Today’s Severe Weather Thoughts

I want to give a detailed description of my thoughts on the potential for severe weather on Thursday. If you’d like to skip over the “why,” scroll to the bottom of this article. I’ve listed my thoughts on the timing and threat.

Showers and thunderstorms started to develop overnight Wednesday into Thursday morning. A cluster of non severe thunderstorms passed through the Stateline early this morning between 3AM and 7AM, with heavy rain as the main threat. Now, we’ve got a break in the heavy rain and thunderstorms this morning. We’ll likely see another round of non severe thunderstorms and showers pass through in the late morning and early afternoon.

4-9 threattracker


The threat of severe thunderstorms doesn’t come in until we head into the mid afternoon and into the evening. However, there are some question marks.
One of the biggest reasons has to do with something meteorologists refer to as instability, which is one of the key ingredients to produce a severe thunderstorm. Have you ever noticed that most thunderstorms occur in the late afternoon? That’s because of daytime heating. All day long, the sun heats up the surface and creates a big difference between the temperature around us and the temperature in the mid levels of the atmosphere. This helps to create more instability. Overnight, there is no sunshine to warm the surface, therefore instability is limited. This is one reason why the threat of severe thunderstorms overnight and early this morning was very minor.
Cloud cover is going to stick around early and late Thursday morning. The thick clouds will limit the amount of sun allowed to heat the surface, which will also limit the amount of instability in the atmosphere. This is the big question mark- will the clouds break in the afternoon, before thunderstorms devlop? IF they do, we run a higher risk of seeing severe thunderstorms. As of this morning, much guidances suggests clouds will start breaking after the lunch hour, which will allow the sun to help increase instability and raise the potential for thunderstorms to turn severe as we head into the mid afternoon through the evening.

The other ingredients we look for as necessary for severe development look to be in place. This includes a strong southerly surface wind, that changes direction as you go up into the atmosphere. Dewpoints reaching the low to middle 60’s combined with an incoming cold front will aid in development of scattered thunderstorms.

4-9 whats the threat








I think the biggest threat today will be damaging winds, followed by large hail. I expect discrete thunderstorms to turn severe in the mid afternoon, lasting into the evening. There’s also a risk for a few isolated tornadoes to occur across and near the Stateline.

4-9 know your safe place








It is important to know your safe place today, whether you are at home, in school, at work, or driving.

4-9 be prepared








Be sure to have your NOAA Weather Radio working today and do not rely solely on outdoor warning sirens.

Chief Meteorologist Alex Kirchner, 13 Weather Authority’s Nick Jansen and myself will be in through the afternoon and evening to track the thunderstorms and update you on the risk for severe thunderstorms.



Posted under weather

This post was written by Morgan Kolkmeyer on April 9, 2015

Thursday’s Severe Threat

The threat for severe thunderstorms still exists on Thursday.

Before we get there, we see the development of showers and thunderstorms overnight on Wednesday, producing a quarter to a half inch of rainfall. As of right now, these thunderstorms do not look to have the capabilities of turning severe. Same story as we head into early Thursday morning. Scattered showers and possibly thunderstorms can occur. The chance of these posing a severe threat is low, but I DO NOT want to rule out the chance completely.

4-8-15 timing








The Storm Prediction Center has much of Illinois (including the Stateline) under an enhanced risk for severe thunderstorms.

4-8-15 spc convective outlook








We start to see the potential for these to turn severe as we head into the early afternoon. As of right now, it looks like thunderstorms will continue to develop and pose a severe threat between 1PM and 6PM on Thursday.

If these t’storms turn severe, the possible threats include damaging winds, large hail, and isolated tornadoes. Now is the time to start thinking of your safe place at home, work, and school. Please remember, tornado sirens are for outdoor warnings within ear’s reach. A NOAA Weather Radio is a great way to receive weather alerts indoors.

4-8-15 expect









In the hours ahead, key ingredients to producing severe thunderstorms can change quickly. We will continue to analyze new information throughout the day. Chief Meteorologist Alex Kirchner will have the latest on 13 News at 5, 6 and 10 tonight, to let you know if the timing or the threat for these storms changes.
Keep up with us on Facebook at and online at for the latest information.



Posted under rain, science, severe weather, tornado, weather, Wind

This post was written by Morgan Kolkmeyer on April 8, 2015

Severe Weather Risk This Week

The Stateline is looking at the risk of severe weather toward the end of the work week.

The Storm Prediction Center has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Outlook that puts most of Illinois (including northern Illinois) under a marginal risk for severe thunderstorms.









A very strong area of low pressure heads northeast toward much of the Midwest on Wednesday night, bringing the potential for severe weather along with it. Large hail, damaging winds, heavy rainfall, and the possibility of isolated tornadoes are the threats associated with this system.









The 13 Weather Authority will continue to track this system throughout the week. We will keep you updated on our 13 Weather Authority Facebook page and on twitter at @13wxauthority

In addition to our Facebook and Twitter pages, you can head to and use our Radar Room to see incoming showers and thunderstorms, as well as the latest watches and warnings issued. You can also head over to our Interactive Radar to track the storm yourself!

arrows to severe









This week is a good time to review your severe weather plans!



Posted under weather

This post was written by Morgan Kolkmeyer on April 6, 2015

Soggy Week Ahead with Possible Thunderstorms

The next week looks to be a soggy one with possible rain chances Monday through Friday, but I want to focus on the possible severe weather threat for Thursday. The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) posted their Convective Outlook for April 9th and the Stateline falls within the outlook.

convective outlook april 9th


This means we will see a slight risk for some possible convective storms which could be severe. These storms have the potential to bring high winds, hail, and even the chance for an isolated tornado. Now with this still being almost 5 days out A LOT can change and we may not even see severe weather for Thursday.

So far models have been showing the strongest storms staying down to the south of the Stateline near Peoria, IL. We will continue to track the storms and investigate the possible threat for severe weather throughout the next week. Keep a lookout for Facebook, Twitter, and blog posts for more information on the upcoming weather!

– Nick Jansen


Posted under weather

This post was written by Alex Kirchner on April 4, 2015

The Easter ‘Punny’ is Here!

We’ve got an EGGStraordinary forecast in store for the Easter bunny this year! As you SCRAMBLE to find plastic eggs during your early egg hunts, morning temperatures will rise to the middle to upper 40’s. HOPPING into the afternoon, temperatures will SPRING into the low to middle 60’s! HOPfully you like your Easter eggs SUNNY SIDE UP, because we’ll CRACK open the clouds and make way for sunshine. Unfortunately, we won’t have an EASTERly wind, as a high pressure system will funnel in a southwesterly wind throughout the day. To all the CHICKS out there, your HARE may be blowing around so you may want extra hairspray. Winds will be gusting up to 30mph. Don’t worry, it should still be an EGGSHELLent afternoon.









If you’ve had an OEUF of the clear sky, we work in some clouds later Sunday night, with a slight chance for a SPRINKLE.

Have a great Easter, YOLKS!



Posted under humor, rain, science, sunlight, weather, weather geek

This post was written by Morgan Kolkmeyer on April 3, 2015

Another Lunar Eclipse is Coming

April 2, 2015: Set your alarm for an early start Saturday- the 3rd in a series of total lunar eclipses visible from North America is on its way. You’ll want to get out and look for it quickly, however, as the eclipse doesn’t last long this time around.

Saturday is the 3rd of four consecutive total lunar eclipses, roughly 6 months apart from each other.

Saturday is the 3rd of four consecutive total lunar eclipses, roughly 6 months apart from each other.

The eclipse will start at 5:15 am local time, but the Moon will not be fully into Earth’s shadow until 6:58 am.  This is when the nickname “blood moon” goes into effect, as the Moon takes on a reddish hue from the Earth’s shadow.

There may be two problems with viewing Saturday’s lunar eclipse in the Stateline:

1) The total eclipse will only last 4 minutes and 45 seconds.  If you are hoping the catch the moon fully engulfed in the red hue, you best be in place and ready!

2) The eclipse will take place after sunrise in the Stateline. Sunrise will occur at 6:34 am on Saturday, which might make viewing difficult.  Look for the Moon to be low on the western horizon.

If you miss or can’t see Saturday’s eclipse well, there is another chance coming later this year. The next one arrives on September 28, which will be the last in a series of four consecutive total lunar eclipses, or “tetrad”.  The first two were last year on April 15 and October 8.

Happy viewing!

– Alex


Posted under weather

This post was written by Alex Kirchner on April 2, 2015

April Showers Kick Off Tonight

April 1, 2015- I’m glad this wasn’t an April Fool’s joke: we reached the upper 70’s today!  In Rockford, that was over 20 degrees above average!

The “heat” doesn’t last long- a cold front drives through tonight, giving us another shot as our first thunderstorm since late September.


The front is moving through Minnesota this evening, with thunderstorm activity starting to heat up ahead of the front. We like won’t see any wet weather until well after midnight.

Futuretrack for Thursday morning

Futuretrack for Thursday morning

Here’s Futuretrack during the Thursday morning drive. Most of the rain looks to move through then, with widespread showers over the Stateline. By that point, we’ll have cooled off into the 50’s, so there won’t be as much energy in the atmosphere as there is now.  We may only here a few rumbles of thunder before the showers move out at the end of the morning, and no severe weather for the Stateline.futuretrack

T-storm activity ramps back up again tomorrow afternoon as the atmosphere heats up ahead of the advancing cold front. By this point, the showers will be past us.  Severe storms are possible as a result near the southside of Chicago and into central Illinois and northwest Indiana.


You may have seen or heard this a few times today from me, but if we do have thunder tonight or tomorrow morning, it would be for the first time in over 6 months! I’m keeping my fingers crossed!



Posted under weather

This post was written by Alex Kirchner on April 1, 2015