Saturday, February 18, 2017

A Record Breaking Weekend

We got to break another record today as our high temperature peaked at 68°, which is 5° than the previous record of 63° set back in 1930.  We have done this 2 days in a row now and we could possibly do it again for a third day in a row!  The ridge of high pressure over our area has continued to strengthen the past couple of days, which is why temperatures have gotten much higher.

 The reason that we've had this massive warmup is due to the placement of these high and low pressure systems.  On Friday, we had a high pressure system to the southeast and a low pressure system to the northwest.  High pressure systems have winds that rotate clockwise around them, while low pressure systems have winds that rotate counterclockwise around them.  So once these systems are lined up as they are in the photo, you get a massive channeling of warm air from the south, which has been the main reason for our temperature warmup.  However, the reason for our clear and sunny skies can be attributed to the high pressure system to the southeast in the photo.  The high has helped to push the low up north, which is why the clouds have continued to move north of us and miss our area.

This trend continues into next week, but the low pressure system moving in from the west will bring us some rain on Monday night.  A weak warm front will move through Monday morning increasing our cloud cover, but a weak cold front behind it is what will bring the light accumulation of rain Monday night.  Rain is also expected for Thursday afternoon, as another low moves in through our area.  There will be a little more rain than what we'll have on Monday, but overall the accumulation will still be light.  The rain will filter into the early hours of Friday morning, before clearing out for the afternoon where we will have cloudy skies.  The spring-like weather will disappear next Saturday as northwesterly winds move into our area and bring us back down into the 20s, but the majority of next week stays warm with temperatures in the upper 50s to low 60s!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Spring-Like Weather

It was an amazing day outside as we had lots of sunshine and temperatures in the low 60s.  We ended up breaking our old record of 58 set back in 1981 as we peaked at 66 today.  Although we technically won't break the record on Monday, we will break the record temperatures during the weekend and on Tuesday as well.  The sunny and warm weather we had today will continue on for the weekend, but will be stopped briefly as a low pressure system brings a warm front through our area on Monday.  The warm front will begin to increase the cloud cover in the early hours of the morning, and will bring some rain once we get into the afternoon.  The rainfall will be medium, but the accumulation will still be light.  Another low will move through Thursday, but it will only bring drizzle on Thursday late at night.  Other than Monday and late Thursday night, the skies will continue to stay mostly clear and the temperatures will remain in the upper 50s and low 60s for the week.

Consecutive 60° Stretches in February hasn't been much of a secret...but in case you haven't heard we have multiple 60° days in the forecast!

Friday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday are all forecast to reach 60° or higher. Saturday is a day to watch, as temperatures will be close to the 60° mark. A weak cool front will sink south on Saturday morning and this will direct surface winds to the northwest. The northwest wind will be light, but could potentially drop temperatures a degree or too. If we were to reach 60° on Saturday then there would be a stretch of 5 days of 60° in February which we have never seen on record! The longest stretches we've seen have been 3 days, which has only happened twice, and two days which also happened twice in recorded history data.

No matter what though, the 7-day forecast looks fantastic!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Brightness of Venus peaks next couple of nights

Earlier this week I had a viewer ask me what the bright star was in the west sky.  She said it was brighter and larger than normal.  That star was the planet Venus.

According to, only a quarter of the planet was illuminated earlier this week.  However, Venus is moving closer to the Earth each evening allowing more and more of the surface of the planet to become illuminated.  Eventually it will pass between the Earth and the sun in March, becoming only a very thin crescent during that time.

We've got several clear and warm nights heading into the weekend.  Perfect for viewing the evening sky.  Enjoy!

Thursday evening sunset photos

Woody Mott
Wanda Hoffman Orlick
Tracy Tadlock
Terri Brenz
Susan Haas
North of Shirland
Phyllis Broenneke
Pauline M.

Sunset pictures continued

Nancy DeLucia Ferrin
Mary Anderson
Mark Meyers
Marian Strang
Lynne Nelson

Sunset pictures continued

Laura Harris Stites
Katy Ramsey
Kathy Lapp
Jenni Listerud
Loves Park
Janet Phelps
Delavan, WI