Thursday, May 31, 2012

Some Much Needed Rain in the QCA

A low pressure system passing to the south of the Quad Cities is giving us rain throughout the day today.  The rain is needed as we have had dry weather for the past few weeks and any rain that had fallen was not enough.  Some farmers in Iowa are having issues with crops sprouting, the seeds are in the ground but they aren't growing since there hasn't been any decent rain.  Today we will have a consistent soaking rain that should allow for those with crops, grass, or just a flower garden to grow.  The rain looks to end during the evening hours and the sun will return once again on Friday.  Also, it is cool today, but temps will be back in the 80s by Sunday!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Crazy Hail Storm in Oklahoma City - May 29th, 2012

Rain Coming Thursday

After some pleasant late May weather Tuesday and Wednesday we're looking at a good chance for rain late Wednesday night and Thursday.  From the looks of it we could see close to an inch of rain, over the course of about 12-18 hours!  Most of May has been dry so a good soaking rain would beneficial to a lot of folks!  Here's the rainfall prediction for Thursday from the HPC and a surface map as well.  Notice the area of low pressure passing south of the QCA, that's more likely of a winter storm than a late May/early June system! 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Storm Reports

After a hot start to the holiday weekend things ended up stormy here in the Quad Cities!  Svr t-storms rolled through the area Monday evening leaving behind some downed trees and many hail reports!  Port Byron, IL seems hardest hit, with many trees down in that section of Rock Island county...

Slight Risk for Severe Storms this Memorial Day

The Storm Prediction has much of the region including the QCA under a slight risk for severe storms this afternoon and evening.  The storms will be scattered, so not every neighborhood will experience a thunderstorm.  But, if some storms do become severe the main threat will be strong winds with some storms producing large hail.  So keep your eye to the sky and a weather radio nearby if you plan to celebrate Memorial Day outdoors today.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day Forecast

The holiday will be hot, just not quite as hot as Sunday was!  Have a happy and safe Memorial Day...and wear sunscreen if you're spending a lot of time outside!  (Drink plenty of water too) 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Heat Is On....Not Only in the QCA!

Much of the nation is experiencing above normal temperatures this Memorial Day Weekend!  Atlanta, Dallas, and New Orleans all hit 93° for highs today while the Quad Cities were just 3 degrees cooler reaching a high temp of 90°.  It's going to be even hotter for your Sunday.  More seasonable temperatures return by Tuesday.  Have a great holiday weekend!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend Weather

The holiday weekend is finally here!  As we honor those who have fought for our country temperatures will soar this weekend!  Sunday looks especially hot!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Plenty of hot and humid weather's coming up in the QCA!  Starting Thursday 3 of the next 4 days will see temps very close to 90°!  The hottest days look to be Thursday, Saturday and Sunday!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tropical Depresion Alberto in May?

Yes this post is correct, there is a tropical depression in the Atlantic Ocean in the month of May!  Tropical Depression Alberto formed late Saturday just off of the coast of South Carolina.  It tracked southwest towards Florida until it made a U-turn, Monday afternoon, just east of the Georgia/Florida border.  Alberto is now heading in a northeasterly direction at 13 kts with the highest and latest sustained wind speed at 30 kts with gusts up to 40 kts.  The tropical depression is expected to dissipate within the next 48 hours as it moves towards cooler water and strong vertical wind shear is present.  While May is globally the month with the smallest probability for tropical storm development, it comes right before the official start of hurricane season in the Atlantic ocean.  June 1st kicks off the start of hurricane season and it lasts through November 30th. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Up, Up and Away!

Temperatures are nice on Monday but Tuesday marks the start of another impressive May warm-up!  Tuesday we'll be near 80° by Thursday we're near 90° and we should hit 90° once or twice this holiday weekend! 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Risk for Severe Storms Sunday Evening...

Areas East of the Mississippi River are under a slight risk for severe storms today.  The main threats if storms do become severe will be hail and strong winds.  We'll keep you posted if any watches or warnings are posted online and tonight on CBS4 News @ 5 and on Ten @ 10!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Solar Eclipse

A partial solar eclipse will take place Sunday evening between 7:20 and 8:20 pm.  A partial solar eclipse is when the moon passes between the sun and the earth and it partially blocks the sun's rays from hitting the earth's surface. 
Unfortunately, folks in the Quad Cities may have a hard time seeing it because tomorrow's forecast is for mostly cloudy skies with a chance for scattered showers and storms.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The 5th Warmest April on Record

NOAA has reported that, on the global scale, April 2012 was the 5th warmest since records began in 1881.  Land temperatures ranked as the 2nd warmest, while the oceans came in as 11th warmest.  Overall the Earths' temperature was 1.17°F above the 20th century average.  April 2012 was the 36th consecutive April with warmer than average temperatures and the 326th consecutive month with above average global temperatures.
A cause for the warm up can be linked to the end of La Nina.  Sea surface temperatures (SST's) in the tropical Pacific began to warm during the month of April, transitioning La Nina into a neutral phase.  Prior to April La Nina and a positive phase of the Arctic Oscillation helped the Arctic ice develop, due to the cooler SST's.  The Arctic ice however, held its own during the warm April.  Even though the ice was still 1.8% below the long-term average, but it was the highest amount of ice since 2001. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Svr Weather Threat Diminishing

There is still a very low chance for svr t-storms in the Quad Cities this evening, but that chance now stands at about 5%!  A cold front is dropping through the area and that will cause a few showers but with very low humidity in place one of the critical ingredients for svr weather is lacking!  Sunshine returns Wednesday along with lower temperatures! 

High Resolution Photo of Earth in One Shot

The Russian Weather Satellite Electro-L has taken the highest resolution images of the Earth.  The satellite orbits the equator at an altitude of just over 22,000 miles.  The planet has its picture taken every 30 minutes with a resolution of up to 121 Megapixels.  The impressive part of this is that the satellite can capture the entire Earth in one picture and also do it in a high resolution. 
NASA uses a combination of many pictures to show the Earth in its entirety.  NASA officials say that their images are not any better or worse than the Russian images, they just show different things.  The satellite uses four different wavelengths of light to capture these awesome shots.  The video above shows the high resolution of the satellites images. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

T-Storm Chances Tuesday Evening

After some great weather Sunday and Monday our Tuesday morning looks fine!  However, a cold front approaches the region Tuesday evening and there will be just enough instability in place that there is a slight risk for svr t-storms.  The best chance will be just Northeast of the Quad Cities...more details as we get a bit closer to our storm chance!

March 2012: Wam in the U.S/Cool Globally

A warm month of March in the United States led to over 15,000 broken records and the warmest March in the 20th century.  Though the warm weather wasn't seen around the globe.  With the numbers now in, this March was the coolest, globally, since 1999.  Globally March 2012 was the 16th warmest on record, being 0.83°F above the average temperature.
Canada, the contiguous U.S, Mexico, Europe, Argentina, and Peru all had warmer than average temperatures in March.  The areas with cooler than average temperatures included Alaska, Australia, eastern and western Russia and parts of New Zealand.  Norway had its warmest March since records began in 1900, while Australia had its third coolest March maximum temperature since records began in 1950.  The ocean was a bit above average with the sea surface temperature being 0.63°F above the 20th century average. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Joplin, MO One Year Later

CBS News looks back at the terrifying moments last May when a tornado blew through Joplin, MO.  Here's the story:
Click here for video of story.

A Warm Week in the QC!

A warm week is ahead for the Quad Cities.  High temperatures this week will be running about 8-12° above average for this time of year.  Right now, our average high temps should be in the low to mid 70s.  But, be sure to get outside this week and try to enjoy the sun and the warmth!  Have a great week!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mothers Day Weekend Forecast

The start to Mothers Day weekend looks to be a bit wet, but the sun will make an appearance by the end of the weekend.  A weak cold front will push across our area late on Friday giving us small chances for an isolated thunderstorm or scattered shower.  The clouds from the front stick around during the day Saturday and there is a minimal chance for rain on Saturday evening.  Mother Nature then gets to work on Mothers Day and clears up the forecast!  Sunday looks to start with a few extra clouds that clear away during the day and temperatures will be right around average in the lower 70s.  So to all the mothers in the QCA and across the country, Happy Mothers Day!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

High Temperature May 11th (Friday)

After a beautiful day Thursday things look good for most of Friday too!  Humidity will go up a little bit and temps will approach 80°!  Only problem will be Friday night we could see a few sctd showers/t-storms that last into Sat morning.  Here's a plot of model temperatures through the next 7 days...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Thursday and Friday Looking Good!

Wednesday turned out pretty nice and Thursday and Friday look even better!  Enjoy...

The Illinois River is above Flood Stage

There is a Flood Warning for the Illinois river at Ottawa affecting La Salle county and at La Salle affecting Bureau and La Salle counties.  This warning lasts all the way through Saturday evening.  The Illinois river was at 23.06 ft at 6:45am (CST) this morning which puts it over 3 feet above flood stage.  Therefor minor flooding is occurring and it is also in the forecast. 

The river looks to be at its peak this morning and it will slowly go down as the weekend approaches.  At 20 feet flooding will impact agricultural areas in La Salle, Spring Valley, and Peru lowlands.  At 21 feet the flooding will impact low lying agricultural areas 6 miles  upstream and 12 miles down stream.  At 22 feet, the riverside parking lot at Starved Rock State Park will flood.  

The good news is the river looks to go down in the following days.  If you encounter a Flooded roadway, turn around and find an alternative route.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Rainfall May 1-7

Here's an interesting write-up from the NWS in the Quad Cities about the rainfall from May 1st-7th...interesting to see the QC had close to 5 inches of rain while Dubuque had close to nothing!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Does your Basement Have Water In It?

If you have a basement hopefully it's waterproofed, if not chances are there's a least a little bit of water in it today...heavy rain last night pushed our weekly rain totals to over 4 inches...that's the official report for the Quad Cities and it's certain there are some places that have picked up even more than that!  Here are some of the stats for the QC...

What is a Gust Front?

In Meteorology there are a plethora of scientific terms, but they can't all be used on air since a majority of the public doesn't know the definition of the words.  So today I'd like to go over a term that you might hear in the severe weather season, its a gust front. 

A gust front is a line, usually ahead of a thunderstorm, with cold air that is rushing out of the storm.  There are two ways to have a gust front; the first is the addition of some dry air into a thunderstorm.  This dry air allows for some rain to evaporate, and since evaporation is a cooling process, the air is cooled rapidly.  This cold air moves down quickly and usually towards the leading edge of the storm.  The second way, comes from falling precipitation, as the rain falls it drags the air downward with it.  This rush of air down allows for a gust front to form.

There are a few things that are usually seen when a gust front forms.  The first can be seen on the ground, the gust front can be observed as a shelf or roll cloud on the leading edge of the storm.  The second goes hand in hand with the first, as the fast moving air moves along the ground it can pick up debris and that can be seen as well, just under the shelf or roll cloud.  The third is seen on radar and works hand in hand with the second indicator.  The debris being picked up as well as insects being blown along by the front, actually show up on the radar.  This can be seen as a thing line ahead of thunderstorms.  The image below is an example of the debris being picked up by a gust front (courtesy of NOAA).  The radar image, above, was taken from this morning (5/7) around 3:00 am CST and shows a few gust front ahead of some thunderstorms, this is indicated by a thin green line (click the picture to get a larger version).

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Picture from Sunday's Severe Storms

A CBS4 viewer and storm chaser Travis Carlson sent us this picture of a rotating wall cloud that was spotted near Kewanee, IL Sunday afternoon.  It's a pretty amazing sight!

Saturday Night's Super Moon....

Last night, the moon wasn't your ordinary full moon!  That's because it was approximately 30,000 miles closer to the Earth than normal and it was 30% brighter.  When this happens, it's known as a super moon.  But, despite some clouds last night, some folks around the QCA were able to get a glimpse of the super moon and here are their pictures.

This first picture is from Clinton and it was sent to us by Jason Heinitz.

This glimpse of the super moon is thanks to Chris Bishop of Geneseo. 

If you have any weather pictures and would like to share them with us just search for CBS4 WHBF on Facebook, Twitter, or email them to us at!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Slight Risk for Severe Storms on Sunday...

The Quad Cities is under a slight risk for severe weather on Sunday.  A cold front will be pushing through the region Sunday afternoon and that could spark some storms capable of producing large hail and strong winds.  If storms do become severe, I think they'll develop between 3-5 Sunday afternoon.  We'll keep you posted all day Sunday online and on TV here at CBS4 News!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Sunset Pics

Thanks to Randy H for these great pics from tonight's sunset in Alexis, IL...can you tell which one was touched up and which one wasn't? 

The Super Moon of 2012

Saturday night (5/5/12) will be the 5th full moon of the year and actually it'll be the biggest one of the year!!  The moon revolves around the earth on an elliptical orbit.  Once a year the moon is the closest to the earth and tonight will be that time.  At 11:34 EST the moon will appear the brightest and biggest for the year.  Though it may be hard to tell with just your eyes the moon will appear 14% bigger than usually and 30% brighter.  One minute after that the moon will exactly line up with the earth and the sun, this is when the moon is at its " Perigee" (the closest to earth), so the name Perigee Moon is also used along with Super Moon.

Some wacky thing are said to happen around full moons, including dogs barking more, increased crime and higher hospital admissions.  Interestingly the word "lunacy" comes from origins relating to the moon.  The translation into Latin shows the word lunar, so maybe the old wives tales may be true.  One thing that is changed by the closer moon are the tides.  With a closer moon you could expect tides to be astronomically high and flooding to occur.  That, however, is not the case.  Tides during a perigee moon have been recorded to be higher than normal but only by 1-6 inches above the normal high tide mark. 

Sadly tonight the QCA will have cloudy skies, but if you are in an area where the skies are clear, look up at the moon tonight, since it'll be the biggest it'll be all year.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Tornado Watch This Evening

 7:30 pm update: Here is the updated map, note the Iowa counties now under a TORNADO WATCH also...

Previous Post:

Tornado Watch
So far so good in the QCA tonight, but that could still change!  As of 6:30 pm no storms have developed near the Quad Cities but there were a few down by Peoria, IL and a few more forming near Cedar Rapids, IA.  That's the good news - the bad news is things are still relatively ripe for t-storm development near the Quad Cities, that's why the Tornado Watch is still in effect...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Will it Rain Tonight?

As of 9:30 pm there are a couple of weak t-showers north of the Quad Cities, but our chance for rain tonight will arrive from the West.  Note the t-storms just coming together in Nebraska...they'll cross Iowa tonight and as they weaken they'll approach the QC well after midnight.  In other words, be ready for another round of t-storms by around 3-5 am on Thursday!  The good news, the storms should be weakening as they arrive!

Bears show up for a newscast!!

A TV station in Scranton, PA has a landscaped "Backyard" behind the station so live shots can be done easily. The meteorologist at the station got a surprise monday night as he was about to do a live weather report outside in the Backyard.

So, on Monday night, just before the weather segment, a mother black bear and 3 cubs entered the Backyard at WNEP.  Meteorologist Kurt Aaron said he heard a sound and turned around to see the bears only a few feet away from him.  Needless to say he did the forecast from indoors, but with some cool, live, shots of the family of bears.  The station reports that they get "critters" in the Backyard but this was the first time bears made an appearance on live television.  This is quite the uniqe experience, but it is one that we wont experience here in the QCA.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Wacky Weather

Just a quick update now that the final stats for the month of April are in...and this April DID turn out to be cooler than this March!  This year's average temperatures worked out like this:

April 52.4°
March 53.3°

As crazy as it seems it has happened before in the Quad Cities, one time in fact back in are the numbers for that year:

April 43.0°
March 43.7°

What do you think, crazy or just a little unusual?

Warm AND Muggy Weather Coming Up

After several cooler than average days things are about to change big-time in the Quad Cities!  We're looking at highs in the 80s for the next several days, with summer-like humidity also!  Heat Index readings will approach 90° through the middle of the's been a long time since we talked about the Heat Index!  With warmer weather, more humid weather and a couple fronts nearby also be on the lookout for a daily chance of showers and t-storms...