Monday Evening

July 27th, 2015 at 1:55 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

muskegon glerl   south haven glerl apn glerl  Here’s three pics. from just before 2 pm.  These are the GLERL cameras (from NOAA Coastwatch) from Muskegon, S. Haven (center) and Alpena (right).  Relatively light winds today and clear to partly cloudy skies.  We have some high clouds coming in from the west-northwest at Muskegon, where the air temp. is a relatively warm 78.1.  The S. Haven Lighthouse reports an air temp. of 79.5.  Nice ship sailing out of the channel there on the right side of the pic.   In Alpena you can see the cumulus clouds building over the land, but not over the water.

Lake Michigan water temps. this AM:  73 Holland, 72 Saugatuck and Duck Lake, 69 Muskegon and Hoffmaster S.P., 67 Grand Haven and 66 Orchard Beach (near Manistee).  High temps. today (Mon.):  88 Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Jackson, Detroit, Howell and Mt. Clemens… 89 Benton Harbor, Lansing… 90 Holland (Regional Arpt.), Big Rapids, Houghton Lake, Gaylord, Saginaw… 91 Muskegon, Ludington, Alpena… 92 Flint… 94 Pellston.   Also:  87 Detroit City, 86 Adrian, 85 Hillsdale, 83 Sturgis, Coldwater.     Including today, G.R. is 2.6° cooler than average for July – this will be the 6th month out of the last 7 with cooler than average temps.

The morning run of the models has tomorrow at least as warm as today, a warm night Tues. night, a chance (not a sure thing) of a shower or t-shower on Weds. (though both Tues. evening and Weds. evening may be dry…nice on Thursday (Maranda Effect – don’t have to look at the maps) and Friday, then a chance of a shower or t-shower over the weekend (again, certainly not a sure thing).  Again, a distinctly cooler air mass will move in for around August 6 – 10.  Wouldn’t be surprised if we had a couple days with highs 10+ deg. below average.

Also:  Snow is falling on Saddle Mtn in Bitterroot Range near 8000ft elevation…some heavy rains in FL should continue, Fort Myers had 4.47″, with 1.91″ at Marco Is…heavy rain in parts of IA with 4.5″ at Keosauqua and 1.78″ at Cedar Rapids…chilly in the U.K., noon temps. (average noon temp. is 68) included 52 in Glasgow, Scotland and 55 in Belfast, Ireland…Current temp. of -61F at the South Pole with a wind chill of -103!  Link:  I’ll have to add that to the blog thread!  At Vostok, Antarctica, they report a high of -74F and a low of -81…currently -79F.

Near 90 Today and Tomorrow

July 27th, 2015 at 1:40 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

814temp.newIndianapolis flood GRR NWS pic. Three unrelated pics. here.  Click ont he pic. to enlarge.  First (and only because it’s a bigger pic.) is the 8-14 day temperature outlook (for August 3-9) from the Climate Prediction Center. Note the “B” for “Below Average” is right about over Grand Rapids. So if you like it hot, enjoy the next couple days. If you like it cool, the cool pattern comes back to the Great Lakes starting around Aug. 3-4.  July 1-26 is still 2.9 deg. cooler than average.  Despite the heat early this week, July will be the 6th month out of the last 7 with cooler than average temps. in G.R.

The middle pic. is flooding around Indianapolis Sunday evening.  Here’s more pics. of the flooding.  The Indianapolis Airport (IND) was up to 1.25″ for the day, bringing them to 13.13″ for the month, a new July record.  Other preliminary totals:  4.78″ Geist Reservoir, 3.92″ eight miles north of IND, 3.81″ Castleton.  They were evacuating White River St. Park.

The pic. on the right is from the GRR NWS (and thanks for doing this).  You may have heard of a heat burst.  They are rare and are usually associated with a decaying t-storm or in this case a puny shower aloft.  Rain falling down evaporates, cooling the air and making it heavier than the surrounding air…so it starts to move downward toward the ground.  As it does, the parcel warms as it’s compressed due to the higher pressure near the ground.  What was interesting about this “burst” was the dramatic drop in dewpoint, while there was no significant change in either temperature or wind speed.  You can check Muskegon’s observations here (they are saved for 72 hours at this URL).   At 7:55 pm, the temp./dewpoint at Muskegon was 82/64.  At 8:55 pm, the temp. dewpoint is 80/45.   That’s a 19-degree dewpoint drop, with the usual (expected) 2-degree drop in temperature and a wind north at 6 for both hours.  By 9:55 pm, the dewpoint is back to 56 and by 10:55 pm it’s 62.

Also, big 6.9 magnitude e-quake in the Aleutian Islands – no tsunami expected.  The European weather model (that comes out later than the American models BTW tops the list in general accuracy.  Sunday the FIM and Canadian models seem to be doing the best job on the coming cool pattern a week down the road, though (IMHO).   Storm Team 8 pays a fee to get the complete European data set from Accu-Weather and Weatherbell.   321 homes have been evacuated in Trinity, FL due to river flooding, according to emergency manager. No injuries reported.  Kyle’s pic. of sunset in Marne.  Check out this sunset pic.  Nice U.P cb.   Columbia, SC has hit 100 deg. 15 times this summer, 6th most in history and it’s only July 26th. I believe the record is 27 back in 1954.


Sunday PM

July 26th, 2015 at 2:04 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

muskegon glerlshn glerl  chicago glerl   8:10 pm – These are early aftn. pics. from the GLERL cameras at Muskegon (left), S. Haven (center) and Chicago (right).  It’s partly cloudy and warm.  High temps today:  G.R. 86, Muskegon 90 (airport), Holland 88, Kalamazoo 86, Battle Creek 85.  Some hot spots up north:  91 Traverse City and Alpena, 90 at Iron Mt.  It got at least as warm as 78 at the airport on Mackinac Island.   That was the first 90-deg. temp. at Muskegon since July 19, 2013 – more than 2 years ago.

It’s been cooler by a Great Lake…the air temp. at the Muskegon Beach rose to 76.8 this morning when the wind was east, then cooled to a 1:15 pm temp. of 68.5 as the wind has come off the water, then back up to a high of 78.8.  The S. Haven beach had a high temp. of 77.5 and the Chicago water intake peaked at 73.4.

Water temps. this am:  S. Haven 71, Muskegon 69, Grand Haven and Hoffmaster S.P. 68, Saugatuck 65.  At 5:40 pm, the surface water of Reeds Lake stood at 83 degrees…nice!  It’s back to 82 at 8 pm.

\There’s rain passing south of us in IndianaHeavy rain of 2-4″ in the Indianapolis area.    Here’s current conditions…and a satellite loop (daytime) showing the high clouds coming in from the west (note it’s cloudy on the Chicago pic. on the right here.

Also:  Cool tornado video from Minnesota Saturday PM in a partly cloudy sky  (note the debris)!    Cool lightning pic. from VirginiaStrong winds in Germany yesterday (deep low pressure system for July), 98 km = 61 mph..New Orleans Audubon Park tied the record high of 100 degrees Saturday…Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport has hit 100 degrees for the first time this summer Sunday PM.

Warmest Days of 2015 (so far)

July 26th, 2015 at 2:19 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Grand-Haven-beach-july-31-2011  Big Crowd  muskegon glerl We’ve got the 3 warmest back-to-back-to-back days of 2015 on the way for today, tomorrow and Tuesday.  The overnight run of the NAM model gives G.R. highs of 86, 88 and 91 for Sun., Mon. and Tues.  Starting with today (Sun.) here are the highs from the overnight run of the GFS model:  89, 90, 89, 87, 84, 86, 85, 84.   The chance of rain on the GFS model for each day (G.R.) starting today (Sun.) in percent is 0-1-13-63-21-26-49-50.   I agree that Tues. Night/Weds. is the time to watch for the next decent chc. of a shower or storm.  After that we’ll have to wait until late Fri. or more likely Fri. night for the next chance of a t-storm.  Our area saw no rain or trace amounts on Saturday.  There were a few showers and storms east of US 127.  In Sanilac Co. 50 mph winds were reported and just west of the town of Peck, they got an inch of rain in 1/2 hour.  Here’s the severe weather outlooks for the next 3 days and beyond.  Most of the storm reports for Saturday were in South Dakota.   Grand Rapids high of 87 on Saturday made it the warmest day of 2015 so far.  We’ll be at least that warm today, but the humidity will be slightly lower.  It was cooler at Lake Michigan.  The thermometer at the shore at Holland St. Park had a high temp. of 71.4 on Sat.  The Muskegon Beach weather station had a high temp. of 74.7 on Sat.   Here’s Lake Michigan water temperatures.  The water temperature at the Port Sheldon buoy was up to 69 Saturday evening.  Pic. on the left is Grand Haven St. Park on 7/31/2011 – pic. on the right is the Muskegon GLERL camera at 9 pm.  Daylight is shrinking now at the rate of about 2 minutes per day.   Still looking at cooler pattern starting around 8/3.

Also:  Wow!  Tough landing in strong winds in Amsterdam Saturday!  Gusts to 63 mph at the airport.   Wave heights of 12.5 ft. well out over the North Sea but might be higher, especially near Dutch coast.  Trees toppled in Amsterdam.   Tropical Storm Halola will bring heavy rain and gusty winds to Japan and Korea over the next 2 days…not much wind damage, though.  This is a long-lived tropical storm, forming in the Central Pacific more than 3 weeks ago.    Nope – not allowed to do this.   Lake Michigan sunset Saturday from Montague.  Yesterday was the coldest July day for Gander, Newfoundland in 23 yrs with max of 7.3C!   4.3 earthquake struck 9 miles west-southwest of San Bernardino, Calif. at 5:54 a.m. PDT Sunday – also a 5.0 magnitude e-quake in S. Alaska.  Still no 100-degree temp. in Dallas this summer.  Cape Hatteras, NC, broke its July 24 rain record with 3.57″.   Tampa, FL has received over 4″ of rain since Friday.


July 25th, 2015 at 2:34 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Central Great Lakes sector loop   Quick update at 12:35 pm – It’s mostly cloudy and humid.   The clouds will scatter out.    The chance of rain is dimishing, esp. west of US 131 and north of G.R.   Temp./dewpoint at noon:  G.R. 78/69, Battle Creek 82/70, Big Rapids 75/68, Holland beach 70/68.   Water temp. this am was 75 at Saugatuck, 68 at S. Haven and Muskegon, 67 at Grand Haven (Coast Guard Festival going on now).   Front isn’t easy to find, but you have to go to Green Bay to get a little lower dewpoints.

I have a wedding to attend today, then I work the evening shift on Sunday.  I’ll update when I can.   The overnight models are downplaying rain today.  The NAM has a 28% chc. of measurable rain for G.R. and the GFS only 17%…I’d say 40-50%.  The GFS is bringing in the warm air, with daily high temps for the next week starting with today of 85, 90, 89, 88, 89, 86, 86, 87.  That model has the best chance of rain next Weds.   I still think there is a trend back to cooler than average starting around August 3.  Radars here should update automatically.  Here’s the convective outlooks from SPC.  Here’s severe reports from Friday – hail and wind in S. Nebraska and wind damage from a t-storm that formed in Iowa and moved south through Missouri.

WOW!  Cool sunset pic. from Friday night…the sun below the horizon shining around towering cumulus and cumulonimbus beyond the horizon.

Links: Here’s Grand Rapids radar and Northern Michigan radar, Milwaukee looping radar. Regional radar and the Updated GRR NWS Short Term Discussion. More links: Northern Indiana radar, Chicago radar, Detroit radar and Milwaukee radar.Here’s College of DuPage Radar Map (pick any radar in the U.S.), College of DuPage Grand Rapids radar, the West Michigan Lightning Tracker, National Lightning Tracker, the local warning/advisory map and the National warning/watch/advisory map, a surface weather map. You can checkout the latest Grand Rapids NWS discussion, the Northern Indiana NWS discussion (includes the Michigan Counties that border Indiana), the discussion for Northern Lower Michigan, and Eastern Lower Michigan. Here’s the Spyglass Condos Weather Station the S. Haven GLERL station, the Muskegon GLERL station, the Grand Haven Steelheaders webcam and weather station, and the weather station at Holland State Park. Check out the links to webcams. Here’s the infrared satellite loop (night) and the visible satellite loop (daytime), Lake Michigan water temperatures (summer). Here’s recent storm reports from SW Michigan, Northern Michigan, NE Illinois, SE. Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and E. Michigan. Check out the wind and wave height at the South Mid-Lake Michigan Buoy (Apr. to Nov. only), the North Mid-Lake Michigan Buoy (Apr. to Nov. only), the buoy at Big Sable Point near Ludington and the weather station on the beach at St. Joseph. Here’s Michigan wind gusts from MesoWest, data from the MAWN agricultural weather stations and Weather Underground (data at the h[-/pb.21fcdgcottom from private weather stations). Here’s the Consumers Energy Power Outage Map102bn

Thick Ice Remains in Hudson Bay

July 24th, 2015 at 8:33 pm by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

North American Snow Cover  Hudson Bay Ice July 20 2015Hudson Bay Ice July 17 2015 On the left, we have a current (7/24) map showing the ice that still covers roughly a large portion of Hudson Bay. The CCGS Amundsen  was scheduled to be on a scientific expedition to study “climate change” (formerly known as “global warming”) right now.  However, the ship had to be diverted to plow through the thick ice that remains on Hudson Bay. The ice has prevented needed supplies from reaching the Quebec side of Hudson Bay. “  Johnny Leclair, assistant commissioner for the Canadian Coast Guard, said Tuesday.  Conditions in the area are the worst he’s seen in 20 years.   “Ships can usually count on Arctic waters being free of most ice during the month of July. But after a particularly long, cold winter, the ice hasn’t melted as quickly as it normally does and shipping companies have had to shuffle delivery schedules as a result.”  Here’s Hudson Bay Ice Charts from Environment Canada.  Looks like this is the most ice left on the Bay this late in the season since 1992 and third highest in the last 35 years.   Pictured here (center and left) is the Pierre Radisson, which was pictured cutting through the ice on the way to Iqaluit on July 17th.   Another pic. here.

Review: “Pixels” premise is ridiculous, writing is sloppy, and humor is PG-13 BUT it’s not bad

July 24th, 2015 at 12:01 am by under Entertainment
"Pixels" courtesy Columbia Pictures

“Pixels” courtesy Columbia Pictures

“Pixels” (2015)
Rated: PG-13 for some language and suggestive comments
Runtime: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Genre: Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi

My spoiler-free review:

There’s a lot of original adventure, fun, and laughs in “Pixels”, but this could’ve been a much more family-friendly movie, however you can’t expect too much from an Adam Sandler comedy.  I wasn’t expecting much so the movie was a lot better than I expected.  There were a half-dozen suggestive sentences of dialogue and a large handful of bad words that the movie didn’t need.  Cutting out those things would make it a better movie for families and probably earn the movie a PG rating and a higher score from me.

So now you know going in this movie is not for most kids under 13… it’s really geared more for the adults that grew up in the 80s than the kids… even though it’s being marketed for the entire family.  I give it 6.5 out of 10.

Warning to parents: “Pixels” more than earns its PG-13 rating for quite a bit of bad language and a lot of suggestive comments

But its not terrible…. this is mostly a matter of marketing as a family movie and then not delivering a movie that is acceptable for a family with kids under 10.  The special effects are very good, getting things to look like the 16-bit or 8-bit graphics of the old video games.  While the effects and basic premise create wonder and fantasy for the younger crowd, the story and references to 1980s video arcade games will create nostalgia for those of us who grew up in that decade.  In addition to all the video games of the past: Frogger, PacMan, Donkey Kong, Defender, Centipede, Galaga, Asteroids, Space Invaders, Duck Hunt, Super Mario Bros, Joust, Tetris, Paper Boy, Dig Dug, etc., there are a ton of 80s pop culture refences.    Ronald Reagan, Olivia Newton John, the “Where’s The Beef” lady, Madonna, Hall and Oates, “Working for the Weekend”, Max Headroom, and Fantasy Island.  Plus lines like “arcades: in ancient times, they called in socializing”… “classic arcade games: do you mean like Halo and Call of Duty?”… and “I’m just a loser who’s good at old video games”.  There are some clearly new ideas shaping the plot and makes it a little less predictable… although we have a pretty good idea how its going to end.

Slow-mo at times, the story does grind to a crawl at times when trying to develop the romantic and interpersonal relationships in this movie.  While there are some cool elements for kids: the imagination inspiring possibility of video games coming to life and hanging out with Qbert or battling Centipede and Donkey Kong… the scenes in between are clunky, typical Sandler fare.  We get that the Peter Dinklage character ‘Eddie’ is unsavory, but I don’t need you to hit me over the head with it more than a dozen times… and many of the example are hugely inappropriate for younger viewers.  Its sad, with some family-focused editing and smoother script, this movie really could have been a fun family outing.

Wait for it… matinee pricing or home video rental… its an original adventure that’s fun for kids and nostalgic for adults and much better than I expected.  But for a movie all about family… its a movie that can’t be watched by all of the family.

MORE INFO (possible spoilers):

Read the rest of this entry »

Great Lakes Water Levels and News

July 23rd, 2015 at 11:19 pm by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

S. Haven buoy camera calm 7 23 15  chicago glerl Thunder Bay Island Sunrise The pic. on the left is a screen grab from the S. Haven buoy camera around 9 pm Thursday, plus 6 am (local time) pics. from the GLERL cameras at Chicago and Thunder Bay (MI).  Click to enlarge.  At 8 pm we saw a man in a kayak paddling around the buoy, which is nearly 3 miles out in the lake.  The air and water temp. at this buoy Thurs. evening were both 68.  Water temps. have come up with the sunshine and light wind (Thursday’s water temps.:  65 Ludington and Grand Haven, 66 Holland, 67 Saugatuck, 68 Muskegon, 69 Mears and 70 S. Haven).

All of the Great Lakes have water levels well above average.  The water level of Lake Michigan/Huron is unchanged in the last month.  The level is 11″ higher than one year ago and stands at 7″ above the long-term average.  The level of Lake Superior is up 2″ in the last month and is now one inch higher than July 2014.  Superior is now 8″ higher than the July average level.  Lake Erie is up a substantial 6″ in the last month.  Erie is also 14″ higher than it was one year ago and 17″ above the century average!  If Lake Erie would stay that high, there would be a concern for flooding from high wind events in the fall and winter.   Lake Ontario is up 3″ in the last month, up 6″ in the last year and is now 8″ above the century average.  Lake St. Clair is up 4″ in the last month, up 11″ year-to-year and now 15″ above the long-term July average.  The flow on all the rivers that connect the Great Lakes (St. Mary’s, St. Clair, Detroit and Niagara) will continue to see above average flow.

Most rivers in Lower Michigan have above average flow.  As of 12:30 am Fri., here’s some streamflows in cubic feet per second with the median flow in (  ):  Grand River at Grand Rapids  3810 cfs (1640), St. Joseph River at Niles  6450 cfs (2170), Kalamazoo River at New Richmond  2770 cfs (1680).

Also:  116-year-old shipwreck discovered in Lake MichiganNot many creatures can say that they’ve survived being chewed up and excreted, butLake Macatawa traps findSwimmer makes it across Lake Erie for charityhigh water levels eating away at Lake Michigan shoreLighthouse for saleNew bridge to be built over the St. Mary’s RiverBoatnerd.

Warm Air Ahead

July 23rd, 2015 at 2:31 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Circumhorizontal Arc - Newaygo County 7 22 15   Here’sSunset Port Sheldon Buoy Camera 7 22 15 a pic. (on the right) from the Port Sheldon buoy camera from 9 pm Weds. evening.  You can see the waves were 3/10 foot or about 4″.  You can see some high clouds to the west and the sun setting into a layer of mid-level clouds on the horizon.  The surface water temp. is up to 67.  When the wind is light, the sun can warm the water at the surface.  When it gets windy, the wind can mix the surface water with colder water from below the surface and the temperature cools.  Relatively rapid and significant cooling can occur when the wind goes offshore, blowing from the northeast or east.  A signficant easterly wind will push the warmer surface water toward the Wisconsin shore, allowing colder water to rise to the surface.  That process is called upwelling.  Here’s an example from  Lake Michigan last year.

The picture on the left from Dick Cooley is a circumhorizontal arc.  It was taken yesterday in Newaygo County and it caused by the sunlight passing thru the ice crystals of cirrus clouds.  This far north a circumhorizontl arc is only seen when the sun is high in the sky during the late spring and summer.  The sun has to be at the right angle, the crystals have to be the right size and shape and the right thickness.  It’s not real common to see one.  At the wikepedia link on circumhorizontal arcs, one of the best pics. is from Ravenna, Michigan.

The last four days have brought us 84% of possible sunshine.   Grand Rapids is still averaging 3.8 deg. cooler than average for July.   A warm-up (plan that trip to the beach, pool or water park) is on the way for early next week, bug the trend will likely be back to a little cooler than August starting around later next week (at the link the warm early is balanced by cool late, giving Michigan overall near average temps. for the period.  The Climate Prediction Center has SW Michigan in a slightly higher than average of a little cooler than normal temps. for August thru October (90-day outlook here).  The GFXS give G.R. just a 28% chance of a t-shower on Sat. and it gives G.R. highs starting Sunday of 90, 89, 87, 88 with a better chance of a t-shower long about next Tues./Weds.

A little more rain out west:  1.02″ Orovada NV, 0.26″ Lodgepole, 0.19″ Hawthorne NV, 0.17″ Eureka NV, 0.13″ Elko NV, 0.12 Yosemite N.P., 0.11″ Reno NV,  0.10″ Alturas CA, 0.02″ S. Lake Tahoe, trace at Los Angeles.  Oklahoma City is up to 7.22″ of rain for July and 41.65″ for the year so far…that’s 20.84″ above average!!

Weds. PM

July 22nd, 2015 at 12:59 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Chickory across from 3784  Click on the pic. to enlarge.  This is the roadside right across from my house…a ribbon of blue and white with the blooming chickory and Queen Anne’s lace.  There’s also white and purple clover and a couple of random sunflowers that probably came from my yard one way or another.  Several robins are poking thru the grass I cut yesterday.  I have several bird feeders that are frequented by a variety of birds, chipmunks, a couple of squirrels.  There are always birds there and right now there are at least 20 – including a cardinal, a red wing blackbird, sparrows and a couple of mourning doves.   When I fill the feeders, there is one chickadee that is not cautious of me.  It’ll let me get to within about 3 feet before it retreats to a nearby tree.

I was up early (the middle of my night) for a dr. apt.   After that, Gayle and I went to see the new Japanese Garden at the Meijer Botanical Gardens.  Lots of people there.  We are members, so we don’t feel guilty about staying for an hour or two and then heading on our way.  I always start looking at weather at home, before I get to work.  I have a nice 3 season porch with lots of windows…or I move outside to the picnic table (love WIFI).

9:25pm -  There are a couple sprinkles trying to make it across Lake Michigan.  Three weather stations in Wisconsin had had a trace of rain (Manitowoc, Green Bay and Wausau), but no measurable rain.  It’s not impossible there could be a sprinkle in Oceana Co.   We have had some cirrus clouds passing overhead, but a fine day.

It was cool this AM – down to 56 in G.R. and Kalamazoo.  Some cool spots:  47 Cadillac, 46 Manistee, 45 Baldwin, 43 Pellston and Roscommon, 42 Leota (Clare Co.), 41 Champion (U.P.), 39 Stonington and Baraga Plains and 37 at Spincich Lake.   Water temps. this AM at Lake MI:  59 Grand Haven, 62 Muskegon, 64 Saugatuck, 65 Holland, 68 S. Haven.  Lake Michigan has been cooler the past two years.  Another cool record today…We eclipsed the latest date in the year that GRR has not exceeded 86 degrees. It previously was July 21, 1960.

Also:  Possible Tropical Storm next week brushing the East Coast (next storm will be called “Danny”)…large tree pretty much demolishes house in Winfield ALTyphoon Halola to move thru Japan (link fixed).   Medicine Lodge, KS, broke its July 21 rain record with 4.37″; old record: 3.83″, 1925.  Only 2mm of rain in Karachi, Pakistan on Tuesday, but the first measurable rainfall since March.