Friday, November 15, 2019

Sunshine Welcomes in the Weekend

Cloud cover stuck around for a good chunk of our Thursday limiting our chances of seeing any sunshine. I am happy to say that isn't the case today. Skies cleared during the evening yesterday and remained mostly clear into this morning. As of a result, temperatures "bottomed out" or rapidly fell into the teens to begin our Friday. An interesting stat before we jump into the forecast, Rockford has spent over 100 hours under the freezing mark of 32°, since Monday morning at 1 AM. That streak will likely end today.

The source for today's sunshine is all thanks to a massive high pressure system that is currently sitting over the Midwest. This area of high pressure is going to keep things quiet as we head into the weekend. A few clouds will likely build in by the afternoon turning our skies partly sunny. Highs today will be slightly warmer and fortunately above subfreezing. There will be a better chance for cloud cover tonight as northeasterly winds off of Lake Michigan will help bring in more moisture to the region.

This weekend brings a great chance for temperatures to approach the 40° mark both Saturday and Sunday. And after this most recent encounter with an Arctic blast, I am looking forward to temperatures much closer to normal. Saturday for the most parts remains dry with better chances for precipitation arriving by Sunday. This event will start out Sunday morning as a mix of rain and snow. As temperatures warm into the upper 30s, all precipitation will likely transition to all liquid precipitation. Any precipitation will remain light in accumulation. Highs should be able to make it into the 40s if not Monday, then by the Tuesday afternoon. Other than

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Clouds Stick Around for Much of Thursday Afternoon

Skies remained cloudy for much of Thursday afternoon holding temperatures in the mid and upper 20s area wide, falling short of the forecast high of 32 degrees. The clouds were a result of an inversion in the atmosphere, where warmer air is located above a cooler air mass near the surface.

Despite a cold front passing early Thursday morning, temperatures aloft were actually warming. The warm and dry air helped trap
moisture near the surface, under what is known as an 'inversion'. During the warmer months, when the sun angle is stronger, an inversion is quick to dissipate because the higher sun angle allows the atmosphere to warm faster, helping mix the atmosphere. As we get further and further into the cooler months the sun angle isn't as strong, so temperatures are not able to warm as quickly - or efficiently. Sometimes moisture becomes trapped under that warm layer, leading to either fog or cloud cover sticking around longer during the day. This can have a major impact on temperatures during the afternoon.

Skies are beginning to clear from west to east Thursday evening as high pressure moves in from the west. Temperatures where the skies have cleared have cooled off already into the teens. Clearing skies and a light wind may lead to fog early Friday morning. With temperatures below freezing, freezing fog could become an issue, so watch for slick spots during the morning.

Sunshine & "Warmer" Temps Arrive to End the Work Week

Our Thursday morning kicked off with a much "warmer" start than what we have been subjected to over the past few days. Despite a cold frontal passage, temperatures are close to 5°-10° warmer than early Wednesday morning. It brought a few flurries to the region, but all of that precipitation has cleared the region as we enter the mid-morning hours. Clouds on the other hand are going to be a tad more stubborn to leave. Skies stay mostly cloudy early on before eventually give way to sunshine by this afternoon.

The entire month of November so far has been below average. In fact, Rockford from November 1st to the 13th has logged an average temperature of 29.8°. That currently stands as the second coldest start to the month of November on record, second to 1991 (27.0°). We will continue the cooler than average trend today, but we’ll make a run at 32° this afternoon.

And after the start to the week that we've had, I personally am looking forward to the 30s. Especially since it has felt like the "dead of winter" the past few days. Clouds are forecast to gradually taper through the morning and afternoon, resulting in a mix of clouds and sunshine. Due to the cold frontal passage, winds have switched from the southwest to out of the northwest and will stay fairly light throughout the day.

The weather expected for tonight is going to provide the perfect opportunity for temperatures to "bottom out" or rapidly fall. With mostly clear skies, calm winds, and all that snow covering the surface, temperatures are set to drop into the teens by Friday morning. A bit of patchy fog is also possible before the sun rises. We’ll see another day of sunshine tomorrow, with highs climbing into the upper 30s. It feels like it's been forever since we have seen temperatures above the freezing mark. Dry conditions look to stick around through the first half of the weekend.  More cloud cover is expected to move in late Saturday ahead of our next system. A mix of rain and snow is possible late Saturday night before gradually transitioning to all liquid rainfall by Sunday. Until then, enjoy the sunshine and warmer temperatures!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Slick Spots Possible as Light Snow Falls Wednesday Evening

Another quick moving low pressure system moving in from the Northwest will bring light snow across southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois Wednesday evening. Light snow has already started, with a dusting reported in some locations.

Snow accumulations are expected to remain light, under half an inch, but the dusting of snow and temperatures in the low 20s could cause some slick spots on the roads Wednesday evening, especially roads that experienced blowing snow from earlier in the day. The light snow will last through Midnight, with mostly cloudy skies expected through Thursday morning.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Light Snow Returns Wednesday Evening

The chance for snow returns to the Stateline late Wednesday afternoon and evening, but won't be as much as what fell Sunday night and Monday morning. Cloud cover will increase during the evening and overnight Tuesday, leaving skies mostly cloudy for much of Wednesday afternoon. Low pressure moving in from the northwest will spread light snow across the Plains and Upper Midwest through Wednesday morning, and then into the Great Lakes by Wednesday evening.

Dry air early in the day Wednesday will keep most of the early afternoon dry, but snow is expected to fall towards the late afternoon and evening commute. The snow will be light, as will accumulations, but could cause some roads to be slick where the snow does stick during the evening. Accumulations will add up close to an inch near the Wisconsin/Illinois state line, with lesser amounts further to the south.

Most of the snow will be wrapping up by Midnight Wednesday with gradually clearing skies heading into Thursday morning and afternoon. The rest of the week is expected to remain dry until either late Saturday night or Sunday afternoon.

Record-Breaking Cold Arrives for Our Tuesday

Arctic air like this makes you question what month, let alone what season it is. We are a mere 16 days from Thanksgiving, and 39 days from the OFFICIAL start of winter. But it feels like we’re in the dead of winter already. Under mostly clear skies and all of that fresh snow on the ground, temperatures bottomed out this morning in the low single digits. A few spots, such as Rochelle and Galena, dropped into the negatives. Now that's cold. Rockford broke the daily record coldest low temperature of 7° set back in 1986 as temperatures plunged to 3° this morning. When the day starts this cold, it is usually a good sign that afternoon temperatures won’t fare much warmer.

The same area of high pressure that has spread this frigid Arctic air across the Midwest will also be the source of today's sunshine. But even with all of the sunshine we are going to experience today, highs will only climb into the teens. If you’re lucky, highs could briefly touch 20°. Northwesterly winds could gust at times to 20 mph through the day. This will make it feel much colder out there, as wind chills stay in the lower single digits. We will still feel the affects of this Arctic air mass overnight tonight as temperatures drop into the single digits. Wind chills once again will be sub-zero.

It's morning's like this where you need to "dress for the weather". When it gets this cold, dress warmly in several layers if you have to spend a good chunk of time outdoors. It is important to cover as much skin as possible before taking that first step out the door. That means not only dressing up in layers, but putting on hats, gloves, scarfs, and those winter socks to keep yourself insulated and warm. Because any skin that is uncovered will be susceptible to frostbite, and you will higher your chances of getting hypothermia. Now that we are moving further into the season of "fall", it is important to know the signs of both. You can find all of that information by going to

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Winter Weather Advisory issued for the Stateline through Monday Afternoon

A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for all of northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin beginning at 9pm Sunday night, lasting through Noon Monday. Temperatures across the area are currently in the mid and upper 30s, but are falling to the north into the 20s. A strong, Arctic cold front came through early Sunday morning but the cold air is lagging a little behind the front.

Where the snow is beginning to develop is where
the leading edge of the cold air is currently. Temperatures are expected to fall through the rest of the evening, overnight and into Monday morning down into the low 20s. Initially, precipitation across the local Stateline may begin as drizzle or light rain showers early Sunday evening, but by 9pm/10pm the majority of precipitation should be coming down as snow. Light to moderate snow will continue through Monday morning before ending from north to south early afternoon. 

A total of two to five inches of snow will be likely, with two to three inches falling during the overnight, and another two to three inches falling through the morning. Impacts to the commute Monday are likely with slick roads and reduced visibility. North winds will at times be gusting 25-30mph, and this will cause the snow to blow around as it falls, but also cause snow to drift and blow across roadways even after it stops.

Roads will likely be slick in the morning so give yourself the extra time you need to get to work, school, appointments, etc. There will likely be some impacts to the late afternoon and evening commute, especially for more open and rural roads/areas.