Saturday, December 9, 2017

The Forecast for Snow Lovers

 It's officially winter now as we've gotten our first official snowfall of the season!! Our area got anywhere from .2 to .4 inches, with a couple areas of De Kalb ending up with half an inch.  Luckily the accumulation was small enough to where the roads were easily cleared.  However, there are still a few slick spots out there, so continue to take precaution.

Clouds will be building up later this evening, paving the way for more of the white particles that we'll see tonight.  However, it'll only be flurries, with chances kicking in after midnight until after 3am.  Our snow lovers are in luck, because multiple snow chances are on the way.

This low pressure system, which will move in early Monday morning, will bring a warm front that'll generate some snow showers up in Wisconsin.

However, this cold front will be what pushes that snow into our area Monday evening.  At this point it's only expected to last a couple hours, not as long as it did Friday night, so accumulations will more than likely be smaller.

Along with that, we've got a pattern set up next week that will allow for multiple systems to pass through our area.  Thus, the multiple snow chances.

It all starts with this high pressure system, which is anchored out over the western half of the U.S.  This is the same high that is causing the wild fires to occur in California, allowing for the Santa Ana winds to generate.  This high will keep the jet stream flowing north of the western U.S.

The eastern portion of the U.S. is influenced by this extension of the Polar Vortex.  This is allowing the jet stream to dip down into the deep south, keeping much of the eastern U.S. with wintry weather. 

This setup will allow the jet stream to travel over our area, which will allow any system that forms to pass over us.  This pattern will stay active through most of next week, keeping those snow chances with us into next weekend.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Let It Snow.....Let It Snow!

Temperatures made it back towards average, although that doesn't mean much as it was still a winter-like day outside.  However, we've got another wintry presence on the way....snow!  A mid-level trough to the north in Wisconsin is pushing some snow towards our area, which will be arriving later tonight, mainly after 10pm.

We can expect to see some flurries in the meantime, which are already starting to push into southern Wisconsin.  Those flurries will start to push southward after 9pm.

The overnight is when we'll start to see that light snowfall push across the stateline, with the light snow becoming more scattered around 1am.  After that, the snow will stay with us for the rest of the overnight, dying down to flurries by early Saturday morning, and clearing out by around 9am.

The good news is that the bulk of the snow from this system will be falling over in Michigan, where some areas along the coast of Lake Michigan will end up seeing around 3 inches of snow.  Central Michigan looks to see 2.5 inches, while the eastern portion looks to see up to 1.5 inches.

As for us, we're only expecting a small half inch.  However, keep in mind that this is the first snowfall of the season, and many of us haven't driven in snow since last winter.  Also, temperatures will be below freezing most of this weekend, which means the snow is going to stick to the roads, so be sure to take it slow when driving this weekend.

Throughout the weekend we'll see mostly cloudy skies, with only a few peaks of sunshine here and there.  We'll hit the upper 20's Saturday afternoon, but get a little warmer on Sunday in the mid 30's.  By Monday, another Low pressure system will move in, and bring us more snow during the evening hours.

Tuesday is looking to see sunny, but it'll be chilly with highs only in the low 20's.  Afterwards, we'll have more snow chances through Friday.

Stateline Snow

It will finally start to look like the holiday season by tomorrow morning, with accumulating snow arriving Friday evening.

A clipper like low will dig south from Canada today and will slide south along Lake Michigan into Saturday and then move east through the afternoon. Most of the day will stay dry, and then the accumulating snow starting this evening. Most of the snow will fall overnight, but some snow will start around 9/10pm, especially for southern Wisconsin and will fall through the early morning hours on Saturday. You'll wake up to about .5"-1.5" of snow Saturday morning, but up to about 2" is possible across the area. Higher totals, up to 3" are possible closer to the Chicago area. The farther west that you head, the lighter snow you'll notice.

Snow will be out of the area by early Saturday, but you'll want to take it slow Saturday morning if you're out and about. Watch out for slick roads and other drivers, as we all try to remember our winter driving skills!

Southern Snow

As you saw in the previous post, the folks in Texas are picking up on some December snow fall! Winter Weather Advisories and Winter Storm Warnings this morning are in place from south Texas, up through Louisiana and the southeast! While it's rare for south Texas to see snow, it does happen! The last time Corpus Christi saw snow? Almost 15 years ago, on Christmas day in 2004 they got 4.4". This low is continuing to bring accumulating snow to the southeast.

Though for us in the Stateline, we technically have a snow deficit. Typically by this time in December, our snow totals reach 2.1", but we've only picked up .2". That brings our snow deficit to a little under 2", but that will change tonight!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Accumulating Snow Falling in South Texas

The cold weather has a firm grip on a good portion of the lower 48 with the chill being felt all the way down in South Texas.  There are reports of snow beginning to accumulate on grassy surfaces in San Antonio Thursday evening, with light accumulating snow likely through the overnight.  In fact, it looks like the folks of South Texas will receive their first accumulating snow before cities out in the Northeast!  Snowfall totals for places like San Antonio and Corpus Christi could range anywhere from a dusting, up to two inches.

Winter Storm Warnings, Winter Weather Advisories and Freeze Warnings have been posted from South Texas, all the way up through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and northern Georgia.  A couple inches of snow could accumulate between now and Friday evening along the south.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Minor Accumulating Snow Possible Friday Night

Temperatures heading into the weekend will be cold enough to support minor accumulating snow Friday night and early Saturday morning.  We have had snow late this Fall season, but most of what fell accumulated on grassy surfaces and was gone by that afternoon.  What is expected to come in Friday night will most likely stick on sidewalks and roadways, and could cause some slick spots early Saturday morning.

A fast moving clipper system, currently near Alaska, will quickly move through Canada and into the Upper Midwest by Friday morning.  This will cause an area of low pressure to develop over Minnesota and slide southward into Wisconsin and over Lake Michigan by Saturday morning.

There isn't a great deal of moisture with this system, but just enough to possibly cause half an inch, up to two inches, of snow to accumulate.  Higher snow totals will most likely be near Chicago and northwest Indiana, closer to the center of low pressure system, with lighter totals found to the west.

Following the snow will be another shot of cold air Saturday.  Temperatures on Saturday will only warm into the 20's.  A second system worth monitoring does move in on Monday, and then again Tuesday night into Wednesday. 

Winter Pattern Continues into the Weekend

A typical winter pattern is in place in the upper levels of the atmosphere, keeping chills in place over the Stateline. A northwest flow pattern aloft allows the chilly air mass to the north to spread south across the East Coast and through the Midwest, while the West Coast is dry and warm.

Temperatures under this chilly pattern will remain below average through the weekend, and into next week as well. Through Saturday temperatures will hover between five to ten degrees below the average. The average this time of year is between 34°-36° for northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.

Not only does this flow pattern keep chilly winter temperatures around, but it also brings the threat for scattered flurry and snow chances into the forecast. Like this morning, tonight will feature another chance for flurries to fly. A weak disturbance will head south from Canada and move through the Plains, into Iowa, and then just south of the area. With that, there is just enough saturation occurring to allow for some flurries tonight into tomorrow morning. We won't see any accumulations with this.

There is a chance for accumulating snow by Saturday, though it looks to be relatively minor. Another, and more potent wave, will dive south from Canada and over the Great Lakes region. This will bring the clouds in by Friday, and the chance for light snow Friday night into Saturday morning. Again accumulations look to remain minor into the weekend, but it does depend on the position of the wave low. We will make sure to keep you posted if this changes as we get closer to the weekend.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Winter is Settling In

Not exactly what we wanted to see this time of year: cold temperatures and strong winds!  This being a recipe for some brutally cold temperatures than many of us aren't ready for.  Regardless, it happened today, with wind chills being in the teens this afternoon because of the 40 mph wind gusts.  However, we hit our peak wind 11pm Monday night when a report came in of a 56mph wind gust in the Rockford area.

Winds have died down since then, but it'll still be a little breezy during the overnight, which is going to keep our wind chills in the single digits during the overnight tonight, even though your thermometers will say low 20's.  We've also got a chance for seeing a few snow flurries during the overnight, mainly between midnight and about 3am.  After that, the skies will clear again and we'll be greeted with more sunshine Wednesday morning.

As we go through the rest of the week, this occluding low pressure system will continue to push cold air into our area.  This is the same low pressure system that's been bringing us cold temperatures the past several days now.  An occluding low pressure system means that what we're seeing at the surface of the earth is the same as what we're seeing at the mid and upper levels of the atmosphere.

So what you see in the picture above is happening at all levels of the atmosphere, so you can imagine why our temperatures have taken a massive plunge lately, and why they will continue to do so.

However, we do have some good news for snow lovers, as this low will also allow for snow chances coming up this Friday!  At this point we're expecting a light snowfall, with accumulations looking to be around half an inch.  The snow is expected to start late afternoon Friday, and looks to continue into the overnight.

By the time we reach the weekend, temperatures will stay in the 20's, until we get to Sunday which is when we'll get a little relief by seeing temperatures in the 30's again.  The 30's stay with us into Monday, before another trough passes to bring us more cold air and bring us back into the 20's for Tuesday.

Another Windy Day Ahead

It was a windy but warm afternoon yesterday, with southerly winds bringing high temperatures into the low 60's yesterday afternoon. This was very close to our record high of 65° for that day.

Today we do somewhat of a weather 180 with sunshine and much colder temperatures. It will also continue to be very windy this afternoon.

The wind advisory from yesterday has been extended through 6pm this evening with westerly winds gusting near 40-45mph this afternoon. Winds will begin to die down this evening, but it will still be blustery with west winds gusting near 30mph.

The National Weather Service reporting peak winds gusts in Rockford were recorded at 56mph at the Rockford Airport a little after 11:00pm last night.

Be careful and use caution this afternoon and evening while driving. There will be difficult driving conditions because of the strong winds, especially on north/south roads. Also be careful if you are driving a high profile vehicle. 

The strong winds are the result of a very strong low pressure system that passed to our north yesterday. It's currently positioned just north of Lake Superior this morning, but is still forecast to strengthen this afternoon. This will tighten the pressure gradient over the area and will re-strengthen the winds for the late morning and afternoon today. Strong westerly winds will be felt behind the cold front, through Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois.

This strong cold front also brought a drastic drop to temperatures this morning, by 7pm last night temperatures were still in the low 60's, they've now fallen into the 20's area wide. And the 24-hour temperature change shows morning temperatures about 20-30 degrees colder.

The chilly air sticks around through the rest of this week and into next week as well. Highs will remain below normal in the 20's and 30's through the weekend.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Strong Thunderstorms Possible Monday Evening

A narrow line of thunderstorms will move through northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin Monday evening.  The overall severe threat will remain low, but thunderstorms containing strong wind gusts over 50 mph are possible with some of the stronger thunderstorms.

Thunderstorms will move through between 6pm and 10pm Monday evening.  After that the cold front will have passed, bringing in a much cooler air mass for Tuesday morning.

Instability remains low over the Stateline due to the abundance of cloud cover we had earlier in the day.  But there is a little instability just a couple thousand feet above the surface of the earth (areas highlighted in green on the map to the left).  That, combine with winds over 50-60mph, will help sustain this
line of storms through the evening.

Once this line of storms passes our skies will begin clearing out.  But winds will remain strong through Tuesday morning.  Temperatures will quickly fall from the 60's Monday evening, down into the 30's by Tuesday morning.

Rain and Thunder Possible today

Through sunrise this morning, there were a few scattered showers and rumbles of thunder across northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. While there is still the possibility for a few spotty and light showers this afternoon, rain will be a lot more likely by this evening.

A strong cold front will sweep across the area this evening, but ahead of that showers and even embedded storms will develop and move through. Storms will develop this afternoon across Iowa and will move across the Stateline around dinner time. The main threat in any showers or storms will be strong gusty winds along with occasional lightning.

The threat for rain doesn't last long, and will be out of the area before midnight tonight as dry air enters the area. This will help to clear skies tonight, but will make it chilly tomorrow morning with temperatures falling into the upper 20's!

Temperatures fall through the rest of the week, but on the north side of this system there are getting several inches of snow. With strong winds following this deepening low, there are blizzard warnings across the Northern Plains and western Minnesota with whiteout conditions possible.

Wind Advisory Monday through Tuesday Morning

You're walking out the door to howling winds this Monday morning. On the southern side of a warm front, southerly winds are sustained around 25mph, but are gusting near 35mph. Through the afternoon, winds will continue to strengthen and will gust near 40mph. This has prompted a Wind Advisory to go into effect through southern Wisconsin, along with Winnebago, Boone, Ogle, Lee, DeKalb, and McHenry county through 6am Tuesday morning.

If you spent the weekend prepping for the holiday by decorating your yard, you'll want to make sure all of your decorations are secure through the overnight as winds continue to gust near 40-45mph! Especially if you have inflatable holiday decorations.

Even though the Wind Advisory expires tomorrow morning, Tuesday will still be another windy day. Winds will turn to the west behind the cold front tonight, and then to the west northwest late Tuesday. Sustained winds still sit near 15-25mph, with the potential to gust near 35mph to 40mph. Winds this strong would prompt another wind advisory, if it were to continue as forecast. We'll make sure to keep you posted if the advisory gets extended!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

December Chill Brings Increasing Chance for Snow

December 1st was not only the beginning of Meteorological Winter, but also the beginning of what is usually our snowiest month of the winter season.  On average, the month of December typically brings a little over 11 inches of snowfall.  Of course we know that much more can fall during the month, or a lot less.

As temperatures turn considerably colder this week the chance for snow over the next several weeks will also be increasing.  With cold air locked in place, any moisture that interacts with the cold will most likely bring snow, rather than rain.

While there are no major snowfalls on the horizon, a few flurries could fly Tuesday afternoon and then again Friday.  Friday may hold a better chance for snowfall as an area of low pressure moves through the Great Lakes.  High temperatures this week will be struggling to make it above freezing (32 degrees)!

Winds Whip Up Sunday Night

Temperatures over the weekend warmed into the mid and upper 50's, but the warmth will soon be coming to an end this week.

A strong area of low pressure developing over the northern Rockies will quickly race east Sunday night and Monday morning.  As it does winds are expected to increase from the south, gusting as high as 30 mph, during the overnight Sunday.  This will help keep temperatures in the upper 40's and low 50's through Monday morning!

South winds will continue Monday, but are expected to increase as low pressure moves further east into Canada.  Rain showers will also be likely Monday morning, and then again Monday afternoon and evening.  There could even be a few cracks of thunder.

Winds will also be increasing Monday afternoon and evening, especially with the arrival of a cold front.  Severe weather is not expected, but with such a strong wind field not that far above the surface, any strong or heavier rain shower Monday evening could help transport that wind down to the surface. 

Winds will then shift around to the west Monday night following the passage of the cold front, and remain gusty through Tuesday afternoon.  Wind gusts anywhere from 35mph-40mph will be possible Monday afternoon through Tuesday afternoon.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Winter's Right Around the Corner

A fun start to the weekend with the mid 50's and sunshine hanging around a little longer after yesterday, and they'll be hanging with us tomorrow as well!! This high pressure system to the southeast has been the cause for the nice weather.  It's cleared the skies and has pulled some warm air into our area.  We can expect the same weather for Sunday, only in the upper 50's instead!

Once we get into Sunday evening, we'll see this low pressure system move towards our area.  However, our rain chances won't kick in until the overnight when the warm front pushes through our area.  This will keep overnight temperatures in the mid 40's, and set up the low 60's that we'll be seeing on Monday.  Sadly, the rain will be sticking with us through Monday.

Once we get to Monday evening, that cold front will move into our area.  This will increase our chances for some heavier showers, as well as bring us chances for some thunder.  We're not expecting any severe weather, but we may get some gusty winds when the front passes over.  However, this cold front will be doing much more than bringing chances for heavy showers.

Once we get into Tuesday morning, cold air will begin piling in behind the front.....VERY cold air.  In fact, this air will be coming from the arctic, due to a high pressure system up in Canada that'll allow the arctic air to channel down towards us.

Along with that, the low pressure system will be occluding, which means that cold air will be moving into our area at all levels of the atmosphere.  This will create a 'wall' of cold air that will keep piling on us going through the rest of the week.

The jet stream will also play a big role in the cooldown.  A high pressure system to the southwest will push the jet northward, while the low to the northeast will push it southward.  This creates a barrier that'll keep the cold air in our area, and allow any system that travels over our area to only bring in more cold air.

With all that in mind, temperatures will eventually drop into the 20's by the end of next week.  We'll get some sunshine to start the cooldown on Tuesday and Wednesday, with highs only in the 30's before hitting the upper 20's on Thursday and then the mid 20's by Friday and Saturday.

Another low will track over us by the end of the week, and bring us our first chances for snow next Friday.

Friday, December 1, 2017

A Warm Weekend with Winter on the Prowl

It's hard to believe that it's Meteorological Winter when we start off in the low 50's for the highs, but it happened!  A warm, beautiful Friday with lots of sunshine to accompany the warmth.  Luckily, the overnight will be warmer than average as well, only dipping to the low 30's as opposed to the mid 20's.

This is actually one of the warmer starts to Meteorological Winter that we've seen in the past few years, the warmest being back in 2013 when we had 44° for our high and the coldest being in 2014 when we only had 20° for the high.

That nice, beautiful weather will be staying with us going into the weekend, hitting the low 50's again tomorrow and sunshine sticking around.  The same will occur on Sunday, except climbing to the mid 50's during the afternoon.

Once we get into the work week we'll see a low pressure system pull warmer air into our area, bringing temperatures near 60° during Monday afternoon.  Unfortunately, it'll bring some showers with it as lots of moisture will be pulled in with the warmth.

You'll want to enjoy the nice weekend while you can, because not only do we have rain to start the work week, but we've got a big taste of winter coming our way.

That same low pressure system will bring a strong cold front through our area, and the low will also occlude.  This means that the same thing is happening at all levels of the atmosphere.  Because of this, a 'wall' of cold air will be moving in, drastically dropping our temperatures towards the middle of next week.

Not only that, but the placement of a high pressure system to the southwest will allow for an orientation in the jet stream that will keep the cold coming our area.  Along with the jet taking a massive dip over the Midwest, the path of the jet stream will allow any system that comes towards us to come down from the north.  This will keep the cold air filtering through our area from the middle of the week to the end of the week.

The continuous inflow of cold air will allow for high temperatures to only get into the mid to upper 20's by the end of the week, with overnight temperatures looking to dip into the teens.

Not only that, but with this cold inflow another low pressure system will move in, and bring us our first chances for snow by the end of the week!