Friday, January 30, 2015

Weekend snow: What you need to know

Just in at 10:30am:  A Winter Storm Watch has been issued for Winnebago, Boone, McHerny, Ogle, Lee, DeKalb, Carroll and Whiteside counties beginning Saturday evening and lasting through Sunday evening.

Snow moves in for the weekend and for some in Illinois, the totals will add up.  As it looks right now, Friday morning, the heaviest axis of snow will fall from north-central Illinois southward through I-80.  Areas from Sterling, Dixon, Amboy, Paw Paw, Steward and Shabbona could receive in excess of six inches of snow.

Two main systems will work together this weekend to bring snow through Sunday night.  One low is off the coast of British Columbia, with the second in the southwestern United States.  While there are still some uncertainties with the exact track of the snow, the timing is pretty much set.

Timing:  Saturday morning through early afternoon will stay dry with temperatures in the low to mid 30's.  A light mix may develop south of Rockford with the leading edge of the precipitation during the late afternoon, but then quickly switch over to snow during the evening and overnight.  Look for the snow to begin around 6pm Saturday and become heaviest from around 10pm Saturday through 9am/10am Sunday.  Snow will continue to fall during the afternoon Sunday before winding down by Sunday evening.  In all, some snow amounts could exceed six inches across northern Illinois.  Travel will become heavily impacted once the snow begins Saturday night and continue through mid-day Sunday.  This means Sunday morning will experience snow covered roads, wind, and very poor travel conditions.  The snow will begin with a little more weight Saturday evening with temperatures in the low 30's, but then turn lighter as the temperature falls through the 20's Sunday.  Winds will increase from the northeast Sunday causing blowing and drifting snow.
Amounts:  Again, snow totals adding up to over 6 inches are possible, with locally higher amounts found to the south of Rockford.  A swath of 3" to 6" of snow is possible from the state line south through I-88, and in excess of 6 inches from I-88 southward.  From the model runs last night through this morning, the storm track has shifted slightly further north which has bumped up some of the higher totals further north.  This does look to be a high impact event with the snow causing travel issues Sunday.   If you have any last minute plans or errands you need to finish this weekend, I would suggest getting them done Saturday morning so when the snow does begin, you won't need to travel.  If you're heading out for the Super Bowl, consider your route and the amount of time needed to get there.  The earlier you travel, the more hazardous the weather will likely be.  We'll continue with updates through the evening and weekend so continue to check back.  While this isn't going to be the Groundhog Day blizzard of 2011, it will be impactful for travel.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Snow moving into southeast Wisconsin

Quick burst of snow will fall from southeast Wisconsin and northeast Illinois.  It will last through 10am and lower visibility to a mile or less.  Accumulations are not expected, but a quick dusting is possible. 

Winds will continue to gust from the northwest around 30 mph.

When the weather computer doesn't cooperate

Sometimes the weather computer just has a mind of it's own and when that happen, you need to think fast.  Now I've never been to Arizona, but I would think with temperatures like those, there wouldn't be much of it left.

FOX 10's Cory McCloskey handle the 'extreme heat' very well!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Icy Overnight?

9:50pm Update: Precision Doppler is picking up some potentially icy weather around the Rockford metro. With temperatures at the freezing mark right now, slick spots will be possible. Be careful if you're driving tonight!

Original Post: If Monday's icy weather wasn't enough, we could see more freezing rain in the Stateline Wednesday night.

 As of 9:00pm many areas of the Stateline were still hovering around the freezing mark. The good news temperatures are expected to warm a few degrees after midnight, which would greatly decrease the chance for any icy weather.

As for the when and where, our best freezing rain chances will be before midnight in areas along the state line and into southern Wisconsin. Not much more than a glaze is expected, but it would be enough to cause slick spots on roadways.

By Thursday morning, rain and ice chances are expected to switch over to a rain and snow mix. No accumulations are expected, but a few slick spots could linger in the morning commute. Be aware as you're heading out the door! -BA

Top 10 least snowiest winters and where we stand so far. Plus, more snow possible this weekend

This winter has been a lot of things, but snowy just isn't one of them.  Officially since December 1st, we've received 8.2 inches of snow, 11.8 inches for the entire season.  Now, we've still got another month and a half of winter to go which will likely put us over the ten inch mark, but with the lack of snow so far I decided to look back at the when some of the least snowiest winters occurred.

Could you imagine a winter with only 1.3 inches of snow?  That's what happened all the way back during the winter of 1906/1907.  The winter of 1927/1928 was next with a whopping four inches, followed by 1920-1921 when 4.7 inches fell.  How many of you remember the winter of 2002/2003 when we only received eight inches of snow.  If we were done with the cold and snow, this winter would end up within the top ten but we've still got through the end of February and even some of March to go.  And between now and then we will get more snow.

It wasn't that long ago when the record for most snow occurred.  Just a little over 65 inches of snow fell during the winter of 2007/2008.  Last year was the 9th snowiest winter on record.

If the lack of snow has bummed you out a little, don't worry, we may get a little more for the weekend.

Low pressure is forecast to develop in the southern Plains late this week tapping into moisture from the Gulf as well as cold air from Canada.  But just where that low tracks and whether the northern or southern branch of the jet stream, or both, will win out is the million dollar question.  We've seen this play out before this winter.  Several days leading to an event a storm system looks very promising for snow in the Midwest, but then ends up tracking a bit further south sparing us the brunt of the snow.  It's possible that this will happen again, especially if the southern branch of the jet streams remains dominant.  Our confidence in just where the low tracks and how much snow we'll receive this weekend will go up over the next couple of days and by Friday we should be able to let you know if you'll need to gas up the 'ole snow blower or leave it parked in the garage. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Stateline Winter Nothing Compared To East Coast Blizzard

The big weather headline this week has been a giant snowstorm that has been producing blizzard conditions for the New England area since Monday. As of Tuesday night, Blizzard Warnings and Winter Storm Warnings continue for parts of six different states.

The biggest problem many areas are dealing with is the snow. To put things in perspective, Rockford has seen almost a foot of snow for the entire season, dating back to late October. The highest snow total reported as of Tuesday night triples that.

So before you start complaining about the snow we see around here, just be glad you don't live in the northeast. It could be a lot worse. -BA

Monday, January 26, 2015

Icy Roads Causing Travel Issues

9:30pm Update: A tiny burst of snow is moving back into the Rockford metro. Expect freezing drizzle and snow to wrap up after midnight. Slick roads could stick around for a few more hours after that. A lingering slick spot could be possible Tuesday morning for the early commute, but overall, driving conditions will be much better.

Original Post: Freezing drizzle is making for some very slick roads around the Stateline. If you have to do any driving Monday night, take it slow and be especially careful.

The National Weather Service has issued a Freezing Rain Advisory through 6:00am Tuesday for most of northern Illinois, but everyone in the Stateline will see the threat for icy roadways during that time. A few slick spots will still be possible for the Tuesday morning commute, but overall, conditions should be much better.

We have already received multiple reports of cars going off the road on US-64 near DeKalb and minor fender benders across the entire viewing area. Aquin vs. Pearl City Girls Basketball has been canceled for Monday night. If we get any other closings, we'll update you here.