Dangerous Wind Chills

Wind Chill Advisories are in effect for the entire 13WREX coverage area, along with most of the Upper Midwest. Temperatures will fall below zero around midnight Friday morning and last through the first few hours after sunlight.

The problem with this Arctic airmass is the presence of a steady wind on the order of 10-15 mph. That will create dangerous wind chills for anyone outside. If you don’t have your skin covered up with these types of conditions, you will receive frostbite in less than a half hour. That means anyone outside MUST have gloves, hats, and thick socks so your body doesn’t lose the heat it needs to survive.

Please check on elderly, pets, and make sure kids are properly dressed when they head to school! -Eric

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Posted under cold blast

This post was written by qni_it on January 31, 2013

Cool timelapse of snow cleanup in Freeport

Joe Tamborello of the Freeport Journal-Standard shot this timelapse from downtown Freeport this afternoon showing the effects from today’s snow.

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Posted under snow

This post was written by qni_it on January 30, 2013

Losing time to catch up on snow!

Only 1 inch of snow fell at the official National Weather Service reporting station at the Chicago/Rockford Int’l Airport with this storm. (A bit hard to imagine since I live less than two miles northwest of the airport and I got about 2 inches.) Regardless, I think everyone was hoping for more as this season has been one of the least-snowy in Rockford history! The biggest daily snow this season has only been 1.4 inches!

What’s interesting to look at with this graph is the average snowfall. On Friday, February begins and our average snowfall begins to drop considerably. Sure, we can get significant snowfalls in February, they just aren’t as likely as in December and January. Bottom line is we’re running out of time to make up for our winter snow deficit.

You may remember two years ago when Rockford got almost a foot and a half of snow on February 1st and 2nd. We can get snows late in the season, but a check of the latest 3″ snowfalls in the past 10 years shows an interesting fact: most have happened in February! So, if you want a big snowstorm, pray harder because the chance is getting smaller and smaller. -Eric

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Posted under news, statistics, weather geek, winter storm

This post was written by qni_it on January 30, 2013

From 60s to Snow

Current Warnings & Advisories

Rain quickly changing to snow has caused a messy Wednesday across parts of the Stateline, specifically west and northwest of metro Rockford.  A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for Carroll, Jo Daviess & Stephenson County in Illinois and Green County in Wisconsin until 6pm.  A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for Boone, Ogle & Winnebago County until 7pm.  A Winter Weather Advisory is also in effect for Whiteside County in Illinois and Rock & Walworth County in Wisconsin until 6pm.  Snow accumulations in the warning areas northwest of Rockford will be in the 3 to 6 inch range.  For areas under an advisory, including Rockford, around 2 inches are possible (based on current radar trends).  Areas that are south and east of Rockford and not under an advisory will see a dusting to perhaps an inch.

5pm ExacTrack Radar
Back edge of the snow headed this way

Based on the current radar, I believe the bulk of the snow will fall in northern Illinois until around the noon hour.  Occasional scattered snow showers will be possible after that as another batch of snow moves in from the southwest around 1:30pm.  An additional coating up to an inch is possible this afternoon.  Roads have become very slippery due to the wet, slushy nature of the snow.  The wind will begin to pick up this afternoon—gusting up to 35mph at times—so blowing and drifting snow will be a concern.

Light to moderate snowfall will continue into early this evening.  Although accumulations will be light (coating to an inch), blowing and drifting will be a concern on rural roads.  -Joe

SNOW TOTAL UPDATES:

(9:53 AM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS MKX: Edgerton [Rock Co, WI] trained spotter reports SNOW of M2.2 INCH at 08:37 AM CST — storm total 2.2 inches. 1.4 inches in the past hour. snow covered raods. moderate to heavy snow continues to fall.

(10:16 AM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS DVN: SSW Scales Mound [Jo Daviess Co, IL] trained spotter reports HEAVY SNOW of M4.5 INCH at 10:14 AM CST — snow fell from 7 to 10 am cst. heavy snow continues.

(10:46 AM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: 2 N Winnebago [Winnebago Co, IL] broadcast media reports SNOW of M1.0 INCH at 10:41 AM CST — snow total thus far.

(11:00 AM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS MKX: Edgerton [Rock Co, WI] trained spotter reports SNOW of M4.0 INCH at 10:35 AM CST — storm total snow. 1.8 inches fell in the past hour. moderate snow currently falling. snow covered roads.

(11:32 AM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: 3 NE Winnebago [Winnebago Co, IL] broadcast media reports SNOW of M1.5 INCH at 11:30 AM CST — snow total thus far at wtvo

(12:07 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS DVN: Dubuque Regional Airport [Dubuque Co, IA] official nws obs reports SNOW of M4.7 INCH at 12:00 PM CST — 3.7 inches fell since 6 am.

(12:26 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS MKX: 3 S LA Grange [Walworth Co, WI] trained spotter reports SNOW of M2.0 INCH at 12:22 PM CST —

(12:45 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: 2 N Winnebago [Winnebago Co, IL] broadcast media reports SNOW of M2.1 INCH at 11:58 AM CST — snow total thus far from wrex.

(1:14 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: NE Roscoe [Winnebago Co, IL] trained spotter reports SNOW of M2.0 INCH at 01:11 PM CST — relayed by wrex.

(1:22 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS DVN: SSW Scales Mound [Jo Daviess Co, IL] trained spotter reports HEAVY SNOW of M6.5 INCH at 01:15 PM CST — total so far. received another 2 inches since last report. still snowing.

(1:25 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: 4 NW Rockford [Winnebago Co, IL] co-op observer reports SNOW of M1.3 INCH at 01:25 PM CST — 1 inch on ground. water equivalent 0.28.

(1:28 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS MKX: Edgerton [Rock Co, WI] trained spotter reports SNOW of M4.8 INCH at 01:22 PM CST — storm total so far. snow covered roads.

(1:29 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS DVN: 6 SSE Council Hill [Jo Daviess Co, IL] trained spotter reports HEAVY SNOW of M5.0 INCH at 01:29 PM CST — so far.

(1:42 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS MKX: Milton [Rock Co, WI] nws employee reports SNOW of M4.0 INCH at 01:42 PM CST —

(2:20 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS MKX: Orfordville [Rock Co, WI] trained spotter reports SNOW of M4.0 INCH at 02:11 PM CST — storm total so far. light snow. light blowing snow.

(2:33 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS MKX: Lake Geneva [Walworth Co, WI] public reports SNOW of M1.3 INCH at 02:25 PM CST — storm total so far. relayed by broadcast media.

(3:07 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS DVN: Sterling [Whiteside Co, IL] trained spotter reports SNOW of E0.5 INCH at 03:00 PM CST — snowfall total so far. rainfall total was 1.02 inches.

(3:20 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: Polo [Ogle Co, IL] trained spotter reports SNOW of M3.0 INCH at 11:00 AM CST — delayed report through niu weather.

(3:47 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS DVN: 4 NNW Lanark [Carroll Co, IL] trained spotter reports SNOW of M2.0 INCH at 03:00 PM CST — storm total.

(4:15 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS MKX: Monroe [Green Co, WI] law enforcement reports HEAVY SNOW of E6.0 INCH at 04:03 PM CST — blowing and drifting snow.

(4:49 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS DVN: Erie [Whiteside Co, IL] trained spotter reports SNOW of M1.2 INCH at 04:30 PM CST — snow total. snow has diminished to flurries.

(6:04 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS DVN: Galena [Jo Daviess Co, IL] co-op observer reports SNOW of M4.0 INCH at 06:02 PM CST — storm total.

(6:09 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS DVN: Freeport [Stephenson Co, IL] trained spotter reports SNOW of M4.1 INCH at 06:04 PM CST — 9 hour storm total. snow depth is 4 inches.

(6:32 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS DVN: 7 NNW Mount Carroll [Carroll Co, IL] trained spotter reports SNOW of M3.0 INCH at 06:25 PM CST — snowfall total. location along blue mountain road.

(6:51 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: 1 N Huntley [Mchenry Co, IL] trained spotter reports SNOW of M0.6 INCH at 06:30 PM CST — 1.3 inches storm total. snow is blowing. cocorahs spotter.

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Posted under snow, weather, winter weather

This post was written by qni_it on January 30, 2013

Winter Storm Impact

Snow will affect your commute on Wednesday, but should be fairly minimal during the early morning hours. Temperatures will likely stay above the critical 32 degree threshold here in the Rockford Metro through early morning. The same can NOT be said for Northwestern Illinois where Freeport, points westward, may dip to freezing by morning. Jo Daviess, Stephenson, and Carroll Counties will see treacherous driving for the commute. Conditions will deteriorate through the morning with some spots being quite snowy and drifty by mid to late morning. The accumulating snow will taper off in the late-afternoon and early evening hours with a general total for the metro around 3-5 inches. Higher amounts will be seen for areas north and west of Rockford.

Be careful and allow extra time to get to your destination tomorrow! -Eric

PREVIOUS WINTER WEATHER DISCUSSION

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Posted under winter storm

This post was written by qni_it on January 29, 2013

Biggest snow of winter!

After a record-shattering 62° high temperature in Rockford on Tuesday, all eyes are now on significant snow that will fall on Wednesday.

While models are still all over the place with respect to placement of the heaviest bands of snow, confidence is building on the middle-of-the-road solution of 3-6″ of snowfall for the Rockford Metro. I think we can safely throw out the GEM solution of more than 10 inches of snow. In addition, the inch solution from the MRF model is out to lunch. Take every other model and you get a sense of the general consensus in our models.

Futuretrack has a great handle on the snow storm with 6-8 inches falling in a band along US151 from Cedar Rapids to Dubuque and Madison. Freeport will likely see around 4 inches or so with a few isolated amounts a few inches more. It’s almost a sure bet that Rockford sees 3 inches with localized amounts up to 6.

Timing: Rain will become light by early Wednesday morning, transitioning to snow and sleet during the morning commute. Snow will intensify and be worst around lunch time, tapering off by 3pm.

Winter Weather Advisories are posted for Carroll, Whiteside, Rock, and Walworth Co. A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for Jo Daviess, Stephenson, and Green Co. No advisories or warnings have been issued for the Rockford Metro yet. -Eric

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Posted under snow

This post was written by qni_it on January 29, 2013

Severe storms, then snow?

Over the next 24 hours, our emphasis will be on two different types of weather: severe storms (possible Tuesday afternoon) and a winter storm (possible Wednesday). A third threat will be from torrential rain…the first of which could happen with a bout of thunderstorms late Monday night. The model range for rainfall is between 1.32″ and 2.85″. With the ground frozen, we may have some flooding issues, especially in rural areas where rain will pool in low-lying areas and fields. Click here to read more on our severe threat.

While there is disagreement in the models on when and if the rain will change to snow Tuesday night, a few models have locked onto a very snowy solution late Tuesday night through midday Wednesday. Very possible we could be tracking severe storms Tuesday evening with a blinding snowstorm occurring before the sun comes up Wednesday. Our Futuretrack model (shown here) is putting down more than a half foot Tuesday night into Wednesday.

Having said that, if the models continue to advertise snowfall potential for Wednesday, we may have Severe Thunderstorm/Tornado Watches at the same time as Winter Storm Watches for a time on Tuesday!

Bottom line: saying this weather is a roller coaster would be an understatement. Please have a way to receive weather watches and warnings, and check back on the blog as we update frequently! -Eric

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Posted under flooding, rain, record weather, severe weather, tornado, weather geek, winter storm, winter weather

This post was written by qni_it on January 28, 2013

January severe weather outbreak in the works

It remains to be seen whether the instability needed for severe thunderstorms will be this far north, but much of the Central U.S. has the potential to see damaging, dangerous weather on Tuesday.

Threatrack|HD is an index of potential thunderstorm severity. We utilize CIPS data which finds parallels to the current set-up to thousands of systems in the past. In addition, we utilize model data and forecasts from the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center. The numbered system roughly corresponds to the percent-chance of severe weather with a level-5 being a 50% chance of severe thunderstorms. In this case, a 20% chance of severe thunderstorms exists for Northern Illinois and Southeastern Wisconsin.

Using that data, areas most prone to widespread damage include much of Arkansas, Southeastern Missouri, and far Southern Illinois. These areas are in a “significant risk” for a possible outbreak outbreak of severe thunderstorms and isolated tornadoes.

An “elevated risk” exists for areas shaded in yellow. This is where severe weather is likely, but on a more isolated scale. This set-up will support isolated tornadoes in these areas…possibly into the southern suburbs of Chicago.

Right now, we are forecasting a “low risk” of severe thunderstorms for Northern Illinois and Southeastern Wisconsin. This means, be ready for large hail and damaging wind, with an outside chance of a tornado. Please note: As new data comes in, this map will be refined Monday night and again Tuesday morning. -Eric

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Posted under severe weather, Threatrack

This post was written by qni_it on January 28, 2013

Why Salt?

Yesterday brought the area a considerable amount of accumulating ice as freezing rain/rain immediately froze on impact with the super chilled ground. However, many of the main roads never became iced over, even during the peak of the system. We can attribute this to the copious amounts of salt that were put down prior to the deep freeze. We all know that salt helps to melt ice, but have you ever wondered why it is so effective sometimes, and other times it just doesn’t seem to get the job done? Wonder no more! It has to do with salt’s freezing point. Salt lowers the freezing point of water/ice. Water freezes at 32°F… unless there is salt mixed in with the water. In a 10% salt solution of water, the freezing point drops from 32° to 20°, and a 20% salt solution of water drops the freezing point all the way down to 2°. This means that when you sprinkle salt on sidewalks or roadways it can melt the ice it is applied to. This is a very effective process when temps are above 20°. When they are lower, they reach the new freezing point that the salt gives to the ice therefore canceling it out. -Greg

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Posted under ice, science, winter weather

This post was written by qni_it on January 28, 2013

Glazed Over

Ice and sleet accumulation across northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin on Sunday cause quite a mess on roads, parking lots, and sidewalks.  Accumulations ranged from a light glaze to nearly 0.25″ in spots.  Here’s a few pictures sent in from around the area. -Joe

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Posted under ice, photos, winter weather

This post was written by qni_it on January 27, 2013