Sandwiched in Between Pressure

Tomorrow we will finally see a real break from the heat and humidity. Our forecasted high for the day is 84 degrees and we have this past night’s storm system as well as an incoming high pressure system to thank for that. There is plenty of cooler air pinned up in Canada just aching to make its way across the border. Lucky for us the low pressure system that sits to our east spins counter-clockwise and the high pressure off to our west spins in a clockwise fashion. With us directly in the middle, the two systems will work like cogs in a gear and bring all that cool Canadian air straight toward us. That will leave us with two days in the mid 80s with far less humidity than we have had to tolerate lately!


Posted under weather

This post was written by qni_it on July 26, 2012

Severe Weather Information


(2:59:06 AM) nwsbot: LOT expires High Wind Warning for Boone, De Kalb, Kane, Lake, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Winnebago [IL]

(2:57:19 AM) nwsbot: LOT expires Severe Thunderstorm Watch for Lee, Ogle, Winnebago [IL]

1:55am – Severe threat is diminishing considerably. Rockton was hit hard again with some 10-12″ diameter trees downed because of the strong wind gust. There was also a large fire near 23rd Av and 15th St in Rockford. Eyewitnesses say that the fire is just about out. The 60mph wind must have made it hard for firefighters to fight that. If you have additional storm reports, please email them to

Thanks to everyone for the reports and play by play with this odd non-thunderstorm wind event. The High Wind Warning continues through 3am but the damage is likely all done. -ES

(1:25:33 AM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: Winnebago [Winnebago Co, IL] broadcast media reports TSTM WND GST of E60.00 MPH at 12:39 AM CDT — trees bending. at wrex-tv station.
(1:25:33 AM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: South Beloit [Winnebago Co, IL] trained spotter reports TSTM WND GST of E60.00 MPH at 12:53 AM CDT — small to medium limbs blown around.
(1:25:33 AM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: Belvidere [Boone Co, IL] trained spotter reports TSTM WND GST of E55.00 MPH at 01:07 AM CDT — relayed by wrex-tv.

(1:09:26 AM) nwsbot: LOT issues High Wind Warning for Boone, De Kalb, Kane, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Winnebago [IL] till 3:00 AM CDT

12:50am – We took a 60mph wind in the past 15 minutes. As the gust moved into downtown Rockford in the past 10 minutes, there was dust reducing visibilities to 5 blocks. Damaging wind will be along the I-90 corridor and into Boone Co. Move into an interior room if you’re in the path. -ES

(12:54:03 AM) nwsbot: MKX issues Severe Thunderstorm Warning [wind: 70 MPH, hail: 1.00 IN] for Columbia, Dane, Green, Rock [WI] till 1:30 AM CDT

(12:45:17 AM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS MKX: Monroe Airport [Green Co, WI] awos reports TSTM WND GST of M64 MPH at 12:33 AM CDT —

12:37am – Strong outflow wind being noted on Exactrack|HD from Broadhead through Pecatonica. Even though there are no storms present here, some damage may occur from 50-60mph wind gusts. Stay indoors as this is heading into Rock and Winnebago County!

12:25am – We’re getting reports of some wind gusts just below severe criteria in Stephenson Co. from Eleroy and now Freeport. No rain with the gusts, but just enough to bring down some small tree branches.

(12:19:14 AM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS DVN: 2 NW Lena [Stephenson Co, IL] trained spotter reports NON-TSTM WND GST of E50 MPH at 12:17 AM CDT —

(12:10:33 AM) nwsbot: MKX issues Severe Thunderstorm Warning [wind: 70 MPH, hail: 1.00 IN] for Columbia, Dane, Green, Rock [WI] till 12:45 AM CDT

12:10am – Some gusty outflow wind is currently moving toward the Rock River Valley from Oregon down to Sterling-Rock Falls. Some wind gusts to 50mph are possible, but not severe. -ES

(12:02:40 AM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS DVN: Clinton Municipal Airpo [Clinton Co, IA] awos reports NON-TSTM WND GST of M44.00 MPH at 11:50 PM CDT —
11:45pm – Storms continue to be strong across Dubuque, moving into SW Wisconsin. Developing storms along the Mississippi from Dubuque down to the Quad Cities will be moving into Carroll and Jo Daviess Co. shortly. While not severe, they could pulse above severe limits with some gusty wind. -ES

The Storm Prediction Center has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch until 3am for Jo Daviess, Stephenson, Winnebago, Ogle, Lee, Carroll, Whiteside, Green, Rock, and Walworth County. Thunderstorms are developing in Eastern Iowa and are moving east-northeast at around 40mph. This puts a threat of severe storms in our northwestern counties after 11pm, possibly affecting the Rockford Metro after 1am tonight. Damaging wind will be the primary threat from these storms. -ES


Posted under severe weather

This post was written by qni_it on July 25, 2012

Get ready for another stormy night

Thunderstorms are expected to grow in intensity Wednesday night into Thursday morning across parts of the Upper Midwest. Storms will begin to form in the next few hours in Western Iowa up into Central Minnesota. These storms will move ENE into Northeast Iowa and Western Wisconsin with damaging wind and isolated large hail. After sunset the storms will move into Northwestern Illinois in a weakening phase while storms maintain severe strength in Central Wisconsin. I don’t expect much here in the Rockford Metro before 10pm.

Right now, it appears our risk of severe weather will be minimal. We’ll update as storms form and new information comes in. -ES


Posted under severe weather

This post was written by qni_it on July 25, 2012

Tuesday’s severe storms are keeping temperatures in check…really!

Yesterday and today, Meteorologist Greg Bobos and I forecast 102° for today’s high temperature. While it looked like a slam dunk we would get to 100 degrees, there was one thing that didn’t play into the forecast: Tuesday morning’s heavy rain and derecho thunderstorms! (A derecho is a cluster of long-lived thunderstorms producing high wind.


) Current temperatures in our local view show 86 in Milwaukee and 88 in Lake Geneva with 100 degrees in Dixon. Immediately, I thought what factors are keeping our temperatures in check. First, a slight lake breeze may be affecting Southeastern Wisconsin. The first place I looked for clues as to why there’s a spread in temperatures is the dewpoint.

Current dewpoints in much of Northern Illinois and Southeastern Wisconsin are in the low to mid 70s, making for a truly oppressive airmass. But look at the dewpoints in Eastern Iowa and Central Illinois…they are considerably lower. It is likely the derecho, which produced between 1/2 and 1″ of rain added some humidity to the air. Dry air heats up much more efficiently than a moist airmass so that’s the reason we’re going to be in the 100s just to the southwest of Rockford this afternoon.


Current Heat Index values are going to go above 100° areawide in the next 30 minutes or so. It’s already 113° in Dixon. Please use extra caution if you’re doing anything outside this afternoon and evening!



Posted under heat wave, rain, safety, severe weather, weather geek

This post was written by qni_it on July 25, 2012

Stuck in a Gray Area Tomorrow

Today will be another scorcher, but it won’t last long. By tomorrow we will be back to cooler temperatures. A cold front will move through the area overnight and the temperature gradient between area in front of and air behind the front could help to jump start another round of overnight storms, some of which could be on the strong side. While we could see scattered storms tonight, our chance tomorrow dwindles slightly. The front will slide just far enough to our south to keep the majority of severe weather out of our area leaving us with little if any chance for some showers. That isn’t to say that Mother Nature might not decide to have that front take a slight detour or have it stall long enough to pop off a few storms, but for now it looks like tonight will be the majority of the rain action we will see. -GB


Posted under rain, severe weather, weather

This post was written by qni_it on July 25, 2012

Was that a tornado?

Tuesday morning’s 50-70 mph wind caused many trees to snap and power lines to fall. While it may be another day before power is restored to parts of Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin, we thought we’d take a look at the differences in damage between straight-line wind and a tornado.

Quite honestly, most people who lose a large tree in their yard assume that a tornado is responsible. But all it takes is a close look at the debris to confirm what caused the damage in the first place.

Let’s first consider straight-line wind damage, what we had Tuesday morning. A racing complex of thunderstorms known as a derecho moved out of Southwestern Wisconsin at about 60 mph. A few gusts out ahead of the storm were all that was needed to cause some chaos in many neighborhoods, especially in Northern Winnebago County. Looking at the damage you will notice that it was all moved in the same direction for the most part. In this example, each neighbor lost a tree in their front yard with the trees landing in the same direction.

Next, let’s consider a tornado! In this example, it was a strong enough tornado to cause damage to the trees and cars, but not the houses. Because a tornado has wind that is moving in all directions, the damage swath will be strewn in all directions. Notice that the neighbors’ trees fell into one another while the cars were thrown in different directions. Meteorologists who observe tornado damage from the air often describe it resembling a woman’s herringbone necklace…criss-crossed. -ES





Posted under safety, severe weather, tornado

This post was written by qni_it on July 24, 2012

Storm Recap

Early this morning a severe thunderstorm marched through southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois (as I’m sure many of you noticed or were woken up by!) The storm didn’t impact everyone, so some people missed out on some much needed rain yet again. The storm also didn’t last very long, but it sure has left its mark. Offical reports state that wind gusts at 65mph+ occurred. This was enough to down power lines and trees, as well as close some roads in the process. Due to the downed power lines, as of 7AM 20, 000 people were without power in Rockford alone. The silver lining on this storm is two-fold however, there are no reports of injuries at this time, and it delivered quite a bit of rain in a very short amount of time. Rockford received 0.66in of rainfall in a matter of an hour or so. We are primed for more active weather over the next 48 hours. Let’s just hope that whatever comes our way brings a lot of rain, and keeps damage reports and power outages to a minimum! -GB


Posted under event, rain, severe weather, weather

This post was written by qni_it on July 24, 2012

Thunderstorms likely after midnight

Conditions will remain favorable for thunderstorms after midnight across Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin. There is ample instability across most of the Upper Mississippi River Valley late this evening. An upstream development of thunderstorms around the Minneapolis/St. Paul region is expected to accelerate southeastward after midnight tonight. For this reason, we will maintain a Threatrack-2 for the overnight hours. Damaging wind will be the primary threat, along with significant cloud to ground lightning.

Here is a look at Exactrack|HD as the storms begin to develop west of Minneapolis. I’ve outlined where I can envision a Severe Thunderstorm Watch…should one be needed in the next hour or two. It’s not a done-deal we’ll get severe weather but it does show signs of strengthening. Please be “Severe Weather Aware” overnight with something that will alert you to developing weather. The timeframe for these storms will be VERY late, most likely around the Rockford area between 2-5am. We will have complete coverage on the air and online during the thunderstorm activity. -ES


Posted under severe weather

This post was written by qni_it on July 23, 2012

The Green Grass Grows

At this point in the summer it is safe to say that everyone’s lawn is suffering and it in dire need of rain. The grass is brown and crunchy, downright not visually appealing at all anymore. Rain isn’t the only thing that could help revive the grass and give it that vibrant color though. Believe it or not, lightning can contribute to the grown/color of grass after a thunderstorm. The atmosphere is made up of 78% nitrogen, but plants don’t need direct up nitrogen, they need that nitrogen to undergo a chemical reaction and become nitrates. Nitrates are a fertilizer that stimluates the grown and green color of our lawns. Lightning flashing through the atmosphere is capable of causing this chemical reaction and creating nitrates. The problem is that without rain the process is pointless. A lightning storm without rain would not help our green grass grow. The rain is essential in attaching to the nitrates and bringing them down out of the atmosphere so our grass can absorb them. This effect from lightning isn’t incredibly significant in the long run, however about 10% of the nitrates your lawn receives on an annual basis are created by lightning, so it isn’t that insignificant either!


Posted under rain, severe weather

This post was written by qni_it on July 23, 2012

Beneficial Rain in the Works?!

A ring of fire pattern will set up during the upcoming work week.  That means two things for northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.  First, the very intense heat will likely stay just to our south.  Second, beneficial rains could provide our area with some temporary drought relief.  With Rockford’s rainfall deficit at nearly 8 inches and the severe drought conditions in place throughout the entire region, any rain will be welcomed.

Showers and thunderstorms will develop along the jet stream north of an upper-level ridge (high pressure).  That ridge will remain centered in the Plains states and help push temperatures into the 100s for places like Kansas City all week.  The showers and thunderstorms will form in rounds and move along the northern edge of the dome of heat; that puts us in line for some potential wet weather.  However, it’s not going to rain all day and we will still see some sunshine.  Even though the chance of rain this week is small, it’s far more substantial than we’ve seen for most of this summer (30% to 40% range).  Some forecasting models have projected upwards of 2 inches of rain this week, while others have been more conservative and under half an inch. 

Afternoon high temperatures will be at the mercy of cloud cover and any rainfall we might be lucky to receive.  Stay tuned to the Weather Blog and the 13 Weather Authority, as some thunderstorms could potentially turn severe this week.



Posted under drought, weather

This post was written by qni_it on July 22, 2012