WBEZ | weather http://www.wbez.org/tags/weather Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The Carolinas' 'thousand-year' flood follows a rainfall trend across the US http://www.wbez.org/news/carolinas-thousand-year-flood-follows-rainfall-trend-across-us-113237 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rainmap.png" style="height: 344px; width: 610px;" title="A US National Weather Service map shows precipitation levels across the southeastern US on October 4, 2015. White splotches in South Carolina indicate areas with more than 10 inches of rain. (National Weather Service/Advanced Hydrologic Predictive Service)" /></div><p><a href="http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3142" target="_blank">Twenty-seven inches of rain over five days. More than 15 inches in just 10 hours.</a></p><p>Those are just a couple of the unfathomable amounts of rain that fell in parts of South and North Carolina last weekend in the storm that killed at least 17 people and caused in the neighborhood of&nbsp;<a href="http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_EAST_COAST_RAINSTORM?SITE=AP" target="_blank">$1 billion in damage</a>.</p><p>Meteorologists called it a &ldquo;thousand-year event&rdquo; &mdash; meaning a deluge that&rsquo;s likely to happen only once in 1,000&nbsp;years, but they may have to change their odds as the planet warms up. Already this year there have been two such supposedly rare rain events, and many other rainfall records set, in the US.</p><p>&ldquo;Oklahoma and Texas had incomprehensible&nbsp; amounts of&nbsp; rain in May,&rdquo; says&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wunderground.com/about/bhenson.asp" target="_blank">Bob Henson</a>, a blogger for the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wunderground.com/?MR=1" target="_blank">Weather Underground</a>&nbsp;who worked &nbsp;more than 20 years at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research in Boulder Colorado. &ldquo;The amount of rain in Texas was what you would expect maybe once every two or 3000 years.&rdquo;</p><p><a href="http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3047" target="_blank">June was the second wettest month on record in Illinois and neighboring Indiana and Ohio set rainfall records that same month.</a></p><p>And don&rsquo;t forget&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-02-11/big-snow-warming-world-whats">the record amounts of snow that fell on New England last winter</a>.</p><p>And what&rsquo;s going on isn&rsquo;t just the usual clustering you often find among random events.</p><p>When it rains these days, Henson says, it often rains harder.</p><p>&ldquo;That&#39;s been shown through a great amount of research over the last 20 years&hellip; It&#39;s not happening in every single location, but it&#39;s happening in enough places that you could legitimately call it a global trend. The US is in line with that trend,&nbsp; most parts of the US are seeing this happen.&rdquo;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>And Henson says there&rsquo;s a simple connection to climate change. The earth&rsquo;s atmosphere is warming up, and when it gets warmer, he says, the oceans evaporate more moisture into the air. &ldquo;So there&#39;s literally more fuel available to make it rain harder when you have a set up that&rsquo;s creating rain in the first place.&rdquo;</p><p>In other words, warmer temperatures may not be causing such storms, but they are helping feed more water into storm systems.</p><p>The particulars of the storm that battered North and South Carolina were a classic example of random weather events combined with the effects of the upward temperature trend.</p><p>&ldquo;We had a upper-level low-pressure center (that) sat over the southeast for several days,&rdquo; Henson says.&nbsp; &ldquo;That brought in a lot of forcing to pull the air upward and make it rain.&rdquo; And the rainfall was in turn fed by an unusually moist atmosphere in the region.</p><p>&ldquo;You had a ton of moisture available along the East Coast and moisture being funneled in from hurricane Joaquin into the Carolinas.&rdquo;</p><p>The growing number of deluges bring lots of problems with them, but Henson, who wrote his master&rsquo;s thesis on flash flood warnings, says one of the biggest may just be getting people to take the threat seriously.</p><p>He says the heavy rains in the Carolinas were pretty well forecast, and local officials were fairly well prepared, but regular folks still ventured out into the storms when they&rsquo;d been warned not to.</p><p>&ldquo;People simply don&#39;t take moving water seriously a lot of the time,&rdquo; Henson says.&rdquo; How many cases do you see of people driving into floodwaters and then once there, of course the vehicle gets carried off? So it&#39;s a perpetual challenge to make people realize that water in motion can be just as dangerous as, say, high winds.&rdquo;</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-10-07/carolinas-thousand-year-flood-follows-big-rainfall-trend-across-us" target="_blank"><em> via PRI&#39;s The World</em></a></p></p> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 10:28:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/carolinas-thousand-year-flood-follows-rainfall-trend-across-us-113237 How El Niño could affect Chicago’s winter http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-01/how-el-ni%C3%B1o-could-affect-chicago%E2%80%99s-winter-113138 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/chicago winter Flickr edward stojakovic snow.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Now that it&rsquo;s October, we&rsquo;ll probably start noticing more advertisements geared toward winter: coats, snow blowers, shovels. But this winter might not be so bad &mdash; and we can thank El Niño for that.</p><p>El Niño is the periodic warming of water in the Pacific Ocean, but it impacts weather patterns around the world, including here in Chicago.</p><p><a href="http://www.niu.edu/geog/directory/dave_changnon_research.shtml">David Changnon</a>, meteorologist and professor in the department of <a href="http://www.niu.edu/geog/index.shtml">geography at Northern Illinois University</a>, explains El Niño and what we and the rest of the country can expect.&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 01 Oct 2015 12:33:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-01/how-el-ni%C3%B1o-could-affect-chicago%E2%80%99s-winter-113138 Morning Shift: August 14, 2015 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-14/morning-shift-august-14-2015-112658 <p><p>The noise from O&rsquo;Hare&rsquo;s new traffic patterns is loud, but so are the voices of opposition to closing what&rsquo;s known as the diagonal runways. We talk about jet noise and the future of O&rsquo;Hare expansion with the commissioner of Chicago&rsquo;s Department of Aviation. Some warm weather is about to hit the area...we get a short and long-term forecast. Plus high temps mean more folks will head toward the water, and we figured it never hurts to get a refresher on water safety. Later on we check in with the organizer of a back-to-school parade that&rsquo;s in it&rsquo;s fifty-third year on Chicago&rsquo;s South Side And we dive into an exhibition at the DuSable museum on the 50th anniversary of the AACM-the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. Also, French supersonic jets take over the Air and Water Show.</p></p> Fri, 14 Aug 2015 12:38:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-14/morning-shift-august-14-2015-112658 Staying safe in this weekend's heat http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-14/staying-safe-weekends-heat-112655 <p><p>It looks like it&rsquo;s going to be a hot weekend &mdash; sunday is expected to be the hottest day of the summer so far, with a predicted high of about 93 degrees. For more on this, we check in with Weather Underground meteorologist Steve Gregory.</p></p> Fri, 14 Aug 2015 12:31:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-14/staying-safe-weekends-heat-112655 Morning Shift: August 3, 2015 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-03/morning-shift-august-3-2015-112546 <p><p>We are nearing the end of the dog days of summer; kids will be heading back to school soon, the number of us on vacations will dwindle and the outdoor music festivals will be fewer. In the meantime, camp goes on...and it&rsquo;s not just for kids anymore. We talk to a counselor at a summer camp for adults. It&rsquo;s part of a larger trend of creating the kind of fun for adults that we used to have as kids. We also take a look at Chicago&rsquo;s booming hotel business and how long it will continue. Did Lollapalooza this weekend bring trigger an uptake in bookings? Plus, chances are your doctor is NOT an African American male. According to a report released Monday, the number of black men entering the medical profession is now lower than it was in 1978, which was a high point. We talk about why that is and what needs to be done to bring up that number.</p></p> Mon, 03 Aug 2015 11:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-03/morning-shift-august-3-2015-112546 Sunday night storms caused damage, power outages http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-03/sunday-night-storms-caused-damage-power-outages-112545 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/photo (4).JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Severe storms swept through the Chicago region yesterday. As lightening and heavy rains came, officials evacuated festival goers at Lollapalooza late afternoon. Everyone eventually filed in to catch acts like TV and the Radio and Florence and the Machine but weather won out in the end as the festival ended early. &ldquo;As we stated early today, our first priority is always the safety of our fans, staff and artists,&rdquo; Sandee Fenton, director of publicity for C3 Presents, the promoter behind Lollapalooza, said in a statement. ComEd says more than 17,00 people are without power Monday morning, down from a peak of 95,000. The City&rsquo;s Streets and Sanitation department says they have at least 730 reports of downed trees and expect more as people get out in the morning. Work is focusing on clearing streets for emergency vehicles. They are adding extra crews for the day, including garbage trucks to picked up smaller branches and debris. Northwest suburban Grayslake was hit hard Sunday night. We speak with Fire Chief John Christian about the damage.</p></p> Mon, 03 Aug 2015 11:13:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-03/sunday-night-storms-caused-damage-power-outages-112545 One dead, thousands without power after storms http://www.wbez.org/news/one-dead-thousands-without-power-after-storms-112537 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/lolla_evac.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Severe storms around Chicago Sunday left one person dead and thousands without power.</p><p>A man was killed and more than a dozen injured in Wood Dale when a tent where people had sought shelter during a brief storm blew off its moorings and collapsed on some of the crowd at a festival.</p><p>Mike Rivas, Wood Dale deputy police chief, said three people were seriously injured. Fifteen people were transported to hospital and others slightly injured were treated at the scene and released, Wood Dale police said in a statement posted on Facebook.</p><p>The fatality was identified as Wood Dale resident Steven Nincic, 35.</p><p>The incident happened at midafternoon when a sudden storm brought high winds, hail and rain to the annual Prairie Fest, Rivas said.</p><p>&quot;People sought shelter under the tent and then it hit,&quot; he said of the storm.</p><p>The tent was ripped from its moorings and fell on some people, said Craig Celia, a spokesman for Wood Dale, which is about 25 miles northwest of&nbsp;Chicago. The remainder of the festival&#39;s final day was canceled, he said.</p><p>The&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;area was hit by two waves of storms on Sunday that brought high winds, rain and hail.</p><p>A spokesperson for ComEd said around 17,900 people were without power Monday morning, down from a peak of 95,000. The Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation received 730 reports of downed trees, and will be adding extra crews to pick up smaller branches and debris.</p><p>The popular Lollapalooza music festival in&nbsp;Chicago&#39;s&nbsp;Grant Park briefly shut down Sunday afternoon due to the weather, then resumed less than an hour later. Organizers ended the final day of the festival 30 minutes early Sunday night when another storm hit the area. Some 89,000 fans safely exited the grounds after the weather alert, the festival promoter said.</p><p>Sandee Fenton is director of publicity for C3 Presents, Lollapalooza&#39;s promoter. She says they&#39;re &quot;disappointed to end the festivities early,&quot; but &quot;safety always comes first.&quot;</p></p> Mon, 03 Aug 2015 08:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/one-dead-thousands-without-power-after-storms-112537 Coal City: One month later http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-23/coal-city-one-month-later-112463 <p><p>The weather this week has been pretty calm, but we have had a summer of powerful storms and some of them led to more dangerous weather last month. Nine tornadoes tore through parts of Illinois, including two that touched down in the western town of Coal City. There were no reports of serious injury, but homes and property sustained major damage. WBEZ&rsquo;s Yolanda Perdomo was in Coal City the morning after the tornadoes to talk to residents about how they planned to rebuild. She went back one month later to see where relief efforts stand. She joins us to share some of those residents&rsquo; stories.&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/IMG_8887_web.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="National Relief Network volunteers take out remnants of a swimming pool in Coal City (WBEZ/Yolanda Perdomo)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/IMG_8813_web.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="Ed Essary stands in the space where his home of 39 years once sat (WBEZ/Yolanda Perdomo)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/IMG_8858_web.jpg" style="width: 465px; height: 620px;" title="Charles Lloyd is keeping busy as a scraper in Coal City (WBEZ/Yolanda Perdomo)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/IMG_8789_web.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="Residents say it’ll take a while before life returns to normal in Coal City (WBEZ/Yolanda Perdomo)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/IMG_8880_web.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="Many residents say they’ll miss the big, lush trees gone from Coal City (WBEZ/Yolanda Perdomo)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div></div></div></div></div></div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/IMG_8829_web.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="There were no deaths as a result of the severe weather. Several people were taken to hospitals for injuries. (WBEZ/Yolanda Perdomo)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/IMG_8826_web.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="According to the village of Coal City, it’s up to residents to pay for and clean up debris from the storm (WBEZ/Yolanda Perdomo)" /></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 23 Jul 2015 12:07:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-23/coal-city-one-month-later-112463 Could Chicago be in for a long hot summer? http://www.wbez.org/news/could-chicago-be-long-hot-summer-112238 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/corn crops.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><a href="https://climateillinois.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/so-far-fifth-wettest-june-on-record-for-illinois/">Near record rainfalls</a> in parts of Illinois this June have set the stage for what could be many muggy nights ahead, in part because of the type of crops we grow in the state.</p><p>David Changnon, a professor of meteorology at Northern Illinois University, <a href="http://www.niu.edu/geog/directory/dave_changnon_research.shtml#2004a">studies how dense Illinois corn and soybean crops can raise dew point temperatures</a>. He worries what might happen if the moisture from these crops, coupled with evaporation from this year&rsquo;s wet soil, meets high summer temperatures this year. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;We could have incredible amounts of <a href="http://water.usgs.gov/edu/watercycleevapotranspiration.html">evapotranspiration</a>,&rdquo; Changnon said. &ldquo;Not just evaporation of water from the soil at the surface but our corn and soybean plants will begin to transpire a great deal of water into the lower atmosphere. In those situations it prevents the air temperature from dropping below that dew point, which limits how much cooling you can have at night.&rdquo;</p><p>In his 2004 paper on this subject, Changnon noted that the greatest increases in extreme daily dew point temperatures occurred in the Midwest in the second half of the last century. This period coincided with a doubling of corn and soybean crops in the area. In the years since, local cultivation of these crops has only increased.</p><p>And according to Changnon, these factors could combine with hot temperatures to reduce the number of Midwest summer days that fade into cool nights. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;So now you have not only hot muggy days, but you also have warm muggy evenings, which makes it very difficult if you don&rsquo;t have air conditioning to sleep and get around,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Chagnon notes that high temperatures and record high dew points also prevailed during Chicago&rsquo;s steamy summer of 1999 and deadly summer of 1995 when more than 700 died in the heat.</p><p>&ldquo;In both of those summers we had big heat waves in July &lsquo;95 and the end of July &lsquo;99 where temperatures in the Chicagoland area got close to 100 degrees if not exceeded them for a couple of days,&rdquo; Chagnon said. &ldquo;On those days we had dew points in the upper 70s, and we even set an all-time record at Midway of a dew point of 83 degrees.</p><p>&ldquo;It was those dew points that limited the ability for the atmosphere to cool down at night and that&rsquo;s what really caused the problem for most people who don&rsquo;t have air conditioning systems in their homes or apartments, especially for the elderly,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Still, Changnon notes that we also had heavy June rainfall in 2014.</p><p>&ldquo;Luckily it was accompanied by fairly cool temperatures, so it wasn&rsquo;t that much of a problem,&rdquo; he said.</p><p><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the Chewing The Fat podcast. Follow her at&nbsp;</em><a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng"><em>@monicaeng</em></a> <em>or write to her at meng@wbez.org</em></p></p> Wed, 24 Jun 2015 07:57:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/could-chicago-be-long-hot-summer-112238 Two dead, homes destroyed in tiny Illinois town after tornado http://www.wbez.org/news/two-dead-homes-destroyed-tiny-illinois-town-after-tornado-111856 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/tornado_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><em>Updated&nbsp;</em><em>April 10,&nbsp;</em><em>1:57 p.m.</em></p><p>FAIRDALE, Ill. &mdash; A second woman from a tiny Illinois farming community has died, Gov. Bruce Rauner confirmed Friday, a day after tornadoes struck a six-county swath of the state, injuring about a dozen other people and sweeping homes off their foundations.</p><p>Crews embarked on detailed searches for missing residents Friday after at least one tornado brought chaos to Fairdale, a town of 150 people, around 7 p.m. the night before.</p><p>Residents reported the skies blackening and windows exploding as the severe weather struck. Crews combed through each structure twice into the evening hours and searched again by equipment and by hand Friday morning. The second person killed had initially been reported missing and her body was found Friday morning, Rauner said. Most other injuries were minor.</p><p>&quot;We hope and pray that that is all the fatalities,&quot; Rauner said. &quot;We are very blessed that more people were not hurt. This was a devastating storm.&quot;</p><p>The two people killed were identified as Jacklyn K. Klosa, 69, and Geraldine M. Schultz, 67.</p><p>About 15 to 20 homes were destroyed in Fairdale, according to DeKalb County Sheriff Roger A. Scott. Matthew Knott, division chief for the Rockford Fire Department, told The Associated Press that just about every building in the town about 80 miles from Chicago &quot;sustained damage of some sort.&quot;</p><p>All homes were evacuated as a safety precaution and power was out across the area. The Red Cross and Salvation Army established a shelter at a local high school.</p><p>Trees, power lines and debris lay strewn on the ground. Some homes in the rural farming village were barely standing and many had shifted from their foundations. Roofs were missing. Metal siding from barns was wrapped around trees.</p><p>Residents gathered at a roadblock a mile from town Friday morning, eager to check the damage to their homes. Police, though, refused entry, saying it was too dangerous.</p><p>Resident Al Zammuto, a 60-year-old machinist, said he and other residents received cellphone alerts at 6:45 p.m., but he dismissed it as previous warnings hadn&#39;t amounted to anything.</p><p>Then his windows exploded.</p><p>He took cover as the severe weather struck. Bricks were torn off the side of his home. Minutes later he stepped outside and couldn&#39;t believe his eyes. He said the town looked trashed &quot;looked like a landfill&quot; and the sounds were haunting.</p><p>&quot;People were screaming and yelling,&quot; he said. &quot;People were in total shock.&quot;</p><p>National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Friedlein said at least two tornadoes swept through six north-central Illinois counties, and that damage survey teams would visit the area to determine how long they stayed on the ground, their strength and the extent of the damage.</p><p>After raking Illinois, Thursday&#39;s storm and cold front headed northeast, dumping snow in Michigan&#39;s Upper Peninsula and sweeping across the Ohio Valley overnight, Friedlein said. The system was headed into the Appalachian region Friday with the potential for severe thunderstorms but &quot;not anywhere near the threat&quot; that it packed in the Midwest, he said.</p><p>Roughly 30 homes were damaged or destroyed in Ogle County, adjacent to DeKalb, Sheriff Brian VanVickle said, adding no deaths or significant injuries were reported there. He said 12 people had been trapped in the storm cellar beneath a restaurant that collapsed in the storm in Rochelle, about 20 miles southwest of Fairdale.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/didkQXhjeVQ" width="560"></iframe></p><p>One of those rescued from the Grubsteakers restaurant, Raymond Kramer, 81, told Chicago&#39;s WLS-TV they were trapped for 90 minutes before emergency crews were able to rescue them, unscathed.</p><p>&quot;No sooner did we get down there, when it hit the building and laid a whole metal wall on top of the doors where we went into the storm cellar,&quot; Kramer said. &quot;When the tornado hit, we all got a dust bath. Everyone in there got shattered with dust and debris falling out of the rafters.&quot;</p></p> Fri, 10 Apr 2015 08:26:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/two-dead-homes-destroyed-tiny-illinois-town-after-tornado-111856