J.C.'s Blog; November 2012 Archives




Good Bye November.


Here are the stats for the month.


November Stats


Recorded High: 52.5                                              Recorded Low: 34.16

Average High: 52                                                    Average Low: 33.5

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

+.5 above normal                                                           +.66 above normal



Recorded Mean: 43.33

Average Mean: 42.75


+.58 above normal


Recorded Precip: 1.22"                                              YTD Precip: 20.78"

Average Precip: 2.74"                                                 Avg YTD: 35.91"

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

-1.52" below normal                                                    -15.13" below normal

44% of normal                                                                 58% of normal


Recorded Snow: Trace


Warmest High: 73 Nov 13th

Coolest High: 33 Nov 24th

Warmest Low: 55 Nov 11th

Coolest Low: 16 Nov 23rd

Heaviest Rain: .78" Nov 11th







National Weather Service Radar image


If you have been on the National Weather Service website over the last few days and clicked on the radar image you may notice a line running at 277 degrees or just north of due west out of Lincoln. I have posted a link below explaining what is causing this to show up. The Weather Service is saying its caused by the construction of a new electronics tower and are working to fix the issue. Here is the link.







Old Wives Tales,

With a dusting of snow the other night it has people talking about how many snows we can expect this year. There are many wives tales that I have heard over the years. What tales do you believe in and do you follow the farmers almanac?

The first wives tale to explore is the first snow. If the snow is enough to track a cat then the date that snow falls on will mark the number of snows we can expect. I had some people say they could track a cat in their yards the other night so that would mean according to the tale we can expect 26 snows. If you didn't see enough snow then we are waiting for that first track able snow to get your snowfall number. This one would be fun to track! At my house I was about to track a cat/dog Wrigley. That means I should see 26 snows. I will be counting to see if this tale comes true this year.

Taking a step back a little in time we explore the wily worms. The way I have heard the tale is, the fuzzier and darker the wily worm the more snow we can expect. This year I saw some pretty fuzzy and dark ones around. What does this mean for us? Only time will see as the winter goes on.

Another tale is with the persimon seed. If you are to cut open a persimon seed and its a spoon then it means a snowy winter. If its a knife the wind will cut right through you. If its a fork then the winter will be mild. This winter I had some seeds sent to me here at the station with each one of them being a spoon inside. Last winter I also had seeds send that they showed spoons and we all know how last winter turned out. Can we say, "busted" last winter? We will see how this one plays out.

What other ones do you know about? Let me know and I will put them here on the blog. We can track these tales together this winter and see what happens or which ones come true.








Have you ever stopped to think about what you are thankful for? I really was thinking about this earlier today. What are you thankful for? I am thankful for having such an amazing wife who is always there for me. I am thankful to have a career that I love doing in this economy! I am thankful for a loving family who are very supportive. The list could go on and on but I will stop there.

Switching gears....

The mild air is going to retreat and be replaces by some cold Canadian air over the next few days. A storm system will develop and push into our area tomorrow afternoon bringing an end to the mild weather. Showers should hold off until tomorrow late afternoon west of I-55 then spread across the area through the evening. Then my attention turns to Monday into Tuesday as another low will move into the area and bring rain and even a chance for some snow to mix in. As of now I don't expect this system to cause problem for travel in that time frame but yes some snow will be possible. Below is a map that shows our average first measurable snow. In Decatur the first average measurable snow is December 1-10th. We will be watching that system for the first of next week closely to see what the models do with the track of the low. The track will determine if we even see any snow or if we can expect to see more of it. Stay tuned!


Happy Thanksgiving!



This warm weather has been a nice gift from Mother Nature. Yesterday Kevin and I headed out to Hickory Point Golf Course and played 18! Not to often can you golf in late November and not be freezing. The sun never did come out to play but it was still a warm morning to chase the white ball around the course.

As you might now I am an avid golfer. My love for the game can be traced back to my childhood growing up on a golf course. My Grandfather was a groundskeeper of Timberlake Golf Course near Sullivan for many years before he passed away in the late 80's. He would find clubs that were broken off by mad golfers and would cut them off and grip them so I could use them. In the evening he would have to head out onto the course and water all the greens. This was before automated sprinklers. So I would take my putter and run out while he was moving the hose and sprinkler and putt on the greens.

My Dad who is also a avid golfer and the main reason I enjoy the game today. When I was old enough to actually head out and play the course, he spent the time to teach me how to swing and the rules. I have to say he was an amazing teacher, because to this day I can have a bad round and he can take one look at my swing and fix it for me in a matter of just a couple minutes.

The early summer months found me selling golf balls on the 4th tee at the course and then with that money I could buy a pop and candy bar at the end of the round. I also would start on that hole every time I played. I can still remember one afternoon I was playing the best round of the summer and I didn't want to stop. I would walk all the time pulling my clubs and I probably played at least 45 to 50 holes. I was so tired but it was one of those days where every shot was on and I just couldn't stop playing.

The funniest story of all during my childhood on the course was an afternoon my Mom caught me gambling on the course. I would play people every once in a while for money or a pop and a candy bar. I caught up to a group of guys on the last hole and asked if they would mind me playing in with them. They of course let me tag along. Before we teed off they all talked about this hole being the beer hole. The loser of the hole had to buy. they looked at me and said well your to young for the beer but we will buy you a coke and candy bar if you win. I jumped all over that and even raised the stakes to include a few dollars. I didn't have any money with me so the pressure was on. I ended up winning the hole and when it was time for them to pay up we were in the clubhouse where my mom was waiting. I didn't see her when I walked in so they were each paying me and one was buying me my coke and candy bar. She walked up to them and asked what was going on and they told her that this kid just kicked our (insert word) on the last hole. My Mom the whole way home was giving me a lecture about why I shouldn't do that and if I would have lost what was I going to do. I told her that the pressure made it fun.

I am hoping to at least play once a month through the winter. The rule I like to use in the winter is if the temps December, January and February are 40 or warmer then its golf weather.





Winter Weather Preparedness Week Tip #5

Here is a map of average snowfall across the state of Illinois.


This is our final Winter Weather tip for this week. I know its hard to think about winter weather when we have sunshine like today and temps in the 50s. The Midwest can be a rough place to live because the weather can change so quickly. This is why its imperative that we remain prepared and vigilant all year round. If you want more information you can head to this link http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ilx/?n=winter. The National Weather Service has many other links to other organizations that are dedicated to preparation and response when the weather or any disasters strike.


Winter Weather Preparedness Week Tip #4

Today I want to focus on getting your home prepared. The article I have posted comes to us from the Illinois Fire Marshall's office.

Follow these tips from the Illinois State Fire Marshal and your local
fire department to make your winter fire safe.
Place space heaters at least three feet away from walls, furniture,
and other combustible items. Be sure wiring is sufficient for
operating an electrical heater. Use extension cords sparingly,
especially around the holiday season.
Install and maintain your smoke detectors. A smoke detector that does
not have a battery will not work, and it will not save your life.
A working smoke detector is your first line of defense
in the event of a fire. Be sure to clean and maintain your smoke
detector. Replace the battery at least twice each year, and be sure
to test it regularly. This is also a good time to change the backup
battery in your weather alert radio.
If you lose heat, never light a grill or wood burner in your home.
If you have a portable generator, make sure you follow all of the
safety precautions and be certain that it is properly ventilated
outdoors to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
Install and maintain a carbon monoxide detector, and make sure it
also has a fresh battery.




Winter Weather Preparedness Week Tip #3:

Today's topic will focus on wind chill. What it means, and how its calculated. I am also going to post the chart below.

The definition of Wind Chill is based on these factors.

NWS Windchill Temperature (WCT) index uses advances in science, technology, and computer modeling to provide an accurate, understandable, and useful formula for calculating the dangers from winter winds and freezing temperatures. The index:

  • Calculates wind speed at an average height of five feet, typical height of an adult human face, based on readings from the national standard height of 33 feet, typical height of an anemometer
  • Is based on a human face model
  • Incorporates heat transfer theory, heat loss from the body to its surroundings, during cold and breezy/windy days
  • Lowers the calm wind threshold to 3 mph
  • Uses a consistent standard for skin tissue resistance
  • Assumes no impact from the sun (i.e., clear night sky).


In the cart you will notice frostbite times. The light blue areas are 30 minutes while the dark blue areas are 10 minutes or less. Finally, in the purple areas frostbite can start at 5 minutes or less of skin exposure to the elements.

Stay tuned for more winter weather tips over the next couple days.





Winter Weather Preparedness Week Continues...

Today's topic deals with a winter weather kit. If winter weather is forecasted to strike and you have travel plans make sure you check road conditions before you leave. Here is a web site for road conditions in Illinois...www.gettingaroundillinois.com. This website will let you know what you can expect if you must travel. If you don't have to go anywhere the best thing to do is just stay home! Below is a list of things you should have in your car if you must travel.

Car Kit

Winter Storm Survival Kit for Travelers
People planning travel this winter season need to be prepared for the elements.
Plan your trip and check the latest weather reports to avoid the storm.
• Winterize your vehicle before the winter season
• Keep your gas tank near full
• Avoid traveling alone
• Let someone know your route and timetable
• Carry a WINTER STORM SURVIVAL KIT with the following items:
< Cell phone and charger
< Blankets / Sleeping bags
< Flashlight & batteries
< Knife
< Non-perishable food
< Extra clothing
< Large, empty can with cover
& tissues for sanitary purposes
< Smaller can, with matches to
melt snow for drinking water
< Sack of sand or cat litter
< Shovel
< Windshield scraper & brush
< Basic tool kit
< Tow rope
< Booster cables
< Water container
< Road maps and compass
< Battery operated NOAA Weather Radio

More information can be found by visting www.crh.noaa.gov/ilx



Winter Weather Preparedness Week!

The cold weather that has arrived is a reminder that winter weather is right around the corner. Some places saw a few snowflakes mix with the rain late last night and into very early this morning. Every year at this time the National Weather Service sets aside one week in November to help prepare for severe winter weather. This year Winter Weather Preparedness week runs November 11th through 17th! I am going to try and post a tip here everyday to help you get prepared!

Here are some definitions that you will hear us talking about on TV.

 Special Weather Statements (click here) 
                           - These provide you with information about things like slick roads 
                              due to "black ice", short duration heavy snow bands, wind chills 
                              close to -15 degrees  for a couple of hours - OR to heighten 
                              awareness of an impending winter storm.


  • Winter Watches: Severe winter weather is possible in the next 1 to 3 days. We are still tracking the storm, and the impacts could change, so keep up with the latest information - especially if you have travel plans.  
  • Winter Advisories: Winter weather the next day or so - such as snow, sleet, icing (freezing rain), gusty winds and/or cold temperatures will result mainly in travel problems / delays. If you plan on spending time outdoors, be prepared to stay as dry and warm as possible.

    Advisories for snow are issued for 2 to 5 inches. Advisories for ice are for icing less than 1/4" thick.   
  • Winter Warnings: A Winter storm the next day or so - is expected to result in significant amounts of snow, sleet, icing, very gusty winds and/or extremely cold temperatures. The impacts will be significant with hazardous travel and possibly extended power outages. Getting stranded outdoors could be deadly.

    Warnings for snow are for 6 inches or more. Warnings for icing are for more than 1/4" thick, which can cause damage to trees and power lines. 

For more information you can head to the National Weather Service page. Here is the link http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ilx/?n=winter

Stay tuned for more Winter Weather Tips this week!


Cool and cloudy start to November....

The clouds this morning across parts of the area have been very stubborn. Finally, this afternoon sunshine has broken out area wide. With the clouds this morning that marked 6 out of the first 8 days in November that we have seen mostly cloudy to cloudy skies for Macon County and Decatur . Temps have also been on the cool side with us averaging about -5.5 degrees below normal. Information released today by NOAA, shows that last month (October) in the continuous 48 was -.3 degrees below normal. This breaks a 16 month in a row streak of above average temps. On a positive note last month was the second straight month here in central Illinois that we received above average precipitation. Looking for more showers and even a couple rumbles of thunder arriving Sunday afternoon into Monday!

Today's forecast has some challenges for the next several days. The first one is with how warm will we get for the weekend. The wind will be out of the south with gusts to 30 to 35 on Saturday into Sunday. This southerly wind will help to push temps near 70 both Saturday and Sunday. My only concern is if we see any light showers on Saturday early morning and residual clouds that might hang around for a while in the early afternoon. Then Sunday, the timing of the arrival of the showers will determine the warming trend that will continue. I feel we will see the onset of the precipitation delayed until the evening and that should allow our temps to make it into the upper 60s and low 70s.

The second challenge will be with the exit of the precipitation and precip type on Monday afternoon into the evening. The cold front will be across the Illinois River valley in the morning and slide east through the afternoon. Temps will start in the low 40s in the morning then crash through out the afternoon. Some models are showing enough precip left when the air is cold enough we might see a few wet snowflakes mix in by the afternoon into the early evening. I am going to introduce this into the forecast for tonight but don't expect any impacts from the wet flakes.

The extended forecast looks dry for Tuesday through Thursday with temps moderating through that time frame. A trough will dig in for Tuesday into Tuesday night but will not hang around that long. Temps on Tuesday will struggle into the low 40s but by Wednesday and Thursday will be push back near 50 and will top 50 by the end of the week.





Election Day!

This is the greatest day in America for everyone who chooses to vote! People in other countries risk their lives to vote. Here in America we don't think about that happening, we do it because we have a voice in our government. Even if I had to risk my life for my voice to be heard I would take that chance. Obviously, this is a huge election as we are voting for our President. I am excited to see who will be running our country over the next several years. The other beauty about our country is that we don't have to worry about a revolution when the other person takes power its just a seamless transition. Hope you had the chance to vote and now let the votes be counted!





Weekends are always great to relax and just spend some quality time with the people you love. This weekend Ashley and I decided we wanted to get a little head start on our Christmas shopping. We headed over to Springfield and stopped at Scheels (a huge sporting good store), hit up the mall, and a couple other locations.

If you are a huge sports nut, hunter, golfer or just want to get some work out clothes Scheels is the place to be. They have everything for the family including a Ferris wheel inside the store. The store has a whole Christmas department set up with a lodge feel. As I have talked about here before, Christmas is my favorite holiday and I love to decorate. Seeing all the ideas and de core they have for Christmas has me excited to get to Thanksgiving so I can, "deck the halls!"

After our shopping we were getting hunger so I had been looking for a unique local place to eat and maybe grab an adult beverage. I found a little micro brewery called Obed and Isaacs. Its a really neat place as they brew their own beer! I really enjoy trying different kinds of brews. One of my new favorites is St. Louis' own Schlafly. Back to the story, not only did we head to Obed and Isaacs for a refreshment their menu looked amazing. We had to wait about an hour so that allowed us to sample some of the cold stuff and then we were taken into the dinning area. The tasting room when you first walk in is cozy and has a more modern feel to it. When you head back to the dinning area you are taking into an old home and that has been converted from office space and now dinning areas. Old homes that date back to the time of Lincoln are so cool to check out and when you get a great meal while doing this makes the experience even better. Here is the link to their website if you want to check it out. http://www.obedandisaacs.com/ This link takes you to the website that shares the history of the micro brewery and the home. Also, you will find the menu for the food!. This place is worth the drive to check out.






Drought Update....

Here is some good news as most of central Illinois is no longer in drought! 42.25% of the state is still listed as in D1 (moderate drought). This would include part of Logan and Mason counties. That number is down from 60.59 % a month ago and 100% just 3 months ago. We are finally getting moisture and it shows in this latest report. 15.44% of the state reports nothing in the way of dry conditions or drought. This would include Ford, Iroqouis, Champaign, Vermilion, Douglas, Coles, Edgar, Fayette and part of western Effingham counties. Hopefully the water recharge will continue as we roll toward the winter months!





Here are the stats from October.

October Stats


Average High: 67.8                                                   Average Low: 43.9

Rec. Avg. High: 62.77                                               Rec. Avg. Low: 45.48

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

    -5.03 below normal                                                  +1.58 above normal



                                               Average Mean: 55.85

                                               Rec. Avg. Mean: 54.12


                                                    -1.73 below normal



Average Rainfall: 2.92"                                       Average YTD Precip: 33.17"

Recorded Rainfall: 3.31"                                      YTD Rec. Precip: 19.56"

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

    +.39" above normal                                               -13.61" below normal

113% of normal                                                               59% normal rain



Warmest High: 81 Oct. 4th

Coolest High: 49 Oct. 6th and 28th

Warmest Low: 62 Oct. 24th

Coolest Low: 31 Oct. 8th


This was the second month in a row of above average precipitation!







Hello November!

Its hard to believe that three weeks from today is Thanksgiving. I will have some stats soon from October and it looks like last month will go down as the second straight month of above average precipitation!

One of my favorite things in early November is the Christmas commercials start to run! Last night Ashley and I were watching, "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown," and saw my first Christmas commercial. Target goes down as the first retailer to run a Christmas commercial this season that I have seen. I did see a local add last week for Prairie Gardens in Champaign run but it was just about a holiday open house so I don't think that counts. Christmas is my favorite holiday and walking into all the stores in area now its Christmas overload!

My favorite part of my job is going to visit schools and talking about weather. Today, I had the chance to head to Assumption to speak with Ms. Snider's 8th grade class. We talked about Sandy, why Sandy happened, and what we can expect this weekend along with other topics. In the kid world the weekends are like gold and to make the weekend even better they were getting out early today and have tomorrow off. I can remember those days in school when you had a long weekend, they were the best. On top of it all its high school football playoffs again this weekend and Central A&M is playing.Good luck to all the area football teams playing this weekend.





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