This Winter vs. 1970s Winters

Meteorological winter will wrap up at the end of the month. Typically the coldest three months of the year, meteorological winter includes the entire months of December, January, and February. As we all know, this winter has been exceptionally snowy and cold. In fact, we are currently the 4th coldest winter on record!  Amazingly, the top 3 coldest winters in Rockford all occurred one after another in the late 1970s.


The winters of 1976-77, 1977-78, and 1978-79 were the coldest, taking into account high and low temperatures.  The winters of 1977-78 and 1978-79 hold the title for the 13th snowiest and 2nd snowiest, respectively.  The snowiest meteorological winter was 2007-08 with 65.1 inches.


With our current forecast through the end of the month (Thursday & Friday), we have a good shot at tying for the 3rd coldest winter! But what happens after meteorological winter?

March 1st is the start of meteorological spring. Meteorological spring encompasses March, April, and May. The average temperature  for the season is 48.9°F.  If we look at the harsh winters of the late 70s, many of them ended up with below average spring temperatures.  One year that bucked the trend was 1977: coming off of the 3rd coldest winter was the 2nd warmest spring on record!

Near the Chrysler Plant in the late 1970s

Near the Chrysler Plant in the late 1970s

Snow is likely during the first half of meteorological spring; it’s even possible into May.  However, after snowier-than-average winters in 1977-78 and 1978-79, spring snowfall was actually below average.  Hopefully that is a sign of things to come as we head through the next several weeks! Winter 2013-14 is, after all, the 9th snowiest on record.

Meteorological Winter vs. Meteorological Spring

Meteorological Winter vs. Meteorological Spring

In the weeks to come, there are a few signs that temperatures will warm above average. Unfortunately, it’s not until the middle of March! Looking beyond spring, the three late 1970’s meteorological summer seasons ended up just slightly below average on the temperature trend.



Posted under 13 Climate Authority, climate/climate change, cold blast, news, photos, record weather, snow, statistics, weather, winter weather

This post was written by qni_it on February 26, 2014

First Snow of the Season

Many communities throughout northern Illinois saw the first flakes of the Fall season.  In parts of Carroll, Lee, Ogle & Whiteside County, it almost looked like Winter with accumulating snow!  We received some great photos! But head to our FACEBOOK page or WREX for a few more! -Joe


Posted under First Look, photos, snow, weather, winter weather

This post was written by qni_it on October 22, 2013

Fall Foliage Report

1Who’s up for a road trip?

Get set for one of the best weekends for fall color! Aside from a cold front sparking a few showers on Saturday, both Illinois and Wisconsin will be completely dry and sunny on Sunday. WISCONSIN: In Wisconsin, we’re looking at some spots in the Northwoods past peak already! But there’s still great color in the Wisconsin River Valley from Portage to Prairie du Chien. Also, the lakeshore from Milwaukee to Door County is looking great this weekend! Peak for South-Central Wisconsin will likely occur next weekend.

2ILLINOIS: Down in the Land of Lincoln, we’re actually nearing peak in many spots along the Mississippi River already! The color isn’t nearly as good as we had hoped. Blame drought conditions on that one! Still, areas downstate have a few weeks to get to peak. But many of you say now is the time to take that trip down Illinois Route 2 from Rockford to Dixon. A close second in our Facebook poll is US20 from Freeport to Dubuque. Should be peak next few weeks there!

If you get any great photos of fall color, post on our Facebook page, Tweet me, or send them in via email.

And special thanks to Anna Filipowicz-Piccirilli for asking when we should see peak color on Facebook!


Posted under drought, news, photos, statistics, weather

This post was written by qni_it on October 11, 2013

Storm Survey in Lee & DeKalb County

Severe thunderstorms moved through eastern Iowa, northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin on Wednesday.  A few tornadoes touched down, including one which tracked through southern Jo Daviess and Carroll County.  There were also a few storms with unconfirmed tornado reports; those reports will be verified by the National Weather Service over the next couple of days.


The National Weather Service (NWS) Office in Romeoville, Illinois—which serves parts of our area—plans to conduct a storm damage survey today.  NWS employees will travel to southeastern Lee and southern DeKalb County, as well as nearby Kendall County.  On Wednesday afternoon, a severe thunderstorm moved through the Paw Paw, Shabbona, Somonauk and Yorkville areas, causing widespread wind damage.  Photos and even a few videos of the event seem to suggest a tornado caused some of the damage.  Toppled trees and power poles as well as damage to a few grain bins were initially reported.  A video of the possible tornado near Paw Paw was posted on the weather blog; you can find it HERE. 

The NWS employees will assess the damage and determine if a tornado did indeed touch down or if strong, straight-line winds are to blame.  We will let you know the outcome as soon as we know.



Posted under photos, severe weather, tornado, weather

This post was written by qni_it on June 13, 2013

Aerial View of the April 2013 Floods

I want to extend a sincere ‘Thank You’ to everyone who submitted a photo, email, or other tidbit of information regarding the recent flooding across northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.  Your help has contributed to the better understanding of the effects of flooding along area rivers and creeks. Our thoughts are with those of you affected by the floods.

Aerial photographer Bryan Hunt took a tour of the Rock River on Saturday afternoon in Winnebago County. A big thanks goes out to Bryan for capturing these jaw-dropping images of the flooding. I added a few geographical points of reference to the photos so we know exactly what we are seeing and where we are looking. -Joe


Posted under flooding, photos

This post was written by qni_it on April 20, 2013

Amazing! Northeast Blizzard in 38 seconds

Parts of New England got more than two feet of snow this past weekend. One person in Connecticut decided to roll the camera on the entire storm. Check it out!


Posted under news, photos, weather geek, winter storm

This post was written by qni_it on February 12, 2013

Glazed Over

Ice and sleet accumulation across northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin on Sunday cause quite a mess on roads, parking lots, and sidewalks.  Accumulations ranged from a light glaze to nearly 0.25″ in spots.  Here’s a few pictures sent in from around the area. -Joe


Posted under ice, photos, winter weather

This post was written by qni_it on January 27, 2013

Great fall color showing up in Wisconsin

With dry weather expected this weekend across Northern Illinois and Wisconsin, this would be a perfect weekend to make plans to do a little leaf-peeping! (If you can deal with the near $4/gallon gas). Areas in far Northwestern Wisconsin are seeing peak color right now with even a few spots up near Duluth and Superior slightly past peak.

Areas from La Crosse, Eau Claire, down to the Wisconsin Dells, and then up toward Leaf River are nearing peak this weekend with some brilliant yellows and oranges showing up in Southern Wisconsin.

As always, we’re looking for your great photos to add to our HotShot Album. If you would like to be added to our album, be sure to send us your photos to or upload them to the 13 Weather Authority Facebook page. -Eric


Posted under photos, weather, wildlife

This post was written by qni_it on September 27, 2012

Rotten Tomatoes!

Dom Castaldo sent me this picture of tomatoes he grew that rotted right on the vine. I’m no gardener but I immediately thought the tomatoes were watered too much. However, he writes “The fluctuation in water [due to drought] interferes with calcium metabolism which causes the end of the tomato to degrade.”

A Cornell University article mirrors what Dom said. It says “the disease is especially prevalent when rapidly growing, succulent plants are exposed suddenly to a period of drought. When the roots fail to obtain sufficient water and calcium to be transported up to the rapidly developing fruits, the latter become rotted on their basal ends.” This not only can happen to tomato plants during drought, but also in tomatoes planted in cold, heavy soils.

The article (and Dom) suggest using fertilizers low in nitrogen and spraying the plants with calcium chloride to combat that terrible Tomato Blossom Rot this season!

Do you have a drought-related story to share? We’d like to hear from you! Send us an e-mail at and tell us what you’re seeing. -ES


Posted under drought, going green, news, photos, science

This post was written by qni_it on July 16, 2012

Weather Photos

Here’s a few photos sent in by WREX viewers from this morning’s severe thunderstorms.  -JA


Posted under photos, severe weather

This post was written by qni_it on March 17, 2012