Longer Days Lead to Longer Range Warming

By: METEOROLOGIST MARK HENDERSON
By: METEOROLOGIST MARK HENDERSON

It's official, we've made it through historically the coldest part of winter! January 23rd marks the date in which our normal high temperature begins its ascension! Today's normal high temperature is 30° and the climb won't stop until the 2nd day of July, when the normal high reaches 85­°, a level at which the normals will stay for nearly three weeks!

The rise in temperatures is directly correlated to the fact that our days are growing longer! Since Winter begin back on December 21, we've added more than a half hour of daylight! And just 9 days from now, we'll have added 20 more minutes! The rate at which the days grow longer will continue to rise by the day, which will also boost the rate at which our temperatures rise in the days, weeks, and months ahead!

Meantime, there's been one heck of a solar eruption in the past 36 hours! Astronomers and space weather experts say this storm is the strongest seen in nearly 7 years! The direct impacts to Earth appear to be minimal, with rerouted aircraft at higher latitudes the only noticeable effects. However, a moderate to potentially strong Coronal Mass Ejection, or CME, is being sent from the sun toward Earth as a result of this storm. CMEs are known to have potential brief impacts on power grids and satellites, but more commonly are known to produce vivid displays of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). An Auroral display appears to be a possibility on Tuesday night, if the weather cooperates!

Generally speaking, a quiet weather regime is in store this week. Early clouds allow for sunshine to peek through during Tuesday's afternoon hours, allowing temperatures to return to the low 30s. Clearing looks to hold through the overnight hours, which may offer a potentially promising view for the possible Northern Lights display.

Mid-30s are to return Wednesday despite limited sunshine, and upper 30s are due in Thursday. Should we eradicate the remainder of our paltry snowpack, Thursday's high temperature forecast of 38° may prove to be very conservative.

A cold front approaches Friday, and like so many others in Winter 2011-12 thus far, it's likely to pass with little or no fanfare. There will be a potent, yet brief intrusion of Arctic air behind this cold front, with Friday's mid-30s being replaced by this weekend's low to mid 20s.

Our one snow chance in the coming week, that's Monday, and at this time, the chances are limited, at best!


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