Heat & Humidity Headed this Way

Saturday High Temps

Saturday High Temps

Summer is winding down, but our temperatures will be cranking up. Temperatures soared into the 100s Saturday afternoon across the Great Plains from Texas through North Dakota.  While triple-digit heat will stay to our west, temperatures will climb into the 90s across the Stateline for the last week of August.

Heat Index Forecast

Heat Index Forecast

Along with the heat, the humidity will return.  Our heat index—the combination of air temperature and relative humidity—will climb into the lower 90s on Sunday.  It will feel like the mid-to-upper 90s by Monday.  Tuesday is shaping up to be the hottest day of the year.  Air temperatures are forecast to soar into the middle 90s with a heat index in the lower 100s!

-Joe

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Posted under heat wave, weather

This post was written by qni_it on August 24, 2013

Hottest Week of the Summer

As we head into another weekend we will see some quick temperature changes. This afternoon we will be limited to highs in the low 80s, but by Sunday our highs will be back up near 90° and stay that warm through next week! Capture2High pressure settled over the Plains States will allow hot and dry air to dominate our atmoshpere in the Midwest. There is a good chance that the upcoming week will be the hottest we have seen all summer. To date we have only racked up 8 days at or above 90 degrees and there are currently 5 straight in the 7 day forecast. – Greguntitled

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Posted under First Look, heat wave

This post was written by qni_it on August 23, 2013

Incredible hail storm in Colorado tonight!

Check out these photos from the south suburbs of Denver tonight. Hail and rain fell at such a rate, one car was inundated! These scenes coming from KMGH-TV in Denver.

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Posted under severe weather, weather geek

This post was written by qni_it on August 22, 2013

Much Needed Rain

Scattered showers and thunderstorms have brought us our first measurable rainfall since August 11th, and if preliminary totals hold up, we will have seen our first day with more than 1″ of rain in Rockford since August 6th. untitledWe have been in a rainfall slump for the latter half of this summer after an impressive opening month. June logged nearly 8″ of rain! That more than double what we have seen in July and August combined! It is safe to say that today’s rain is much needed as far as summer totals are concerned, and it is a good thing that we picked up some rain today because the next 6 days have no good chance for any additional precipitation. -GregCapture2

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Posted under rain, statistics

This post was written by qni_it on August 22, 2013

Nighttime thunderboomers possible!

We’ve got our eyes glued to the radar this evening as an incoming cold front is producing some big thunderstorms in Wisconsin. Fortunately, the strongest thunderstorms should remain north of us in Central Wisconsin. However, our chance of any soakers is also diminishing.
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Still, there are some storms trying to form in Northern Iowa and Southeastern Minnesota right now. These could move into our area around midnight. -Eric

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Posted under severe weather

This post was written by qni_it on August 21, 2013

Possible Storms This Evening

Heat and humidity are the main factors this afternoon, but by this evening we will turn our attention to the northwest and an incoming cold front. CaptureA dome of heat and humidity over head will clash with the incoming cooler air and with the help of the jet stream this front could spark a few thunderstorms in the area. As of noon today,  the heaviest of the activity appears to be headed for Central Wisconsin with the system gradually weakening as it closes in on us. However even the slightest change in speed of the cool front could bring us some of the heavier storms as well. Either way, isolated to scattered storms are a good bet with the best timing of the activity beginning around sunset. -GregCapture2

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Posted under First Look, rain, severe weather, weather

This post was written by qni_it on August 21, 2013

Forecast: Small chance of Aurora Borealis next few nights

A Coronal Mass Ejection was observed on the sun early Tuesday morning. This video shows the filament, some 50 times the size of the Earth, exploding off the sun! It’s really cool to notice in the graphic below the size comparison between the Earth and the Sun.

Capture
The timing could produce a minor geomagnetic storm in the coming days. These could produce an Aurora (or Northern Lights) in the coming nights. We’ll be sure to let you know if we get to storm level! You can always check for yourself by bookmarking this link from the Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.

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Posted under space

This post was written by qni_it on August 20, 2013

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s… the I.S.S!

Tonight marks our third full moon out of four this summer (a rare occurrence) and is therefore considered a “blue moon”, but it isn’t the only reason you should look up tonight! CaptureThe International Space Station will be visible for two minutes tonight starting at 9:36PM and if you can’t make it outside tonight then you can catch it tomorrow. The space station will fly by at 8:47PM tomorrow and take 4 minutes to make its journey across the night sky. It will look similar to a shooting star but move far more slowly. The I.S.S. will track across the sky from the northwest to the southeast. -Greg

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Posted under First Look, space

This post was written by qni_it on August 20, 2013

Western wildfires give us hazy skies

CaptureYou may have noticed the haze in the sky over the weekend and today. Usually, haze is a sign of high humidity, but that’s not the case this go-around.

Our hazy skies this week are caused by wildfires burning in the Rockies! The U.S. Forest Service reports nearly 50 large fires burning in ten western states. This MODIS satellite image was taken this afternoon. The milky-blue hue over the Great Lakes is the smoke/haze high within the atmosphere. The haze isn’t necessarily a major health concern, however some folks with breathing difficulty might want to stay indoors. An Air Quality Alert has been hoisted for the Chicago Area…moreso for the Ozone concentration.

Capture2As the jet stream continues its west-to-east orientation this week, we’ll likely see more hazy days thanks to the fires. Not to mention, we’ll have increasing humidity this week which will add water vapor to the haze!

The good thing about this haze? It should make the view of this week’s blue moon spectacular (Especially around moonrise and moonset). I’ve written more about the blue moon here. The increased haze will cause our blue moon to take on a more orange look, especially when the moon is nearer to the horizon. It’s the same optical effect as the sun shining red near sunrise and sunset (as the light travels through more of the Earth’s atmosphere).

Have a great night! -Eric

p.s. If you get any great photos of the blue moon, send them to me weather@wrex.com or Tweet me! http://www.twitter.com/ericsorensen

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Posted under weather

This post was written by qni_it on August 19, 2013

Once in a blue moon!

We’ve all heard the phrase (and maybe if we’re older than 21, popped the cap on one), but have you ever wondered what the phrase means?
CaptureA blue moon is simply the second full moon that occurs within a calendar month. But Shirley Ryan in Oregon, Illinois wants to know “If a full moon occurs every 29.5 days, how can we possibly have a second full moon in August on the 21st?” That’s because this blue moon is a “Seasonal Blue Moon,” which means it’s the fourth full moon in a season (not sticking to our traditional definition)! According to Space.com, the “second full moon in a calendar month” was a mistake from a 1940s “Sky and Telescope” article that stuck!)

Let’s go further. Since the lunar cycle is different than our calendar (which determines the length of one year as 365.25 days), we accumulate extra days within the lunar cycle!

While “traditional blue moons” occur more often than the phrase leads you to believe, a “Seasonal Blue Moon” won’t occur again until until 2016!

With the added haze in the air, the moon will take on an extra-orange look during moonrise and moonset. If you don’t live in the Rockford, Illinois area, you can use this link to find the moonrise and moonset in your area.

Who’s up for a toast to the Blue Moon with a Blue Moon? -Eric

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Posted under event, news, science, space, statistics, weather geek

This post was written by qni_it on August 19, 2013