Latest weather snapshots

Bill----pictured here—Mary Elliot’s Golden retriever out in Streator—says of today’s snow----“YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING!!!” I love the expression on this fella’s face. Photo courtesy of Mary Elliot, Streator, IL

Bill—-pictured here—Mary Elliot’s Golden retriever out in Streator—says of today’s snow—-“YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING!!!” I love the expression on this fella’s face. Photo courtesy of Mary Elliot, Streator, IL

Nicole Esperson says her flowers can’t make up their mind whether it’s winter or spring after today’s round of snow! Photo courtesy of Nicole Esperson, Third Lake, Illinois

Nicole Esperson says her flowers can’t make up their mind whether it’s winter or spring after today’s round of snow! Photo courtesy of Nicole Esperson, Third Lake, Illinois

This is hail—NOT snow—which fell in those Saturday thunderstorms in this photo from Lynn Rockcastle who took this photo at Rt 14 and McGuire Road in Harvard, IL.  Photo courtesy of Lynn Rockcastle, Harvard, IL

This is hail—NOT snow—which fell in those Saturday thunderstorms in this photo from Lynn Rockcastle who took this photo at Rt 14 and McGuire Road in Harvard, IL. Photo courtesy of Lynn Rockcastle, Harvard, IL

Brian Kelly collected these hail stones Saturday in the northwest suburbs and places them with golf balls to illustrate their size. Photo courtesy of Brian Kelly, Northwest suburbs

Brian Kelly collected these hail stones Saturday in the northwest suburbs and places them with golf balls to illustrate their size. Photo courtesy of Brian Kelly, Northwest suburbs

Mark Perkowski of Inverness says---“Plate of hailstones anyone?” Photo courtesy of Mark Perkowski, Inverness, IL

Mark Perkowski of Inverness says—“Plate of hailstones anyone?” Photo courtesy of Mark Perkowski, Inverness, IL

 

ASK TOM: What is an “embedded thunderstorm”?

Dear Tom,

What is an “embedded thunderstorm”?

– June Wheeler,  Madison, Wis.

Dear June,

Webster’s New World Dictionary defines “embed” this way: “To set or fix firmly in a surrounding mass.” The precipitation that falls with major storm systems often extends across areas as large as several Midwestern states. Meteorologists refer to these as “synoptic scale” events. This kind of precipitation distribution differs from the relatively narrow bands or isolated clusters of showers and thunderstorms that usually occur in the warm season.

When In a situation in which a large precipitation area includes scattered thunderstorms, those storms are said to be “embedded” within the larger precipitation area. A forecast of rain and embedded thunderstorms suggests an extended period of rain that might occasionally include a thunderstorm.

Snow ending. Will skies clear in time for Lunar eclipse?

At 8:30 PM CDT, radar indicated that accumulating snow was generally east of I-55, and was shifting off to the east. The snow should end across the immediate metro area by 11 PM. Accumulations have generally been in the 1/2 to 1 inch range, with as much as 1.6 inches reported at Marengo.

Later tonight, a total lunar eclipse will occur. Current RPM model forecasts show that skies should clear across most of the Chicago area around midnight. This is supported by latest satellite imagery, which shows skies clearing along the Mississippi river. The clearing line is shifting eastward and should pass Chicago in time for viewing the eclipse. The exception may be over northwest Indiana, where lake effect clouds may persist much of the night.

Weather snapshots

The pounding many areas, particularly in the northwest suburbs Saturday morning, had to be seen to be believed. Bob Kinnison shares this shot of the Aideen Golf Club in Rockford covered by hailstones as big as golf balls. Photo courtesy of Bob Kinnison, Aideen Golf Club, Rockford

The pounding many areas, particularly in the northwest suburbs Saturday morning, had to be seen to be believed. Bob Kinnison shares this shot of the Aideen Golf Club in Rockford covered by hailstones as big as golf balls. Photo courtesy of Bob Kinnison, Aideen Golf Club, Rockford

This robin's not sure what just happened--sitting amid a sea of hailstones covering the ground in Mary deJong's shot from Lake in the Hills. Photo courtesy of Mary de Jong, Lake in the Hills

This robin’s not sure what just happened–sitting amid a sea of hailstones covering the ground in Mary deJong’s shot from Lake in the Hills. Photo courtesy of Mary de Jong, Lake in the Hills

The hail barrage was so heavy, it covered the roads AND the ground in Belvidere. John Beasley tells us those hailstones ranged from marble to baseball sized. Photo courtesy of John Beasely, Belvidere, IL

The hail barrage was so heavy, it covered the roads AND the ground in Belvidere. John Beasley tells us those hailstones ranged from marble to baseball sized. Photo courtesy of John Beasely, Belvidere, IL

These hailstones were nearly the size of the tennis ball on the right side of this dramatic photo from Debra Fulscher in Barrington. Photo courtesy of Debra Fulscher, Barrington, IL

These hailstones were nearly the size of the tennis ball on the right side of this dramatic photo from Debra Fulscher in Barrington. Photo courtesy of Debra Fulscher, Barrington, IL

HERE'S hail falling and littering the side of the road on I-294. Kevin Bowman sends us this. Photo courtesy of Kevin Bowman, On I-294

HERE’S hail falling and littering the side of the road on I-294. Kevin Bowman sends us this. Photo courtesy of Kevin Bowman, On I-294

Snow continues this evening.

At 6 PM CDT, snow had overspread just about the entire Chicago metro area. Temps were just above freezing, with slushy accumulations on grassy areas, cars, and rooftops. Roadways, including secondary routes were still reported to be wet.

With sunset, temps are forecast to dip just below freezing and snow may accumulate 1 to 2 inches in some areas, again, mainly on grass and elevated surfaces.