Posts Tagged ‘ice’

Celebrating Valentine’s Weekend With A Quick Snow Update

UPDATE POST:  SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2014, 6:08 p.m.

Officially, 1.4″ of snow has fallen in the Quad Cities through 6 p.m.

This is now one of the ten snowiest winters on record!  (See the updated graphic below.)



It’s the weekend and I’m celebrating Valentine’s Day with my family today, so I wish you a nice weekend, too.


This picture is actually from two years ago, but we’re having another one of those heart-shaped ice cream cakes (strawberry) and Papa Murphy’s pizza (one Mediterranean with chicken and the other sausage).

I’m also going to show my sister, Tammy, the movie, “Sordid Lives” and have a few laughs.  It’s a “black comedy about white trash”!  (And, no, Gretel will not be watching it!  That’s your cue that it’s not PG-13 when you watch the trailer!)


With that being said, here’s your simple “no questions asked, no questions answered” weather update.

A six-hour window of snow this afternoon and evening will accumulate about 1-3″ with isolated 4″ far north.

Snow Today

This is now the 15th snowiest winter on record in the Quad Cities even before today’s snow arrives!

Snow Update 021414

An inch of snow today will make this the 10th snowiest winter on record!

A very messy situation is likely after bedtime Sunday night into Monday.  I’ll have a full blog tomorrow morning with all of the information on that.

This system could bring accumulating snow or ice before we finally warm up into the 40s next week with rain by the end of the week!

Enjoy your weekend and check back in tomorrow for more on Sunday night and Monday’s ice and snow potential.


Saturday’s Weekend Winter Storm Update

A significant winter storm with freezing rain, sleet, rain and snow is on the way today, tonight, and tomorrow.

A “Winter Storm Warning” covers all of eastern Iowa and west-central and northwestern Illinois from 6 p.m. Saturday through 6 p.m Sunday.  If you’re traveling toward Chicago today, there is a “Winter Weather Advisory” in effect later today.

Winter Storm Warning

Here is the radar from 7 a.m. today showing a large amount of moisture over Missouri. This will be moving northeast today toward us reaching our southern hometowns first as freezing rain and sleet.

7am Radar

It’s already slippery out there from the glaze of ice from Thursday night and Friday.  Please be careful.

As this moves northward and we get that wintry ice mix today, it will quickly change over to moderate to heavy snow this evening and tonight.  Here is the forecast map for 6 a.m. Sunday.


That large shading of green over us in and near the Quad Cities indicates the heavier snow.  As the low pulls off through Indiana and the eastern Great Lakes, the snow will diminish in intensity by early afternoon Sunday.

Here is how much moisture is available.


It’s still showing a nice swath of 0.75-1″ for us.  If this was translated to a 10:1 snow-rain ratio, that would easily be 7.5-10″ of snow.  However, any moisture that comes down as freezing rain, rain, or sleet will cut back on the snow totals.  And, that is what I’m expecting.

Here’s one more map to show the big story before I give my projected snow totals and they have dropped for some of our eastern and southeastern hometowns because of the freezing rain and sleet.

6inches or More

This shows that there is a 30-80% chance of seeing 6″ or more of snow, depending on where you live across the Mississippi and Illinois Valleys.  Basically, I’m showing this to point out that the best chance of the heaviest snow will be across eastern Iowa.

Here are the complete storm snow forecast totals for later today, tonight, and tomorrow.

sat snow forecast

One last note, these are ranges.  Some of you may be on the lower end and some may be on the higher end.

Be safe out there this weekend.

If anything needs to be updated today, I’ll be around to do that.  Otherwise, have a great weekend


Winter Storm — Still Waiting on More Certainty

FINAL UPDATE:  Thursday, December 19, 2013, 4:12 p.m.

First off, the “Freezing Rain Advisory” has been push back to midnight tonight through 9 a.m. Friday.

There is now a “Winter Storm Watch” (blue on the map) in effect from Saturday evening through Sunday afternoon.  This means significant snow is becoming more likely across eastern Iowa and western and northwestern Illinois.

Winter Storm Watch

Let me get this out of the way now.  If you live in Knox or Stark counties in Illinois, you are under a different weather service office that hasn’t issued a “Winter Storm Watch” yet for their forecast area.  YOU WILL STILL GET ACCUMULATING SNOW!

Here is the available moisture being generated from this storm by the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center.


It shows a solid 0.5″-1″ of available moisture.  If this was a perfect 10:1 snow, that would translate to  5-10″ of snow.

The afternoon models are continuing the trend from earlier today that the storm will be tracking more to the east and not to the north.  This would keep eastern Iowa and northern Illinois in the colder air with less icing and more snow.

Here is the new 3 a.m. Sunday map from the GFS.


And, this is 9 a.m. Sunday.

Sunday 9 AM GFS

The bottom line, as it looks right now, is that we could have 6-12 hours of moderate snow in and around the Quad Cities.

Early indications for planning purposes 48 hours out, AND THIS IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE AS WE GET CLOSER TO SATURDAY, is that 6-9″ of snow may fall from Freeport, Illinois, to the Quad Cities, to Burlington, Iowa, to the northwest to Dubuque and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Southeast of the Quad Cities, 3-6″ of snow could accumulate.

Remember, this is still two days out and there will be deviations to this forecast as better data and a more concrete storm path is established.

I’ll have another update Friday morning!


UPDATE:  Thursday, December 19, 2013, 11:03 a.m.

The new American models (NOAA’s GFS) is out now and it now has the storm on a more southerly track.  If this continues to verify, it would indicate more cold air to work with and more snow, possibly heavy.


It would also cut back on the icing threat in the Quad Cities.

As I’ve stated all along, there is not much consistency, so let’s see what the late afternoon runs show.  I’ll update this again by evening.


ORIGINAL POST:  Thursday, December 19, 2013, 7:37 a.m.

Happy Thursday!

I have to admit that I’m getting old or the rigors of getting little sleep and waking up at 1:30 a.m. five days a week for work are getting to me.  I dozed through the two episodes of “The X-Files” we watched last night and I saw part of the Michael Buble Christmas special between dozing!


I loved Mary J. Blige and Mariah Carey was less robotic and seemed to have a good time.  But, we’re here to talk about weather on my day off.  Yes, I slept until 6:45 a.m.!

Freezing Rain Advisory

Before we even talk weekend snow, remember that it will be very slippery out there Thursday night and Friday with freezing rain and temperatures back below freezing.

The counties you see painted in fuchsia on this map are under a “Freezing Rain Advisory” from 6 p.m. tonight until 6 a.m. Friday.  It’s going to get slick with more snow melting today and 40° highs.  That will freeze later overnight.

Snow's a comin'

Now let’s talk about getting prepared for the weekend.  We’re now more than 48 hours away from the onset of a winter storm Saturday and there is still little certainty in the forecast.

What I do know is that we’ll see snow, we’ll likely see freezing rain and sleet, and some rain.  The problem is how much.

As I mentioned last night and I’ll re-post the link, it all depends on the path the storm takes.

The latest American models are still hinting at a more northwesterly track.  For the Quad Cities, that would mean more warm air to work with and more ice threat and less heavy snow.  That heavy snow would be northwest of the Quad Cities.

This is midnight Saturday on the GFS.  It shows us in the cold air and moderate snow falling in the darker green.


This is six hours later at 6 a.m. Sunday.


The storm is pulling off to the northeast, but snow will still be moderately falling.

The big change that I noticed is that by noon Sunday, the snow may be over.

Now, here’s another big piece of the winter storm puzzle other than the storm track.  This storm will have plenty of Gulf of Mexico moisture to work with.  This map shows available moisture from Saturday evening through Monday evening.

Sat PM- Mon PM

It shows the Quad Cities with 0.50″-0.75″ of available moisture.  For simplicity sake, a 10:1 ratio of snow and rain would show 5-8″ of snow for the Quad Cities.  However, any rain or freezing rain falling Saturday and Saturday night would significantly cut back on those totals.

So, until a more definite path is known, we’re still waiting.

The bottom line is that if you have travel plans, expect messy weather.

I’ll update you again this afternoon.


Possible Ice Before The Weekend Snow

I’m on vacation, but I wanted to give you a no-frills update on the two weather systems that will be affecting us through the weekend.

First up, fog will develop later tonight and on Thursday, it’ll likely become dense.


Light rain will be breaking out in the afternoon hours with highs around 40°, which will continue melting the snow we have on the ground now.  As temperatures fall Thursday night and early Friday morning, freezing rain and slick driving conditions will be a problem.


A “Winter Weather Advisory” might be issued for the possible icing situation.

After that, our attention then shifts to a potential snow event later Saturday into Sunday.

Based on the latest American computer models, the storm is taking a more northerly track.  The more consistent European model has been showing this for days.  The more to the north this low tracks, the better chance that warmer air will be pulled into the storm.  That could mean more rain and freezing rain, which would limit the snow at the beginning of the event.


For now and this is subject to change many times between now and Saturday, rain develops later Saturday afternoon from south to north across Illinois.  By late evening, this becomes a wintry mix of rain, sleet, freezing rain, and snow as temperatures start falling.

Overnight Saturday night and Sunday, this will become a moderate to heavy snow event.

Here is the GFS model map at 6 a.m. Sunday morning.


The blue line behind the low shows us in the cold air and the darker green is in the heavier snow across eastern Iowa, northwestern Illinois, and the Quad Cities.

At 9 a.m. Sunday, we’re still in the heavy snow.

Sunday 9 AM GFS

And, finally at noon Sunday, we’re still seeing moderate snow.  However, it will quickly exit our area by early afternoon.


Remember, this is a developing situation and I ask you to keep up on the latest forecast and updates.  It will change!

What is safe to say Wednesday evening, about 72 hours before the onset of the weekend winter storm, is this could be a significant accumulating snow for the Mississippi and Illinois Valleys.  With so many variables to be determined, throwing potential snow accumulation totals out there would still be somewhat irresponsible.

I expect to have some numbers for you Thursday for potential snow.  I also think that the Quad Cities’ National Weather Service office will be issuing a “Winter Storm Watch” for the weekend storm.

There are still many pieces of the puzzle to put together before a concrete forecast is made on this weekend’s storm.

Along with my blog, CBS4 chief meteorologist Andy McCray and meteorologist Kyle Kiel, who is filling in for me Thursday and Friday on “CBS4 News This Morning” from 5-7 a.m., will have the latest on the television.  I may be partial, but I trust them the most.

And, since my buddy Greg Dutra is on vacation, give us a chance to forecast for you!

So, as they say in television, stay tuned…


Quad Cities’ Snow Threat Update

UPDATE:  Saturday, December 7, 2013, 3:39 p.m.

Snowfall amount forecasts haven’t really changed from this morning.

The only change is that there is a “Winter Weather Advisory” for some counties northwest of the Quad Cities.

The first part of the drive home tomorrow will be icy and dicey!


Original Post:  Saturday, December 7, 2013, 8:07 a.m.

BRRRRRRRRRRRR!  It’s cold in the Quad Cities Saturday morning with temperatures flirting near zero.  Cedar Rapids was around three below zero this morning!

Quiet weather is expected today and tonight, but it’s going to be cold with highs only in the teens and lows back in the single digits to around 10 degrees.

Snow is still likely tomorrow and the heaviest accumulations will be basically northwest of the Quad Cities.

Based on the moisture availability map from NOAA, the darker green indicates where the heaviest snow will fall.  Parts of eastern Iowa will see 2-4″ of snow.

In and around the Quad Cities, 1-2″ are likely.  That is also what I expect east and south of the Quad Cities.


So, basically, this is not a freak-out snow.  But, it will slow people down Sunday and Sunday night.

Again, 1-4″ of snow expected.

On the other hand, after a quiet day today in Nashville, Tennessee, another freezing rain event moves in tonight and early Sunday with one-tenth to one-quarter of an inch of ice is expected.

A “Winter Weather Advisory” is in effect where I’m at from 9 p.m. Saturday to 9 a.m. Sunday.

The first four hours of our trip back to the Quad Cities may be a slow go with the new ice expected and the heavy snow that fell Thursday night and Friday in western Kentucky and southern Illinois.

This is how much snow fell there over the past two days.  And, remember when we drove through here Wednesday afternoon, it was about 72 degrees!

The red on the map below the snow-covered roads in southern Illinois.

The National Weather Service may issue a “Winter Weather Advisory” later today for tomorrow for the Quad Cities.

Have a great weekend!


Ice Storm Possible Sunday!


Friends, be careful! We’re under a “Freezing Rain Advisory”. The icing is happening now. Watch your thermometer or the temperature and remember that although it’s 27-32 degrees now that it will climb above freezing this afternoon and tonight.  However, surfaces are a few degrees colder.  So, the ice will be slower to melt. Slow down today or stay inside!



“What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” may be a cool motto, but it’s not necessarily true.  Granted, I may not tell you everything that we witness here, there are a couple of things I will share with you.

Remember Thursday when we arrived and I said it was raining.  The disturbance that caused that rain here will be bringing rain to Illinois and Iowa Sunday.  And with the cold temperatures in place, this will be a wintry mix that could bring a coating of ice to the Mississippi and Illinois Valleys Sunday!

The National Weather Service office in the Quad Cities has issued a “Winter Storm Watch” for Sunday morning through Sunday night for the counties shaded in blue, which is all of eastern Iowa and northern Illinois.  If you’re traveling to Chicago, they are included in this, too.  Where you see the purple, that is a “Freezing Rain Advisory” for the Galesburg area.

A nice day is on tap today with sunshine and highs in the 20s to near 30 degrees.  Tonight, clouds take over and lows drop into the low-to-mid-20s.,

By 6 a.m. Sunday, moisture will moving into our area.  With warmer air aloft from the Plains storm, this means there will be sleet and rain developing Sunday morning.  The sleet shouldn’t be a problem because with warmer air in the clouds, most of what falls will melt right above the surface and be liquid when it falls to the ground.  However, since surface temperatures will be cold, in the 20s, it will freeze on contact giving us ice.

While all of eastern Iowa and northern Illinois will see a coating of ice, the worst of it will be north of the Quad Cities since temperatures will remain colder there longer.  (The areas shaded in blue and red on the map below will see the best chance of an ice storm and the heaviest accumulation!)

Here’s the bottom line:  this could be a dangerous winter storm with the ice.  Today, I would prepare for this.

However, this is not set in stone.  Since temperatures will be in the 30s Sunday, the difference of 30 degrees and 35 degrees when the heaviest rain/freezing rain starts falling will be the difference between a large accumulation of ice that could bring down tree limbs and power lines (30 degrees) and just a cold, rainy day with just a little ice (mid-30 highs).

If anything major changes one way or the other, I’ll let you know.  Now, I’m ready to start my day in Vegas.

One last thing, it started raining last night here during the Lady Gaga concert and it’s still raining this morning.  This storm will be in the Quad Cities Monday night and Tuesday (yes, I’m bringing it home with me), but the good news is that it’ll be much warmer (maybe close to 50 degrees Tuesday), so it will all be in the form of rain and not ice or snow.

Enjoy your weekend.


Random Friday Thoughts — January 4, 2013

It’s the first Friday of the new year and I hope the first three days of 2013 treated you well.  A past Friday blog tradition for me was to feature three of my favorite songs from the 1980s, my favorite decade of music.  While I’m still going to highlight one each Friday, I’m going to mix it up a bit.  On each Friday in 2013, I’m going to do a random blog with no rhyme or reason.


Global Warming Protest

All of these snowmen may be protesting “global warming” (yes, I know it’s a reality), but it’s been cold enough for me lately.  Over the past two weeks, temperatures in the Quad Cities are running about three degrees colder than average.  Five of those mornings (including January 1 and 2, 2013, at 5°) have been in the single digits.

But, where is the snow?  We’ve only picked up 5.3″ of snow this winter at the Quad City International Airport in Moline, Illinois, and 4.9″ of that fell on December 20, 2012.  While this is about 6″ behind where we should be on January 4th, last year at this time, only 1.4″ of snow had accumulated!

As skimpy as the snow has been the past two winters, this is not a record.  Back in the winter of 1939-1940, the first accumulating snow of the winter had not even occurred!  It would be January 7, 1940, before that winter saw a measurable snow.


Icy Streets From 122012 Storm

This is my street in Moline.  I live on a side street or secondary street.  Why, more than two weeks after the only winter storm of this season, are streets still a sheet of ice?  (Disclaimer:  I know this isn’t a problem that is exclusive to Moline.  I’ve heard others in the Quad Cities complaining about the same thing.)

From a meteorological standpoint, I’ll defend local public works departments to a certain extent.

When that winter storm started on Wednesday, December 19th, and continued into the early morning hours of Thursday, temperatures were still above freezing and much of what we’re dealing with now fell as rain.  When temperatures dropped below freezing and the rain transitioned to almost 5″ of snow (with much more northwest of the metro area), it became an instant ice rink.  (I guess we can now say Moline has two ice rinks and this one was much more effective with a lot less maintenance and problems!)

That’s where my defense ends and my questions start.  We live in the Midwest.  This is not Kentucky or Tennessee where a light accumulation of ice or snow brings the area to a standstill.  It’s been fifteen days since that storm and temperatures for the last two days of 2012 made it up to 36°.  It’s not too cold to apply salt, sand, or whatever is being used these days to melt this and make our streets safer.  As citizens, we’re given so many hours to clean our sidewalks after a snow.  The same should be required of our streets.

I guess there is some good news.  Temperatures today through much of next week are forecast to be generally in the 30s, which will allow the ice melt on its own!


With temperatures the past few mornings at the coldest levels this winter, ice is forming on the cattail in the fish pond from the water coming out of the fountain.  The good news is that the de-icer is still keeping the surface of the pond from freezing.  The fish are handling the cold, but they are definitely not moving much.  With milder days ahead, I hope to see them swimming around next week.

Icy Fish 2


While we were unwinding one night on our December cruise, Gretel was playing with Ray’s phone and came up with this creepy picture.  We’ll call it Grethony!  It looks like something from a horror movie.



Now that 2012 is behind us, Pollstar released the list of the most profitable worldwide tours last year.  I’ve very happy to say that I got to see the #1 tour in Las Vegas on October 13, 2012, and three weeks from today, I’ll be seeing the #5 tour, also in Las Vegas.

2012 Top Tours

While Madonna’s tour brought in an incredible $296.1 million and tickets averaged around $140 each, she wasn’t the act demanding the most money.

Madonna MDNA

At #33 on the list, the Rolling Stones made $35.5 million in just five shows with an average ticket price of $529.51!

And, at #22, Barbra Streisand’s 12 shows brought in an incredible $40.7 with average ticket prices at $263.52.


The-Born-This-Way-Ball-Tour- Lady Gaga

I’m getting excited to see Lady Gaga on January 25th in Las Vegas.  The North American leg of her “Born This Way Ball” tour kicks off one week from today with two shows in Vancouver, British Columbia.  I can’t wait to see what changes she’ll make to the set list.

Several hours before Gaga hits the stage at each of her American shows, her Born This Way Foundation will provide the “Born Brave Bus”, which offers a free, safe space for 13- to 25-year-olds “to learn more about local resources on anti-bullying, suicide prevention, and mental health services.”

Born Brave Bus

So, other than the amazing music, over the top costumes, and incredible sets, you can see why she is so loved!

Gaga, you rock!


WGN-TV chief meteorologist Tom Skilling is the best in the business.  And, after seeing his participation with the NOH8 project, I love him even more!

Tom NOH8

From left to right, that’s Tom, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago student Bruce Caulkins, and WGN-TV anchor/reporter Sean Lewis.

And, back in 2010, Miss ABBA and I submitted our pictures for NOH8, too.

ABBA Anthony NOH8NOH8 Heart

For those of you that don’t know what NOH8 is, it’s a “charitable organization whose mission is to promote marriage, gender and human equality through education, advocacy, social media, and visual protest.”


Our Christmas trees and decorations are still up and I plan on enjoying them for one more week and then they come down next weekend.  So, I’ll say goodbye to Christmas 2012 in my blog with this video produced by 1980’s pop star Boy George of Culture Club.  Christmas doesn’t have to be a “drag”.

“You Ruined My Xmas” — Supreme Fabulette


Silent Night

This was the worst movie I’ve seen in a very long time.

While I love “Entertainment Weekly”, the magazine led me astray when it gave the movie, “Silent Night”, a grade of “B”.  This holiday horror movie spent five whole days in theaters and made $14,567 before it was released on DVD  in early December 2012.

So, last weekend, I was very excited to check it out.  The premise of a crazed Santa going on a Christmas killing spree sounded like cheap fun.

The acting was horrible and there was no snow on the ground and this movie took place, I think, in Wisconsin.  I guess since the movie was probably filmed on a shoestring budget in the summer, there was no snow and no explanation of why they weren’t having a White Christmas.  Oh, that’s right, Santa was a killer!

The only thing going for the movie was some creative methods of killing off the characters:  can you say “wood chipper”!  But, even that scene was overshadowed by the jokey acting.  And, I sure hope respected actor Malcolm McDowell was paid a lot of money to be in this disaster.

If you want a scary holiday movie, don’t rent this.  If you want a holiday movie that should have scared you, but instead makes you laugh, this is your movie.

GRADE:  D (a few of the creative methods of murder boosts it up from an “F”).


There are two acts that I’d like to see in concert in 2013, Culture Club (if they reunite) and Depeche Mode.

Depeche Mode kicks off their world tour in Tel Aviv, Israel in early May with dates running through July 29th.  No U.S. dates have been announced yet.

In August 1989, they released the first single from “Violator”, which would become their biggest American album.

“Personal Jesus” peaked at #28 and the follow-up single, “Enjoy The Silence” in early 1990, would become their only Top Ten American hit on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Personal Jesus” — Depeche Mode

Have a great weekend.