Active Pattern Ending?

blogWe’re leaving the end of the meteorological winter AND it looks like most of the snow is behind us.
As you can probably guess, February has been the snowiest month of the season, bringing us a total of 20.9 inches! If you’re ready for a break from the snow, you’ll be happy to hear that the models aren’t showing any precipitation for quite awhile.
The trend is looking drier and warmer as we head into March. Two of our more reliable models, the ECMWF and the GFS, aren’t giving us much precip all the way through March 10th! Sorry snow-lovers, but enjoy the snow that’s on the ground now. Even after this 10 day dry spell coming up, the warmer tempertures pushing through are looking to make the next moisture coming to Northern Illinois be more of a rain event than a snow event.
While all the models are agreeing on the lack of moisture and warmer temps, they are also showing the “Montana Clipper” diving south of us, keeping the precip out of our area Monday and Tuesday.
So what does this mean? Look forward to dry, relatively warmer weather while the first signs of spring are peaking through!

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Posted under rain, science, snow, weather, winter weather

This post was written by Morgan Kolkmeyer on February 28, 2013

Seven feet of snow?

Capture42012 brought the Midwest the worst drought conditions in a generation! It all began in May when we saw only 1.62 inches of rainfall, nearly 2 1/2 inches below normal!

While the drought continues now, the precipitation began to turn around in December. The problem for many snowlovers has been the warm temperatures. It was just too warm to produce much snowfall in the first few months of the winter. In December, we had a surplus of 1/2 inch, but that got even higher in January.

January 2013 was a very odd month. While we saw over 3 inches of precipitation, almost all of it came in the form of RAIN! For the month we only got 2.7 inches of snow. To make the comparison fully, the 3.09″ of precipitation, had it come as all snow, would have been 2 1/2 FEET! Okay, with that being said. What if all of our precipitation this winter season fell as snow? We’ve had 8.51 inches of precipitation. Move that decimal point over to the left one place and if all of the snow came down heavy, we would’ve seen 85 inches! The record snowiest winter season for Rockford is 74.5 inches, set 1978/1979.

Bottom line: The precipitation trend has been wonderful for our drought woes. It’s also beneficial to be making this up in the latter part of the winter season versus the early part. Heading into March, it will prep our precious agricultural zones with much-needed moisture and nutrients! -Eric

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Posted under drought, rain, statistics, weather

This post was written by qni_it on February 27, 2013

Snow Comparison

We have really made up for lost snow this winter season! What started out hum-drum for snowmobilers, plowers, and sledders, has turned exciting! For those of you who don’t like the snow, don’t worry because we’re headed into March and our snowstorms will turn into rainstorms more often than not.

Capture3Let’s take a look at February’s snowfall. Believe it or not, we’re now in the top-five snowiest Februaries of all time!  We’ve even surpassed February 2011, the month with our big “Groundhog’s Day Blizzard!”  That month saw 20.2 inches (most of that coming with that memorable snowstorm. With the month of February winding down, it doesn’t look like we’ll make it to the top spot, but our nickel-and-dime snow coming tonight and Thursday could pull us into the #4 spot!

Capture2With December and January being lackluster with respect to snow, you wouldn’t think that we’re so close to normal for the winter season! We just need another 4 inches of snowfall to actually go into the surplus category! March usually brings us 5 1/2 inches of snow with April just under an inch. So, if we remain at normal levels, this winter will go down with above average snow. -Eric

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Posted under snow, weather geek

This post was written by qni_it on February 27, 2013

It’s Adding Up This Month

1After an extremely slow start to this winter in terms snowfall, we are finally gaining some ground. This month we have seen 19.8″ of snowfall, with 20% of this entire winter’s snowfall coming within the last week. Before Feb 1st, only 4.8″ of fresh powder had fallen in Rockford. This month’s heft total already has this February ranked 6th all time in terms of most snowfall in the month. We are only 0.4″ away from sliding into 5th place, and with the potential to add another inch or two by Friday, we could easy crack the top 5. -Greg

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Posted under snow, statistics, weather, winter storm, winter weather

This post was written by qni_it on February 27, 2013

Winter Weather Information

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(4:26 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS DVN: 1 WNW Morrison [Whiteside Co, IL] trained spotter reports SNOW of M6.0 INCH at 04:26 PM CST — still snowing

(4:10 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS DVN: 4 NNW Lanark [Carroll Co, IL] trained spotter reports SNOW of M4.0 INCH at 04:00 PM CST — total so far

(1:03 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS DVN: SSE Shannon [Carroll Co, IL] trained spotter reports SNOW of M3.0 INCH at 01:00 PM CST — total so far. light snow still falling

(10:40 AM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS MKX: 1 E Lake Geneva [Walworth Co, WI] public reports SNOW of M4.5 INCH at 10:00 AM CST — storm total through 10 am.

(9:58 AM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS MKX: Edgerton [Rock Co, WI] trained spotter reports SNOW of M4.0 INCH at 09:52 AM CST — storm total so far.

(9:40 AM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS DVN: 5 S Elizabeth [Jo Daviess Co, IL] co-op observer reports SNOW of M1.4 INCH at 06:30 AM CST — 24 hour total.

(9:40 AM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS DVN: Freeport [Stephenson Co, IL] co-op observer reports SNOW of M2.0 INCH at 07:00 AM CST — 24 hour total.

(9:40 AM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS DVN: Apple River Canyon S. P [Jo Daviess Co, IL] co-op observer reports SNOW of M2.0 INCH at 07:00 AM CST — 24 hour total.

(9:40 AM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS DVN: Galena [Jo Daviess Co, IL] co-op observer reports SNOW of M3.0 INCH at 07:00 AM CST — 24 hour total.

(9:40 AM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS DVN: Morrison [Whiteside Co, IL] co-op observer reports SNOW of M4.0 INCH at 07:00 AM CST — 24 hour total.

(9:40 AM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS DVN: Rock Falls [Whiteside Co, IL] co-op observer reports HEAVY SNOW of M6.6 INCH at 07:00 AM CST — 24 hour total.

(9:40 AM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS DVN: Walnut [Bureau Co, IL] co-op observer reports HEAVY SNOW of M6.0 INCH at 08:00 AM CST — 24 hour total.

(9:29 AM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS DVN: 4 NNW Lanark [Carroll Co, IL] trained spotter reports SNOW of E3.2 INCH at 09:11 AM CST —

(5:35 AM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: Woodstock [Mchenry Co, IL] co-op observer reports HEAVY SNOW of M6.5 INCH at 05:34 AM CST — 6.5 inches…melted to 0.71 inches.

(2:36 AM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: Richmond [Mchenry Co, IL] public reports HEAVY SNOW of M10.1 INCH at 02:34 AM CST —

(12:15 AM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: Rockford Airport [Winnebago Co, IL] official nws obs reports SNOW of M4.1 INCH at 11:55 PM CST — storm total for 2/26.

(26 Feb 10:38 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: Capron [Boone Co, IL] trained spotter reports SNOW of M5.0 INCH at 10:30 PM CST —

(26 Feb 9:59 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: Rockford [Winnebago Co, IL] official nws obs reports SNOW of M3.9 INCH at 09:58 PM CST — storm total. 0.8 inches since 6pm.

(26 Feb 9:44 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: Genoa [De Kalb Co, IL] broadcast media reports SNOW of M6.2 INCH at 09:44 PM CST —

(26 Feb 9:31 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: 2 WNW Bull Valley [Mchenry Co, IL]
cocorahs reports SNOW of M6.8 INCH at 08:20 PM CST —

(9:06:59 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: DE Kalb [De Kalb Co, IL] trained spotter reports HEAVY SNOW of M4.9 INCH at 09:00 PM CST — storm total through 9pm. snow has stopped falling.

(8:35:11 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: Woodstock [Mchenry Co, IL] co-op observer reports HEAVY SNOW of M5.5 INCH at 06:00 PM CST — 12 hr snowfall ending 6pm. chicago area snow team report.

(7:30:43 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: Cherry Valley [Winnebago Co, IL] broadcast media reports SNOW of M3.5 INCH at 07:27 PM CST —

(7:24:12 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: Harvard [Mchenry Co, IL] broadcast media reports SNOW of M6.0 INCH at 07:22 PM CST –

(7:14:53 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: Winnebago [Winnebago Co, IL] broadcast media reports SNOW of M3.1 INCH at 07:00 PM CST — storm total so far at wrex. liquid equivalent 0.30 inches.

(6:47:51 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: DE Kalb [De Kalb Co, IL] trained spotter reports SNOW of E4.5 INCH at 06:40 PM CST — 1.2 snow fall past 2.5 hours. heavy snow falling at time of report. 4.5 inches total so far.

(6:06:23 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: Kirkland [De Kalb Co, IL] trained spotter reports SNOW of M3.0 INCH at 05:00 PM CST — total so far.

(6:04:07 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: Rockford Airport [Winnebago Co, IL] official nws obs reports SNOW of M3.1 INCH at 06:00 PM CST — storm total 3.1 inches at rockford airport.

(5:58:00 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: NEW Millford [Winnebago Co, IL] broadcast media reports SNOW of M3.6 INCH at 05:44 PM CST — storm total 3.6 inches.

(5:45:23 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: Crystal Lake [Mchenry Co, IL] co-op observer reports SNOW of M3.8 INCH at 05:30 PM CST — storm total 3.8 inches through 530 pm.

(5:28:27 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: Loves Park [Winnebago Co, IL] broadcast media reports SNOW of M2.8 INCH at 05:24 PM CST —
(5:28:27 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: Ashton [Lee Co, IL] broadcast media reports SNOW of E4.0 INCH at 05:24 PM CST —

(5:14:30 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: 1 ESE Winnebago [Winnebago Co, IL] cocorahs reports SNOW of M1.1 INCH at 05:00 PM CST — storm total 1.1 inches.

(5:10:30 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: Cary [Mchenry Co, IL] public reports SNOW of E5.5 INCH at 04:45 PM CST — total so far.

(5:05:01 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS DVN: Erie [Whiteside Co, IL] public reports SNOW of E4.2 INCH at 04:59 PM CST —

(5:05:41 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: Byron [Ogle Co, IL] public reports SNOW of E2.4 INCH at 05:04 PM CST —

(4:41:58 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: 2 N Winnebago [Winnebago Co, IL] broadcast media reports SNOW of M2.1 INCH at 04:38 PM CST — storm total 2.1 inches at wrex.

(4:23:28 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS DVN: Rock Falls [Whiteside Co, IL] public reports SNOW of M3.3 INCH at 04:22 PM CST —

(4:22:27 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: Crystal Lake [Mchenry Co, IL] trained spotter reports SNOW of M5.0 INCH at 04:06 PM CST — storm total 5.0 inches. several vehicles in ditches.

(4:16:29 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: Rockford [Winnebago Co, IL] trained spotter reports SNOW of M3.0 INCH at 04:11 PM CST — storm total 3.0 inches so far.

(3:49:44 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: Mchenry [Mchenry Co, IL] public reports SNOW of E5.0 INCH at 03:43 PM CST — snow fall in 3 hours.

(3:44:19 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: Mchenry [Mchenry Co, IL] public reports SNOW of M5.0 INCH at 03:43 PM CST —
(3:44:53 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: Elburn [Kane Co, IL] trained spotter reports SNOW of M4.5 INCH at 03:40 PM CST — storm total 4.5 inches so far.
(3:45:43 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: Mchenry [Mchenry Co, IL] public reports SNOW of M5.0 INCH at 03:43 PM CST — snow fall in 3 hours.

(3:39:10 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: DE Kalb [De Kalb Co, IL] trained spotter reports HEAVY SNOW of M2.5 INCH at 03:00 PM CST — storm total so far at northern illinois university.
(3:41:08 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: DE Kalb [De Kalb Co, IL] trained spotter reports SNOW of M3.3 INCH at 03:30 PM CST — updated report. storm total so far after 4 hours. 1.5 inches in past 1.5 hours. moderate snow with low visibility at time of report

 

(2:59:50 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: Rockford [Winnebago Co, IL] public reports SNOW of M1.9 INCH at 02:51 PM CST — relayed by wrex. in central rockford. broadway and 7th street.

(2:58:47 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS DVN: 1 WNW Morrison [Whiteside Co, IL] trained spotter reports SNOW of M1.5 INCH at 02:55 PM CST — current conditions – heavy snow and very windy

(2:57:54 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: Stillman Valley [Ogle Co, IL] public reports SNOW of M1.9 INCH at 02:56 PM CST —

Capture2:53pm – Here’s a look at our Futuretrack interface showing precipitation type and intensity at 9pm CST. Notice how the heaviest snow will pivot into Eastern Iowa later this evening. -Eric

(2:50:04 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: N Capron [Boone Co, IL] cocorahs reports HEAVY SNOW of M1.5 INCH at 02:00 PM CST — snow so far. snow began at 100pm. visibility occasionally less than 1 block during frequent wind gusts.

(2:46:38 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: NE Rockford [Winnebago Co, IL] public reports SNOW of E1.0 INCH at 02:30 PM CST — visibility half mile.
(2:37:46 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: DE Kalb [De Kalb Co, IL] trained spotter reports SNOW of M1.8 INCH at 01:55 PM CST — snow total so far in past 2 hours. a few hundred feet of visibility in wind driven snow. occasional whiteout conditions. snow is drifting.

(2:27:23 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: Poplar Grove [Boone Co, IL] trained spotter reports HEAVY SNOW of M1.5 INCH at 02:20 PM CST — storm total as of 200pm. ground blizzard in open areas. east west oriented roads…particularly rt 173 are drifting over and practically impassable. also very icy road surface leading to numerous accidents. visibility at time of report 1/4 to 1/2 mile.

(2:26:09 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: Spring Grove [Mchenry Co, IL] public reports SNOW of E4.0 INCH at 02:22 PM CST — snowing since 1 pm.

(2/26/2013 1:30:23 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS DVN: Sterling [Whiteside Co, IL] trained spotter reports SLEET of M2.00 INCH at 01:17 PM CST — heavy snow is falling…via espotter

(2/26/2013 11:57:33 AM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS LOT: DE Kalb [De Kalb Co, IL] trained spotter reports HEAVY SNOW of M0.5 INCH at 11:56 AM CST — niu. last 30 min.

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Posted under winter storm, winter weather

This post was written by qni_it on February 26, 2013

Travel Concerns

Hampered travel conditions this afternoon and evening are the biggest concern with this incoming system. Snowfall totals won’t be all that impressive.. 1-3″ inches by tomorrow morning in most spots with an additions 1-2″ by Thursday morning. This puts the forecast at the 3-6″ mark by Thursday morning. However, the snow will come down fairly heavy for a brief period late in the afternoon today which will make the evening commute very sloppy. That combined with wind gusts upward of 40mph will give us blowing and drifting snow with visibility near zero at times. Not a major winter storm, but a major travel headache this afternoon into tonight. -Greg

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

This post was written by qni_it on February 26, 2013

Doozy or a dud?

9:25pm – We’re having an image-uploading issue here this evening. Only the ECMWF (European) model has significant accumulating snow here in Northern Illinois Tuesday afternoon.

2:48pm – The Canadian Weather Service’s GEM model has a powerful storm system rolling through the Midwest Tuesday evening, but look at how sharp the cutoff is between heavy precip and none at all. That will be something to overcome! And precipitation-type is still a question (whether it will be rain, snow, or a combo of both). The GEM is voting for DUD.

2:40pm – Here’s a look at the most recent RPM model concerning snowfall accumulation for Tuesday. Of note, this model is slowing the advancement of the snow by almost 12 hours compared to yesterday’s runs. While this is just one run, the RPM is voting for DUD.

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Posted under winter storm

This post was written by qni_it on February 25, 2013

Texas Blizzard

Clouds are beginning to roll into the Stateline in anticipation of our next snow system tomorrow. Snowfall totals for our area by Wednesday morning appear to be consistent in the 3-6″ range with the possibility of some freezing rain and ice pellets mixed into the snow from time to time due to temps hovering right around 32°. This same system that looks to bring us 3-6″ is doing far more in parts of Texas this morning and early afternoon. Blizzard warnings are in effect for the pan handle of Texas where some locations have already seen more than 14″ of snowfallas of 9:45am CST! Snow will continue to accumulate this afternoon and could lead to a build up that has a shot at breaking the all-time 24 hour snowfall record of 20.6″ in Amarillo, Texas. We will keep an eye on this system as it inches closer and closer to our area. -Greg

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Posted under snow, statistics, weather, winter storm, winter weather

This post was written by qni_it on February 25, 2013

Initial Snowfall Predictions

While our next snowfall is still about 36-42 hours away, we are getting a handle on potential accumulations in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.  Tuesday’s forecast still has a few challenges to overcome, including temperature, precipitation type, and the precise track of the low.  The amount of snow that will fall and accumulate is dependent upon these three factors, among other things.  For instance, if the surface temperature hovers around 33 to 34 degrees for much of the event, snow will melt on contact with the pavement and sidewalks.  Also, if rain and sleet mix in with the snow for a prolonged period, accumulations will be on the lower end of the spectrum.  Areas to the southeast of Rockford have the best chance for a wintry mix. 

The general storm track of this system continues to place Rockford in the prime location for decent snowfall.  The low is forecast to move northeast from the Bootheel of Missouri Tuesday morning to near Indianapolis on Tuesday night and into southeast lower Michigan on Wednesday night.  Snow will begin to affect the Stateline area during the late morning hours of Tuesday and will continue for much of the day.  As of this blog post–written on Sunday afternoon–the potential exists for 3 to 6 inches of snow.  Again, snowfall accumulations will be on the lighter side where sleet and rain mix in.  Another piece of energy will provide additional light snow accumulation of an inch or so on Wednesday.

Stay tuned to the Weather Blog and tune into 13 News on Monday as Chief Meteorologist Eric Sorensen, morning Meteorologist Greg Bobos, and myself will continue to monitor and fine-tune the forecast.  Also, don’t forget to download the 13 Weather Authority smartphone app for Android and iPhone so you can track the snow from the palm of your hand!

-Joe

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Posted under FutureTrack, snow, weather, winter weather

This post was written by qni_it on February 24, 2013

Tuesday is the Target

Day-by-Day

While Sunday will be a fair and tranquil day across northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, the effects of our next snowy system will begin to invade the area on Monday. Monday will have increasing cloud cover with a brisk easterly wind, as strong low pressure churns across the southern Plains. Monday’s highs will actually return to near normal for late February: in the middle 30s. With the way things are shaping up, nearly all of Monday will remain dry.

After midnight and especially into the predawn hours of Tuesday, the snowflakes will begin to fly in our region. The bulk of the computer forecast models are tracking this next system a bit further south than the last system. The GFS, European (ECMWF), NAM, and DGEX models all tend to track the low from near Tulsa, Oklahoma through central Illinois, central Indiana, and eventually near Detroit. This makes sense, considering the location of a significant temperature gradient (also known as the baroclinic zone) is in that general area. This track would bring the potential for several inches of snow to our area. The only outlier, as of this blog post, is the Canadian (GEM) model. The GEM tracks the low through northeastern Illinois, which would bring us more of a snow/sleet/rain/freezing rain mix and significantly lower snow totals.

Storm track, as of Saturday evening

While the trend for Tuesday’s system shows signs of weakening, it won’t weaken as much as last Thursday/Friday’s system.  However, the worst of this system will occur in parts of Kansas and Missouri once again. Another important piece of the puzzle is temperature. The track of the low will affect our temperature, which will in turn affect what type of precipitation will fall.  Right now, I anticipate much of the region to remain around the 32-degree mark with snow.  There are indications, however, that locations along and south of the I-88 corridor (Amboy, Rochelle, DeKalb) will contend with a wintry mix of precipitation during this event.

As this low pressure evolves in the Rockies on Sunday, I will have an updated storm track and blog post.  Initial snowfall accumulation predictions will be posted on Sunday too, with better refinement by Monday.  Stay tuned!

-Joe

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Posted under FutureTrack, snow, weather, winter weather

This post was written by qni_it on February 23, 2013