Save the Lakes!!

michigan3The Obama administration has made a 41-page plan that will span over the next 4 years to help or should I say rescue the Great Lakes and it’s ecosystem from Asian Carp, toxic waste and dying wildlife habitat. The plan will consist of $2.2 Billion to help repair the lakes which supplies more than 30 million people their drinking water.
The goals to help the lakes are first a zero tolerance policy towards the invasion of the Asian Carp. This ravenous fish completely absorbs the food system for all other species. Other goals are to cleanup the heavily polluted waters, which also includes improving the quality of water in shallow areas, and runoff from the surrounding cities and farms. It will also help save the lake sturgeon, which is a prehistoric fish that can measure up to 8 feet long and weigh 200 pounds. This fish is endangered due to the depletion of its habitat.
By 2014 the ultimate goal is to make the Great Lakes fish safe to eat, the water suitable for drinking and outdoor activities, and local plants and wildlife healthy and thriving.

Share

Posted under weather

This post was written by qni_it on February 23, 2010

blog_info

Forecast Update (10:00am):

It looks like this afternoon will be mostly cloudy to overcast skies with a few light flurries. Highs will be in the lower to mid 30s. Overnight, a few flurries are possible, but our temps will stay above average in the mid 20s. Tomorrow another clipper comes screaming down from Canada giving us another chance of some light snow showers. Highs will be in the upper 20s.
The clipper is also bringing in some cold air that will drop us way below average for Thursday. Don’t worry it won’t last long, we’ll have the lower and mid 30s by the weekend.

Snowfall Updates:

(6:08:17 AM) nwsbot: DVN: Moline [Rock Island Co, IL] official nws obs reports SNOW of M4.6 INCH at 06:00 AM CST — storm total at quad cities airport.

(5:27:11 AM) nwsbot: LOT: Woodstock [Mchenry Co, IL] co-op observer reports SNOW of M2.8 INCH at 05:26 AM CST — 2.8 inches of new snow.

(5:14:48 AM) nwsbot: MKX: 9 Wnw Beloit [Rock Co, WI] trained spotter reports SNOW of E1.0 INCH at 05:14 AM CST —

(5:06:36 AM) nwsbot: DVN: Freeport [Stephenson Co, IL] trained spotter reports SNOW of M3.5 INCH at 05:02 AM CST — storm total. flurries still occurring at time of report.

(4:53:25 AM) nwsbot: LOT: Huntley [Mchenry Co, IL] trained spotter reports SNOW of M3.3 INCH at 04:51 AM CST — icy and snow covered roads

Forecast Update (4:30am)

Our winter storm has come and is now leaving, that is the good news this morning. The not so good news is that it did dump about 2-3 inches leaving roadways slushy and caked with heavy, wet snow. Just be advised that you morning commute will be slippery, so please drive safely. By this afternoon the snow will have tapered off to some light flurries. Highs will be in the lower 30s. Overnight, a few flurries are possible, but our temps will stay above average in the mid 20s.Tomorrow another clipper comes screaming down giving us another chance of some light snow showers. Highs will be in the upper 20s.
The clipper is also bringing in some cold Canadian air that will drop us way below average for Thursday.Don’t worry it won’t last long, we’ll have the lower and mid 30s by the weekend.

9:05pm – Latest snowfall map!

32

7:40pm – I will try to have the live chat activated by 8:30 tonight, check back in a bit!  -AB

6:00pm –

fill_94qwbg

As of the last few hours, our storm is beginning to look a bit weaker. First of all, the low is not quite as strong as it looked last night. Also, the main area of low pressure is situated toward southern Illinois and is exhibiting a strong easterly component both on radar and with surface pressure trends. Finally, HPC and the models are keying in on much less available moisture. Compare the new Quantitative Precipitation map with the analysis from last night (below). For the short term, look for snow to begin from south to north and into Rockford within the hour.

5:00pm – The NWS in the Quad Cities has downgraded the Winter Storm Warning for Stephenson, JoDaviess, Carroll, and Whiteside counties to a Winter Weather Advisory. The Winter Storm Warning continues for Winnebago, Boone, Ogle, Lee, and DeKalb counties. In watching the low progress, the center has passed a bit south of where we expected with an easterly component already to become apparent in regional radar scans. Still expecting Significant snow toward the southeastern counties through the overnight.

12:30pm Sun – WINTER STORM WARNING has been issued for all of northern Illinois with southern Wisconsin remaining in a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY. With the exception of the urban heat island of Chicago and its surrounding suburbs, it seems that the 32 degree line has gone a bit further south than last night. HPC has backed off a bit on their total precipitation, but it is still over the 1″ mark which means significant snowfall totals are possible. As you go northwest of Rockford, totals should be a bit lower as less of the moisture will make it in those areas. I am still calling for 6-10″ for the Stateline with Rockford being toward the lower end of that scale. At this point, I still won’t rule out the possibility of a couple measurements of near a foot, especially to the south and east if temperatures can remain below freezing. One plus side to the situation is the central pressure of the low seems to be a bit higher than expected. This will result in a less tightly packed isobar setup behind the system and lower wind speeds on Monday.

-AB

10:00pm – Right now, we are watching the new models as they come in. The 00Z NAM still has the low and its associated precipitation a bit further south than the older runs of the GFS. As many of you know, Model consistency is something that we always look for to pinpoint snowfall totals. With the next couple runs, some fine tuning may have to happen with the expected totals. For tonight, fog is becoming more widespread as we bring this moisture to the ground level and thus I am increasing tonight’s low a couple degrees.

7:00pm – fill_98qwbgThe Hydrological Prediction Center has an area of well over an inch of precipitation to our southeast for the next 48 hours. This will occur near the 32 degree line so folks near this max that stay in the snow will be seeing high totals.

5:15pm – Here are the expected snowfall totals!

12

5:00pm – Main low pressure center is still located over the Colorado/New Mexico area. Models are putting a max of well over an inch of liquid just to our southeast. Right now, the precipitation looks to be mostly freezing north of a line from O’Hare to LaSalle with a bit of rain possibly mixing in Sunday late night near this line. A Winter Storm Warning has been issued for Stephenson, JoDaviess, Whiteside, and Carroll counties until Monday night.

11:00am SAT – Winter Storm Watch in effect until Monday night for the entire viewing area. Check back for an afternoon update regarding this powerful storm!

Share

Posted under winter storm

This post was written by qni_it on February 20, 2010

Winter Storm Updates

6:02pm – 13Weather Authority Meteorologist Aaron Brackett shared this link for probabilities of winter weather from the Storm Prediction Center. -ES

6:00pm – With every model run that comes out, the storm seems to be shifting north. This could be due to the lack of snowcover to the south. However, this trend will probably stop in the next day (or even come back to the south). This is surely not a slam-dunk forecast from this vantage point. Still, there is better than a 50/50 chance of a 6-12″ snowfall Monday/ -ES

snowpotential

5:15pm – Special Weather Statement from the National Weather Service Chicago office:

...POTENTIAL FOR WINTER STORM SUNDAY NIGHT INTO MONDAY...

A COUPLE OF UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCES WILL AFFECT NORTHERN ILLINOIS
AND NORTHWEST INDIANA FROM TONIGHT THROUGH MONDAY. THE SECOND OF
THESE SYSTEMS HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BRING SIGNIFICANT SNOW
ACCUMULATIONS TO PORTIONS OF THE REGION SUNDAY NIGHT INTO MONDAY.

A WEAK DISTURBANCE TRACKING EAST OUT OF THE PLAINS WILL BRING LIGHT
SNOW ACCUMULATIONS TO THE AREA FROM TONIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY. A
STRONGER STORM SYSTEM FROM THE PACIFIC WILL THEN TRACK INTO THE
CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN PLAINS ON SUNDAY. LIGHT SNOW IS EXPECTED TO
DEVELOP AHEAD OF THIS DISTURBANCE ACROSS PORTIONS OF NORTHERN AND
CENTRAL ILLINOIS SUNDAY AFTERNOON. THE INTENSITY OF SNOW IS
EXPECTED TO INCREASE SUNDAY NIGHT INTO MONDAY AS THE DISTURBANCE
ACROSS THE PLAINS BEGINS TO TRACK EASTWARD. AT THIS TIME IT
APPEARS AS THOUGH THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT SNOW
ACCUMULATIONS WITH SOME AREAS POSSIBLY RECEIVING IN EXCESS OF 6
INCHES OF SNOWFALL BY MONDAY EVENING. THERE IS STILL MUCH
UNCERTAINTY REGARDING THE EXACT TRACK OF THIS STORM WHICH WILL NOT
ONLY HAVE AN IMPACT ON THE LOCATION OF HEAVIEST SNOW...BUT ALSO ON
THE PRECIPITATION TYPE. A STORM TRACK FURTHER TO THE NORTH MAY
RESULT IN MIXED PRECIPITATION SUNDAY NIGHT INTO EARLY MONDAY...
ESPECIALLY SOUTH OF INTERSTATE 80. ANYONE PLANNING TRAVEL ACROSS
THE REGION LATE THIS WEEKEND INTO THE EARLY PART OF NEXT WEEK
SHOULD KEEP UP ON LATER FORECASTS REGARDING THIS POTENTIAL WINTER
STORM.

4:45pm – Light snow will move through the area tonight into Saturday providing much of the area with a fresh inch, perhaps two…just enough to make the roads slick. Light snow will end with some drizzle on Saturday. High temperatures will top out around 33 again with mostly cloudy skies.

Our next storm system may turn out to be the biggest winter storm of the 2009/2010 season! Global computer models are surprisingly uniform in bringing a storm onshore to Southern California tonight with a track into the Texas Panhandle, then sweeping into Central Illinois toward Northeastern Indiana. This track is the ominous “Panhandle Hook.” The GFS model’s precipitation is off the charts, peaking around 1.2″ of liquid, which with a simple 10 to 1 snow to water ratio brings an even foot of accumulation to the area. This system will be watched closely through the weekend. Please continue to monitor the latest forecasts on the air, on radio, and on the weather blog here at wrex.com. -ES

snowfallforecastHere is a quick look at the raw data coming in from our models concerning two different snow systems. The first one isn’t expected to put down much. In fact, the NWS is forecasting more snow than all the models. The second snow will come ala “winter storm” and could add up very efficiently. I do want to throw out a word of caution when reading these that they could be a little high due to the fact that I just started looking at thermal profiles. We all know what happens if a snow system turns into a sleet or rain system for even a few hours of the event. Nonetheless, this one could be a doozy! -ES

Share

Posted under winter storm

This post was written by qni_it on February 19, 2010

Remember… it’s still Winter

gfs_slp_084mWe have a pair of snow makers that are making an impact on our forecast in the next couple of days. Here is a rundown of what to expect from the two systems. The first one comes in tonight (Friday Night) and will last through Saturday. What we can expect from this low pressure is a light snow event that will accumulate about 1-2 inches of snow by late Saturday. So just a couple of inches… not too bad. Round 2 is expected to bring snow here by late Sunday into Monday. At this moment the path is North Texas, Western Tennessee, Southern Indiana and then into Central Ohio. Due to the ever changing storm track of the system it is hard to pin point a total snowfall accumulation at this time. The 13 Weather Authority will continue to monitor the system and let you know what to expect for next week.

Share

Posted under weather

This post was written by qni_it on February 19, 2010

UN’s top climate official quits over global climate pessimism

blog_climate5 By Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 19, 2010

Yvo De Boer to step down in July

Yvo De Boer to step down in July

Just two months after patching together a climate deal in Copenhagen, the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases are trying to figure out how to keep the fragile accord together, while the United Nations, which has played a central part in 15 rounds of climate talks, seems destined for a smaller role in the future.

Nearly 100 nations, including the United States, South Africa and Brazil, have endorsed the Copenhagen Accord. But China and India have yet to formally sign off on it, and sources close to Chinese officials say they are balking at sensitive points dealing with transparency and monitoring, even as they vow to press ahead with limits on the growth of their emissions in the next decade.

Meanwhile, a domestic political stalemate in the United States could make it challenging for the Obama administration to deliver on pledges to cut emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.

“Some countries are holding back, I think, because they question whether the very positive provisions in the accord will actually get implemented,” Todd Stern, the U.S. special envoy on climate change, said in an interview Thursday. “My message to them is that the only way to have an impact on that is to engage, to become part of the accord and to try to make sure it does get implemented in the right way.”

Pessimism about global climate talks deepened Thursday as Yvo de Boer, the United Nations’ top climate official, resigned after struggling for 3 1/2 years to produce a binding legal treaty requiring the world’s major emitters of greenhouse gases to slash their carbon output in the coming decades. He will step down July 1 with that goal unmet. Read the complete story here.

Share

Posted under 13 Climate Authority

This post was written by qni_it on February 19, 2010

Wildlife & Weather

Birdhouses in WinterChickadee
Mid-winter is the perfect time to put out a birdhouse.  Even though in many places there is still snow on the ground, and many bird species are still far to the south, it’s not too early.  Chickadees, bluebirds, screech owls and woodpeckers are among the bird species that will use a birdhouse built and mounted to their specifications. All of these species stick around for the winter and, at this time of year, begin scouting out locations to build their nests come spring.  If you have a birdhouse out now, these birds are likely to pick your yard as the place to raise their new family once spring arrives.

Purple Martins are Coming!
Despite the wintery weather in many parts of the country, purple martins are beginning their northward migrations.  Track their movements here.

Climate Change and Wildlife Roundup
Recent science and news about how climate change is impacting wildlife.

Share

Posted under wildlife

This post was written by qni_it on February 19, 2010

Weather observer needed in Dixon

From the National Weather Service:

A volunteer cooperative (CO-OP) weather observer is needed in Dixon, IL. A CO-OP observer is the official National Weather Service  (NWS)  weather observer for a community. The new observer will become a member of one of the National Weather Service’s nationwide volunteer networks. All CO-OP observers nationwide take and record precipitation (both rain and snow) readings and some take temperature readings as well. The observer in Dixon will take both temperature and precipitation observations.  The data provided by these dedicated individuals are critical to the mission of the NWS as it establishes the climate history of the area. The data for Dixon dates back to 1894 when E. E. Shaw began taking temperature and precipitation measurements in September of that year.  Click  HERE for more detailed information on the NWS Cooperative Observer Program.NWS standard rain gauge

The person we seek for this volunteer position:

  • Should be detail oriented
  • Will record daily readings at 7AM of temperature and precipitation (rain and snow)
  • Will need internet access to transmit the daily reports

Training and equipment will be furnished and maintained by the National Weather Service.

If you would like to be considered as a candidate for the Cooperative observer, please call us at:
(815) 834-1435 or (815) 963-5913 between the hours of 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM Sunday through Saturday.
OR, send an email to william.nelson@noaa.gov

Max Min Temp SensorLatest National Weather Service News

Share

Posted under weather

This post was written by qni_it on February 18, 2010

Eight weeks from Sixty!

puddleduckyWith little sign of anything warmer than the average temperature for the next week or so, let’s take a look at how long it should take us to get to 60°. Believe it or not, our average temperature on April 18th is 60°…that’s only eight weeks away!

So with any luck we’ll begin to feel the heat as winter slowly fades away. One thing’s for sure, you can definitely feel the sun’s heat more and more. Case in point, I didn’t need the heater on the car coming into work today. Made me happier than the “puddle ducky.” -ES

Share

Posted under weather

This post was written by qni_it on February 18, 2010

Awesome Picture… Round 2

Sky Mapping SpacecraftOn Wednesday, NASA released the first images from its sky-mapping spacecraft WISE, capturing this picture of the Andromeda Galaxy which is about 2.5 million light-years from the sun.  WISE (Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer) was launched in December and since then has sent back over 250,000 images. It orbits about 325 miles above Earth and scans the sky in search of comets, stars, and other galaxies.  Its main objective is to spot objects that may pose a threat to Earth.

Share

Posted under science, space

This post was written by qni_it on February 18, 2010

January 2010 was warm (everywhere else but here)

blog_climate3

Yesterday we reported on NASA’s release of a blockbuster claim that 2009 tied for the second warmest year in recorded history! Today, NOAA details the warming we’ve seen in January 2010. While the majority of the United States was unequivocably cold, the majority of the world was very warm (or hot in the Southern Hemisphere’s summer).

Here are some excerpts. You can read the entire story here.

Global Highlights

  • The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for January 2010 was 0.60°C (1.08°F) above the 20th century average of 12.0°C (53.6°F). This is the fourth warmest January on record.
  • The global land surface temperature for January 2010 was 0.83°C (1.49°F) above the 20th century average of 2.8°C (37.0°F)—the twelfth warmest January on record. Land areas in the Southern Hemisphere were the warmest on record for January. In the Northern Hemisphere, which has much more land, comparatively, land surface temperatures were 18th warmest on record.
  • The worldwide ocean surface temperature for January 2010 was the second warmest—behind 1998—on record for January, 0.52°C (0.94°F) above the 20th century average of 15.8°C (60.5°F). This can be partially attributed to the persistence of El Niño across the equatorial Pacific Ocean. According to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC), El Niño is expected to continue through the Northern Hemisphere spring 2010.
January 2010

The combined global land and ocean surface temperature anomaly for January 2010 was 0.60°C (1.08°F) above the 20th century average, resulting in the fourth warmest January since records began in 1880. The worldwide monthly averaged land surface temperature was the twelfth warmest January on record, with a temperature anomaly of 0.83°C (1.49°F) above the 20th century average. As shown in the dot maps above, warmer-than-average temperatures during the month of January were present across much of the world’s land areas. The warmest anomalies occurred in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, specifically in Canada, the western contiguous U.S., and parts of northern Russia. Cooler-than-average conditions were present across western Alaska, the southeastern contiguous U.S., northern Australia, and most of Europe and Russia.

Share

Posted under 13 Climate Authority

This post was written by qni_it on February 17, 2010