Weekend

May 23rd, 2015 at 6:03 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

modis lake michigan   modis lake superior  Happy Saturday.  It’ll be a nice day, mostly sunny and a few degrees warmer than yesterday – low-mid 70s, again cooler at Lake Michigan.  Chance of showers tomorrow, mainly in the afternoon and a chance of a shower or t-shower on Monday.   These are the MODIS satellite pics. from Friday for Lake Michigan and Lake Superior.  Click on the pics. to enlarge.  You can see that it’s greened up – even up north where we’ve had morning lows below freezing.  Note the smoke south of L’Anse in the U.P. and the shrinking ice that is still left in Agawa Bay of Lake Superior.  The fire is a planned prescribed burn at Purple Wing.  Here’s a picture of the smoke from the ground.  Waves on the lake should be 6″ to 2 ft. for most of the weekend.


Rainfall over the Next Week

May 22nd, 2015 at 2:00 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

qpf   This is the 7-day rainfall forecast from the Weather Prediction Center for the next 7 days.  First, note the heavy rains (and flooding) continue in Oklahoma and Texas.  Significant rains (and high mountain snows) for Colorado and above average precipitation back all the way through Nevada with showers into the Sierra Mts. of California.  S. California and S. Arizona stay dry.  Note the tongue of moisture into Lower Michigan along a stalled front…where there will be several rounds of showers and storms starting Sunday PM.  The dry area on the East Coast will get hot, with mid 90s up to Washington D.C.  This pattern will provide ample rain for much of the Corn Belt.

Model update:  The GFS has highs starting today for G.R. of 67, 74, 75 and then upper 70s and low 80s each day from Mon. – Fri.  The model has a percent chance of rain at 2% today, 4% tomorrow and 44% Sunday PM.  Then 74% Monday, 71% Tuesday and 58% Wednesday.   The NAM model has highs of 64, 73 and 78 for G. R. the next 3 days and a 53% chance of rain Sunday PM.  The NAM takes G.R. to 38 (clear and calm) early Sat. – I still think most everybody escapes Sat. AM without significant or widespread frost., though it’ll be a close call.  Pockets of frost in low spots would not be impossible, esp. north of Kent Co.  If you survived Weds. AM – you should survive Sat. AM.

Here’s storm reports for the U.S. on Thurs. (not much).  The U.S. has had 8 tornado fatalities so far this year.  Through the end of May the total for 2014 was 44, for Jan. -May  2013 it was 66 and for Jan. – May 2012 it was 48.  No tornadoes in Michigan in 2015 (yearly average is 16) and just 14 severe reports (4 hail and 10 wind).   499 tornadoes have been reported so far this year in the U.S. (some of these are duplicate sightnings of the same tornado) and of those, 282 have been in just 3 states (KS, OK, TX).  Fortunately, this year most have been short-lived and in very rural areas.


Great Lakes Water Levels, Ice and News

May 22nd, 2015 at 12:12 am by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

Traverse Bay May 2015 Michelle Olin  Lake Superior Ice Cover 5 21 14 Modis Lake Superior Click on the pics. to enlarge.  The pic. on the left is Traverse Bay (from Michelle Olin).  In the middle we have the Great Lakes ice chart, which rounds up to 0.2% ice cover – that’s all in Lake Superior, where there is still an 0.4% ice cover.  The ice is in Agawa Bay.   On the right, you can see the ice that ‘s left on the MODIS Lake Superior satellite picture from Thurs. PM.

Lake Michigan/Huron is up 3″ in the last month, up 13″ in the past year and the lake is 5″ above the century average for May. Lake Superior is up 4″ in the last month, up 2″ in the last year and Superior is 7″ above the May average. Lake Erie is up 2″ in the last month, down 2″ in the last year and is at the same level as May 2014. Lake Ontario is up 7″ in the last month, down 13″ in the last year and is now 8″ below the century May average. Lake St. Clair is up 1″ in the last month, up 2″ in the last year and is 4″ above average.  Water flow down the St. Mary’s river from Lake Superior into Lake Huron, the flow down the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers from Lake Huron to Lake Erie and the flow down the Niagara River from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario are all expected to be above average into June.  The flow out of Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River is expected to be a little below average.

Also:  Concern over bird loss from wind turbines…uh oh, “stinky muck“…value of commercial fish from Lake Michigan up 5% in 2014Lake Huron/Michigan spring water level highest since 1998…”healthy” smelt run on Lake SuperiorMore on the Great Lakes Earthquake of May 2.

 


Chance Light Shower Toinght

May 21st, 2015 at 1:13 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Central Great Lakes sector loop

Thurs. Evening – You can see a line of light showers across N. Lake Michigan.  These showers are dropping southeast.  So, we’ll have a chance of a light shower tonight.  The odds of any one spot seeing a shower is maybe 30-40% and amounts would a less than 1/10th inch of you got any rain at all.

The weekend is looking a touch better.  Saturday will be partly to mostly sunny and dry.  The morning run of the models keep most of Sunday dry, and the best bet for a Sunday PM shower/t-shower would be north of Pentwater along the lake.  Any showers/t-storms on Monday will more scattered, but the odds of rain on Monday still look to be 60%.  Temperatures will be warming up for the weekend, too.  Look for highs in the mid 60s tomorrow, low-mid 70s Saturday and mid-upper 70s on Sunday and Monday.  Next week looks warmer and wetter than average with several rounds of showers and storms from Monday through the end of the week.

Grand Rapids, including today, is now +2.6 deg. for May.  That should fall to +2.3 after tomorrow.  There’s no doubt that this month will end with above average temperatures.  This is the first warmer than average month of 2015.  This is for Rocky. Extreme drought has been eradicated from Texas for the first time time since November 2010.  Texas stays wetter than average for the next couple weeks.   Video of funnel clouds in Italy.  Prelim M6.0 earthquake in the Solomon Islands.  Look at the thunderstorm “blow-up” just south of the Mexican border.   Epic sunset.

Also- Mineral Wells TX tornado rated EF1 – same as 7/6/14 twister on south side of G.R.   More heavy rain for Texas.  They’re using sandbags in Texas (so much for the climate-change permanent drought that some were forecasting for Texas).  Here’s one-year change in Drought Monitor.   10 confirmed tornadoes struck across north Texas on Tuesday – all small; three EF-1s, seven EF-0.  Horse in the middle of the tornado damage.  Whew!  Glad no one was in the passenger seat!    May rainfall above average over much of California (San Diego’s had more rain so far in May than they normally get from May-October), but drought continues.  However, biggest reservoir in CA well above level of 1977 drought.  31 this AM at S. Ste. Marie – another freeze.   Too closeAnother big one!   4.1-earthquake was felt in Northern California – north of San Francisco.

Links: Here’s Grand Rapids radar and Northern Michigan radar, NAM model 3-day snowfall forecast and GFS model 5-day snowfall forecast. Storm Total Snowfall will show the heaviest snow and 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 Maranatha Webcam at Lake Michigan and 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 bottom from private weather stations). Here’s the Consumers Energy Power Outage Map, Here’s www.instantweathermaps.com.


Few Light Showers South Exit Later Tonight

May 20th, 2015 at 8:43 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Central Great Lakes sector loop

Early Thurs. The overnight light showers were south of a line from Saugatuck to south of Lansing.  Rainfall totaled just 0.01″ at Battle Creek and Jackson and 0.04″ at Benton Harbor.

On the Muskegon beach, the high temp. Weds. was 46.8 at 10 am.  The S. Haven beach had a high of 48.4 at noon.  Our clouds will thin out today.  There is an outside chance of a light shower Thurs. night.  The average high/low for G.R. is now 71/49.   Sunrise today (Thu.) at 6:14 am and sunset tomorrow at 9:05 pm.   The days are long in late May.

There is a Frost Advisory in effect his early morning for the counties along US 10 (Mason, Lake, Osceola and Clare) and a Freeze Warning for Northern Lower Michigan.

Links: Here’s Grand Rapids radar and Northern Michigan radar, NAM model 3-day snowfall forecast and GFS model 5-day snowfall forecast. Storm Total Snowfall will show the heaviest snow and 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 Maranatha Webcam at Lake Michigan and 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 bottom from private weather stations). Here’s the Consumers Energy Power Outage Map, Here’s www.instantweathermaps.com.


Low Temps. this morning and more

May 20th, 2015 at 12:07 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

shn glerlapn glerl Here’s two midday pics. from the GLERL cameras at Alpena and S. Haven. Low temps. last night: 18 Doe Lake and Spincich Lake in the U.P. (that is cold for 5/20!), 22 Indian Lake (Northern L.P.), 23 Leota (Clare Co.), 24 Pellston and Manistique, 25 Cadillac, Baldwin and Iron Mt., 26 Beaver Is., 27 Manistee, Gaylord (where they had measurable snow yesterday evening), 29 Houghton Lake, Hart and Reed City, 31 Big Rapids, Ludington, Fremont, Sparta and Kent City, 32 Alma, 33 Mt. Pleasant, 34 Lansing, Jackson, Ionia, Albion, Charlotte, 35 Grand Rapids, East G.R., Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Benton Harbor, Allendale, Muskegon Beach and Coldwater, 36 S. Haven, Sturgis, Three Rivers, Hastings, Fennville, Grandville and Battle Creek. The warmest spot was the Regional Arpt. in Holland at 38. I don’t know how much damage was done to agricultural crops last night – or if we can determine that yet – but if you have an idea, let us know by leaving a comment.

The overnight run of the GFSX model gives G.R. a 0% chance of rain Saturday, 65% Sunday and 60% on Monday – as I’ve been saying – plan weekend outdoor activities on Saturday to guarantee dry weather.  The morning run of the NAM shows a chance of a light shower Thursday night, and highs in the mid 60s tomorrow and Friday.  The satellite pic. shows the clouds coming in for this PM.

Also:  It’s snowing AGAIN in the Black Hills of SDNice shot of mammatus cloudsSnow this morning in western Nebraska.  San Diego has had 2.35″ of rain so far this month – New York City only 0.32″.  2″ of rain in 30 minutes in Wichita Falls, TX.


Heaviest Rains Stay in the Plains

May 20th, 2015 at 1:29 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

hpc   Crop moisture  Click on the images to enlarge.  The graphic on the left is the 7-day rainfall forecast from the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center.  Our rainfall is coming pretty much on Sunday-Monday.  The heaviest rains are from Iowa down into Texas.  Heavy rainfall has already caused flooding in the Plains.  Note that there are significant rains in parts of the West, including dry areas of Utah, Nevada, Oregon and even parts of  California.  On the right is the Crop Moisture map…showing the soggy area from Texas north into Kansas.   Much of the country is in good shape moisture-wise as we head into the growing season.

Also:  The Northern Lights were visible in N. Wisconsin overnightAurora in Minnesota.  Hey!  Check out this cool 1-minute per pic. video of the storms developing in Texas Tues. PM.   27 Tornadoes in Texas and OK on Tues…Emergency mgmt reports “residential structures collapsed” in tiny hamlet of Boonsville TX…roofs off apartment buildings in Runaway Bay, TX.   Video of Mineral Wells TX tornado (after windshield cracked by hail).   Damage in Mineral Wells.  One injured in Giddings TX tornado.  Ryan OK tornadoFlooding in Norman OKAlmost double average rainfall this year in San Angelo TX.   It’s still winter in the mountains of British Columbia.   60 mph gust in Tallahassee FL.  Number of global hurricanes down since the mid 1990s, number of strong hurricanes is flat.   High temps. yesterday included  44 in Traverse City, 40 at S. Ste. Marie, 33 in Chaplean and Sudbury ONT, 41 in Cheyenne WY, 43 at Colorado Springs, North Platte NE and Goodland KS.


Meet Bill and Kyle – Weather Alert Radios

May 19th, 2015 at 9:10 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

meijers cascade   Tomorrow (Weds.), Kyle and I will be at the Meijer in Grandville on Rivertown Parkway (just west of Ivanrest)from 5 – 6:30 PM.  Programmers will be there from 4:30 pm to 7 pm.  We were selling (at a discount) and programming NOAA weather alert radios from Midland.  I have one myself.  It makes a nice gift.  Meijer is running a promotion this month. You get $5 off the regular price. Look in the electronics dept. of your local Meijer store for this special offer. They are like smoke alarms and warn you when severe weather is coming. You can program them to just the county you live in or for several counties (for instance, it you live at the west edge of Kent Co., you’ll probably want to set the alarm to go off for both Kent and Ottawa Counties. You can also pick the type of warning. Everyone will want the alarm to go off for a tornado warning for your area, but you probably won’t want the alarm to go off in the middle of the night for a Fog Advisory). We had a steady line of people last year for this event.  Meijer said they sold more in an hour last year with us there than they had sold in the previous 2 weeks. We had a number of people bring in their weather radios. We helped them too, making sure the batteries were good and that they were programmed for the right counties. We even had a couple who had moved here from Florida and came to make sure their radio was programmed for Kent Co. I’d like to thank Jim Maczko from the National Weather Service for coming to help program the radios.   I enjoy meeting people at events like this.  Last year, I met a couple who had been married for 70 years and another gentleman who had served in 3 separate branches of the U.S. Military.  So, if you already have a weather radio and it has good batteries and is already programmed correctly, feel free to stop by Meijer and say “hi” to Kyle and me – watch us do the weather on TV.

 


Freeze Warning and Frost Advisory

May 19th, 2015 at 1:45 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

advisory The G.R. National Weather Service has issued a Freeze Warning for Oceana, Newaygo, Montcalm and Gratiot Counties to the north and a Frost Advisory for Muskegon, Kent, Ionia and Gratiot Counties to the south.  The warning and advisory will be in effect from midnight to 8 am.  Freezing temps. and frost will be most likely in low spots where heavier cold air can settle.  The MOS low temps. for tonight for G.R. are 38 on the GFS and 35 on the NAM.  Both models take our wind down to about 4 mph tonight, but there is still a light wind on both models.  I’ll go with the lower number, but I remain optimistic that we’ll get through tonight without any major damage to most of the flowers, fruit trees and plants.   Again, if you’re in a low spot that typically gets 5 degrees colder than the G.R. Airport, I’d cover things up, but hopefully, we’ll get you through the night/week.

At 5 pm, the temperature is 52 in Lansing, 51 in G.R., 49 in Kalamazoo, just 44 in Benton Harbor, Big Rapids, S. Haven  and Ludington.  It’s 37 in Gaylord.  Up to an inch of snow fell in the U.P. last night.   Here’s current Michigan weather observations, the latest forecast discussion from GRR NWS (updated around 3:30 pm), a satellite loop (skies partly cloudy to occasionally overcast now with clearing this evening.  There’s a Beach Hazards Statement for Berrien and La Porte (IN) Counties this afternoon for waves up to 5 feet.  Waves should drop down to 1-2 feet tonight.  Most areas had either nothing or a trace of rain this am.  GRR had 0.04″, Holland 0.01″ with a trace at Muskegon and Kalamazoo.

This is the first day (May 19) when there is absolutely no ice left on Lake HuronLake Superior still has a 1% ice cover (north of S. Ste Marie – mainly in Agawa Bay).  You can see that on the right side of this satellite picture taken yesterday (5/18).  Here’s North American snow and ice cover.   Note that this system produced a band of snow from N. Dakota to James Bay.  There is still quite a bit of snow cover in N. Quebec and  Labrador.  You can see the dot of yellow (ice) in E. Lake Superior.  There’s still quite a bit of ice on Lake Nipigon north of Lake Superior and the north half of Lake Winnipeg.  There is also some open water now on the west side of Hudson Bay (which probably won’t lose its last ice until sometime in July.   So far in May, a few spots on the Front Range in Colorado have had a 1/2 year’s worth of precipitation.

The low temperature was 21 at Hettinger ND.   14″ of new snow at Fairplay CO – power outages there.  Lots of places getting lightning – not Michigan (not yet, but we will – it’s coming).


Tuesday

May 19th, 2015 at 4:14 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Halo around sun Stacy Neidzwiecki 2   Halo around sun Stacy Niedzwiecki 5 18 15 Here’s a couple of nice pics. of the halo around the sun yesterday afternoon.  There are from Stacy Niedzwiecki (see more of her outstanding pics. at the link).  A circular halo like this is at 22 degrees out from the sun.  It’s caused by ice crystals (thin cirrus clouds) that bend or refract some of the sun’s light out into the halo.  Because the different colors of sunlight can bend at slightly different angles, you can sometimes see rainbow-like colors in the halo.

The forecast remains the same.  We’ll be stuck under the low clouds for a good portion of the day, but at some point we’ll get breaks and the evening should be partly cloudy.  It’ll be about 25 degrees cooler than yesterday (hi 82 G.R. and 84 Kalamazoo), with readings much of the day in the low-mid 50s.  We should stay dry.  Weds. AM should reach the mid 30′s (low 30s in cold spots).  The models give us 34 (NAM) and 37 (GFS).  Both models give us a 3-4 mph north wind at night.  Hopefully, we’ll escape a serious frost and we’ll get thru the night OK.  If you’re in a low spot that tends to get colder than the airport readings we give on a calm, clear night – it’d be a good idea to cover things up to be sure.  We should stay dry the rest of this week…with rain chances increasing as the day goes on Sunday and a pretty good chance of scattered showers and storms on Monday.  So, if you’re looking for a dry day over the holiday weekend – pick Saturday.  GFS MOS temperatures for G.R. starting with today:  58-63.  NAM MOS:  53-57-65.   European mid-afternoon temps:  52-53-63-65-70-65-69-77-77-81.

Interesting note…we have only seen lightning/heard thunder 6 times in G.R. since the first week of October last year…that’s certainly on the low side.