Archive for the ‘Weather’ Category

July 2012 — Hot and Dry

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

I recorded 20 days during the month with a high temperature of 90° or higher(!). Max temperature for the month was 102°. In addition to the heat, the month was mostly very dry although we were lucky on a couple of occasions thanks to isolated thunderstorms. A gust to 51 mph was recorded during a thunderstorm on July 18. The total rain was 2.35 inches but only 2 days during the month had 0.50 inch of rain or more. So there were considerably more dry days then rainy ones. In addition, using the new CoCoRaHS Evapotranspiration gauge I recorded a monthly total ET of 6.38 inches meaning our net water balance was -4.03 inches.

Here’s a graphical representation of the water balance

for my location courtesy CoCoRaHS

Click here to see water balance charts for other locations.

Here are the other monthly stats for July 2012:

****************************************
   Averages\Extremes for the month of July 2012

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Average temperature     = 79.8°F
 Average humidity        = 69%
 Average dewpoint        = 67.7°F
 Average barometer       = 29.919 in.
 Average windspeed       = 3.8 mph
 Average gustspeed       = 5.7 mph
 Average direction       = 226° ( SW)
 Rainfall for month      = 2.35 in.
 Maximum rain per minute = 0.100 in on day 01 at time 11:37
 Maximum temperature     = 102.1°F on day 07 at time 15:15
 Minimum temperature     = 57.8°F on day 29 at time 06:01
 Maximum humidity        = 97% on day 27 at time 07:01
 Minimum humidity        = 30% on day 08 at time 14:48
 Maximum dewpoint        = 81.6°F on day 02 at time 19:02
 Minimum dewpoint        = 50.8°F on day 08 at time 14:48
 Maximum pressure        = 30.11 in. on day 11 at time 08:46
 Minimum pressure        = 29.54 in. on day 26 at time 01:59
 Maximum windspeed       = 33 mph from 180°( S ) on day 18 at time 18:34
 Maximum gust speed      = 51 mph from 180°( S ) on day 18 at time 18:34
 Maximum heat index      = 120.0°F on day 06 at time 14:33
 Avg daily max temp :92.8°F
 Avg daily min temp :67.2°F
 Total windrun = 2788.3miles

 

Drought Expands in Illinois

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

Grundy county and surrounding areas are now classified in the severe drought (D2) category. As most are painfully aware, any rain of recent weeks has been hit or miss. In addition to the impacts to agriculture and other vegetation, river levels are at extremely low levels. For the current drought monitor click here.

Drought Monitor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out this flow duration hydrograph for the Kankakee River near Wilmington, IL courtesy US Geological Survey (USGS) Waterwatch. Late summer into fall is when rivers typically experience their lowest levels but compare the present to last year at this time.

Kankakee River near Wilmington, IL

 

Will Our Dry Pattern Change?

Friday, April 13th, 2012

Drought monitor

Showers and thunderstorms in the forecast

indicate that we could see a relief from our current precipitation deficit. We are currently between about 1 to 2 inches below normal for rainfall. The recent record setting warmth in March and subsequent rapid growth in vegetation no doubt helped contribute to depletetion of soil moisture.

Portions of Central Illinois have recently been upgraded to moderate drought status.  Soils continue to dry out, at least in the upper soil profile, in our area. The most obvious indicator of lower precipitation is the low flows currently observed on area streams. Typically this is the time of year when rivers would experience their greatest flows.

 

 

 

Illinois Streamflows

 

Kankakee River near Wilmington, IL

 

Sunrise

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Sunrise Feb 13, 2012

A mid deck of  clouds the morning of Feb 13 provided some great texture and colors at sunrise.

January 2012 Climate Summary

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

The warm winter trend continued in January with an average temperature of 30.8 degrees. We had 6 days with temperatures in the 50s.  The max temperature for the month occurred on the final day of January when the temperature topped out at 59.  Snowfall was 13.0 inches and total precipitation (rain or melted snow water equivalent) was 1.65 inches.

Detailed Stats:

Averages\Extremes for the month of January 2012

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Average temperature     = 30.8°F
 Average humidity        = 81%
 Average dewpoint        = 25.4°F
 Average barometer       = 30.007 in.
 Average windspeed       = 5.5 mph
 Average gustspeed       = 8.3 mph
 Average direction       = 259° ( W )
 Rainfall for month      = 1.65 in.
 Maximum rain per minute = 0.02 in on day 23 at time 04:03
 Maximum temperature     = 59.3°F on day 31 at time 13:39
 Minimum temperature     = 4.9°F on day 19 at time 23:49
 Maximum humidity        = 100% on day 29 at time 22:51
 Minimum humidity        = 46% on day 27 at time 14:17
 Maximum dewpoint        = 50.7°F on day 31 at time 19:04
 Minimum dewpoint        = -3.1°F on day 19 at time 16:58
 Maximum pressure        = 30.49 in. on day 03 at time 09:53
 Minimum pressure        = 29.35 in. on day 23 at time 01:11
 Maximum windspeed       = 25 mph from 293°(WNW) on day 01 at time 17:21
 Maximum gust speed      = 41 mph from 293°(WNW) on day 01 at time 13:59
 Maximum heat index      = 59.3°F on day 31 at time 13:39
 Avg daily max temp :40.3°F
 Avg daily min temp :21.0°F
 Total windrun = 4070.5miles

2011 Climate Summary

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Here are some stats from 2011:

Averages/extremes to date for the year 2011
 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Average temperature     52.1°F
 Average humidity        79%
 Average dewpoint        45.0°F
 Average barometer       29.977 in.
 Average windspeed       3.6 mph
 Average gustspeed       6.1 mph
 Average direction       264° ( W )
 Rainfall for year       = 47.22 in
 Maximum rain per minute 0.150 in on day 20 at time 12:38 month 8
 Maximum temperature     99.2°F on day 19 at time 16:19 month 7
 Minimum temperature     -13.9°F on day 10 at time 07:03 month 2
 Maximum humidity        = 100% on day 22 at time 08:50 month 12
 Minimum humidity        = 23% on day 31 at time 15:28 month 3
 Maximum dewpoint        = 83.1°F on day 28 at time 14:57 month 7
 Minimum dewpoint        = -18.0°F on day 10 at time 7:03 month 2
 Maximum pressure        = 30.605  in. on day 02 at time 16:25 month 2
 Minimum pressure        = 29.195  in. on day 01 at time 03:17 month 4
 Maximum windspeed       32.2 mph from 090°( E ) on day 01 at time 20:25 month 2
 Maximum gust speed      46.0 mph from 090°( E ) on day 01 at time 20:06 month 2
 Maximum heat index      122.0°F on day 21 at time 16:31 month 7
 Total Growing T-Sum= 8038.4°F
 Growing degrees days :1057.3 GDD
  Total windrun = 31582.6miles

Temperature data by month:

TEMPERATURE (°F), HEAT BASE 65.0, COOL BASE 65.0
                          DEP.  HEAT  COOL                                          
        MEAN  MEAN        FROM  DEG   DEG                        MAX  MAX  MIN  MIN 
 YR MO  MAX   MIN   MEAN  NORM  DAYS  DAYS  HI  DATE  LOW  DATE  >=90 <=32 <=32 <=0 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 11  1  29.6  15.0  22.6   0.0  1315     0  43.3   1  -2.1   21    0   20   31    1
 11  2  35.4  20.4  28.7   0.0  1013     0  58.2  17 -13.9   10    0   10   23    3
 11  3  49.2  30.5  39.7   0.0   785     1  71.9  17  21.6    1    0    0   22    0
 11  4  60.6  41.5  50.7   0.0   451    21  84.1  10  24.2    1    0    0    2    0
 11  5  72.2  50.9  61.6   0.0   217   111  92.8  10  34.6    4    2    0    0    0
 11  6  82.1  61.7  71.9   0.0    29   236  96.4   7  53.6   10    5    0    0    0
 11  7  90.5  68.3  79.2   0.0     5   446  99.2  19  58.0    9   20    0    0    0
 11  8  85.3  62.3  73.2   0.0    26   280  94.6   2  54.8   15    5    0    0    0
 11  9  72.5  52.2  61.8   0.0   179    84  97.5   1  39.0   15    3    0    0    0
 11 10  67.0  42.0  53.7   0.0   398    47  85.7   7  29.3   29    0    0    4    0
 11 11  53.8  36.7  45.0   0.0   603     2  72.6  13  24.3   17    0    0    7    0
 11 12  43.3  28.6  36.0   0.0   899     0  57.5  15  11.5   10    0    1   21    0
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        61.9  42.6  52.1   0.0  5918  1228  99.2 JUL -13.9  FEB   35   31  110    4

 

Illinois CoCoRaHS Celebrates 5 years!

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Happy Anniversary to all Illinois CoCoRaHS observers! Illinois joined CoCoRaHS in December 2006 and the number of observers has continued to grow. CoCoRaHS observers walk out each morning to check their rain gauges and measure any snowfall. This information is used by a host of agencies and entities including the National Weather Service, state climatologists, media, and many more.

Thank you CoCoRaHS observers for your continued dedication and and commitment to the program.

Learn more about CoCoRaHS

An Amazing Light Show

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

A cold front interacting with a very warm humid air mass resulted in explosive growth of thunderstorms during the evening hours of Aug 2, 2011. The day had been very hot and humid with the temperature topping out at 95° and the dew point hovering around 80°. A band of severe storms moved out of Wisconsin and affected the far northeast counties in Illinois…north of Chicago. At the time I thought the show was over. Later however storms developed rapidly over portions of the Rock river valley and began moving southeast and eventually made it to Grundy county.  Here is a list of storm reports for Grundy county as of 1PM 8/23/11 courtesy NOAA/NWS Chicago:

1001 PM     TSTM WND DMG     COAL CITY               41.29N 88.28W
08/02/2011                   GRUNDY             IL   PUBLIC

            TREE DOWN ON HOUSE.

1001 PM     TSTM WND DMG     COAL CITY               41.29N 88.28W
08/02/2011                   GRUNDY             IL   PUBLIC

            TREE BLOCKING KANKAKEE ST. TRANSFORMER DOWN.

1001 PM     TSTM WND GST     2 W COAL CITY           41.29N 88.32W
08/02/2011  M64.00 MPH       GRUNDY             IL   MESONET

1008 PM     TSTM WND GST     SSE MINOOKA             41.45N 88.26W
08/02/2011  M57.00 MPH       GRUNDY             IL   MESONET

 

My Boltek lightning detector definitely got a workout. At the time it detected a peak lightning rate of 2094 strikes per minute. Most were in cloud but there were many close cloud to ground strokes as well. The following images show the lightning display and radar image around that time.  Note: this detector is not nearly as accurate as those used in professional detection networks (costing much, much more).

Aug 2, 2011 Radar Image (severe thunderstorm warnings denoted by red polygons)

August 2, 2011 Lightning Display

July 2011 Climate Summary – Hot, Humid, and …dry

Monday, August 1st, 2011

If you think it was warmer than usual for July, you are correct. We recorded 21 days with high temperatures of 90° or greater. Last year we had 10.  The average temperature for the month was 79.2° and although not making it to the century mark, we did reach 99° on July 19th. Another factor that made it unbearable at times was the high humidity. Dew point is a measure of the amount of moisture in the air and generally begins to feel somewhat uncomfortable when the dew point reaches 70° although each individual has his/her own comfort level.  The heat and humidity are oppressive when dew points reach or exceed the upper 70’s. We had many days with dew points hovering around 80°. That, combined with temperatures in the low to mid 90s resulted in heat indices of 115 to 120° at times.

In addition to the heat, July will be remembered for a lack of rainfall. Total rainfall for the month was 2.00 inches. While not the driest recorded here, it was well below normal. The total monthly precipitation value does not always tell the whole story however, especially with regards to summer storms. I like to look at the days with 0.50 inch of rain or greater to get a better feel for how wet or dry a summer may have been. For this July we recorded only 1 day during the month when rainfall exceeded 1/2 inch. Most gardeners know that a typical garden needs around 1 inch per week during the summer. But in reality, that rarely occurs. Summer thunderstorms can produce rainfall rates that exceed 1 inch per hour so if you do get rain, it generally comes all at once.  Chicago actually recorded the wettest July on record with a whopping 11.15 inches of rain! This was due to torrential rain that fell on July 23rd and deposited a calendar day total of 6.86 inches.

Here are some stats for the Goose Lake Weather station:

 Averages\Extremes for the month of July 2011

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Average temperature     = 79.2°F
 Average humidity        = 76%
 Average dewpoint        = 70.3°F
 Average barometer       = 29.913 in.
 Average wind speed      = 1.4 mph
 Average gust speed      = 2.9 mph
 Average direction       = 165° (SSE)
 Rainfall for month      = 2.00 inches.
 Maximum rain per minute = 0.04 in on day 24 at time 08:15
 Maximum temperature     = 99.2°F on day 19 at time 16:19
 Minimum temperature     = 58.0°F on day 09 at time 05:46
 Maximum humidity        = 100% on day 31 at time 07:50
 Minimum humidity        = 34% on day 08 at time 15:00
 Maximum dewpoint        = 83.1°F on day 28 at time 14:57
 Minimum dewpoint        = 53.1°F on day 07 at time 20:21
 Maximum pressure        = 30.09 in. on day 31 at time 08:41
 Minimum pressure        = 29.73 in. on day 20 at time 19:46
 Maximum windspeed       = 18 mph from 293°(WNW) on day 11 at time 08:12
 Maximum gust speed      = 28 mph from 293°(WNW) on day 11 at time 08:12
 Maximum heat index      = 122.0°F on day 21 at time 16:31
 Avg daily max temp :90.5°F
 Avg daily min temp :68.3°F
 Total windrun = 1004.6miles

Here is an interesting graphic depicting the July 2011 departure from normal precipitation. The red circle is our location.

June 2011 Climate Summary

Monday, July 4th, 2011

June was another wet month with a total of 6.08 inches of rain.

Averages\Extremes for the month of June 2011
 
 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Average temperature     = 71.9°F
 Average humidity        = 77%
 Average dewpoint        = 63.6°F
 Average barometer       = 29.875 in.
 Average windspeed       = 2.3 mph
 Average gustspeed       = 4.8 mph
 Average direction       = 215° ( SW)
 Rainfall for month      = 6.08 in.
 Maximum rain per minute = 0.140 in on day 20 at time 06:12
 Maximum temperature     = 96.3°F on day 07 at time 14:28
 Minimum temperature     = 53.6°F on day 14 at time 04:55
 Maximum humidity        = 100% on day 29 at time 06:59
 Minimum humidity        = 33% on day 07 at time 18:51
 Maximum dewpoint        = 79.6°F on day 04 at time 16:09
 Minimum dewpoint        = 45.6°F on day 13 at time 0:23
 Maximum pressure        = 30.24 in. on day 01 at time 11:36
 Minimum pressure        = 29.52 in. on day 21 at time 17:46
 Maximum windspeed       = 14 mph from 225°( SW) on day 22 at time 09:56
 Maximum gust speed      = 30 mph from 180°( S ) on day 21 at time 20:02
 Maximum heat index      = 109.3°F on day 04 at time 15:05
 Avg daily max temp :82.1°F
 Avg daily min temp :61.7°F
 Total windrun = 1642.9miles