Archive for December, 2015

My Favorite Albums of 2015

I’m one of those people who tracks music, movies, charts, polls, and the sort all year-long.  And, when December comes, I love seeing the best and worst of the year lists.

I posted my favorite movies of the year last week.  “Lilting” was #1.

Here’s the link if you want to see the complete list:

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/12/22/my-favorite-movies-of-2015/

And, I posted my 30 favorite songs of 2015.  Jason Derulo came out on top!

Here’s the complete list to see if your favorite made my countdown.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/12/23/my-20-favorite-songs-of-2015/

Now, I ready to share my favorite albums of the year with you.  But, before I do that, I want to channel my radio idol, Casey Kasem, and look back at my favorite albums of the past.

In 2010, it was Scissor Sisters’ “Night Work”.  “Femme Fatale” by Britney Spears was my favorite in 2011 and Madonna’s “MDNA” was tops in 2012.  In 2013, it was “Push Rewind” by Chris Wallace.  And, last year, it was a tie between Enrique Iglesias’ “Sex and Love” and Erasure’s “The Violet Flame”.

Now, my favorites of 2015.

2015 Albums

17

“NEW EYES” — CLEAN BANDIT

Clean_Bandit_New_Eyes

#16

“TODAY IS CHRISTMAS” — LEANN RIMES

LeAnn

#15 Movie

“UNBREAKABLE” — JANET JACKSON

JanetJackson_Standard-2

Here’s what I wrote about her Omaha concert on the “Unbreakable World Tour”:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/11/04/janet-jacksons-unbreakable-world-tour-dazzles/

14

“PURPOSE” — JUSTIN BIEBER

justin cd

13

“DELIRIUM” — ELLIE GOULDING

Ellie CD

12

“TRUE COLORS” — ZEDD

True Colors Zedd

#11 Movie

“KYLIE CHRISTMAS” — KYLIE MINOGUE

Kylie Christmas

10

“I CRY WHEN I LAUGH” — JESS GLYNNE

jess-glynne-i-cry-when-i-laugh

9 CD

“MICHAEL RAY” — MICHAEL RAY

michael-ray

Here’s what I wrote about the album in August:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/08/12/michael-ray-could-bring-me-back-to-country-music/

#8 CD

“TALKING IS HARD” — WALK THE MOON

talkingIsHardBgImage

7

“REBEL HEART” — MADONNA

Madonna Rebel Heart

Here’s what I wrote about the album in March:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/03/12/still-a-rebel-heart-and-an-unapologetic-bitch-32-years-later/

#6 CD

“25” — ADELE

adele

Here’s what I wrote about the album in November:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/11/24/adele-25-is-almost-perfect/

#5 MOVIE

“EVERYTHING IS 4” — JASON DERULO

derulo

4

“LOVE SOMEBODY” — REBA

Reba Love Somebody

Here’s what I wrote about the album in April:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/04/27/rebas-return-to-country-music/

green 3

“EMOTION” — CARLY RAE JEPSEN

carly-rae-jepsen-emotion

#2 CD

“COMMUNION” — YEARS & YEARS

Communion

I wrote about the band in July when the album came out:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/07/30/years-years-communion-is-definitely-king/

1

“DEJA VU” — GIORGIO MORODER

giorgio-moroder-deja-vu

Here’s what I wrote about the album in June:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/06/18/giorgio-moroder-the-70s-magic-its-deja-vu/

So, there you have my favorite albums I bought in 2015.

I can’t wait for new music in 2016 from Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Kylie Minogue, and I hope there’s new music from Patty Loveless, Lionel Richie, and Erasure.

Anthony

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Winter Storm To Worsen Monday

UPDATED POST:  Monday, December 28, 2015, 6:20 p.m.

Now that the wintry mix has transitioned over to all snow and temperatures are slowly starting to fall, the snow will quickly add up.

Earlier today, I was forecasting 1-3″ for the Quad Cities.  I think it’ll be on the higher end of that range and there could be some isolated 4″ totals.

Be safe this evening and early Tuesday morning on area roadways.

Anthony

UPDATED POST:  Monday, December 28, 2015, 11:37 a.m.

Power outages are becoming more widespread as we head toward the noon hour with the winds really beginning to howl and shake the ice-coated limbs and power lines.

As of 11:30 a.m., more than 4,400 MidAmerican Energy customers are without electricity. Ameren Illinois is reporting about 6,500 customers in our area without power, but Peoria is the hardest hit with more than 12,000 customers in the dark!

Freezing rain, sleet, and snow is coating everything.  This is how my car looked in Rock Island around 10 a.m. after more than six hours of freezing rain and sleet.

Icy Car

Many reports of one-quarter to almost an inch of a freezing rain and sleet combination with almost two inches of snow covering the ground around Cedar Rapids.

More Ice

This is the radar around 10:25 a.m. this morning and it shows there’s still plenty of moisture heading toward the Mississippi and Illinois Valleys.

This will come down as a combination of freezing rain, sleet, snow, and rain this afternoon before changing to snow tonight.

Here’s how much of a snow and sleet mixture may accumulate before it ends early Tuesday morning.

Snow Forecast

Be safe out there today in this icy and dangerous mess.

Anthony

ORIGINAL POST:  Monday, December 28, 2015, 4:38 a.m.

The much advertised winter storm is already glazing roadways, trees, and power lines across the Mississippi and Illinois Valleys.  This started late Sunday night and by the early morning hours, the wintry mix had reached the Quad Cities.

WSWarning

A “Winter Storm Warning” remains in effect for much of Monday and Monday night and runs through 6 a.m. Tuesday for most of us.  It expires this afternoon across the southeast around Galesburg, Illinois.

Here is how big the surge of moisture the storm has to with to produce freezing rain, sleet, snow, and rain.  This was 3 a.m. Monday morning.

3am

Temperatures early this morning are already below or near the freezing mark and that will make the commute dangerous from Interstate 80 southward.

The northward progression will worsen driving conditions across the north throughout the morning.

As temperatures warm into the 30s today, the wintry mix could change over to rain, at times, in the Quad Cities and for several hours across the south and help to melt away some of the early morning ice.

However, as temperatures drop again this evening, the rain, freezing rain, sleet, and snow combination will change to all snow and continue through part of the night.

On top of the more than one-quarter of an inch of ice, we could see snow accumulations of 1-5″.  One inch totals down around Galesburg, to 1-3″ in the Quad Cities, and maybe 3-5″ totals around Iowa City and Galena.

The higher totals (4-8″) will be well northwest of the Quad Cities.

Winter Details

If this wasn’t bad enough winds of 20-40 miles-per-hour and gusts to 50 will be whipping around the ice covered limbs and power lines causing power outages.

Much colder air arrives by the middle and end of the week with a little bit more light snow Wednesday.

Be careful out there today, tonight, and tomorrow.  This isn’t just a typical Midwestern winter storm with the ice.

Winter has returned.

Anthony

Dangerous Ice Storm Hits Monday

UPDATED POST:  Sunday, December 27, 2015, 4:53 p.m.

Our “Winter Storm Watch” has been upgraded to a “Winter Storm Warning”.

 

Over the next 36 hours from late Sunday night through Tuesday morning, eastern Iowa and northern Illinois will see a significant amount of freezing rain, sleet, snow, and rain.

This will all break out in our southern hometowns before or around midnight Sunday and move northward to the Quad Cities overnight and head into our northern hometowns early Monday morning.

The heaviest ice accumulation will be from the Quad Cities back to southeastern Iowa, where more than one-quarter of an inch will glaze surfaces.

This is a very dangerous winter storm for us because of the heavy icing threat and winds gusting to 50 miles-per-hour, at times, which will likely bring down tree limbs and power lines causing power outages.

As temperatures drop Monday evening and Monday night, we could still pick up 1-3″ of snow around the Quad Cities (likely on the lower end of that range).  The heaviest snow nearby, 2-4, will be around Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Heavy snow is in the forecast for central and western Iowa (6-12″) and heavy rains are expected across central Illinois.

Join me for the very latest beginning at 5 a.m. on “Local 4 News This Morning” Monday.

Anthony

ORIGINAL POST:  Sunday, December 27, 2015, AM

It’s the calm before the storm.

In a typical winter, I’d likely be watching the storm coming in and working to determine how much snow would blanket the area.

Since we’re in an El Nino winter and have seen a very warm December, this storm is going to be more a “wintry mix” storm and I’m working on the forecast and focusing on how much ice will accumulate and the snow amounts for eastern Iowa and northern Illinois are secondary.

While there’s still some model dependencies, this is looking to mainly be an ice storm for much of northern Illinois and eastern Iowa with some snow and for western Iowa, a heavy snow maker.

For the Mississippi and Illinois Valleys, we’re still under a “Winter Storm Watch” that begins late tonight in our southern hometowns and early Monday from the Quad Cities northward.

This runs through late Monday night.

 

This is going to be a big impact storm on a still busy travel period coming right after Christmas.  Notice that there are winter weather advisories, watches, and warnings (even a “Blizzard Warning” across Texas in the red) from the Southwestern United States through the Plains up to the Great Lakes.

After a nice day today, a wintry mix of freezing rain and sleet moves into our southern hometowns late tonight and will move northward from there arriving in the Quad Cities well before daybreak.  It’ll continue moving north Monday morning.

As temperatures hover in the low-to-mid-30s Monday, there will be periods when the wintry mix will mix with or change to rain, especially in our southern hometowns.

For the Quad Cities, we’ll see mostly freezing rain and sleet with some rain, at times, before it changes over to all light snow Monday evening and Monday night.

As for snow amounts on top of the ice accumulations, the Quad Cities will mainly see 1-3″.  Lesser snow accumulations are expected south and east with more snow off to the northwest.  Around Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, 3-6″ of snow may accumulate.  Western Iowa could see upwards to 8″ of snow with little in the way of ice.

 

We all know that just a little ice can cause major headaches and the bad news with this system is that we’ll likely see more than one-quarter of an inch of ice.  Some hometowns may see closer to one-half of an inch.

With winds blowing at 20 to 30 miles-per-hour and gusting to 40 or 50 miles-per-hour, this will easily bring down tree limbs and power lines causing power outages.

This has the potential and likelihood of becoming a DANGEROUS WINTER STORM!

After the ice and snow, more typical cold weather will dominate for the remainder of the upcoming week.

I’ll have another update later today.

Anthony

Ice & Snow Threat Monday

It’s been more than a month since significant winter weather threatened Iowa and Illinois.

That storm right almost a week before Thanksgiving brought 9.9″ officially to the Quad Cities.

Snow Saturday Morning

As I’ve been telling you about for a few days, our next storm system will bring rain, snow, ice, and wind to eastern Iowa and northern Illinois late Sunday night through Tuesday morning.

wsw.jpg

A “Winter Storm Watch” goes into effect Monday morning and runs through late Monday night.

That means that conditions are favorable that significant winter weather will be happening in that time period.

With the increased chance of icing, I think parts of our area will be under a “Freezing Rain Advisory” or an “Ice Storm Warning” by later Sunday.

After a nice day Sunday with some sunshine and highs well into the 30s, a wintry mix of freezing rain, sleet, and snow will move in late Sunday night as the storm moves out of Texas toward the Great Lakes.

Freezing rain, sleet, snow, and rain will fall Monday into Monday evening before the wintry mix changes to all snow.

On Monday, southern hometowns may see all rain and there may be several hours when the wintry mix will change to rain as far north as the Quad Cities.

qpf

This graphic is the one I posted earlier.  It hasn’t changed too much in the updates.  There will be a lot of moisture for this storm to work with and that is bad news.

Northern hometowns will see some icing and snow that could accumulate over 4″.

In the Quad Cities, we could see more than one-quarter of an inch of ice Sunday night into Monday night before a few inches of snow sticks.

Southern hometowns could see more than one-half of an inch of rain with some light icing and light snow by the time it ends.

If the threat of ice and snow wasn’t enough, winds will be rather blustery with gusts of over 40 miles-per-hour.  Any icing with those winds could easily bring down tree limbs and power lines causing power outages.

Since we see mostly snowstorms in our area, a reference point on one-quarter of an inch is the thickness of a compact disc case.  That’s how much ice could be accumulating.

Now, with all that being said, this forecast is not set in stone.  The storm could shift on its movement from the Southern Plains to the Great Lakes.

Any shift to the east could bring in colder air, more snow, and less ice or a shift more to the west will produce warmer air and more rain, which would affect the amount of snow and icing we see.

Definitely keep up on the updates Sunday.  I’ll have another one Sunday morning.

Anthony

My Enjoyable 2015 — The Year in Review

It’s my favorite time of the year.  I look forward to the new year and take time to reflect back on the past year and share the highlights with my friends.  I hope life is treating you well and that you have so much to be thankful for –not just at the holidays, but every day.

For me, there is so much to love about the holidays — the twinkling lights, the sounds of Christmas music, the amazing feasts, and the beautiful snow (it’s still early in the season).

Snow Saturday Morning

My family is doing well.  I’m still the morning meteorologist for the CBS affiliate in the Quad Cities.  I’ve been there almost three years.

Ray is the Economic Development and Planning Director for the city of Moline, a job that he excels at and still loves after ten years.  Miss Gretel, a high school freshman, aspires to be a movie director.  (Hopefully, a very successful one, so we can have a mansion somewhere near Hollywood where there’s warmth all year around and we can have avocado, lemon, lime, and orange trees!  Okay, that’s really long-term planning!)

My sister, Tammy, is still in Moline and her two sons and two granddaughters now live in the Quad Cities.  It makes her very happy to have them here and not several states away.

As you know, we love to travel and try to get in a few concerts throughout the year. Paying bills isn’t the only reason we work! J

In early December of last year, we took Gretel and Tammy on an eastern Caribbean cruise.  It was a nice way to put off winter longer.

Anthony Gretel Ray

Tammy

Ray and I started 2015 in New York City.  We flew there on New Year’s Eve, but got into town too late to get anywhere near the televised festivities and Taylor Swift rocking in 2015.

It was my first visit to the “Big Apple” and we did a lot of walking and sightseeing.  I loved the beautiful window displays decked out for Christmas, Rockefeller Center, and the gigantic Christmas tree.  We also saw the new World Trade Center 9/11 Memorial, Times Square, the Empire State Building, and we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge.  Along with the great food, we saw Michael C. Hall (“Dexter”) off Broadway in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” and we attended “The Merry Widow” at the Metropolitan Opera.

Hedwig

We made our annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas in May, where we ate some amazing food (buffets, of course!)  We discovered a new brunch this year that you have to check out when you’re there next – Wicked Spoon at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.  On a future visit, I’m determined to visit the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace.

In June, we took Gretel to Riviera Maya (Cancun) and she got to use her passport for the first time.

In late September and early October, I accompanied Ray to his two back-to-back work conferences – the first was in San Francisco, California.

Wine Country

On his one free day, we took a bus trip for wine tasting in Napa and Sonoma Valleys.  While he worked, I went sightseeing and saw Chinatown, Golden Gate Park and the National AIDS Memorial Grove.  I also walked to the Castro District and was so touched to see the house where Harvey Milk diligently worked to plant the seeds for the LGBT movement.  While I was only a teenager when he was murdered, I was overwhelmed just being there where it all happened four decades ago.

While I would never want to live in downtown San Francisco (very dirty and expensive), I was blown away by the funkiness of Haight-Ashbury.  I’d move there in a heartbeat.  The “Summer of Love” was still very much alive!

To celebrate our four year wedding anniversary, we took a scenic boat tour on San Francisco Bay, which took us around Alcatraz, Sausalito, and under and around the majestic Golden Gate Bridge.

From there, it was off to the second leg of the two-week getaway and his next conference in Anchorage, Alaska.  If you’re ever going to visit, do it before October.  Most of the tours are over by this time as the Frontier State settles in for a long northern winter.

AP Ray AK

We did get to visit an animal sanctuary where we saw bear, moose, deer, bison, eagles, and other animals.  On the drive there, we saw snow-covered mountains and glaciers, tasted natural Alaskan spring water, and saw a few salmon swimming.  Also, we got to visit Prince William Sound, now fully recovered from 1989’s Valdez Exxon oil spill.

This year, we saw five concerts.  On our trip to Vegas in May, we saw the divine Miss M, Bette Midler.

Bette

She’s still incredible.  In August, I saw Reba McEntire in the Quad Cities.  I’ve now seen Reba 13 times.

In October, we saw three shows in three different cities:  In Anchorage, we saw Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox.  If you’ve never heard of them, Google them because they are amazing.  Days later, we saw Madonna in Saint Paul, Minnesota (my fourth Madonna concert), and then in late October, we took an overnight road trip to Omaha, Nebraska, and saw Janet, Miss Jackson, if you’re nasty!  She is so beautiful and talented.

20151030_204005

That’s what we did in 2015. I’m already looking forward to what adventures lie ahead in 2016. I guess I should wrap this up so I can start planning trips and concerts for next year so I’ll have things to share with you next Christmas.

I wish you and yours the very best as you travel down the road of life.

Anthony

Winter May Return Monday

UPDATED POST:  Saturday, December 26, 2015, 9:02 a.m.

Our return to winter weather is closer now and there’s still much uncertainty as to how bad it’s going to be.

One thing I’m confident of this Saturday morning is that we’ll see some icy and snowy weather Sunday night through Tuesday morning.

The uncertainty lies in how much ice and how much snow will accumulate.

Here’s how much available moisture the computers are generating for this storm.

qpf.gif

Notice that we’re in the bulls eye of the heaviest moisture — 1.57″.  In a very elementary (and unrealistic) setting, this system could produce 16″ of snow if it was all going to fall in the form of snow using the 10:1 ratio for rain to snow.

Well, that’s not going to happen.  Based on the uncertainty of the storm’s path with the leading models, we’re going to see some freezing rain and then rain.  It’ll then change back to freezing rain before mixing with and becoming all snow.

With that being said, expect it to be very sloppy Sunday night through Tuesday.

I’m hoping by later today or early Sunday, we’ll have better model agreement and we’ll know exactly how much of that moisture will be used for ice, for snow, and just a cold rain.

As I always say with a system that’ll bring rain and snow, the more moisture that’s used when it’s raining cuts back on how much is available to fall as freezing rain and snow.

The bottom line:  have a great Saturday and check back later today and, especially, Sunday for my latest update.

The scenario and forecast will be changing before the storm moves toward us.

Anthony

ORIGINAL POST:  Friday, December 25, 2015, 4:49 p.m.

This is one of the warmest Decembers on record in the Quad Cities with only 0.6″ of snow.

That all could be changing next week with more seasonable temperatures following a potential winter storm.

As I stated earlier today on “Local 4 News This Morning” and on Facebook,  we could be experiencing some significant winter weather Monday and Monday night.

However, this far out, the models are all over the place and are not agreeing on the path.

The two American models that I check out show different solutions.

The GFS is colder and snowier.

GFS 6pm Monday.gif

The NAM is initially warmer with mostly rain and then a transition to snow.

NAM Monday 6pm.gif

The models update every six hours, so there’s plenty of time for them to come to an agreement before Monday. And, this is not even taking into consideration the European model.

The bottom line is that we could have a big snow, an icy mix, or a heavy, cold rain event.

Keep up on the latest updates this weekend.

Anthony

My 20 Favorite Songs of 2015

I miss hearing the late, great Casey Kasem counting down the biggest songs each week and, especially, his year-end countdowns.

I’ve always loved charts and the best and worst of the year lists.  So, now, I compile my own.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/12/22/my-favorite-movies-of-2015/

Yesterday, I shared my 20 favorite movies I saw in 2015.  That’s the link above if you missed it.  Tomorrow, I’ll post my favorite albums of the year.

But, today, it’s my 20 favorite songs of 2015 (actually, there are 30 because I’m sneaking the others in).

Before we start, my favorite song in 2014 was “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift.

And, in 2013, it was “My Boyfriend is Gay” by Hailey Rowe with a video featuring the gorgeous and funny Blake Peyrot.

Now, let’s begin.

2015 Songs

#20

“HEY MAMA”  — DAVID GUETTA, NICKI MINAJ, BEBE REXHA, & AFROJACK

19

“I DIDN’T JUST COME HERE TO DANCE”  — CARLY RAE JEPSEN

 

#18

“PRAY TO GOD” — CALVIN HARRIS & HAIM

#17

“KISS YOU IN THE MORNING” — MICHAEL RAY

16

“YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE” — DAVE AUDE FEATURING OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN & CHLOE LATTANZI

15

“HOLD MY HAND” — JESS GLYNNE

#14 Movie

“WORTH IT” — FIFTH HARMONY

13

“SOMEBODY” — NATALIE LA ROSE & JEREMIH

Bonus

Here are some of the songs that missed out on the Top 20, but are still some of my favorites of the year:  #30 Heartbeat Song (Kelly Clarkson); #29 “Honey I’m Good” (Andy Grammar); #28″Outside” (Calvin Harris & Ellie Goulding); #27 “Lay It All On Me” (Rudimental & Ed Sheeran); and #26 “El Mismo Sol” (Alvaro Soler).

And, there’s a version of this song with Jennifer Lopez.  Here’s the teaser that came out in October.  I’m still waiting for the full video.  If it’s released, maybe it’ll make my countdown next year!

Back to the countdown!

12

“STYLE” — TAYLOR SWIFT

11

“LEVELS” — NICK JONAS

10

“GHOSTTOWN” — MADONNA

9

“CAN’T FEEL MY FACE” — THE WEEKND

#8 MOVIE

“WHAT DO YOU MEAN” — JUSTIN BIEBER

#7 CD

“GOING OUT LIKE THAT” — REBA

#6 CD

“CAKE BY THE OCEAN” — DNCE

Bonus

Here are more of the songs that missed out on the Top 20, but are still some of my favorites of the year:  #25 “Love Me Like You Do” (Ellie Goulding); #24 “Tempted” (Giorgio Moroder & Matthew Koma); #23 “Style (ASAP Science); #22 “Joan of Arc” (Madonna) and #21 “Beautiful Now” (Zedd & Jon Bellion).

Now, back to the countdown!

#5 MOVIE

“BURNITUP” — JANET JACKSON & MISSY ELLIOTT

4

“SHUT UP AND DANCE” — WALK THE MOON

#3 CD

“KING” — YEARS & YEARS

#2 CD

“WHERE ARE YOU NOW” — SKRILLEX, DIPLO, & JUSTIN BIEBER

Before we get to my favorite song of 2015, here is one of my favorite videos of the year and definitely has style!

“WTF (WHERE THEY FROM)” — MISSY ELLIOTT

And, now, my favorite song of 2015!

#1 MOVIE

“WANT TO WANT ME” — JASON DERULO

That’s it.  My list started with 78 songs from 2015 and I kept narrowing it down until I got it to 30.

In 2016, I’m excited to hear new music from Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, and Kylie Minogue.  I hope we also get a new album from Patty Loveless, Lionel Richie, and Erasure.  I’m sure we’ll find some new stars and re-discover past hit makers.

Gag Me

Now that you know my favorites of 2015, here are my six least favorite songs of the year.  And, I know some were insanely popular!  “Hula Hoop” and “Cheerleader” by Omi, “Downtown” and “Growing Up” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, “Uptown Funk” from Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars, and “Pretty Girls” by Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea.

By the way, I’d be perfectly okay in 2016 not hearing the names Iggy Azalea and Azealia Banks!

Bonus

Here’s an artist I hope to see and hear much more from in 2016.  This song was on the long list and that’s not “Gibberish”!

Anthony