Friday, March 6, 2015

Moving on up! Congratulations Brandon!!

Today is a bittersweet day in the First Warn Weather Center.  While it's Friday, it's also Meteorologist Brandon Arnold's last day with Eyewitness News.  He's moving on to greener pastures and warmer climate (although maybe not this year).  Brandon has accepted the Weekend Meteorologist and Weekday Reporter position at our sister station, WATN-TV, in Memphis, TN.

I can't begin to tell you how sad we are to lose him, but also so very excited because this is a huge step for Brandon, and he's pretty excited about it!  The Memphis TV market is a bigger market than in Rockford, and he'll have many more opportunities down there.  Brandon has been with the First Warn Weather team for 3 years, and has done such a wonderful job.  He's not only a great forecaster, but has also helped build our weather team/brand over the past 3 years and has had nothing but a positive attitude throughout his time here.

With the move down to Memphis, he'll remain in the Nexstar Broadcasting family so we'll be able to check in on him from time to time.  I invite you, if you haven't done so already, to wish him the best of luck on this new chapter! 

Email: (only for another day)
Twitter: @brandonarnoldwx
Facebook: brandonarnoldwtvo

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Spring Forward: Daylight Saving Time begins this weekend

It's that time of year again...the start of Daylight Saving Time.  Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, March 8th at 2am.  So, to make sure you're on time Sunday it will be a good idea to set the clocks ahead one hour before going to bed Saturday night. 

While we may lose an hour of sleep, look on the bright side...the days will be getting longer.  The sun will set later in the evening, but also come up a little later in the morning.  The longer days will eventually lead to warmth, which will take us to the start of spring and eventually summer!

It's also a good time to check the batteries in your smoke detector as well as your NOAA Weather Radio.  Don't have a weather radio?  Now is the time to pick one up! 

Happy warm thoughts!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Taste of Spring

The calendar says March, but it still feels like the heart of winter across the Stateline. Relief is coming, though.

Temperatures will be close to 30° below average for this time of year on Thursday. Things are looking much better by the weekend with above average temperatures expected by Tuesday.

So what does the forecast look like with above average temperatures? How does highs in the 50s sound? Spring is almost here! -BA

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

"Broken Record" Cold

After a messy Tuesday complete with snow, sleet, and freezing rain, we are looking at another blast of cold air for Wednesday and Thursday. Not only has the cold become a broken record, it could break a few temperature records this week.

Record cold highs will be possible both Wednesday and Thursday as highs are only expected to warm into the teens. Even though we likely dip below zero Wednesday night, no record lows are in jeopardy of being broken at this time.

Don't worry, this week looks to be the last gasp for this winter's cold. By the weekend, highs will have warmed well into the 30s. We could even see a return of 40° weather early next week. -BA

Photos from an icy Tuesday morning

Scott Mintz
Davis Junction, IL
Mary Endres
Alden, IL
Khristy Becker-Shook
Byron, IL
Denise Belle Kays
Rockford, IL
Debbie Traviolia
Belvidere, IL
Cynthia Prendergast
Sycamore, IL
Annisa Blanchard-Swanson
Davis Junction, IL
Joy Groenhagen
Oregon, IL
Nichole Meraz
Davis Junction, IL

Amy Pedicini
New Milford, IL
Ann Kenney
Scarboro, IL
Laura McKenzie Cook
Oregon, IL

Tuesday Morning Weather Update

Click here for Illinois road conditions
Click here for Wisconsin road conditions

10:15am Update: There will still be a little light freezing drizzle throughout the morning, but any more accumulating snow or ice is done.  Continue to exercise caution on the roads through the afternoon.

7:30am Update:  Back edge of the wintry weather moving east of the Mississippi River.  Looks like we'll still get a couple more hours of this mess before conditions (weather-wise) improve for the afternoon.  Roads will still be tough, though, into the afternoon.

The snow was quick to come down and accumulate on the roads, but now we're starting to get reports of sleet and freezing rain mixing in with the snow as of 6am.  Snow amounts so far are right around an inch, but as temperatures continue to warm up above the snow will mix with sleet and freezing rain through the morning - roughly through 11am.  This will continue through the morning commute keeping roads snow covered and slick. 

Road conditions will be at their worst through the morning, but as temperatures begin to warm above freezing this afternoon roads conditions will improve through late afternoon and evening.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Tuesday's Wintry Weather Update

7:00pm Update: The entire Stateline will be under a Winter Weather Advisory from 3:00am until noon on Tuesday with snow, sleet, and freezing rain possible for the morning commute. Regardless of what we see tomorrow, leave yourself some extra time getting out the door. Roads look to be messy in many spots. Check out the video update below for more details.

11:45am Update: A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for Winnebago, Boone, McHenry, Ogle, Lee and DeKalb counties in northern Illinois and for Green, Rock and Walworth counties in southern Wisconsin.

The calendar may have switched over to March, but Mother Nature will remind us that it's still winter until March 20th.  Even then, we still get occasional reminders.

The weather will get a little messy in 24 hours and have an impact on Tuesday morning's commute.  As Meteorologist Kristin Cwynar discussed over the weekend, the threat for snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain will be present throughout the day Tuesday - with the greatest impact coming through the morning.

All will be quiet through late tonight as high pressure slowly slides southeast of Rockford.  As we head into the overnight, moisture will lift north from the Gulf but with temperatures still below freezing (32 degrees), snow will fall.  This looks to be after Midnight with snow spreading north between Midnight and 3am.  Southwest winds and a strong low level jet will allow temperatures a few thousand feet above to rise very close to, if not slightly above, freezing.  Temperatures at the surface, however, will remain below freezing through Tuesday morning.  This means snow overnight will mix with sleet, or completely change over to sleet, early Tuesday morning.  As the temperature continues to rise above freezing during the morning, the snow and sleet could change over to, or mix, with freezing rain through the morning commute.  By the afternoon, surface temperatures should be above freezing.  However, a mixture of snow/drizzle will still be possible across southern Wisconsin.

In anticipation of the wintry weather, a Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for Green, Rock and Walworth counties in southern Wisconsin late tonight through Tuesday evening.

So, let's time this out:

Timing: A mixture of snow & sleet will develop between Midnight and 3am Monday night.  This will spread from north to south by Tuesday morning.  Accumulations are not expected to be much as the snow will have a little more weight with it.  The snow and sleet will mix with freezing rain across northern Illinois until late Tuesday morning.  If temperatures warm above 32 degrees, the threat for freezing rain will decrease.  Southern Wisconsin may hold on to the snow/sleet/freezing rain mixture a little longer with temperatures right near, or slightly below, freezing.  By the afternoon, surface temperatures will warm above 32 degrees which will bring more of a drizzle/rain threat.  However, drier air moving in during that time will cut back on the amount of moisture left in the atmosphere.

Amounts: Snow/sleet amounts won't be much, but accumulations of 1" to 2" will be possible through Tuesday morning - especially if the snow occurs at a heavy burst.  From roughly 6am through 11am, freezing rain will be possible, but again, total atmospheric moisture will remain low, so any ice accumulation should remain under a tenth of an inch.   After Noon, a mix of drizzle/light snow will be possible ahead of a cold front that will swing through by Tuesday evening.

Impacts: Any snow that does accumulate could cause roads to be slick during the overnight and early Tuesday morning.  If freezing rain does mix in, untreated roads will become slick with minor ice accumulation possible.  As temperatures warm above freezing, this will melt any ice or snow that may still be on the roads.

Snow will melt over the next 36 hours, but the threat for flooding will remain low - although run off from the melting snow and a slow rise in local rivers & streams will be possible as the frost depth is still pretty deep in the ground.