Archive for January, 2015

Heavy Snow Arrives Saturday Night & Sunday

Happy Saturday!

I hope you’re stocked up on whatever you might need to wait out this weekend’s snowstorm.  If not, you still have until early Saturday afternoon.

This is going to short and sweet if you like snow.

Heavy snow is on the way Saturday evening through Sunday evening and some hometowns may have a foot of new snow on the ground by the time it ends late Sunday night or early Monday morning.

A “Winter Storm Warning” has been issued for all of eastern Iowa and northern Illinois from Saturday evening through early Sunday night for heavy snow this weekend and gusty winds, considerable blowing and drifting snow, and falling temperatures Sunday.

A rain and snow mix will begin early Saturday afternoon across our southern hometowns and it will move northward and quickly change over to snow.

Moderate to heavy snow is likely for about a 12-hour period Saturday night into early Sunday.

This is the where the GFS has the storm system at 6 a.m. Sunday.  The darker shades of green show where the moderate to heavy snow will be falling.

Now, let’s talk snow amounts.

The storm has made another shift to the north in the overnight hours, so that means that the heaviest snow will also shift northward out of central Illinois, which was the thinking Friday night.

For simplicity’s sake, 6-12″ of snow are possible with this storm from Saturday evening through late Sunday night or early Monday morning!

In the Quad Cities, I’m expecting around 10″ of snow.

Right along Interstate 80 and to the north, that’s where the heaviest snow will fall.  Amounts of 8-12″ are likely.

If you live south of I-80, you’re still going to be heavy snow.  Amounts of 6-10″ will fall there.

Remember that with any snow event, there could be isolated higher totals in any of these ranges.


If we pick up more than 8.3″ of snow in the Quad Cities from this storm, it’ll be the biggest storm since that much fell back on February 26 and 27, 2013.

And, it was four years ago today (on the calendar) that a three-day snowstorm started in the Quad Cities that would bring 18.4″ of snow to the area, tying a 1979 snowstorm for the biggest snow event in Quad Cities history.

Groundhog Blizzard of 2011

In that 2011 storm, 14.8″ of that 18.4″ total fell on February 1st alone.


This is a dangerous situation unfolding with heavy snow, strong winds Sunday approaching 40 miles-per-hour, and considerable blowing and drifting snow.

Additionally, by Monday morning, temperatures will be near zero and wind chills will be much colder.  Monday’s highs will only be in the teens.

Since all of the pieces of the puzzle are in place, this is my only post today — unless something drastic and unforeseen happens.

Be safe and have a great weekend!


P.S.  I’d like to thank my friends at the National Weather Service offices for the “Winter Storm Warning” base maps. 🙂

Saturday & Sunday Snowstorm

It’s been a tough week for meteorologists, especially those in the Northeast.

They were battered more by the public than by snow when a “historic” blizzard was not as widespread as originally forecast.  Nevertheless, some locations picked up more than two feet of snow and saw wind gusts above hurricane force of 74 miles-per-hour.

Back at home, in the Midwest, all week I’ve been advertising a weekend snow event that could be a little bit of snow if the northern and southern jet streams stayed north and south, respectively, or several inches to a nice, shovelable snow if the jets merged near Iowa and Illinois.

It seemed like every computer model run contradicted the previous run.  Finally, Friday morning, less than 36 hours before the snow commenced, more consistency prompted me to go with this snowfall projection.


AP Morning Forecast

After analyzing data Friday afternoon, I believe that we’ll see even more snow that I was thinking this morning!

Here’s what me and my cohort in crime, CBS4 Chief Meteorologist Andy McCray and I are thinking for snowfall totals.


NEW snowfall forecast

It now looks like 4-6″ of snow will fall across our northwestern hometowns, 6-8″ for much of the area, including the Quad Cities.

Some locations to the southeast of the metro area could see closer to 10″ of snow!  Also, remember with any snowstorm, isolated higher totals are possible.


Precipitation should begin Saturday afternoon first across our southern hometowns as a rain and snow mix.  By evening, it will continue to move northward and quickly change over to snow.

Snow is likely Saturday night into early Sunday with moderate to heavy intensity snow falling, especially from the Quad Cities southward.

This is GFS forecast map for 6 a.m. Sunday with the moderate to heavy snow in the darker shades of green.

6am Sunday GFS

In addition to the heavy accumulation of snow, the winds will become blustery and that will cause blowing snow to make driving even more difficult.


Around midday Friday, the Quad Cities’ National Weather Service office issued a “Winter Storm Watch” from Saturday evening through Sunday evening.

If the snowfall projections look certain by early Saturday morning, I suspect that the “Watch” will be upgraded to a “Winter Storm Warning” for the counties expecting the heavier snow.


As of today, January 30th, we’re up to 19.1″ of snow this winter, which is about where we should be at this point in the season (19.6″).  It’s a far cry from where we were at last year at this time (32.5″).


It could be worse if you don’t like snow.

Groundhog Blizzard of 2011

Tomorrow’s start of the snow marks the four-year anniversary of the beginning of the big three-day snowstorm that ended on Groundhog Day 2011.

After picking up 1.9″ January 31st, an astounding 14.8″ fell on February 1st, and concluded with 1.9″ on February 2nd.

That 18.4″ storm tied the largest single storm in Quad City weather history.  The other one was in January 1979.


If, for some reason (and I don’t think this will happen), the snow doesn’t materialize, we could declare Sunday as “French Toast Day” to use up all the eggs, bread, and milk stores sold in advance of the storm!

Eggs Milk Bread

And, toilet paper doesn’t want to be forgotten!

This is my last update of the night unless something drastic comes in on the late evening model runs.  Otherwise, I’ll post an update Saturday morning.

Have a great weekend.


When The Hell Did I Get So Old?

Age is just a number!

I tell myself that all the time because I feel great and I think I look decent for 5o!  I see other people younger than me and they look years beyond their age.

However, with Ray out-of-town for a conference, I turned the radio on shortly after midnight (Mix 96 in the Quad Cities) as I was getting ready for work yesterday morning and Whitney Houston was belting out “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)”.


I didn’t think of her death, her drug abuse, her marriage to Bobby Brown, or that Lifetime movie.  All I thought about was how happy that song and much of her music made me feel.

But, it really got me to thinking about my 22-year-old self back in Kentucky getting ready to go out for a night of clubbing at the gay bar in Paducah and playing that song when I was spinning records.  Yes, records!

I thought of how young I was then and how much life I’ve lived since 1987.  And, then I thought, “When the hell did I get so old?”

Yes, that sounds contradictory because one moment I’m talking about looking and feeling great and the next I’m talking about how I got to be so old.

I love to travel.  Just last year alone, I was fortunate enough to go to Las Vegas, Ottawa (Ontario, Canada), Paris (France), Tel Aviv (Israel), and New York City for New Year’s Eve and that holiday weekend.

Ray Anthony Old Jaffa

I saw the glitz and glamour, historic buildings, the Eiffel Tower, the Mediterranean Sea, Old Jaffa, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, Rockefeller Center in all of its Christmas glory, and much more that those cities offered.

I saw Olivia Newton-John and Shania Twain in Las Vegas and a show at the Moulin Rouge in Paris and I turned fifty during the performance.  I saw Michael C. Hall as Hedwig in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” on Broadway and the incredible Renee Fleming in my first operetta, “The Merry Widow”, at the Metropolitan Opera.

However, one thing that I never saw in any of those worldly cities was the inside of a nightclub.

As a youngster, in my 20s, I loved going out and partying with my friends back home, taking short road trips to Louisville (Kentucky) and Nashville (Tennessee) and much longer road trips to Milwaukee (Wisconsin) and Chicago (Illinois).  I loved making new friends, cruising hot guys, and hanging out with drag queens.


Even in my 30s, I had a blast in the nightclubs during the four years that I lived in Chicago.

Fast forward to 2015 — I’m older now and I’m married to a wonderful man and we have a teenage daughter.

I love sitting at home and veggie out on the couch watching movies and our favorite television shows.  I love working in the yard and the garden and floating in the pool on summer nights and weekends.


But, I still love throbbing and pulsating club music.  I still love Madonna and Britney Spears.

Whitney may no longer be with us in life, but she lives on and she still inspires.

On my next trip to a metropolitan city, I’m going out, I’m going to dance and have a good time.

But, I won’t slam shots and cocktails because it takes longer to recover than it did twenty years ago.  I’ll refuse cocaine standing at a urinal in a bar, just as I did on my first visit to Las Vegas in 1993.

Age is just a number and just another candle on the cake of life.

Rainbow Cake

And, to prove that, how many of you remember Giorgio Moroder?

The 74-year-old Italian musician released his first record 50 years ago!  He gained international fame by making disco king in American by producing many of Donna Summer’s 1970s club and radio classics.

This spring he’s releasing his new album, “74 is the New 24”, with guest appearances by Britney Spears, Sia, Charlie XCX, and Kylie Minogue, who’s featured on the album’s first single, “Right Here, Right Now”.

Giorgio says, “Dance music doesn’t care where you live.  It doesn’t care who your friends are. It doesn’t care how much money you make. It doesn’t care if your 74 or if you are 24 because… 74 is the new 24!”

Amen, Giorgio!  So, dim all the lights, turn on the strobes and the fog machines.

I’m ready to dance with somebody who loves me or someone who just wants to share the dance floor with me.



I’m not stuck in the past with my love of Madonna and the sounds of the 1980s.  I love new dance artists like Kiesza and Clean Bandit.  If you’re not familiar with them, check these out!

Movies To Rent On This Snowy Day

Since it’s going to be a snowy, blustery, and cold day, you might just want to snuggle up on the couch and watch movies.

Here are some recent ones that we rented at Redbox and I’d recommend all of them, but some were much better than others.


“The Guest” showed great potential at the start, but lost credibility mid-movie and was a joke by the end.

The highlight is that Dan Stevens (much more buff and sexier than from his “Downton Abbey” days) was easy on the eyes!



“This Is Where I Leave You” is a dysfunctional family dramedy.

A group of siblings come together to mourn the loss of their father.

It features an all-star cast including the incredibly beautiful and funny Jane Fonda (and her breasts), Tina Fey, and Jason Bateman.

And, I can see why there’s a lot of entertainment buzz with “Girls” star Adam Driver.  Although I find him awkward looking, he does have a lot of magnetism on-camera.

While the movie made me laugh several times, the writing was a little choppy.

However, the acting was great.



“Love is Strange” is the story of a couple that have been together for almost 40 years and they finally get married.

One of them gets fired from his Catholic School teaching job because of the gay marriage.

They can’t afford their condo which forces them to live apart with family and friends.

Heartbreaking and well-acted.

The movie stars John Lithgow, Alfred Molina, and Marisa Tomei.



“A Walk Among the Tombstones” with Liam Neeson and Dan Stevens was an entertaining, but predictable movie.

If you like Neeson in the “Taken” series, you’ll like his kick-ass turn as a vigilante out for revenge.

If you’ve tired of “Taken” by “Taken 3”, you might want to skip this one.



“The Maze Runner” was a very enjoyable and thought-provoking young adult, dystopian, science-fiction story about the end of the world as we know it and a science experiment being conducted on boys and girls.

A sequel is already in the works.



If you watched the Golden Globes, you saw Patricia Arquette win for Best Supporting Actress, Richard Linklater for Best Director, and “Boyhood” for Best Picture – Drama, and rightfully so!

The movie is also up for six Academy Awards.

“Boyhood” is very unique movie by Hollywood standards.  It was shot a few days a year over a twelve year period with the same actors and actresses.  No special effects were needed to age the actors.

While most of the awards and nominations are going to Linklater, Arquette, and Ethan Hawke, the real star of “Boyhood” is Ellar Coltrane.  It was amazing to watch this little Texas kid grow up on-screen over the 12-year shoot of the movie.

By the end you felt like you really knew him, even though he was acting and playing Mason.

Coltrane did pick up “Best Young Performer at the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, the Nevada Film Critics Society, and the Washington D.C. Area Film Critic Association Awards.

A must see!



This crime thriller movie was fun to watch, but it wasn’t very realistic.

It definitely wasted the talents of its stars, Golden Globes winner Idris Elba and Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson, who is much better and has better material to work with on Fox’s “Empire” as Cookie.


If you end up renting any of these, let me know what you think.


Snow, Wind, & Turning Colder Sunday

What a beautiful Saturday that felt like early spring with a high of 48° in the Quad Cities and some low-50s across eastern Iowa!

Unfortunately, it won’t last.  Sunday will see a return to what winter typically feels like with snow, blustery winds, and temperatures falling into the 20s.

The snow will begin late Saturday night as a rain and snow mix.  By around daybreak Sunday, the rain will change over to all snow and it’ll snow at a nice pace for about four to six hours.  By afternoon, the snow will start to diminish.

Snowfall amounts will generally be in the 1-3″ range.  Far southern hometowns will see an inch or less of accumulation because it could take longer for the changeover from a rain and snow mix to all snow, plus the ground is still pretty warm after the recent mild temperatures.

Winds will be rather breezy Sunday out of the northeast at about 20-30 miles-per-hour and temperatures will fall through the 20s.

After a cold start to the day Monday, we’ll see more sunshine early next week with temperatures returning to the upper-30s and mid-40s.  It’ll remain mild for all of next week, considering the average high this time of the year is 31°.

If you like this mild weather, enjoy it.  By next weekend, another snow system is looking likely along with some very cold air.


Heavy Snow Later Today

We dropped below zero this morning in the Quad Cities for the first time this winter.  The last below zero morning was in early March 2014 when it was -12°.

Much colder air is on the way by the middle of the week after a moderate to heavy blanket of snow falls Monday evening and Monday night.


A “Winter Storm Warning” goes into effect in the yellow shading later Monday into early Tuesday morning and a “Winter Weather Advisory for the same time frame in the blue shading.

Here’s how much snow will fall this evening and overnight tonight.

The heaviest snow will fall between 6 p.m. Monday and midnight.

Snow Forecast

By Tuesday night, we drop to -5° to -15° for lows and Wednesday’s highs will stay below zero.

Wednesday night’s lows will be in -10° to -20° range and wind chills could make it feel more like -20° to -40°.

Be careful this week with the cold and snow, it’s going to be brutal.


Winter Is Here (To Stay)

UPDATED  POST:  Sunday, January 4, 2015, 6:52 p.m.

We picked another one-tenth of an inch of snow today in the Quad Cities.  This brings our daily total to 2.4″ and January’s total to 2.8″.  This winter, we’re up to 7.4″.

Here’s the updated advisory and warning map for Monday evening into Tuesday morning.

Sunday Evening

The fuchsia color shading is where the heaviest snow will fall and the purple areas will see several inches, but less than the northern hometowns.

Our single digit temperatures Sunday evening will be below zero Monday morning and this will not be the coldest air this week! 

Tuesday night and Wednesday night, we may have lows of -5° to -20° and that’s not counting the wind chills.,  On Wednesday, daytime highs may stay below zero!

I expect a busy morning in the weather center the next couple of days!

Join me on “CBS4 News This Morning” from 5-7 a.m. for the latest.


ORIGINAL POST:  Sunday, January 4, 2015, 7:11 a.m.

Winter is finally here for the Quad Cities and it’s not leaving this week!

Plotter.php Wind chills today will be around 20 below zero through noon.

2.3″ of snow fell officially in the Quad Cities overnight.  That brings January’s total to 2.7″ and the winter total to 7.3″.  Last winter, at this time, we were up to 18″.

A “Winter Storm Watch” goes into effect Monday evening into Tuesday morning for heavy snow coming in.  We could easily see another 4-6″ of snow then.  However, there are still details to work out.  I’ll have the latest Monday morning from 5-7 a.m. on “CBS4 News This Morning”.

Bitterly cold below zero temperatures arrive after that next snow.

Be safe this weekend.