Chilly Start

This morning’s temperatures were some of the coldest readings we’ve seen since late last winter.  In fact, today was the first day Chicago Rockford International Airport dipped into the 20s for a low temperature in about 6 months!  The official reading at RFD was 28 degrees.  The coldest reading I could find in the local area was Galena, with a low of 24 degrees.

The next couple of nights will be chilly as well, with a mostly clear sky and calm weather pattern (thanks to Hurricane / Tropical Storm Sandy to our east).

-Joe

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Posted under weather

This post was written by qni_it on October 27, 2012

Sandy: Heavy Rain, Wind, Snow

Hurricane Sandy continues to trek north off the Eastern Seaboard of the United States.  As she continues to push north, Sandy will lose her status as a hurricane.  She will become a tropical storm and eventually an extra-tropical system as she makes landfall in the northeastern United States.  However, the impacts of Sandy and her remnants will be detrimental for tens of millions of people.  Currently affecting coastal South & North Carolina, and then moving up to the New York City area by Monday and Tuesday, Sandy will be an historic storm.

Sustained wind speeds over 50mph will be possible all the way up the East Coast through Wednesday.  This will result in widespread power outages and property damage.  Beach erosion will be a major concern for many coastal towns.  Rainfall along the coast could approach 12 inches in many spots.  Even areas away from the Atlantic Ocean, including West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio, could pick up 3 to 5 inches.  Widespread flooding will cause major impacts in the hilly terrain of that region.  Another facet of this storm will be its interaction with the cold air.  Many areas of higher elevation in the Appalachian mountains will have a heavy, wet snow blanket the ground.  Nearly a foot of snow is forecast for the highest elevations in West Virginia.  A few inches are even possible as far south as eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina!

Travel is not advised during this storm.  Many states have declared a state of emergency.  As Sandy continues to evolve, we will keep you up to date with the latest information. -Joe

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Posted under flooding, rain, record weather, safety, severe weather, snow, travel, tropical weather, weather, Wind

This post was written by qni_it on October 26, 2012

Western Snow

We are bracing outselves for cooler temperatures and a line of showers and storms this afternoon. That is nothing compared to what has been going on in the Rocky Mountain states. The same cold front accompanied by the same air mass that is moving in our direction has dumped snow in many locations, with the states in the Rockies in line for even more! Thankfully we don’t have any snowfall in our immediate future, but when you hear some of the numbers from out west and some of the possible future totals, it does serve as a sign of things to come.. eventually. In the past 24 hours, Denver has seen 4.1″, Steamboat Springs, CO has seen 6.1″, Providence, UT has seen more than 3″, and Boulder, CO has seen over 5″! They aren’t quite done yet either, some sports could see up to an addition 3-6 inches by tomorrow! Just be thankful that when the showers start they are of the liquid variety, because it could always be worse! -Greg

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Posted under cold blast, event, snow, winter storm, winter weather

This post was written by qni_it on October 25, 2012

Major cold front to push through Rockford around noon

Thursday will start very warm with an end on the very chilly side. We should pull up to around 73° at the lunch hour with a few gusty thunderstorms. While we surge into the 70s, most of Iowa will fall into the 30s during the daylight hours. Our temperatures will begin taking a slide in the early afternoon. By 5pm we will be in the lower 50s. Lower 40s are likely by 10pm with eventual lows Friday morning in the middle 30s.

Make sure the kids are properly dressed (with layers), especially if they are not going to be home before 4pm. -Eric

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Posted under cold blast

This post was written by qni_it on October 24, 2012

Guess the first inch of snow contest

Today marks the beginning of a contest that could have you walking away with a $150 grand prize! We have teamed up with the Rockford Register Star and area businesses to give away prizes to those who can accurately guess the date Rockford sees its first inch of snow.

Just click on wrex.com/contests to enter. But make sure to only enter ONCE. Our contest ends November 3rd. The winner will be announced as soon as the National Weather Service officially records an inch of snow at the Chicago/Rockford Int’l Airport.

Good luck! -Eric

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Posted under weather geek

This post was written by qni_it on October 24, 2012

Glad I’m not forecasting for the Northeast!

4:00PM UPDATE – Due to the significant impacts Hurricane Sandy could have on the Northeastern United States, the National Weather Service will begin launching weather balloons every six hours, versus every 12 hours. This will increase the amount of upper-air data that the global models use to formulate forecast projections. Each dot on this map represents a NWS office that launches balloons. Note, the closest locations to us are Davenport, Lincoln (IL), and Green Bay. Official statement can be read here.

 

 

As we mentioned here on the blog yesterday, the Northeastern United States could be in for a doozy of a storm early next week. Ironically this comes exactly 21 years after the “Perfect Storm.”

The next few days could also cause serious distrust between the public and news media/meteorologists up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

The ECMWF model brings the system up the Atlantic, scraping the Carolinas with hurricane wind, and then backing it into New Jersey by Monday morning.

But this is LIKELY not the correct scenario as the models will begin to converge on an eventual solution between this solution and the National Weather Service’s GFS solution (pictured here). The GFS stalls the system with an eventual westward turn Tuesday morning into Coastal Maine!

If you have family or friends in the Northeast, or have travel plans there, please monitor later statements and forecasts as hurricane force wind, flooding rain, and dangerous waves/coastal erosion could occur. -Eric

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Posted under tropical weather

This post was written by qni_it on October 24, 2012

70s still likely into November

Wednesday and Thursday are expected to be quite warm (and quite humid). After that, a major cold front will bring temperatures down drastically. Look for highs in the 40s and 50s for the rest of the 7 Day.

However, looking back at just the past five years, we do get our fair share of 70s beyond this date. In fact, four of the past five years have given us a 70° temperature beyond today’s date. However, all of these have occurred before November 10th. Looking out as far as our trusty GFS model goes, there isn’t anything close to 70 through November 8th! Click here to view the raw model output. Temperatures are located in the third column from the left. -Eric

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Posted under climate/climate change, cold blast, record weather, statistics

This post was written by qni_it on October 23, 2012

Superstorm for New York?

Tropical Storm Sandy is expected to become a hurricane in the next few days as it moves over Cuba, exiting the Caribbean, entering the Atlantic Ocean. Very warm ocean temperatures will promote deepening of the hurricane as it moves northward, skirting the Carolinas. While climatology says this will likely move east, away from the Northeastern United States, the reliable ECMWF model shows a very dire situation come Tuesday of next week. The graphic to the upper left shows a very powerful hurricane off of the Carolinas Monday morning which would significantly batter the coastline from Virginia, northward to Cape Cod.

Now here is the ECMWF solution for Tuesday morning with a landfall on the tip of Long Island and/or Connecticut. At this point, the hurricane may have morphed into a subtropical hurricane as it changes from a warm-core system to that of a cold-core. Still, extreme wave heights, tidal surges, and heavy rain could batter the coast of New England for days.

In addition to the threat of coastal problems, this “super storm” scenario could bring significant snows to Pennsylvania the day before Halloween.  

 

And here is the afternoon forecast discussion from NOAA’s Hydrometeorological Prediction Center. EXTENDED FORECAST DISCUSSION
NWS HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL PREDICTION CENTER COLLEGE PARK MD
329 PM EDT TUE OCT 23 2012

VALID 12Z FRI OCT 26 2012 – 12Z TUE OCT 30 2012

…POTENTIAL FOR MAJOR STORM OVER THE MID ATLANTIC & NORTHEAST
EARLY NEXT WEEK…

PRELIMINARY UPDATE…

UPDATED THE PRELIMINARY FRONTS AND PRESSURES FOR DAYS 3 THROUGH 7
USING THE 00Z/23 EUROPEAN CENTRE ENSEMBLE MEAN, WITH A SMALL
INCORPORATION OF THE 00Z/23 EUROPEAN CENTRE DETERMINISTIC MODEL TO
LEND MORE DEFINITION TO THE SYNOPTIC GRADIENTS ACROSS THE NATION.
USED THE MOST RECENT FORECAST FROM THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER
FOR THE TRACK OF TROPICAL STORM SANDY THROUGH DAY 5, WITH A CURVE
TO THE NORTHWEST DAYS 6 AND 7 BASED ON THE ECENS MEAN. THE 00Z/23
GEM GLOBAL CONTINUES TO CLUSTER WITH THE ECMWF FOR THE BEHAVIOR OF
SANDY ONCE IT TRANSITIONS TO AN EXTRATROPICAL SYSTEM, INDICATING
THAT THE CYCLONE GETS PULLED BACK TOWARD THE SHARP UPPER TROUGH
CLOSING OVER THE OHIO VALLEY. THE ECMWF AND GEM GLOBAL HAVE
SEVERAL RUNS OF CONTINUITY NOW WITH THE EVOLUTION OF THIS EVENT,
WITH THE DETERMINISTIC GFS LESS STABLE. THERE HAVE BEEN GFS
ENSEMBLE MEMBERS QUITE SIMILAR TO THE ECMWF/GEM CAMP FOR THE LAST
FEW DAYS OF MODEL CYCLES, PUTTING THE DETERMINISTIC GFS SOLUTIONS
IN A BROADER FRAMEWORK WITH THEIR TRACK OF SANDY WELL OVER THE
OPEN ATLANTIC. WILL BE UPDATING THE TRACK OF SANDY THROUGH DAY 5
FOR THE FINAL PACKAGE WITH THE ADVENT OF THE NEW NATIONAL
HURRICANE CENTER FORECAST, AND ITS BEHAVIOR AS AN EXTRATROPICAL
LOW THEREAFTER AS PER OUR HOTLINE COORDINATION.

FINAL…

ELECTED TO STAY THE COURSE BY KEEPING THE MAJOR EAST COAST STORM
IN PLAY FOR THE FINAL FORECAST. THE 12Z/23 DETERMINISTIC GFS SENDS
SANDY’S CIRCULATION OUT PAST BERMUDA BY THE END OF THE PERIOD,
WHILE THE 12Z/23 GEFS MEAN INCORPORATES IT ALONG THE EAST COAST IN
LINE WITH THE HPC MANUAL FORECAST. THE 12Z/23 GEM GLOBAL KEEPS
SANDY OUT OF REACH OF THE DIGGING TROUGH OVER NORTH AMERICA,
THOUGH LIKE THE LATEST GFS, IT IS PERHAPS BEST TO REGARD SUCH A
DETERMINISTIC SOLUTION AS A SLIGHTLY SOUPED-UP ENSEMBLE MEMBER.
THE 12Z/23 ECMWF STILL INCORPORATES AN EXTREMELY DEEP
POST-TROPICAL SANDY INTO THE MID-LEVEL PIVOT POINT OF THE POLAR
JET IN THE VICINITY OF LONG ISLAND EARLY NEXT TUESDAY, THE DYNAMIC
TRANSFER RESULTING IN A MINIMUM PRESSURE OF AT LEAST 932MB.
THEREIN LIES THE STORM’S MENACE- A POWERHOUSE CAPABLE OF WHIPPING
THE ATLANTIC INTO A FRENZY AND CHURNING UP DANGEROUS TIDES. OF
PARTICULAR NOTE IS THE COINCIDENCE OF THE FULL MOON ON SUNDAY,
OFTEN A SIGNIFICANT FACTOR IN HISTORICAL EVENTS. THE OCEAN EFFECTS
OF THE SYSTEM MAY STILL BE REALIZED EVEN IF POST-TROPICAL SANDY
DOES NOT MAKE LANDFALL IN THE UNITED STATES. BESIDES THE WIND, THE
OTHER SENSIBLE WEATHER THREAT IS HEAVY RAINS, WITH HEAVY SNOWS
POSSIBLE ON THE SOUTHWEST SIDE OF THE HYBRID CIRCULATION WHERE
CONTINENTAL POLAR AIR RUSHES ACROSS THE CENTRAL APPALACHIANS.

HAVE PREFERRED THE EUROPEAN CENTRE GUIDANCE FOR HANDLING OF THE
MAIN BAND OF WESTERLIES FOR SEVERAL DAYS NOW, ITS SYNOPTIC NUANCES
BEST SERVING THE CENTRAL AND WESTERN UNITED STATES WHERE THE FLOW
OPENS UP IN THE WAKE OF THE AMPLIFICATION OF THE EASTERN TROUGH.

CISCO

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Posted under end of the world, tropical weather

This post was written by qni_it on October 23, 2012

Wednesday: Record or bust

Wednesday has the opportunity to be the warmest October 24th in Rockford history. Or it could remain cloudy and we don’t get out of the 60s. That’s what our in-house Futuretrack model is depicting for Wednesday. Only a few breaks are noted on the graphic by 4:30pm with a temperature high of 69 degrees! However, this is the odd model out right now as the majority of reliable models are yielding highs in the 70s to near 80 degrees.

I just wanted to throw it out there that this robust warmth isn’t quite a sure-bet slam dunk. Still, I’m holding onto the 80 since I’ve had it on the 7 Day since last Thursday. -Eric

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Posted under record weather

This post was written by qni_it on October 23, 2012

Playing Catch Up

In the past 24 hours we have seen considerable rainfall in some places with more yet to come. In Rockford, our total this month so far is 2.18″ which puts us 0.28″ above our average rainfall for the month through this date. This is good news for multiple reasons. The first reason being that we are sure to add to that total today and Thursday as another round of showers moves into the area. We only need 0.49″ throughout the rest of the month in order to be at our monthly average and anything else would put us over the monthly average for the first time since April! The second reason all of this rainfall is good news is an obvious one… it stands as some relief from our on going drought. Since May 1st we have seen 11.26″ of rain which is 11.48″ BELOW where we should be. One month of above average rainfall won’t come close to ending our drought, that much is clear. However, if we can string together a few months like this that could finally break this dry spell and help get us off to a strong start heading into 2013. -Greg

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Posted under drought, rain, statistics, weather

This post was written by qni_it on October 23, 2012