Beneficial Rain

May 5, 2015: For the 2nd night in a row, the soothing sounds of showers were heard in the Stateline. Heavy rainfall exceeded the previous night’s totals, and in some cases, was double the amount of rain we got Sunday night.

Rainfall totals from Monday night

Rainfall totals from Monday night

The soggy start to the month gets us almost back on schedule for rainfall this spring. We’ve had a several drier than average months in a row, so the extra moisture these last 3 days has been helpful.

RAINFALL THIS MONTH

Let’s hope we can soak up more rainfall this week, because we may be in for a longer drier period into the middle of the month. Here’s the Climate Prediction Center’s outlook for next week and beyond.

Climate Prediction Center's forecast for the middle of May; plenty of dry weather is in the forecast for the upcoming weeks.

Climate Prediction Center’s forecast for the middle of May; plenty of dry weather is in the forecast for the upcoming weeks.

There are a few more chances for rain, primarily Friday with on and off showers and t-storms Saturday into early next week, so there are plenty more chances to build on our early surplus before drier weather takes over again.

– Alex

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This post was written by Alex Kirchner on May 5, 2015

More rain in the forecast

May 4, 2015: Hopefully you weren’t too sleepy today if you woke up to lightning, thunder, and heavy rainfall last night.  If you were, well…you may have to deal with the sleep-interrupting stormy weather for another night.

First off, here’s the total rainfall from a stormy Sunday, when rain came through during the afternoon, followed by the overnight storms:

Total rainfall from 8 am Sunday to 8 pm Monday

Total rainfall from 8 am Sunday to 8 pm Monday

The cold front responsible for last night’s rain stalled south of the region, and will rebound slightly tonight as a warm front. This will create another round of showers and thunderstorms, with heavy downpours and gusty winds again, similar to last night.

next week

With another night of heavy rain coming, here’s Futuretrack’s take on the overnight rain:

Futuretrack's estimated rainfall for tonight

Futuretrack’s estimated rainfall for tonight

We could see an 1″ or more of rain alone between last night and tonight.  More rain is in the forecast later this week as well. We could definitely use the soggy weather. Since March 1, we are about 1″ below average on precipitation, and nearly 2″ below average since the start of the year.

It will be nice to have plenty of rain in the forecast tonight. Let’s just hope it doesn’t wake you up again tonight!

-Alex

 

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

Continuing the Conversation…

Every year as we approach and push through the months of spring, severe weather is always a big topic. Perhaps it’s been an even larger topic recently, considering the 11 tornadoes that occurred in early April across the state of Illinois, 7 of which affected the Stateline.

Last night, I was able to attend a symposium where meteorologists from Northern Illinois University and the National Weather Service in Chicago, as well as NIU’s emergency management coordinator spoke on behalf of how a meteorologist interprets severe weather, a breakdown of the April 9th EF-4 tornado, and necessary steps to take to stay safe throughout severe weather.

Ph.D. student Stephen Strader presented research that he has been working on with NIU’s Dr. Walker Ashley, part of it focusing on the path of this tornado.  He compared it to the effects it could have had if it was shifted about 12 miles northwest through the Byron nuclear power station, to the southeast through the NIU campus, or even through Chicago. All scenarios that could very well happen, likely causing much more damage.

Senior Meteorologist Gino Izzi of the National Weather Service in Chicago was the meteorologist that was issuing the tornado warnings on April 9th, 2015. He analyzed the radar and explained the different panels used when dissecting a storm. Since a bulk of the audience was the general public, perhaps the biggest takeaway (in my opinion) was his note about his choice on issuing tornado warnings. Among his colleagues, he says he’s been getting the reputation of the “older and more conservative” meteorologist. He explained what that meant when determining whether or not he should issue a tornado warning. The takeaway? There is A LOT of studying, analyzing, thought, and confidence put into the warnings that are issued BEFORE they are issued, so be sure to take them seriously.

Northern Illinois University’s staff meteorologist Gilbert Sebenste talked about staying safe during severe weather. A big note, “have a plan.” At times, you could only have seconds before you’re in the path of danger, and it’s important to have a plan ahead of time. He also noted that many fatalities due to tornadoes are completely preventable, unfortunately people choose to ignore the warning. He gave information on ways to stay safe on the campus, listing all of the resources available to students. He also mentioned the plethora of resources available to the general public when it comes to severe weather. Those include outdoor warning sirens, text warnings, social media posts, weather radios, etc.

So, I ask this question to you: what does it take for you personally to take a tornado warning seriously? The meteorologists that prepared and presented last night at NIU say the whole point was to educate people.

It is so important to continue to conversation of severe weather.

With all of that being said, the 13 Weather Authority is committed to continuing the conversation throughout severe weather season with you. We’ve already begun our Project: Tornado events this week. For the entire month, we are visiting elementary schools across northern Illinois educating kids on severe weather, how to stay safe, and answering questions they may have. Roughly 4,000 students will go home with a Project: Tornado book filled with pictures, games, and knowledge of severe weather.

4-28-15 PT perry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re also beginning our Weather Radio events Friday, May 1st. Our first event will be held at the Schnucks in Cherry Valley from 5PM-7PM. You can stop by and purchase a weather radio, and our team of meteorologists will program it for you for free. It’s easy! Already have a weather radio but need it programmed? Great- bring it to us and we’ll get it set up for you.
We’re doing these events throughout the entire month of May. The list of where we’ll be can be found here: WREX Weather Radio Events. Stay tuned for the list for the month of June.

wx radio 5-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are so many continuing conversations about safety on every level, whether it’s texting and driving, Stranger Danger, Click it or Tick it, or Stop, Look & Listen . Let’s add severe weather safety to the list and let’s continue the conversation.

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This post was written by Morgan Kolkmeyer on May 1, 2015