Earth Hour 2010 at WREX!

We participated in Earth Hour 2010 where we turned off as many lights as we could in an hour. We have a lot of fluorescent lights that are automatically on but we managed to go as dark as possible to bring about awareness for the amount of energy we are consuming. Coming next month MSNBC is showing a special on our dependence on power. We’ll talk about that in coming days and weeks.

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Posted under climate/climate change

This post was written by qni_it on March 27, 2010

Warm temps, severe setup?

gfs_300_162lWhile warm temperatures are certainly the headliner here in the weather department, but a large trough associated with our southerly flow will bear some watching as we get closer to next weekend. I want to begin by stressing that this is still awhile out and that this is only one model’s depiction, but some ingredients appear to be present for the possibility of some severe weather in the midsection of the country. I have included a 300mb map of our winds next weekend. As you can see, we are still in strong southerly flow, but a large trough lingers out to the west over Colorado and New Mexico. There are a couple things to note about this setup. Strong southerly flow will warm up the mid section of the country quite well and winds appear to be diverging a bit ahead of the trough (good for providing lift). These ingredients at least hint at the possibility of some active weather, but something else I am looking into is lack of moisture and the propagation of this system. At this time, there doesn’t appear to be an abundance of moisture ahead of the system which we all know is needed for severe convection. Also, this pattern is hinting at a bit of an Omega block pattern. We saw these this winter, but we were on the cold side of the block. If this does in fact set up, this trough may remain west for a good amount of time, thus keeping us in warm southerly flow with fair skies.

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Posted under severe weather

This post was written by qni_it on March 27, 2010

Two feet of snow!?!?!?

Thanks to Randy Brock from KTTC for sharing this. 🙂

2feet

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Posted under humor

This post was written by qni_it on March 26, 2010

You thought it was cold here this morning?

lows_todayRockford’s official low temperature this Friday morning was right at 20°. Check out the lows in Northern Wisconsin and the U.P. Ouch!

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Posted under cold blast, weather

This post was written by qni_it on March 26, 2010

Controlled burns caught on doppler radar

smokeplumesIn days past we’ve shown you how local wind farms appear on the doppler radar display. Interstate traffic near the radar site and high-flying flocks of birds can also be picked up on a fairly regular basis.

Today, we get a clear glimpse of where there are controlled burns. There is one in far northeastern McHenry County. The other is located in Kane County, near Batavia. One way to quickly tell these are smoke plumes is to look at the wind direction. All reporting stations in northeastern Illinois are reporting gentle ESE winds meaning both plumes should be parallel to each other. -ES

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Posted under science

This post was written by qni_it on March 26, 2010

10 Day Trend

10daytrendToday’s afternoon temperatures in the upper 30s are about ten degrees colder than average. However the warm up we have planned for you next week is 20 degrees above average! Hip Hip Hooray!

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Posted under weather

This post was written by qni_it on March 25, 2010

IMHO this model is beautiful!

verify1Last night on 13News I showed you this look at Thursday afternoon temperatures from our high-resolution FutureTrack computer model. The graphic is pretty much a staple on 13News these days.

While other local forecasts had afternoon temperatures in the middle 40s, FutureTrack picked up on the northeasterly wind off of Lake Michigan. I shouldn’t be amazed because it’s a good model but look at how the model is spot-on to the degree in some spots! -ES

verify23

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Posted under weather

This post was written by qni_it on March 25, 2010

I need faces!

weather-kids-300x2501Just looked into the weather kid’s folder and noticed that I am running really low.  So here, we go again…  I need all parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and godparents to send me pictures.

Here is what I need:

Medium to high resolution attached photo of the kid at choice. Make sure the face is full visible.  Meaning no hands, or other objects blocking the face.  Or even near the face.  It’s hard to cut around them.

If this is for their birthday then I would like a 2 week advanced notice.

In addition, make sure the name, age and city is in the email.  (And if the name is unique, make sure a pronunciation is included :D)

Thanks to everyone who has sent pictures, keep on sending them in!!

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Posted under Uncategorized

This post was written by qni_it on March 25, 2010

Week from today: 70°

wed70For about a week now our global models have advertised a significant warm up for the Midwest for the immediate start of April. Here is a look at the 850 millibar (~5,000 foot ASL) forecast chart. It is indicating a strong southwesterly flow with absolutely no wind coming off of the Gulf of Mexico. This is key to bringing in warmth as a dry airmass is able to heat up more efficiently than a moist one. I see no reason looking at this to keep a 70° off of the 7 Day Outlook for next Wednesday, March 31st.

To answer your question “Will this last more than a day?” It appears the answer will be “Yes!” From this vantage point it looks like at least a few 70° will be possible, followed by a system that could bring the year’s first big thunderstorms to the region at about day 9 or day 10. -ES

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Posted under weather

This post was written by qni_it on March 24, 2010

Tornado Myths…

When it comes to tornado safety, I’m all about it. And when reading some of your comments the other day, it worried me.  There are lots of myths and misconceptions when it green-skiescomes to tornadoes, so here are some majors ones that you should remember.

#1 The sky has to be green for tornadoes to form.
You cannot count on the sky turning green every time before a tornado occurs.  However, a green sky is associated with strong/severe thunderstorms that could produce a tornado. So if you see dark storm clouds and the sky turns a tint of green, turn on the TV or radio to see what’s going on. If you hear the sirens, put your safety plan to full affect.

#2 Highway overpasses are safe and a great form of shelter.
We have all seen the video: the television crew covering the tornado, when they realized it was coming right at them, so they parked the car and ran up under the overpass. Luckily, for them, the tornado passed to the south of them, but it looked terrifying. Meteorologists insist that overpasses are a horrible choice for shelter from a tornado’s winds and all the flying debris, so it is the worst place to be during any tornado.  People stopping underneath overpasses also block the flow of traffic, putting others in danger too. (Check out- http://www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/tornado/i44brdg.htm)

#3 Tornadoes never hit big cities.
MIAMI TORNADOTell that to people that lived in Miami, FL, Nashville, TN, Wichita, KS, Fort Worth, TX and Oklahoma City,tell them that tornadoes do not hit downtown areas and let’s see what they say. These cities are on the list of cities that have been hit with F3 tornado or stronger. Some of these misconceptions come from people believing that cities give off more heat at night, dissipating the chances for tornadoes to form.  However, scientists have proven this so called  “heat island effect” can actually strengthen a tornado. The truth is, tornadoes can strike anywhere, so you should always be prepared no matter where you live.

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Posted under weather

This post was written by qni_it on March 24, 2010