Monday, April 30, 2012

How's Your Air Treating You?

This week marks Air Quality Awareness Week. In the grand scheme of things, you may not particularly care too much about this, but air quality affects people more than you may realize. Air pollution is caused by more than just car exhaust and power plants. It can also be caused by things like forest fires.

The effects of bad air known by plenty of people, even if they don't realize it. Anyone with asthma knows what effect poor air quality can have. Bad air can even lead to medical problems like heart issues.

To learn more about Air Quality Awareness Week and how you can make a difference in the air you breathe, click here.

Warmer and a little more active this week

A pattern change taking place this week will replace the 'cooler' weather we've had for the past couple weeks to above average temperatures for at least the first part of May. 

Winds within the jet stream will turn a little more southwest allowing the warmth that has been bottled up across the central and southern Plains to expand north into the Great Lakes.  Along with the warmth will come an increase in moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.  Within the jet stream little disturbances (or mini-lows) will develop and move along a stationary front currently in central Illinois.  Each little disturbance that moves through will pull a little more warmth and moisture northward with it.

Dew points will rise into the upper 50s/ lower 60s by Wednesday and Thursday almost giving the air mass a humid feel to it.  Showers and thunderstorms will likely be ongoing by Wednesday morning along a warm front in Wisconsin.  Cloud cover from those storms will spill south into northern Illinois which may limit just how warm we'll get during the afternoon; especially if we see little sunshine.  A weak disturbance within the jet stream will move along a cold front out west and this could trigger a few storms late afternoon and evening Wednesday.  Depending upon how much we warm during the day a few storms could turn severe.  As that front moves closer to the Stateline another low will develop and pull it back north Thursday and then again Friday.  Because moisture will be plenty this week any storm that does develop will be efficient at producing locally heavy rain.  This threat will last into the weekend as that front sags across northern Illinois.  In fact, it may be this weekend where we pick up on the heaviest of the rain.  We do need the rain as the current drought monitor shows areas just to our south and west/northwest have been experiencing dry conditions lately.  Just hopefully it remains spread out this week and not all at once.

A little foggy & damp this morning

A Dense Fog Advisory has been issued for Green, Rock, Stephenson, Jo Daviess, Carroll and Whiteside counties through 10am.  Rainfall from Sunday evening along with a generally calm wind has allowed for fog to develop overnight.  Dense fog has been reported across parts of northern Illinois where visibility has dropped to less than a mile.  Fog will last through mid-morning with mostly cloudy skies going into the afternoon.  Patchy dense fog will likely redevelop tonight as a warm front lifts into northern Illinois.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

It Could be a Very Wet Week

A large cold area of high pressure is centered over the eastern Great Lakes. A cool air flow is feeding around the the high from the east into the Stateline. A stationary frontal zone is draped across the southern plains, the mid Mississippi valley, across Kentucky and Tennessee. A disturbance over western Missouri is lifting the front toward the north as a warm front. Showers have developed north of the front, and will continue to spread toward the northeast overnight across the Stateline. Temperatures will hold steady in the mid to upper 40's overnight. The wind will be east at 5-10 mph. The Missouri low will move toward the northeast overnight helping to draw warm moist air up and over the front. Scattered showers will linger on Monday morning as the low moves to the south of the Stateline into northwestern Indiana. It will remain mostly cloudy on Monday afternoon with highs pushing into the middle 60's. It will be partly cloudy overnight on Monday night with a low in the upper 40's. On Tuesday, a strong warm front will approach from the southwest, and there will be a good chance of showers and thunderstorms. The surge of warmer and more humid air from the Gulf of Mexico will push temperatures into the middle 70's on Tuesday. The Stateline will find itself located in warm and humid air on Wednesday, Thursday, and possibly into Friday. With fronts nearby, and disturbances moving through the area there will be several opportunities for showers and thunderstorms. There is also the possibility of some locally heavy rainfall totals during the week.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Still Cool on Sunday...

A very cold high pressure ridge extends from Hudson Bay southward across Michigan. Skies will clear over Michigan tonight, and freezing temperatures are anticipated across all of Michigan tonight. Moisture over running a stationary front situated along the Ohio river, and southwest into Oklahoma will keep skies mostly cloudy across the Stateline tonight, and prevent the temperatures from falling any lower than the middle 30's with an east to northeast wind at 10 to 15 mph. The clouds may thin out for a time later tonight through the morning hours on Sunday. So, there is the possibility we may see some sunshine between the clouds on Sunday morning.  Regardless, the skies will cloud over again by mid day, or the early afternoon, and there is a slight chance of some showers later in the afternoon.  High temperatures will be in the upper 50's.  A disturbance moving northeast out of the southern plains will lift a warm front into southern Illinois by Sunday evening.  Gulf of Mexico moisture will over-run the front, and showers will be likely, and there is also a chance of a thunderstorm after midnight.  It will not be as cold with a low in the upper 40's with an east to southeast wind at 10-15 mph.  Showers will linger into the morning hours on Monday as the system moves into the area, and loses strength.  It will be mostly cloudy for the rest of the day, but temperatures will be milder reaching the middle 60's.  A stronger warm front will push northward across the area by noon on Tuesday.  There could be some scattered showers and thunderstorms associated with the front. After frontal passage air from the Gulf of Mexico will surge northward across the area pushing temperatures into  the middle 70's. A warm and humid southwesterly breeze will be in place across the area on Wednesday pushing the afternoon temperatures in to the upper 70's. Strong thunderstorms with heavy rains are possible in the afternoon and evening with a cold front approaching from the west. The cold front will settle into central Illinois, and become stationary from Thursday into Friday. Chances of showers and thunderstorms will diminish by Friday, and temperatures will cool into the low 70's for afternoon highs. Saturday will be mostly sunny with a high in the upper 60's.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Temperature Turnaround

The Saturday forecast has a lot to be desired, especially in the temperature department, but don't worry... warmer air is on its way. Let's start off with Saturday. Scattered showers and breezy conditions through the afternoon will keep temps way below normal. The Stateline will be hard pressed to find highs over 50.

The good news is that a few storm systems will set up shop next week. While it will provide a lot of gulf moisture and scattered rain chances, it will also bring some warmer air with it. Here's a look at the next couple days...

And that's not even the hot stuff! Highs starting Wednesday are expected to be in the mid 70s. So if you like that warmer weather, hang in there. It's on its way!

Rainy start to the weekend

Low pressure will lift northeast out of the central Plains later tonight and move through central Illinois by Saturday afternoon.  Clouds will increase this afternoon with rain moving in during the late evening and overnight.   Temperatures today will rise into the middle 50s with a breezy southeast wind.

Showers will persist Saturday morning before coming a little more scattered during the afternoon.  Cloud cover will be plenty and that, combined with an east/northeast wind, will keep temperatures confined to the lower 50s.  High pressure will build in for Sunday, however, a few disturbances within the jet stream may keep some of the cloud cover around and possibly bring a few showers to the Stateline late Sunday night.  Rainfall totals will range from a quarter inch to half an inch.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Weekend Cooldown...

Our Thursday wasn't too bad weather wise around the Stateline, but colder air is setting up shop just in time for the weekend. In fact, a blast of cold air tonight is the cause for a FROST ADVISORY for all of northern Illinois.

With lows expected in the low 30s tonight, cover up any tender vegetation and make sure any outdoor pets can stay warm. Temps will continue to slide as our next weather maker moves in Friday. Cloudy skies will keep highs to finish the work week in the mid 50s. Rain overnight Friday continuing into Saturday will make for a gloomy start to the weekend. Saturday's highs will struggle to hit the upper 40s before we finally start to warm up heading into next week.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Rain? What Rain?

Showers and storms were advertised for our midweek, but aside from some morning showers, the Stateline didn't see much in terms of precipitation. Officially, Rockford checked in with 0.08" of rain for Wednesday. Drier air continues to push in as we head into the overnight, with more dry conditions on tap for Thursday:

For those who are looking forward to a few showers, don't worry. Our next weather maker is set to bring more rain into the area Friday night and early Saturday.

Afternoon weather update

Clouds and rain have been plenty this morning.  Temperatures across northern Illinois have been holding steady in the middle 50s, temperatures in Wisconsin are in the 40s and temperatures south of I-88 have warmed into the low 60s.  Low pressure has moved into Iowa with a warm front extending east through central Illinois and Indiana. 

The warm front will lift into northern Illinois through the afternoon allowing instability to build south of the front.  North of the front cloud cover and more of a stable air mass will limit storm growth through the evening.  Even the warmer air south of the front has created a cap (or lid) on the atmosphere and this too may limit storm development.  Low pressure will move into northwest Illinois along the warm front with the greatest potential for any severe weather remaining south and southeast of the immediate region.  It's still possible that storms may develop this afternoon once the low moves into Illinois with hail and gusty winds, however, at this point it appears as if our severe threat will be limited.
Rain, moderate to heavy at times, will continue to move across southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois this morning.  These showers are a result of what is called a jet streak (stronger winds within the jet stream) moving through the upper Great Lakes.  Rainfall totals may reach close to a tenth of an inch in some spots where some of the heavier rain has fallen.  Skies will remain mostly cloudy going through the afternoon with temperatures reaching the middle 60s.

Low pressure in the northern Plains will move southeast into Iowa later this afternoon.  A warm front will extend to the east of the low, but remain just to our southwest.  Winds will increase this afternoon from the southeast and as both the low and warm front move closer, storms could redevelop in Iowa and move into north-central and northeastern Illinois by this evening.  I'll have more of an analysis on the weather expected this afternoon coming out soon.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

National Severe Weather Preparedness Week

NOAA and FEMA are joining forces and have launched the first ever National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, which runs from April 22nd to the 28th.  They're encouraging you to become severe weather ready so you're never caught off guard when severe weather strikes and "Be a Force of Nature".  This comes as we get closer to the one year anniversary of one of the largest tornado outbreaks in U.S. history.  Make sure you have a way to receive watches and warnings; whether it's with a NOAA WX Radio or weather text alerts.  Read more on the first National Severe Weather Preparedness Week.

Monday, April 23, 2012

April ending up cooler than March, but still likely above average

Our friend Gino Izzi at the NWS Chicago loves to come up with interesting weather statistics and here is another one he found this morning:





Where did the warmth go?

Despite partly sunny skies today temperatures this afternoon will run roughly 5° to 6° below average.  In fact, temperatures the rest of this week will be either right at or below average running through the weekend. 
Low pressure moving along the east coast has brought a very late season snowstorm for parts of New York State, Pennsylvania and West Virginia and heavy rain and thunderstorms for residents closer to the coast.  High pressure is building in the west and this leaves us sandwiched in between the two systems.  A cool northwest flow will remain in place today keeping temperatures in the upper 50s.  Low pressure will move in from the northwest Tuesday night and track just to our south Wednesday.  This may bring us a brief rise in temperatures, but then it looks like we fall back below average through this next weekend.  Looks like we may be paying a little for the record warmth we experienced this past March.

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Chilly Weekend

Skies will be clearing this evening, and the temperatures will drop as winds diminish to light and variable. A FREEZE WARNING has been issued for the Stateline area counties from 3 am until 8 am on Saturday morning. There will be frost developing after midnight, and the overnight low is expected to be around 30 degrees. High pressure ridging from James Bay in Canada southwest across Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, and Oklahoma through western Texas into Mexico will be the main weather maker for the Stateline for the next several days. It will allow for plenty of sunshine on Saturday morning, but skies will become partly cloudy in the afternoon. It will be cool with a high only in the middle 50s. There will be a breeze from the northeast at less than 10 mph. A weak clipper system will try to bust through the ridge on Saturday night and Sunday. It may produce a few meager light showers. It will remain cool on Sunday with a high in the middle 50's again.  The high will regain control on Monday as an intense storm spins up along the New Jersey coast.  So, the northeasterly light breeze will resume, and it will be partly cloudy.  Temperatures will moderate a few degrees, and top out near 60.  The swirling huge storm system out east will retrograde to the west on Tuesday to a position just north of Lake Ontario in southeastern Canada.  The northerly breeze will continue, skies will be partly cloudy, and afternoon temperatures will moderate into the middle 60's.  The pattern will finally become progressive on Tuesday night with the next system lifting a warm front across the plains into western Illinois by 6 am on Wednesday morning.  Scattered showers and thunderstorms will develop on Tuesday night, and become a little more widespread on Wednesday as the system moves across northern Illinois.  The high temperature on Wednesday will be in the middle 60's, which is close to average for this time of year.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Not as Much Rain as Expected

Low pressure sits over southeast Iowa  this evening. A stationary front extends eastward from the low across southern Iowa into Illinois just north of Interstate 80 and off to the east.  Moisture riding up and over the front will  cause more rain showers overnight as the low rides eastward along the front.   There is a slight chance of some rumbles of thunder as the low gets closer to the Stateline. The wind will be easterly to northeast 10 to 15 mph becoming northerly later tonight. Temperatures will be in the middle 40's' , and may rise a degree or two before falling later tonight after the low passes by to the east. Showers will come to an end in most areas around daybreak as the low moves off to the east. It will remain mostly cloudy for most of the day on Friday with a brisk northerly wind at 12-24 mph with gusts to 30 mph. The high will only be in the low 50's.  There will be some sunshine in the afternoon.  High pressure will stretch from a center over James Bay in Canada along the ridge line across northwestern Wisconsin, western Iowa, northwest Kansas to the Texas panhandle.  Northeast breezes east of the ridge will diminish to 5 to 10 mph on Friday night as skies clear.  Patchy frost may develop across parts of the Stateline after midnight as temperatures drop into the low 30's.  It will be mostly sunny on Saturday with some of the early morning frost in spots.  It will be cool Saturday with a high in the middle 50's.  There will be a fresh northeast breeze.  On Sunday a weak trough will move into Minnesota and Iowa bringing  extreme northwestern Illinois a slight chance of showers.  Skies will be partly cloudy in the Greater Rockford area with an afternoon high in the upper 50's.  On Monday a major east coast storm will be spinning southeast of Long Island New York causing heavy rains and coastal flooding.  It is also serving to jam up the weather systems to the west.  So, that ridge of high pressure will still be to our west stretching from Manitoba to Oklahoma.  It will be mostly sunny on Monday with light winds, and an afternoon high back in the low 60's.  The ridge of high pressure will be directly over the area on Tuesday morning.  It will start out sunny, but it will become partly cloudy in the afternoon as systems start to move eastward once again.  A warm front approaching across the northern plains will push across the Stateline on Wednesday.  Temperatures will rise into the low 70's, and there could be some showers and thunderstorms with a cool front moving southeast across the area by the early evening hours.  With the front lying across central Illinois by 6 am Thursday... it will be a little cooler afternoon temperatures back in the 60's.

More rainfall on the way

A stalled boundary across northern Illinois earlier this morning was the focus for a few thunderstorms.  Pop up storms continued to form just north of the front and have now moved into southern Wisconsin.  The front has moved just a little south of Rockford where temperatures are currently in the 50s and south of the front temperatures are in the 60s and low 70s.  Cooler air from this morning's storms helped push the front a little further south keeping us cool and breezy this morning.

Low pressure will slowly lift the front back north allowing temperatures to warm some going into the afternoon, but also pull in the rain that is currently falling in Iowa.  Widespread rain and thunderstorms have developed north of the low and along a trough of low pressure.  I'm still thinking the heaviest of the rain will fall just to our northwest closer to the main low pressure center, however, I wouldn't be surprised if there were a few areas here that received an inch or so.  Rain coverage will increase around mid-afternoon and last through the evening.  Rainfall totals will range from around a quarter to half an inch up to about an inch and a half.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Soaker is on the Way...

A low pressure system is passing well to the north of the Stateline this evening. That's where most of the precipitation is occurring. It will drag a cool front through the area, but only scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms are expected overnight. The front will stall out just to our south by early on Thursday morning as low pressure rides along the front from the west into the area. It will be cooler with Rockford on the north side of the front on Thursday with an east to southeast wind. The low will help draw moisture from the south up and over the front generating numerous rain showers. There may even be a couple of thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening.  A soaking rain will continue overnight on Thursday night.  Showers will linger into Friday morning, and it will be mostly cloudy and cool with afternoon high temperatures only in the low 50's.  The low pressure will move off to the east as high pressure ridges in from the north.  It will be partly cloudy in the evening, but clear overnight allowing temperatures to drop into the middle 30's.  A major storm system will develop along the east coast this weekend.  The net effect on the Stateline will be to hold the ridge of high pressure in place from Quebec southwest across Lake Superior, Minnesota, to the southern plains.  It will be mostly sunny and cool for the weekend with highs in the middle 50's on Saturday, and the upper 50's on Sunday.  Lows will be in the 30's.  The ridge will move little into the early part of next week, but temperatures associated with it will slowly moderate.  The next system moving across the northern plains on Tuesday will finally kick the ridge off to the east by Wednesday, and proceed into the mid west on Wednesday.  It will warm close to 70 degrees, and there could be some scattered thunderstorms.

Midweek rain on the way

Southerly winds have picked up ahead of a weak cold front currently in eastern Iowa.  The line of thunderstorms that developed very early this morning in western Iowa have been reduced to nothing more than a few clouds and sprinkles as they move closer to the Mississippi River.

The front will slow and then stall across the area later this afternoon and with little moisture in place storm coverage will be limited.  By this evening the front will stall a little south of Rockford as another area of low pressure develops in the Plains.  At the same time the low level jet will increase and pull in moisture as it runs into the front.  That secondary low will move along the boundary trying to lift it back north as a warm front Thursday afternoon.  Scattered showers will be likely along and especially north of the front.  Rainfall totals will range from about half an inch up to one and a half inches by Thursday night.  The low will pass Friday with showers ending by Friday night.

Snow in April? It's possible

After record breaking warmth in March who wants to think about snow, right?  Even though we're halfway through April and the likelihood of getting snow this late in the season decreases, it's still possible.  The reason why I bring this up is because earlier in the week the GFS weather model was showing some accumulating snow during the Thursday night/Friday time frame.  Does it still show that?  No...but I was curious to see just how often it does in fact snow in April and what the greatest snowfall amount was.

The April average monthly snowfall is just a little under an inch and it turns out that there have been quite a few years in the past that have actually had accumulating snow.  Many of those years recorded between a trace to just a couple inches, but there have also been several years where three, four, even five inches have fallen.  Turns out the greatest amount of snow that fell during the month of April was 9.0" back in 1935-1936!  Amazing!  Last year and the year before we only recorded a trace, so hardly anything.  Will there be any snow this April?  Probably not!  Temperature and precipitation outlooks through the end of the month show above average temperatures and very dry conditions across the Midwest.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

More Rain on the Way

A ridge of high pressure moved across the area today, and is located over Michigan early tonight.  Skies are still mostly clear, but clouds will increase overnight as a double barreled low pressure system pushes eastward across the Dakotas tonight.  The lows will merge into a single low over northeastern South Dakota by midnight tonight.  Scattered showers and some thunderstorms are moving across the northern plains early this evening.  Some of the showers may reach the Stateline by daybreak on Wednesday with a warm front moving across the area.  The low will move to northern Wisconsin by noon on Wednesday.  A brisk southwesterly wind will be in place ranging from 10 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph.  The winds will pump the afternoon temperature up close to 70 degrees, and there could be some thunderstorms into the evening hours.  A cool front will push through the area switching the winds around to the the northwest, then north, and then northeasterly by daybreak on Thursday.  The cool front will stall out just to our south, say along the Interstate 80 corridor, by 6 am on Thursday.  A low pressure center will form in Nebraska, and move to Iowa by Thursday night.  Moist air over-running the front cause rain showers to develop on Thursday that will evolve into a soaking rain with embedded thunderstorms possible into Thursday night.  Rain showers will on Friday as the low moves slowly off to the east.  It will be cloudy, breezy, and cool with a high only around 50 degrees on Friday.  High pressure will ridge from a center over James Bay in Canada southwest across Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas through the Texas panhandle early Saturday morning.  It will be clear and cold to start the day on Saturday with a low in the middle 30's.  That will be low enough for patchy frost late Friday night through the early daybreak hours on Saturday morning.  It will be sunny and cool with a high in the middle 50's.  The ridge will move very little on Sunday and Monday.  It will be mostly sunny both days with moderating afternoon temperatures into the mid 60's Monday and the upper 60's Tuesday.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Things Will Settle Down Overnight

A massive storm system has moved northeast of the Great Lakes into Canada. The pressure gradient between the low and high pressure to the west has been very tight accounting for the strong winds across the area today from the west at 25 to 35 mph with gusts above 45 mph from time to time. The low will continue to move rapidly northeast tonight, and the gradient will quickly relax allowing the winds to die down this evening. After midnight the wind will be light and variable. Skies will be partly cloudy, and it will be colder with a low overnight near 37 degrees in Rockford. It will be a little colder to the north and west of Rockford with a chance of patchy frost after midnight. After a chilly start, Tuesday will turn out to be a very nice day with mostly sunny skies, light winds, and an afternoon high in the low 60's.  The next weather system to affect the Stateline will pull a warm front across the area early on Wednesday morning.  There is a slight chance of showers on Wednesday morning.  The winds will increase from the southwest at 15 to 25 mph with gusts to near 30 mph warming temperatures into the upper 60's.  Scattered thunderstorms will develop in the afternoon and continue on Wednesday night with a cool front slipping southward across the area.  The overnight low will be in the upper 40's.  The front will stall out just south of Interstate 80 by early Thursday morning as low pressure develops over Kansas and moves eastward along the front.  It will be cloudy and cool on Thursday with showers likely.  The high will be in the upper 50's.  Some thunderstorms may develop because of the front very close by just to our south, and a good flow of gulf moisture running up and over the front in advance of the approaching low pressure area from the west.    Showers will be likely on Thursday night, and a thunderstorm will be possible.  The system will be east of the area in Indiana by 6 am Friday.  It will remain mostly cloudy with a slight chance of a shower in the morning.  It will be a chilly day with a northeast breeze, and temperatures topping out only near 50 degrees.  High pressure will take control of Stateline weather by Saturday.  It will be cool with night time temperatures in the middle 30's, and daytime highs in the middle 50's.  Temperatures will moderate into the low 60's by next Monday under sunny skies.

Wind continues today

A Wind Advisory has been issued for northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin through the afternoon and evening.  Strong southerly winds this morning will shift around to the northwest with the passage of a secondary cold front by this afternoon.  Once they do the wind speeds should come down some, but still range around 25 mph.  Right now sustained winds are 20 to 30 mph with gusts topping 35 mph and even 40 mph in some spots.

So why so much wind?  The low that was responsible for the severe weather outbreak in the Plains Saturday and all our rain over the weekend is lifting through northeast Wisconsin.  There are significant height rises right behind this low with high pressure building in central Canada.  The change in pressure over a short distance is causing our winds to become rather gusty, but once that low moves away the wind speeds should relax some going into the overnight. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Beneficial Rains... No Severe Weather!

Heavy rainfall was recorded at the Rockford airport on Saturday night.  With the additional rainfall that occurred on Sunday, a new record was set for April 15th of 2.26".   Beneficial rains of 1" to more than 2" soaked most of the Stateline during the past 24 hours.  Prior to this rainfall event, April was extremely dry with only 0.14" of rain reported up until this weekend.  There was some localized urban flooding, with flooding in Aldeen Park in Rockford, but no serious damage was reported.

An intense area of low pressure is spinning over southwestern Minnesota  late this evening.  A cool front is arching out in front of the low across central Wisconsin , and then southward across the Stateline, the southern tip of Illinois to the Texas gulf coast. Heavier rains have moved off to he northeast. It will be windy overnight, and there could still be a few scattered showers overnight that will last through the mid day hours on Monday. It will be windy overnight and Monday with winds gusting to 35 mph... first from the southwest, switching to the west by mid day Monday, and then the northwest by later Monday afternoon.  Daytime temperatures will hold in the 50's.  On Monday night a little bubble high from southern Canada will move from Minnesota across Wisconsin clearing skies, diminishing winds, and dropping temperatures into the middle 30's.  That will be cold enough for areas of frost after midnight.  The high will shift to Michigan on Tuesday, skies will be mostly sunny, and afternoon temperatures will warm close to 60 degrees in the afternoon.  Clouds will increase on Tuesday night as a pair of weather systems come together over the northern plains.  By Wednesday morning there will be  a low near Sioux Falls, South Dakota with a warm front draped to the southeast across Iowa into western Illinois.  It will be mostly cloudy on Wednesday with rain showers likely again.  There could be some widely scattered thunderstorms, too.  Showers may persist into Wednesday night.  Scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms will be possible on Thursday with the front stalling out across central Illinois.  High temperatures will be cooler... around 58 degrees.  It will be cooler yet on Friday under mostly cloudy skies with a northeast wind.  With the front lying across southern Illinois there will still be a chance of light rain.  The system will move off to the east, and high pressure will start to take control on Saturday.  It will be partly cloudy and cool with a high in the middle 50's.  Sunday will be mostly sunny, and the high will be 55 to 60 degrees.

Sunday afternoon update

6:15pm Update:  Conditions across northern Illinois are being monitored for a possible watch - however there is some uncertainty as to the coverage and intensity of possible storm development.

There have been some isolated storms that have developed southwest of Chicago and those are quickly (around 70 mph) racing northeast.  Because there are no focused boundaries in this area it's a little difficult to try and determine how the coverage of storms will continue into the evening.  Greatest threat for storms appears to be to our southeast.

While there are no severe storms currently, there are a few stronger storms just southwest of Davenport, IA quickly moving to the northeast around 90 mph.  With such a fast movement and strong winds aloft some of that wind speed may be transported to the surface.  Closest county in our area would be Whiteside county.

An elevated threat for stronger storms still exists for this afternoon but there are a few things we'll be watching closely to see how well storms develop.

1:00pm analysis: The cloud cover from storms overnight has cleared out over central Iowa and is starting to thin some across our area.  Low pressure in central Nebraska has been slow to move so far this morning but it will lift into the upper Midwest by late this afternoon and evening; as indicated by pressure falls in north-central Iowa.  Strong southwest winds have been transporting nearly 60° dew points into northern Illinois and with a little increase in the sunshine this will help the instability to rise some.  Looking at some of the mid-day soundings that have gone up and they show there is still a cap (or lid on the atmosphere) in place as warmer air is found aloft.  Closer to the low there are cooler temperatures aloft so those may move east with time into Iowa.  There is also a fairly significant vort max rounding the base of the upper level trough out of the central Plains pointing right into western Iowa.  This would be the area that I would anticipate storms to begin to develop; there are already a few building cumulus clouds noted on visible satellite.  If storms can initiate there they would quickly race east/northeast  most likely in a linear, or squall line, feature with damaging winds being the primary threat.

The biggest wild card will be just how quickly and where storms develop and what type of instability they'll have to work with once they form.  As of right now it doesn't appear as if storms would get here until after 3pm.

Very heavy rain falling

(2:08:41 AM) nwsbot: LOT issues Areal Flood Advisory for Boone, Cook, De Kalb, DuPage, Kane, Lake, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Winnebago [IL] till 5:00 AM CDT

Storms now entering into Woodstock and Harvard - will be near Sycamore and DeKalb shortly.

A line of stronger storms containing heavy rainfall, frequent lightning and gusty winds extends from near Capron south through Paw Paw and moving northeast at 50 mph. 

Severe Thunderstorm Watch cancelled for Carroll and Whiteside counties.  The storm that prompted the warning in Whiteside county has weakened some as it moves out of the area.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Whiteside county until 2am

1:00 am Update:  The rain that is currently falling is moving into a very moisture rich environment and with storms regenerating back in Iowa, it's possible up to another 1.5", or more, could fall within the next few hours.  The image on the left shows the precipitable water values (how much moisture storms have to work with in the atmosphere).  Notice how there is a bullseye of 1.4" over northwest Illinois. 

A line of heavier rain showers extends from Freeport southward into Ogle, Carroll and Whiteside counties.  Rainfall rates of over an inch per hour are likely.  This band has been intensifying a little as it's moving east.  Heavier rainfall is expected in Rockford shortly.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Saturday evening weather update

(12:27:55 AM) nwsbot: DVN: Mount Carroll [Carroll Co, IL] trained spotter reports HEAVY RAIN of M1.80 INCH at 14 Apr, 11:15 AM CDT -- rainfall amount in 1.25 hours, still raining. espotter report.

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch remains in effect for Carroll and Whiteside counties until 1am.  A few stronger storms have developed near Dixon extending northwest to Polo, Chadwick and Mt. Carroll.  There are currently NO warnings out but some of the stronger storms will have very heavy rain, small hail and gusty winds.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch issued for Carroll and Whiteside counties until 1 am.

Rain is now beginning to move across the Mississippi River with a few heavier showers near Dubuque, IA.  A few stronger storms have developed out ahead of the warm front southwest of Davenport and are moving northeast.

The bow echo that moved through Des Moines earlier this evening has held it's own as the low level jet is now beginning to pick up and is moving into Cedar Rapids.  The southern edge of the line of storms will continue to move east, however, the northern extent of the line is moving northeast.  We'll have to watch to see how each of these storms evolve as they move closer to the area.  Short term models are suggesting the line of storms near Cedar Rapids will hold together while crossing the Mississippi River before weakening some just south of Rockford around 2am.

Severe weather across the Plains

As of 7:30pm Saturday there have 55 reported tornadoes!

Twin tornadoes near Waynoka, OK this evening.  Caught on camera by SkyNews 9

Quiet Evening...Rainy Overnight...Stormy Sunday

8:15pm:  Eastern Iowa is currently being monitored for a potentail weather watch.  A bow echo has pushed through Des Moines, IA and may hold its own as it moves east.

7:30pm: A bow echo has developed south of Des Moines, IA right along the warm front and moving east/northeast.  Additional cells have developed in northeast Missouri and back in southeast Iowa.

Showers and thunderstorms continue across the Midwest and Plains this evening.  In fact, there have been over 35 tornadoes reported so far and I'm sure many more to come! 

A warm front draped across the Iowa/Missouri border will begin to lift north this evening and overnight.  Individual storms that formed out in western and central Iowa earlier this afternoon have now formed into a cluster of storms with the strongest of the cells along the southern edge; closet to the warm front.  As the front moves north, the rain will lift into northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.  Right now, it appears as if our western counties; Jo Daviess, Stephenson, Carroll and Whiteside would see the rain first...roughly about 10pm or so with everyone else experiencing the rain after 11pm.  While no severe weather is anticipated moderate to heavy rainfall and small hail would be the main concerns.  Rainfall rates of over an inch per hour could be possible overnight.  These showers look to persist through Sunday morning as the front moves into southern Wisconsin.

Once the rain moves out by morning our attention will then turn to the potential for severe weather Sunday afternoon and evening.  The low pressure responsible for the outbreak across the Plains Saturday will lift into southern Minnesota by early afternoon Sunday.  Depending on how quickly we can get rid of the morning cloud cover, the atmosphere is expected to become unstable as warm, moist air continues to get pumped in from the gulf.  As a cold front moves through Iowa individual storms may develop either along or right ahead of the front.  Current indications are suggesting there may be enough wind shear to allow for some of the storms to rotate and produce a tornado or two; especially closer to the low.  Other threats would be large hail, damaging winds and heavy rainfall.  Any individual storms that do develop would then form into a squall line in the evening and move east across north-central Illinois with damaging winds becoming the primary threat.  The front will pass after midnight Sunday ending any severe weather.

It's important for you to remain aware of the weather tonight and especially tomorrow.  We'll continue with updates on the blog as well as facebook and twitter.  The links for both are on the right hand side of this page.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Showers and Thunderstorms this Weekend.

The weather pattern has changed, and the cold air has moved off to the east. A series of disturbances will develop over the plains, and move northeast during the weekend. The winds have become southerly, and the Gulf of Mexico is opening up. The skies are cloudy, and the first rounds of showers have been light with rain falling into the retreating dry air at the surface with most of the rain evaporating. The atmosphere will become progressively more humid as the flow continues out of the Gulf overnight. There could be some scattered showers this evening, and possibly a thunderstorm later tonight. It will be much milder with an overnight low in the low 50's with southerly winds at 12 to 22 mph.  A warm front is approaching from the southwest tonight.  As the front gets closer chances of showers and thunderstorms will increase.  There is a low risk potential of a severe thunderstorm associated with the passage of the front and the associated disturbance.  The front will be to northeast of the Stateline by daybreak stretching from extreme eastern Wisconsin southeast across southern Lake Michigan into northern Indiana.  Showers thunderstorms could break out at any time in the warm, moist, unstable air mass.  It will be cloudy to mostly cloudy with a southerly wind of 10 to 20 mph with gusts to 25 mph in the afternoon.  The high temperature on Saturday will be around 73 degrees.  There will be a strong southerly wind on Saturday night and Sunday.  Heavy thunderstorms are possible on Saturday night. The low will be a very mild 61 degrees.  On Sunday the temperature is expected to soar to around 78 degrees.  Showers and storms are possible in the morning.   A squall line is expected to develop during the afternoon out ahead of an advancing cold front, and move across the Stateline later in the afternoon or evening.

Stormy weekend ahead; Strong to severe storms possible

The central and western U.S. remain unsettled as strong winds within the jet stream continue to fuel strong storms across the middle of the country.  A warm front lifting closer to the Great Lakes today will keep a few light to moderate showers in the forecast for this afternoon and evening.  Later tonight a storm complex is forecast to develop across Missouri and move northeast as the low level jet increases.  Thunderstorms containing heavy rainfall could be possible just to the south of Rockford overnight and into early Saturday morning.  Those storms should move east as the warm front, currently in western Iowa, moves into southern Wisconsin.  Another push of warm, moist air is expected to move in Saturday afternoon and this may allow for storms to redevelop across northern Illinois.  Meanwhile, a severe weather outbreak is possible in the Plains from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri and southwest Iowa as a dry line moves into the central and southern Plains.   If those storms hold together as they move east Saturday night there could be another storm complex that develops and lasts into Sunday morning.  The storm threat remains elevated for us on Saturday with hail, gusty winds and heavy rainfall all possible.

An area of low pressure will move into north-central Iowa by late Sunday afternoon with a cold front extending southward.  Should we see storms early Sunday morning and should they clear out in time for us to maximize daytime heating, thunderstorms will redevelop along and ahead of the cold front as there looks to be enough instability and wind shear within the atmosphere.  Hail, gusty winds, heavy rainfall and even an isolated tornado are all possible Sunday late afternoon and evening.  A slight risk of severe weather does exists for both Saturday and Sunday.  It's important to stay up to date with the forecast this weekend.  Updates will continue on the blog, facebook and twitter through the weekend. 

Rain on the horizon

The little sunshine we had earlier this morning will help temperatures reach the low 60s before holding steady by this afternoon. 

Showers, which had a few embedded thunderstorms earlier, continue to move east across the Mississippi River.  These have formed out ahead of a warm front that remains back in western Iowa as warmer air above moves into the Midwest.  Look for these showers to move east into north-central Illinois by this afternoon.  Anything you want to get done today I would say the sooner, the better.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

It's Dry... but Not For Long!

That persistent cold Canadian high has finally shifted off to the east so it will not be as cold tonight. High clouds from a system far to the west over the plains have already overspread the area. It will be partly cloudy overnight with stars visible through the clouds most of the time. Winds this early tonight will range from calm to light and variable becoming southeast 5-10 mph late tonight. The overnight low will be in the upper 30's. Clouds will gradually become more widespread as they lower and thicken on Friday. A weather system over the plains will take control of area weather for the weekend. Southerly winds will increase to 10 to 20 mph on Friday with some afternoon gusts near 30 mph. As moisture levels increase, so will chances for showers. There will be a slight chance during the morning hours on Friday, and a good chance during the afternoon. There might even be a stray thunderstorm. The high temperature on Friday will be around 62 degrees. There will be a good chance of showers and thunderstorms on Friday night with a warm front approaching the area from the west. It will move across the area early Saturday opening the area up to air from the Gulf of Mexico. There will be a chance of showers and thunderstorms on Saturday morning, and precipitation will be likely in the afternoon. It will be cloudy and warmer with a high in the low 70's. The unsettled weather will continue for the rest of the weekend, and with repeated clusters of showers and thunderstorms there is the potential of locally heavy rainfall. Just how much will be highly variable, but unless there are some major changes in the anticipated pattern, the rainfall in the next 5 days should average between 2" and 3" across the Stateline with most of it falling over the weekend.

Severe weather outbreak possible across the Plains this weekend

Enjoy the sunshine while we have it today because once we get into the weekend the sun may be hard to come by.

Winds in the upper level of the atmosphere will move from southwest to northeast as a strengthening trough of low pressure deepens in the west and a ridge of high pressure develops across the eastern U.S.  Moisture from the Gulf of Mexico will be in full swing as a series of low pressure systems develop in the base of the trough and lift into the Midwest.  Strong to severe storms will be possible today across parts of Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.  The threat for storms then shifts east tomorrow as a warm front and associated low pressure system move closer.  A few thunderstorms may be found here Friday into Friday night.  By Saturday, strong surface heating combined with copious amounts of moisture and increasing instability will potentially create an explosive environment for severe weather, including a tornado outbreak.  Already, three days out, the Storm Prediction Center has highlighted parts of the central Plains in a moderate risk for severe weather.

Closer to home there could be a few stronger storms along a warm front that is forecast to move through Saturday and that's why parts of northwest and north-central Illinois are in a slight risk.  Another threat this weekend is the rainfall.  It's hard at this point to try and pinpoint where exactly developing thunderstorm complexes will evolve and move but parts of southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois could end up with a healthy dose of rain.  The 5-day rainfall total (Thursday - next Tuesday) has roughly two to three inches rainfall accumulation.

FREEZE WARNING Again Tonight...

The icy ridge of Canadian high pressure is directly overhead tonight.  The skies are clear, and the wind is light.  All of the ingredients are in place  for another cold night for the Stateline.  So a FREEZE WARNING has been issued again. (This is the 3rd night in a row Freeze Warnings have been issued by the National Weather Service.)  Overnight low temperatures are expected to be in the middle to upper 20's.  A widespread frost is expected to develop overnight because of dew points that have risen into the middle 20's.  The frost will melt off by mid morning.  The high pressure ridge will shift off to the east by mid day  with a center over southern Indiana.  It will be sunny with a light southwesterly wind developing.   All in all it will turn out to be a pretty nice day with the afternoon temperature reaching near 60 degrees.  The southerly wind will pick up a little overnight on Thursday night, and clouds will increase as more moist air from the Gulf of Mexico begins to be tapped.  It will not be a cold with a low around 41 degrees.  On Friday the pressure gradient will tighten up between  retreating high pressure along the east coast and low pressure over the central plains.  A brisk southerly wind will blow at 15-25 mph with gusts above 30 mph during the afternoon.  It will be cloudy with a slight chance of showers in the morning, and a good chance of showers in the afternoon.  There might even be a stray thunderstorm.  The afternoon high on Friday will be around 60 degrees.  A warm front stretching from the central plains low to the low Mississippi valley early Friday will move toward the northeast, and push across the Stateline during the late night hours on Friday night.  Showers and thunderstorms will be likely on Friday night, Saturday, and Saturday night.  It will be cloudy, quite breezy, and warmer on Saturday with a high around 70 degrees.  The Stateline will be on the mild side on Saturday night.  The overnight low on Saturday night will be close to 60 degrees.  On Sunday a slow moving front located just northwest of the area will slowly slide southeast into north central Illinois.  It will be cloudy again with a good chance of more showers and thunderstorms.  The high temperature will be in the mid to upper 60's.  On Monday, the front will still be in the area as another disturbance approaches from the southwest.  More showers and thunderstorms are possible.  Lingering showers may persist off and on into Tuesday as the weather turns cooler once again.  Needless to say... with several days of repeating showers and thunderstorms over the weekend.....and showers continuing into early next week, heavy rainfall totals are possible.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Dry stretch of weather about to end this weekend

We've had some pretty dry days the past couple weeks but a change in the jet stream pattern will lift more gulf moisture northward just in time for the weekend.

High pressure will dominate the weather today and almost all of Thursday.  A developing trough of low pressure in the west will allow a series of low pressure systems to move from southwest to northeast through the weekend and into early next week.  The first shot of rain looks to arrive later in the day Friday along a warm front.  That front lifts into Wisconsin Friday night with a cold front pulling through during the overnight.  The threat for thunderstorms will last into Saturday morning before the front stalls to the south.  Another low will develop lifting the front back north as a warm front late Saturday afternoon with storms likely Saturday evening into Saturday night.  At the same time another low will develop on the front range of the Rockies lifting northeast pulling yet another warm front through Illinois.  With each system that passes gulf moisture will continue to be pulled northward with potentially over an inch or two of rainfall accumulating from Friday through early next week.  A lot of the fine details still need to be ironed out and will as we get closer to the weekend, but it looks like we may be in for a soggy and likely stormy first part of next.

Last night of below freezing temperatures

It was a cold one this morning as the mercury fell to 27° in Rockford; the coldest since March 10th!  Lots of sunshine and plenty of dry air in place should allow for highs to rise nicely into the low to mid 50s by this afternoon. 

With high pressure moving overhead tonight winds will go calm for a short time before shifting to the southeast.  Once the sun sets tonight the temperature will likely drop quickly due to the dry air in place and calmer wind.  Temperatures could once again fall back into the upper 20s under clear skies and light winds.  As a result another Freeze Warning has been issued for northern Illinois for tonight.  This will be the last night of potential temperatures dropping below freezing.  Winds will shift around to the south and southwest going into the weekend which will keep overnight lows in the 40s and 50s.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


A cold ridge of Canadian high pressure remains to the west of the Stateline stretching from central Canada southward along the Minnesota/North Dakota border across northwestern Iowa to southwestern Missouri. This ridge continues to be the dominate weather maker for the mid west. The northwest air flow is cold with low humidity levels. Skies will clear after sunset, and temperatures will plummet. So, a FREEZE WARNING has been issued again tonight with overnight lows expected to be in the upper 20's. It will be mostly sunny and cool on Wednesday with a high in the low 50's.  With the ridge slowly nudging it's way eastward, the winds will not be as strong... though still north to northwest at 6 to 12 mph.  On Wednesday night the high will pass over the Stateline, skies will be clear, winds will be light, and it will be cold again with areas of frost developing after midnight as temperatures drop into the upper 20's toward daybreak.  With the ridge to the east of the area on Thursday, winds will become light southerly.  Skies will start off sunny in the morning, but become partly cloudy in the afternoon.  A system over the Rockies will edge into Nebraska by early Friday morning with a warm front stretching to the southeast across Kansas into southeast Arkansas.  The southerly air flow from the Gulf of Mexico will bring increasing moisture northward  into the mid west.  Skies will become mostly cloudy on Friday, and there will be a good chance of showers, and possibly even an isolated thunderstorm to the Stateline before the day is over.   Showers and thunderstorms will be likely on Friday night and Saturday as the warm front moves into Illinois, and then northward across the area on Saturday.  Skies will be mostly cloudy, and it will be warmer with a high  near 70 degrees.  It will be mild with more showers and thunderstorms  on Saturday night.  The mostly cloudy skies will continue on Sunday.  With a front lying just to the northwest of the area it will still be warm on Sunday with a chance of more showers and thunderstorms.

Couple more cold nights ahead

A Freeze Warning has once again been issued for counties in northern Illinois including: Jo Daviess, Stephenson, Carroll, Whiteside, Winnebago, Boone, Ogle, Lee and DeKalb.  A Freeze Watch has been issued for McHenry county.  Temperatures tonight will fall back into the upper 20s/low 30s with high pressure moving closer.  One thing we'll have to watch overnight is if any clouds develop.  Right now, there are a few upper level disturbances rotating around the main low in Canada.  It appears as if the cloud cover will remain to the north and east, but should they move closer it would help keep temperatures up a bit overnight. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

A Bonified Cold Snap... Freeze Warning Overnight

It hasn't happened very often during the past 5 months, but an area of high pressure over central Canada is driving late season arctic air across the Canadian border into the north central United States.  A FREEZE WARNING has been issued for the overnight hours through 9 am for south central, and southwestern Wisconsin, and north central Illinois.  The FREEZE WARNING ends an hour earlier at 8am across northwestern Illinois.  Overnight temperatures will drop into the upper 20's to the low 30's.  The cold temperatures may do damage to area fruit trees in bud or blossom to past blossom stage.  This cold snap may cause temperatures to be at, or slightly below freezing again on Tuesday and Wednesday nights with a threat of frost as the winds die down.  The high pressure ridge will remain to the west on Tuesday, and the pressure gradient will be rather strong once again, so the wind will pick up from the northwest by  mid day and will be 15 to 25 mph by mid afternoon with gusts to 35 mph.  It will be sunny, but cool, with an afternoon high only in the upper 40's.  It will be clear Tuesday night and cold with a low near 29 degrees.  On Wednesday the Canadian high pressure ridge will nudge in a little closer from the west, the wind still be northerly, and the skies will be sunny.  Temperatures will start to head back up, and the afternoon high will be in the middle 50's, but back down in the low 30's on Wednesday night as the high pressure ridge passes overhead, and moves to our east by Thursday morning.  Thursday will start off sunny, but it will become partly sunny in the afternoon as southerly winds begin to pick up Gulf Moisture in advance of a deepening storm system over the Rockies.  The is a slight chance of a couple of showers on Thursday night as the southerly winds continue, and the temperature holds in the low 40's.  The moderating temperature trend will continue on Friday as a storm system over northwestern Kansas continues to draw warmer and more moist air northward into the Stateline.  There will be a good chance of showers and thunderstorms from time to time from Friday through Sunday with the systems to the west slowly edging into the Stateline.  High temperatures will warm into the low 70's over the weekend.

Winds pick up today; Chills found the next few nights

The beautiful weekend weather will continue once again this afternoon.  With sun-filled skies this morning temperatures will reach the low 60s with a few fair weather cumulus clouds later in the day.  By early this afternoon winds will increase from the northwest with gusts as high as 35 mph.  The wind combined with dry vegetation and low relative humidity will create a higher fire danger going into the afternoon.  It's best to hold off on any outdoor burning today. 

A secondary cold front will come through later today pulling down an even drier and colder air mass.  Winds will remain somewhat elevated tonight, but the potential is there for temperatures to drop below freezing a few hours before sunrise Tuesday morning.  As a result, A Freeze Warning has been issued for Stephenson, Jo Daviess and Carroll counties in northwest Illinois and for Green County in southwest Wisconsin.  Meanwhile, a Freeze Watch has been isssued for Winnebago, Boone, Ogle, Lee, DeKalb and Whiteside counties.  As the center of high pressure moves closer Tuesday night and especially by Wednesday night there is a possibility that the mercury could drop into the upper 20s both nights.  Freeze headlines will likely be issued for those nights as well.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Here Comes the Canadian Air Again!

The lower atmosphere was very dry across the Stateline this afternoon with the relative humidity running a very low 20 to 25%. So, when a relatively strong mid level disturbance approached from southeastern Minnesota this evening all it could produce was virga with a couple of drops actually reaching the ground before evaporating. That disturbance, and the clouds associated with it will move off to the east leaving skies mostly clear later tonight. The overnight low will be near 39 degrees. The very dry air will be in place again on Monday, and a re-enforcing cold front will move through in the middle of the day. It will be mostly sunny with a high around 59 degrees. The temperatures are expected to begin dropping by early to mid afternoon with the passage of the front. It will become quite windy, too, with winds picking up to 20 to 30 mph in the afternoon with gusts as high as 35 mph. It will be mostly clear and breezy on Monday evening. The wind will subside overnight, but will remain breezy enough to prevent frost formation, even though the temperature may drop as low as 30 degrees by daybreak on Tuesday.  A large Canadian high ridging from central Canada southward across the northern plains will have a relative tight gradient across the upper mid west. That means that colder Canadian air will pour into the Stateline through Wednesday. Temperatures at night will be close to, or slightly below freezing, on Tuesday and Wednesday night.  The best chance for a heavy frost will be on Wednesday night when the skies will be clear, and the winds light with the high passing overhead.  It will still be mostly sunny early on Thursday, but the wind will shift to the south, and clouds will increase in the afternoon.  It will be warmer on Thursday with a high in the upper 50's.  A flow of moisture out of the western Gulf of Mexico will begin reaching the Stateline on Thursday night.  Scattered showers will be possible overnight.  On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday a complex area of weather systems will develop, and hold to our west.  The Gulf of Mexico will remain open.  Skies will be mostly cloudy with chances of showers and thunderstorms each day.  There is the possibility that some of these thunderstorms will quite strong capable of producing heavy rains.  Temperatures will be mild, topping out in the upper 60's on Saturday and Sunday.

Increased Fire Risk Today

A Red Flag Warning has been issued for Green, Rock and Walworth counties in southern Wisconsin along with Winnebago, Boone, McHenry, Ogle and DeKalb counties in Illinois.  Lee County remains under a Fire Weather Watch.  

While we'll enjoy a beautiful Easter day, low relative humidity combined with a gusty northwest wind and fairly dry soil conditions will help create an increased risk of rapid fire growth.  Any outdoor burning should NOT be done today.  Similar conditions may occur again Monday. 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Cool Week Ahead

After temperatures Sunday afternoon reach the low 60s a secondary cold front will quickly move out of Canada late Sunday night.  As it does, look for increasing cloud cover by Sunday evening with a few showers east of the Stateline.  These showers could last into Monday morning but skies should clear going into the afternoon.  Winds will remain gusty from the northwest and with the passage of the second front, temperatures will likely fall through day.  Wind speeds should remain elevated Monday night so the frost potential looks to be limited, however, by Tuesday night the center of the high pressure ridge will move closer allowing winds to calm some.  Temperatures could very well fall into the upper 20s by Wednesday morning!  The frost potential remains Wednesday night before winds shift around to the south ahead of low pressure at the end of the week.