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                   Saturday, February 13, 2010 - 8:52PM CST

March 1; sun pillar; Lebanon, IL

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March 1 is finally within the 'guesscast' range of the 14-day GFS - and for the first time this month, it isn't showing northerly winds over the central US. Of course, that far away, models are mostly useless, but it's good to see something indicating winter starting to show some signs of weakness.

GFS 850mb forecast for March 1

Granted, that's not much of a sign of spring there, with below-freezing 850mb temps still over the northern half of the country. What's encouraging is that a more progressive upper pattern might start allowing temps to slowly rise here in the next 10 days or so. At this point, we'd come to expect this anyway - but after this brutal winter, I was starting to wonder if we'd have to wait for April to get things warming up.

February 9 Sun pillar

I barely caught this sun pillar in New Baden on Tuesday as the sun crossed the horizon:

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Lebanon, IL

Lebanon is another small STL Metro East town (about 6 miles from New Baden) that I had briefly looked at for housing. I ruled it out, though, because it sits on a tree-rich low hill with few open sky views. Nonetheless, it is an interesting place with old buildings, brick streets and historical value. Most of the downtown shops are occupied and active. Lebanon is also the home of McKendree University.

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The following comments were posted before this site switched to a new comment system on August 27, 2016:

What causes a sun pillar? What a cute little town...looks like someplace I'd like to take a walk around when we visit.
- Posted by Katie from Melrose, MA
what a charming town!
- Posted by Mom
I figured you both would like Lebanon! Sun pillars happen when there are ice crystals in the lower atmopshere (during very cold weather). I see maybe 3 or 4 per of them per year.
- Posted by Dan R. from New Baden, IL
Just wait till Fall Dan, Some really spectacular fall color comes up in Lebanon! Good luck living there in New Baden.... it is a nice enough town... Drove through it almost every day, lol...on my way out to Trenton. I boarded my horse there... Lived closer to Mascoutah tho... I am going to miss some aspects of the midwest...but, I am glad to be out of there, and back on the west coast... I do not like the bone chilling cold lol...
- Posted by Tara from WA

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