Winter Storm Update: Sat 3:30pm

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Posted under winter storm

This post was written by qni_it on December 21, 2013

Friday 11pm Update

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Posted under snow

This post was written by qni_it on December 20, 2013

Winter Storm Warning

ICYIcy road conditions continue all across Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin. Even though the freezing rain has tapered to freezing drizzle, there will be slick spots remaining straight into Saturday morning. Simply put, temperatures will be in the 20s all night with no way to melt any of it off! So be careful, especially on roads that look wet.

snowA Winter Storm Warning is now in effect for the entire viewing area. warningThis is for a winter storm that will affect the region Saturday evening through mid-afternoon Sunday. The precipitation will likely fall as a mix of sleet, freezing rain, and snow, but a gradual switchover to all snow is expected by midnight Saturday night. Heavy snowfall rates will then be possible through the early morning hours. Total snowfall accumulations could exceed six inches in spots. So be sure to get all of your errands and travel complete by late-afternoon Saturday.

If you have questions, tweet me and I’ll get back to you! http://www.twitter.com/ericsorensen

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Posted under snow, weather, winter storm

This post was written by qni_it on December 20, 2013

VIDEO Update on Winter Storm Potential for Saturday Night/Sunday

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Posted under snow

This post was written by qni_it on December 20, 2013

Freezing Rain Advisory

Update on road conditions for your Friday morning commute and latest thinking concerning the Winter Storm Watch that’s in effect for Saturday night-Sunday. -Eric

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Posted under ice

This post was written by qni_it on December 19, 2013

Glazed and Iced!

IMPACTThat title makes me want to sink my teeth into a donut.

But on a serious note, we’ve got some messy weather here for the first part of our Friday. Temperatures will teeter on that 32 degree mark through the early morning hours. Freezing rain and sleet are likely with accumulations of ice just enough to cause spin-outs and slide-offs. Be careful if you’re headint out, especially before sunrise! Our Winter Impact shows conditions bad…but not likely enough to cause any serious power outages…which is good. Just allow some extra time and you’ll be able to get where you’re going. And don’t be surprised if the freezing rain ends with a period of snow in the morning. Accumulations aren’t going to be big…but snow on top of ice is a nasty combo!

iceWe’re still in a holding pattern when it comes to the weekend winter storm. Models are bouncing north than reverting south…probably because if this mess we’re currently dealing with adds any snowcover, we’ll be a degree colder for Saturday. That’s all it’ll take is one degree colder or warmer to make the difference between a mainly-rain system and a mainly-snow system.

SNOWIEST SCENARIO: Temperatures stay a bit cooler and most of Saturday and Sunday’s precipitation falls as snow. Maximum snowfall totals would be in the 6-10 inch range.

MIDDLE OF THE ROAD SCENARIO: There is a period where temperatures rise into the middle 30s late Saturday night as the warm-advection precipitation pumps in from the south. A few hours of rain would slightly limit the available moisture for snowfall production in the cold sector. Sunday’s snow accumulation 4-8 inches.

RAINIEST SCENARIO: Temperatures remain above freezing for the majority of the event leaving little in the way of available moisture once the cold air moves in. Snowfall 2-4 inches.

From everything I’ve looked at tonight (Thursday), I think the middle of the road is probably a safe bet. We will likely have some rain here in the Rockford Metro. However, if the track slightly shifts south by 20 miles or so, we could be a degree colder…thus more snow. Opposite happens with a shift to the north. We’re only talking about 20 miles and one degree fahrenheit. That’s why you’re still not getting a concrete snowfall forecast map from me. ūüėČ -Eric

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Posted under weather

This post was written by qni_it on December 19, 2013

Freezing Rain Advisory in effect through Noon Friday

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Posted under travel

This post was written by qni_it on December 19, 2013

Round One Tonight

Our first of two winter systems will arrive this evening into the overnight. A freezing rain advisory is in effect tonight into tomorrow morning. We could see 0.1″ of ice accumulation, which isn’t much, but could be just enough to glaze over many roadways heading into the late hours of tonight, and the morning commute. We will start off late this afternoon into the evening with rain that will slowly transition into freezing rain from west to east by midnight. Untitled

Early tomorrow morning, we will see that freezing rain become mixed with snow flakes. Southern Wisconsin could pick up roughly an inch of snow accumulation, with Northern Illinois not seeing much that will stick. All the activity pushes out by mid afternoon tomorrow. A brief calm period settles in tomorrow afternoon into early Saturday. -GregTHU

 

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Posted under ice, snow, winter weather

This post was written by qni_it on December 19, 2013

Learning a few more things

Meteorologist Greg Bobos and I spent about an hour this afternoon going over data concerning this weekend’s storm system. A few things have come into focus. We know the timing of the system. TIMINGWe’re becoming confident on the storm track. Big question is whether we’ll see all snow or a combination of rain and snow. And that’s important as the models almost always overdo snowfall amounts when there’s a changeover from rain to snow.

First, let’s talk about the timing. We’re pretty much locked into a Saturday night into Sunday timeframe. Areas in Northern Missouri will see nasty driving before we do. Wisconsin and Michigan will see the worst conditions on Sunday afternoon. So, plan accordingly! If you have to travel on Sunday, be ready to make a change in the next day or two as our confidence grows.

snowmeltThe track this storm will take is getting more noticeable on our models. A few things have to happen before we can get an exact track. We’ll be watching Missouri, Southern Illinois, and Southern Indiana closely on Thursday and Friday. There’s 4-8 inches of snow on the ground in many spots here. All of our models melt that off in the next 48 hours. It’ll be interesting to see if that can even happen without widespread rainfall there. Okay, let’s just say all of it melts (area circled in yellow). This will allow us to find the eventual storm track! Winter storms like to travel with bare ground on the right and snow cover on the left. The zone where snow tapers off is often where the track will be. In this case, I expect it to be here (red arrows). That puts the zone of heaviest snow 100 miles to the left of the arrows (stormtrack).

QPFSo, how much snow are we talking about? This map shows the total amount of moisture available with this system according to the ECMWF computer model. If all of it came in the form of snow at 32¬į, we would add up 13.1 inches of snow. However, this storm isn’t going to be that easy to forecast because we’ll likely see rain for a time Saturday night. How much of that total precip of 1.31″ comes in the form of rain remains to be seen. Something we’ll be working to finetune in the next 24 hours. A lot depends on how quickly the snow melts in Southern Illinois.

And yes, there are quite a few Meteorologists who’ve put together snowfall forecast maps. I don’t see much sense in throwing¬†them out there. And because we have the word ‘accurate’ on our forecast products, you won’t see one from Greg, Joe, or me until we have¬†confidence in the forecast. The more we learn about how things¬†are coming together, you’ll know.¬†-Eric

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Posted under winter storm

This post was written by qni_it on December 18, 2013

Big questions surround winter storm forecast

gfs1As we’ve mentioned for the past few days, we’ll be closely watching how much warm air comes into the storm system for the weekend. Here you can see what even a 45 mile shift will yield: a lot or nothing!

In this video, I’m talking about the first system (Thursday night into Friday) with a strong emphasis on what the models give us for the weekend. Take a look and if you have any questions, tweet me! http://www.twitter.com/ericsorensen

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Posted under cold blast, snow

This post was written by qni_it on December 18, 2013