 24, 2007

Satellite Animation of the California Wildfires

Take a look at this awesome animation of the cloud plume being thrown westward from the California wildfires!
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfz2BA0t8hk]

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This post was written by qni_it on October 24, 2007

Howl-o-ween is a week away!

Kate Nelson sent me these pictures of her Chocolate and Black Labs named Bailey and Lily. I thought these cute pictures would be a good reminder to keep our pets warm now that the cooler weather has moved in.

The final picture was sent to me by Morgan Palmer of KLTV in Tyler, Texas. He judged the local pet-costume contest and Jennifer won with her dog Fiona dressed as a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader.

Are you dressing up your four legged friend this Halloween???

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This post was written by qni_it on October 24, 2007

Weather on the Road!

I would like to say “Thank you!” to the faculty and fourth graders at May Elementary School in Rochelle for allowing me to visit today!

I hope the kids had just as wonderful of a time talking about weather as I did. Each student was very attentive and polite and I have a hunch that in the future we may see one of these kids right here on Channel 13 giving the weather.

Thanks again!

Eric Sorensen
Chief Meteorologist
WREX-TV

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This post was written by qni_it on October 23, 2007

Where do tornadoes come from?

Andre from May Elementary School in Rochelle asks “Where do tornadoes come from?” Andre, tornadoes come as a result of wind shear within the atmosphere. Wind shear is when the winds at the ground are moving at a right angle to the winds within the clouds. The closer you can get to that 90° right angle, the higher the shear! In the first picture you can see how this shear creates a “spiraling” of the wind within the cloud. Now, as the cloud continues to grow taller, the wind blowing upward into the cloud can tilt that spiral…forming a tornado.

A lot of people believe that valleys, cities, and mountains offer protection from tornadoes. Because a tornado is born from a cloud, this simply isn’t true. They can touch down anywhere in the United States (but mostly in Tornado Alley in spring). Great question! -ERIC

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This post was written by qni_it on October 23, 2007

Why is the sky blue?

Eder from May Elementary School in Rochelle asks “Why is the sky blue?” To answer this question Eder, we have to first understand the light that is coming from the sun. A famous scientist by the name of Isaac Newton was first to figure out that the sun is giving us all colors of the spectrum (rainbow). We see the light as “white” because all of the colors are combined. However, when this “white light” hits our atmosphere, the light is scattered. Because blue light is shortest in wavelength, more of it fills the sky and we perceive the sky as blue. Because red, orange, and yellow are longer in wavelength than blue, the sky changes color as the sun sets (and the sun rises).

That’s an age old question that many kids ask their parents. Now, there’s no excuse not to know! Thanks Eder! -ERIC

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This post was written by qni_it on October 23, 2007