Archive for June, 2009

Relief from the Heat

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

Surface Map

A cold front pushed through the area last night and will bring a welcome relief from the heat and humidity of the past week. We had six 90 degree days in a row. Strong west-northwest winds will usher in much drier air. Dewpoints — a measure of moisture in the air — are already dropping and conditions today should be much more comfortable. A line of severe storms weakened considerably before they hit here last evening. We did have some wind and rainfall amounting to only 0.15 inch.

The Heat is On…

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

A Heat Advisory remains in effect as temperatures topped out at 94° here today with high humidity as well. The heat index — a measure of how hot it feels based on temperature and humidity — reach 113 this afternoon.

Stay Cool!

A Very Wet Year So Far…

Sunday, June 21st, 2009
Official CoCoRaHS Rain Gauge

Official CoCoRaHS Rain Gauge

If you think that the Goose Lake area has been receiving more precipitation than normal this year, you are right! Just how much more? Well, as of this writing our 2009 total precipitation (melted snow and rain) amounts to a whopping 29.24 inches! For comparison, an average yearly amount is around 36 inches. Note that this measured value for the year to date is with the manual CoCoRaHS rain gauge and therefore the amount from the automated gauge on the web page may differ. Automated rain gauges tend to underestimate during a heavy downpour.

Interested in observing rain, hail, and snow from your backyard? Become part of the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) team. We now have 5 active observers in Grundy county and can use more. Find out more about CoCoRaHS and sign up at the CoCoRaHS web site.

Hot and Muggy and then Storms

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

Yesterday we topped out at a very muggy 89°. The dewpoint hovered around 80 at one point indicating extremely muggy conditions. Later in the afternoon towering cumulus clouds developed and then two lines of fast moving storms moved through between 6 and 8 PM.  Mammatus clouds appeared overhead prior to the arrival of the thunderstorms. Rainfall amounted to 0.59 inch and we experienced a peak gust of 35 mph. Higher gusts were measured between Coal City and Mazon and areas from Rockford to Chicago had torrential rains yesterday of between 3 and 4 inches.

Towering Cumulus clouds
Towering Cumulus

Mammatus clouds ahead of an approaching line of storms

Mammatus Clouds

Mammatus clouds -- not very well defined -- ahead of approaching storms

Mammatus Clouds

Lightning Safety

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Lightning
Photo courtesy National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce

June 21-27, 2009 has been designated as Lightning Safety Awareness Week.

Lightning Facts

  • 25 million cloud-to-ground lightning strikes occur in the United States each year.
  • During the past 30 years, lightning killed an average of 58 people per year. This is higher than 57 deaths per year caused by tornadoes and average 48 deaths to hurricanes
  • Lightning can strike as far as 10 miles from the area where it is raining
  • The air within a lightning strike can reach 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Lightning can heat its path five times hotter than the surface of the sun
  • One ground lightning stroke can generate between 100 million and 1 billion volts of electricity

Ninety percent of lightning victims survive their encounter with lightning, especially with timely medical treatment. Individuals struck by lightning do not carry a charge, and it is safe to touch them and provide medical treatment.

Stay safe this summer. Learn more about Lightning Awareness and Lightning Safety