This Week: Soggy/Colder Weather

The Stateline will be seeing soggy and colder weather as we approach the third week here in November. First, we will see soggy weather move into the Stateline Monday through Wednesday this week. The first round of showers should be pretty isolated across the Midwest and models haven’t been handling this very well through the evening tonight. Time frame for the scattered showers seems to be the mid-afternoon hours into the early evening hours around dinner time Monday night.

The strong showers and possible thunderstorms won’t be making an impact in the Stateline until late Monday night into Tuesday evening.

futuretrack nov 15

Futuretrack is showing the heaviest rainfall moving into the Stateline just after lunch time Tuesday afternoon. Several models have shown that the heaviest rain could actually be overnight Tuesday into Wednesday morning.

Capture

This picture is from Bufkit using model data from the NAM. What this picture is showing is the temperature and dewpoint profiles through the layers of the atmosphere. Now with these lines being so close to overlapping it is suggesting saturation and the formation of clouds being able to produce rain. The three dots on the left hand side of the image shows the rainfall could be heavy at this time.

We should begin to see showers end as we head into Wednesday morning. The southern portion of the Midwest should see the bulk of the precipitation during this event, but the Stateline should still be able to pick up anywhere from 1-2.5″ of rain with this system.

 

Temperatures will also be dropping off later this week. After the low pressure system moves through the Midwest, we will see the structure of the jet stream change later this week.

jet stream

Off to the left side of the image you can see what looks to be a dip in the black lines. This is what we call a “trough”. This is going to bring down cold Canadian air and drop our temperatures quite a bit later this week.

temps 11-15

The GFS model is suggesting temperatures won’t reach above 40° Friday, Saturday, and even Sunday. We could be in for a cold spell of wintry weather as we head towards Thanksgiving.

– Nick

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

Next Week: Soggy Weather

Nov. 13, 2015: We get a break from the windy, active weather this weekend, with sunshine and warmer temperatures in the mix for Saturday and Sunday.

Head’s up for next week: we could see a lot of rain.

Jet stream pattern Monday thru Thursday next week.

Jet stream pattern Monday thru Thursday next week.

The jet stream is going to turn on the hose on us starting Monday and possibly lasting through Thursday. Strong mid-level winds in the atmosphere move a lot of moist Gulf of Mexico air into the region, fueling soggy weather.

Rain forecast for next week (totals from Monday through Wednesday night)

Rain forecast for next week (totals from Monday through Wednesday night)

The early forecast has 1″ to 2″ of rain or more for the Stateline, and check out central Illinois into Arkansas.  This area could see over 6″ of rain, which means flooding concerns as they are pounded by rain.

Get the gutters cleaned out this weekend, after the wind blew a lot of leaves down!  You’ll need the space to absorb all of the rain coming next week (most of it comes between Tuesday night and Wednesday).

-Alex

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This post was written by Alex Kirchner on November 13, 2015

Windy fun

Nov 12, 2015: What a windy day!  The top wind gusts in our area reached 50 mph or more, which is getting close to the minimum for a severe thunderstorm. The majority of the wind gusts today hit 40 mph or more.

evening planner

Top wind gusts on Nov. 12, 2015

Just for fun (I know I’m comparing apples to oranges to…celery here), I put a list together of the minimum wind speeds for other notable wind events, and compared them to today’s winds.

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As expected, we definitely didn’t reach any wind speeds strong enough to rival the lowest of the severe weather events. There was one weather system that does compare well with today, however: a tropical storm, or at least a weak one. Tropical storms are souped up low pressure systems that, under the right environment, can evolve into a hurricane (but as you can see, even a weak hurricane packs quite a punch).

Even so, strong winds between 40 mph and 50 mph can bring down small branches, flip patio furniture, tents, and gazebos, and even cause power outages if things fall right. Driving is definitely difficult in these conditions, especially in open areas. Respect the wind, and secure anything loose that can get blown around or damaged before the winds hit.

– Alex

 

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This post was written by Alex Kirchner on November 12, 2015

Getting you ready for a windy Wednesday & Thursday

Nov. 10, 2015: Strong winds are moving in by Wednesday night, so here’s a quick primer about what to expect as the wind storm kicks off.

warningsA Wind Advisory, issued by the National Weather Service, will be in effect from 6 pm Wednesday to 6 pm Thursday. This is when we expect the worst of the winds to take place.

1Before the nasty wind gusts slide in, rain showers will work through the Stateline in the evening. The rain may be heavy at times, with some thunder possible too.

wed threatsSevere weather will be erupting across the region during this time, but most of it will be to our west and south. There is a slim risk that a strong storm or two may slide through as the showers hit the Stateline.

2 3 The high winds will create some difficult driving conditions, and will blow around loose objects outdoors. You should still have time to get those items indoors or secured before the high winds hit Wednesday night and Thursday. Make sure you keep two hands on the steering wheel tomorrow, especially in high-profile vehicles like SUV’s.

The strong winds will die down Thursday night, but remain breezy through Saturday.  Hold on to your hats!

-Alex

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

One thing’s for sure; it’s going to be windy.

We’ve seen them before, thunderstorms (severe and non-severe) during the month of November in the Midwest. In fact, the anniversary of the 2013 Washington, Illinois tornado that took 8 lives is one week from today. In just under two weeks, we’ll pass the anniversary of the 2010 Caledonia, Illinois tornado that was responsible for snapping trees and high-tension transmission power towers.

This Wednesday looks far from those events for the Stateline, but we may get in on a few rumbles of thunder. First, let’s talk about what’s happening:

An area of low pressure is sitting over Colorado right now, and will track northeast in our neck of the woods as we get closer to Wednesday night. We should dodge most (if not, all) of the severe weather that could come along with this system.  Especially for places as far north as Rockford.

Regardless of thunderstorm activity, winds will be gusty Wednesday and Wednesday night (around 40mph without thunderstorms) through Friday. IF we generate a thunderstorm or two on Wednesday night, those winds could get strong to severe (upwards of 50 mph).

What does all of that really mean? There is a *slight* chance for thunderstorms on Wednesday night and through those overnight hours. There is a much better chance to just see some rainfall, and possibly Wind Advisory set up out of this as well.

What to expect: Rainfall
Don’t rule out: Thunderstorm with strong to severe winds

While most of the marbles add up to just seeing some rain/gusty winds, be prepared for some strong winds during those hours, especially near and south of I-88.

Because of this, the Storm Prediction Center has the Stateline area under a marginal risk for severe weather, with a few areas (including Dixon and Rochelle) under a slight risk. The biggest threat still looks to be damaging winds. The bigger threat stays to our southwest, in eastern Iowa and western Illinois. We’ll keep you posted on air and right here on the 13 Weather Authority Blog.

 

-Morgan

 

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This post was written by Morgan Kolkmeyer on November 10, 2015

Wild, Windy Wednesday (Night)

Nov. 9, 2015: Brace yourselves: strong winds are coming later this week. A powerful fall storm system will hit the Stateline Wednesday night into Thursday, creating high winds across the area.

windy wednesday

The impressive area of low pressure slides in Wednesday evening, producing rain showers through the evening and night.

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The showers may come down as heavy downpours at times, and there is a slight chance for isolated (i.e. widely scattered, so only one or two in our area) strong thunderstorms.

1

Once the front and low move past us, the winds really start to crank around the Stateline. We should see winds gust to 40 mph, and there could be gusts at or over 50 mph through the night and into Thursday morning.

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One thing to do before the high winds hit would be to take down or move any sort of loose item outside. Patio furniture, flags, small grills, decorations, and any sort of item that can get tossed around in the winds would be good to move inside, or put in a sheltered spot. Be ready for difficult driving Wednesday night and Thursday, especially if you drive a high-profile vehicle. Finally, it wouldn’t hurt to have a few non-perishable items in your house, in the off-chance that you may be without power for a little while in the strong winds (it helps to keep the refrigerator closed as long as possible- the cold air is contained so your food won’t spoil for a day or two).

We’ll be providing updates to the forecast on www.wrex.com/weather we get closer to Wednesday night’s wind event. Check back periodically as we update the situation.

-Alex

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

El Niño 2015 (Part 2)

Nov. 6, 2015: With El Niño brewing up this winter (see http://addins.wrex.com/blogs/weather/2015/11/el-nino-2015-part-1 for more), the forecast is looking fairly good for a warmer and drier winter over the next 3 months.

The Climate Prediction Center released their forecast for the winter months (December, January, and February), and that three month period definitely reflects the influences of a strong El Niño.

temp

Temperature forecast from the Climate Prediction Center for December, January, and February (average for the 3 months). Click on the image to enlarge.

Temperatures are looking more and more likely to be above average, especially as you move northward (keep in mind, this is averaged over the WHOLE season, so there will still be some cold days in the mix).

Precipitation forecast from the Climate Prediction Center for December, January, and February (average for the 3 months). Click on the image to enlarge.

Precipitation forecast from the Climate Prediction Center for December, January, and February (average for the 3 months). Click on the image to enlarge.

As for precipitation, our region has a high chance for a drier than average weekend, especially around the Lake Michigan shoreline and the state of Michigan as a whole.

As I mentioned before: it will still be winter. Expect cold and snow. Just not as much as usual!

– Alex

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This post was written by Alex Kirchner on November 6, 2015

El Niño 2015 (Part 1)

November 5, 2015: El Niño will be talked about A LOT this winter. This is a climate pattern that occurs fairly regularly, or every few years. We typically see the El Niño impact the winter months the most, as it starts in the spring or summer in the Northern Hemisphere, then intensifies through the fall, peaks in the winter, then falls back down again.

So what is it?  We start in the Pacific Ocean, near the Equator. Usually, the air flow, or trade winds, goes from east to west across the Ocean.  These winds are able to push and pile up a lot of warm water in the Western Pacific, near Australia and Thailand.

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During El Niño, those trade winds across the Pacific relax, causing the eastern Pacific near South America to be warm instead. These warm waters are able to influence the jet stream patterns across the globe, having impressive impacts close to home, despite being 4000 miles away.

BThe altered jet streams bring colder, very rainy weather to California (enough rain to cause plenty of mudslides) and the Deep South, which warm and drier weather settles into the Midwest.

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How much warmer and drier depends on the strength of the El Niño, in addition to how strong other weather patterns are and whether they can “trump” the El Niño. This year, we may have our first strong El Niño, the first since 1997.  The most recent strong El Niño’s, the 1997 and 1982 events, brought top ten warmest winters (4th and 7th, respectively) and 10″ to 15″ less snow than usual. The 2015 El Niño is still on track to be within the ball park of those two, which are the strongest on record.

2Once we get beyond the winter, we typically see a cool-to-average spring, then possibly a hot summer. This is as El Niño fizzles out, and the waters and trade winds in the Pacific go back to normal.

Where did the name “El Niño” come from, anyway? Fishermen in South America picked up on the occasional very warm waters, usually arriving around Christmas time. El Niño means “the Christ child”, in honor of the Christmas season when these warm waters arrived.

You may have heard of the opposite to El Niño, known as La Niña (which means “the little girl”, as an opposite). La Niña is typically a “cold event”, when much colder water pools near South America. La Niña generally pushed much colder air in to the Midwest, causing a long, cold winter for us.

Stay tuned; the next blog post or two will be more about this upcoming winter, plus we will be bringing this subject back up and comparing the results to this forecast as we go along in the winter months.

Check out www.wrex.com for our special report on El Niño, plus watch an extended interview with Dr. David Chagnon of Northern Illinois University about the climate pattern.

-Alex

 

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

Record Territory For Early November

November 2, 2015: Hard to beat the start of this November this year! Temperatures soared into the low 70’s, made extra refreshing after a soggy and cool Halloween (high: 52°, or 20 degrees colder than today).

High temperatures for November 2, 2015. Click on image to enlarge.

High temperatures for November 2, 2015. Click on image to enlarge.

Highs in the 70’s this late in the year puts us into near record breaking territory. The temperature record didn’t fall today, and likely won’t tomorrow, but we’ll have to keep an eye on Wednesday’s high temperature.

High temperature records for the next few days. Click on image to enlarge.

We should be in or near the middle 70’s by the middle of the week, giving us our best chance of record-breaking weather this week. After that, temperatures plummet back to “normal” with highs in the 40’s to 50’s by the end of the week.

Why are we getting all of the warm weather? The jet stream is ramping up the southerly winds into the area, giving us a big shot of really warm air for a few days.

Jet stream pattern for early this week. Click on image to enlarge.

Jet stream pattern for early this week. Click on image to enlarge.

Eventually, the trough over the West Coast will slide in and drop temperatures back down again, so get your outdoor chores done while the weather is still very warm!

– Alex

 

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