J.C.'s Blog: April & May 2012





We are going to put May 2012 in the books as a warm and dry month. Even though today was a cool afternoon with showers across the area, the temps and precip didn't make a dent in an already dry year. Here are the May climo numbers….


Recorded High: 81.6                              Recorded Low: 58.9

Average High: 76.1                                 Average Low: 51.2

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

       +5.5 above                                                +7.7 above


                           Recorded Mean: 70.3

                           Average Mean: 63.7


                                   +6.6 above



Recorded Highs:                                Recorded Low:

60's       1 day                                     40's        5 days

70's       11 days                                 50's        13 days

80's       14 days                                 60's        10 days

90's        5 days                                  70's         3 days


Warmest High: 93 May 27th and 28th

Coolest High: 63 May 31st


Warmest Low: 75 May 28th

Coolest Low: 45 May 17th



Recorded Precip: 1.54"                                         Year to Date: 7.73"

Average Precip: 4.28                                             Average to Date: 15.52"

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

     -2.74" below                                                              -7.79 below









Busy weekend!


What a weekend it has been with a graduation party, graduation, and now work to end it off. It's been a fun weekend.

Saturday was my two brother's graduation party. I still can't believe that they are both old enough to be graduating. My middle brother Andrew graduated from EIU earlier this month with a degree in Consumer studies. My little brother Josh graduated from high school this past weekend. So my parents decided to have a joint part for them at my Dad's house. I love having a party or going to a party and the best part is usually the food. My Dad made a ton of pork burgers, which both Ashley and I like more than hamburgers anymore. Also, a graduation party is not complete without cake and we weren't disappointed. Everyone seemed to have a great time and the heat wasn't too bad as we had fans set up all over the place.

Later on that evening Ashley and I decided to go play golf. I have played golf since I was 4 years old and love the game. Ashley hadn't played in a couple years but wow she did awesome. We decided to go out and play at Timberlake near Sullivan, a course that my family built back in the 60's. I have a lot of childhood memories and its awesome my wife got to play it. The first tee she steps up and smacks the ball and it ends up in the fairway! As we played on she ended up almost getting a par! The next hole is a par 3 and I told her to take the wrong club out and she hit the ball a ton, over the pond, over the people on the next tee, and finally over the road into the bean field. We had a good laugh over that and she ended the round very strong had a few pars and almost chipped a ball in.

Sunday rolled around and it was time for my little brother's high school graduation. It's hard to believe that I walked into the same gym 13 years ago for my graduation. I remember that day well, it was a little rainy early in the morning but it was muggy. I don't think I have sweated that much in my life. As I was looking at the forecast the last few days I was dreading how hot it was going to be in the gym Sunday afternoon. We arrived a little early to find a place to sit and I was surprised it wasn't too bad. As the graduation went along the old gym that is all brick on the outside did heat up but all and all it wasn't bad. I was very proud to see my brother walk across the stage and receive his high school diploma. He also won the service award for the school. You have to donate 16 hours to your community to graduate now but he blew that away with 500 hours! Wow! Josh has decided to join the air force and heads to basic training on June 26th in San Antonio Texas. I know that he will do amazing things while serving out country over the next several years.

After graduation, Ashley and I decided to take Wrigley to hear parents house near Marshall to go swimming. We arrived at her families dock on Mill Creek and he went in the water a few times. It was really funny to see him when I got in the water he jumped right in after me. He also slipped off the dock a couple time and once he found some moss and came up looking like swamp thing! He loved swimming and it sure did feel nice to get in the water after sitting in the hot gym earlier that day.

Memorial Day started off with a trip to the lake this morning and a little swim. I am sitting here at work this evening but I still wanted to try to get a little swimming time in this morning. Ashley, her parents and I headed out and the water was already busy at 10 this morning. It was so nice to get to spend a little quality family time on the lake. It's also her brothers birthday today Happy Birthday Ty!

I am very blessed to be living in such and amazing country, have an amazing family, and so blessed to be working in these tough times. Today is all about those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country so we can do all the things I talked about above. I want to thank all of you out there who have served this great county or who are serving now. If it weren't for all of you we wouldn't have our freedoms we enjoy today. Take a few moments this evening with the remaining hours we have left on this Memorial Day and just remember all the men and women who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom! We all take certain things for granted but if not for these people than we wouldn't be enjoying graduations, cake and ice cream, a trip to the lake, or just being able to walk down the street freely. Thanks to God for the blessing everyday and be thankful for living in the good old USA!!!


Hope all of you had a great and safe Holiday Weekend!!!!!  








Remembering Joplin one year later.


Here is an article about the tornado that struck Joplin one year ago today. The city is still rebuilding and prayers still go out to all the people impacted from this disaster. Here is the link from the National Weather Service in Springfield MO.













This is Hudson a 3 month old golden/lab mix! We are fostering him until he finds a home. This little guys is a great puppy so cute and sweet. The animal shelter in Coles County is full so Hudson had no where to go and has been staying at the Albin Animal Hospital in Mattoon. If you are looking for a companion then maybe Hudson is for you?

Ashley and I already have a golden Wrigley and we can tell you that they are the most loyal dogs and very smart. They do have a lot of energy and walks are great to drain some of that out of them. Let me know if you are interested in this little guy.








Sneak Peak at Memorial Day Weekend!


Just finished up my forecast and sunshine is still the word. Sunshine and temps will make it into the low to middle 80's tomorrow. A weak cold front will slide through the area tomorrow night bringing a slight chance for a stray shower north of I-72. Then its sunshine through Sunday. Models have different solutions Sunday and Monday with one bringing in a chance for some scattered storms Sunday into Monday morning. Other models keeps Sunday completely dry and brings the greatest chances in Monday morning into Monday afternoon. I am going to mention a chance for some scattered storms Sunday afternoon and continue the chances into Monday. Memorial Day weekend is right around the corner and the models are keeping Saturday dry, then rain chances Sunday and even a scattered shower or storm Memorial Day. This is a long ways out but we will keep an eye on it for the holiday weekend.








Here is an article from spaceweather.com that about a CME (coronal mass Ejection) that will impact the earth. I have taken and copied the article here for you to read. Enjoy and if you get a chance check out the website!

TWO INCOMING CMEs: A pair of solar eruptions on May 7th hurled coronal mass ejections (CMEs) toward Earth. Forecast tracks prepared by analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab suggests that clouds with arrive in succession on May 9th at 13:40 UT and May 10th at 07:54 UT (+/- 7 hours). The double impact could spark moderate geomagnetic storms. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras. Magnetic storm alerts: text, phone.

CORONAL HOLE: A dark hole in the sun's atmosphere (a 'coronal hole') is spewing a stream of solar wind toward Earth. The impact of the stream, expected on May 9-11, could add to the effect of the incoming CMEs, boosting the chances of strong geomagnetic activity later this week. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory took this picture of the opening on May 8th:

Coronal holes are places where the sun's global magnetic field opens up and allows some of the sun's atmosphere to escape. The outflow of gas is the solar wind. NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of geomagnetic activity on May 9-10 when the stream arrives (along with the CMEs of May 7th).

BIG SUNSPOT: One of the largest sunspot groups in years rotated over the sun's northeastern limb on May 6th. With a least four dark cores larger than Earth, AR1476 sprawls more than 100,000 km from end to end, and makes an easy target for backyard solar telescopes. Amateur astronomer Alan Friedman sends this picture of the behemoth from his backyard in Buffalo, NY:

"AR1476 is firecrackler," says Friedman.

Indeed, the active region is crackling with impulsive M-class solar flares. Based on the sunspot's complex 'beta-gamma' magnetic field, NOAA forecasters estimate a 75% chance of more M-flares during the next 24 hours. There is also a 10% chance of powerful X-flares.

"This one is going to be fun as it turns to face us!" predicts Friedman. He might be right. Solar flare alerts: text, phone.

Check out the website spaceweather.com







Super Moon this weekend!


A full moon is set for this Saturday May 5th but it won't be just any full moon it's perigee moon or Super Moon. The full moon will be 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter as any full moon of 2012. The moon travels in an elliptical journey around the earth and at times is closer to the earth and farther away from the earth. When the moon is closet to the earth is called perigee and when it's at its furthest point its called apogee. The best way to remember the difference is take the "a" from apogee as away from earth. This weekend the moon will be 50,000 km closer to the earth than when it is at apogee (furthest point). This will occur on Saturday at 10:34 CDT!










A rough start to May!


The first day of May was a rough one for parts of the area. A two cells formed near Monticello early in the evening prompting the National Weather Service to issue a Tornado Warning. As the two cells moved east they merged into one thunderstorm continuing to produce funnel clouds and tornadoes. Funnel clouds and tornado were spotted from eastern Piatt county all the way into western Indiana. Damage was reported on in Savoy along with other areas as the storm moved into Indiana. The National Weather Service in Lincoln sent out storm survey teams to take a look at the damage to determine if a tornado caused this and to determine the strength of the twisters. Here is a link to what they found.









April numbers are in and we have finished warmer than average and dryer than normal.  Here are the numbers…..

Recorded High: 68.1                                            Recorded Low: 46.1

Average High: 65.3                                              Average Low: 41.8

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

        +2.8 above                                                              +4.3 above



                                Recorded Mean: 57.1

                                Average Mean:   53.5


                                         +3.6 above




Recorded April Precip: 3.05"                                       1st 4 month Precip: 6.19"

Average April Precip: 3.81"                                         Average Precip: 11.24"

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

                -.76" below                                                                 -5.05" below



Highs:                                           Lows:

80's:         3 days                           60's:          1 day

70's:         7 days                           50's:          10 days 

60's:         15 days                         40's:          11 days

50's:          5 days                          30's:           6 days

                                                      20's:           2 days


Warmest: 88 April 3rd

Coldest: 27 on April 11th


Coldest High: 58


First three days in April: 86, 83, 88


The way the forecast looks we will be off to a warm start to the month of May with highs forecast to be in the upper 70's to mid to upper 80's.





Rain in the forecast!


With some rain chances back in the forecast we are still extremely dry across the CI. Here at WAND on the south side of Decatur we have only received 1.64" for the first 26 days of April. Below is a break down of how dry we really are.


1.64" first 26 days of April                              4.78" total since Jan 1st

3.30 Avg for 1st 26 days                                  10.86 average precip to April 26th

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

-1.66" below average                                           -6.08" below average  

Places along the I-70 corridor received some precipitation last night and have been picking up the rain more frequently. Here is a map below that shows the drought monitor for Illinois. Notice that parts of Logan, Macon, DeWitt, McLean, Menard, Morgan, Woodford and Tazwell counties are in a moderate drought. Abnormally dry condition persist front I-72 up to I-80 with another area along the Wabash Valley in southeastern Illinois. We have some rain chances on the way but with the scattered nature of the chances only a little relief can be expected.











It's a calm night here across the CI tonight. This time 16 years ago it was a different story.



A significant outbreak of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms occurred across Illinois during the afternoon and evening hours. In central Illinois, 20 tornadoes moved across the area. One severe thunderstorm spawned several tornadoes from west of Jacksonville, to just west of Springfield, through Decatur and Urbana, and east to Ogden. The Decatur area, which had also been hit by a tornado the night before, sustained about $9 million damage with 27 people injured. Further east, up to $11 million damage occurred in Urbana, where 30 homes were destroyed and 80 more were damaged. Another tornado moved through Ogden, destroying 68 homes and numerous other businesses and public institutions. One person was killed just east of Ogden, when a semi was overturned on I-74. Strong tornadoes were also reported in Mason and southwest McLean Counties.



I had some visitors this evening from the Southern Explorers 4-H Club from Clinton. We had a great time talking about weather! They really enjoyed their tour of the station and I just want to thank them for all the great questions.







LYRID METEOR SHOWER: Earth is approaching the debris field of ancient Comet Thatcher, source of the annual Lyrid meteor shower. Forecasters expect the shower to peak on April 21-22; a nearly-new moon on those dates will provide perfect dark-sky conditions for meteor watching. Usually the shower is mild (10-20 meteors per hour) but unmapped filaments of dust in the comet's tail sometimes trigger outbursts 10 times stronger.


Check out the website spaceweather.com







Cold night ahead!

With temps falling back into the upper 20's and lower 30's people have been asking is this atypical for this time of the year. Here is a map showing when our average last freeze date is across the area.



Tonight all 102 counties in the state are under a freeze warning along with every county in Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. This will be short lived as the weekend will bring back some warmer air along with some much needed rain. Models are all over the board with the GFS being the most aggressive with QPF totals. I think as of now we could see between .75" to 1.25" in most areas with locally heavier amounts. This weekend is not going to be a complete wash out with the greatest chances for showers and storms early Saturday and then again later in the day Sunday and early Monday. We need the rain to recharge the soil moisture because as we go further into the summer months the showers become more spotty in nature.


On another note how excited are you for baseball season? I am not expecting great things on the north side of Chicago this season and so far things don't look good. The team is playing hard and I like to see that but it's already frustrating and we are only 6 games along. It's going to be a long season but I hope a season filled with some excitement. I do like the addition this year of wild card teams playing a one game playoff for the right to make it to the divisional series. What do you think about that? I think that will make the end of the year even more exciting just like the end of last season. Its just so nice to drive to work or home from work and be able to listen to baseball again! That makes my hour commute go by that much quicker. Have a great rest of your hump day and look forward to the warmer temps coming this weekend.






Record March


With March in the books 2012 will go down as the warmest on record for the state. Most locations were on average about 10 to 15 degrees above normal. Here is a link below that talks about the record warmth across the state and the Midwest.




April is off to a hot start as well. Here are the stats for the first 3 days here at the station.


Recorded High: 85.6                Recorded Low: 57.6

Average High: 60                     Average Low: 37.6

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

                 +25.6                                      +20.0



                           Recorded Mean: 71.6

                           Average Mean: 48.8




The forecast does show a cool down with highs sliding into the 60's for a couple of days. I am also worried about the potential for a frost Thursday night into Friday morning. The sky will clear and a Canadian High will settle into the Midwest. The wind will also start to die so this will be ideal conditions for radiational cooling which will bring us into the danger zone for a frost. Temps across the area will range from 40 at Effingham, to 36 near Decatur, and 35 north of I-72. This is still a ways out in the forecast but I am watching it closely since there is corn already up in some fields.

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