Switching Seasons

Sep 28, 2015: The weather in the Stateline is about to feel a whole lot different!  Lately we’ve had average highs near 80°, which had us nearly 10° above average some days!  This lead to very pleasant weather with beautiful, quiet, and warm evenings.

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Different story this week: we’ll be plenty colder after a cold front slides through tonight. On average, our forecast has us nearly 15° colder than the average high from last week!

1ST HALF OF JANUARY

Here’s the transition to fall weather illustrated in a different way.  With the exception of today, there is a very noticeable difference between the last week and the forecast for this week.

We’ll see lows in the 40’s during the cool stretch, so make sure your furnace is all up to speed, in case you want to turn it on for a while.

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Some rain comes in with the cold front early tomorrow morning. We shouldn’t see much or any downpours or thunderstorms, but it will be a damp morning for most locations.

– Alex

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This post was written by Alex Kirchner on September 28, 2015

Total Lunar Eclipse + Supermoon!

Sep. 23, 2015: Set your alarms for Sunday night- Stateliners will get a view of a total lunar eclipse, the last in a series of four (as know as a tetrad). If you recall, we in the U.S. have been lucky to view all four in the series: they occurred on April 15, 2014, October 8, 2014, April 4th of this year, and now this final eclipse Sunday night.

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A total lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes directly into the Earth’s shadow, as the Sun, Earth, and the moon all line up. The moon takes on a red-orange glow as the Earth’s shadow is projected onto the moon.

lunar eclipse

Sunday night’s lunar eclipse will be a special one. The full moon during the lunar eclipse will be a “supermoon”. The moon’s orbit is in the shape of an oval, so the moon is sometimes closer or farther away from the Earth. When we get a full moon when the moon is at its closest point, the moon appears 14% bigger and 30% brighter. This makes the full moon look more brilliant than normal, hence the term “supermoon”.

supermoon

This combination of supermoon and total lunar eclipse is rare. The last one occurred in 1982, and there were only 5 throughout the last century. The next one doesn’t happen again for another 18 years, so do your best to check this one out!

lunar eclipse 2

The best time for viewing will be between 9:11 pm and 10:23 pm, as this is when totality occurs- the moon is fully in the Earth’s shadow, and completely covered in the red-orange glow (which is why people call this a “Blood Moon”).

The next total lunar eclipse doesn’t occur until 2018, so this will be it for a while. The next big event will be a total solar eclipse in August 2017- you won’t want to miss that one!

-Alex

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This post was written by Alex Kirchner on September 23, 2015

Fall is (Almost) Here!

Sep. 22, 2015: The start of the Fall season, as known as the Autumnal Equinox, is tomorrow morning. Our weather will be anything but fall-like, however!

More on that in a second; first, here’s how the fall season begins:

The Earth has a slight wobble going as it spins on its axis through space. That change in angle gives us our seasons; in the spring and summer, the northern hemisphere is tilted toward the Sun, giving us more intense sunlight, which heats us up more. In the fall and winter, the opposite happens, with us tilting away from the sun, weakening the energy provided by the Sun, which cools the Earth off on our end.

EQUINOX

When the equinox occurs, the Earth’s axis is roughly straight up and down, placing the Sun directly over the equator. We mark that as the start of the Fall season (it also happens in the spring, when we are tilting back toward the Sun).  This year’s Autumnal (i.e. Autumn, or Fall) Equinox occurs at 3:21 AM CDT.

EQUINOX

It is somewhat of a myth that day and night are equal on the equinox. This is close, but not exact. Since light bends as it’s coming into the atmosphere (this causes the sky to be blue, plus provides beautiful colors as the sun angle changes during sunrise and sunset), there is a delayed effect to having equal portions of night and day. It will take until this Saturday before we have an “equal” day.

So what’s ahead for the Fall season? For starters, Fall 2015 will be off to a very warm start. Temperatures will be nearly 10 degrees above average as an unseasonably warm weather pattern this week stays strong into Wednesday and beyond.

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We will eventually cool off some, but maybe not a lot: the Climate Prediction Center is showing a good chance for above average weather to last through December. We’ll still get some cold days, but if you average the entire Fall season together, we should end up somewhere above average for temperatures.

cpc

So, who’s ready for Fall? It looks like a beautiful start to the season, at least this time around!

-Alex

 

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This post was written by Alex Kirchner on September 22, 2015

Beautiful week ahead

Sep. 21, 2015: Hope you liked the weather over the weekend, because we will see a lot more of that this week.

PATTERN

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A quiet weather pattern has the jet stream winds pulling back to the north, pushing warmer weather in from the west. The “storm track” within the jet stream means rain staying to the west and north.

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Get used to a lot of sunshine, thanks to high pressure staying around at the surface. Between the warmer air drifting in and the bright sky, temperatures are going to stay near 80, when our averages are usually closer to 70.

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With not much going on this week, is there anything of note coming up? The 1st day of Fall is this Wednesday, as we reach the autumnal equinox. Night and day will be roughly equal, with the nights getting longer than the days after midweek.

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We are also about a week away from a brilliant total lunar eclipse.  Because the moon will be a “Supermoon”, the eclipse will extra special to view!

Look for more on the start of the Fall season and this week’s eclipse, and enjoy the quiet weather!

-Alex

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This post was written by Alex Kirchner on September 21, 2015

Dry Time is Coming!

Sep 18, 2015: We’ve had our fair share of rain within the last two nights. Here are some of the rain values from Thursday and Friday, as of 9 pm Friday:

rainfallThis doesn’t quite paint the whole picture, though. Some spots of La Salle Co. to our south saw 1″ to 3″ of rain within 1 to 2 hours! This caused widespread flash flooding, as the soaked ground couldn’t soak up any more water.

We could use a little dry time to allow the rain to soak in and things to dry up.  What we’ll get- a lot of dry time! The forecast calls for dry weather through next Wednesday, then only slight chances for rain Thursday and Friday, so it may be a little while before rain gets us again.13 weather nowThat does mean beautiful weather for the weekend, though it will be noticeably cooler, and breezy to windy on Saturday as the cooler, drier air sweeps in.

– Alex

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This post was written by Alex Kirchner on September 18, 2015

Rain, Strong T-storms Next Few Nights?

Sep. 16, 2015: The last 3 days have been warm and windy, yet dry as a tranquil pattern took hold for a while.

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Rain showers and thunderstorms are looming for the next few nights. Round 1 comes in late Thursday night, likely after midnight.

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Threattrack for Thursday night. Minimal risk for severe weather, but stronger storms with strong winds and heavy rain are possible.

Threattrack for Thursday night. Minimal risk for severe weather, but stronger storms with strong winds and heavy rain are possible.

 

There is a slight chance stronger thunderstorms may enter the picture; severe storms are possible in western Wisconsin, which may still be strong as they weaken moving into Illinois. Strong winds and heavy rain are the main possible threats.

Friday evening brings the threat of storms again. These storms have a higher likelihood of being stronger, as there may be more heat and instability for these storms to work with.

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Threattrack for Thursday night. Minimal risk for severe weather, but stronger storms with strong winds and heavy rain are possible.

Threattrack for Friday night. Minimal risk for severe weather, but stronger storms with strong winds and heavy rain are possible.

 

Also, they’ll be developing along a slow-moving front, which is an ingredient for heavy rainfall. We’ll have to monitor the situation for flash flooding. These storms should arrive between 7 pm and 10 pm Friday night.

Stay tuned for updated timing and impacts in the next day, but be ready for heavy rain and thunderstorms, especially by Friday night. You may want to check your gutters and downspouts and clean them out while the weather is dry!

-Alex

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This post was written by Alex Kirchner on September 16, 2015

Similar days…similar to last week…

Sep. 15, 2015: Having a sense of déjà vu with the weather this week? The days lately have been almost copies of each other, plus last week followed the same script. I mean, it’s not exactly the same as last week, but we are looking at a very similar pattern.

The last two days have been practically the same: warm, windy, and sunny.  That should continue into Wednesday, and a little into Thursday too. Last week started out warm with temperatures in or very near the 80’s, giving us 3 warm days in a row.

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Then came the change-up: By Thursday, temperatures cooled quickly to near the 60’s, and we had some rain and thunder to deal with.  This week will be the same, with a minor timing difference: rain and thunderstorms arrive on Thursday night, with cool weather in the 70’s and 60’s popping up after that.

3So, not much changes tomorrow, but like last week, get ready for a bit of a ride in the weather to close out the week!

-Alex

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This post was written by Alex Kirchner on September 15, 2015

Chill Out This Weekend

We’re about a month early to be seeing temperatures like we’re having today and Saturday. October averages middle to upper 60’s for high temperatures within the first 10 days of the month, but fall came knocking a little early across the Stateline.
The first week of September brought us high temperatures in the 90’s and low temperatures in the 70’s, and we’ll have to subtract about 25 degrees from that for the weekend.

weekendTemperatures will range from the middle to upper 60’s today and Saturday, to the low 70’s by Sunday. But that’s not the chill that’s going to make you want the heat on.

10 DEG COOLOvernight low temperatures (very early Saturday and Sunday morning) will dip down to the 40’s! In some spots, that’s about 10 degrees cooler than this morning.

My advice- sleep in until we hit at least 50 degrees 😉

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This post was written by Morgan Kolkmeyer on September 11, 2015

Cool days are coming, but last year was colder

Sep. 10, 2015: We’ve talked a lot this week about how cool the weather will be over the next few days. Lost in the shuffle was how much colder it was at this time a year ago!

Overall, this cool stretch will be short lived. Highs Friday and Saturday will be in the middle to low 60’s, with Sunday back to the low 70’s, and a climb into the 80’s by next Tuesday.

Different story last year:

High and low temperatures from Sep. 11 to 18, 2014

High and low temperatures from Sep. 11 to 18, 2014. Click on image to enlarge.

We were 10 degrees colder last year than the forecast for tomorrow, with several nights spend in the 30’s over a week long cool stretch last year.  The 2 or 3 days for this cool stretch seem puny in comparison!  By the 19th, we had warmed back to average for late September, with more 80 degree days than 60 degree days to wrap up September 2014.

While this year’s cool stretch will feel impressive after the 90’s just a week ago, last year was definitely colder!

-Alex

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This post was written by Alex Kirchner on September 10, 2015

Heat Wave Recap

Sep. 9, 2015: It sure felt a lot different out there today. We got the best of both worlds- warm summer weather, without the uncomfortable high humidity. Look for that kind of weather for one more day tomorrow.

September's high temperatures, so far. The forecast for the 10th, 11th, and 12th are included.

September’s high temperatures, so far. The forecast for the 10th, 11th, and 12th are included.

The weather coming late this week will be in stark contrast to the hot stretch we just exited. This September got off to a hot start, staying around 10° above average for nearly all of the first week. Now, getting into the middle of September, we are looking to be just as cold, with Friday and Saturday 10° below average!

The upcoming cool period won’t stay as long as the hot stretch, so look for back-and-forth weather for much of the rest of the month.

– Alex

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This post was written by Alex Kirchner on September 9, 2015