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All About Weather

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dirt road leading toward a dark cloudy stormy sky

Do storms really split apart and come back together?

When I do weather talks, I usually get a question like, “Why do we see storms split apart and come back together after they pass by?” Unfortunately, I must tell folks that most of the time, what they’re observing is all in the eyes of the beholder. If it were true from every location I have gotten...
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A dark snow covered yard with rolled snow balls with tracks behind them

Rare snow rollers make an appearance in Illinois

When I was growing up, back in the time when grade schoolers were allowed to play in the snow during recess, we would make “snow forts,” making several large snowballs maybe 3 feet wide. Today, our warmer winters and changes in policies have made this just a memory. While making snowballs is not as...
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snow plow on snow covered road

Is it ever too cold to snow?

Winter is here, and probably by the time you read this, we will have had one or more significant snow events. When it gets really cold, you may hear someone say “it’s too cold to snow.” But is that true? Air temperature, water vapor and humidity work together The first thing to know is that the...
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a tornado off in the distance surrounded by dark gray clouds

Is Illinois part of a new tornado alley?

As of mid-September of this year, guess which state has had the most tornadoes for the year. Texas?  Kansas? Oklahoma? Alabama? Nope, it’s Illinois! As of September 11, Illinois has had 135 tornadoes. The state annual average is 54. Is this part of an ominous trend? What is “...
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Wispy white clouds against blue sky

Why does Illinois weather come from the west?

Here in the Midwest, we usually look toward our western skies to see what may be coming our way.  That’s because the winds several thousand feet up that drive our weather are mostly coming from the west. Why this direction? There are three steps. 1. Air pressure and wind “Air...
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Blue sky with smokestack further away releasing cloudy emissions.

Was the climate quiz challenging?

We tested your climate knowledge. How did you do? In what century were the processes that created the greenhouse effect discovered? ANSWER: The 19th century, which would be the 1800s! John Tyndall published his results of several experiments that showed certain...
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smoky, hazy scene over lake front and city scape.

Why are we getting smoke from Canada?

Much of the Midwest has experienced very hazy and smoky conditions the past few days. This is caused by a combination of several atmospheric conditions along with an extreme natural event at the same time. What is the atmosphere doing? Currently, the U.S. is being affected by...
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Blog Authors
Duane Friend

Duane Friend

State Master Naturalist and Climate Change Specialist
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