Birdland: Autumn can turn you upside down

In Birdland, fall has come and the combines have shaved the beans from our fields so the stubble is closely cropped like a crew cut. The morning is crisp, but I can't yet see my breath.

Once in a while, this country mouse likes to get in touch with her urban, so this morning, I took a detour on my bike to visit The Cracked Truck that parks near University Laboratory High in Urbana.

Freeze Warning issued for two area counties

The National Weather Service has issued a Freeze Warning for McLean and DeWitt counties, in effect from 3 to 8 a.m. Saturday.

Overnight temperatures will drop into the upper 20s.  Be sure to take your sensitive plants indoors.

A Life Remembered: Meteorologist Reese a 'fun-loving' professional

The communities of central Illinois are remembering popular WCIA-TV meteorologist Robert Reese, who has lost his battle against cancer.

Mr. Reese, 50, passed away Tuesday night at the University of Chicago Hospital. He had battled cancer for many years and was most recently fighting pneumonia.

Reminders of leaf pickup

Here's a roundup on municipal leaf pickup:

September temperatures were - get this - below average

CHAMPAIGN — After 11 consecutive months of above-average temperatures — some months as much as 15 degrees above normal — Champaign-Urbana had a below-normal September.

The mean temperature locally was 65 degrees, 1.2 degrees below normal, according to the Illinois State Water Survey. The average high was 2.4 degrees below normal; the average low was 0.4 degrees below normal.

Frost advisory for early Sunday


The National Weather Service in Lincoln has issued a frost
Advisory, in effect from 1am to 8am CST Sunday.

Lows will fall into the middle 30s overnight.
The time between 4am and 7am is most likely to see the
coldest temperatures and most widespread frost.

Widespread frost is likely to occur later tonight

Leaves might give us an autumn show after all

URBANA — Rumors of the demise of fall color in our local trees have been slightly exaggerated.

State climatologist Jim Angel said this summer's drought might make the prognosis for Technicolor leaves seem dire, but our recent weather has perked up the chances for a bit of display of natural beauty.

How leaves change color

According to University of Illinois Jeffrey O. Dawson, with declining autumn temperatures, tree leaves stop producing chlorophyll, the green pigment of photosynthesis.

Severe thunderstorm warning expires

UPDATE (4:20 PM):

The severe thunderstorm watch for DeWitt and Piatt counties has expired.


UPDATE (3:40 PM):

The severe thunderstorm watch for Macon County has been canceled.  It remains until 4 p.m. for DeWitt and Piatt Counties.


Corn harvest more than half-finished; beans just starting

CHAMPAIGN — Area grain-elevator operators say the corn harvest is about 60 percent complete — and the crop has more moisture than expected.

High moisture means the corn has to be dried, and the extra time needed for that has sometimes caused delays for those delivering grain.

Meanwhile, the soybean harvest is just getting under way.