Tag Archives: Champaign

Thunderstorms Wreak Havoc

Sometimes we prefer to forecast for a squall line event, because it’s much easier to forecast when a wall of water is coming at you. Forecasts, like the one for Champaign this last weekend, can be harrowing because only isolated activity is expected to pop up and when it hits you both days, it gets aggravating. That’s exactly what happened, as the tail end of a small thunderstorm cluster swung through Sunday evening. Low temps were lower than expected too because of the precip, causing forecasts to not quite pan out. NWS edged out VW for the win, but nobody had reason to celebrate.

Saturday: 0.16″ of rain in morning shower. High 89, Low 70.
Sunday: 0.09″ of rain in evening thunderstorm. High 88, Low 68.
Forecast Grade: C-D

Champaign, Illinois

It’s been quite the last couple of days over the Midwest, as round after round of severe weather and flooding rains have hit the region from MN to IN. Home of the University of Illinois, let’s see how Champaign, IL will fare this this weekend!

At 1053pm CDT, the temperature in Champaign, IL was 80 degrees under fair skies. A stationary boundary has been camped out over northern IL for the last couple of days and been the focus of severe weather along with flooding rains. That tends to happen a lot in the summer months here from the Northern Plains through the Upper Midwest into the Great Lakes region, stationary boundaries camp out and the abundant summer moisture becomes fuel for these typical nocturnal complexes. One is currently setup from NW Iowa through IL into northern IN and luckily for Champaign, they’re staying off to the north. For the most part, they should do that through the remainder of the overnight hours into Saturday morning, though i wouldn’t rule out a few stray cells making their way over the area before clearing out for the mid to late morning hours. There’s a chance of some evening activity flaring up as the boundary sags southward a bit, but the bulk of activity should still remain off to the north and east. Sunday sees a weak low pressure area swing through the Great Lakes, but most of the activity should remain off to the north and not bother the fine people of Champaign.

Saturday: Isolated morning storms, increasing chance of late evening showers/storms. High 93, Low 76.
Sunday: Decreasing clouds throughout the day. High 89, Low 71.

TWC: Saturday: Partly to mostly cloudy. A stray severe thunderstorm is possible. High 96, Low 77.
Sunday: Considerable clouds early, then lessening. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 92, Low 72.

AW: Saturday: Some sun, a t-storm in spots. High 95, Low 77.
Sunday: Clouds and sun, hot and humid. High 90, Low 73.

NWS: Saturday: Chance of thunderstorms. High 94, Low 76.
Sunday: Slight chance of early morning thunderstorm, then partly sunny. High 89, Low 73.

WB: Saturday: Chance of thunderstorms. High 92, Low 78.
Sunday: Partly sunny. High 89, Low 74.

WN: Saturday: Partly cloudy with scattered storms. High 93, Low 75.
Sunday: Partly cloudy. High 90, Low 73.

FIO: Saturday: Light rain until morning, starting again in the evening. High 94, Low 78.
Sunday: Partly cloudy until night. High 89, Low 72.

A band of potent thunderstorms is found over Northern IL into Northern IN, with the bulk of the severe activity remaining off to the north. They’ll be under the gun for another day in regards to this activity, but should finally catch a break to finish off the weekend.

Naples, Florida to Champaign, Illinois

Boy, this sure has been a lot of traveling, hasn’t it been? We’re returning from the sunny shores of Naples, Florida on a two day trip covering 1239 miles. The second day will be the long one, but we should cover 557 miles on Tuesday, leaving the rest of the trip for Wednesday. Let’s get going. Might as well get leaving Florida over with. 🙁

DAY ONE (Tuesday)
If you haven’t heard, it’s an absolute mess in the east coast, but a surge of warm air will help to prevent too much snow and ice accumulation for the eastern Seaboard. But we are starting in Florida. A very active cold front will be moving through the Florida Peninsula, with scattered showers and thunderstorms tomorrow morning. Sleeping in Naples may be difficult tonight, but as we get going in the morning, the source cold front will be almost through the area. Some post frontal showers will be possible to about Tampa, with clear skies then filling in a we drive North Florida. Clouds may begin to fill back in while driving through central Georgia, but we will stop in Forsyth for the night before we have to worry about any other nefarious conditions.

DAY TWO (Wednesday)
The broad upper level trough that has been bedeviling the country for so many days is finally going to start retreating to the northeast by Wednesday. Not only will we steer clear of any precipitation, but nearly everywhere we drive will be warmer than it was on Tuesday. People in Champaign are just going to be so happy to be outside when we arrive.

Champaign, Illinois

Yesterday was a little frightening, looking at Spartanburg like we were. Today I think I feel safer instead exploring the world of Champaign, which is well inland and away from the mess headed for the Eastern Seaboard.

At 153PM, CT, Champaign was reporting a temperature of 30 degrees with low visibilities and overcast skies. Recent snow was in the process of melting, but with a deep trough over the region, temperatures aloft weren’t warm enough to burn the low level moisture off, and the feedback cycle is encouraging temperatures to remain cool today.
The surface gradient between a warm high Plains ridge and a cold Great Lakes trough is strongest in a northwest to southeast path through Illinois. A few impulses have been traveling along this area of baroclinicity, including a feature expected to invade the region early tomorrow morning. It’s simply a vorticity maximum, and no significant air mass change is expected, but this feature will bring about some precipitation to the region through the early afternoon. Champaign is going to be safely in the cool side of this gradient, so all precipitation will fall as light snow. It will move out as quickly as it arrives tonight, and by the late evening, it will be clearing. Expect a mostly cloudy sky through the day on Wednesday with a bit of a breeze. High pressure will be retreating from the area on Thursday, which should lead to a bit of an improvement in temperatures.
Tomorrow – Early snow showers, High 35, Low 25
Wednesday – Mostly cloudy, High 34, Low 25

TWC: Tomorrow – Cloudy skies early, followed by partial clearing, High 38, Low 21
Wednesday – Overcast 34, Low 27

AW: Tomorrow – Areas of freezing fog in the morning; mostly cloudy High 36, Low 22
Wednesday – Mostly cloudy and chilly High 35, Low 26

NWS: Tomorrow – A 30 percent chance of snow, mainly between 7am and 4pm. Patchy fog before 7am. Otherwise, cloudy High 36, Low 24
Wednesday – Mostly cloudy, (snow thru 1AM) High 36, Low 27

WB: Tomorrow – Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow, High 36, Low 24
Wednesday – Mostly cloudy, High 36, Low 27

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly Cloudy with Scattered Snow Showers High 36, Low 25
Wednesday – Mostly Cloudy High 36, Low 27

FIO: Tomorrow – Foggy in the morning. High 37, Low 26
Wednesday – Foggy in the morning.High 34, Low 25

Interesting to see what that little wave does over the Mississippi Valley tonight It will have a big impact on whether or not we are successful with the forecast! The system has been trending further south, so many expect that Champaign will remain in the clear. I’m not convinced. Here is the evening satellite image, showing a batch of precipitation headed south towards central and southern Illinois.

Billings, Montana to Champaign, Illinois

Today’s road trip takes us from Billings, MT to Champaign, IL, so we should get a pretty good tour of the North-Central US during this journey! It will take us 3 days to cover the 1,278 miles between the two.



It’s a pretty chilly start to the day as strong high pressure shifting down from Canada will have us below zero as we head east on I-90 then eventually onto 212 that’ll take us on a bit of a more scenic route through southeast Montana before we rejoin I-90 in southwest SD. It should be a pretty nice day for most of the trip as the high pressure quickly shifts from the Dakotas to Wisconsin by the end of the day. We might see a few more clouds as weak low pressure builds over central Montana by the end of the day, but we won’t see any precip from it. We’ll continue east to Chamberlain, SD, our stop for this day.


An increase of clouds is expected to start our day as a weak boundary is lingering off to the north as day breaks. This weak boundary will be in our area as we continue along I-90 past Sioux Falls and eventually into Albert Lea, MN, but outside of some mostly cloudy skies, we should be pretty day along this leg as well. Skies will clear out a bit more as we turn southward into Iowa in the late afternoon, and finish our quiet day in Cedar Rapids.


High pressure has built back into the area overnight, leaving us with a clear, but chilly, start to the day. Today is a shorter drive though, heading past the Quad Cities and Peoria before eventually arriving in Champaign. Quiet weather day today, perfect for those last few hours on the road!


Santa Barbara, California to Champaign, Illinois

4 days from the California Coast to the Plains. That should be interesting. Wall, it will be be a pretty stark change in scenery at least. The drive is 2096 miles, which, as I said, we will cover in 4 days. Those days will be 538.7 miles apiece (save for a shorter final day, though not by much) at 67.3mph. That’s a swift pace for some mountain driving! Let’s go ahead and take this show on the road, shall we?


The main feature across the country this weekend will be a broad area of low pressure over the Pacific Northwest that is going to bring a bit of a nastiness for the middle of the month up in the Cascades. But that’s the Pacific NORTHwest. We will be driving in the southwest. No problems for us as we sidle on up to Parks, Arizona, west of Flagstaff.

A lee trough will begin developing over the Front Range in southern Colorado, and there will be some showers and storms developing in southern New Mexico in the late afternoon. This won’t be a problem for us in northern Arizona and New Mexico, but is likely a sign of things to come. The day will end in San Jon, New Mexico. San Jon? Awesome. We will be between Tucumcari and the Texas border.

A cold front will really take shape across Oklahoma as we try to make our way through the Sooner State. The early part of the day should be pretty good, and we will make it through the Texas Panhandle unscathed, simply collecting dust. The front will be a stalled boundary that lies essentially along I-44. We will need to take I-44. The threat for thunderstorms will begin around Elk City, but will really pick up as we approach Oklahoma City. As we head north for the last few hours of the day, we will be in prime severe weather territory. It’s not going to be a solid squall, I don’t think, but when we hit those massive storms, our ground speed may be matched only by the crosswinds created by the thunderstorm downdrafts. It might be time to pull off the road around Fairland in northeastern Oklahoma. This part of the world has had an awful track record for severe weather of late, so be aware, if you are a believer in karma, or bad vibes.

The system, at least where it stands as a severe threat, will be short lived. Latent moisture and a little bit of a disturbed flow will make Missouri and southern Illinois cloudy. There is a chance for showers through the day, with that threat picking up the closer we get to Champaign, though even then, the threat won’t be very high, as another system rears it’s ugly head in the upper Midwest, introducing a clearing, warming flow over the Plains.

Low Delta T

“Delta” (the Greek letter) in science circles means “change” and more often than not, T represents temperature in the various fields. In Champaign the past two days, the temperature in Champaign stayed within a 6 degree spread, never dipping below 43, never rising above 49. That would be a low Delta T. Yesterday was particularly bleak, with winds kicking up to well over 30mph through most of the day, causing a driving rain to batter the city. Not a fun day to walk to class at the University of Illinois, which I’m sure everyone did. Victoria-Weather had the top forecast.
Actuals: Tuesday – .03 inches of rain, High 49, Low 44
Wednesday – .95 inches of rain, High 45, Low 43

Grade: C

Champaign, Illinois

Today we head off to one of my favorite places, Illinois! Champaign in particular, where a plethora of my friends and aquiantances have gone to college at. Will the weather cooperate with their need for a good start to the week?

At 10:53pm CDT, the temperature in Champaign, IL is 44 degrees with light rain. An area of low pressure shifting out of the Southern Plains kicked up a band of rain showers and thunderstorms from OK stretching northeastward to MO and IL, where the southern half of the state encountered some precip. As an upper-level trough continues to dig through the Central US, this low pressure feature will be pushed towards the east-northeast into the TN Valley then up towards the Great Lakes. This low pressure is being lifted due north in part to a strengthening area of low pressure that is moving up from the Gulf and over the East Coast, keeping this 1st area of low pressure deflected somewhat from pushing too far towards the east. In doing this, the low will essentially pivot around Champaign over the next couple of days, keeping the threat of rain showers in the area for the duration. Luckily, all thunderstorm activity should remain off to the south, so just a semi-soaking rain should the showers move in. A chilly rain at that.

Tuesday: Periods of rain. High 51, Low 40.
Wednesday: Scattered showers possible. High 48, Low 39.

TWC: Tuesday: Rain showers. High 53, Low 41.
Wednesday: Few showers expected, windy. High 50, Low 38.

AW: Tuesday: Few rain showers in the morning. High 53, Low 38.
Wednesday: Mostly cloudy and windy. High 53, Low 38.

NWS: Tuesday: Scattered rain showers. High 52, Low 42.
Wednesday: Rain showers expected. High 50, Low 39.

WB: Tuesday: Rain showers. High 52, Low 40.
Wednesday: More rain showers expected. High 51, Low 38.

Here we see some rain showers juuuuust south of the city, shifting off towards the east. Don’t fret, they’ll be sticking around for the next couple of days!

Cracking the Champaign

**Hurricane Irene Update — Irene has weakened slightly, and it doesn’t appear she will become a category 3 storm at any point going forward. I expect he to weaken dramatically over the next 48 hours, however her present course is a worst case scenario for New York City. Expect impressive, flooding rain fall, and a 2-4 foot storm surge in the city. I anticipate a secondary landfall near Jamaica Bay on Long Island, however rain will begin as early as tomorrow. Things remain in flux, stay tuned, as all posts from now until Irene is out of the country will include an update**
Champaign was barely clipped by a thunderstorm on Wednesday. Just a brief 15 minute shower, which was enough to throw my forecast off, dagnabbit. I still say I did a good job, because their forecast was right on temperatures, and the rain was so short lived. Any ways, The Weather Channel ended up with the top forecast, but they would have had it, even if I hadn’t called for a dry Wednesday.
Wednesday – Trace of rain in a thunderstorm, High 94, Low 70
Thursday – High 84, Low 58

Grade: B

Champaign, Illinois

Time for a late forecast. Earthquake totally threw me off.

At 953PM, CT, Champaign was reporting a temperature of 71 degrees with clear skies. A fast moving cool front is expected to swing from the Dakotas into the western Great Lakes over night tonight, but will remain mostly inactive. Expect some warming
The threat for showers will likely end before sunrise and isn’t great to begin with. A strong, fall like ridge is expected to build behind the front, with high pressure and very pleasant weather expected to move in.
Tomorrow – Clearing and hot, High 92, Low 68
Thursday – Cooling off, still sunny, High 80, Low 58

TWC: Tomorrow – Scattered strong thunderstorms developing during the afternoon. Storms may produce large hail and strong winds High 96, Low 69
Thursday – Mainly sunny. High 85, Low 60

AW: Tomorrow – Intervals of clouds and sunshine with a shower or thunderstorm; humid High 89, Low 69
Thursday – Not as warm with lower humidity with sunshine and patchy clouds High 81, Low 60

NWS: Tomorrow – A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, High 92, Low 68
Thursday – Sunny High 84, Low 65

WB: Tomorrow – Partly sunny with a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. High 92, Low 69
Thursday – Sunny High 83, Low 65

I really, really, really am skeptical of the thunderstorm threat in Champaign. Maybe light showers. But no. No storms. Here is a scatterbrained satellite image.