Creepy Crawly Increase

We have heard about many of the effects from this summer’s record heat, but there is one you may have noticed but not thought much about. The Midwest’s spider populations have been on the rise all summer long due to the intense heat. Spiders are cold-blooded so contrary to what you might think they reproduce more quickly and grow more quickly meaning that more generations of spiders can exist at once time, which has been the case this summer. Of course, just like us, spiders don’t enjoy the heat either so they do whatever they can to find their way into home and garages to cool down a bit. So if you have been thinking to yourself “there are a lot of spiders this summer!” but didn’t know if it was all in your head, well it isn’t! As long as temperatures stay up you can continue to expect to see more spiders than normally throughout the rest of the summer. -Greg

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Posted under climate/climate change, event, heat wave, humor, wildlife

This post was written by qni_it on August 27, 2012

Foggy Tonight

11pm Sunday visibilities

Patchy dense fog will develop overnight.  Some locations will see visibilities drop below a quarter of a mile.  The patchy fog will stick around for early Monday morning.

By afternoon, we’ll have mostly sunny conditions and temperatures in the upper 80s.
-Joe

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Posted under fog, weather

This post was written by qni_it on August 26, 2012

Best Rainfall of the Summer?

Taking a look back at the record books reveals that we’ve seen very little appreciable rainfall during the past few months.  In fact, our daily rainfall total exceeded half an inch only five times this summer!  On July 18, Rockford picked up 0.94″ of rain, the highest daily total of the season—so far.

With a strengthening center of low pressure expected to move northeast across the state of Illinois on Sunday, we are in line for some decent rainfall totals.  Our FutureTrack model suggests rainfall exceeding half an inch across the entire area.  Some locations in eastern Iowa and along the state line in northwestern Illinois and southwestern Wisconsin may pick up over an inch!  The more widespread rain during the late morning and afternoon hours will taper to scattered showers during the evening and nighttime.  By Monday, we will return to a mostly sunny sky.

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Posted under weather

This post was written by qni_it on August 25, 2012

Where Will Isaac Go?!

All eyes are on the Caribbean this weekend.  By early next week, the attention turns to Florida and the Gulf Coast States.  Tropical Storm Isaac is lurking in the waters off Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Cuba.  The Friday 1:00pm update shows sustained winds at 60mph, with a storm movement of 14mph toward the northwest.  The storm is expected to strengthen a bit before it makes landfall on the island of Hispaniola (Haiti & Dominican Republic).  Torrential rain (8 to locally 20 inches) is expected along with wind gusts topping 70mph.

Two different model solutions show Isaac taking two different paths.  The GFS model is predicting landfall somewhere along the panhandle of Florida on Monday and then continuing northeast, affecting Georgia and the Carolinas before moving back over the Atlantic Ocean.  In this scenario, our weather in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin will not be affected.

The ECMWF, or European model solution, paints a vastly different picture.   It is predicting landfall on Monday near New Orleans.  With this track, it is possible for the storm to weaken and continue moving north.  If that’s the case, there’s a good possibility that the remnants of Isaac (be it wind, cloud cover, or rain) will affect our weather across the Stateline.

We’ll keep monitoring this situation.  It’s going to be an intersting next few days!

-Joe

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Posted under tropical weather, weather

This post was written by qni_it on August 24, 2012

Summer Streak

Temperatures at or above 90 degrees have become a little lack luster this year due to the shear volume of days that have reached that plateau. However, most years a 90 degree is a big deal and feels far more uncomfortable. In fact. in many years it is hard to even string two 90 degrees together back to back, and it rarely happens more than once or twice in a summer. Today will be our second day in a streak of 90s and we haven’t had two back to back in 20 days now, though before that gap it was quite common to string them together. Here is a look at the past 4 years and the dates on which we last saw two days reach 90 back to back. -Greg

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Posted under statistics, weather

This post was written by qni_it on August 24, 2012

42 and Counting….

With a return to 90 degree temperatures across northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, it just gives us a reminder that it is still summer.  In fact, Thursday’s high temperature of 93 degrees in Rockford was the warmest reading in 3 weeks!  The Sauk Valley area of Dixon, Sterling, and Rock Falls was the hottest today with an afternoon high of 97 degrees!

Including today, Rockford has witnessed 42 days this year where thermometers have climbed to 90 or above!  During a normal summer, we usually only have 21 days at or above 90.

In the modern era of weather observation in Rockford (with the reporting station located at Chicago Rockford International Airport since December 1950), 1988 has the most 90+ days with 46.

Before 1950, Rockford’s weather observation station was located in the backyard of a private home in the Churchill’s Grove neighborhood north of downtown.  Without the use of today’s advanced technology, data for Rockford prior to 1950 might not be as precise.  And needless to say, it can be a bit warmer in town, due to the urban heat island.  Nevertheless, the year with the most 90+ degree days in Rockford’s official history was in 1921 with 62 days!

 

We’re only 4 days away from tying the modern-era 1988 record.  With the next couple of days expected to climb into the low 90s, we’ll be inching closer and closer to the 46-day mark.  September can get quite hot, too!

-Joe

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This post was written by qni_it on August 23, 2012

Drought Update 8/23/12

The latest drought monitor is out and for the first time in months there is something to be happy about. First, the not so brightside though, Illinois’s drought has only improved in one category and it was only a 3% decrease in the extreme drought category in Central Illinois. Now for the encouraging news! Wisconsin has seen a decrease in every drought category, most notably a 5% drop in the severe drought category. This doesn’t mean that the drought is in the rear view mirror, it is still very much present and will continue to linger unless we start to see significant rain events every 4 or 5 days for multiple weeks straight. But, it is encouraging because it means that for the time being limited relief is being exercised and things don’t appear to be getting any worse. -Greg

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Posted under drought, rain, statistics

This post was written by qni_it on August 23, 2012

In the Running for the Bronze?!

After a cool first half of August, the end of the month will be warm and above average!  Meteorologists consider the months of June, July, and August as summer.  Looking back at past records, the warmest summer was in 1921, where the average temperature (combination of the daily high temperature and daily low temperature) was 76.1 degrees.  The number 2 slot is 1934, with an average summer temperature of 75.8 degrees.

The third warmest summer on record?  Well, it’s a tie at the moment between this year and 1982.  Our summer 2012 average temperature so far has been 75.2 degrees!

For the last 9 days of August, our normal high temperature is 81.4 degrees and normal low temperature is 59.9 degrees.  We’re expected to stay above average for this period.  So, it looks like we’ll make a run for the bronze!

-Joe

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, record weather, statistics, weather

This post was written by qni_it on August 22, 2012

Southeastern U.S. hurricane could cause big heat for Midwest

Tropical Storm Isaac continues to churn closer to the Caribbean Sea tonight. Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect now for Puerto Rico, eastward through most of the Windward Islands.

Top winds are still well below the 74mph hurricane threshold but global models and forecasts indicate strengthening is likely with Isaac becoming a hurricane sometime Thursday.

What’s interesting is this track could affect us! Not with rain or wind, but rather heat! Think of a hurricane as an engine for a minute. The wind swirls into a hurricane from all sides at the surface in a counterclockwise fashion. Aloft, that wind has to vent out the top. This usually comes out in a clockwise rotation. As this wind escapes the large system, it can cause sinking air as far as 2,000 miles away! Sinking air compresses and warms. If there’s no frontal boundary present, we could have a string of 90s early next week. -ES

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Posted under heat wave, tropical weather

This post was written by qni_it on August 21, 2012

One Hot Summer

Our little break from the heat is about to come to an end for a least a few days. We will once again see high temperatures flirt with 90 degrees this weekend. This summer has undoubtedly been a hot one to put it mildly, so let’s break down how the temperatures have gone during the last 81 days (since June 1st). The heat began it’s slow climb back in June and in that month we saw our only day with a high in the 60s. The rest of the month provided us with a slew of 70 and 80 degree days sandwiched around 11 days in the 90s. Then came July.. the month where we saw every single day at or above 80 degrees with 6 days in the triple digits and 15 days in the 90s. Thankfully, August has brought us some well deserved relief! In the past 20 days we have seen 10 of them in the 70s. How impressive should that number sound? Well, we have only seen 15 total days in the 70s since June first, meaning 2/3 of them have come this month alone! If you’re trying to keep track of all the running totals in your head I’ve done it for you below. It sure has been one doozy of a summer so far!

60 Degree Days – 1

70 Degree Days – 15

80 Degree Days – 29

90 Degree Days – 30

100 Degree Days – 6

-Greg

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Posted under weather

This post was written by qni_it on August 21, 2012