Tropical trouble brewing in the Gulf?

If the NAM computer model is right, we may have our next tropical depression or tropical storm by as early as Friday morning…in the Gulf of Mexico! We’ll be watching this closely as any tropical weather in the Gulf would have a major impact on gasoline prices.

This is the only model that has this scenario. Let’s hope it’s out to lunch. Who wants $5/gallon gas? Remember the good old days when gas was less than $3?

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This post was written by qni_it on June 25, 2008

Slight Risk the Rest of the Work Week

The Storm Prediction Center has placed us under a slight risk for severe weather starting this afternoon and running through Friday night. The dynamics of the atmosphere tend to point to the potential of hail and damaging winds out of the stronger storms that do develop. The large size of the slight risk areas should tell you that the models are diverging a bit with the track of this storm system. The timing for today’s severe weather threat (if anything were to occur) would be late afternoon through the evening. If I had to pick one day in which I thought the severe weather scenario looked the most likely, I would pick Friday.

The area of more important focus may turn out to be the potential for heavy rainfall. The Chicago National Weather Service office has hinted at the possibility for a Flash Flood Watch later this week. At this point, we’ll take it one day at a time. -ADAM

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This post was written by qni_it on June 25, 2008

Heavy rainfall through Friday

The Hydrometeorological Prediction Center has released its latest rainfall forecast and it’s not good. There is a 3 inch bbullseye right over Northern Illinois. Models are averaging 1-4 inches right now. Should we be on the wetter side of model guidance, rivers may be affected this weekend (and into next week).

Because most rivers have fallen at least a foot since they crested late last week, it is unlikely at this time that they will surpass last week’s levels. Still, if you live in a flooded area (or one that is prone to flooding) be mindful of this changeable forecast!

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This post was written by qni_it on June 24, 2008

NASA global warming scientist: "Last chance to change"

WASHINGTON – (AP Photo) Exactly 20 years after warning America about global warming, a top NASA scientist said the situation has gotten so bad that the world’s only hope is drastic action.

James Hansen told Congress on Monday that the world has long passed the “dangerous level” for greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and needs to get back to 1988 levels. He said Earth’s atmosphere can only stay this loaded with man-made carbon dioxide for a couple more decades without changes such as mass extinction, ecosystem collapse and dramatic sea level rises.

“We’re toast if we don’t get on a very different path,” Hansen, director of the Goddard Institute of Space Sciences who is sometimes called the godfather of global warming science, told The Associated Press. “This is the last chance.” Read more by clicking here.

Let’s hear your thoughts! Please post a comment below.

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This post was written by qni_it on June 24, 2008

An Iota of Insight


We still stand at a decent chance for a few showers and storms Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. We are likely going to be placed under a slight risk of severe weather for each of those three days. None of these days should be a complete washout. The timing of these storms is still quite murky since the models are varying widely as to when to bring in the wet weather. In terms of rainfall, I don’t see any one prolonged event. This tells me that the liquid totals are only going to be heavy in some isolated locations. If you do get under one of the heavier downpours, it should be fairly brief. If any of these storms do become severe, Eric and I will be watching for the formation of hail and damaging winds. Justin might still be watching, but that lucky guy is on vacation! -ADAM

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This post was written by qni_it on June 24, 2008

Biggest artwork in Northern Illinois

The Fields Art Project took place in Ogle County this past weekend. There were quite a few displayes including designs in a few hay fields. The pictures here are on Don Gallop’s field just north of Leaf River. Click here for more information on the Fields Art Project!

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This post was written by qni_it on June 24, 2008

Why aren’t the floodwaters going down faster?

Brian Rieder, our promo guy here at WREX, and I were talking about the flooded Rock River this afternoon. When he was driving across the Latham Road bridge this afternoon he could see that the water has fallen off quite a bit since it crested late last week. But why isn’t it quicker? After all. We haven’t had any rainfall for the better part of a week.

First let’s talk about why it got flooded in the first place. (I’ll also explain why there’s a giant Coke cup on this blog post). 6-12 inches of rain fell in Central and Southern Wisconsin during the beginning of June. This water pooled in area river basins and flowed toward the Mississippi and Rock Rivers.

It took more than a week for the river to rise to its crest and it will take at least as long to fall below flood stage. The reason why? We’ve filled the river up beyond capacity but haven’t changed the channel width. So now all of this water is going to have to find its place in the channel and flow downstream…and that may take a while. This brings me to the giant coke cup! Whether the cup’s full or empty you can only get so much out of the straw on top. That’s your channel! And there’s no way to get that channel bigger and let the cup drain (unless you rip off the plastic top and dump it out or poke a hole on the bottom but that’s no fun).

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This post was written by qni_it on June 23, 2008

Unsettled Late Week

First off, on behalf of Eric Sorensen and everyone else at WREX, I want to thank all of you that helped donate items to Operation Hawkeye Relief last Friday. It was a major success!

Later on this work week, we will be watching several disturbances roll across the Stateline. Just like last week, we are going to be under a northwesterly flow in the jet stream. This will send several impulses of energy through the region between Wednesday and Saturday. As we have talked about in the past, there is no moisture source in central Canada. This means that moisture is going to be limited during this timeframe. It is quite difficult to nail down the timing of these waves at this point, because the models differ greatly with what they believe will happen later this week.

The graphic to the left is ExacTrack at noon today. It shows our next rainmaker, which is developing over the western Plains. It is going to take awhile to get here with a large area of high pressure holding strong over the upper Midwest.

I don’t expect any one of those four days (Wed. – Sat.) to be a complete washout, but we will occasionally run into some wet weather. With a northwesterly flow over the past week, the Chicago-Rockford Int’l Airport only received 0.06″ of liquid. I would expect to receive more in the rain bucket than that this week, but it won’t be anything that will cause additional flooding. -ADAM

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This post was written by qni_it on June 23, 2008

Operation Hawkeye Relief

Last week, our viewers rose to the occasion to help out our neighbors in Iowa. Another flood relief drive has been organized – WREX, Angel Flight Central, and Emery Air are teaming up to send additional aid to flood-stricken Iowans. We hope that you can once again help out the people in Iowa.

Operation Hawkeye Relief is taking place this Friday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. There are two drop-off locations: one at Emery Air at Chicago Rockford Int’l Airport and one in the parking lot between Gustafson’s Furniture and Cliffbreakers at North Main and Riverside. Four planes will then take the donations to Cedar Rapids on Friday evening.

Here is a list of supplies we’re looking for:

  • Deodorant
  • Toys – Board Games, Coloring Books, Crayons, Markers
  • Flashlights and battery powered lanterns
  • First Aid Supplies – Band-Aids etc.
  • Hair brushes
  • Toothpaste & Toothbrushes
  • Wet Wipes
  • Toilet Paper
  • Diapers
  • Desitin
  • Razors & Shaving Cream
  • Feminine Products
  • Soap
  • Sun block

We are not looking for heavy boxed items like canned goods and water.

An Iowa-sized “thank you!” in advance … we hope to see you on Friday!

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This post was written by qni_it on June 19, 2008

Chow Down for a Good Cause


This morning’s breakfast buffet at Cliffbreakers was a success that raised over $2000 to help out the flood victims, but more is still needed. If you stop into Cliffbreakers for breakfast (6-9am) between now and July 31st, they will donate $1 for each meal served to those in need. While there, you will also have the opportunity to match this gift by contributing a dollar to the Red Cross.

If your stomach is growling some morning over the next six weeks, why not head to Cliffbreakers and help yourself while helping the victims of recent flooding! -ADAM

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This post was written by qni_it on June 18, 2008