Snow Round 2: The Main Course

We have two rounds of snow to get through this weekend. The first round of light snow will linger through the pre-dawn hours of Saturday morning. The first round will be the lesser of the two: the appetizer to the main course.  The main course, of course, is the second round of snow that will blanket the area late Saturday.

Local Timeframe: 1pm Saturday - 7am Sunday

Local Timeframe: 1pm Saturday – 7am Sunday

Snow looks to push back into the area Saturday afternoon after 1pm.  The snow will ramp up in intensity during the late afternoon and evening, continuing into the nighttime hours.  Snow will taper off before dawn Sunday. It appears that 3 to 5 inches of accumulation will be possible when it’s all said and done.  The higher totals will be along and south of the Interstate 88 corridor. The lowest amounts will occur in southern Wisconsin. Temperatures will be in the teens during this snowfall event. Wind will be out of the north-northwest around 5 to 15mph, with a few gusts to 20mph.

Round 2 Snowfall: 3-5"

Round 2 Snowfall: 3-5″

As of 8am Saturday morning, the WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY area has expanded to included all 13 of our local counties.

  • Carroll, Jo Daviess, Stephenson & Whiteside County: 12pm Saturday through 6am Sunday
  • Green, Rock & Walworth County:  3pm Saturday through 3am Sunday
  • Boone, DeKalb, Lee, McHenry, Ogle & Winnebago County: 3pm Saturday through 9am Sunday
Winter Weather Advisory (posted Friday 11pm)

Winter Weather Advisory (posted Friday 11pm)

Travel will be impacted Saturday evening through Sunday morning as snow plows battle this latest round of snow. Use caution if you have to travel. Keep it tuned to the weather blog, wrex.com, our Facebook and Twitter feeds for the latest the information.

-Joe

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Posted under FutureTrack, snow, weather, winter weather

This post was written by qni_it on February 28, 2014

Snow Round 1: The Appetizer

We will have to deal with two main rounds of snow this weekend. The first round of light snow will push through northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin overnight. This round will be the lesser of the two: the appetizer to the main course.

Friday Night

Friday Night

Snowfall totals will be on the light side, generally around 1 inch.  A few spots near and north of the Illinois-Wisconsin state line may see an inch and a half.  The chance for snow will wind down before sunrise Saturday, although it will remain cloudy. Temperatures will fall through the 20s and into the middle teens by Saturday morning.

Travel Impact Through Saturday Morning

Travel Impact Through Saturday Morning

Travel may become a little hazardous overnight, with reduced visibility and a coating of snow on the pavement. Road conditions will improve throughout Saturday morning.

-Joe

EDIT:  Here is a list of local observed snowfall totals from Friday night.

  • Clinton (WI) – 1.5″
  • Woodstock – 1.5″
  • Rockford (Airport) – 1.2″
  • Freeport – 1.0″
  • Galena – 1.0″
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Posted under FutureTrack, snow, winter weather

This post was written by qni_it on February 28, 2014

Snowy Weekend

We are heading into the weekend, and once again, snow is the main focus in the forecast. We have two rounds to contend with this time around. Models have been in disagreement to this point in terms of totals, but the timing has been locked down pretty well. Round one makes its way here tonight into very early tomorrow morning. This initial system is moisture starved, so accumulation will be fairly minimal (roughly a dusting to an inch). Our second system, however, has the potential to bring us several inches of accumulation. Tomorrow morning and the first part of the afternoon will be cloudy, but snow free. As we push late into the day, the chance for snow quickly increases. This round will last from late tomorrow into early Sunday afternoon. We can expect an additional 3-5″, which will put our totals in the ballpark of 4-6″ for the weekend, with a few outliers slightly above that. The best chances for the heavier totals will be down near I88 (Dixon, Rochelle, DeKalb). As I mentioned, model output for totals has been in disagreement today, so these numbers could change slightly as we head into tomorrow morning, but the timing will remain the same. – Greg snow

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Posted under snow, winter weather

This post was written by qni_it on February 28, 2014

Northern Lights possible tonight

NORTHERNLIGHTSHey skywatchers!

Tonight may be your night to see the Northern Lights (aka Aurora Borealis). Residents in England caught some dramatic shots of these earlier in the night. As night falls on the eastern part of North America right now, I expect to see some come in. The big question is how far south will they be?

dark-sky-03There’s a pretty decent chance of seeing them in Northern Wisconsin tonight. Here in Northern Illinois? We’ll see! Remember, in order to see the lights you must get away from the city lights and look directly north. Your proximity to a city will decrease your chance to see them because of light pollution (shown in the image to the left). You may see some greens and reds if it intensifies at all. If you see them, click on our Facebook page and let us know! Of course, if you get any camera shots, send them at once (either on Facebook or via e-mail)! space station

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Posted under space

This post was written by qni_it on February 27, 2014

A Very Rare Day

We are in the midst of a late February deep freeze that doesn’t come along that often. Today will easily break the record for the coldest high temperature on this date. The previous record was 18°, and today’s forecast high is a third of that, sitting at 6 degrees! stuff4That high temperature will also make this only the 3rd day in the last 109 years (since 1905) in which a high temperature did not break into the double digits from the last week of February on toward spring and summer. I wish I could end this post on a warm note, but it will take us at least two weeks to start to dig ourselves out of this very deep and cold hole. Highs will remain below average until we push into the middle of March. – Greg

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Posted under cold blast, statistics, winter weather

This post was written by qni_it on February 27, 2014

This Winter vs. 1970s Winters

Meteorological winter will wrap up at the end of the month. Typically the coldest three months of the year, meteorological winter includes the entire months of December, January, and February. As we all know, this winter has been exceptionally snowy and cold. In fact, we are currently the 4th coldest winter on record!  Amazingly, the top 3 coldest winters in Rockford all occurred one after another in the late 1970s.

stuff1

The winters of 1976-77, 1977-78, and 1978-79 were the coldest, taking into account high and low temperatures.  The winters of 1977-78 and 1978-79 hold the title for the 13th snowiest and 2nd snowiest, respectively.  The snowiest meteorological winter was 2007-08 with 65.1 inches.

stuff2

With our current forecast through the end of the month (Thursday & Friday), we have a good shot at tying for the 3rd coldest winter! But what happens after meteorological winter?

March 1st is the start of meteorological spring. Meteorological spring encompasses March, April, and May. The average temperature  for the season is 48.9°F.  If we look at the harsh winters of the late 70s, many of them ended up with below average spring temperatures.  One year that bucked the trend was 1977: coming off of the 3rd coldest winter was the 2nd warmest spring on record!

Near the Chrysler Plant in the late 1970s

Near the Chrysler Plant in the late 1970s

Snow is likely during the first half of meteorological spring; it’s even possible into May.  However, after snowier-than-average winters in 1977-78 and 1978-79, spring snowfall was actually below average.  Hopefully that is a sign of things to come as we head through the next several weeks! Winter 2013-14 is, after all, the 9th snowiest on record.

Meteorological Winter vs. Meteorological Spring

Meteorological Winter vs. Meteorological Spring

In the weeks to come, there are a few signs that temperatures will warm above average. Unfortunately, it’s not until the middle of March! Looking beyond spring, the three late 1970’s meteorological summer seasons ended up just slightly below average on the temperature trend.

-Joe

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, climate/climate change, cold blast, news, photos, record weather, snow, statistics, weather, winter weather

This post was written by qni_it on February 26, 2014

Dangerously cold early Wednesday

2Temperatures will dip to around -9° with peak wind chills near -25°. That is cold enough that exposed skin will only need 20 minutes to succumb to frostbite! Usually, when we dip below zero here in Northern Illinois, it’s a result of a cold, Canadian high pressure system overhead. However, this go-around we’ve got a stiff northwesterly wind. That will cause insult to injury for anyone who has to be up around sunrise Wednesday.
The wind chill will stay below zero all day, even with sunshine and temperatures in the teens.

1This extreme cold is out of the ordinary in early January. But the calendar will read March in just a few days. Temperatures will be 32° below normal on Thursday. To put that in perspective, it’s like a 50° afternoon in the middle of July. That’s unheard of! Unfortunately, the cooler-than-normal temperatures will stick around through March 11th. -Eric

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Posted under cold blast

This post was written by qni_it on February 25, 2014

Going For Another Record

We drop back below zero once again tonight, which is a scenario we are far too accustomed to this winter. belowzTonight will be the first of three nights in a row that put a minus sign in front of our low temperatures. The record low temperature tomorrow is -6° set back in 1994. Our forecasted low temperature is nine below, which obviously would break the previous record. But, it will feel much colder than nine below thanks to the wind. Our wind chill values drop to a dangerously low level (-30° to -20°) as we head into tomorrow morning. – Greg

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Posted under cold blast, statistics, winter weather

This post was written by qni_it on February 25, 2014

Snow Zone comes closer next week

7DAYArctic high pressure will continue to dominate the weather over the Upper Midwest this week. There will be two reinforcing shots of colder air, but the pattern won’t be enough to get the snow going. So, look for more of the same here for a few days. And we may be talking about more record-breaking cold as these numbers are just about as cold as we can get here in the last week of February.

snowFor those of you who are still craving more snow, (are there still any of you out there?) there are some indications we could be near the “snow zone” next week. A series of low pressure systems will move from the Southern Plains into the Mid-Atlantic states. The highest chance for snow will be in a zone from St. Louis to Cleveland.

No big shocker since our winter has been either cold or snowy. But those signs of spring still remain a distant possibility on the long-range outlooks. -Eric

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Posted under cold blast

This post was written by qni_it on February 24, 2014

Not so Average

The winter of 2013-2014 has not been kind to us so far, and that trend is likely to continue for at least the foreseeable future. This week will bring us high temperatures some 15-25 degrees below average, with overnight lows flirting with record Tues-Fri. Our high temperatures will be in the teens every day this week (after today), and the Fahrenheit is expected to drop below zero multiple times. CaptureSince January 1st, we have seen a total of 54 calendar days, with 38 of those seeing temperatures that did not reach the average high on that date. We are going to take that number up to 45 by a week from now when our average high becomes 40 degrees. – Greg

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Posted under statistics, winter weather

This post was written by qni_it on February 24, 2014