Wintry Mix through Midday Friday

mixGet ready for one of the first bouts of winter driving this season! Rain and snow will move into the area this evening with a gradual changeover to snow expected by morning. Some minor accumulations will be possible, especially on grassy areas.

However, watch it on the bridges and overpasses. They could get a little slick, especially toward morning, since temperatures will fall below freezing after 2am. I’m not expecting that much accumulation, but a quick half inch will be possible with the area from Dubuque up to Madison possibly seeing an inch.

coldBig story following this cold front will be the really cold air! Hope you’re ready for this: Beginning tomorrow, we’ll likely only have about 9 hours of temperature above freezing for a WEEK! Yup, high temperatures will remain in the 20s and 30s. And there could even be a dusting of snow on Monday.


Posted under cold blast, snow

This post was written by qni_it on November 21, 2013

The Plunge Begins

We have been advertising cold weather all week, and that chill is finally about to make its arrival. High temperatures today will be in the upper 40s, which makes this the only day in the 7 day forecast that will top the 40 degree mark. Tomorrow we transition into the 30s and we won’t make it out of the 20s when we head into the weekend.2 Overnight low temps are expected to be in the low teens on Saturday, and if they were to dip into the single digits, it would be the first time since March 3rd when we saw a low of 2°. -Greg


Posted under cold blast

This post was written by qni_it on November 21, 2013

First inch of snow

Bill Shamp of Machesney Park asked me when I thought we’d get our first inch of snow. Without looking at the models (which aren’t reliable more than a week out), I said “In the next 2-3 weeks.”

That got me to think about when we normally see our first inch of snow. And in case you’re wondering, the snow on November 11th wasn’t an inch. In fact, the Chicago-Rockford International Airport measured about 0.4″ of snow.

snowMeteorologist Joe Astolfi looked through the records over the past decade and observed a trend: Most of the years didn’t see a measured snow more than an inch until early December! Six out of the past 10 years, we didn’t get our first inch in November. And in the winter season of 2003/2004, we didn’t get our first inch until January 2004!

And just for fun, looking out on the GFS model, I see no snow accumulation more than an inch. On the other hand, the ECMWF model gives us about 2 inches next Monday. -Eric


Posted under snow

This post was written by qni_it on November 20, 2013

48 Hours Drop-Off

An aggressive cold front is headed our way, and we will feel the brunt of the chill as we head into the weekend. The front passes through on Friday and will steadily lower of temps a few degrees every few hours until we end up in the upper teens by late Saturday. It will take us until Monday to make it back into the 30s. – Greg 1


Posted under cold blast, First Look

This post was written by qni_it on November 20, 2013

Showers & Freezing Temperatures

Today was exactly the type of day we needed to recharge our batteries and exhale after Sunday’s storms and yesterday’s wind. Sadly, this docile period is short lived. Tomorrow another cold front will slowly begin its approach toward the Stateline. Clouds will increase tonight, and a chance for a few showers will settle in tomorrow afternoon and especially overnight into Thursday.1 Once the rain and the front itself passes, our temperatures will plunge quickly, just in time for the weekend. Our high will reach 40 on Friday, then our temperatures will steadily drop every hour for the following 36 hours. Afternoon temperatures on Saturday will be in the upper teens and low 20s. 2It will be a slow climb in the positive direction on Sunday, and we finally make it back up near 40 on Monday. 3


Posted under cold blast, rain

This post was written by qni_it on November 19, 2013

Why we escaped the tornadoes yesterday

We made it through one of the biggest November tornado outbreaks in history. However, Central and Southern Illinois were not nearly as lucky as we were in the northern third of the state. Here’s why:
This is a snapshot of Exactrack|HD from Sunday morning. You can see the tornadic storms in Central Illinois and in Southeastern Wisconsin. Even though the cold front was still to our west, the tornadic storms in Central Illinois distrupted the wind flow into the storms along the cold front. So, indirectly, the storms to our south spared us here in Northern Illinois.

Here’s a schematic of the event yesterday.

We did have funnel clouds reported early on across McHenry Co., up into Walworth, Racine, and Kenosha Cos. But the storms to our southwest just couldn’t materialize because the moisture and energy source had been decreased much like a kinked hose. Had the storms not developed around Peoria, the scenes of complete destruction would be much closer to home.


When severe weather is forecast, it’s important to understand the risk. We, as well as every TV station in Illinois, forecast severe weather for Sunday. For us, I put the word “Active Storms” on the 7 Day Forecast Thursday at 5pm. Here’s a look at the Storm Prediction Center’s forecast map for severe weather along with the reports. That, right there is your tax dollars being put to a good use. -Eric


Posted under tornado

This post was written by qni_it on November 18, 2013

Washington Tornado: EF-4

The National Weather Service has completed a preliminary survey of the damaged caused by yesterday’s tornado in Washington, IL. The results have lead the weather service to categorize the twister as an EF-4, the second strongest classification. This particular tornado is believed to have had wind speeds between 170-190mph. Here are the criteria for an EF-4.  24We will keep you posted as more develops! -Greg


Posted under event, First Look, tornado

This post was written by qni_it on November 18, 2013

Wind Advisory

A Wind Advisory is in effect for parts of the area.  DeKalb and Lee County will have an advisory in effect from 10am until 8pm Sunday.  Whiteside County will have an advisory from 10am until 6pm Sunday. 


Strong southerly wind sustained between 20 and 30mph will affect the entire WREX viewing area Saturday night for the first half of Sunday.  Some gusts could exceed 40mph! By late morning/early afternoon Sunday, a strong cold front will blast through the area—bringing the threat for a few stronger storms—and switch our wind from southerly to westerly.  The gusts will continue through Sunday evening. 

Wind Advisories will likely be dropped for Sunday night, but blustery conditions will stick around through Monday. 



Posted under Wind

This post was written by qni_it on November 16, 2013

Severe Storm Outbreak possible

severethreatParts of the Midwest and Great Lakes States will have the potential for a severe weather outbreak on Sunday. According to the Storm Prediction Center, there is a slight risk of severe thunderstorms for the following cities:
Milwaukee, Madison, Rockford, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Peoria, Springfield, St. Louis, and Carbondale.
There is an enhanced risk for severe thunderstorms for the following cities: Chicago, Joliet, Champaign, Bloomington-Normal, Indianapolis, Evansville, Louisville, Cincinnati, Ft. Wayne, Detroit, Lansing, and Grand Rapids.

simulatedA strengthening area of low pressure will eject out of the Plains toward Northern Wisconsin during the morning hours. Ahead of a strong cold front, thunderstorms are expected to explode ahead of it. While some models fire the storms over the Mississippi River, tracking eastward, this model (RPM) has storm initiation occurring along the I-39 corridor with damaging wind quickly moving into the Chicago area by 3pm. Mature thunderstorms then affect the enhanced risk area of Northern Indiana, Southern Michigan, and Northwestern Ohio.

The main threats for the Rockford Metro will be all or nothing. A few things are very interesting to me. The folks at St. Louis University have developed a computer program called CIPS. It takes the computer model output and compares it with similar outcomes in the past. Ominously, the CIPS analog shows the closest comparison to be the November 22, 2010 outbreak that produced tornadoes here in Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin. (See Caledonia tornado information here) (See Caledonia tornado photos here).

frontsAnother thing that is concerning is if a “triple point” is present here in Northern Illinois. This maximizes the amount of turning wind with height. In this surface map by the NWS, a cold front (blue), a warm front (red), and an occluded front (pink) intersect in Northern Illinois. A triple point was close by for both the Caledonia and Poplar Grove tornadoes.

For the Rockford Metro, there will be a severe weather threat (mainly straight line wind) between 3am and 9am. A few isolated tornadoes will be possible, especially east of I-39 between  9am and 1pm. After 1pm, the front and chance of severe weather will sweep east by 50 miles each hour.


Posted under severe weather

This post was written by qni_it on November 16, 2013

Wind-whipped Weekend

Friday Night Update – Hey guys, hold onto your hats. And ladies, there’s a “Skirt Alert” in effect! Wind speeds will stay tolerable through Saturday evening. Through the overnight into Sunday, some wind gusts could exceed 40mph! Tack a little more produced by a thunderstorm and we could have severe wind gusts. We’ll watch for that possibility Sunday. The severe threat will exist from very early in the morning through about noon when the cold front comes through. -Eric4 CaptureFriday Afternoon – The next three days will bring us wind, rain, warmth and eventually cold temperatures. The first variable that will enter the forecast is the increasing wind. Gusts on Friday will stay around 20mph. The wind will steadily increase until the front comes through Sunday. Once that occurs, the wind will die down significantly. Unfortunately, the temperatures will do the same! -Greg


Posted under cold blast, Wind

This post was written by qni_it on November 15, 2013