Long track low keeps on spinning

If this low were in Finding Nemo, it would say “just keep spinning, just keep spinning…spinning spinning.”

Last week, this system brought warm weather when it was west of the area. As it moved east, we experienced a large cooldown, and recently, a huge amount of rain.

Torrential downpours yesterday caused a record 3.93″ daily rainfall in Rockford due to a low that has been meandering its way across the Midwest for about a week. The solid line denotes the past track of this system prior to yesterday’s deluge. As it began to detach from the jet stream further north, it slowed down and became stuck. Following the dashed line, you can see how the system passed directly over northern Illinois and then continues to move through central Illinois through the day today.

Look for this rain-maker to finally get a move on later today through tomorrow and our rain chances to end fully tomorrow during the afternoon.

-Aaron

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Posted under weather

This post was written by qni_it on September 27, 2011

The science behind today’s wind

Three words: pressure gradient force.


Strengthening low pressure (or cyclogenesis) occurred directly over Northern Illinois today. With rapidly deepening low pressure, wind is brought in from higher pressures (on all sides) into the center of low pressure. As the wind was brought into the center of the low, the air was forced to rise. This caused intense rainfall that topped 5 inches in Belvidere! A new rainfall record was set in Rockford as well for the date.

Wind blowing from high to low pressure is called the pressure gradient force. The stronger this force, the stronger the wind. The wind gusted to 44 mph in Rockford just after 2pm this afternoon because of this.

There is good news that the strong wind is associated with cyclogenesis because the low is as strong as it will be now (and begin weakening tonight) meaning wind speeds will come down considerably by tomorrow.

There still may be some gusts above 30mph tonight with sustained 10-20mph wind tomorrow with an occasional gust to 30 on Tuesday. -ES

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Posted under weather geek, Wind

This post was written by qni_it on September 26, 2011

Rainfall record set in Rockford today

Rainfall around an intense area of low pressure has been torrential in parts of the area. The National Weather Service says this has exceeded any amount of rainfall reported on September 26th with 3.45 inches as of 4:36pm…and it’s still raining. -ES

RECORD EVENT REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO IL
0436 PM CDT MON SEP 26 2011

…RECORD DAILY MAXIMUM RAINFALL SET AT ROCKFORD IL…

A RECORD RAINFALL OF 3.45 INCH(ES) WAS SET AT ROCKFORD IL MONDAY.
THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 2.09 SET IN 1959.

IT IS STILL RAINING SO THE TOTAL WILL INCREASE.

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Posted under rain

This post was written by qni_it on September 26, 2011

Huge low barrels over Stateline

12:45pm – Heavy wind and rain continues as the low is now centered near Freeport. As it moves to the west, winds will subside a bit from our current 30-40mph range.

The low that has been affecting our weather pattern in some form for almost a week is now overhead. In a stunning view of the clouds from 22,000 miles up, you can see the swirl located right over the Stateline area. A dry notch has made its way into the southeastern Wisconsin which has brought sunshine after heavy morning rains right up the I-43 corridor.

Elsewhere, rain continues to wrap around this system that continues to deepen and blow winds up to 30 mph. Chilly temperatures combine with the rain and wind to produce rainy wind chills in the mid 40s through the middle of the day.

Look for sporadic showers to continue into tonight.

-Aaron

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Posted under weather

This post was written by qni_it on September 26, 2011

Heavy rain this morning

A large area of heavy rain continues to drench the area this morning as it spirals around our long-lasting area of low pressure. Look for rain to become heavy at times through mid-morning before a bit of a break early this afternoon. You can track the precip with our iNTERACTIVE Radar by clicking here. If you have rainfall amounts or witness flooding, please let me know at weather@wrex.com!

-Aaron

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Posted under First Look, rain

This post was written by qni_it on September 26, 2011

September 25th Hail Sightings

A few of us experienced scattered thunderstorms today that produced some small hail.  Areas around Dixon,Freeport, and Mount Morris saw some of this hail in large quantities.  Check out the picture taken by Rita Reeder from Freeport.  The small pea size hail is practically covering the ground.  This was mostly due to the location of the freezing level in the atmosphere that was located around 7,000 ft.   A freezing level at that height is rather low, so it didn’t take a strong updraft inside the thunderstorm to produce hail.

(9/25/2011 12:14:57 PM) nwsbot: LOT: Roscoe [Winnebago Co, IL] public reports HAIL of pea size (E0.25 INCH) at 11:00 AM CDT — relayed from wrex.

(9/25/2011 3:02:00 PM) nwsbot: LOT: 1 Sw Dixon [Lee Co, IL] cocorahs reports HAIL of pea size (E0.25 INCH) at 12:00 PM CDT — rain with thunder started 1130 am. pea sized hail began noon, ended 1203 pm. rain ended 1220 pm.

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Posted under weather, weather geek

This post was written by qni_it on September 25, 2011

Sometimes the weather computer has a mind of it’s own

Take a look at this segment from the Ellen Show.

 
video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

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Posted under humor

This post was written by qni_it on September 24, 2011

Prime waterspout/landspout conditions next few days

Timelapse video of Milwaukee waterspout (courtesy WTMJ-TV)

 

Numerous waterspouts formed over the near-shore waters of Lake Michigan today. This photo from WISN-TV in Milwaukee shows a mature waterspout just off shore of Milwaukee harbor. (Click to enlarge.) I forecasted this possibility yesterday in this blog post.

These are formed by abnormally warm lake water (for this time of year) and a significant cold pool of air aloft.

 

Meteorologists look at the lapse-rates which indicate the potential for rapidly rising air.

Lapse rate is simply the change of temperature from the surface to cloud level. High lapse rates indicate a strong rising motion in the atmosphere which indicates the potential for waterspouts. Waterspouts are quite simply vortices of air and water that swirl upward into the base of mature cumulus and cumulonimbus. Occasionally situations like this can also spawn cold-air funnels, which if strong enough, can turn into landspouts. These are similar to tornadoes but are usually very weak. This summer, a landspout came very close to the city of DeKalb, Illinois and was very photogenic.

Lapse rates this afternoon remain fairly impressive so be on the lookout for little funnels hanging or spinning from the underside of our cloud deck. Conditions will only be favorable during the daylight hours as the lapse rates and instability will greatly diminish at sunset. -ES

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Posted under tornado, weather geek

This post was written by qni_it on September 24, 2011

UARS satellite to crash to earth soon

12:05am – There are reports of “firework-like” flashes in the sky in Northern Quebec which may be a sign it came down in Canada earlier. Will update with official word later today. If you come across any cool links or video, please pass them along to me esorensen@wrex.com. I will be working Saturday evening and will post more information right here as I get it! -ES

11:57pm – Satellite spotted in Northern Minnesota.

11:35pm – It is quite possible that the satellite has disintegrated by now. Waiting for official confirmation from NASA.

11:28pm – The viewing opportunity here in the Midwest has ended as it travels over Newfoundland, headed southeast toward Africa. There will be some big splashes in the dark Atlantic in the next few minutes…

11:03pm – UARS satellite was visible over New Zealand. A bright glow with contrail going across sky.

11:02pm – Will approach southern Hawaiian islands in next 10 minutes.

10:54pm – The satellite is over New Zealand and will cross the Pacific Ocean within the next 15 minutes, going over Canada, and then over the Atlantic Ocean toward Africa (if it makes it that far). The demise is expected within the next hour! -ES

According to sources at NASA, the UARS satellite has begun its fiery re-entry to Earth.

This is a live stream of its current location:

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Posted under end of the world, safety, space, weather geek

This post was written by qni_it on September 23, 2011

I’m blue da da dee da da da da.

Here it is. And I promise not to sing on the air for at least a few months. -ES

 

 

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Posted under humor

This post was written by qni_it on September 23, 2011