J.C.'s Blog: August and September 2012




Fall and Football!


This weekend defiantly felt like fall with cool temps and football! I have been trying to convert my wife from an Indiana fan into and Illini fan. I finally got her to break down this weekend and wear an orange sweater to a game!

Check out her blog as she talks about this. http://passportthroughtheworld.blogspot.com/2012/09/fall-tradition-fighting-illini-football.html?spref=tw

 Ashley and I hitched a ride with Matt Loveless and his wife Tiffany to the game this weekend. I felt bad as Matt had to work while the rest of us headed to the tailgate area. What is a football game without tailgating? After we hung out for a while it was time to head into the stadium. The game turned out to be horrible for the Illini as they turned the ball over 6 times and LA Tech scored on each turnover. Even though the game had a terrible outcome I still can't think of a better place to be during a Saturday than with my wife, great friends and a football game.

On Sunday we decided to make some chili and the Bears were on! I have been craving chili for the past couple of weeks and finally the temps dropped low enough for some of that. I also had a sweet tooth and broke down and headed to DQ for the blizzard deal. I posted on twitter and facebook asking, "Is it bad that I am going to get a blizzard on one of the coldest nights of the year?" Most of you said ice cream is a year round treat and I am glad you had my back. I could eat ice cream even if I lived north of the Arctic Circle!

This is going to be a big week on Wednesday Ashley and I celebrate our 3 year anniversary! I know that's not very long but time flies when you are married to your best friend and you have fun all the time together.









Happy Thursday!


This is the final Thursday of Summer as we welcome in Fall on Saturday morning at 9:49 AM CDT! I have posted a question on my new facebook page WAND JC Fultz, What is your favorite season? I am going to leave the question up until tomorrow morning. Then I will tabulate the results and let you know how your season ranks. Also, tomorrow I will post our Q&A session number 2 so get your questions in on the facebook page or email them to me james.fultz@wandtv.com!










Ashley has a great blog update about Whiskers and Tails. Though you might like to check it out.









Happy Monday!

Hope your weekend was a great one. Ashley and I had the privilege to attend Whiskers and Tails on Saturday night at the Country Club of Decatur. This event is a fundraiser for the Decatur-Macon County Animal Shelter Foundation. Pets are near and dear to Ashley and I's heart as we have a golden retriever Wrigley. We have even fostered a little guy for a few days named Hudson. Seeing the pictures of pets who are in need of a good home just breaks my heart. On the opposite side of the coin Wrigley always eats when he wants, gets to go on walks, stays in the house in bad weather, and even likes to sleep in bed with us. The funds raised at this event help animals who are at the foundation receive the treatments they need, get spay or neutered, and receive their shots before they get adopted. They are also a no kill shelter so they will be able to be happy until someone comes and can give them a great home. If you are looking for an addition to your family head out there and check out all the lovers they have to offer. You can also tune in at 5 pm on Friday's as they bring in the animals for a quick segment. Here is their website if you want to get involved, make a donation or are looking for a furry companion. http://dmcasf.org/







September 11th....


Waking up this morning and looking outside brought back memories of that morning 11 years ago. September 11th is one of those days that I am sure you can say, "I remember where I was when the attacks took place." It was a day filled with a range of emotions and seeing the images even today took me back on that emotional roller coaster ride. Its starts out as sadness for all the people on the planes, in the Towers and Pentagon, and then it shifted to the rescue workers who never thought twice about running in to help. Then it shifted to a fear, What if there are more attacks coming and where is my family? Anger kicked in because I wanted to know who did this to our country. Finally, sadness came back when I saw the pictures of the burned out fire trucks and the people weeping because they lost someone they love. I think its important that we never forget what happened and always be thankful for our men and women in uniform fighting to keep us free and safe. I know tonight that when I go to bed I will say my prayers like I do every night but I will say a few extra ones to help keep the memories alive of those who lost their lives on this day.









Isaac help with drought but not enough.


Here is the latest on the drought that is on-going across the state. As of today all of the state remains in either abnormally dry condition to extreme drought. Last week 94.11% of the state was in severe drought while this week 56.33%. The biggest changes noticed is that last week 69.56% of the state was in extreme drought now this week only 6.96%. Thanks to the recent rains this has helped but not enough to bring us out of the drought. Here in the Stormcenter 17 viewing area the drought continues with parts of Macon, Coles, Moultrie, Cumberland, Edgar, Piatt, DeWitt, and Logan still in severe drought conditions while other areas still in moderate drought. Iroquois and part of Ford are abnormally dry as storms have been a little more frequent this summer in that part of the state. Either way we slice it we need to see a pattern change to storms systems in the past week continue so that we can try and improve the drought. 


Looking at our extended forecast tomorrow holds the greatest chance for storms. A strong cold front will slide in here during the afternoon and into the evening. Storms will fire to our NW in the afternoon and track into the CI. As the storms arrive if we get sunshine in the morning that will help to increase the intensity. Looking at the latest models CAPE (Convective Available Potential Energy) numbers will be around or higher than 3000 J/KG. Think of the CAPE as the lighter fluid you would use to start a charcoal grill. The match to light the fire will be the cold front. The area I am watching for strong storms will be along and to the south of I-72. The main threats out of the storms will be strong wind and hail. As temps aloft will start to cool that will help to enhance the hail threat. Also, when the storms roll through the atmosphere will be loaded with moisture so the potential exist for rain totals to range from .50" to 1.25" with locally heavier amounts. That is just what the doctor ordered. Once we get past tomorrow a trough (dip to the south of the jet stream) will dig into the central part of the country allowing cool and dry Canadian air to settle in. With a core of cold air just to our north across NE Illinois I expect a few Cumulus clouds to develop as the morning rolls on. Temps on Saturday will only make it into the lower 70's. This is defiantly a taste of Fall! The next chance for showers or storms looks to hold off until Thursday of next week but those chances of now look very marginal at best as the models disagree on timing and intensity of the wave that will drop through.








Hello Hump Day!


Short weeks are always nice when you wake up on a Wednesday morning and think its Tuesday. The day just gets better when its clicks that its actually Wednesday and the work week is already halfway over! As you may have read here in the past my wife Ashley and I have the travel bug. We love to travel to the Caribbean but the past couple trips have been short domestic ones. Family is very important to me and seeing them become successful is even better. In a recent blog update that Ashley writes (time to brag) she talks about our recent trip to Texas. She is an amazing writer and I wish I could write like she does. Here is a link to her blog talking about our trip to San Antonio to see my little brother Josh graduate from Air Force BMT!  http://passportthroughtheworld.blogspot.com/


There are other posts on there talking about our lives, events and trips we have been on. If you have a few seconds head over there and check it out. Really good read!







Goodbye Isaac,


What a weekend as the remnants of Isaac moved across the area. Rain totals ranged from over 5" in Taylorville to 2.5" in many locations. We even had a few reported tornado touchdowns in the CI from the weak rotation that occurred as remnants of Isaac moved through. I am posting a link below that will take you to the National Weather Service website that has a list of rain totals from this weekend. These totals are from Friday through Monday. This is rain is what we needed but we are still in a drought even with the heavy rains over the weekend.




In other news I have had to start a new facebook page. When I created my WAND page I wanted to keep it personal and not a fan page. I really didn't think that I would get to 5000 friends (limit on a personal page). The request keep coming and I can't add anymore to my page. So I broke down and started a fan page so that all of us can be included on the page. So take a few seconds and head over to facebook and hit the like button http://www.facebook.com/pages/WAND-JC-Fultz/490627770949438 I plan on shutting the other page down by next week. I look forward to seeing everyone on the new page. It will be the same format with weather news, severe weather, and everything in between.







Thursday Night Isaac update.....


Good evening everyone....Still watching Tropical Depression Isaac spinning across southern Arkansas. Tonight into tomorrow morning Isaac will start to move into southern Missouri driving the heavy rains across southern Missouri, southern Illinois, and western Kentucky and Tennessee. Each model run the track of the remnants of Isaac are tracki...

ng further south because of an area of high pressure tha...
t will move into northern Wisconsin. We are expecting the rains to show up here late Friday evening in our SW counties. Football tomorrow night should start dry and then rain will move in overnight. The heaviest rain axis is still hard to define because the track is still uncertain at this point but areas NE of the center of circulation will be where the heaviest rain falls. I still feel from Friday night through Sunday rain totals should range from 2.5" to 4" with locally heavier amounts. There will be a sharp cut off of heavy rain across the northern counties on Saturday and Sunday. The winds could become gusty on Saturday as the main area of circulation moves overhead with max wind gusts to 35 mph while the wind should be sustained at 15 to 20 mph. If you plan on camping this weekend near low lying areas, creeks or streams please watch water levels closely or plan on camping in other locations. Stay tuned for more on the remnants of Isaac track through.









Isaac Watch,

Isaac is continuing to pound Louisiana and southern Mississippi with heavy rain and gusty winds. The storm surge was very impressive with Isaac because its such a slow mover. The slow movement will continue over the next 24 hours before it ejects into Arkansas and then remnants will push into Missouri by Saturday morning. A few factors we are watching is with an area of high pressure that will be across the lakes and its impact on how far to the north Isaac could make it. The rain will start to fall here late Friday evening and heaviest rains should arrive Saturday morning. Its possible for rains to fall at a rate of 1" an hour in some of the heaviest bands. Winds will be sustained at 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 35 in heaviest cells. Models still all over the place with rain totals with the GFS (wettest model so far) now starting pull back totals. The Euro model (driest so far) is starting to come more in line with the GFS and showing 2" to 3" across the area. HPC is thinking from 4" to 5" of total rain. Right now it look like anywhere from 2" to 4" possible with locally heavier amounts likely. Floodi, ng could be a problem in low lying areas. If you have plans to go camping this holiday weekend be aware of a rapid rise in creeks and rivers across the CI. I am going to continue to watch this closely as we get closer to the holiday weekend.


Isaac will be the first tropical system to impact our area since 2008 when Gustav and Ike impacted us.








New Radar Technology!!!

We ran a story today about how the radar at the National Weather Service office in Lincoln will be getting a radar upgrade. This will being on October 1st and last two weeks. The upgrade is called dual-polarization and the signal will be sent and received vertically and horizontally. As of now the signal is only being sent out only horizontally. This will allow the meteorologists to look at , a target both with a vertical and horizontal measurement! This will help to determine size, shape and variety of targets being sampled. Improvements in precipitation rates, the ability to distinguish between rain and hail, and other atmospheric debris such as ground clutter( bugs, and other objects) and smoke plumes from wildfires.


Here is a list from the National Weather Service of some benefits from Dual-Pol


  1. Better estimation of total precipitation amounts.

  2. Better estimation of size of the distribution of hydrometeors( raindrops, snowflakes, hailstones, drizzle)

  3. Much improved ability to identify areas of extremely heavy rainfall that are closely linked to flash floods

  4. Improved detection and mitigation of non-weather related radar echoes (chaff, smoke plumes, ground clutter)

  5. Easier identification of the melting layer (helpful identifying snow levels in higher terrain)

  6. Improved ability to classify precip type.


Another cool feature will allow us to identify debris that is being tossed by a tornado helping to validate warnings. This new technology should help improve safety across the country and allow for even further improvements in lead times (time before the storm strikes when a warning is issued) to allow you to get to your shelter. Here is a link to the article if you want to learn more....










Drought continues...

Despite the rain that we saw Thursday and some showers that have been popping up over the past couple of days the drought continues. We have seen a little relief across the SE portion of the state but for us here in central Illinois we are still extremely dry. The grass has started to green up because of the timely rains and the cooler temperatures but here at WAND we are still -14.34" behind for the year. That means we have, only received about 43% of our normal yearly rain up to this date. For the month of August we are only behind about -.09" with 2.28" in the gauge! Here is a map that shows the drought condition across the area. For most of us we remain the severe drought category. Still 79.54% of the state is in a severe drought but that is down from 81.18% last week. Just remember that its going to take a lot of rain over a long period of time to help to bring real relief to the area.












Just got through running the numbers since last July and as we all know not good! These are numbers from our site at WAND and other areas w, ill hav, e seen more or less precip then what I am showing here. From July 2011 through July 2012 we have received 18.94" of total liquid precip...We average 41.80" during that time frame so that means over the past year we are down -22.86". We have only received over the last year 48% of our normal liquid precip. The only month over the last year that we have had above normal rain dates back to November 2011 when 3.68" fell for the month leaving us ahead for that month +.94". April 2012 is second with 3.05" but that was still short -.76" of normal rainfall. As you can see this has been an on, going problem since last July. April, May and June 2011 all very wet months.




Liquid Precip

Normal Precip


July 2011




Aug 2011




Sept 2011




Oct 2011




Nov 2011




Dec 2011




Jan 2012




Feb 2012




Mar 2012




Apr 2012




May 2012




June 2012




Jul 2012










We have only received 45% of our normal rainfall from July 2011 through July 2012.


July 2012 Stats




Recorded High: 95.9                                         Recorded Low: 72.2

Avg. High: 87.8                                                   Avg. Low: 64.6

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

        +8.1                                                                       +7.6


                                  Recorded Mean: 84.05

                                   Avg. Mean: 76.7




As you can see from the numbers above it was a hot month on our weather station.


We also saw 27 days at or above 90 degrees during the month. 4 days were in the 80's, 18 days in the 90's, and 9 days at or above 100.



To expand upon the above rain totals for the month of July….


.14" of total rainfall

3.61" average rainfall


    -3.47" below for the month

We only received 4% of or normal monthly rainfall. From January to today we have only received 38% of normal yearly rainfall.


New records for most 90 degree days were broken in…


                       Recorded Days                 Old Record           Avg. 90 days


Charleston:            30                                 29 (1936)                  12


Effingham:             29                                 27 (1954)                  13


Springfield:            28                                 27 (1901)                   11


Urbana:                  26                                  25 (1921)                   9  


Outlook for August is for above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation.



Current Conditions