White Out 2011 Coverage


rt-722:25pm-  This is Rt 72. between Monroe Center & Fairdale- The 5 stranded cars you asked for help with. All are safe!

1:50PM – U.S. 14 in Rock County is open once again

1:20PM – Blizzard Warning has been cancelled, Wind Chill Watch is in effect tonight through noon tomorrow

(1:04:52 PM) nwsbot: DVN: 1 Wnw Morrison [Whiteside Co, IL] trained spotter reports SNOW of E16.0 INCH at 01:04 PM CST —


12:15pm- Katie Lentz sent us this picture.  Taken between Bryon and Stillman Valley.

(11:41:09 AM) nwsbot: LOT: De Kalb [De Kalb Co, IL] trained spotter reports SNOW of M15.7 INCH at 11:30 AM CST — 24 hour snow total ending 1130 am. two day total snowfall was 18.7 inches.
(11:41:30 AM)
(11:41:46 AM) nwsbot: LOT: Harvard [Mchenry Co, IL] trained spotter reports SNOW of M16.0 INCH at 11:30 AM CST — storm total

11:20am-  This is what 72 looks like in Stillman Valley.  Thanks to Carl Meyers who took the picture.



(11:03:22 AM) nwsbot: LOT: Rockford Airport [Winnebago Co, IL] official nws obs reports HEAVY SNOW of M14.3 INCH at 11:00 AM CST —

11:00am- This picture is from Kim Daws in Forreston, IL.  Her husband is 6’1″.  WOW!

10:45am-  Now that the main snow showers are beginning to move east… it cannot be stressed enough that a silent danger may loom.  The leading cause of death during winter storms is generally related to automobile or transportation accidents.  Exhaustion and heart attacks caused by overexertion are just as common.  Avoid overexertion… such as shoveling heavy snow, pushing a car or walking in deep snow.  The strain from the cold and hard labor may lead to a heart attack and sweating may also lead to extreme chill and potentially hypothermia.  -NWS

10:10am – Two photos. One from Tony Sadewater in Loves Park, the other from Nancy Chamberlain at Spring Creek and Alpine Rds. Wow!


Additional snowfall totals as of 10am:

M15.0 for Loves Park. Drifts averaging 24 inches.
M21.1 5NW Woodstock

M17.1 Genoa
M15.7 DeKalb
M13.9 Rockford Int’l Airport


9:50am – We are forecasting NO MORE SNOW for this event. However, significant blowing and drifting will conti

nue to occur until the high wind subsides this afternoon. A Blizzard Warning remains in effect through early afternoon. Karen Holmes of Capron uploaded this photo to our Facebook page and says “Golf anyone?” -ES


9:40am – Here is our most recent “Top-Ten”

9:37am – To clear up any confusion, the civil emergency for Southern Wisconsin expired at sunrise. Still, only main urban roads remain passable with 4WD.

(9:28:11 AM) nwsbot: MKX: 3 S La Grange [Walworth Co, WI] trained spotter reports HEAVY SNOW of M13.5 INCH at 07:25 AM CST — storm total

(9:15:32 AM) nwsbot: LOT: Rockford [Winnebago Co, IL] broadcast media reports BLIZZARD at 07:58 AM CST — drifts more than 12 feet deep on auburn road between meridan and winnebago roads. plows are stuck. relayed by wrex tv.

9:11am – Preliminary: This storm is ranked as the fourth largest in Rockford history. -ES

9:05am – Our incredible situation continues. 3 miles east of Durand on HWY 75, a plow truck got stuck, tow truck is stuck trying to pull him out…got stuck…now an end loader has arrived, the road is completely shut down

8:50am – Large road graters have been called to help remove snow on I-90 and US20. Do not travel. There are still numerous vehicles reported with stranded motorists. 9-1-1 Center is overwhelmed with people needing help. -ES

8:45am -The State of Wisconsin cannot confirm any fatalities, but that remains to be seen due to the number of cars reported stranded/people missing.

8:40am – New snowfall totals coming into us. Thanks to everyone for sending them to weather@wrex.com. Remember to measure in five spots…then we’ll average them. Note the tallest drifts too!


8:34am – Check out this snow drift in Belvidere! Compared to the height of this family’s garage, the drift is likely over eight feet tall. Thank you to Brian Guswelle for sending this via weather@wrex.com -ES

(8:27:01 AM) nwsbot: LOT: 5 Nw Woodstock [Mchenry Co, IL] co-op observer reports SNOW of E17.5 INCH at 07:00 AM CST — 17.5 inches 24-hour snowfall. snow depth is 25 inches.

8:01am – Twelve foot snow drifts reported by the Winnebago County Highway Dept on Auburn Road west of Meridian Road. Large road graters have been called to help two stranded plows. -ES

7:50AM:  13.8 inches in Polo

7:30AM: Several motorists have been stranded all night on Route 20 between Marengo and Garden Prairie.

6:35AM – Dixon – 16.5″

6:20AM – 5 motorists have been stuck on Rt. 72 between Monroe Center and Kirkland.  They are currently running out of gas and request rescue assistance by snowmobile if possible.

5:30AM – New snowfall totals in:

Rockford Airport – 13.5″    O’Hare Airport – 17″    Midway Airport – 14.5″

3:15AM – gust of 60 in Milwaukee

3:10AM – I just noticed a gust of 77mph in Galena/Dubuque. Checking with the NWS right now to see if we have a sensor issue or if this actually happened


3:00AM – Scanner reports of a National Guard Truck stuck in Rock County

2:20AM – 51mph gust in Monroe, WI

2:10AM – All roads are closed to motorists in Lake County, IL

2:05AM – A very heavy band of snow stretches from Oregon/Rochelle through Belvidere and into the Kenosha area. 3″ per hour snowfall rates are possible in this line as it slowly pushes to the east. The western edge of the snow is now nearing eastern Iowa at this time which will signal new snowfall winding down near 4-5AM. Blowing and drifting will continue in full force through the late morning hours keeping visibility near zero.


1:30AM – Lee County Emergency Manager – I am near the I80 and I39 crossway. From several level places I measured 13-15″ of snow – 7 miles north of La Salle, IL – snow continues to fall with winds mostly in the 20s and gusts into the 30s. Significant drifting snow – saw quite a few drifts over 4′





12:50AM – Record daily snowfall for Tuesday in Rockford of 10.9 inches. This shatters the old record of 4.2 inches  -AB

12:40AM- Several reports are coming in that point to a closing of a section of Perryville Rd. in Rockford.

(12:15:17 AM) nwsbot: DVN: Moline Quad-City Airpor [Rock Island Co, IL] official nws obs reports SNOW of M14.8 INCH at 12:07 AM CST — 24 hr/storm total 14.8 inches. 9.3 inches since 6 pm. two day total 16.5 inches so far.

(11:55:36 PM) NWS – We have our WSR-88D Snow-Liquid Ratio Set to 11:1 because of the wind. Even so, the primary snow band through Kenosha/Racine is producing 2.5-3″ per hour rates.

This snow band also extends southwest toward northern Boone county with slightly lesser intensity


11:10pm – snowfallrateIncredible snowfall rates continue from Rockford, eastward. If there’s any good news here is the “less than 1/4” snows down to the southwest. -ES

11:00am – Heavy snowfall continues in Boone and McHenry County, southwestward into Southern Winnebago County. The band that has been sitting in Eastern Iowa all evening is beginning to nudge eastward and will affect Northern Illinois through 2am. Totals will exceed 12 inches in all areas. -ES

10:30am- 61 mph measured gust at O’Hare Airport. 67mph wind at Chicago’s Lakefront.

This is why you don’t travel tonight…

(10:14:03 PM) nwsbot: LOT: 4 Sw Cherry Valley [Winnebago Co, IL] broadcast media reports SNOW of M9.5 INCH at 09:51 PM CST — 9.5 inches measured. report relayed from wrex.

(10:13:09 PM) nwsbot: LOT: De Kalb [Dekalb Co, IL] trained spotter reports SNOW of E7.0 INCH at 10:00 PM CST — lightning near 930 pm.

(10:04:09 PM) nwsbot: LOT: Ssw Cortland [Dekalb Co, IL] trained spotter reports SNOW of E10.3 INCH at 09:30 PM CST — strong winds and blowing snow. lightning flashes about 930 pm. 1.53 water equivalent.

(10:00:04 PM) nwsbot: LOT: Rockford Airport [Winnebago Co, IL] official nws obs reports HEAVY SNOW of M6.4 INCH at 09:55 PM CST — 2.7 inches since 6 pm

(9:54:47 PM) nwsbot: LOT: Winnebago [Winnebago Co, IL] broadcast media reports SNOW of M8.0 INCH at 09:00 PM CST — average storm total snowfall so far at wrex.

9:40PM – Heavy blowing/drifting on Winnebago Rd. Nearly 6 foot drifts in spots!

(9:31:17 PM) nwsbot: LOT: Ne Cary [Mchenry Co, IL] trained spotter reports SNOW of M6.0 INCH at 09:00 PM CST — blowing snow and very gusty winds. moderate snowfall rate.

(9:26:54 PM) nwsbot: LOT: Woodstock [Mchenry Co, IL] co-op observer reports SNOW of M4.5 INCH at 09:00 PM CST — average measurement of storm total snow so far since this morning. heavy snow and blowing snow at time of report. drifts well over 1 foot. snow depth 1 foot.

9:27pm – Thundersnow caught on camera near LaSalle. Thunder comes at :35. WOW!

9:25pm – Six foot drift on Winnebago Road between US20 and Auburn Road in Winnebago Co. -ES

(9:20:37 PM) nwsbot: MKX: 3 S La Grange [Walworth Co, WI] trained spotter reports HEAVY SNOW of M2.5 INCH at 09:05 PM CST — snow total between 7 and 9 pm cst

9:18pm – Heavy snow will fall from now through 5am. Between 5am, snow will taper off…but gradually. Total snowfall will be 12-20″ areawide with higher amounts. Drifts could approach 7 feet in open areas. -ES

9:16pm – From the Quad Cities NWS office: “If you absolutely must trave…carry a winter survival kit and cell phone. If you become stranded…it may be an extended amount of time before help can arrive.”

9:15pm – I cannot emphasize this enough, we are hearing of too many people stranded in cars. This is a life-threatening situation to be in your car overnight. Treat this like a hurricane. If you go out, your life is in your own hands.

8:55pm – Due to the convective nature of the snow, if the bands set up over a certain area, some areas could see greater than 20 inches of snowfall. -ES

(8:50:18 PM) nwsbot: LOT: Crystal Lake [Mchenry Co, IL] co-op observer reports SNOW of M3.4 INCH at 08:49 PM CST —

8:51pm – Sheriff’s office in DeKalb advising against travel. (It would be prudent not to risk your life anywhere in Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin right now.)

(8:44:36 PM) nwsbot: LOT: Hampshire [Kane Co, IL] broadcast media reports BLIZZARD at 08:34 PM CST — 50 cars stranded from the us20/i-90 jct in hampshire ne towards marengo. report relayed from wrex.

(8:38:03 PM) nwsbot: DVN: Sterling [Whiteside Co, IL] trained spotter reports SNOW of M8.0 INCH at 08:37 PM CST — still moderate to heavy snow

8:30pm – An updated discussion just came from our friends at the Milwaukee NWS office. The low is now moving farther north than any of the models indicated. They also said that another 1.5″ of liquid precipitation will fall from 6pm to the end of the system which would add up to 19-20 inches (on top of anything that fell before 6pm). Absolutely stunning if this is the case. -ES

8:30pm – Report from one of our trained spotters of a M9.0 report in Belvidere with drifts to 20 inches. -ES

8:15pm – ALERT: No one should be on the roads right now. Not even in emergency. Five cars stuck on Winnebago Road between US20 and Auburn Road. The road is expected to remain closed tonight. -ES

8:05pm – Boone County road crews will NOT be plowing tonight through early morning. IDOT crews will work on BUS20, US20, and Hwy 76 as well as city crews however the county roads will NOT be plowed from here on out. -ES


7:45pm – Here is a look at the latest rate of snowfall across the region. Amazing amounts of snow are falling NE of Bloomington and in Eastern Iowa from near Galena t

o Maquoketa to SE Iowa. According to KCRG-TV Meteorologist (and WREX alum) Justin Gehrts, lightning and thunder has been reported in the heavy band in Eastern Iowa. This will pivot northeast. -ES

7:30pm – From our live chat: “have a family member stuck on rt 26 south of Dixon, police said we are sorry we have squad cars stuck.”


7:20pm – We’ve received some great snowfall reports from you all! However, a lot of you are wondering “How do you measure the snow with all of this wind?” The importa

nt thing is to take many measurements with a yard stick and then average them. Better yet? We’ll do the averaging for you. Give us five different depths (don’t measure what was already on the ground) and we’ll put it on the map. In addition, any reports of thundersnow would be great! Finally, any significant depths of drifts are encouraged. Please e-mail to weather@wrex.com with your approximate location (cross street, town). Thanks! -ES


6:33pm – Take a look at the current snowfall rate from our ExacTrack Doppler. Our snow is intensifying right now as we transition from less than one inch per hour snows to 1-2 inches per hour! Check out the heavy snow for Northern Indiana right now which is nearing 3 inches per hour! The snow that is southwest of the QC will move northeas

t. -ES

6:19pm – Northern Illinois  University has canceled all classes tonight and Wednesday. -ES

6:17pm – Attention: From the Stephenson Co. highway department. They are pulling all plows off of roads from “9pm to 4am because of equipment problems and staffing.” -ES

(6:03:45 PM) nwsbot: DVN: Stockton [Jo Daviess Co, IL] co-op observer reports SNOW of E4.5 INCH at 05:57 PM CST — 4-4.5 inches.
(6:03:45 PM) nwsbot: DVN: Stockton [Jo Daviess Co, IL] co-op observer reports BLIZZARD at 05:57 PM CST — whiteout conditions. winds gusting to 42 mph.

(5:51:39 PM) nwsbot: LOT: Wnw Wonder Lake [Mchenry Co, IL] trained spotter reports SNOW of M7.6 INCH at 05:30 PM CST — snow fall today. blowing and drifting snow continuing.

(5:05:49 PM) nwsbot: DVN: 2 Nnw Thomson [Carroll Co, IL] trained spotter reports SNOW of E4.0 INCH at 05:05 PM CST —

5:10pm – We’re in the midst of moderate to heavy snowfall. Looking at the current radar, we see heavier snow falling from the Quad Cities southwestward. This will move northeast. Lightning and thunder will be possible with this band. Again, do not travel unless it is an emergency. -ES


4:48pm – Going forecast remains in tact. 12-20 inches of snow will fall across Northern Illinois. If anything, I moved the 12″+ line to cover Beloit and Freepo

rt as bright-banding on the radar is seen from the Quad Cities, southwestward. -ES

4:14pm – According to KWWL Chief Meteorologist Mark Schnackenberg, Dubuque County, snow plows are being pulled off the roads at 5 pm Tuesday and will not go back out until Wednesday morning. Drivers are urged to stay home if possible.

3:52pm – Technical Forecast Discussion concerning 2-3 inch per hour snows. Lightning/thunder now forecast from SPC.

unbelievable1BREAKING: If our in-house Futuretrack model is correct in its snowfall forecast, more than 20 inches will be possible for the Rockford metro with higher amounts south.

Regardless of a 10 or 20 inch snowfall, all travel will become impossible bringing commerce to a halt.


Posted under weather, winter storm

This post was written by qni_it on February 1, 2011

20 Comments so far

  1. Carrie February 1, 2011 3:14 PM

    Oh my…24 inches of snow in Dixon? What are the probabilities of this actually occuring?

  2. Ken February 1, 2011 3:26 PM

    60% of the time it works every time.

  3. Scott-Machesney Park February 1, 2011 3:28 PM

    I guess the more northerly track panned out.

  4. BUB - Belvidere February 1, 2011 3:31 PM

    TOTALLY Stoked

  5. Kayla February 1, 2011 3:41 PM

    rds are being shut down and lanark is zero visibility.

  6. Kayla February 1, 2011 3:43 PM

    People are abandoning cars left and right south of 72 on back rds.

  7. Carrie February 1, 2011 3:47 PM

    Hope we don’t lose power, we are prepared if we do though…what a snow event!

  8. Nick A February 1, 2011 3:52 PM

    I’m with you BUB! Let it snow!

  9. Sara-NW RFD February 1, 2011 5:30 PM

    New chat: Weird; when I submit a comment, it doesn’t post.

  10. BillNole February 1, 2011 5:35 PM

    Sara, I’d assume that to be related to the excess traffic their site is receiving during the storm. Could be up and down through the night as they struggle to handle the traffic…

  11. phat47 February 1, 2011 5:59 PM

    This is the famous live interactive weather blog??

  12. Abby February 1, 2011 6:50 PM

    are we really suppose to get 24 inches in Dixon, Satellite out and no access to tv live weather coverage?

  13. Eric Sorensen February 1, 2011 6:53 PM

    Abby, if we feel there’s a need for changes, just push refresh on this page. 🙂

  14. Sara-NW RFD February 1, 2011 7:40 PM

    BillNole: Thanks. Found out that the response rate is slow compared to the one on this blog.

  15. Pam in Poplar Grove February 1, 2011 8:28 PM

    i can’t get on the chat – the Chrysler plant still has 2nd shift people working. Are the IDOT crews planning on plowing?

  16. Eric Sorensen February 1, 2011 8:29 PM

    Pam, IDOT are currently out…for how long, I do not know. It is NOT ADVISABLE TO TRAVEL. -ES

  17. Pam in Poplar Grove February 1, 2011 8:41 PM

    Thanks Eric. I wish he could just have stayed home. I never thought they’d keep them this long w/this storm.

  18. Tara- LaSalle Peru February 1, 2011 8:49 PM

    Just heard some loud thunder…very wild!! 🙂

  19. invisbob February 1, 2011 10:02 PM

    Just a bit of snow, quit yer whining people.

  20. haylee February 2, 2011 8:09 AM

    After taking several measurements, we are averaging 17 inches of new snow here in Lindenwood, IL. We had thunder and lightening last night and the snow came down so hard we could not see across the street! The drifts average about 3 feet high here in the subdivision but have had reports from family and friends report drifts well over 5 feet in the rural areas of Lindenwood. Have never seen anything like this!

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