Weekend

December 19th, 2014 at 9:17 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Year to date temperature anomaly   Click on the image to enlarge.  This is the year-to-date temperature anomaly (difference from average) for the Continental U.S. (CONUS).  2014 has been a cool year for most of the U.S. east of the Rockies.  The state that has been warmest relative to average has been California and the coolest relative to average has been Wisconsin.  Grand Rapids is 1.5° warmer than avg. for Dec.  Let’s assume that’s the final figure for Dec.  We’ll end up with 8 months this year that were colder than average and 4 months that were warmer than average.  However July (-4.1°) balances out the four months that were warmer than average (a combined +4.1°).  We did not have a month that was significantly (more than 2°) warmer than average, but we had 5 months that were significantly colder than average (more than 4° colder than average).  For the year so far, Grand Rapids has had 110.4″ of snow and our average temperature is 2.63° cooler than average.

Also:  Houston Intercontinental’s rain total today of 3.06″ broke a daily rainfall record…very quiet year for tornadoes in 2014…one of our analog years is 1977-78.  Here’s the warm period in Dec. 1977 and the cold that followed in 1978 (and lingered thru March)…  Magnitude-5.6 earthquake strikes Pointe-Noire, Guadeloupe in Caribbean…Robert Simpson, who developed the Saffir-Simpson scale for rating hurricanes, has passed away at the age of 102.  He deserves a category 5 funeral…When was the last time you saw frost this thick…      ….and the Lions will beat the Bears (1 pm Sunday).  The Sunday night game on NBC is a good one – Seattle and Arizona…8:30 pm on WOOD…good luck to Western Michigan as they take on a tough Air Force team (both teams overachieved this season) and try for their first ever bowl game (I believe that’s 5:30 pm on ESPN).   The game will be played on the blue football field at Boise State.


Sunshine

December 19th, 2014 at 2:29 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

muskegon glerl   chicago glerl apn glerl  Here’s pics. from shortly after 2 pm from the GLERL cameras at the Muskegon Channel (left), the Harrison Crib Water Intake (2.75 miles east of downtown Chicago) and Alpena.   We finally have some sunshine over most of the area (daytime, visible satellite loop).  Areas southeast of Kent County still have a pesky deck of low clouds, but the cloud line is drifting slowly south.  Note the clouds on the other side of the lake at Chicago.  It’s a rare calm winter day.  At 2 pm the wind speed was 2 mph or less at Grand Rapids, Battle Creek, Big Rapids, Kalamazoo and Marshall.  The fastest wind of all the reporting stations in Michigan was 8 mph at Ironwood in the western U.P. (current conditions).  The GLERL weather stations show a wind of 0.9 mph at Muskegon and 1.6 mph at Chicago.   I’m at work, just starting to look at weather.  Looks pretty calm for the weekend.  We’ll essentially be dry thru Monday midday.  Rain starts late Monday.

Clear vs. cloudy, wind vs. no wind and snow cover vs. no snow cover make a big difference in winter low temperatures.  The clouds held overnight at Grand Rapids (low 26) and Battle Creek (low 28).  The clouds cleared before daybreak at the lakeshore where the low was 18° at Holland.  With a little snow on the ground, it got down to 10° at Hart and 6° at Baldwin (20° colder than G.R.).  There were some below zero temps. up north (-2 Pellston, -5 Wakefield, -6 Amasa, Raco and Stambaugh).  Snow cover is about the same as yesterday, so scroll down a couple threats to check that.  Herman, west of Marquette has the most with 24″ on the ground, Grand Marais is at 15″.  In Lower Michigan, they report 4″ at Houghton Lake and Kalkaska, 3″ at Cadillac and Traverse City.

The low temperature this am in Seattle (46°) was warmer than the low temperature in Tucson AZ (38°) or Macon GA (34°) and not all that different from Ft. Myers FL (49°).  I’m doing 5 pm, 6 pm, 10 pm and 11 pm today – so watch me on TV for the latest.  I’ll add more here when I get the chance.  Happy Weekend!


Friday

December 19th, 2014 at 1:58 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Lake Michigan - Jack Martin 12 18 14 inch of snow on the beach   Picture from Jack Martin at Lake Michigan on Thurs.  While most areas had a few flurries or a little mist 1 to 1.5″ of snow fell in the Holland area.  The Winter Weather Advisory for Barry, Eaton, Calhoun, Ingham and Jackson Co. was extended to 8 am.  Until mid-morning, there is a chance of an isolated icy spot, mainly south of I-96.  We’ll see some welcome sunshine today.  It’s about time.  Over the past 7 days, we’ve had a total of 7 minutes of sunshine, or an average of 60 seconds per day.  Through the 18th, G.R. has had just 0.21″ of precipitation (average is 1.51″).

The overnight run of the NAM (car). gives us pretty calm winds both today and Saturday with highs in the low 30s.  The GFS-plot starts rain Monday evening, with rain showers Tuesday and rain showers changing to snow showers on Wednesday with an inch or so on the ground Thursday morning.

Arctic Oscillation going negativeNorth Atlantic Oscillation going negativePNA looks to be pretty neutral…8-14 day temperature outlook from CPC for Dec. 26-31 says odds favor colder and snowier than average.  NAEFS says near average temps (not as cool at night with the lake clouds).  The NAEFS also has a trough in the East and a ridge in the West.  Also, nice Hawaii rainbowice “pancakes” in Scotlandlots of snow on the ground in Caribou, Maine…Heavy rains put a dent in California’s record drought. Exceptional drought reduced by 23% in last week…

 


Winter Weather Advisory

December 19th, 2014 at 1:16 am by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

advisory   Winter Weather Advisory for Barry, Eaton, Ingham, Calhoun and Jackson Counties until 8 am for freezing drizzle and a few icy spots on the roads.


Slick Spots This Evening

December 18th, 2014 at 4:34 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

muskegon glerl   This is a pic. from the GLERL cam. at the Muskegon Channel (from NOAA Coastwatch).  You can see cloudy skies and a little ice/snow at the shore.  Watch out for icy spots on the roads due to a few snow showers and pockets of freezing drizzle this evening, mainly south of I-96.  There have been a few slide-offs in the Lansing area, Barry Co. reports some slick spots and a snow shower over Holland has also produced a few slick spots.  Temps. are mainly low 30s and they will fall to the mid 20s tonight.  There are breaks in the clouds north of a line from Pentwater to Clare, but most of us will hang onto the clouds tonight.  Tomorrow should become partly sunny with calm winds.  Saturday looks mostly cloudy with light winds…outside chance of a few flurries, but just trace amounts.  Sunday we should be partly sunny and pleasant.  Monday start a cloudy period.  We could see a little rain in the PM, but the morning should be dry.  Tuesday looks wet – showers and low 40s.  Weds. the rain goes over to snow and we have snow showers on Christmas.  I still think most areas will have a good inch of snow on the ground by Christmas morning.  Slick spots are possible Weds. and are likely Weds. night and Thurs.  I’ll have more on the news tonight.  Hope you can tune in.

Snow cover Thurs. AM:  25″ Herman (in the U.P. west of Marquette), 15″ Grand Marais, 13″ Marquette (airport), Munising, Mohawk, 10″ S. Ste. Marie, Newberry, 5″ Cheboygan, Honor, 4″ Houghton Lake, Kalkaska, St. Ignace, 3″ Traverse City, 2″ Lake City, 1″ Hart, Alpena, Gaylord, Petosky.


Winter Solstice on Sunday

December 17th, 2014 at 8:50 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Sun Winter Solstice Fairbanks December from Univ. of Ak. Fairbanks   This pic. is from the Univ. of Alaska-Fairbanks and shows the position of the sun in Fairbanks on Dec. 2.  On Dec. 21, the sun rises (first tip of the sun appears over a totally flat horizon) at 10:58 in Fairbanks, rises to only 2° above the horizon (so if you don’t have a clear, flat view of the horizon, you miss it.  Then the sun sets at 2:40 pm (the last time of the sun disappears over a totally flat horizon).  North of the Arctic Circle at Barrow, the sun won’t get to the horizon until Jan. 23rd.   Here in Grand Rapids, the sun rises on Dec. 21 at 8:10 am and sets at 5:11 pm.  That gives us 9 hours and 1 minute of daylight.  At the Summer Solstice, we get 15 hours and 21 minutes of daylight.   Over the past five days (not including today, Weds.) Grand Rapids had 7 minutes of possible sunshine, or an average of 84 seconds per day.  For the month, we have had 27% of possible sunshine in G.R.  The average for Dec. (our cloudiest month) is 20%.  Our sunniest month is July, with an average of 65% of possible sunshine.   The Winter Solstice is at 6:03 pm Sunday.


Wednesday Night

December 16th, 2014 at 6:43 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

   There will still be a few scattered flurries tonight and at least during the morning on Thursday.  The best chance will be along the lakeshore and southwest of G.R.  Only trace amounts to a dusting is expected.  The brisk winds will die down to 5-10 mph for tomorrow.  Friday should be a calm day with high pressure overhead.  The weather stays tranquil through the weekend, but things get interesting next week.  Christmas Day may be the toughest travel day with snow or snow showers, a stiff west wind, some drifting snow and low wind chills.  It’ll be a chilly end to what has been a chilly year.

Also:  Drone shot of tall buildings above the fog in Tampa Tues. AMFlooding in Torrence CAThe lights of Florida at night.  3.99″ of rain fell yesterday at San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Here’s Grand Rapids radar and Northern Michigan radar, NAM model 3-day snowfall forecast and GFS model 5-day snowfall forecast (totals increased on the Sat. overnight model run). Storm Total Snowfall will show the heaviest snow and Milwaukee looping radar. Regional radar and the Updated GRR NWS Short Term Discussion. More links: Grand Rapids radar, Northern Indian 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.


Tuesday

December 16th, 2014 at 6:56 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

  Tues. PM – Scattered light showers and sprinkles this PM.  The cold front has passed and winds will gradually pick up from the west this afternoon into tonight.  It’s still in the low-mid 40s here (1 pm), but it’s mid 30s in E. Wisconsin, upper 20s in W. Wisconsin, so the cooler air is coming.    Watch of a slick spot on the roads later tonight into tomorrow. as we pick up some (mainly light) snow showers and temps. fall below freezing.   Flurries could linger into Thurs.  The weather looks basically dry and cool Friday to Monday.  While the models show partly sunny for that period, this is Michigan in December and ridges can give us more clouds than sun.  Colder for Christmas…more on that in the thread below this one.  The morning run of the GFS would give us enough snow on 12/24 for a White Christmas on 12/25.

Also:  “Arctic sea ice volume holds up in 2014“.  The article says:  “Cryosat’s five-year October average now shows pretty stable volume – even modest growth (2014 is 12% above the five year-average)”.  Another 1.37″ of rain in San Francisco on Monday.  That’s 9.13″ of rain so far this month.  SFO had 2.72″ of rain from July 1 to Nov. 30.   Japan gets another big winter storm (very cold air coming across from China).

Here’s Grand Rapids radar and Northern Michigan radar, NAM model 3-day snowfall forecast and GFS model 5-day snowfall forecast (totals increased on the Sat. overnight model run). Storm Total Snowfall will show the heaviest snow and Milwaukee looping radar. Regional radar and the Updated GRR NWS Short Term Discussion. More links: Grand Rapids radar, Northern Indian 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.


White Christmas Update

December 16th, 2014 at 6:51 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

gfs_namer_204_1000_500_thick  Click on the image to enlarge.  This is the 204-hour GFS for 12/24 PM – Christmas Eve.  It’s breezy, cool with either snow showers or flurries, and probably enough snow to give us at least an inch on the ground Christmas morning.  The overnight European shows colder air settling in on the 24th/25th with probably a rain (on the 23rd) changing to snow (early on the 24 the).  On the Euro., we could have 2-3″ on the ground Christmas morning.  The GFS shows a significant low pressure system coming from the southwest over Michigan the weekend of the 27th-28th and that would be rain changing to snow.  The overnight European prints out 4-5″ of snowfall for G.R. by midday on 12/25 (keep in mind that because of melting and settling you would have less than 4-5″ of snow on the ground. The European would probably give G.R. highs in the upper 20s on Christmas Day with snow showers all day.  However, both models give G.R. (and especially areas north of Kent Co.) a good chance of a White Christmas.  Joe Bastardi’s latest video:  “You’re going to see Canada get frigid.  Once we get to the 25th thru about Jan. 10, we’re going to repeat November” (the November weather pattern).  So, a snow shovel could make a good Christmas (Eve) present.


Long Range – Winter Returns

December 15th, 2014 at 8:23 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

814temp.new814prcp.new These are the 8-14 day outlooks for Dec. 23-29 from the Climate Prediction Center. The map on the left is temperature and the map indicates an equal probability of above temperatures (near normal). We may still be above average on the 23rd and maybe the 24th…then below average from the 25th on. They also see a greater than average chance of above normal precipitation. With an averge high of 32° and an average low of 21° for that period, it’s likely that most of that precipitation would come as snow.  We remain in a weak El Nino (warmer than average water along the Equator in the Pacific Ocean).   The Arctic Oscillation is headed down and the North Atlantic Oscillation is also headed down.  The Pacitic North American Pattern remains positive.   Bottom line, lots of evidence that typical Michigan winter weather is coming on back. Whether it gets here in time for a bona-fide White Christmas (1″ or more of snow on the ground Christmas morning at 7 am) is still in question, but at this point, I’d guess yes.