Amazing Igloo in Justice, Illinois

7 year old Kyler Czerwin from sent us these wonderful pictures. Kyler tells us:

“I thought you would like to see this photo of my igloo that my dad made it took him three days of carving it out.”

That’s quite an igloo Kyler! Thanks for sharing these pictures!

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Photos courtesy of Kyler Czerwin, Justice, Illinois

Tim's Weather World: Eyes to the Skies

The National Weather Service wants you!  Severe weather season is right around the corner and we need more eyes to the skies.  If you are interested in becoming a storm spotter, the National Weather Service will be holding several severe weather spotter classes between now and the end of April.  Just click here to see a schedule and find a class near you.  The class takes between one and half to two hours to complete.

Tornadonws.jpgIn response to the Plainfield tornado on August 28, 1990, the Chicago office of the National Weather Service, the DuPage County office of Emergency Management and the College Of DuPage all joined forces to create the Multi-County SkyWarn of Northeast Illinois.  Thousands of spotters spread out across 15 counties have received training and are now one of our first lines of defense during severe weather. 

Click here for a basic severe weather spotting guide.

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Snow records fall across the Ohio Valley

Daily snowfall records fell in Cincnnati, Columbus and Indianapolis on Monday.  The storm responsible for the hefty accumulation is headed for New England on Tuesday and Wednesday where up to a foot of snow is expected.   It’s hard to believe, but the Washington and Baltimore area should miss out on the heavy snow this time around.

Missouri-Ohio Valley Storm Totals 

9.7″  Columbus, OH   (Record for 2/15)

9.5″  Bloomington, IN

8.3″  Cincinnati, OH    (Record for 2/15)

8.0″  Grayville, IL

6.3″  Indianapolis, IN  (Record for 2/15)

6.0″  Mount Vernon, IL

5.0″  Evansville, IN

2.3″  St. Louis, MO

Monthly Snowfall Record in Cincinnati

Monday’s 8.3″ of snow pushed the monthly total in Cincinnati to  23.1″, establishing a new snowfall record for the month of February breaking the old record of 21.4″ set in 1914.  Cincinnati Ohio has seen more snow in the last 15 days (21.1″) than Fairbanks, Alaska has had all winter (20.0″),

 

Upside down North American weather pattern has Chicago colder than Alaska

The weather pattern dominating North America has an upside-down quality to it. Perennially warm spots are running surprisingly cold while some cold locales are experiencing unprecedented warmth. It was warmer Monday in Anchorage, Alaska, where the temperature hit 44-degrees, than it was here in Chicago with a 28-degree high. Juneau, Alaska’s 38-degree low Monday morning was milder than lows of 35-degrees at New Orleans, Louisiana and Daytona Beach, Florida. And to add to the meteorological intrigue, the bursts of snow  responsible for half-inch accumulations over parts of the Chicago area  Monday, swept into the area from the northeast rather than the west–the typical route snow and other weather systems follow into the area.

Chicago missed the latest significant snow system to sweep the Lower 48 Monday. It buried Ohio and sections of downstate Indiana— including the Bloomington area—beneath as much as 10 inches of snow, at the same time unseasonably mild weather and an exasperating lack of snow continued to dog winter sports venues at the Vancouver Olympics. Temperatures soared to 53-degrees Monday in Vancouver and to the upper 30s to the north at Whistler, British Columbia, site of a number of Olympic skiing and snowboarding events. The warmest January on record there and the mildest  February in 17 years has reduced the typical 80-inch February snowpack to just 35 inches, as more rain than snow has rendered slopes icy and bumpy.  

An atmospheric blocking pattern is behind the unusual weather

A blocking pattern which extends from Greenland across northern Canada—the product of a huge pool of comparatively mild air aloft draped across much of the arctic region—shows little sign of relaxing in coming weeks. As a result, chilly weather is likely to hold tight in Chicago. High temperatures Tuesday flirt with 30-degrees—which, while hardly extreme, will fall 5-degrees shy of historic norms, making it the 11th consecutive below normal day. More than half (57 percent) of meteorological winter days (since Dec. 1) have been below normal.
 
Cold hasn’t been barbaric, but it has dramatically slashed the number of mild days
 
With just two weeks to go in the three month meteorological winter (December through February) period, it’s clear the books will close on a colder than normal season this year. Since Dec. 1, Chicago’s temperature has run 2-degrees below the long term average. That hardly qualifies as extreme cold. But, the persistence of the chill has had its biggest effect on the season’s mildest days. Only six days of 40+-degree “warmth” have been logged to date this season—25 percent of the average 24 days over the past 81 years. There’s been only one winter season since 1928 with fewer 40s to date— 1978-79 with only five 40s by now. Chilly as it’s been, it’s worth noting that this season has averaged 3-degrees warmer than last.
 

40 degrees in February in Chicago?

Dear Tom,
It is starting to look like we may not reach 40 degrees this February. Has that ever happened before?

–Michael Donlan

Dear Michael,
Considering that the city’s average high temperature climbs to 39 degrees by the end of the month, it is extremely rare, but it has happened twice before since records began in 1871 — February 1901, with a high of 35 degrees, and February 1978, which maxed out at 37. Two other Februaries have come close; February 1920 and 1989 with just one day each. February 1989 was unusual in that in was 52 degrees Feb. 1 and then never touched 40 degrees for the rest of the month. On the warmer side, February 1998 stands out as having 25 days in which temperatures topped 40 degrees, highlighted by a spring-like 63 on Feb. 26, 1998.
 If this month’s chilly trend continues, it stands to become the city’s third February that failed to record a 40-degree day.