Friday, February 27, 2009

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Spring storms here, snow up north

This picture from Julie Kemnitz in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin comes to us via Fox11 in Green Bay. Julie reported that the snowflakes were as big as her hands!

Also, check out the heavy snow falling on WGBA-TV's live weathercams. (Click for larger image)

While our temperatures don't have to fall much before we transition over to snow, it appears this will come as the precipitation winds down. Still some thunderstorms likely for the late-afternoon and early evening.

Soggy Situation Soon

Update 12:30pm = DVN issues Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Carroll, Jo Daviess, Stephenson [IL] till 1:00 PM due to the threat of small hail.
DVN: Elizabeth [Jo Daviess Co, IL] trained spotter reports HAIL of pea size (E0.25 INCH) at 12:42 PM -- smaller than pea size hail covering the ground.
DVN: Hanover [Jo Daviess Co, IL] trained spotter reports HAIL of penny size (E0.75 INCH) at 12:31 PM

Update 12:15pm = Dense Fog Advisories have been posted for this afternoon for Whiteside, Ogle, Lee, and DeKalb County. As you can see from the noon observations, visibilities have dropped below 1 mile in these locations and the fog is thickening up a bit in the extreme northern Illinois counties.

Update 11:30am
= Radar indicating a storm cell capable of producing penny sized hail just west of the Mississippi River in Clinton and Jackson County. This cell is headed up into Jo Daviess County shortly after noon. No spotter reports of hail from this thunderstorm just yet.

Update 11:15am = Latest model guidance still has us in for a fairly steady rainfall between now and 9pm. After that the precipitation will begin to wind down with just a little light snow to wrap things up.

Update 10:45am = The Storm Prediction Center has updated the slight risk for severe weather today and it is as close to us as I-80. There is a potential for marginal severe weather as close by as the Quad Cities with small hail being the main threat. With strong thunderstorms possible to the south of us and winter storm warnings running for northern Wisconsin, this shows you just how dynamic this system is.

Original Post = As of 8am the skies are completely dry across the Stateline and temperatures in all locations are either at or above the freezing mark. Road conditions throughout the morning look pretty good. Light rain is starting to develop in eastern Iowa and it should swing our way during the late morning hours. This afternoon is when the rain is going to intensify. All of our models our pointing towards a soaking rain of 0.5" to 1" of liquid by tonight. The only counties in our viewing area under any advisories are in southern Wisconsin and this includes Rock and Walworth County. These two counties will be placed under a Flood Watch from 3pm this afternoon through late tonight due to the potential for lots of rain in a short amount of time. A brief changeover into snow could occur between 9pm-1am, but I don't expect any significant accumulations. Snow totals should stay below 1/4".

I am a little concerned about road conditions overnight. There is going to be a lot of liquid laying around when the cold front pushes through and sends our temperatures below 32° in a hurry. This could create a bit of a flash freezing effect, which could create some slick and slippery conditions. I expect the somewhat icy conditions to pop up after midnight when our airmass drops below the freezing mark. Just something to keep in mind as you head out early Friday morning. -ADAM

Artillery for Today?

This was the picture that I used for this morning's weather quiz. If you haven't seen anything like this before, it is an aerodynamic umbrella known as the Senz Umbrella. This umbrella is said to withstand strong winds and never invert. Also, it states that the extra long tail keeps the rain from trickling down onto your back. Here is the link to the Senz Umbrella if you are interested in equipping yourself with something like this. Too bad they can't rush a shipment of these for today... we could use some this afternoon! -ADAM

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Out with the old, in with the new

First of all, let me say "Thank you!" to the dozens of people who came to this year's storm spotting seminar at the Chicago/Rockford Int'l Airport tonight. What a wonderful group and terrific information from our friends Jim and Tim at the NWS Romeoville. Please don't forget that we can also get your reports into the NWS in an instant because WREX-TV has a live link to all NWS offices during severe weather events.

Next, I'd like to welcome you to our new weather blog Thursday. We have been training and tweaking the new look and we hope to have it up and running sometime during the afternoon...and with ice, thunderstorms, and snow in the forecast, it should be a good day to get it started! As always we welcome your input and comments as we move into the future.

Finally, another word of thanks because you have helped us make this blog so successful. If we didn't get so many wonderful comments every day, it would be harder for us to keep it going. So, here we go!

Business First, Birthday Wish Second

The storm system set to move in on Thursday looks pretty juicy. Large amounts of snow are on tap for locations north of a line from Mason City, IA to Madison, WI. We will be on the warm side of this system meaning that at least 90% of the precipitation is going to fall in the liquid form. HPC is still believing that there is the potential for a few rain gauges across the Stateline to tally 1" of liquid from this disturbance. A little sleet is possible initially with a little snow possible on the backside of this system. Neither will amount to much at all.

Also, one side note. I wanted to publicly wish my mother a very happy birthday! She is an extremely active woman and is pretty amazing. Here is a picture of us taken on Valentine's Day overlooking the Mississippi River at Chestnut Mountain. What better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than skiing with your mother, right? Although... I have no clue where I got my height from. -ADAM

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Consolidating ATC Meteorologists: good or bad idea?

ATLANTA (AP) - Air traffic controllers say a proposal to consolidate dozens of meteorologists around the nation to two centers could hurt effective weather forecasting. The Federal Aviation Administration is considering consolidating the 84 meteorologists serving at 21 air centers across the nation to major centers in Maryland and Kansas City, Mo. The FAA says it is looking at ways to cut costs and use the best technology available. Critics say the plan will make it difficult for meteorologists to have knowledge of local weather patterns and expertise that is crucial to flight crews. The FAA says there is no final proposal yet. Yesterday, the agency extended the time to respond to the proposal 30 days.