We have put May in the book and June 1st marks the beginning of meteorological summer! I was looking back through the May climo data and it was a month of extremes. Here is a break down of what took place in May.
Avg. High: 76.09 Avg. Low: 51.61
Recorded High Avg: 74.6 Recorded Low Avg: 55.3
-2.03 Below Avg. +3.69 Above Avg.
Avg. Mean Temp: 63.7
Recorded Mean Temp: 64.9
+1.2 Above Avg.
Warmest May on Record: 71.5 in 1962
Coldest May on Record: 56.5 in 1907
We ended the month of May +1.2 above average. You notice the high temperatures where below average but the overnight lows made up the margin to put May in the books above average.
High: Days: Low: Days:
90's 2 70's 2
89 to 80 12 69 to 60 12
79 to 70 4 59 to 50 5
69 to 60 9 49 to 40 10
<59 4 39 to 30 2
Warmest High: 90 May 11th and 30th
Coolest High: 53 May 15th
Warmest Low: 73 May 31st
Coolest Low: 38 May 17th
That sums up May in a nut shell; the roller coaster ride temperature wise.
4 days 1" or more
2 days 2" or more
Record Precipitation on May, 25th 2011: 2.25"
Wettest May on Record 12.57" in 1943
Driest May on Record .30 in 1934
The first 4 months saw 9.08" we were only .11" from picking up as much in May as the first 4 months combined. We did see more then the first three months combined.
Looks like the warm temperatures we saw today are going to stick around the next 7 days but a little relief from the humidity is in store for tomorrow and Thursday. Then its back to the hot and sticky weather. Here are some heat tips the National Weather Service recommends.Summertime often brings excessive heat and humidity to central Illinois. With people frequently involved in outdoor activities this time of year, it can be easy to quickly be overcome by the heat. During the last 10 years, an average of 237 people nationwide have been killed each year due to the effects of high heat. Learning what to do ahead of time can help keep you safe.
Click here for more information on Heat Safety
Excessive heat results from a combination of high temperatures and high humidities. At certain levels, the human body cannot maintain proper internal temperatures and may experience heat stroke. The "Heat Index" (HI) is a measure of the effect of the combined elements on the body.
HEAT INDEX CHART (Apparent Temperature)
Relative Humidity (%)
The colors in the chart represent various heat disorders that can occur at the given heat index value, given prolonged exposure to the heat and/or physical activity. Note that exposure to full sunshine can increase the apparent heat index by up to 15 degrees. Additionally, the effects can vary from person to person (due to age, medical health, etc.).
|Heat Index Value||Possible Heat Disorder|
|80 to 90||Fatigue possible with prolonged exposure and physical activity.|
|91 to 105||Sunstroke, heat cramps and heat exhaustion possible.|
|106 to 129||Sunstroke, heat cramps, and heat exhaustion likely; heat stroke possible.|
|130 or higher||Heat stroke highly likely with continued exposure.|
To learn how to protect yourself from the heat, please read the American Red Cross publication, " Are You Ready for a Heat Wave?".
For more scientific information on how the heat index is calculated, read the NWS Technical Attachment SR90-23, "The Heat Index Equation (or, More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About the Heat Index)". This is in PDF format.
The National Weather Service will issue advisories and warnings of excessive heat and humidity as necessary. Thresholds for issuances will vary on location, depending on how urban the area is, and the part of the country. For most of Illinois, the criteria is as follows:
For southwest and far west central Illinois, the criteria is slightly higher. Additionally, the cities of Chicago and St. Louis have separate criteria, due to the urban nature of those areas.
Holiday Weekend Plans!!!!
I asked people on facebook what their plans where for this Memorial Day weekend. Here are some of the responses.
JC Fultz: Ashley and me are headed to the lake to do some boating and I am sure I will be nice and red on Tuesday when I am on the air.
Jenny P: BBQ and fishing
Shannon B: Camper Time!!!!
Sheila R: Graduation, then off to celebrate three birthdays and eat some fried chicken.
Toni W: celebrating 3rd anniversary
Anna M: Indy 500!!!
Heather T: going to Mexico
Joesph A: Car show in Danville on Saturday
John A: Adult beverages!!!
Jim G: Boat ride and some fishing then light up the Weber.
Lake Shelbyville: Sort of depends on the forecast- can you make our weekend weather stunning?
Murray M: southern Illinois to go camping.
Troy C: playing baseball, know any good umpires?
Tyler R: watching T-Town at sectional finals for baseball Go Shoes
Dawn E: Villa Grove graduation and pool party!!!!
Chris Y (my neighbor): starting to work on the garage!!! come help. Haha
I hope all of you have a great weekend and please use a DD if you decided to enjoy some adult cocktails. Everyone be safe and enjoy the summer like weather that we will see over the weekend.
So far, 2011 has proved a year destined for the tornado record books.
Nearly 1,200 tornadoes have swarmed the United States this year, according to preliminary numbers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Four of these storms have been rated at the highest tornado strength, an EF-5. The death toll from these tornadoes has likely topped 500, a number not seen since 1953.
But why has this year seen so many and such devastating twisters? Scientists point to several large-scale climate factors, some of which have been at work behind the scenes since winter. And at least some of the mind-boggling tornado numbers, believe it or not, can be chalked up to humans — there are more of us around to see them.
La Niña's exit
Some of the blame for the wild tornado streak lies with La Niña, a cyclical system of trade winds that cools the waters of the equatorial Pacific Ocean. (El Niño is La Niña's warm-water counterpart.)
Although we were in the grip of one of the most powerful La Niñas on record this last year, La Niña made a sudden exit about three months ago, said Bill Patzert, a climatologist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.
"La Niña would have been beneficial for all these people that have been so clobbered," Patzert said. "If La Niña had maintained its strength, perhaps we wouldn't have seen so many tornadoes."
How do trade winds in the Pacific relate to deadly storms in the southern and central United States? It has to do with the jet stream, a high-speed air current that is essentially an atmospheric fence where cool, dry air meets up with warm, moist air — two of the main ingredients for severe storms. [Related: Why Tornado Forecasting is Tough]
La Niña has a stabilizing effect on the jet stream, and pushes it to higher latitudes.
Without La Niña around, the jet stream has gone rogue, Patzert told OurAmazingPlanet. "This time of the year it should be farther north," he said.
Instead, the jet stream has spent April and May draped across the middle of the country, where it has the chance to violently mix cool, dry northern air with warm, moist southern air.
And in 2011, those two air masses have been on the extreme ends of the temperature scale.
Hot and cold
Patzert said lingering effects of last winter's record snowfalls and snow packs have kept northern air especially cold, and the strong La Niña fueled unusually hot conditions in the southwest.
In addition, the sea surface temperature of the Gulf of Mexico is between 1.8 and 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.0 to 1.5 degrees Celsius) warmer than average, said Jake Crouch, a climatologist at the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C.
Crouch said the warm, moist air is the perfect fuel for severe weather.
"If there's more moisture and the atmosphere is warmer, it's more unstable, so there's more potential there for severe thunderstorms to develop," Crouch told OurAmazingPlanet.
Like gasoline on a fire, those extremes provide the potential for more storms, and more powerful ones. And when powerful thunderstorms run into the windy conditions that occur each spring, they often begin to spin — and sometimes with horrifying consequences.
The tornado that devastated Joplin, Mo., killing at least 125 people, is not only the deadliest single tornado to strike the United States since 1947, but the storm has now been upgraded to an EF-5, the most intensely damaging tornado on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, with winds in excess of 200 mph (322 kph).
It is the fourth EF-5 tornado this year. In contrast, a single EF-5 hit the United States in 2008, one hit in 2007; before that, the last EF-5 hit in 1999.
However, scientists say it's important to take a hard look at the numbers before jumping to any conclusions about the sheer numbers of tornadoes in the United States, and whether those numbers are going up.
"Just because we've seen an increase in the number of tornadoes doesn't mean there has actually been an increase in the number of tornadoes," said Greg Carbin, the warning coordination meteorologist with the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla.
Decades ago, when the country was more sparsely populated — and not everyone had a camera-equipped cell phone — there were simply fewer people around to spot and report tornadoes, Carbin said.
In addition, Carbin said, many initial tornado tallies include tornadoes that are counted more than once.
According to NOAA's preliminary count, April saw 875 tornadoes. "That's a gigantic number," Carbin said. "It may turn out there were that many tornadoes, but I can guarantee that many of those were not significant tornadoes, but they get into the database now because everyone has a tornado they want to report."
The highest number of tornadoes on record for any month is 542, from May 2003. Carbin said he suspects that once all the data are compiled, April's numbers will be closer to the May 2003 numbers.
In addition, both Carbin and Crouch pointed to the fact that with increasing urbanization, more people are affected when storms do hit, putting tornadoes in the spotlight.
Numbers and climate conditions aside, one thing is for certain, the scientists said — this tornado season has been unusually violent, as the horrific images splashed across the evening news attest, and it's not even close to being over.
Another Outbreak today…
It has been a wild day in weather across Oklahoma and Texas and now moving into Missouri and Arkansas tonight. A big area of low pressure is driving all this mess and that low is moving to the east. In these areas warm and humid air is being pumped to the north and cool air is slamming in from the north. This is a classic set up for severe weather. Helicity (wind shifting with height) were sky high and CAPE values were elevated. There have been several violent tornadoes to the south of Oklahoma City and then later on this evening in the Dallas Metro-plex.
We need to watch our weather closely because if the atmosphere can recover after the first round of storms roll through we could be in for some strong to severe storms tomorrow evening. The strongest storms in the evening should fire to the east of US 51. Stay tuned and keep an eye to the sky.
My prayers go out to the people of SW Missouri after the horrible tornado that devastated Joplin. Plus lets not forget the people of Alabama who are still picking up after that outbreak. I ask that you keep those people in your thoughts and prayers. This is an eerie reminder of the power that Mother Nature can unleash. This is why it's so important to have a NOAA Weather Radio in your home. We are partnered with Midland Radio Corporation and you can pick up your weather radio at Walgreens and Schnooks stores across our area. If you go to the Season of Change link you can learn a little more about severe weather and see tips that our Weather Team has come up with to help keep you save and prepared. Sorry I didn't have a chance to write more tonight but it has been a busy evening.
Hurricane Season around the corner…
I know it might seem weird to talk about hurricanes here in the Midwest but we do get impacted by them. Those impacts could be heavy rains from reminisce of a storm or the just the clouds. Fact is if we go back several years to September 2008 you might recall when hurricane Ike and Gustav game a shore we got dumped on with rain from what was left of those systems. Gustav made landfall September 1st and then the reminisce moved into the central US and dumped 4.63" or rain on central Illinois. Then on Septemb, er 13 Ike made landfall near Galveston Texas and then tracked into central Illinois dumping another 6.84" of rain. These two storms combined dumped 11.47" of rain in two weeks. With that said it led to the rainiest month of 2008. The Hurricane Center has released their 2011 projections so I have posted the article below. Officially Hurricane season begins on June 1st only 13 days from now. Only time will tell how active this season will become but you can be assured we will keep our eyes to the Atlantic and Gulf.
May 19, 2011
Hurricanes Karl, Igor and Julia (from left to right on Sept. 16) were part of the onslaught of Atlantic storms last hurricane season (2010).
Download here. (Credit: NOAA)
The Atlantic basin is expected to see an above-normal hurricane season this year, according to the seasonal outlook issued by NOAA's Climate Prediction Center – a division of the National Weather Service.
Across the entire Atlantic Basin for the six-month season, which begins June 1, NOAA is predicting the following ranges this year:
Each of these ranges has a 70 percent likelihood, and indicate that activity will exceed the seasonal average of 11 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes.
"The United States was fortunate last year, . Winds steered most of the season's tropical storms and all hurricanes away from our coastlines," said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. "However we can't count on luck to get us through this season. We need to be prepared, especially with this above-normal outlook."
Climate factors considered for this outlook are:
"In addition to multiple climate factors, seasonal climate models also indicate an above-normal season is likely, and even suggest we could see activity comparable to some of the active seasons since 1995," said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.
NOAA's seasonal hurricane outlook does not predict where and when any of these storms may hit. Landfall is dictated by weather patterns in place at the time the storm approaches. For each storm, NOAA's National Hurricane Center forecasts how these weather patterns affect the storm track, intensity and landfall potential.
"The tornadoes that devastated the South and the large amount of flooding we've seen this sprin, g should serve as a reminder that disasters can happen anytime and anywhere. As we move into this hurricane season it's important to remember that FEMA is just part of an emergency management team that includes the entire federal family, state, local and tribal governments, the private sector and most importantly the public," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.
"Now is the time, if you haven't already, to get your plan together for what you and your family would do if disaster strikes. Visit ready.gov to learn more. And if you're a small business owner, visit www.ready.gov/business to ensure that your business is prepared for a disaster," added Fugate.
Hurricane impacts are not limited to the coastline; strong winds and flooding rainfall often pose a threat across inland areas along with the risk for tornadoes.
Next week, May 22-28, is national Hurricane Preparedness Week. To help prepare residents of hurricane-prone areas, NOAA is unveiling a new set of video and audio public service announcements featuring NOAA hurricane experts and the FEMA administrator that are available in both English and Spanish. These are available at http://www.hurricanes.gov/prepare.
A fun visit...
I had a great time today speaking with the 3rd grade class at St. Mary's in Mattoon this afternoon. We talked about how weather works, showed them how I come up with a forecast, talked about severe weather, and finally saw the Stormrunner. Thank you guys for the flower pot and the may flowers. Here is a picture of us all in front of the Stormrunner!
In other news looks like rain chances will be returning on a daily bases as we move into the weekend. A low pressure system is getting cranked up in Colorado and a warm front will swing our way for Saturday. This will help to bring warmer air along with moisture to the area. We could see chances for showers and storms Saturday and a very slight chance on Sunday. Then the cold front that will push across the area Sunday evening will stall along the Ohio River and another low will develop in the plains. With this front just to our south a daily threat for showers will be possible. The position of the front will hold the key to temperatures with the Euro model and the GFS at odds right now with temperatures and position of that boundary. I am going to watch this closely to see what I might have to do with temperatures and rain chances.
What we do for our pets.
I have talked about our golden retriever Wrigley on this blog before but its amazing how fast they grow up. On June 6th he will be one year old already. I can still remember when Ashley and I went to pick him up after we got home from vacation. He was so scared when we got him home but now watch out he is a handful. Its funny how our pets become part of the family and how attached we become to them. Wrigley the other morning was on our bed playing and when you get a 65 pound golden all wound up watch out. He slipped and broke off his claw nail on the side of his leg. We didn't see it at first but Ashley told me she thought she saw some blood. Wrig had jumped off the bed and was laying on the floor licking his paw but he never cried or wined at all. We took him to the vet and she was amazing with him. If you are in the Mattoon-Charleston area I would recommend Albin Animal Hospital! The vet's there are great and they treat Wrigley like he is a person. They had to cut off part of the claw because it had broke but he took it like a trooper. They wrapped up his paw with some tape and gauze and told us to leave it on him all night. The tape was supposed to taste bad, Wrigley didn't think so and had it off his foot after two hours. Here is a picture below of him with his band-aid on. Needless to say it was an eventful start to a morning last week.
Sunshine will be at a minimum this week thanks to a couple systems. Looks like some sunshine and warmer temperatures Thursday and Friday. The weekend we have a chance for some showers and storms but it doesn't look like a complete wash out.
Its was an interesting April,
I found this article today when I was looking at NOAA's website and thought you might enjoy the information. TGIF!!!!!
May 9, 2011
Historic flooding, a record-breaking tornado outbreak and devastating wildfire activity made April 2011 a month of historic climate extremes across much of the United States, according to scientists at NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in Asheville, N.C.
The average U.S. temperature in April was 52.9 degrees F, which is 0.9 degrees F above the long-term (1901-2000) average. April precipitation was 0.7 inches above the long-term average, the 10th wettest April on record. This monthly analysis, based on records dating back to 1895, is part of the suite of climate services NOAA provides.
April 2011 temperature "divisional rank" maps are available at the NCDC site.
High resolution (Credit: NOAA)
U.S. Climate Highlights – April
April 2011 precipitation "divisional rank" map are available at the NCDC site.
High resolution (Credit: NOAA)
U.S. Climate Highlights
February – April
Previous 12 months
NCDC's State of the Climate analyses, which assess the current state of the climate, are released soon after the end of each month. They are based on preliminary data, which are subject to revision. Additional quality control is applied to the data when late reports are received several weeks after the end of the month and as new scientific methods improve NCDC's processing algorithms.
NOAA's mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources.
The big topic around Decatur the past couple of days is a sign that was put up....Do you notice anything on the sign?
Yep Taylorville is spelled wrong! :( Wow!!!!!!!
It was a hot and humid day all across the CI. We had a record high low temp set yesterday in Springfield of 70 degrees breaking the old mark set in 1979 of 69. Today Springfield made it up to 91 breaking the old record of 88 set in 2007. Decatur got close today by tying the record of 89 set in 1922. Peoria made it to 91 breaking their record of 90 that dated back to 1896! Looks like another warm day tomorrow but I don't think we will get to record levels. Tomorrow record high for Decatur is 90 and I don't see that happening. Looks like another round of some scattered storms will fire in the afternoon and then the cooler air will move in just in time for the weekend.
I have to give a big thank you to Chris Bagg's one of our photog's for his help editing my SOS (Save Our Schools) package I did for today. I also have to thank Joel Hackney and Cameron Craig for their in sights into ways we can get kids interested in math and science and ways to improve scores.
Preview of summer!!!!
We have gone from March temperatures last week with some frost in the morning to July like weather this afternoon. Thanks to a blocky pattern in the eastern 1/3rd of the county has allowed warm air to surge north. We saw a few isolated storms pop this afternoon on the nose of a low level jet that moved across metro east of St. Louis. Forecasting weather during a mesoscale systems is the hardest because we have a hard time nailing down locations of these disturbances. The forecast models don't pick up on these well either.
Dew point: is the temperature air will reach saturation when air cools and maintains a constant pressure and constant moisture content.
Relative Humidity: RH can be explained as the "closeness the air is the saturation". When the RH is less than 40%, it feels dry outside, and when the RH is greater than 80% it feels moist outside (dewpoint will determine if it is uncomfortably moist or just regularly moist). Between 40 and 80% RH is comfortable if the temperature is also comfortable.
I want to talk about what you should look at to understand just how muggy it is out. You should look at the dew point temperature as it doesn't fluctuate like relative humidity will. At night the RH percentage will be higher as temperature cools closer to the dew point temperature the RH value will increase. In the dead of winter we still could have RH values in the 90 to 100 percent level. The dew point temperature will stay fairly constant unless we have moisture advection or a synoptic scale system (cold front, warm front) move through during the day. Anytime dew points are in the 50's the air is fairly dry and comfortable in the summer months. When we see dew points climb into the 60's the air becomes uncomfortable and when they soar into the 70's that is very moist air and your body has a hard time keeping itself cool and the air is oppressive. If we see dew points into the upper 70's and low 80's the air is tropical like and miserable. Today, we saw dew point in the upper 60's which made it a little uncomfortable.
Looks like chances for some scattered convection will be possible again tomorrow, Thursday and Friday as a low pressure system across the plains is moving very slowly to the east. With this low moving slowly it will keep our chances for some scattered showers around even through the weekend and also drop temperatures into the 60's for highs. I am watching a few factors closely as we might have to hold onto a chance for a shower into Monday as the low might hang up a little longer.
Main Street Monday!!!!
Today we were in Warrensburg for this week's episode of Main Street Monday. You can go to my facebook page JC Fultz or on WAND-TV facebook page and tell me where you want to see us next Monday. This has been a fun segment for me as I get the chance to go out in the community and meet people and to explore different area of the CI. Also on Wednesday not only will we explore Wild Weather around the country but I go looking for answers on how we can improve math and science scores in area school.
Hope all of you had a great weekend as the weather was decent across most of the area but not the case in east central Illinois where we had those strong storms on Saturday. I was umpiring a baseball game on Saturday and could see the anvil tops of those storms in the distance and could tell they where strong. We had a rain delay as a little dark cloud came right over the diamond and stopped the game for about 10 minutes. The kids where having a blast in the rain and we were lucky enough to finish.
It's going to be hot and humid during the day tomorrow. I think Mother Nature has put our weather on shuffle. Temps will , make it into the 80's and 90's with dew points into the upper 60's and low 70's which means muggy and uncomfortable air. We have gone from March weather to June weather today and now tomorrow will be July weather. Let's enjoy the dry weather tomorrow as more shower chances return to the area.
Happy Mother's Day,
I hope you all remembered that it's Mom's Day on Sunday? I wanted to thank my mom for all that she has done. She was always at all my athletic events whether they were home games or road games. I know that times can be tough as all mother/son relationships go but I will always love my Mom and I, hope you have a great day. What is special about your Mom? Let me know and I will post it on the blog. Also, don't forget Main Street Monday coming up tune in and find out where I will land! Have a great weekend.
Happy Cinco de Mayo!!!!
I found this article talking about what cinco de mayo actually represents…
The 5th of May is not Mexican Independence Day, but it should be! And Cinco de Mayo is not an American holiday, but it should be. Mexico declared its independence from mother Spain on midnight, the 15th of September, 1810. And it took 11 years before the first Spanish soldiers were told and forced to leave Mexico.
So, why Cinco de Mayo? And why should Americans savor this day as well? Because 4,000 Mexican soldiers smashed the French and traitor Mexican army of 8,000 at Puebla, Mexico, 100 miles east of Mexico City on the morning of May 5, 1862.
The French had landed in Mexico (along with Spanish and English troops) five months earlier on the pretext of collecting Mexican debts from the newly elected government of democratic President (and Indian) Benito Juarez. The English and Spanish quickly made deals and left. The French, however, had different ideas.
Under Emperor Napoleon III, who detested the United States, the French came to stay. They brought a Hapsburg prince with them to rule the new Mexican empire. His name was Maximilian; his wife, Carolota. Napoleon's French Army had not been defeated in 50 years, and it invaded Mexico with the finest modern equipment and with a newly reconstituted Foreign Legion. The French were not afraid of anyone, especially since the United States was embroiled in its own Civil War.
The French Army left the port of Vera Cruz to attack Mexico City to the west, as the French assumed that the Mexicans would give up should their capital fall to the enemy -- as European countries traditionally did.
Under the command of Texas-born General Zaragosa, (and the cavalry under the command of Colonel Porfirio Diaz, later to be Mexico's president and dictator), the Mexicans awaited. Brightly dressed French Dragoons led the enemy columns. The Mexican Army was less stylish.
General Zaragosa ordered Colonel Diaz to take his cavalry, the best in the world, out to the French flanks. In response, the French did a most stupid thing; they sent their cavalry off to chase Diaz and his men, who proceeded to butcher them. The remaining French infantrymen charged the Mexican defenders through sloppy mud from a thunderstorm and through hundreds of head of stampeding cattle stirred up by Indians armed only with machetes.
When the battle was over, many French were killed or wounded and their cavalry was being chased by Diaz' superb horsemen miles away. The Mexicans had won a great victory that kept Napoleon III from supplying the confederate rebels for another year, allowing the United States to build the greatest army the world had ever seen. This grand army smashed the Confederates at Gettysburg just 14 months after the battle of Puebla, essentially ending the Civil War.
Union forces were then rushed to the Texas/Mexican border under General Phil Sheridan, who made sure that the Mexicans got all the weapons and ammunition they needed to expel the French. American soldiers were discharged with their uniforms and rifles if they promised to join the Mexican Army to fight the French. The American Legion of Honor marched in the Victory Parade in Mexico, City.
It might be a historical stretch to credit the survival of the United States to those brave 4,000 Mexicans who faced an army twice as large in 1862. But who knows?
In gratitude, thousands of Mexicans crossed the border after Pearl Harbor to join the U.S. Armed Forces. As recently as the Persian Gulf War, Mexicans flooded American consulates with phone calls, trying to join up and fight another war for America.
Mexicans, you see, never forget who their friends are, and neither do Americans. That's why Cinco de Mayo is such a party -- A party that celebrates freedom and liberty. There are two ideals which Mexicans and Americans have fought shoulder to shoulder to protect, ever since the 5th of May, 1862. VIVA! el CINCO DE MAYO!!
I also wanted to talk about a term some of you have been asking about. We had a line of showers and storms develop this afternoon and as they moves to the east a gust front developed. A gust front—The leading edge of a mesoscale pressure dome separating the outflow air in a convective storm from the environmental air. This boundary, which is marked by upward motion along it and downward motion behind it, is followed by a surge of gusty winds on or near the ground. A gust front is often associated with a pressure jump, wind shift, temperature drop, and sometimes with heavy precipitation. Gust fronts are often marked by arcus clouds (shelf or roll clouds).
In todays case it was the outflow from the line of storms (cool air) that caused some gusty winds at the surface. This also had the potential to create gustnadoes.
As I like to say a dust devil on steroids. Friday looks like its going to be a great day with temps in the upper 60's to lower 70's. Then some rain moves back in for Saturday and an iso shower is not out of the question for late Sunday afternoon. Still watching a warm fronts position as it will drape across the CI on Monday and will divide very warm moist air from some cooler air. I still think it will swing to the north of the CI keeping our temps in the 80's Monday thru Wednesday. I will let you know more tomorrow as the models are starting to handle this situation a little better.
It was a frosty morning across central Illinois as temperatures dropped into the 30's this morning. No records from this morning but the record for Decatur is 31 set in 1907 as this morning low was 36 just 5 degrees above the record. The typical low temperature for this date is 48 so this morning low was 12 degrees below normal. Here is a list of the reports from this morning.
I am keeping a close eye on a few factors that could allow our temperatures to soar into the 80's by next week. A warm front will lift across the area on Sunday night which as of now looks like it could stall in northern Illinois. If the front stalls across central Illinois we could see a huge thermal gradient in just our area. I am going to keep watching this and as we get closer we will see how it's going to shake out. I am taking the more conservative approach and leaving out the showers but if that front stalls here we could even see a few scattered storms Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
If you cant tell by just looking around it has been a wet April. Flooding will continue across the Wabash and Ohio Valley's over the next several weeks. Here at WAND-Stormcenter 17 we picked up 9.08" of rain in the month of April. Our normal monthly precipitation total for April is 3.81" so we were +5.27" above normal. In the first three months of the year Jan thru Mar. we picked up only 5.32" of liquid precipitation. In April alone we saw 3.76" more rain then we did the first three months of the year. Here is a list of towns and how their April precipitation stacks up to the past April's.
An active weather pattern persisted across the area for the entire month of April. This resulted in well above normal rainfall amounts, ranging from around 125% of normal in the northwest part of the state, to over 300% of normal in southern Illinois. Maps below from NOAA MRCC show percent of normal rainfall, and actual rainfall amounts across the Midwest for April.
In addition to the heavy rain, several intense storm systems brought severe weather to the region. Severe weather events on April 15 and April 19 produced the first tornadoes of the severe weather season for central IL. A frontal boundary wavered across the Ohio Valley April 22-27, causing an extended period of heavy rain over the southern half of the state which led to flash flooding during the event, and river flooding through the end of the month for much of central and southeast Illinois.
April 15 Review
Severe thunderstorms impacted parts of central and southeast Illinois on Friday, April 15th. A deepening area of low pressure across northern Missouri helped pull a warm front northward into the region. To the north of the front, windy and cool weather prevailed for the entire day. Meanwhile, much warmer and more humid conditions were observed south of the front across Missouri into southern Illinois. Central Illinois remained between the two contrasting airmasses, with the frontal boundary reaching a Jacksonville...to Effingham...to Robinson line by late afternoon.
Instability parameters remained rather modest, with the evening upper air sounding at NWS Lincoln showing CAPE values of less than 1000J/kg. However, large amounts of low-level wind shear were present in the vicinity of the warm front. Surface winds were generally from the E/SE at around 10 kts, but quickly veered to the south and increased to 40 kts at around 3000 ft aloft. This strengthening and turning of winds with height aided in the formation of rotating updrafts within many of the developing thunderstorm cells.
As a result, numerous supercell thunderstorms formed near the warm front between 4 PM and 7 PM...mainly southwest of a Canton...to Lincoln...to Decatur line. A survey conducted by NWS Lincoln staff members on Saturday, April 16th uncovered evidence of three tornado touchdowns across parts of Menard and Mason counties. See a summary of the storm damage surveys conduced for April 15 here.
In addition to the tornadoes, numerous reports of funnel clouds and large hail were received. Golf-ball sized hail (1.75" diameter) was observed at the Springfield airport, while hen-egg sized hail (2" diameter) occurred just west of Waverly in Morgan County.
As the evening progressed and the weak instability waned, the storms eventually congealed into a linear structure and began accelerating east-northeast. The southern portion of the line produced gusty winds from south of Taylorville southeastward to Lawrenceville. A gust to 53 mph was measured at the Flora airport, while a trained weather observer just east of Birds in Lawrence County recorded a 56 mph gust.
April 19 Review
An initial round of convection affected parts of central and southeast Illinois Tuesday morning, April 19. This activity formed north of a warm front, as a low level jet stream brought in unstable air a few thousand feet above ground. Hail from pea size up to the size of quarters, and locally heavy rain of 1-2" affected much of the area between 4 and 9 AM.
By mid afternoon a strong warm front shifted north to near the I-72 corridor. Low clouds and northeast winds north of the front held temperatures in the 40s, while south of the front sunny skies and southerly winds pushed temperatures into the 70s with dew points in the 60s. A high of 46 in Peoria and 80 in Springfield showed the sharp contrast across this front!
Strong low level wind shear in the vicinity of this boundary provided a key ingredient for a rotating supercell to form in east central Missouri around 3 PM. This storm tracked east periodically dropping up to baseball sized hail and cyclic tornadoes. This cell skirted the southwest fringe of the ILX county warning area with hail and damaging winds affecting far southern Scott, Morgan, and Sangamon counties. The southern part of this cell produced an EF3 tornado that caused significant damage in Girard. Check out the St. Louis NWS storm summary page for details on this tornado. Other storms developed during this time north of the warm front and produced copious amounts of pea to nickel sized hail northeast along the Illinois River valley. Heavy rain with these storms also produced localized flash flooding.
As the main supercell tracked into Christian county the circulation broadened and a more linear thunderstorm structure began to form. The system quickly grew upscale into a QLCS (quasi-linear convective system) which produced large hail, widespread damaging straight line winds, and brief tornadic spin ups along the leading edge. Between 7 and 10 PM this line of storms tracked through eastern Illinois, downing trees and power lines and causing localized structural damage in the strongest wind gusts. Very heavy rain rates also produced more localized flash flooding. Damage surveys conducted the following day determined 6 tornadoes touched down, see the results here.
April 22-27 Review
A persistent frontal boundary over the Ohio River Valley brought numerous rounds of showers and thunderstorms to the region from Friday, April 22nd through Wednesday, April 27th. While much of central Illinois was spared from the strongest storms, our east-central and southeast Illinois communities received copious amounts of rainfall. Locations along and south of I-70 generally picked up 6 to 8 inches of rain...with a few spots around Olney exceeding 9 inches! As a result of the recent heavy rainfall, many rivers and streams rose above flood stage across Illinois. Below is the 6-day accumulated SWOP rainfall map for the period:
Below are April rainfall statistics for several cities in central and southeast Illinois.
Peoria Top 10 Wettest Aprils (records began 1883)...
1 8.66 inches in 1947
2 8.49 inches in 1950
3 8.32 inches in 1944
4 7.86 inches in 1893
5 7.33 inches in 2011
6 7.18 inches in 1970
7 7.17 inches in 1909
8 7.06 inches in 1983
9 6.92 inches in 1964
10 6.88 inches in 1912
Champaign-Urbana, IL Top 10 Wettest Aprils (records began 1888)...
1 9.55 inches 1964
2 9.27 inches 1994
3 7.71 inches 1970
4 7.68 inches 1893
5 7.64 inches 1922
6 7.49 inches 1957
7 7.44 inches 1909
8 7.43 inches 1944
9 7.42 inches 2011
10 6.94 inches 2009
Here are ranked April totals across Central & Southeast IL, courtesy of
NWS Cooperative Weather Observers...
Hutsonville.......... 13.74 inches (Wettest April & 2nd Wettest Month, records began 1946)
Olney 2S............. 13.31 inches (Wettest April & Month, records began 1890)
Robinson............. 13.18 inches (Wettest April & 2nd Wettest Month, records 1896-1911 & 2000-2011)
Lawrenceville........ 12.56 inches (Wettest April & Month, records began 2000)
Palestine............ 12.40 inches (Wettest April & 2nd Wettest Month, records began 1892)
Clay City 6SSE....... 11.87 inches (Wettest April & 4th Wettest Month, records began 1947)
Casey................ 11.78 inches (Wettest April & 6th Wettest Month, records began 1893)
Beecher City........, . 11.37 inches (Wettest April & 2nd Wettest Month, records began 1974)
Effingham............ 11.12 inches (Wettest April & 4th Wettest Month, records began 1951)
Lawrenceville Airport 10.56 inches (Wettest April & 2nd Wettest Month, records began 2000)
Flora................ 10.49 inches (2nd Wettest April & 14th Wettest Month, records began 1893)
Mattoon.............. 10.23 inches (Wettest April & 3rd Wettest Month, records began 1948)
Sullivan............. 10.22 inches (2nd Wettest April & 4th Wettest Month, records 1899-1915 & 1992-2011)
Paris................. 9.99 inches (Wettest April & 12th Wettest Month, records began 1893)
Charleston............ 9.81 inches (Wettest April & 15th Wettest Month, records began 1896)
Neoga 4NW............. 9.60 inches (Wettest April & Month, records began 2005)
St David.............. 9.25 inches (2nd Wettest April & 6th Wettest Month, records began 2004)
Shelbyville Dam....... 9.00 inches (Wettest April & 4th Wettest Month, records began 1976)
Windsor............... 8.73 inches (3rd Wettest April & 28th Wettest Month, records began 1904)
Mattoon Airport....... 8.36 inches (Wettest April & 2nd Wettest Month, records began 2000)
Pana.................. 8.82 inches (4th Wettest April, records began 1890)
Danville.............. 8.17 inches (5th Wettest April, records began 1911)
Tuscola............... 8.02 inches (5th Wettest April, records began 1893)
Hoopeston............. 7.72 inches (3rd Wettest April, records began 1902)
Champaign-Urbana...... 7.42 inches (9th Wettest April, records began 1888)
Sidell 5NW............ 7.33 inches (3rd Wettest April, records began 1946)
Peoria Airport........ 7.30 inches (5th Wettest April, records began 1883)
Havana................ 7.27 inches (Wettest April, records began 1917)
Moweaqua.............. 7.21 inches (5th Wettest April, records began 1963)
Lovington............. 7.08 inches (Wettest April & 9th Wettest Month, records began 2000)
Ogden................. 7.02 inches (Wettest April & 8th Wettest Month, records began 2000)
Morrisonville......... 6.95 inches (2nd Wettest April, records began 1980)
Champaign Airport..... 6.90 inches (Wettest April & 7th Wettest Month, records began 2000)
Decatur............... 6.86 inches (11th Wettest April, records began 1894)
Clinton............... 6.70 inches (10th Wettest April, records began 1910)
Bloomington Airport... 6.69 inches
Newman 3W............. 6.46 inches (5th Wettest April, records began 1990)
Philo................. 6.37 inches (3rd Wettest April, records 1893-1915 & 2002-2011)
Kincaid 3W............ 6.29 inches (3rd Wettest April, records began 1973)
Sherman............... 6.24 inches (3rd Wettest April, records began 2000)
Decatur Airport....... 6.20 inches (Wettest April & 9th Wettest Month, records began 2000)
Springfield........... 6.18 inches (2nd Wettest April & 15th Wettest Month, records began 2003)
Chenoa................ 6.16 inches (8th Wettest April, records began 1944)
Stanford 2S........... 6.15 inches (Wettest April & 7th Wettest Month, records began 2004)
Princeville........... 6.08 inches (6th Wettest April, records began 1928)
Bloomington 5W........ 6.04 inches (2nd Wettest April, records began 1999)
Farmer City........... 5.83 inches (5th Wettest April, records began 1948)
Mason City 2N......... 5.81 inches (4th Wettest April, records began 1962)
Knoxville............. 5.78 inches (2nd Wettest April, records 1896-1906 & 1999-2011)
Roanoke............... 5.73 inches (2nd Wettest April & 10th Wettest Month, records began 2001)
Bradford 3 SSE........ 5.62 inches (4th Wettest April, records began 1980)
Morton...., ............ 5.55 inches (2nd Wettest April, records began 1997)
Normal 4NE............ 5.49 inches (23rd Wettest April, records began 1893)
Springfield Airport... 5.46 inches (14th Wettest April, records began 1879)
Minonk................ 5.45 inches (10th Wettest April, records began 1895)
Altona................ 5.42 inches (2nd Wettest April, records began 2004)
Lincoln NWS........... 5.34 inches (18th Wettest April, records began 1906)
Jacksonville.......... 5.32 inches (23rd Wettest April, records began 1895)
Winchester............ 5.30 inches (6th Wettest April, records 1897-1905 & 1997-2011)
Congerville 2NW....... 5.01 inches (6th Wettest April, records 1935-1940 & 1991-2011)
Prairie City.......... 5.01 inches (3rd Wettest April, records began 2000)
Virgina............... 4.87 inches (13th Wettest April, records began 1963)
Mackinaw.............. 4.80 inches (25th Wettest April, records began 1940)
Athens 2N............. 4.33 inches (4th Wettest April, records began 2000)
Rushville............. 4.18 inches (47th Wettest April, records began 1890)
Galesburg............. 4.14 inches (39th Wettest April, records 1895-1909 & 1927-2011)
Beardstown............ 3.66 inches (57th Wettest April, records began 1890)
I had a great time in Shelby County this morning at the DARE picnic. I remember when I was in 6th grade going through the DARE program I wish we would have had a chance to go to a picnic like I attended today. It was great to see, all the kids and answering all their questions.
In other news today was Main Street Monday! We went to Moweaqua today and I have to thank Mayor Mike Tolley for taking time to come speak with us. Get your votes in for next weeks Main Street Monday on our WAND-TV facebook page or on my facebook page.