Friday, March 29, 2019

Sunshine Starts the Day Friday, but Rainfall Moves in by the Evening

A few light showers moved through early Friday morning but skies are now clearing with sunshine expected through Friday early afternoon.

A cold front passed Thursday afternoon but that didn't stop temperatures from warming into the low to mid 60s.  Temperatures Friday morning have fallen into the mid 30s area wide but will rise quickly as sunshine starts the day.

Low pressure will move closer to the Stateline Friday afternoon and evening.  Cloud cover will increase during the afternoon with light rain beginning to develop from west to east between the I-88 corridor.  Rainfall totals will be less further north, between a quarter of an inch to half an inch.
4pm and 6pm.  Heavier rainfall is still expected to fall to the south with rainfall totals reaching three quarters of an inch on either side of

Soil moisture remains high, within the 99th percentile, so runoff is likely with any rain that does fall.  There shouldn't be too much of an impact on rivers but ponding and standing water will be possible, especially south of Rockford.

Rain will continue into Friday night with a slight chance for a rain/snow mix early Saturday.  Drier air moves in Saturday with skies turning partly cloudy by the afternoon.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Showers, Isolated Storms, Move in Wednesday Evening

The radar is beginning to get a little more active Wednesday evening as showers and isolated thunderstorms move into northwest and north-central Illinois.  Severe weather isn't expected, but some of the rainfall could be heavy at times.

A warm front lifted north of the area Wednesday afternoon bringing temperatures into the upper 50s and low 60s.  Winds remain gusty Wednesday evening and as winds just a few thousand feet above the surface begin to increase, rain showers and thunderstorms have also increased.  There is a little elevated instability, but nothing that would prompt any severe weather.  Some of the stronger storm cells may produce pea sized hail, but most likely will have heavier rainfall.

Once this line passes there will remain a few scattered showers during the overnight.  Skies will remain mostly cloudy with temperatures holding right around 50 degrees.

Warm & Windy Wednesday, Late Week Rainfall Update

We have had a stretch of beautiful weather the past few days as high pressure had settled over the region. This morning, we started out mostly clear, but that high pressure system has moved  off towards the Mid-Atlantic allowing some clouds to make their way in.

Now, our focus turns to a warm front that is draped over the upper Midwest. As we head into this afternoon, a low pressure will pull this warm front across Minnesota, southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

This will allow temperatures to warm up into the upper 50's and we could even see some spots push the low 60's for highs across the Stateline. Temperatures already have warmed up into the upper 40's with Galena reporting 50°.

Along with the warm temperatures, winds will also ramp up this afternoon. The tight pressure gradient associated with the warm front and the low pressure system will result in wind gusts pushing 25 to 30 mph. We expect winds to strengthen after noontime today with the highest wind gusts happening between 2 and 6 PM.

Next in line is a cold front that is set to move through the region early tomorrow morning. We could see a few showers pop up ahead of this front. But as this frontal boundary sinks to the south, it will begin to stall out somewhere in central Illinois. Once it does, it will pull an abundant amount of moisture from the south which will lead to rain, heavy at times on Friday.

Forecast models are a little bit more south with the heaviest rainfall totals. Overall, still could see between .50" - 1.5" here in the Stateline. Higher rainfall totals up to 2" will be towards the south. With how dry we have been the past week, river levels have improved significantly along the Rock & Pecatonica Rivers. This additional rainfall could cause an uptick in river levels as well as some localized flooding.


White Sox Forecast:
It looks like it's going to be a wet start to the season for the Chicago White Sox! They open up the season against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Game time is at 3:15 PM! Hopefully we can get this game in, but with rain in the forecast, there is a good possibility of it being postponed.

Chicago Cubs Forecast:
The Cubs take a trip down to Arlington, TX for their season open. They take on the Texas Rangers at 3:05 PM. Looks like a beautiful day for some baseball with temperatures at 75° with breezy conditions!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Windy and Warmer Wednesday Afternoon

Southerly winds increase Wednesday afternoon as high pressure settles into the southeast and low pressure approaches from the northwest. 

Temperatures Tuesday afternoon warmed into the middle and upper 40s, with a few locations reaching 50 degrees!  Under mainly clear skies Tuesday night, temperatures will once again fall into the 20s before rising into the low 30s by Wednesday morning.  As high pressure slides to the southeast during the morning, low pressure will begin to move across the Upper Midwest pulling a warm front through Minnesota, Wisconsin and northern Illinois.  The difference in pressure between the two will cause winds to increase during the afternoon over Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois.  Wind gusts will reach 30-35 mph throughout the day.

The increasing wind will also help push temperatures into the upper 50s, to near 60 degrees during the afternoon.  It should still be a nice afternoon to enjoy, as most of the rain will hold off until later in the evening.  But if you're thinking about doing any outdoor burning tomorrow, it will probably be a good idea to hold off because of the gusty winds.

Rain Chances Increase Heading into the Weekend!

High pressure continues to dominate the region today bringing not only more sunshine to the Stateline, but Spring-like conditions. With less of a breeze outside, it will feel much more comfortable out there Definitely a beautiful day to go outside to the park, maybe walk your dog, or to just relax!

As we take a live look at our Mercyhealth skycam in Rochelle, just a few passing high clouds, but abundant sunshine!

This dry stretch has definitely helped river levels recede over the past week. In fact, the Rock River in Rockton has just been downgraded to the minor category as of this morning. Latham Park still holding at moderate flood stage.

However, the Pecatonica has seen the most improvement as of recent with both Freeport and Shirland now below moderate flood levels! High pressure will keep us dry through Wednesday night!

We will see a change in the weather pattern as we head closer to the weekend. Rain chances increase starting with a few passing showers late Wednesday night and into the morning on Thursday.

The chances for rain will continue through the day  ahead of a cold front that will pass through our region during the early parts of afternoon on Thursday.We could even see a few rumbles of thunder Thursday morning.

Now, the key factor as to who receives the heaviest amount of rain is the location of the frontal boundary when it stalls. Most models are in agreement that the frontal boundary will stall over central Illinois. Then it will lift slightly to the north as a warm front allowing an abundance of moisture to be pulled in from the south.

This will lead to a heightened potential for heavy rainfall through Friday night. Overall, it's still looking like we still end up with an 1" or 2" here in the Stateline with higher amounts down towards the south.  This could lead to a spike in river levels as well as some localized flooding in a few spots across the region.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Late Week Rainfall Could Lead to Additional River, Low-Lying, Flooding

River levels continues to recede but upcoming rainfall by the end of the week could cause some local creeks, streams and rivers to rise again.

Most points along the Rock and Pecatonica river basin have fallen into either minor or moderate flood stage, making quite a bit of progress over the weekend.  The rain that came down Sunday afternoon and evening remained mostly under a quarter of an inch, having little impact on river levels.

Skies will remain dry through Tuesday night with a slight chance for light rain Wednesday afternoon and evening.  The rain chance will increase Thursday ahead of a cold front that will pass through the Stateline early afternoon.  Ahead of the front, light rain and even a rumble of thunder or two, will be possible.  The front will push south Thursday night taking the rain threat south with it.

The chance for rain begins to ramp back up during the day Friday and Friday evening as the front is pulled back north as a warm front.  An abundance of moisture will lift into central and northern Illinois leading to the potential for heavy rainfall through Friday night.  Rainfall totals could range
anywhere from one, up to two, inches area wide — depending on where the frontal boundary stalls.  Right now it looks like the higher rainfall totals may fall just to the south of the immediate area.  However, with soil moisture still running extremely high any additional rainfall would most likely just run off into local creeks, streams and rivers. 

Those who live along the rivers and in low-lying areas should pay close attention to the forecast this week.  Rivers are expected to fall below flood stage later this week, but could be pushed back into at least minor flood stage for the upcoming weekend.

High Pressure Takes Control!

Good morning everyone and happy Monday! We had some showers move through to end the weekend yesterday. Rainfall totals ranged from .00" in Janesville to .21" in Rockford. Very light accumulations were expected as the low pressure system tracked to the South.

The good news is, this additional rainfall did not affect any of the river levels across the Stateline. Two spots on the Rock River, Rockton and Latham Park, still remain in moderate flood stage as of this morning.

Meanwhile, we have seen significant improvement in the flood levels of the Pecatonica River, mainly near Freeport and Shirland. Both have been downgraded to minor as of this morning.

After a cold front passed through last night, clouds stuck around until about sunrise this morning. A strong high pressure system off to the northwest cleared out the clouds mid morning. This high will settle make itself comfortable today and tomorrow bringing quiet conditions and lots of sunshine to the region.

Just to prove how beautiful and clear the skies are out there, here are the views from our skycams in Freeport, the Poplar Grove Airport, and downtown Rockford. Not even a cloud in the sky right now!

We are off to a breezy and chilly start this morning. Strong northeast winds have brought in cold air behind the cold front which have dropped wind chills into the upper teens and low 20's this morning. Definitely bundle up as you head out the door today.

Once the high pressure moves to the east of the Stateline, strong southerly to southwest flow will be in place which will warm us up to the 50's on Wedneday, and closing in on the 60's by Thursday. I don't know about all you, but i'm ready to just see 50's and 60's throughout the entire forecast. 40's are okay, but just ready for Spring to fully arrive! Enjoy the sunshine everyone!

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Some Rain Today . . . More Possible Later This Week?

The good news is that our rivers have been receding, some still at moderate flood stage - but many are heading back to their homes to assess damage and start cleaning up.  Our rain today was not a welcome sight - we don't need any more.  We've had 8.11" of rain since January and are 3.64" over normal.  We received another .21 inches today, which will slow the recession of the rivers a bit. 
A bigger concern is later this upcoming week.  We will have dry weather until late Wednesday evening and will enjoy a nice warm-up - possibly to the low 60's on Wednesday, before rain moves back into our region with off-and-on showers through early Saturday.  It is difficult to assess how much rain we could receive, but it is looking right now that we could receive in excess of an inch, even with the possibility of a mixture of rain and snow early Saturday morning.  A frontal boundary looks like it might stall over our area starting on Thursday and finally moving out on Saturday.  We will watch this new system very closely - stay tuned to your Stateline for updates. 

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Weekend Rainfall May Slow How Fast Local Rivers Recede

The Rock and Pecatonica rivers continue to remain in moderate to major flood stage, but have been gradually going down since this weekend. 

The current river forecast has both the rivers falling into minor flood stage either this weekend or early next week.  However, anticipated rainfall over the weekend may slow just how quickly those rivers get there.  A storm system
will approach northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin Saturday night and Sunday.  As it does, moisture will increase from the south causing skies to turn mostly cloudy Saturday night.  An upper level disturbance will lift into northern Illinois from the south, bringing rain showers with by Sunday morning.  The rain is expected to remain light but will continue through the afternoon and evening.  Anticipated rainfall amounts will range from around a quarter of an inch, up to half an inch, by Sunday evening. 

While the rain likely won't cause any major flooding it could delay when rivers are expected to drop into minor flood stage.  The pattern does look to turn a little more active towards the end of next week and first week of April.

High Pressure Keeping Things Dry into Sunday!

Taking a look at our Mercyhealth skycam over Rochelle, we have mostly cloudy skies for now! Decreasing clouds are expected later on this afternoon as a high pressure system draws closer to the region.

This high pressure system, which is keeping things quiet from North Dakota, all the way down into Texas, will be what drives our weather the next few days. It will keep things quiet and dry, and also bring more sunshine to the Stateline.

With that said, that will help alleviate some of the flooding that is going on across the Stateline. Rivers have been slowly recede now that the weather has been mostly dry as of recent.  The Pecatonica River in Freeport has already dropped over a foot since cresting this past weekend. Almost down a foot also along the Pecatonica in Shirland.

However, the Rock River in Latham Park is taking it's sweet old time to recede. Slowly making progress as we head into next week!

Both the Rock River in Rockton and the Pecatonica in Freeport are now at moderate flood levels and are set to drop to minor category by the beginning of next week. The Rock River in Latham Park however, will only drop one category, down to moderate during the same time frame.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Temperatures Go On A Rollercoaster Ride into Next Week!

Happy First Day of Spring everyone! After such a brutal winter, we can finally say "We made it"! Spring officially begins this afternoon at 4:58 PM! To start off the morning, a weak disturbance brought light rain to the southern portions of our viewing area as well as parts of central Illinois.
Here is a regional look at rainfall totals from this quick event! Light rain just barely made it into the southern portion of our viewing area. Which is great news! Especially with the flooding that is occurring across the Stateline! Overall, our southern counties saw very light accumulation from this event. While down to our south, places like Pontiac and Peoria recorded close to a quarter of an inch.

Flood warnings continue to stay in effect until further notice for many spots along the Rock and Pecatonica Rivers. These warnings have been in effect since last week.

The rest of the week and a majority of the weekend looks to be pretty dry. Here is a look at the jet stream around Friday morning. Now, we have a huge area of low pressure moving into the northeast indicated by the shades of blue.

To the west of that is a ridge of high pressure indicated by the shades of yellow and green. This ridge will help surge in warm air from the south helping us reach the 50's both Saturday and Sunday.

But this warm up is short lived as a strong backdoor cold front will pass through the region late Sunday into Monday. Backdoor cold fronts move from North to South unlike a regular cold front which moves west to east. This will bring in the cold air from southern Canada dropping low's to the 40's for the start of next week.

Taking a look at our 7 day, temperatures definitely go on a roller coaster ride during the first week of Spring. Enjoy the first day of Spring everyone!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

River Levels and Tonight's Rain Chances

Good morning Stateline & happy St. Joseph's Day to everyone. We are starting off the day with abundant sunshine and temperatures rising into the 30's. Today, we look to warm up close to 50° during the afternoon!

Here is an updated look at the river levels in a few spots across the Rock River as of this morning. River levels in Rockton were downgraded to moderate during the evening yesterday and is predicted to hold steady heading into the weekend. Latham Park is still in major flood stage but it has gone below 14'. This was the spot along the river that broke it's crest record set back in 2008. It crested Sunday at a height of 14.4'.

A few other spots along the Rock River, such as Byron and Dixon, have slowly started to recede as well. With Bryon & Dixon both dropping by a little more than a foot since cresting last Friday.

Now onto the weather for today and tonight. We currently have a high pressure system that has taken control of the region and will continue to do so as well into this evening.

As that pushes east, a weak disturbance will track to the south of the viewing area. Most of the heaviest rain will stay off to our south. But, we aren't ruling out a shower or two during the early morning hours on Wednesday. Then we will be mostly cloudy for the remainder of the first day of Spring!

Now aside from the forecast, have you ever seen a halo around the sun during the day? Well, the same thing can form around the moon! It's when light reflects off of the ice crystals in the cirrus clouds creating a halo around the moon. Here is a picture sent in by Matt Zuro!

Monday, March 18, 2019

Rivers Slowly Recede, but Major Flooding Continues

The Rock and Pecatonica rivers were pushed into major flood stage over the weekend causing significant flooding across Stephenson and Winnebago counties.

Residents along the Rock River in, and around, Rockford haven't experienced flooding of this magnitude since June 2008, but it's been even longer for those living along the Pecatonica River in Stephenson and northern Winnebago
counties.  The town of Winslow became inundated with water forcing many residents to evacuate their homes Sunday and Monday.  McConnell has also dealt with flooding, as well as much of the east side of Freeport.  Taylor Park Elementary School remains closed due to ongoing flooding.

Many points along the Rock and Pecatonica rivers have either crested, or are in the process of cresting as of Monday afternoon.  Some of the water has already receded since Monday morning, but
steady water levels are expected through the middle to end of the week.

Dry weather conditions expected across the Midwest will help with the receding waters, but it's going to take some time before rivers fall below flood stage.  A warm up across the Midwest late this week and weekend will allow the snow melt to continue to the north across Wisconsin, Minnesota and northern Iowa.  This could mean additional flooding concerns heading into the beginning and middle of April.