Severe weather risk: over for this evening

Even though the cold front has yet to move into Northern Illinois, the atmospheric dynamics are beginning to wind down. While an isolated storm may pop along I-88, storms are no longer expected to be severe in our coverage area. Storms may still fire up from DeKalb to Kewanee to Galesburg but the storm motion will keep these moving east-northeast by 10pm. -ES

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Posted under severe weather

This post was written by qni_it on March 27, 2012

Storm threat will increase this afternoon

Here is a look at the current plot of “lifted index.” LI’s as they are referred show atmospheric instability. The numbers are figured by computing the temp the air near the ground would have if it was lifted high within the atmosphere. In short, it’s a way of figuring out how air parcels will behave within the environment. LI’s that are significantly below zero (below -5) show areas of significant instability. Areas shaded in blue (CINH) indicate where convection will be inhibited, or not allowed to form…essentially the oppostie of CAPE (potential energy).

Okay, all the mumbo-jumbo…what does it mean? Quite simply, storms may be born in the next few hours inside the red lines where it’s not shaded blue. We’ve got several more hours before anything is possible here in Northern Illinois. It’s likely these storms will form between Dubuque and Kansas City, tracking east-northeast this evening. Due to the strong wind already present in our region, if these storms race northeast they will have the capability to produce very strong wind gusts. Hail and tornado potential is much lower.

Again, timing brings this into our area between 4 and 8pm tonight. -ES

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Posted under severe weather

This post was written by qni_it on March 27, 2012

Late Afternoon & Evening Severe Threat

The sun will mix with a few clouds for this afternoon.  High temperatures will climb to just a degree or two on either side of 70.  However, our attention turns to a cold front moving toward the Mississippi River late this afternoon.  By 3pm, the threat for scattered showers and thunderstorms exists.  The rain will be scattered in nature, so not everyone will get wet!  We have about a 40% chance. 

 

 The dynamics with this front allows for the possibility that some storms (if they do develop) may be on the strong to severe side.  The main threat would be frequent cloud-to-ground lightning, large hail (possibly quarter-sized), and damaging wind gusts in excess of 60 mph.  Our Threatrack model and the Storm Prediction Center have us in a slight risk category for severe weather.  So again, storms will be widely scattered and not always reaching severe limits.  Meteorologists Eric Sorensen and Joe Astolfi will keep you in-the-know should severe weather develop later this afternoon.  Look for updates on the Weather Blog, our Facebook page, and on-air if needed.

-JA

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Posted under severe weather, weather

This post was written by qni_it on March 27, 2012

Severe storms possible Tuesday

A vigorous cold front will pass through our area Tuesday afternoon during peak heating of the afternoon. With temperatures staying in the 40s all day Monday, many might question whether we’ll have any “heating” at all. During the night into the morning hours of Tuesday, our wind will be out of the due south at an impressive 20-30mph with higher gusts.

Temperatures are expected to surge into the middle 70s by the time the front nears from the west. With sufficient heating, we believe there will be a threat of severe thunderstorms across much of the area. Damaging wind, large hail, and an isolated tornado will be possible between 4pm and 8pm.

We’ll continue to follow this severe weather threat in the next 24 hours. -ES

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Posted under severe weather

This post was written by qni_it on March 26, 2012

Case of the Mondays

As we head back to work and school tomorrow, we’ll have to deal with some unpleasant weather.  A cold front that moved through the area Sunday evening and a high pressure to our northeast will usher in some chilly air.  Our wind will be out of the east-northeast tomorrow at 10 to 20 mph and that will result in an airmass cooled by Lake Michigan.  The lake water is only in the 44 to 49 degree range, so that will set the stage for our afternoon high temperatures.  Most of us will struggle to reach 50 degrees tomorrow.  Combined with mostly cloudy conditions and isolated showers, Monday looks to be a bit on the miserable side (for some).

Interesting of note, the last time our high temperature failed to reach the average high temperature was over 2 weeks ago!  On March 9th, the thermometer only climbed to 40 degrees (four less than the average).  Tomorrow’s average high temperature is 52 degrees; unfortunately, it looks like we will be hard-pressed to achieve that!

-JA

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Posted under cold blast, weather

This post was written by qni_it on March 25, 2012

Pleasant Sunday

After some early morning fog, the sun will make an appearance on Sunday.  We’ll have a light northerly wind and a few puffy cumulus clouds will pass by from time to time.  Temperatures will climb into upper 60s and top out just above 70 degrees.  Get out and enjoy it!  A dry cold front moves through the area Sunday evening, allowing temperatures to tumble into the upper 30s to near 40 overnight.

-JA

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Posted under weather

This post was written by qni_it on March 24, 2012

Trouble in space

10:45pm – NASA will provide a live video feed of the events late tonight. Check their website to watch online: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html

9:54pm – Astronauts aboard the International Space Station will take precautionary action tonight in case space junk makes impact on the station. According to the Associated Press, the remnants of a Russian rocket will move very close around 1:38am CDT. Because it was not caught until today, it is too late to move the I.S.S. out of the way. Two Americans, three Russians, and a Dutchman will climb into two Soyuz vehicles ready to rocket back to Earth in case of impact.

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Posted under space

This post was written by qni_it on March 23, 2012

Small chance of severe this evening

Even though the radar looks pretty benign right now, conditions may still be enough to produce a few isolated severe storms. Just within the past few minutes a funnel cloud was observed just south of Dubuque. Additional weak funnels will be possible through 7:15 for Jo Daviess from Hanover up to Galena. Another very small storm is having a tough time keeping itself together along IL26 from Dixon up to Freeport.

There is just enough shear in the atmosphere to produce a few more…if we get more storms to form. Notice there is a bullseye of 40 knots of bulk shear just northeast of Rockford. If we had a developing storm in this area, it would need to be watched closely.-ES

 

 

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Posted under severe weather

This post was written by qni_it on March 23, 2012

Pneumonia Monday?

Temperatures will be very challenging on Monday as our models are showing a pretty impressive northeasterly wind coming in off of Lake Michigan. This the output from the National Weather Service’s GFS computer model which puts noontime temperatures across all of Wisconsin and half of Illinois in the 40s!

What’s interesting to me is the fact that 40s around lunchtime are more typical for March than the 60s and 70s we had today. -ES

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Posted under cold blast

This post was written by qni_it on March 23, 2012

Reduced Visibilities Right Now

With a light and variable wind (generally under 5mph) and breaks in the cloud cover, some patchy dense fog has developed over parts of northwestern Illinois.  All of us will see some reduced visibilities under 5 miles throughout the morning.  Some areas near Freeport and Dixon have reported under 1/2 mile visibilities at times.  Take it slow if you are driving through dense fog, and use your low beams!

-JA

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Posted under fog, safety

This post was written by qni_it on March 23, 2012