Monday, May 25, 2015

No rest for the Southern Plains


It's been one week after another of nothing but severe weather and flooding rain for Texas and Oklahoma, with many towns breaking their all time record precipitation totals for the month of May.  And that was only half way through the month! 

Now, on Memorial Day, severe weather continues for Texas and Oklahoma, but will move into Louisiana and Arkansas over the next several hours.  Severe thunderstorms also extend a bit further north into Kansas, Iowa and Missouri where severe thunderstorm watches have been issued.

Flood warnings and flash flood warnings have been hoisted for an already saturated ground that can't hold any more rainfall.  Flooding has become a big problem in Texas this past week.  Unfortunately, the pattern through the week continues to point towards daily heavy rain producing thunderstorms.

24 Hour Rain Fall Totals

Quiet a bit of heavy rain moved through last night and early this morning. Here's a look at some 24 hour rain fall totals across the Stateline area.
ROSCOE 2ESE (WINNEBAGO)......................1.61
ROSCOE 2SE (WINNEBAGO).......................1.61
BYRON 3N (OGLE)..............................1.47
MACHESNEY PARK 3ENE (WINNEBAGO)..............1.41
STERLING 4NE (LEE)...........................1.27
CAPRON (BOONE)...............................1.25
ROCKFORD (WINNEBAGO).........................1.14
ASHTON (LEE).................................1.12
 ROCKFORD 1NW (WINNEBAGO).....................1.11
ROCKFORD 3NE (WINNEBAGO).....................1.11
 DIXON 3NNW (LEE).............................0.96
AMBOY (LEE)..................................0.93
DIXON 2SW (LEE)..............................0.93
ROCHELLE (OGLE)..............................0.93
MALTA (DE KALB)..............................0.73
STEWARD (LEE)................................0.73
PAW PAW (LEE)................................0.71
POLO (OGLE)..................................0.71
DE KALB (DE KALB)............................0.70 
WOODSTOCK 5NW (MCHENRY)......................0.68
GENOA (DE KALB)..............................0.65 
WONDER LAKE 1WNW (MCHENRY)...................0.42
ALGONQUIN 1N (MCHENRY).......................0.42

Memorial Day Outlook


         Starting to see an uptick in the showers a bit here this morning. However they are still remaining widely scattered as a negatively tilted trough, or area of low pressure, moves through north east Iowa and north western Illinois. This could bring brief heavy downpours for the next few hours, through about noon or 1pm. After that the area looses a lot of forcing with the warm front that brought the heavy rain overnight now into portions of north central Wisconsin.


          Skies will continue to clear through this afternoon, becoming partly cloudy to mostly sunny later on. You'll have to deal with gusty winds at times through the afternoon. We could see wind gusts up to 35mph from the southwest through about 4 or 5pm. It will feel a lot like summer this afternoon for any outdoor bar-b-ques, temperatures will warm into the low 80's and upper 70's, and with dew points in the 60's it will feel a bit muggy as well.
Overall not a bad day to get outside, but if you do have any outdoor picnics or activities keep in mind the gusty winds, and maybe add an extra hotdog or burger to keep your plant from flying away!


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sunday evening weather update


10:25pm Update: The Tornado Watch has just been canceled for Winnebago, Boone, Ogle, Lee and DeKalb counties.  Heavy rain will be biggest threat tonight through Monday morning.

Very heavy rainfall will continue to push east over the next hour.  Watch for ponding on the roads if you're out early Monday morning.





Rainfall amounts over the past 24 hours. 

9:45pm Update:  The tornado watch has been canceled for Carroll and Whiteside counties, along with Jo Daviess and Stephenson counties.  Additional showers moving through Northern Illinois will keep the watch going a little further east this evening.



















While the tornado threat this evening is low, it's not zero.  And storms that continue to enter into Northern Illinois could interact with the warm front that is currently just south of Rockford.  Because of that, both the Chicago National Weather Service and Storm Prediction Center feel it is important to hold on to the tornado watch a little longer this evening.

As you head to bed this evening, make sure you have a way to receive warnings should they be issued.  I'll be here until the last county is dropped from the watch tonight!



8:45pm Update: The Tornado Watch has been canceled for Jo Daviess and Stephenson counties in Northwest Illinois. 







A brief tornado was reported earlier this evening in Eastern Iowa, but those storms are moving more north than east at the moment.  There was also a funnel cloud reported NW of Davenport, IA shortly before 7:30pm.

Closer to home, there are no active warnings as scattered thunderstorms will continue to develop through the evening.





Storm now North of Rochelle (Ogle County) continues to show weak rotation aloft and remains near the warm front.  Will continue to monitor very closely, but could be some stronger wind gusts associated with it.










Technical discussion regarding severe potential this evening from the Storm Prediction Center.  Isolated tornado threat continues along warm front now just south of Rockford.

http://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/md/2015/md0747.html



6:40pm Update: Currently on the Tornado Watch remains in effect, but storms that move through will be very efficient rain produces with a cell moving through Stephenson County from Pearl City to Freeport to Ridott, and heading North.  This will produce very heavy rain in a short amount of time.  Ponding on the roads will be possible with radar estimated rainfall rates of over an inch per hour!





A Tornado Watch has been issued for Jo Daviess, Stephenson, Carroll, Whiteside, Winnebago, Boone, Ogle, Lee and DeKalb counties until 1am Monday morning.

Thunderstorms are starting to increase in coverage this evening and will produce very heavy rainfall and gusty winds.  Also, a warm front lies just north I-88 with a very warm and humid air mass behind. 

It is along this warm front that we have to watch storms very closely for any signs of broad rotation.  There have been a few storms just to the south of the immediate First Warn viewing area that did have some rotation within them, and there was a cell just to the east of Amboy, IL (Lee County) that had weak rotation as well.

If the rotation holds on long enough as the cells interact with the warm front, there could be isolated tornadoes that form.  As of right now, there are no active warnings out - just the Tornado Watch.

Remain weather aware and continue to check back for the latest updates!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Weekend Events

The weather this week has been relatively quiet, and it will continue to be for at least the first half of your holiday weekend. Temperatures on Friday will warm back to 70° today with mostly sunny skies. City Market kicks off today in downtown Rockford and it will be a perfect day for it! It opens at 3:30pm and temperatures should be in the lower 70's, and by the time it ends at 8:30pm temperatures will drop into the low 60's but it will still be very pleasant as the sun sets.

Magic Waters opens up on Saturday, and while it won't exactly feel like summer, it will still be warm. Temperatures will warm into the mid 70's Saturday afternoon, with clouds beginning to increase from the southwest to the northeast later in the day. I hear that their water is heated, in
case you are worried it will be a little too cool!



The Young at Heart Festival is also this weekend at the Loves Park City Hall Festival Grounds. You'll be able to get the rides in on Saturday, but you'll want to keep an eye on the radar because we will have the chance for a few scattered showers and possibly a thunderstorm on Sunday and into Monday. Monday afternoon the rain threat will be mainly over with the dry slot of the system moving in. This will bring in drier air and helping to cut off the rain. And while there is rain in the forecast, it won't be a total wash out, there will still be plenty of dry hours in the forecast too!

Have a happy and safe holiday weekend!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Pattern change shifts active weather east

The past two weeks have featured over a foot of rain and multiple reports of severe weather across the central and southern Plains - specifically for Oklahoma and Texas.  That jet stream pattern will soon shift a little further east towards the upper Midwest and Great Lakes late this weekend and into next week.

Winds above will shift around to the southwest, bringing warmth, but also bringing increased moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.  A cold front will settle close to the area Sunday night, but it won't pass through.  This means temperatures will remain warm, but there will also be rounds of thunderstorms beginning as early as Saturday night and lasting pretty much through Wednesday. 

There will be many dry hours, but heavy rainfall becomes a big possibility with any storms that could develop.  At this moment, the severe weather threat looks low, but be sure to keep your eyes to the sky this weekend if you've got any outdoor plans.

Holiday weekend won't be a complete wash out

The front end of the weekend looks pretty good, it's just the latter part we have to keep an eye on.  Friday looks like a repeat of what we experienced Thursday afternoon.  A cool front will settle south during the morning Friday, but should come through dry.  Temperatures will rise again near 70 degrees.

Most of the active weather should remain to the west on Saturday, although cloud cover will gradually be on the increase.  We may actually have a few clouds to start to the day on Saturday as a few very subtle disturbances move within the jet stream late Friday night.

Sunday doesn't look like a total wash out, but the chance for rain does increase going through the afternoon and evening.  Low pressure will spin closer to us late Sunday and Memorial Day itself.  It might be just a little hard to get some of those parades in on Monday.  A cold front will move closer, but doesn't completely pass for next week.  This will keep our temperatures up, as well as the chance for thunderstorms heading into next week.