October 21 2010

Words on Weather & Climate — October 21, 2010

October 21, 2010 // 0 Comments

A La Niña Winter Can you believe we are approaching the end of October already? Last year I was able to golf until December 2. That is not likely to happen this year. It appears to me as if prolonged cold weather and probably snowflakes will close the golf courses much earlier than last year. An El Niño weather pattern was the rule for the fall into spring last year but this year a strong La Niña looks likely, which should give much of the United States a very different winter than the past one. What is called a La Niña event occurs when the sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean near the Equator from the dateline east to the west coast of South America are more than 1 degree Celsius below normal. This is the opposite of an El Niño event where temperatures are above normal. Both El Niños and La Niñas usually begin to develop in the late summer and last into the following spring. However, some prolonged episodes have lasted 2 years and even as long as 3-4 years. While their occurrence can be quite irregular, El Niño and La Niña develop every 3-5 years on average and they have noticeably different effects on the weather here in the United States. The sea surface temperatures affect where the jet stream is located, which in turn determines the path of storms. The forecast problem, of course, is in the details but you can see from the graphic the average conditions that exist. Here in the Lower Great Lakes, it is usually warmer and drier during an El Niño year than during a La Niña year. There are exceptions but in general this is true, which probably means a colder and snowier winter here than last year when snowfall was right at average with temperatures about two degrees above average. La Niñas generally produce two distinct storm tracks across the country shown in this graphic. Our area gets Alberta Clippers, which produce lake effect snow and storms from the southern plains, which can give us a lot of snow, or sometimes a wintry mix of snow, freezing rain and rain if the low center comes far enough north. It could get mild and […]

Blind Rockford resident plays guitar in multiple bands, venues

October 21, 2010 // 0 Comments

by Matt Marn  Rockford resident Keith Eadie was born blind. But blindness did not stop him from picking up a guitar and learning how to play. And it did not stop him from taking the stage, playing to proud family and excited fans.   “Sometimes I am walking around a store and I am stopped by people who heard me play,” Eadie said. “I get stopped in downtown Rockford or on the White Pine Trail. It feels pretty good.” Eadie usually has a full schedule, full of performances for bands he regularly plays in, as well as one of the four bands where he fills in for an absent member. He plays in a variety of locations, from restaurants to churches and nursing homes to a local Rockford fire station and the Rockford Ambulance office, often performing four or five times a week. “Last month, I played 20 days in a row,” Eadie said. “I love doing it, it’s awesome. In bigger places, you still get butterflies.” As a kid, Eadie found secondhand “flea market guitars,” but when high school rolled around, he wanted to learn to play newer, more complex songs. He got his chance to sharpen his skills when a neighbor asked Joe Kelly, a local teacher, to get him started. “He taught me scales and fundamentals, and showed me how to put it all together,” Eadie said. As for Kelly, he is proud of Eadie and his growth on the strings. “It wasn’t real hard to work with him,” Kelly said. “It was obvious he had the ear and the ambition. Once he got his chops down, he fit right in almost everywhere.” Kelly said they had to try something different, as Eadie couldn’t visually learn the fret placement or sheet music, but Eadie had good coordination, a good ear for music, and a good sense of humor to match. “He had more of a desire to learn,” Kelly said. “It meant more to Keith than other students. And he’s not down in the dumps, he works through things. His personality helps him deal, helps him fit in anywhere.” When Eadie’s family heard that he had an ear for music and could hold his own, they were thrilled. Eadie began to play in […]

All set for the RHS homecoming

October 21, 2010 // 0 Comments

Last Saturday night was Rockford’s Homecoming and these local Freshman girls (all Chandler Woods graduates) decided to “Go Local.” The group of girls had a local photographer, Dusty Brown Photography of Rockford take pictures of them on a local place in Rockford and then dine at Reds on the River in downtown Rockford before going to their dance. All the girls are local girls and wanted to support the local buisness people in Rockford! Is that a little “Local” or what?

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