© 2019 Terry Swails

THE BIGGEST WEATHER EVENT OF 2018...

January 1, 2019

Well another year has come and gone. Needless to say there were some interesting events but fortunately destructive and deadly events were limited around the region. Interestingly enough, 2 of the biggest 2018 weather events in my area came within a week of one another. They share the prize as the years biggest weather story. Let's take a look.

 

The first, the blizzard of 2018 which pounded the southern half of my area November 25th.

 

A strong area of low pressure tracked east across Kansas, Missouri, and central Illinois on Sunday, bringing heavy snowfall and gusty winds to the region. This caused blizzard conditions across much of southeast Iowa, northeast Missouri, and northwest Illinois, with zero visibility at times during the afternoon and evening. Strong north winds between 30 and 50 mph were reported during the storm. The heaviest snowfall reports between 8 and 15 inches were common from a line from Sigourney, IA, to the Quad Cities, to Sterling Illinois. A sharp cutoff of little to no snow was found on north end of storm generally in a line from the Cedar Rapids airport to Dubuque.

The second was the record breaking Illinois December 1st tornado outbreak. 

 

Just a week removed from an early season blizzard, a late season severe weather outbreak resulted in numerous tornadoes across central and WC Illinois on December 1st. Storm surveys and reports have indicated that 29 tornadoes occurred across the state, the largest December outbreak since 1957. Incredibly, this is the 3rd largest tornado outbreak "ever" for any month in the state of Illinois.The town of Taylorville, located southeast of Springfield in Christian County, was hardest hit. This particular supercell took a long path from the eastern fringes of the St. Louis metro area, to east of Bloomington. Other supercells tracked up the Illinois River valley in west central Illinois.

 Below the Taylorville, Illinois tornado, a strong EF3.

Damage in Taylorville, Illinois

In and of themselves, these two extreme events would have been exceptional in any year, coming within 6 days of one another makes this an exceptional period of weather, one I may never see the likes of again!

 

Welcome to 2019! If you are heading out today you can look forward to a stark change to colder weather. Expect nearly steady temperatures in the teens and 20s with wind chills in the range of 0 to 10 much of the day. Here's temperatures at noon on the NAMNEST

The accompanying wind chills.

If you are wondering if this is a trend, no worries! Warmer air should fight back quickly and highs by the end of the week will be pushing 40. Conditions look dry as well. Here's to a great year of weather in 2019.

 

By the way, I'll soon be announcing a major event that I'll be hosting March 9th that many of you will enjoy. It takes place in Iowa City at the Englert Theatre and includes some big name players in the weather world. One name I will mention is Jeff Piotrowski, my pick as the best storm chaser in the world. The Storm Prediction Center and 3 NWS offices are also involved in the 5 hour program. Keep your eyes out for the details. Would love to see you there. Roll weather and Happy New Year! TS

 

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