Eyeing our next snowmaker

A strong storm system, dubbed by The Weather Channel as “Q”, brought nearly 20 inches of snow to parts of Kansas with more than a foot in parts of Missouri over the past few days.

The area of low pressure occluded (weather term for weakened) as it moved into Illinois, decreasing the energy needed to produce mass quantities here in Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin. Our models did an exemplary job with the track…as did our 3-6 inch forecast! The red line here represents the final path the storm took. The brighter white colors represent the heaviest snowfall.

Let’s do a side-by-side comparison to a potential storm system next week. The snow that fell from this week’s storm system will be melting off, but will likely create a baroclinic zone to our south. I’ve talked about this zone in the past few weeks as it’s the area where there is the greatest change of temperature in the smallest distance on the map. These zones often tell us where the stormtrack will be.

In this map, I’ve drawn the most likely track for the new storm. With the highest chance of snow falling to the left of the stormtrack by a hundred miles, this puts Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin in the sweet spot for potential snow. While it’s a few days too early pinpointing who gets what and in what quantity, this upcoming storm has projected pressure values a bit lower which means it could be stronger. Semantics, I know, but this storm system will get Meteorologist Joe Astolfi’s undivided attention this week. Check back with us on the blog and on our 13 Weather Authority Facebook page for more! -Eric

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Posted under winter storm

This post was written by qni_it on February 22, 2013

Weather Kid Steals the Show!

The Meteorologist at KVLY in North Dakota had quite the guest this week. What do you think of William Hallman’s skills?

 

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Posted under weather geek

This post was written by qni_it on February 22, 2013

Preliminary Snowfall Totals

A round of snow pushed through the Stateline last night leaving us with some snowfall that was heavy at times. Preliminary snowfall totals are coming in within the range of 2.5-5″. Another round of light snow is crossing the Iowa border into NW Illinois and SW Wisconsin at the moment and could increase official snowfall totals marginally by this evening. If you have any snow reports from your home town we would love to hear from you! -Greg

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Posted under snow, statistics, winter weather

This post was written by qni_it on February 22, 2013

Winter Storm Information

HIT REFRESH ON YOUR BROWSER FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION

10:00pm – Snow is moving into the Rockford Metro from the south right now. Sleet has been reported in Ogle County, which may cut down on snowfall totals in the long run. In addition, a pronounced dry slot (which developed this afternoon) will cause the snow to end before the sun rises. I lowered our outlook from 3-6 inches to 2-4 inches because of these trend. It will still be quite slippery out there, especially with the easterly wind gusting near 30mph!

Winter Weather Advisories remain in place over the entire 13 county coverage area. And because the roads will be impacted by wintry weather, Meteorologists Greg Bobos and Joe Astolfi will have team coverage beginning at 5am. -Eric

6:45pm – A few areas of freezing drizzle have formed in Southern Wisconsin. This could create a glaze before the snow arrives in a few hours. Good news from Rockford! I just saw a salt truck pass by the Rockford Register Star tower applying salt. Great to see road crews out there already! -Eric

(6:10:50 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS ILX: Springfield [Sangamon Co, IL] official nws obs reports SNOW of M5.3 INCH at 06:00 PM CST — official springfield snowfall through 6 pm

(6:04:21 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS DVN: S Burlington [Des Moines Co, IA] public reports SNOW of E2.0 INCH at 05:45 PM CST — via social media

(6:03:15 PM) nwsbot: Local Storm Report by NWS ILX: Decatur [Macon Co, IL] broadcast media reports SNOW of M3.0 INCH at 05:30 PM CST — at wand-tv

5:00PM – Snow will fall heavily for a few hours beginning around 8pm for the Rockford area. After 1am, heavy snow will taper to light snow with most of the accumulation coming quickly in the 8pm-1am timeframe when 2-5 inches falls. Thundersnow will be possible during the late evening hours.

Live Exactrack|HD:

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Posted under winter storm

This post was written by qni_it on February 21, 2013

Lake Effect Snow Heading East

The latest winter event to affect northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin is still on target for Thursday night into Friday.  Our computer forecast models and real-time satellite and radar data continue to show consistency, which is excellent news.  Based on this data, knowledge of similar systems from years past, and our best forecasting skills, we are still on par for 3 to 6 inches of snow.

Lake Effect Snow in the Chicago Suburbs

The highest snowfall totals will be west of Rockford.  However, some areas east of Interstate 39—specifically the suburbs of Chicago as well as parts of McHenry County—may have snowfall totals on the higher end of the spectrum. The reason?  Lake effect and lake enhanced snowfall is a likelihood thanks to an easterly wind.  The latest run of our RPM model depicts this nicely.  This model indicates the potential for isolated areas of 8 to 12 inches in the Fox Valley area and points east.  Lake effect or enhanced snow can be finicky to forecast, since the narrow, heavy bands of snow tend to affect very small areas.  Locations only a few miles apart can have a spread of several inches, in regards to snow accumulation.

Lake effect and lake enhanced snow is just another facet of this system that we will monitor.  If your travels take you into the Chicago suburbs overnight or Friday morning, you may want to monitor this situation.

-Joe

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Posted under snow, travel, weather, winter weather

This post was written by qni_it on February 21, 2013

Friday Morning’s Commute

  Another round of overnight snow is tracking toward the Stateline. The timing of this next snow event could cause some issues on the roadways in the morning. Road crews will be out in full force all night to help keep the streets clean, but with snowfall rates of up to 1-2″ per hour expected during parts of the night, it will be difficult to keep all roads clear. As we head into the morning, it will still be snowing and the wind will be in full force. This means that visibilities will be low, blowing and drifing snow is possible, and many roads will be snow covered. Exercise caution as you head out in the morning to help ensure that your Friday won’t start off with a bang.. literally! Stay Safe! -Greg

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Posted under event, snow, travel, winter weather

This post was written by qni_it on February 21, 2013

Mini Winter Storm

I wouldn’t call the system for Thursday/Friday a true winter storm. To me, it’s probably somewhere between a run-of-the-mill snow and a winter storm. All locations in our coverage area are in a Winter Weather Advisory for Thursday night as road conditions are expected to get quite slippery and snow-covered. Winter Storm Warnings are in effect as close as Dubuque County, Iowa, and much of Missouri, including the St. Louis Metro area. Winter Storm Warnings are issued where 6″ of snow is expected which gives you an idea we should expect a little less.

Still, this will be a tricky one since the snow will come down heavily, but for just a brief amount of time. Since it will be falling at an off-peak travel time, it should give road crews time to work on the pavement before and through Friday morning’s commute. Our evening Futuretrack model shows 7.1 inches of snow falling in the Cedar Rapids area with just a hair over 3 inches in the south side of Chicago. We should be somewhere in the middle…around 5 inches for the Rockford Metro.

As far as storm specifics, be ready for the snow Thursday after dinnertime, continuing heavily through the early morning hours of Friday. Light snow or flurries will occur into the afternoon.

Another winter event is being advertised for the Monday evening through Wednesday timeframe. Because of the consistency in the models, we will keep our high 70% chance probabilities going. -Eric

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Posted under winter storm

This post was written by qni_it on February 20, 2013

Far Cry From Last February

We are smack dab in the middle of another extreme cold outbreak with wind chills below zero and actual temperatures in the teens. This February as a whole has been both chilly and snow filled thus far. Our average temperature this month has been 29.7°, which compared to last year’s average high through this date of 38.2° is far cooler. Last February was very mild and lead to a March that yielded 80° days. Through this date in Feb. last year we had only seen 1.4″ of snow for the month, so far this year our monthly total is already at 12.5″. It is safe to say that this year has felt a lot more like Winter than what we experienced last year. -Greg

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Posted under snow, statistics, winter weather

This post was written by qni_it on February 20, 2013

Weatherman passes out on live TV!

An Australia weatherman reported live from a stunt plane during a national morning show. But as he was pushing the limits of 8G’s (eight times the force of gravity), he passed out. Scroll to 2:00 to see his “Youtube Moment.” And don’t worry, he was okay. Here are a few of his tweets from after the ordeal.

I am happy doing weather with my two feet firmly on the ground, thank you very much! 🙂 -Eric

 

 

 

Image coutesy of the Huffington Post
Video courtesy of YouTube
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Posted under weather

This post was written by qni_it on February 19, 2013

Winter Storm Thu/Fri

I wanted to post an update on our snow chances for Thursday and Friday. We’re still on track with a certainty for snow in the time period. Will continue our 100% chance of precip Thursday and Friday. The only subtle changes are on timing. It looks like most of Thursday should be precip-free. Snow will begin in the evening with the heaviest snowfall rates in the late evening/overnight hours. The dynamics and Gulf Moisture are quite impressive so will also throw thundersnow into the forecast for the wee hours of Friday. Snowfall rates may approach 2 inches per hour, but probably only last for an hour or two. Still, if that keeps up for any longer, we could achieve Winter Storm Warning criteria.

As the storm system wraps up on Friday, forecast soundings (vertical slice of the atmosphere) show a layer of above freezing temperature. This could promote some freezing drizzle or sleet at the end…just adding insult to injury.

Snowfall totals will be greatest out in the Plains where the storm will be at its strongest. It will be in a weakening condition as it heads into the Great Lakes. This will be a fun one to watch…not so fun if you have necessary travel early Friday. Check back with us on the blog as we continue to keep you updated! -Eric

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Posted under winter storm

This post was written by qni_it on February 19, 2013