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J.C.'s Blog

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Snow or bust….

This winter has been a record breaker for snow and cold. It has also been a very tough winter to try and forecast as winter storms can change course or other factors can cause forecasters to have nightmares. This past event was one that looked promising but under delivered. Here at WAND all of our meteorologist take great pride in the work we do and try to provide the most accurate forecast. I want to take a few minutes and address some of the concerns that a handful of viewers might have about our forecast and their validity.

All of our on-air meteorologist take pride in our work and work extremely hard to provide the most accurate and up to the minute forecast that you can count on. The business has changed so much over the past 12 years I have been here at WAND. We used to provide the weather on one platform now we have multiple sites we update. Social media provides a great outlet for our forecast to get information out that we might not have time to hit on TV it also provides the viewer with updated information on the storm in real time. This also opens the door for more criticism and other topics I will not touch on here today. We all know that when you work in the public eye there will be times when your put under a microscope and you will take your fair share of criticism. The hardest thing to do is not take it personal and let it affect you. I am writing this blog entry because of some things that were said about our forecast not being right ever. I felt I need to address those issues. I am not trying to come off as a jerk, or trying to provide excuses for a busted forecast, I just want to get the facts out there. 

I keep records of all my forecasts that I write every single day. This was something that was drilled into my head in school and by my mentor. The notebooks that I keep them in are 70 pages long so that means I get to see after 70 forecast how my accuracy stands. I use a plus or minus two degree variant to grade my forecast as successful and plus or minus 4 degrees for a satisfactory. If I do not meet that range then I will take time the next day and look back at what went wrong and what I could have missed. Here at WAND we cover such a vast area in central Illinois that we try to make sure the forecast is not only for just Decatur but for all of the area. That is why when you see our snow forecast we will hand draw so you can know what to expect for your area. Also, with snow forecast we will list a range. For example, we might say Decatur, Springfield, Champaign could see 6" to 10" of snow. It doesn't mean that we will get 10". We just expect the snow accumulation to fall somewhere within that range. Every winter storm EXPEPT this last one our forecasts have fallen with in the range we have listed for the area. I just finished a notebook, so I went back to look at the accuracy of the forecast and I found that we had nailed the forecast with in the parameters list above 64/70 times. That means we have been accurate 94% of the time. From time to time a forecast bust will happen as is the case from this past weekend. I know it may cause some inconvenience but we are not trying to do this intentionally it just happens.

I want to thank all of you who watch our forecast and station everyday. Our staff is comprised of some very talented people and I am so happy to be able to work along side them. Greg, Lauren, Kevin and myself will also try to provide you with the up to the minute information in the most accurate and understandable way. Thank you for trusting us and understanding that at times we will miss a forecast but know we take it personal and will use it as a learning experience to try and keep improving everyday. If you every have question, want to catch the latest weather, or just see what we are up to you can follow all of us on facebook and twitter.


Twitter                                                Facebook

@GregTrumbold                             Greg Trumbold

@KevinChierek                               Kevin Chierek Wand-tv

@LaurenRainson                             WAND Lauren Rainson

@jcfultz                                              WAND JC Fultz









January was a cold and very snowy month here in the CI. Most of the area is approaching record levels of snow with more than half of winter left. Decatur's snowfall for January ranked 13th most since recorded keeping started. The Climate Prediction Center has project February to be colder than average and see above average precipitation. If the beginning of the month is any indication it could be a cold and snowy February. Here are the number for January off our weather site at WAND.


Average High: 36.1                           Average Low: 19.2

2014 Jan High: 30.2                          2014 Jan Low: 11.6

----------------------------                    -----------------------------

-5.9 below normal                             -7.6 below normal



                             Average Mean: 27.7

                             2014 Jan Mean: 20.9


                                -6.8 below normal


Average Jan Snow: 4.8"                          Average Liquid Precip: 2"

2014 Jan Snow: 14"                                 2014 Jan Precip: 1.47"

---------------------------                            ----------------------------------

+10.8" above normal                                     -.53" below normal



7 night below zero

1 afternoon high below zero


Warmest Temp: 53 January 13th

Coldest Temp: -12 January 6th









Snow has been well above normal this season as you might have guessed. Here are some stats from the NWS office in Lincoln on how this snowy winter ranks all time. The long range forecast from the Climate Predication Center call for above average precipitation with below average temperatures. We will see as still have plenty of winter left.


Snowfall This Winter Well Above Normal - Updated Feb 5

The frequent winter storm systems, which have affected central and southeast Illinois since mid December, have resulted in snowfall running well above normal over the area.  The totals observed so far, have surpassed the normal for an entire winter, and most are in the top 10 snowiest winters.  Last winter, snowfall over much of central Illinois was well below normal through early February.

The table below shows observed snowfall as of February 5 for several area cities, and how they compare to normal and last winter.  Also shown is snowfall in January and rank, along with how this winter season (Dec-Feb) ranks in the historical record of snowy seasons.



This Winter
February 5

Normal Through February 5

Departure from

Last Winter
February 5

Normal for Entire Winter

Jan 2014 Snowfall

 January Snowfall Rank

# of Days this Winter with 0.1 or more of snow 2013-2014 Winter Season Snowfall Rank


28.3 inches

11.8 inches

+16.5 inches

2.7 inches

17.2 inches

17.2 inches





31.5 inches

11.0 inches

+21.5 inches

3.4 inches

 17.9 inches

19.3 inches





M inches

10.8 inches

M inches

3.5 inches

16.0 inches

12 inches




31.3 inches

8.3 inches

+23.0 inches

3.5 inches

15.2 inches

19.8 inches





32.8 inches

15.7 inches

+17.1 inches

5.2 inches

22.5 inches

12.1 inches





32.6 inches

11.9 inches

+20.7 inches

3.3 inches

17.7 inches

19.4 inches





25.3 inches

11.1 inches

+14.2 inches

5.9 inches

17.4 inches

12.3 inches





42.1 inches

15.0 inches

+27.1 inches

1.3 inches

23.0 inches

18.5 inches





32.2 inches

13.9 inches

+18.3 inches

4.1 inches

20.6 inches

15.7 inches





36.5 inches

13.7 inches

+23.8 inches

3.4 inches

19.9 inches

17 inches  Tied 5th




22.5 inches

7.9 inches

+14.6 inches

10.0 inches

11.7 inches

9.5 inches





35.9 inches

16.1 inches

+19.8 inches

9.5 inches

23.6 inches

20.5 inches





35.8 inches

16.3 inches 

+19.5 inches

4.5 inches

24.6 inches

15 inches

Tied 10th




29.9 inches

11.2 inches

+18.7 inches

4.0 inches

15.3 inches

9.9 inches





34.2 inches

13.7 inches

+20.5 inches

5.5 inches

20.9 inches

15.9 inches

Tied 7th




34.6 inches

12.5 inches

+22.1 inches

4.0 inches

18.0 inches

15.6 inches





34.4 inches

15.5 inches

+18.9 inches

4.0 inches

23.2 inches

14.3 inches














High pressure continues to influence the weather across the CI tonight. We are on the back side of the high which is turning the winds more southerly. This will help to keep temps overnight in the upper teens to near 20 which are where we are supposed to be for this time of the year. Several waves are slated to move across the Midwest from tomorrow through the weekend.

The first wave will slide to our north tomorrow dragging a cold front into the CI by the late afternoon hours. The morning will start partly sunny before clouds build in. Looking at the thermal profiles they suggest a rain/snow mix to start before some snow showers will be possible by the evening. The front looks to stall out across southern Illinois Thursday night. The next wave will push across the northern half of the area on Friday morning into the early afternoon which could drop up to an inch of snow along and north of I-74. The track of the low and position of the front Friday evening into Saturday morning will be the key to what type of precipitation we can expect. Right now I am expecting all snow to the north of I-72 with a potential to see a mix of sleet/snow for areas between I-72 to I-70. Thermal profiles indicate an area of warm air that could create the wintry mix. Snow totals could range from 2" to 4" with locally heavier amounts farther northeast

Groundhog Day and Monday will be quiet as we will between systems. Highs will be in the 20s and lows in the upper single digits and lower teens. Our attention then turns to the middle of the week. I have heard a lot of people talking about a huge winter storm coming. There is a huge spread on the models right now with some calling for a lot of snow, while others call for minor accumulations and another one that keeps the area dry. Its way too early to jump to any conclusions on accumulations or snow chances as we need to see how the models evolve over time. The models that are painting the higher snow total have trended that way last week with the storm that moved through this past weekend as we saw the out come. Don't panic right now we need to sit tight and watch over the next couple of days to see more agreement in the models. I am going to put chances for snow in the forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday next week but I am going to watch this weekend to see how the system evolves on the models and then we will start to talk more about it as they have a better handle on it.






The sky will start to clear out over the next couple of hours. Temperatures should reach into the middle 40s before the clouds build back in after midnight. The southerly breeze combined with cloud cover will allow temps to rise after midnight. Tomorrow will be a cloudy, breezy with scattered showers by the afternoon. A warm front will slide through helping to increase the winds out of the south and put us in the warm sector. Gusts could reach 35 to 40 mph.

Sunday's forecast will be all based on timing of the precip and dynamics. A cold front will push into western Illinois tomorrow and stall out until Sunday morning. The front then will push into the CI late morning into the early afternoon. The greatest dynamics (500 mb jet winds of 90 to 100 kts) look to work in sometime early afternoon which will be the key to get any strong storms going as instability perimeters are low. If the storms can tap into the upper level winds they could become very strong with main threat being damaging winds. The SPC has already places areas to the east of I-55 under a slight risk for Sunday with greater chances for stronger storms further east that you live in the CI. Rain totals should range from .65" to .75" with locally heavier amounts before it wraps up Sunday afternoon. Clearing could take place and some sunshine could pay a visit to areas west of I-55 by the late afternoon.



Next week looks to be quiet and cool from Monday through Thursday. A couple weak waves will slide by to our north which could bring a few clouds through Wednesday and Thursday with maybe a stray shower west of I-55 Thursday afternoon. Models disagree by the end of the forecast period with the GFS dropping a system through Friday while Euro keeps system and energy to our south. I am going to use a blend and add a mention of a scattered shower for Friday.







The area of high pressure will continue to slide SE over the next couple days. A return flow from the south has begun to develop across the CI this evening which will help keep our temperatures about 10 degrees warmer than last night. Sunshine will be the rule tomorrow with breezy conditions. Highs will top out around 50 but feel cooler thanks to the wind. A cold front will arrive in the upper Midwest tomorrow which will wash out as it arrives here Friday morning. We will see an increase in clouds Friday but should still see a fair amount of sunshine.

The weekend will be warm and wet. The GFS and Euro models are coming into better agreement on their solutions for the weekend. Showers will start to arrive west of I-55 by the late morning and spread east through the afternoon into evening. The nose of the 500 mb jet along with the 250 mb jet will work into the area which will help to enhance lift and could help to get some thunderstorm going on Sunday. The cold front will arrive late Sunday evening bringing an end to the precip from west to east into early Monday morning.

Next week another punch of cold air will arrive but this is where the models once again differ. I am going to use a blend in the extended and bring temps back into the 30s for highs Tuesday and Wednesday but we will see plenty of sunshine. Lows by Wednesday morning will once again drop back into the teens.







T-Minus 18 days until baby Fultz is supposed to arrive.

I am sure that Ashley might say differently but it seems like just yesterday we found out that we were expecting. It has been interesting to read about how the baby is developing each and every week and to take Ashley's picture. If I could change anything during the pregnancy, I wish I would have asked her more often how she feels. I think that has been my biggest flaw as an expecting Dad. Ashley has been felt pretty good during the second trimester but now she get tired quickly and hasn't been feeling the best. There are no excuses for me not asking her more often how she feels. Guys, make sure that when your wife or significant other is pregnant that you are always asking how they feel.

We have been in major prep mode over the last couple weeks as it's almost baby time. The major house projects have started to wrap up and the babies' room is complete. Ashley's parents hosted a baby shower for us a couple weeks ago and we received an amazing out pouring of gifts for the baby. Then Matt our Sports Director and his wife Tiffany threw us a shower and once again our WAND family spoiled us. Finally, Ashley's coworkers threw here a surprise shower yesterday! I knew about it for a week and it was really hard to not slip up and tell her I would see her that afternoon. Once again everyone went over and beyond for us there. Its amazing how loved our little one is and her or she isn't even in the world yet.

People have started to ask us what names we like and to be honest we haven't settled on any yet. We have a couple picked out but we are going to wait until the baby is born to reveal that along with the sex of the child. I have one name that I really like but we will see over time if it still sticks.








August has been cooler than normal and dry as well. So far here at WAND we have only received .09" of rain which for the first 19 days is about 2.22" below normal. We are still ahead for the year by .72" but if we don't see any rain then we will be back below normal by the end of next week. Its hard to believe that we would be talking about abnormally dry conditions after such a wet start to 2013.


When we look at the number compared to last year we are in much better shape. At this time last year 100% of the state of Illinois was under drought conditions with 100% at Moderate levels, 94.10% in severe drought, 81.18% extreme drought and 8.38 in exceptional drought. This year none of the state is under a drought but about 44.82% is not considered abnormally dry.


The Midwest is looking a lot better as well but parts of Iowa are still in drought even with the wet spring they saw. Right now 72.82% of the Midwest is not in a drought with 27.18 abnormally dry and 6.29% in a moderate drought. When you compare this to last year only 18.58% of the Midwest was NOT in a drought. 81.42% was considered abnormally dry, 69.11% moderate drought, 55.13% severe drought, 38.19% extreme drought and 5.78% exceptional drought.



Locally we have been wet but now the summer sun along with an extended period of dry weather is starting to take its toll on our water surplus. From July 1st through August 16 Springfield has received 3.6" of total rain. That is about -2.05" below the norm for this time period of 5.65". Last year during this same time Springfield only received 1.59". In Decatur the official reporting stations has received 3.65" which is about -2.29" below the norm of 5.94" from July 1 though August 16th. Last year during the same period only 2.42" fell.


The moral of this story is we could use some rain to help to recharge the soil which is getting dry across parts of the area. When you get into the I-70 corridor and areas along the Wabash River in SE Illinois they are running way ahead of schedule as they have been seeing some the bigger rains that have stayed just to our south. Looking at the forecast models there doesn't appear to be much help in sight but this time of the year the storms are more scattered unlike in the spring and fall when they become more widespread.  






Tonight during dinner break Ashley and I attended our final baby class. Its hard to believe in one month from tomorrow the due date will arrive. I have so many things going through my mind but the baby classes we attended really helped to ease my fears and to better understand what to expect when we arrive at the hospital.


In the first class three weeks ago the instructor asked at the beginning if there was anything that we were nervous about. I didn't speak up, but seeing Ashley in pain and not being able to help out and knowing I was the cause of this pain will really bother me. I don't like being helpless but I will try and comfort her the best that I can during the birth. We were talked about that question again tonight before class and the same thought kept coming up. If there is any other things that make me nervous I think just trying to do everything right when the baby comes home is the next biggest worry. 


I am excited, nervous, and ready to meet out little one. We have been talking about names but we are going to wait to revel the name when the baby is born. We also choose to wait to find out the sex of the baby. There are not to many surprises left in life so why not have the greatest surprise of them all. In Germany, I saw a licence plate that said Sven on it. I looked at Ashley and said, "how about this name." Quickly I was given a NO! So from then on I have joked about calling the baby Sven for a boy and if its a girl Gretel. I really feel you need to see your baby before you settle on the final name. Some babies just don't look like the name that you have picked out before the birth. 


I will try an update the blog a little more over the course of the next couple weeks. I look forward to meeting my son or daughter! I really don't know what to expect emotion wise the first time I get to hold the little one. I guess I will find out soon!!!! 







We put July in the books on Wednesday and what a difference one year can make. This July was much cooler than what we saw in 2012 along with almost 3" more inches of rain falling in July 2013. I will also talk about why this has been the case plus compare 2012 from January to July 31 rainfall wise. Temperatures have also seen a complete turnaround from May through July in 2013. All the stats that I am talking about are recorded from our site at WAND-TV on the south side of Decatur.

This July has turned out to be 11.4 degrees cooler than July 2012. When we compare the months we look at the mean temperature. The mean temperature is the average between the recorded high and recorded low. The mean temperature for this July was only 74.2 compared to the hot mean of 85.6 in 2012. The reason why it's been so cool has to do with the jet stream and a persistent low across Hudson Bay. The jet stream is a river of air in the upper part of the atmosphere. When a trough develops, (which is a dip in the jet stream) cooler air is allowed to spill in from Canada. The flow around the persistent low in Hudson Bay is counter clock-wise so that mean we have had a northwesterly flow for most of the month of July. At the begging we were under a ridge for a week which did allow us to see 5 days in the 90s. It also allowed for ample moisture from the Gulf of Moisture to invade the Midwest. In the western half of the Nation a ridge has been in place the last few weeks allowing 90's and lower 100's to surge all the way into Idaho. Models over the next 10 to 15 days keep this pattern going which means below average temperatures along with periodic chances for showers and storms.

When a trough develop such as the one we see now from time to time we will see waves of energy develop across the northern Plains then drop into the Midwest. With the active jet set up just to our west those wave will ride the jet and push a cold front through about every 3 to 4 days.

Temperatures have not been the only thing that has been different than last year. January through July 31st 2013 has seen almost 18" more rain than we did up to this point in 2012. We have been in a more active weather pattern especially late in the winter and spring which helped to replenish our soil moisture. When you lose too much soil moisture it is harder to moisten up the lower levels of the atmosphere. Last summer with the lack of that moisture it was harder to get showers going plus the jet was positioned across the US-Canadian border most of the summer.  What also helped to enhance the drought was the amount of sunshine and heat which helped to increase our evapotranspiration rates. When we talk about ET rates it's the amount of moisture lost from the soil and from plants such as corn sucking in the moisture and then releasing it into the atmosphere. When the soil is already dry and you continue to pull moisture from it and not add anything the deficit grows. The best way I can think of it to describe is when you don't have an income coming in and you still have to pay your bills you only have so much savings. Until you get more money coming in, then you will watch that saving account dwindle. This year our ET rates have been much lower and we are about 3" ahead for the year rainfall wise!

Below are some numbers breaking down some of the things I have talked about above. One of the most interesting stats I found when running the number was the amount of 100 and 90 degree days from 2012 compared to 2013. In 2012 we saw 11 days at or above 100 and this year none! In 2012 we saw 30 days from May through July of 90 or high and in this year only 11 so far. The hottest temperature recorded last July was on the 6th when we hit 106 at WAND. This July 94 was the highest recorded temperature for the month in the 19th. I hope you enjoy looking at what a difference just one year can make as much as I did putting these together.


July 2013 Stats



Average High: 87.8                                                                      Average Low: 64.6

Recorded High: 83.1                                                                    Recorded Low: 65.2

----------------------------                                                                  ----------------------------

   -4.7 below                                                                                          +.6 above



                                                Average Mean: 76.2

                                               Recorded Mean: 74.2


                                                  -2 below normal



Average July Rain: 3.98"                                                    Average YTD Rain: 23.67"

Recorded July Rain: 3.02"                                                  Thru July 31 YTD Rain: 26.61"

-----------------------------------                                             ----------------------------------------

    -.96" below norm                                                                      2.94" above norm



July 2013 vs. July 2012



July 2013 High Avg: 83.1                         July 2013 Low Avg: 65.2          2013 July Mean Avg: 74.2

July 2012 High Avg: 96                            July 2012 Low Avg: 72.2          2013 July Mean Avg: 85.6

--------------------------------                         -------------------------------           ----------------------------------

   +12.9 warmer in 2012                            +7 warmer in 2012                       +11.4 warmer in 2012



July 2013 Rain: 3.02"                     Jan-July 2013 Rain: 26.61"

July 2012 Rain: .14"                       Jan-July 2012 Rain: 8.67"

----------------------------                    ----------------------------------

 +2.88 more this year                        +17.94" more in 2013





July 2013                July 2012

------------           ------------------         Hottest Temperature July 2013 94 July 19th

100's   0             100's    9                 Hottest Temperature July 2012 105 July 6th

90's     5             90's     18

80's   17             80s       4

70's    9              70s       0








With meteorological spring coming to an end on Saturday some records have been set in parts of the CI. Meteorological Spring is from March thru May. This information comes to me from the National Weather Service Lincoln.


Lincoln….13th wettest  spring with 15.08"….Record 19.75" (1995)


Pana…8th wettest spring with 18.37"…Record 24.88" (1892)


Beardstown….3rd wettest spring with 18.04"…Record 20.17" (1898)


Virginia…This year is the wettest spring with 19.02"…Old Record 16.95 (2009)


Springfield…8th wettest spring with 17.21"..Record 21.83" (1893)


Jacksonville…5th wettest spring with 17.57…Record 18.21 (1927)


With more rain in the forecast some of these locations could set new records by Saturday. When you average all the models rain forecasts together it comes out to range from 2.5" to 3" with locally heavier amounts under stronger storms that develop. Stay tuned!





The balance between work and family…

Working in television is tough especially when your hours are dependent on the weather and very odd to begin with. We don't have a normal 9 to 5 job and when the weather turns nasty I have to be in the weather center until it's over. The questions I have been asking myself lately, how do I balance this crazy work schedule and have a very active family life? What are things I can do to delegate some duties so that I can be home but not over work other team members? When our baby is born, what can I do to be home with the baby and not miss out on things? Finally, when our child is old enough is the sacrifice of missing out on school plays, sporting events, birthdays, and holidays worth it?

I love what I do and I really hope it shows on the air. This weekend for example we had our newest meteorologist Lauren on duty! She comes to us from EIU which is the same school that I attended. Lauren did a great job and it was nice to get away from work during the weekend. Holiday's such as Monday are not guaranteed off days like in most other jobs. In TV, we have all have worked many Christmas', Thanksgivings and other major holidays. This Monday, I was able to spend some quality time with Ashley and Wrigley. The day started out at 4:30 AM for me as I was doing live radio cut-ins for WTAX. Once I finished that it was time to sleep in. Plans changed as originally we were going to the Terre Haute area to go boating. Instead, we decided to head out to Fairview Park and enjoy the sunshine and a mild temp since the whole weekend was rainy. I checked the radar and everything was quiet but next thing I know on our way home my phone rings and it's the station; there is a tornado warning! Well, here we go its time to cut the family day short and head to the station. I arrived and got on the air as quickly as I could to let people know what was happening. My goal is be the calm voice and give you the information you need to keep safe.

When I got home from doing the 6 PM newscast Ashley and I started to talk. I am very lucky to have such an amazing wife who understands this crazy business. Ashley used to be a producer so she understands why I have to leave at times. This brought up the conversation of how much the family of a weather person has to sacrifice and how they are left to fend for themselves in the event of severe weather. When I am in the office, I think about my family all the time. When a severe storm is headed for my house, my parents house or Ashley's families homes I get nervous. When I am on the air I can't pick up the phone and call them. I try and text Ashley, my parents, and her parents to let them know what's coming but sometimes it impossible. I know this is part of the job but its one part that I really don't like. I feel helpless for my family and even for you the viewer. I can only give you the information but then it's up to you to get to safety along with my family. I never want to see any damage or anyone to get injured. I pray every night and thank God for my job and for the safety of my family. If there is one thing I fear the most is someone will loose their life on my watch during severe weather and I can't do anything to prevent it. The only thing I can do is to tell you to "hit the deck".

In the years to come once our baby (boy or girl) is born, how do I not miss out on big events in their life? This is something that I have thought long and hard about. With any job it's going to be tough not to miss out on things. Most jobs you can have time off for major holidays and birthdays. What happens if on our child's 1st birthday we have a major severe weather outbreak? I will have to be at work to make sure everyone is safe and keep people informed. Once again my family will have to make the sacrifice of me being gone. I know this is especially hard for our men and women who are fighting for our freedom. I can't imagine being gone for a year at a time. They miss out on so much more; the birth of their children, the babies first steps, first words, and other major family events.

I don't mean to sound negative on this blog post but its something that Ashley and I have talked about since we have found out we are expecting our first child. I love doing weather, school visits, visiting with you the viewer! It's just going to be something I have to balance and try to be the best Dad, husband and family person I can be. I look forward to many more years here in Decatur giving you the weather but I have to remind myself to always focus on my family and not get wrapped up in work all the time. Have you ever though about these things? What did you do to try and be more involved with your families? Let me know. These are just a few questions I have been throwing around in my mind since we have our new addition coming in September. I look forward to hearing what you have to say!





As I sit here at work watching storms tonight I got thinking about baby stuff. I know that is not what you want to hear from your meteorologist on a night with storms, but nothing is severe at the moment. My wife Ashley writes a great blog and I wish I could write like her. Here is a link to her blog if you a moment give it a read. http://passportthroughtheworld.blogspot.com/#!/2013/05/your-pregnant-now-open-up-your-wallet.html


Her latest post was about how expensive it is to raise a child. I am so excited about the opportunity to become a Dad as I have mention in a previous blog post. It's also overwhelming when you see how much the first year alone will cost. When Ashley put in where we live and when our baby will be born she told me the amount on our walk tonight and I almost tripped. The amount of money is staggering! I know that the baby is worth it, but you don't think about that when you are starting to plan a family. I started thinking about ways we could save money and still buy things we need for the house, baby, and putting money away for a rainy day. I keep reminding myself that things will be ok and we will make it.


I am one of those people who when I see the check book at the end of the pay period I start to think how can I make that number larger. How can we use that money we have left to the max and save. Growing up working and traveling in the summers with my Grandparents really made me think about money and how I could make more and work hard for what you get. The money I would earn in the summers working with them was the money I would have for the whole year. I had to stretch that money until the next summer when I hit the road again. That was an invaluable lesson that I still carry with me today and I am so grateful to them for teaching me so many amazing lessons. To make extra money, I work baseball and basketball games through out the year. I love those two sports and this keeps me active, plus I get paid to do something I enjoy. Its going to be hard when the baby arrives to do these games but hopefully I will still be able to do some games and bring in that extra money to help our child. I know you have to make some sacrifices in your life and I want to be able to provide the best for our child. I know your not supposed to obsess about money but I just want the best for my wife and unborn child and I will work hard to give it to them.


Tonight like every night before I come back to the office I also kiss Ashley goodbye and then kiss her stomach and tell our little one (boy or girl) that I love them. I don't leave Wrigley out either. Every once in a while the baby will kick and when I feel that I can't describe the feeling to you. Its a high that nothing in the world can bring me down from. Ashley has been amazing through this so far and will be the most amazing Mom in the world. I am so glad to call her my wife, best friend, and partner in this amazing journey we are on called parenthood!








April is in the books and it was a cool and rainy one. Here are some stats from the month.


Avg. April High: 65.3                                     Avg. April Low: 41.8

Recorded April High: 62.5                            Recorded April Low: 41.8

----------------------------------                     -----------------------------------

     -2.8 below                                                              Normal



                                  Avg. April Mean: 53.5

                              Recorded April Mean: 52.2


                                    -1.3 below normal


Recorded Monthly Rain: 6.29"                                YTD Recorded Rain: 12.39"

Average Monthly Rain: 3.67"                                   Avg YTD Rain: 10.40"

------------------------------------                           , ;   -----------------------------------

  +2.62" above normal                                                +1.99" above normal

171% of normal                                                                119% of normal



April 2012: 3.05"

April 2013: 6.29"


+3.24 more in 2013



April 2012: 57.2

April 2013: 52.2


-5 degrees cooler than last year.







An exciting time in the Fultz Household!


My wife Ashley and I are very excited as we will be brining a new Cub fan into the world in September. As a Dad to be, there will be so many questions I will have. If you have any feedback please let me know.

When we found out that we were expecting I was beside myself excited! The news brought so much joy but also brought some questions. Are we ready for this? Yes! Do I think I can be a great Dad? Yes! Those were the first questions that popped into my mind.

As the weeks have gone on I find myself at times feeling helpless. I wish there was a way that I could bear some of the burden that my wife is going through growing our child inside of her. I have noticed that she runs out of breath a lot quicker when we are on a walk. She will get tired a lot quicker than she used too. I just wish I could feel some of these things, so that I would have more of a sense of what is going on with her body. The one thing I always try to do and I have been doing this since we have been together is; I always tell her how beautiful she looks! She is beautiful and I want her to feel that way. 

There are some things that I need to help out with more during this pregnancy. Taking on more around the house is something that I need to make sure that I am conscious about. We usually do a good job of working together on keeping the house clean but sometime I am guilty of leaving stuff lying around. I also want to make her feel special because she is. She is the love of my life, the mother of my unborn child, and my best friend. It's hard at times to remember that she is going through so much change, because I don't feel those changes on a daily basis like she does. I just have to keep reminding myself to try and be the best husband I can be and try and make her feel special everyday.

Something exciting happened last night...I got to feel the baby kick for the first time. We were in bed the other night and she said, "The baby is kicking". I ran over to the bed and tried to feel but came away disappointed. Last night she was lying on the couch and told me to come over and see if I could feel the baby kick. Sure enough after about a minute a good strong kick hit my hand! That is a feeling that I am never going to forget. Feeling your child kick for the first time is at the top of the list of the most amazing things I have ever experienced. I am looking forward to feeling more kicks and being able to feel the baby moving. My wife is an amazing woman and I am so proud of her for being a great Mom already and I love her so much.


Stay tuned for more....







Super Tornado Outbreak 1974


On this date in 1974 one of the most violent days of tornadoes in US history occurred. We were not spared here in central Illinois. Here is a little trivia from the National Weather Service Lincoln on the outbreak.


The most violent tornado outbreak in U.S. history began on this date and continued into the early morning hours of April 4. A total of 148 tornadoes were noted in 13 states in the central and eastern U.S., including Illinois. This outbreak killed 307 people and produced $600 million in damage. In central Illinois, the strongest tornado of this outbreak moved across Macon County affecting the west and north sides of Decatur in the early afternoon. This tornado killed one person and produced $3.4 million damage, destroyed 52 homes and severely damaged 110 others. Tornadoes were also reported in Logan, McLean, Champaign, Vermilion, Ford, and Edgar Counties.



The outbreak began on April 3rd and continued into the morning hours of the 4th. The map above shows all 148 tornados that occurred during the outbreak. Notice the long track tornadoes across Indiana and Alabama. The numbers show there where 6 F5 tornadoes, 23 F4 tornadoes, 35 F3 tornadoes, 30 F2 tornadoes, 31 F1 tornadoes, and 23 F0 tornadoes. The F5 torandoes impacted Xenia Ohio, Depauw Indiana, Sayler Park Ohio, Brandenburg Kentucky, Tanner Alabama and Guin Mississippi-Alabama. Here is a link to a website dedicated to this outbreak. http://www.april31974.com/index.htm

The two year anniversary of the Super Outbreak of 2011 will be coming up on April 25th. I will post about that one when we get closer.








The air mass has continues to modify today with temperatures warming into the upper 40s and low 50s! The warming trend looks to continue as high pressure slides to our east tomorrow. Another system will pass to our south tomorrow allowing for a few clouds to arrive tomorrow afternoon. A cold front will slide through tomorrow with little fanfare. The only way we will know the front passes is the wind will start out of the south tomorrow and by the afternoon switch to the north.

A storm system off the Pacific coast will push into the Rockies over the next couple days and turn our winds back out of the south. Highs on Friday will top out into the low 60s! The pressure gradient will tighten in the Midwest over the weekend which will help to drive our highs in the mid to upper 60s.

The extended forecast will become more active. A front will stall across the are in a zonal flow pattern. Pieces of energy will ride along the front bringing us a periodic shot for some showers and even rumbles of thunder from Sunday evening through Wednesday. The models don't agree on the timing of these waves or the placement of the front. Its not going to be a wash out next as of now just daily chances for showers. I will keep on eye on this as it evolves over the next couple of days. Rain amounts could be in order of 1" to 1.5" total by the middle of next week.






New wording when warnings are issued in central Illinois.


The National Weather Service Office in Lincoln will be using impact based warnings. These impact based warnings are designed to provide more information about a storm. The idea of the warnings is for you to understand how strong this storm is and what could happen as the storm arrives. Here is a link to the article from the National Weather Service with more information about the new wording in the warnings.










                                         March 2013 Stats


Avg. High: 52.6                                         Avg. Low: 31.9

Recorded High: 44.2                                  Recorded Low: 28.8

-------------------------                             --------------------------------

  -8.4 below normal                                     -3.1 below normal



                                        Avg. Mean: 42.3

                                        Recorded Mean: 36.5


                                      -5.8 below normal for March




Avg. March Precip: 2.59"                             Avg. YTD Precip: 6.73"

Recorded March Precip: 1.71"                      Rec. YTD Precip: 6.10

---------------------------------                         ----------------------------

   -0.88" below normal                                         -0.63" below normal



Avg. March Snow: 1.7"

2013 March Snow: 16"


 +14.3" above normal


In Decatur the average yearly snow from January to December is 16" and as of April 1st 2013 we have received 22"! Keep in mind we saw 14" of those on the 24th of March.

March 2013 temps where -20.3 degrees cooler than March 2012. The warmest temp recorded in March 2012 was 83 while this March 62 was the warmest it got.

The outlook for the April is above normal temps and above normal precipitation. We will see how it plays out. I am going to try and keep the blog updated more often!




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