Severe Weather Outlook

As we head into this afternoon and evening, the potential for severe thunderstorm development will be in place here across the Stateline. These storms would have the capability of producing damaging wind and large hail. Humid air from the Gulf of Mexico is being pumped into the Midwest and meeting a dry and cool airmass. This mixed with strong upper level wind and rising temperatures could bring about thunderstorms. The more sunshine we see the strong the storms could become. Stay tuned as the day wears on! -GregCapture2


Posted under severe weather, weather

This post was written by qni_it on May 28, 2013

Severe thunderstorms possible Tuesday afternoon


After a drab Memorial Day Weekend, we’re setting the stage for possible severe weather in the days to come. For that reason, will raise our threatrack level to 2. However, should conditions continue to destablize, we may need to locally raise that. Capture2Problem: warm fronts can offer quite a bit of low-level wind shear needed to produce rotating thunderstorms. 

Here are the specifics: A warm front that has stood firm across Eastern Iowa and Central Illinois all weekend. This has produced significant flash flooding over the Hawkeye State and with the front nearby on Tuesday, severe thunderstorms with heavy rain are a distinct possibility! A pretty significant “vort max” will exist about 15,000 feet above ground level. This is essential for thunderstorms to be allowed to grow and slowly rotate. Rotation is essential for a thunderstorm to maintain its strength because it allows warm, humid a thunderstorm to be brought in to maintain the updraft.

CaptureIn addition to vorticity, there will be a strong jet streak on top of that. Think of this map as the speed of the air parcel at the top of the storm. The stronger the wind aloft, the higher chance a storm has to evacuate colder air on top of a storm. With the machine in motion, the storm can bring in low-level humid, warm air, and then dispersing the cooler, stable air aloft. This is key to forecasting strength of thunderstorms.

Capture3These are just a few of the factors that lead me to believe we have a threat of severe thunderstorms on Tuesday. We’ll also be looking at the placement of the warm front. If the warm front is close by, there will be a chance of a few tornadoes. Large hail will be a good bet with any mature storms, along with some gusty straight-line wind.


Posted under severe weather

This post was written by qni_it on May 27, 2013

Grillin’ in the Rain

Today marks the unofficial start of summer and one of the biggest grilling days of the year! We have rain in the forecast, but don’t be discouraged from lighting up the grill and making some flame broiled goodness. Just a few tips though if you do plan on braving the on and off rain. First and foremost, never under any circumstance take a grill indoors. This can lead to house fires as well as the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning! You’ll want to monitor the temperature inside your grill closely as raindrops will cool the lid. Also, check your food often! The tendency will be to want to spend more time inside and less time watching the food, this could lead to burned BBQ. -Greg 1


Posted under BBQ Alert, safety, weather

This post was written by qni_it on May 27, 2013

Heavy Rain

A stalled out warm front that stretched through parts of the Missouri and mid-Mississippi Valleys has caused torrential rain and flooding across much of central and eastern Iowa.   The weekend rainfall total was over 3 inches in Muscatine, just 125 miles southwest of Rockford.  Some locations in central Iowa picked up over 8 inches of rain throughout the weekend!  Even parts of the Illinois River Valley, near Princeton and Kewanee, had flash flood warnings on Sunday evening. 

The majority of the showers and thunderstorms associated with that warm front moved to the southeast, with the remnant light showers affecting the Stateline area during the weekend.   That will change, however. 


The warm front is expected to slowly push north over the next 48 hours, bringing the threat for more frequent rounds of showers and thunderstorms to northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.  The rain will be scattered in nature, so rainfall totals could be drastically different in Stockton versus Genoa, for example.  While it is tough to pinpoint how much rain will fall across our entire 13-county area, we do have an idea that some of the heavier thunderstorms will contain quick downpours.  Upon analyzing six forecast models and keeping an eye on radar trends, we may very well end up with an inch or even up to two inches of precipitation in spots.  The model outliers are the GFS model (0.83″ of rain in Rockford through Tuesday evening) and the GEM model (2.57″ in Rockford through Tuesday evening).  On average, the rainfall projection is around 1.44 inches, which is consistent with our in-house Adonis FutureTrack Rainfall model.



Posted under flooding, FutureTrack, rain, weather

This post was written by qni_it on May 26, 2013

Showery Sunday

The chance for showers and even a few thunderstorms will increase after midnight and into the pre-dawn hours of Sunday.  A nearly-stationary warm front will help to act as trigger for these showers to form. The general direction of the precipitation will be east-southeast along and just north of the warm front.  We will see the scattered showers and thunderstorms continue for the morning hours on Sunday. It looks like we will see a break in the action midday, with just a few isolated showers and an otherwise mostly cloudy sky. Temperatures will reach the lower 60s by afternoon.

More scattered showers and a few thunderstorms will redevelop and dampen our Sunday evening and overnight.  The warm front will remain to our south even into Memorial Day (Monday), so scattered showers and thunderstorms are a possibility yet again.  While severe weather is expected to stay in the Great Plains, some of our thunderstorms may put down heavier rain and small hail.

Don’t forget! You can track the rain on your smartphone with the 13 Weather Authority ExacTrack App.  -Joe


Posted under FutureTrack, rain, Threatrack, weather

This post was written by qni_it on May 25, 2013

Hurricane Season 2013

As we head into the 2013 hurricane season, we could be in for an active one. Very warm ocean waters and a lack of mitigating factors that could dispell the formation of hurricanes are in place. A prediction has been made that we will see an above average number of named storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes this season with the possibility of 6 of those hurricanes being major. All eyes will be on the Atlantic this summer and fall. -Greg1


Posted under weather

This post was written by qni_it on May 24, 2013

New technology gives before and after views of Moore Tornado

untitledClick on the map above to slide between before and after photos the EF-5 Moore, Oklahoma tornado. The larger building is Briarwood Elementary School in Moore. You can drag the map in all directions to navigate to another part of the tornado-ravaged area. -Eric



Posted under tornado

This post was written by qni_it on May 23, 2013

Do you have a lifesaver when it comes to tornadoes?

We’ve seen the heartbreaking stories for the past few days of folks in Moore, Oklahoma dealing with the aftermath of a violent, deadly EF-5 tornado. I’ve been asked the question “Can that happen here?” And unfortunately the answer is “Yes.” On August 28, 1990, an F-5 tornado struck the town of Plainfield, Illinois, killing 24 people. That storm first spawned a tornado near Pecatonica that afternoon. We know these tornadoes can happen here. The good news is we’ve been lucky. The bad news is we don’t know when it will happen again.

radioBut you can be ready for it when it does. By coming up with a tornado safety plan and owning a NOAA Weather Radio, you will have the tools in place to stay safe. You can purchase one of these NOAA Weather Radios at any Schnuck’s store in Rockford, Janesville, and DeKalb. Every Friday, the 13 Weather Authority team will spend two hours programming the radio specific for your county (although an easy read of the instruction manual will give you the ability to do it).

This Friday, we’ll be at the Schnuck’s store on Charles Street in Southeast Rockford. We hope to see you there! -Eric


Posted under safety, tornado

This post was written by qni_it on May 22, 2013

VIDEO: May 19th Tornado in Carroll County uploaded a video of the tornado that we covered Sunday Night. The National Weather Service issued a Tornado Warning for Carroll County and we were first on the air with team coverage. The tornado came very close to Milledgeville with one eyewitness saying it passed very near the town’s Casey’s General Store. There are no reports of damage or injuries with this tornado. (Video courtesy of Nick Strehlow)


Posted under tornado

This post was written by qni_it on May 22, 2013

Moore, Oklahoma: First city to experience two EF-5 tornadoes

Capture2Before Moore, Oklahoma made news yesterday for the EF-5 tornado, you may have remembered hearing about the city. About the same size as DeKalb, Illinois, Moore was hit by a deadly tornado May 3, 1999. 36 people died with 8,000 homes damaged or destroyed. That tornado caused $1.1Billion in damage, which made it the most costly tornado in U.S. history (until the Joplin, Missouri tornado of 2011).

Yesterday’s tornado actually crossed paths with the deadly 1999 tornado as you can see in this map. No other city has experienced two EF-5 tornadoes, the strongest possible. (Click here to learn more about the Enhanced Fujita Scale.)

In comparison, the tornado in 1999 killed more people…perhaps lower due to the increased lead-time CaptureNational Weather Service Meteorologists were able to give with warnings and forecasts, and the increase in the number of homes built with safe-shelters. But this is likely to become a billion-dollar disaster once again. Some insurance forecasters are hinting that the damage may exceed the damage caused by the Joplin tornado.


Posted under tornado

This post was written by qni_it on May 21, 2013