Weather Radio Campaign Begins

Spring is a busy season for the 13 Weather Authority! Not only are we monitoring the radar for any storms, we will also be out and about promoting severe weather safety. In addition to our Project: Tornado program offered in our local schools, another campaign will start this Friday (April 25).

Last spring, meteorologists Eric Sorensen, Greg Bobos and Joe Astolfi helped distribute and program a record 2,100 weather radios.

What does a weather radio do? It’s pretty simple. In the event of severe weather (like thunderstorms, flooding and tornadoes) it will alert you of any nearby danger. Trust me, you will hear the alert sound and be aware of approaching weather hazards. Think of it as an investment that will bring you many years of safety!

WEATHERRADIO

We made it to 7 Schnucks stores in the Rockford and DeKalb area last spring. We plan on a total of 15 store visits in the next couple of months. In addition to Schnucks, we will expand our presence to Walgreens stores throughout the area. We’ll now be able to make stops in Belvidere, Freeport, Dixon and other area towns.

Midland / NOAA Weather Radios will be available for purchase during regular store hours. Look for updates on the Weather Blog, Facebook, Twitter and 13 News to find out where and when you can meet the 13 Weather Authority meteorologists in person!

Our first event is this Friday, April 25, from 5pm to 7pm at the East State Street Schnucks store in Rockford. See you there!

-Joe

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Posted under Project: Tornado, safety, severe weather

This post was written by qni_it on April 23, 2014

Project: Tornado Begins

Severe weather can happen at anytime of year. But in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, things really pick up in May and June. The time is right, so Project: Tornado is about to begin.

BEGINS

Every spring, the 13 Weather Authority meteorologists visit 25 to 30 schools throughout the area to teach our kids about storms and severe weather safety. We will kick things off on Monday April 28 with visits to Concordia Lutheran School in Machesney Park and St. Rita School in Rockford. Other stops this year include Amboy, Lena, Polo and South Beloit. Check out the complete list HERE.

In the upcoming weeks, kids will learn the science behind severe weather and tornadoes. Why do we do this? As 13 Weather Authority meteorologists, it is our job to keep you safe. Learning about the power of storms at a young age is important. Our ultimate goal is to make sure students know exactly what to do during tornadoes and violent storms.

Over 35,000 students have taken part in Project: Tornado. This year, Eric Sorensen, Greg Bobos, and Joe Astolfi look to add another 5,000 to the list!

-Joe

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Posted under Project: Tornado, safety, severe weather

This post was written by qni_it on April 23, 2014

Tornado season will ramp up in a few days

Severe weather season has been quiet so far. According to The Weather Channel, this is the longest fatality-free start to storm season in 99 years! While we can hope that string of good luck continues, the pattern will certainly get more active in the days to come.

stormthreat

This map shows the threat areas forecast by the Storm Prediction Center. Instead of showing you each day’s risk area, I superimposed all of the areas on one map. Parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas are in the risk area for three days. An outbreak of severe weather is possible this weekend, which could affect the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Wichita areas. Tornadoes will be possible.

For us in the Upper Midwest, we’ll be far removed from the most unstable air. A chilly, over-running rain event is set to begin Sunday, possibly lasting through Tuesday of next week. Saturday’s high temperature will be 56 with sunshine. Rain and 52 for a high on Sunday.
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Posted under severe weather, tornado

This post was written by qni_it on April 22, 2014

Playing Catch Up

dayI hope you’ve gotten to enjoy today’s sunshine and comfortable spring weather! Rain returns to the forecast tomorrow and Thursday, but that is a good thing. Since March 1st, we have fallen into a rainfall deficit that has us -1.86″ below where we should be through this date. That isn’t a horrible deficit, but it would be beneficial all around if we could head out of April on track or even with a surplus. The rain that we will see tomorrow and Thursday could net us as much as an inch, which would be a great help toward getting us back to where we should be. – Greg

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Posted under rain, statistics, weather

This post was written by qni_it on April 22, 2014

Welcomed Rain

I know what you’re thinking, “Who welcomes rain on Monday?” While you may have been dragging just a bit at least it didn’t come sooner! Easter Sunday was one of the warmest on record here in Northern Illinois!

radarThe rain came pretty widespread today. While some spots (like Freeport) only got 0.05″ of rain, some spots in Carroll County got a gully-washer! The Sauk Valley, especially Dixon, did well with nearly a half inch. The rain is over for a few days with wet weather returning Wednesday night into Thursday.

RAINRainfall amounts will generally be less than an inch again. However, a few thunderstorms will be possible, and those could produce some locally heavy rain. But that’s Thursday. Enjoy the sunshine between now and then!

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Posted under rain

This post was written by qni_it on April 21, 2014

47th anniversary of the Belvidere Tornado

Today marks the 47th anniversary of the tornado that devastated the growing Boone County town. The storm killed 24 people, many on buses at Belvidere High School. Here is a tribute video that was put together in 2012.

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Posted under tornado

This post was written by qni_it on April 21, 2014

Pleasant Weekend

Pleasant. Gorgeous. Beautiful. Nice. Spectacular. Any one of these adjectives could describe our weekend forecast!

Sunshine and a breezy south wind awaits us on Saturday. A few clouds will dot the sky but things will remain dry.

SATURDAY

Saturday Forecast

Temperatures will rise into the upper 60s across far northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Those living along the Interstate 88 corridor may flirt with 70 degrees by late afternoon!

FutureTrack: Saturday High Temperatures

FutureTrack: Saturday High Temperatures

Sunday will see a mix of sun and clouds and a southwest breeze….perfect for an outdoor Easter egg hunt! A cold front draped across northern Wisconsin will begin to move south by evening. A few showers are possible mainly after dark.

Sunday Forecast

Sunday Forecast

Temperatures will rise into the lower 70s, at least, for Sunday afternoon and early evening. Not bad at all!

FutureTrack: Sunday High Temperatures

FutureTrack: Sunday High Temperatures

Beyond the weekend, a fairly mild pattern will continue. Showers are a good bet on Monday and late next week.

-Joe

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Posted under FutureTrack, weather

This post was written by qni_it on April 18, 2014

Drought Monitor

Spring is upon us. Farmers and gardeners are paying close attention to the forecast, especially this time of year. As we all know, rainfall is a key ingredient for healthy crops, fruits, vegetables, and flowers in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.

Many of us begin to monitor how much rain we receive. Government agencies such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provide weekly updates of the U.S. Drought Monitor. This tool keeps track of rainfall deficits and dry conditions across the country.

Apr. 17 Drought Monitor

Apr. 17 Drought Monitor

Thursday’s update shows that abnormally dry conditions are present in parts of our area.  A portion of northwestern Illinois roughly bounded by US Route 20 on the north, US Route 30 on the south, the Rock River on the east, and the Mississippi River on the west is drier than normal.

Rainfall Statistics

Rainfall Statistics for Meteorological Spring

While 1.71 inches of rain has fallen in Rockford during the month of April, just 1.03 inches of precipitation fell in March. Based on historical averages, we have a rainfall deficit of nearly an inch-and-a-half. This deficit is slightly higher in the area highlighted above.

We could use a little rain around here! A few showers are in the forecast for late-day Sunday and Monday, although current forecast trends give us less than a quarter-inch of rain.

-Joe

 

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, drought, First Look, rain, statistics, weather

This post was written by qni_it on April 17, 2014

Weekend Outlook

The Easter weekend is upon us and the weather will cooperate for most of it. CaptureTomorrow will be full of sunshine and highs into the 50s. Saturday we begin to cloud up but pump up the temperatures into the low 60s! Easter Sunday brings us middle 60s and the chance for a few scattered showers, though most of those should hold off until late in the day. If you have the umbrella on standby you should be good to go! Have a great weekend! – Greg

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Posted under event, First Look, weather

This post was written by qni_it on April 17, 2014

On Our Way Up

The last five days have been very interesting in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin:

  • Nearly 80 degrees with strong thunderstorms on Saturday
  • Soaking, all-day rains—between 1 to 2 inches for many of us—on Sunday
  • A light coating of snow on Monday that pushed us into 5th place for most snow
  • Chilly temperatures that barely made it out of the 30s on Tuesday
  • Gusty south winds—over 40mph at times—on Wednesday

What in the world will happen next?!

The overall temperature trend is up, mild-weather fans! High temperatures will be in the middle 50s for Thursday and Friday. A few isolated sprinkles or light showers are possible, although most of those days will be dry and partly cloudy.

Trending Up

Trending Up

By the weekend, 60-degree temperatures will return to the Stateline. Sunshine will be plentiful on Saturday but showers will dot the sky on Sunday.  The 60s will stick around next Monday before our thermometers make a run for 70 degrees next Tuesday & Wednesday.

Back Above Average

Back Above Average

Feels like we’re riding a roller coaster!

-Joe

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, weather

This post was written by qni_it on April 16, 2014