Rare Tornado Event Part One: Role of the National Weather Service

Although official spring has not started (March 20th will be the first day of spring in 2017), hasn’t it felt as if mother nature is determined to make it feel like spring?  Perhaps you noticed the first taste of spring when a record breaking stretch of warm temperatures were felt across northern Illinois?  Or maybe it seemed more spring like across the Midwest when thunderstorms, instead of snow, occurred?  No matter what your idea of spring is,  one of the more dangerous types of weather that typically develops during late spring/early summer, occurred on February 28th, when a rare tornado outbreak hit the Mid-Mississippi Valley and the Lower Great Lakes region. Continue reading


Thundersnow Part Two: The Groundhog Day Blizzard as a Case Study

If you recall, my previous post on the topic of thundersnow centered on the meteorological background of this weather phenomenon. Let’s go and take a closer look at the most recent occurrence of thundersnow that impacted northern Illinois, the Groundhog’s Day blizzard that occurred January 31-February 2, 2011. Continue reading