HUGE Spring Halo

Huge halos visible in the spring sky Wednesday over many sections of Florida caused quite a stir. Many of you sent me pictures.  I thought this shot from Adam Wlodarski, which so vividly shows the halo above the swimmers and others at the beach in Siesta Key, Florida illustrated just why the phenomenon caught the eyes of so many!!

This wider shot relayed to us from Adam Wlodarski in Siesta Key, Florida shows why this caught folks attention.  The halo dominated the sky. Photo courtesy of Adam Wlodarski, Siesta Key, Florida

Photo courtesy of Adam Wlodarski

Siesta Key, Florida

Angry Sky

This angry-looking sky was photographed Tuesday afternoon near Grayslake by Connor Healey.  You can see streamers of precipitation falling from the showers which bubbled up with daytime heating. Connor tells us rain and hail followed shortly after he snapped this shot.
angry skyPhoto courtesy of Connor Healey, Grayslake, IL

Temps headed to 60-degrees Thursday for the 9th time in 2014

By Meteorologist Tom Skilling

More seasonable temperatures return to Chicago Thursday building on Wednesday’s 52-degree high.

Coincident with the arrival of the city’s first day with a normal temp of 60-degrees, Thursday afternoon’s peak reading is also to hit 60. It marks only the 9th time this year that Chicago’s temperature has been as warm or warmer.

Late season Midwest snowstorm hits the North Woods hard; accumulations have topped 1ft.

The storm responsible for the gusty southerly winds which began raking the Chicago area Wednesday have helped propel milder air into this  area while fueling the latest snowstorm burying sections of the upper Midwest.

What’s interesting is that part of the area being lambasted by wind and snow across northern Wisconsin,  Minnesota and Upper Michigan, may, in a matter of just days, warm areas to within striking distance of 60-degrees later this coming Easter weekend.

Snow totals reported late Wednesday—with snow still coming down—had reached 13.5” Grantsburg, WI; 12.3” Spooner, WI; 10.5” Hinckley, MN; 10” Hayward and New Post, Wisconsin.

April 2014′s has had its share of cool days—but the month’s running 1.6-degrees ahead of last year

April, 2014’s has generated its share of cool temperatures. But, the month’s average temperature has moved into positive territory. It’s the first time that’s happened in any months since last October. Thus, while subtle, the road to the warmer temps of late spring and summer is clearly underway—an effort which can be expected to yield warmth with increasing frequency in the weeks and months to come—-but area residents shouldn’t be fooled. Lake Michigan is still cold and a wind shift off the chilly waters can— and will—generate cool temperatures until water temperatures warm.

ASK TOM: Bright green streak falling star.

Dear Tom,

In late March I saw a bright green streak, a falling star. What accounts for that color? Air pollution?

— Frank Dezio

Dear Frank,

Meteoroids, orbiting the sun in huge numbers, are believed to be debris left over from the formation of the solar system.

They are occasionally captured by the Earth’s gravitational pull and, plunging at speeds up to150,000 mph, glow to incandescence because of friction with the atmosphere.

A brief streak of light, usually whitish, is the familiar result.

But astronomer Dan Joyce of Triton College tells us that a distinct green color is not rare.

The color of the streak has nothing to do with the atmosphere, he says.

The composition of the meteoroid is probably a reason for the color, and he suspects it is likely chromium.

Yesterday's showers produced some impressive shafts of rain out of the base of the clouds--like this group of showers photographed by Amanda Rauch in DeKalb. Photo courtesy of Amanda Rauch, DeKalb, IL

Yesterday’s showers produced some impressive shafts of rain out of the base of the clouds–like this group of showers photographed by Amanda Rauch in DeKalb. Photo courtesy of Amanda Rauch, DeKalb, IL

Photographer Lorraine Mahoney sends us this lunar eclipse time sequence--you see it on the right side of this photo as the moon transitions to its orange and red hued Blood Moon-state----near the Fabyan Windmill out in the Fox Valley in Geneva. Photo courtesy of Lorraine Mahoney, Fabyan Windmill-Geneva, IL

Photographer Lorraine Mahoney sends us this lunar eclipse time sequence–you see it on the right side of this photo as the moon transitions to its orange and red hued Blood Moon-state—-near the Fabyan Windmill out in the Fox Valley in Geneva. Photo courtesy of Lorraine Mahoney, Fabyan Windmill-Geneva, IL

HERE'S David Spearman's shot of Tuesday morning's Blood Moon as photographed from Chicago. Photo courtesy of David Spearman, Chicago

HERE’S David Spearman’s shot of Tuesday morning’s Blood Moon as photographed from Chicago. Photo courtesy of David Spearman, Chicago

You can see how little ice remains on southern Lake Michigan in this shot. This ice floe was floating out on Lake Michigan and was photographed by Kyle Anderson near Holland, Michigan as Kyle was flying eastbound at the 5,500 ft. level.  It's a testament to how much of the once record level of ice has melted.  This ice is floating there in open water. Photo courtesy of Kyle Anderson, Near Holland Michigan

You can see how little ice remains on southern Lake Michigan in this shot. This ice floe was floating out on Lake Michigan and was photographed by Kyle Anderson near Holland, Michigan as Kyle was flying eastbound at the 5,500 ft. level. It’s a testament to how much of the once record level of ice has melted. This ice is floating there in open water. Photo courtesy of Kyle Anderson, Near Holland Michigan

HERE'S THE EASTER BUNNY---photographed by Bill Parkinson, a member of the Foresters Camera Club, amid Tuesday morning's snow. Photo courtesy of Bill Parkinson, Forester's Camera Club member

HERE’S THE EASTER BUNNY—photographed by Bill Parkinson, a member of the Foresters Camera Club, amid Tuesday morning’s snow. Photo courtesy of Bill Parkinson, Forester’s Camera Club member

Sue Stefanowicz headed out to feed the birds in the wake of Tuesday's ground covering snowfall. Here she's hand-feeding this Tufted Titmouse.  It's clear Sue has developed quite a rapport with this little fella. Photo courtesy of Sue Stefanowicz

Sue Stefanowicz headed out to feed the birds in the wake of Tuesday’s ground covering snowfall. Here she’s hand-feeding this Tufted Titmouse. It’s clear Sue has developed quite a rapport with this little fella. Photo courtesy of Sue Stefanowicz

John Tompkins sends us this shot of conditions earlier this evening in Osseo, MN ---a Minneapolis suburb.  John e-mailed “Chicagoans are actually lucky!!” Photo courtesy of John Tompkins, Osseo, MN

John Tompkins sends us this shot of conditions earlier this evening in Osseo, MN —a Minneapolis suburb.
John e-mailed “Chicagoans are actually lucky!!” Photo courtesy of John Tompkins, Osseo, MN

I received a flood of images of halos observed in Florida today.  These appeared to catch folks eyes—BIGTIME!! Photo courtesy of Bill Harris, Redington Shores, Florida

I received a flood of images of halos observed in Florida today. These appeared to catch folks eyes—BIGTIME!! Photo courtesy of Bill Harris, Redington Shores, Florida

This wider shot relayed to us from Adam Wlodarski in Siesta Key, Florida shows why this caught folks attention.  The halo dominated the sky. Photo courtesy of Adam Wlodarski, Siesta Key, Florida

This wider shot relayed to us from Adam Wlodarski in Siesta Key, Florida shows why this caught folks attention. The halo dominated the sky. Photo courtesy of Adam Wlodarski, Siesta Key, Florida