December Preview

We are closing out November of 2012 with some very warm air and will usher in December 2012 with even warmer temperatures. Saturday, Sunday, and Monday are the first three days of the new month, and they will all be at or above 50 degrees! That is a far cry from the average high of 39° at the beginning of the month. By the end of the month the average high will drop to below freezing at 30 degrees! This month could also bring us quite a bit of snow if we stack up to normal values. In a typical December we see 11.3″ of snowfall! Enjoy this first warm weekend of December because things are bound to quickly change! -Greg


Posted under 13 Climate Authority, event, statistics, winter weather

This post was written by qni_it on November 30, 2012

Drought Monitor Update

The United States Drought Monitor continues to classify northwestern Illinois and extreme southern Wisconsin with a severe drought.  Only about 11% of the land in Illinois is suffering from the severe conditions.  The area north of a line stretching from the Quad Cities to DeKalb to Waukegan needs rain.  As of November 29, Rockford’s precipitation deficit is 13.32 inches.  Wisconsin is in worse shape.  Nearly 26% of the Badger state is dealing with severe drought, including the southern tier of counties and northwestern portions.

The local rainfall forecast for the next 7 days is bleak.  Forecast models only put down less than 0.25″ of rain through December 6. -Joe


Posted under 13 Climate Authority, drought, weather

This post was written by qni_it on November 29, 2012

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s…….

If you have ever gazed up at the night sky and tried to envision distant planets in unexplored depths of space, tonight you will be able to catch a glimpse of one of those very planets. As the sun sets this evening, find the moon in the early night sky. You’ll find it in the north northeast and you also should notice something else just as bright. A slightly smaller, but equally impressive “star-like” body will be near the moon all night long. That apparent star is actually the planet Jupiter. The moon is over 1,500 times closer to the Earth than Jupiter is so it will appear to move throughout the night and Jupiter will remain stationary. It will be easily visible with the naked eye, however if you happen to own a telescope you are in luck. Through the weekend, especially on Sunday night, the rings and moons of Jupiter will be incredibly visible by telescopes and even binoculars. Check out the view that is out of this planet! -Greg


Posted under First Look, space

This post was written by qni_it on November 29, 2012

Three in a row to start December

We all remember how warm of a winter we had last year. This year, it may start much the same way. After all, Meteorological Winter begins December 1st and lasts through the end of February! Last December, only three 50 degree days were observed all month! December 2012 will begin with three in a row. Keep in mind our average high temperature on Saturday is 39°.

Oh, and by the way! Every day of December averages 0.3″ of snow accumulation. None of that is in our forecast for the next 7-10 days. -Eric


Posted under climate/climate change

This post was written by qni_it on November 28, 2012

Fog: Hidden Weather Danger?

Last week we had our fair share of dense fog with a few nights with zero visibility. Luckily, Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin didn’t see many car accidents. However, that was a different story on Interstate 10 near Beaumont, Texas where more than one hundred vehicles were in a crash, killing at least two people.

Jon Erdman from The Weather Channelresearched statistics by the National Highway Safety Administration and NOAA and came up with some staggering statistics when it comes to driving in the fog. There are 36,000 crashes each year involving foggy weather with 15,600 people injured. 600 people die as a result of accidents due to fog. Compare that to just 37 people per year killed by lightning. Staggering statistics! (Click here to read the full article and watch video.)

Please remember to slow down. During foggy conditions, the speed limit is too fast for conditions. Do not outdrive your headlights in case there are stopped vehicles or wildlife in the roadway. Most importantly, allow extra time so you’re not rushed on the highways. -Eric


Posted under fog, safety

This post was written by qni_it on November 27, 2012

Coldest Morning in 9 Months

This morning our temperatures were really in the ice box! The low in Rockford bottomed out at 11 degrees which is the coldest low temperature we have seen since way back on February 11th! The next several nights won’t be nearly as cold, as significant warm-up is poised to start on Thursday and launch into the weekend with well above average high temperatures that will once again climb back into the 50s. Last year we saw a very mild winter and 4 days in December that topped out above 50 degrees. By Monday we have a chance to rack up three December 50s.  -Greg


Posted under cold blast, heat wave

This post was written by qni_it on November 27, 2012

Pattern remains mild for the next 6-10 Days

Even though Rockford’s temperature may dip to around 12 degrees Tuesday morning, all eyes are on a significant warm up that will be even more abnormal than the cold we’ve got going on here now.

The pattern will turn warm and wet for the weekend with several disturbances working through the Plains States. This will last through the middle of next week when we will revert to a more colder pattern. Record highs could be challenged here in the Upper Midwest if we can keep rain chances to a minimum and see some sunshine. Unfortunately, with December beginning this weekend comes a reminder that the sun is about as weak as it is all year. And even modest amounts of sun won’t do us nearly as good as a stiff southerly wind.

If you entered our “Guess the First Inch” contest, I hope you guessed a date well into December. There is no chance of accumulating snow this week…and likely none in the next week. Here is a look at the dates that have the highest chance of snow (from today’s vantage point). We have $750 in gift certificates and prizes that we will give away after RFD Int’l Airport reports its first inch. Stay tuned! -Eric


Posted under snow

This post was written by qni_it on November 26, 2012

Time Keeps on Slipping

Today our sunrise was at 7:00AM. This is the last time we will see day break at or before 7:00AM until February 11th! We all know that as we approach the dead of winter that our daylight dwindles, but here are a few facts to really let our lack of light sink in. On December 1st we will only see the sun for 9 hours and 20 mins. By the Winter Solstice on December 21st, our day will only be 9 hours and 5 minutes long. We won’t see another sunset after 6:00PM until March 10 thanks to the start of Daylight Saving Time. Even though the days are short and the nights are cold, there is a brightside. A month from now our days will already be slowly getting longer! -Greg


Posted under event, statistics, sunlight

This post was written by qni_it on November 26, 2012

Outlook for Early December 2012

The Climate Prediction Center updated its 8 to 14 Day Climate Outlook on Sunday. Looking ahead into the first couple of weeks in December, the overall pattern in the continental United States will allow for much of the country to see above average temperatures.  This includes us here in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.  Many of the long range forecast models I’ve looked at, including the upper atmospheric temperature anomalies, all suggest warmer-than-normal readings.  Early December normal high temperatures are in the 36 to 39 degree range. 

As far as precipitation goes, we may see more than what is normal.  Could this mean any accumulating or significant snow? Given the forecast temperature trend, it’s not in the forecast anytime soon.








Posted under 13 Climate Authority, weather

This post was written by qni_it on November 25, 2012

Snowpack vs. Temperature

Some areas of northern Wisconsin, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and Minnesota have over half a foot of snow on the ground!  In fact, a wide swath of real estate across southern Canada and the extreme northern United States is covered with snow.  That can and often does have an effect on our weather in Rockford and across the Stateline.

If the predominant jet stream pattern is out of the northwest, the cold 32°F snowpack can have an impact on the airmass and temperatures downstream. Surface winds will blow across the snow-covered land, modifying temperatures (in this case, enhancing the cold).  The opposite is true if the jet stream pattern flows over areas of land without any snow cover.  Sunday will be a prime example of this.  With a predominately westerly wind over the snow-free central Great Plains, our air temperature will warm to near normal (lower 40s).

On Monday, a center of high pressure will slide south out of the northern Great Plains, through Iowa, and eventually into Missouri.  Since the flow of wind is always clockwise around high pressure, our wind in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin will be out of the north-northwest (originating from the cold and snowy north).  Not surprisingly, our high temperature will struggle to reach freezing!



Posted under cold blast, snow, weather, Wind

This post was written by qni_it on November 24, 2012