Controlled burn in Zion

These are shots from a controlled burn conducted this morning by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources at Illinois Beach State Park in Zion today taken by Christina Dreher. Controlled burns are designed, among other things, to decreased the fuel which might produce more serious fires later.

Photo courtesy of Christina Dreher, Illinois Beach State Park controlled burn

Photo courtesy of Christina Dreher, Illinois Beach State Park controlled burn

Photo courtesy of Christina Dreher, Illinois Beach State Park controlled burn

Photo courtesy of Christina Dreher, Illinois Beach State Park controlled burn

Photo courtesy of Christina Dreher, Illinois Beach State Park controlled burn

Photo courtesy of Christina Dreher, Illinois Beach State Park controlled burn

Weather snapshots

Signs of spring abound!   Check out the demise of the ice.  ONly 27% of Lake Michigan is now ice coverage--ice coverage on all the Great Lakes is down to 53%.  Maciek Wozniak sends us these shots of the ice near Glenn, Michigan----bewteeen Saugatuck and South Haven. Photo courtesy of Maciek Wozniak, Glenn, Michigan

Signs of spring abound! Check out the demise of the ice. ONly 27% of Lake Michigan is now ice coverage–ice coverage on all the Great Lakes is down to 53%. Maciek Wozniak sends us these shots of the ice near Glenn, Michigan—-bewteeen Saugatuck and South Haven. Photo courtesy of Maciek Wozniak, Glenn, Michigan

Matt Winz snapped this shot of VIRGA—shafts of evaporating rain falling the base of rain-producing clouds---over Wicker Park as today’s cold front passed. Photo courtesy of Matt Winz, Wicker Park-Chicago

Matt Winz snapped this shot of VIRGA—shafts of evaporating rain falling the base of rain-producing clouds—over Wicker Park as today’s cold front passed. Photo courtesy of Matt Winz, Wicker Park-Chicago

You can tell it’s spring!  Look at all of these Blue Heron nests on the Fox River in the Montgomery area.  Photographer Steve Fluke sends us these shots and says the nests are full of eggs ready to hatch. Photo courtesy of Steve Fluke, On the Fox River in Montgomery

You can tell it’s spring! Look at all of these Blue Heron nests on the Fox River in the Montgomery area. Photographer Steve Fluke sends us these shots and says the nests are full of eggs ready to hatch. Photo courtesy of Steve Fluke, On the Fox River in Montgomery

This beautiful Elmhurst sunset took place last evening and comes to us from Lene Starr. Photo courtesy of Lene Starr, Elmhurst, IL

This beautiful Elmhurst sunset took place last evening and comes to us from Lene Starr. Photo courtesy of Lene Starr, Elmhurst, IL

Mounds of sand are left in the wake of the ice piles on the shores of Lake Michigan near Glenn, MI.Photo courtesy of Maciek Wozniak, Glenn, MI

Mounds of sand are left in the wake of the ice piles on the shores of Lake Michigan near Glenn, MI.Photo courtesy of Maciek Wozniak, Glenn, MI

Flower-bearing plants are sprouting there and beginning to bloom. Photo courtesy of Maciek Wozniak, Glenn, MI

Flower-bearing plants are sprouting there and beginning to bloom. Photo courtesy of Maciek Wozniak, Glenn, MI

Carole Terando shows us pelicans on their annual migration making at stop at Spring Valley Boat Club on the Illinois River out between Ottawa and Henry, IL. Photo courtesy of Carole Terando, Spring Valley Boat Club-Illinois River

Carole Terando shows us pelicans on their annual migration making at stop at Spring Valley Boat Club on the Illinois River out between Ottawa and Henry, IL. Photo courtesy of Carole Terando, Spring Valley Boat Club-Illinois River

Lynn Xydas observes this cardinal at the feeder in her yard effectively saying to this squirrel---"DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!" Photo courtesy of Lynn Xydas

Lynn Xydas observes this cardinal at the feeder in her yard effectively saying to this squirrel—”DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!” Photo courtesy of Lynn Xydas

Melting ice on Lake Michigan

Ice is gone in southern Lake Michigan and has melted in northern Lake Michigan.  These photos are really fascinating and have been relayed to us from Joe Charlevoix who’s chief meteorologist at WPBN & WTOM-TV in Traverse City, Michigan and one of our former WGN-TV meteorological interns. The photos, sent to Joe by Chris Stapleton of Elberta, MI (near Frankfort, MI and southwest of Traverse City), show fascinating piles of ice in Lake Michigan left over from our cold winter. The shots also depict the melting of ice which has taken place across northern Lake Michigan. THANKS for these remarkable shots, Joe and Chris!

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Weather snapshots

Yesterday afternoon and evening's instability showers were subjects of a whole range of photos we received from our viewers.  Like this one, taken from Woodridge by Veronica DeLuca.  Virga--stands of rainfall--can be seen falling from the cloud. Photo courtesy of Veronic DeLuca, Woodridge, IL

Yesterday afternoon and evening’s instability showers were subjects of a whole range of photos we received from our viewers. Like this one, taken from Woodridge by Veronica DeLuca. Virga–stands of rainfall–can be seen falling from the cloud.
Photo courtesy of Veronic DeLuca, Woodridge, IL

Or this rainshaft falling out of a shower near Kenosha, WI from Jonathan Friend. Photo courtesy of Jonathan Friend, Kenosha, WI

Or this rainshaft falling out of a shower near Kenosha, WI from Jonathan Friend.
Photo courtesy of Jonathan Friend, Kenosha, WI

Those showers produced rainbows all over the area.  This one spanned the horizon and was the first rainbow of the the year over Wauconda according to its photographer Dirk Leahy. Photo courtesy of Dirk Leahy, Wauconda, IL

Those showers produced rainbows all over the area. This one spanned the horizon and was the first rainbow of the the year over Wauconda according to its photographer Dirk Leahy. Photo courtesy of Dirk Leahy, Wauconda, IL

Or how about this double-panel shot from Veronica DeLuca over Woodridge Tuesday evening. Photo courtesy of Veronica DeLuca, Woodridge, IL

Or how about this double-panel shot from Veronica DeLuca over Woodridge Tuesday evening. Photo courtesy of Veronica DeLuca, Woodridge, IL

This panoramic view of one of last evening's showers--with dramatic evidence of a rain falling from the base of the cloud---comes from Kevin Sheely. Photo courtesy of Kevin Sheely

This panoramic view of one of last evening’s showers–with dramatic evidence of a rain falling from the base of the cloud—comes from Kevin Sheely. Photo courtesy of Kevin Sheely

And finally--the moon!  It was spectacular last night and comes to us in all its glory through this beautiful photo from Lyan Xydas.  The clarity of this shot is so good, you could plan a lunar landing with it!!! Thanks Lyan. Photo courtesy Lyan Xydas

And finally–the moon! It was spectacular last night and comes to us in all its glory through this beautiful photo from Lyan Xydas. The clarity of this shot is so good, you could plan a lunar landing with it!!! Thanks Lyan. Photo courtesy Lyan Xydas

Weather snapshots

Signs of spring--even from icy Lake Superior.  Brian and photographer Shawn Malone report you could hear the ice breaking next to Marquette Lighthouse up on the BIG LAKE!  The blue ice chunks are visible against a backdrop of a halo around the sun. Photo courtesy of Shawn and Brian Malone, Marquette Lighthouse-Lake Superior, Michigan

Signs of spring–even from icy Lake Superior. Brian and photographer Shawn Malone report you could hear the ice breaking next to Marquette Lighthouse up on the BIG LAKE! The blue ice chunks are visible against a backdrop of a halo around the sun. Photo courtesy of Shawn and Brian Malone, Marquette Lighthouse-Lake Superior, Michigan

Brenna Ohlson snapped this shot of an ice-covered river beginning to open up on a flight back to Chicago from Seattle.  Photo courtesy of Brenna Ohlson, Flight from Seattle

Brenna Ohlson snapped this shot of an ice-covered river beginning to open up on a flight back to Chicago from Seattle. Photo courtesy of Brenna Ohlson, Flight from Seattle

However, wintry weather lingers at the higher elevations out West. It's not quite through everywhere. Lisa Rundell sends us this shot of the fresh snowpack on the surrounding mountains near Brigham City, Utah.  This was photographed from the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge.  Photo courtesy of Lisa Rundell, From near Brigham City, Utah

However, wintry weather lingers at the higher elevations out West. It’s not quite through everywhere. Lisa Rundell sends us this shot of the fresh snowpack on the surrounding mountains near Brigham City, Utah. This was photographed from the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge.
Photo courtesy of Lisa Rundell, From near Brigham City, Utah

These are star trails---circular streaks of light produced when the lens is left open to produce a time exposure. The stars appear to move as the earth rotates, producing this dramatic image.  Shawn Malone is the photographer. Photo courtesy of Shawn Malone, Grand Island East Channel Lighthouse, Upper Michigan

These are star trails—circular streaks of light produced when the lens is left open to produce a time exposure. The stars appear to move as the earth rotates, producing this dramatic image. Shawn Malone is the photographer.
Photo courtesy of Shawn Malone, Grand Island East Channel Lighthouse, Upper Michigan

Weather snapshots

ALICIA LENART from south suburban Wilmington, IL sends us this shot of crocuses not just coming to life--but BLOOMING--in her yard there. Photo courtesy of Alicia Lenart, Wilmington, IL

ALICIA LENART from south suburban Wilmington, IL sends us this shot of crocuses not just coming to life–but BLOOMING–in her yard there. Photo courtesy of Alicia Lenart, Wilmington, IL

Brian Baker writes from Crossville, TV with this shot and says--"Hang in there, Chicago!! The eruption of spring vegetation there in Crossville TN will soon be happening in Chicago".  THANKS for those words of encouragement, Briasn!! Photo courtesy of Brian Baker, Crossville, TN

Brian Baker writes from Crossville, TV with this shot and says–”Hang in there, Chicago!! The eruption of spring vegetation there in Crossville TN will soon be happening in Chicago”. THANKS for those words of encouragement, Briasn!! Photo courtesy of Brian Baker, Crossville, TN

Ronda Bennett, who I met at our Fermilab tornado and severe storms seminars Saturday in Batavia, sneds us this beautiful shot of a cardinal in her backyard in Oswego.  I asked Ronda to keep sending us these beautiful photos!! Photo courtesy of Ronda Bennett, Oswego, IL

Ronda Bennett, who I met at our Fermilab tornado and severe storms seminars Saturday in Batavia, sneds us this beautiful shot of a cardinal in her backyard in Oswego. I asked Ronda to keep sending us these beautiful photos!! Photo courtesy of Ronda Bennett, Oswego, IL

The storm which produced this ominous-looking shelf cloud as it rolled into St. Louis Friday night prompted a tornado warning there.  David Thomas photographed it and shares that shot with us. Photo courtesy of David Thomas, St. Louis, MO

The storm which produced this ominous-looking shelf cloud as it rolled into St. Louis Friday night prompted a tornado warning there. David Thomas photographed it and shares that shot with us. Photo courtesy of David Thomas, St. Louis, MO

Jeff Price photographed this anvil-topped thunderhead or cumulonimbus cloud from the air just north of Dallas/Ft. Worth Friday night. Photo courtesy of Jeff Price, Near Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX

Jeff Price photographed this anvil-topped thunderhead or cumulonimbus cloud from the air just north of Dallas/Ft. Worth Friday night. Photo courtesy of Jeff Price, Near Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX