Kevin's Thunder: August and September 2012 Entries - Wandtv.com, NewsCenter17, StormCenter17, Central Illinois News-

Kevin's Thunder: August and September 2012 Entries

Posted:

9-21-2012

The Autumnal Equinox will occur at 9:49 AM CDT tomorrow (September 22).  Can you even believe it's here?  Summer went by way to quick; didn't really have a chance to "enjoy" it because of the above normal temps!  Needless to say, I'm still quite excited!

Fall is hands down my favorite season.  The temperature is getting cooler, the leaves on trees are changing colors and the taste of pumpkin can be found in many foods and beverages.  Scratch that… ESPECIALLY in beverage!  J  I think the reason I enjoy the cooler weather more is because I feel I can always control my temperature/body heat.  For instance, in the summer time (especially this past summer) you're always struggling to feel comfortable.  If you're to hot, you can only take off a certain amount of clothing, then you have to bare the heat.  But in the winter, you can always control how you feel.  When it's cold you can put on as many cloths as you want; and when you're in bed, if you need an extra blanket or two, you just grab an extra blanket or two. 

I guess I'm just rambling on an on.  However, since you've decided to open up my blog and take a gander, I have a quick question for you; I'm still fairly new to the area (only living here for about a year) and was wondering what are some fun things to do around central Illinois during the fall?  I know there's a pumpkin patch in Arthur that has been recommended to my wife and I. Anything else?  What about corn mazes or haunted houses or wineries?  Got any recommendations?  Just trying to come up with some ideas of what to do during the change of season in central Illinois.  Shoot me an e-mail at kevin.chierek@wandtv.com

Until next time…  --KC--

 


 

9-14-2012

Finally, after three straight Friday's with rain in the forecast, it looks like it's going to be a GREAT night for some high school football!  Should be mostly clear with game time temps in the mid-to-upper 60's!

I've been in this (media) industry now for almost three years and I kid you not, it still amazes me that every Friday night during the late summer & early fall towns literally shut down for that nights big game.  As most of you know, I'm a city boy from St. Louis.  Not to knock any of them smaller towns out there, but when you're from a big city, there's a lot to do to keep yourself occupied on the weekends! 

Now when it came to Friday nights when I was in high school, I was usually playing soccer for my school (Oakville Senior High – GO TIGERS!) so I didn't really have a chance to go to many football games.  Football would always draw big crowds, but I don't think the fans had as big of a passion for the game as they do here in central Illinois.

It's a unique thing to drive through some of the smaller towns to find them empty; but just follow the glow of the stadium lights and roars from the marching bands, and in the middle of know where you can find hundreds of people cheering on their hometown team, their son, and/or their alma mater. 

Didn't mean to ramble on and on but this thought just popped into my head as I was putting together the "Kickoff Forecast" for tonight's games.  Again, looks to be a great night for some Friday Night Lights. GO (insert your team name here)!!!  --KC--


9-3-2012

Isaac! Isaac, Isaac, Isaac, Isaac, Isaac!  This blog entry will be about… you guessed it, ISAAC!  It seems like us weather folk have been talking a lot about Isaac over the past couple of days, and with good reason.  I know, I know, we live in central Illinois; but after this past Labor Day weekend, now you know why!

After making landfall in Louisiana on August 29 (which just so happened to be the same day Katrina made landfall 7 years earlier, on a similar track) ((and also is my birthday – side note)) Isaac continued it's trek into the Midwest right smack dab into central Illinois. 

As a meteorologist, this was my first time actually tracking what was once a hurricane; and with good reason, it was heading our way!  Now I'm not going to go into every little detail about Isaac but I am going to cover the big question everyone is asking… HOW MUCH RAIN DID WE GET?!?!?

The National Weather Service released preliminary rain totals from the remnants of Isaac, which affected the entire WAND viewing area over the holiday weekend.  I know, I know, it may have put a damper on some of your outdoor plans, but c'mon, we needed the rain!  And rain we got!

Here are the cities that received the largest rainfall totals from each of our counties in central Illinois (Friday night through 7 AM Monday):

Cass: Virginia  --  4.88"
Champaign:  Fisher  --  5.05"
Christian:  Taylorville  --  5.93"
Coles:  Mattoon  --  3.64"
Cumberland:  Neoga  --  4.03"
DeWitt:  Farmer City  --  4.44"
Douglas:  Tuscola  --  2.55"
Edgar:  Hume  --  2.34"
Effingham:  Beecher City  --  5.45"
Fayette:  N/A
Ford: Gibson  --  4.33" 
Iroquois:  Loda  --  1.62
Logan:  Latham  --  4.09"
Macon:  Mount Zion  --  4.11"
Macoupin:  N/A
McLean:  Gridley  --  5.27"
Menard:  Petersburg  --  5.12"
Montgomery: 
Morgan:  Murrayville  --  5.15"
Moultrie:  Sullivan  --  3.18"
Piatt:  Cisco  --  4.24"
Sangamon:  Chatham  --  4.04"
Scott:  N/A
Shelby:  3.86"
Vermilion:  2.02"
Warren, IN:  N/A

Needless today, we're still well below the Average Year to Date rain total for 2012 of 26.99".  None the less, we still thank you Isaac for making your presence known in the Midwest! 

If you would like to see ALL of the preliminary rain totals from across central Illinois, just visit the National Weather Service website.  --KC--


8-17-2012

There were some strong storms that swept through central Illinois last night.  Decatur received just over 1.25" of precipitation!  That's more than the entire months of June & July combined; and incase you're wondering, we received .80" in June and .14 in July.  To the south some of the storms were severe.  There were tornado warnings in Effingham, Coles, Cumberland & Edgar Counties with numerous reports of trees down and barns demolished.  Two of the heaviest hit seemed to be Windsor in Shelby County and Gays in Moultrie County.

During the tornado warnings we (WAND-TV) were on air for wall-to-wall coverage.  That basically means non-stop weather coverage (from about 3:25 PM to 4:30 PM).  Now I was filling in for Lee Davis (since he was reporting at the State Fair for the morning/noon shows all week).  I have broken into regular schedule broadcasting before for strong storms but I still haven't had the opportunity to go wall-to-wall for more than an hour.  Luckily, JC Fultz was working side by side during all the coverage.  In fact, it was JC who took charge and did most of the talking during our coverage. 

After I got home last night I had a chance to reflect on the experience.  I've always been fascinated by the weather (heck, that's the whole reason I wanted to become a meteorologist).  Although I've been in the business for a little under 3 years now I still feel like a newbie sometimes; especially when I work with three other meteorologists who have each been working at WAND from 10+ years.  While I continue to learn more and more each day, I feel as if I made a big advancement in my career during the severe weather coverage from last night. 

To have been in the Storm Center along side JC was such a privilege.  To watch him work and explain what was happening, how it was happening, and why it was happening was just mind boggling.  Don't get me wrong, I feel I can do the same thing (I mean we are both meteorologists), but JC has been around a lot longer than I have.  I just feel like he can connect with the audience on a level that I one day hope to attain.

Last night was quite the experience.  Surprisingly it was only one of a handful of severe weather outbreaks we've had in 2012 (it seems like all we've talked about this year was hot temps and no rain).  However, I feel I learned a lot and am even more confident for the next time severe weather rolls around; and when it's time for me to break-in to regular scheduled programming to let you (the viewers) know what's happening, I'll know you're getting the most accurate weather coverage in the region!  --KC--

 

 


 

 

8-2-2012

One of my job responsibilities that I have for our weather team is to record the "climo statistics" for the station.  In a nut shell, at the end of each month I document what happened weather wise each day;  the highs, the lows, what the records are and the rain totals (or lack there of).  As I was finishing last month's (July's) statistics I stopped for about a minute to actually look and see how hot it was.  Needless to say I was just baffled!  It was one thing to live through the heat but it was another to see just how hot it has been. 

Here's the breakdown:

-          9 Days at or above 100 degrees

-          27 Days at or above 90 degrees

-          3 days of tying record highs

It's also important to note how dry it's been.  During the entire month of July we only had 2 measurable rainfalls totaling .14".  There were two other days in which we had received a trace of rain. 

When you add it all up, we have received a total of 8.67" of rain in 2012 which is 14.43" below the Average Year-to-Date Precipitation which is normally at 23.10" on July 31.

So not only have we had to deal with the heat but to add insult to injury it's been one of the driest years on record in a while.  I know the farmers can vouch for that statement!  In the meantime keep the fingers crossed that we get our next big weather maker bringing us cooler temps as well as some much need rainfall!

To view our Weather Almanac Page click here.

To view information on the 2012 Drought click here.

--KC--


 

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