Blizzard to the South

The same storm system that produced dozens of tornado warnings last night is now forcing some areas to deal with blizzard conditions this morning. Snow began to fall in Indianapolis early this morning. Since 7:30am ( 6:30CT), they have seen 7″ and it is still coming down. Visibilities in Southern Indiana are well below a mile virtually everywhere and some places have already seen even more snow than Indy. Nashville, IN has received more than 11″ in the past 6 hours, and parts of Green County, IN have also seen more than 11″ of powder. Snow still continues to fall in these areas at rates up to an inch an hour! We should be thankful, the difference between seeing just a few clouds like we are today, and seeing a blizzard is only the matter of a few hundred miles! -Greg

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Posted under Wind, winter storm, winter weather

This post was written by qni_it on December 26, 2012

Christmas Miracle?

With 30 preliminary reports of tornadoes, this will likely become the worst tornado outbreak ever recorded on Christmas Day. This map shows every area that was threatened by tornadoes today. The National Weather Service remained ahead of the storm and accurate forecasts by the Storm Prediction Center and local TV Meteorologists saved lives today.

Other than two people killed in Texas and Louisiana earlier, no fatalities were reported due to today’s tornadoes. However, there are many areas that were hit by tornadoes…and some injuries. Meteorologists with the National Weather Service will be surveying areas tomorrow in order to classify the strength of the tornadoes. -Eric

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Posted under tornado

This post was written by qni_it on December 25, 2012

Christmas Tornado Outbreak

LIVE Coverage from Birmingham’s ABC33/40.

Free desktop streaming application by Ustream

Here is tornado video from WALA-TV in Mobile, Alabama.

A Tornado Outbreak is ongoing right now with a large, wedge tornado moving near the Mobile, Alabama area within the past half hour. Pictures coming in from FOX10 show a large tornado seen on their towercam. There are no reports of injuries with this storm.

There are more than a dozen other storms in Alabama and Mississippi with active tornadoes right now. Hattiesburg, MS is under the gun now with a large tornado nearby. Montgomery, AL will be threatened within the next hour. -Eric

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Posted under tornado, weather

This post was written by qni_it on December 25, 2012

Christmas Eve Climatology

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…..for many! The holiday season is in full swing and Christmas Eve 2012 is shaping to up be an average weather day in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.  The average high in Rockford for December 24 is 31 degrees, the forecast high for this year.  The average low for the date is 15 degrees, a handful of degrees colder than the forecast low.  There’s even the chance for a few snow flurries and patchy light freezing drizzle.  On average, a few tenths of an inch of snow can fall on Christmas Eve.  Very minor to no snow accumulation is in this year’s forecast.

Christmas Eve can have extreme weather, too.  It’s been as warm as 55 degrees in 1982.  The very next year, 1983, temperatures plummeted to the record low of -11 degrees.  In 1965, the rainiest Christmas Eve occurred with 1.77 inches of rain.  The most snow ever recorded was nearly a century ago, with 8 inches in 1918.

The last time it snowed on Christmas Eve in Rockford was in 2010, when 3.9 inches of snow was recorded at the airport.  Major snowfall does not normally occur on December 24th, however.  Since records began in 1906, there have only been 10 times where 1 inch of snow or more was observed in Rockford on Christmas Eve.

-Joe

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

This post was written by qni_it on December 23, 2012

Holiday Travel Forecast

Sunday will be another major travel day and luckily, very few issues will arise (in regards to weather).  Locally, we can expect filtered sunshine with highs in the upper 20s.

The majority of the Midwest will remain dry through Christmas Eve.  The only exception is the Ohio Valley late Sunday into Monday.  A low pressure system will quickly move through that area and bring rain showers to parts of southern Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio (and the southeastern United States).  Snow showers will be likely Monday in northern Indiana, northern Ohio, and much of the eastern Great Lakes.  A quick snowflake or two will be possible across northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin on Christmas Eve as well, but the chance is very slight (20%).

Nationally, the Pacific Northwest will deal with some rainy and breezy conditions from near San Francisco north to Seattle.  Snow showers will be on and off throughout the Intermountain West.  On the opposite side of the country, a few lingering snow showers will exit New England late Sunday.  All in all, airports and train stations will be weather-worry-free through Christmas Eve.

If you like warm weather, and you’re headed to Florida or Texas for Christmas, you’re in luck!  Temperatures will be in the 60s and 70s for many areas of those states.  Mild air will also be in place over the Desert Southwest. Up north, the Northern Plains, Minnesota, and areas to the east through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan will be a bit colder than normal.

Have safe travels!

-Joe

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Posted under aviation, rain, safety, snow, sunlight, travel, weather, Wind, winter weather

This post was written by qni_it on December 22, 2012

We’re Still Here! Now it’s Winter…

It is December 21,2012 and we are still here! .. and if for some reason the Mayans end up being right before midnight you’ll never read this anyway! So since we appear to have dodged the apocalypse, it is important to note that today is also the first day of winter. That means not only is it cold outside, but we see less daylight today than on anything other day, receiving only 9 hours and 5 minutes of it. Our average high and low aren’t that impressive either at 31° and 16° respectively. Let’s fast forward three months just for fun. March 21st, the first day of spring. Our average high climbs to 49° and overnight temps average 29°. That pesky darkness also slips away and our day will be 12 hours and 11 minutes long. That doesn’t sound so bad does it? -Greg

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Posted under end of the world, First Look, statistics, winter weather

This post was written by qni_it on December 21, 2012

Snow Totals

As forecast, the higher snowfall totals occurred north and west of metro Rockford.  While only a handful of observations were submitted and verified by the National Weather Service, many individuals have reported over 1 foot of snow in parts of Jo Daviess, Stephenson, Green, and Rock County.  A swath of 4 to 8 inches was forecast for the Rockford area.  At WREX-TV, I measured just shy of 4 inches of snow.  Downtown Rockford and parts of the east side picked up a bit less than 4.  And areas south and east of Rockford had snowfall totals generally in the 1 to 4 inch range.

Check out the official totals verified by the National Weather Service.  -Joe

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Posted under snow

This post was written by qni_it on December 20, 2012

Winter Storm Update

10:30pm Thursday Update:  Areas along and east of Interstate 39 will have a just a bit more snow as this system is exiting the area.  The majority of the Blizzard and Winter Storm Warnings are set to expire at midnight.  However, significant blowing and drifting snow, espeically on open and rural areas, will continue through late Friday morning.

5:30pm Thursday Update: Snow has begun to pick back up in Rockford after a bit of a lull. I still expect snowfall totals to be in that 4 to 8 inch forecast in the Forest City, perhaps on the lower end of the spectrum.  But totals to the northwest have been observed in the 6 to 12 inch range.

4:15pm Thursday Update:  An intense band of heavy snow is now just east of Interstate 39 through eastern Rock, Walworth, Boone, DeKalb, and eastern Lee County. Snowfall reports of up to 9 inches have been reported across northern Stephenson County.

2:30pm Thursday Update: Snow has begun in Rockford and continues in areas along and west of the Rock River.  A very heavy ban of snow stretches along the Stateline.  Heavy snow will continue to slide east and affect the entire area throughout the afternoon.  Wind gusts 40 to 50mph can be expected, with one or two gusts topping 50mph.

12pm Thursday Update: A Blizzard Warning remains in effect for the entire WREX viewing area with the exception of McHenry & Walworth County (where a Winter Storm Warning is in effect).  However, we will allexperience blizzard or near-blizzard conditions Thursday afternoon and night.  Areas to the west and north of Rockford will pick up the most snow—up to a foot in some spots.  In the Rockford metro, the forecast of 4 to 8 inches will continue with isolated higher totals.  To the south, snowfall totals will be a bit less in the 3 to 6 inch range.

The wind will begin to howl late this afternoon with gusts up to 50mph.  This will create treacherous conditions on area roads, especially in rural and open areas.  Travel will likely not be advised this evening.

11pm Wednesday Update:As of Wednesday evening, there are numerous watches and warnings in effect for Thursday’s winter storm.  Here’s the rundown:

ILLINOIS:

A Blizzard Warning is in effect for Jo Daviess County from 6pm Wednesday through 6pm Thursday.

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for Stephenson, Carroll, and Whiteside County from 6am Thursday through 6pm Thursday.

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for Winnebago, Boone, Ogle, and Lee County from 9am Thursday through 12am Friday.

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for DeKalb and McHenry County from 3pm Thursday through 12am Friday.

 

WISCONSIN:

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for Green County from 6pm Wednesday through 12noon Thursday. A Blizzard Warning takes effect from 12noon Thursday through 12am Friday.

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for Rock County from midnight tonight through 12noon Thursday.  A Blizzard Warning takes effect from 12noon through 12am Friday.

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for Walworth County from midnight tonight through 3am Friday.

 

So what do all of these warnings and watches mean?  A significant winter storm will impact the entire region.  Some areas are in line to receive more snow while other areas will pick up more rain, limiting snowfall.  To the north and west of Rockford, the snow accumulations will be significant. Futher to the south and east of the Forest City, a rain/mix will dominate the forecast.  Rockford will be right in the middle, with snow beginning to accumulate by late Thursday morning.  However, all locations will eventually see a switch over to all snow.  The wind will begin to howl out of the northwest on Thursday afternoon, creating treacherous travel conditions—blizzard or near blizzard conditions.  The wind will be sustained between 30mph and 40mph during the afternoon. Wind gusts could top 50mph at times!  It will be best to avoid traveling during such hazardous conditions.

Keep an eye on the blog.  Chief Meteorologist Eric Sorensen, Meteorologist Greg Bobos, and myself will continue to post new information throughout the duration of our first major winter storm of the 2012-2013 winter season.

-Joe

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Posted under snow, travel, weather, Wind, winter storm, winter weather

This post was written by qni_it on December 19, 2012

Winter Storm Update

Winter Storm Warning for tonight and tomorrow. The problem areas overnight will be west of Freeport where a rain/snow mix is likely through the overnight. Snowfall accumulations in Jo Daviess Co. may approach 6 inches by morning. Rain will be likely for all other areas, with a few rumbles of thunder. Temperatures will stay in the middle to upper 30s overnight.

Rain will change to snow during the midday hours of Thursday. This will occur from west to east throughout the day. Snow will become heavy with increasing strong wind. Zero visibility blizzard conditions are possible Thursday afternoon and evening areawide. Watch for sustained wind 30-40mph with wind gusts around 55mph. Power outages will be possible!

Snow will taper off rapidly around midnight Thursday night. Total snowfall accumulations will surpass 12″ from Madison, southwest to Dubuque and Cedar Rapids. Freeport and Janesville should expect 6-12″ with 4-8″ likely for the Rockford Metro. 3-6″ is forecast for DeKalb, Rochelle, and Dixon.

Much coler temperatures are expected in the wake of this powerful winter storm. Another winter storm is possible Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.

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Posted under winter storm, winter weather

This post was written by qni_it on December 19, 2012

Storm Timing

Our first winter storm of the year is finally knocking at our doorstep, but we are still quite a ways away from seeing our first flakes. Tonight this system will start to move in as a rain/snow mix that would stay with us until the mid morning hours. Then, snow will begin to fall starting from the northwest to the southeast. During the mid afternoon hours snowfall will be heavy and could accumulate at a rate of 1-2″ per hour for an hour to two. Late afternoon we will see the wind really begin to pick up and create blizzard conditions in some areas with limited visibility, drifting snow, and wind gusts up to 45mph. This all will begin and end within a 24 hour period as a return to calmer but colder conditions sets in for Friday. -Greg

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Posted under news, rain, snow, Wind, winter storm, winter weather

This post was written by qni_it on December 19, 2012