February 1st, 2011 at 8:52 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

<–BLIZZARD WARNING!!  I’m going to try and get a little sleep – I”ll be back late this morning.  Wraparound snow will accumlate another 1-4″ this morning and then it’ll diminish to flurries.  THUNDERSNOW!!  At least 20 flashes near Middleville!  Lightning near Grant, Kalamazoo, Eaton Co., Lansing and near Hudsonville. Two hours of lightning Tue. evening in DOWNTOWN CHICAGO   5 AM update – 911 center “closing down around 3 AM – can’t handle more calls – dozens of stranded vehicles – National Guard called out in the Chicago area (cars abandoned, people trapped – 123,000 without power in the Chicago area) and a Civil Emergency in SE Wisconsin.  Snow emergencies in Kalamazoo and Battle Creek.  Snow totals as of around 4 AM:  15″ near Wyoming, 14″  Hart, Muskegon, near Hudsonville, 11″ Hastings and West Olive, 7-8″ Kalamazoo…drifts up to 5 feet in Alma.  As of midnight  – 14.5″ S. Bend…11.2″ of snow in Benton Harbor since 3:30 PM – so that’s 11″ in 8 1/2 hours!  Portage Road in Kalamazoo has a number of abandoned vehicles.  Abandoned vehicles in Allegan and Holland.   At least an inch an hour here in downtown G.R.   Michigan State Univ., Ferris and even Calvin College closed (first time in over 20 years) today.  Pontiac, Illinois reporting ZERO visibility in heavy snow with a steady wind of 44 mph with gusts to 56 mph!  Gusts to 45-50 mph at Aurora (gust to 59 mph at Aurora), Dekalb, Kankakee and Joliet, Illinois.  Clark and Addison in Chicago closed by Wrigley Field in Chicago because of debris in the road.   Snowfall rates could reach 2-3″ an hour!!   Gust to 48 mph in East Grand Rapids.  South Bend has had 4″ in the last 2 hours!  Gusts to 40-50 mph in Chicago with a gust to 70 mph at the Harrison Crib 3 miles out in Lake Michigan!  The Crib had a sustained (steady) wind of 48 mph.   16″ with 3-foot drifts at Columbia MO.    We’ll have team coverage and all day tomorrow.    This is going to be an event many of you will remember for a long time.  Gusts as high as 60 mph have been reported in Oklahoma.   Fort Worth, Texas at 1 PM Tue. their time was 17 degrees with a northwest wind of 26 mph gusting to 37.  Amarillo, Texas was 6 above with a wind chill of -18 at 1 PM.   We have a Winter Storm Warning from Newaygo and Mecosta Co. to the north, that will come down around midday.  The National Weather Service forecast is pretty much the same as mine…10-14″ for the blizzard warning area (I’ve got 10-16″ – somebody is going to get 16″ out of this in Southern Michigan) and 6-10″ in the winter storm warning area.  It’s not just the snow, it’s the wind.  We had a steady 25 mph with gusts to 45 mph (similar to the Blizzard of ’78).    The wind has caused severe drifting (though it will act to blow the snow off roofs, so that will keep us from getting many roof collapses out of this).  It’s going to be hard to sleep through this (to a meteorologist, a storm like this is like a termite in a lumber yard), but I’m taking a sleeping bag into the station.    NE Oklahoma reported up to 19″ of snow, along with heavy sleet and freezing rain.  SW Missouri’s up to 16″ and it’s still coming.  Good thing the Steelers and Packers got to Dallas yesterday.  The airport was closed this morning.   Check the threads below for links.  I’ll update when I can which will be seldom.  Wikipedia article on the storm already.

2,515 Responses to “BLIZZARD WARNING!!”

  1. Bernie says:

    Check your chimneys. Especially if they are on a south facing roof.

    Mine was buried this morning.

    1. Gabe says:

      This was awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Dan (Rockford) says:

    So, now that this storm is pretty much over… when is the next major system due to come in? :-D

    1. Kevin(Rockford) says:

      I like the way your thinking

  3. Steven (Hudsonville) says:

    Just finished shoveling, and we got 12.5″ here with drifts to 28″. I think there’s a possibility that we may not have school tomorrow, if we get really lucky.

  4. Tech says:

    Checking wind speeds at the Port Sheldon Power Plant from last night; 94.96 MPH at 12:31 AM!

  5. Deb says:

    Well over 12 inches here in Walker. 2-3 ft drifts in my driveway.

  6. Ramblewood says:

    Ramblewood got spanked =D

    1. MaryCBWyoming says:

      We actually had no power at our apt in South Ramblewood last night. If went out at around 10pm. Only our side of the complex was out. Could see the lights across the road. I called Wood TV from my cell cause I didn’t know Consumers # and figured they’d have more pull than me. Talked to Suzanne Gejas who told me they would let them know. I was thrilled! Thank you Suzanne and Wood TV 8. The power came back on at 3:30 when I was awakened by the spotlight fixture above the bed. Sort of felt like a near death experience. Don’t go into the light!!!! It was freezing in the apt but warm enough under the many blankets. Internet was down all morning. Just came back up. I really need to make a weather emergency pack. Seems everytime the power goes out we’re looking for flashlights and none of them work. My husband’s work is closed today. He took out dog out about an hour ago and the poor thing tried to go by a tree and got buried. LOL. He was not happy. I measured 12 inches on my deck at around 9am. Now there is 14 inches. I will do a final measurement later. Husband said car in carport was buried in by the plows. He has since shoveled it. Good husband. I lived in Chicago during the blizzard of 67, I was 10. I loved that and I love this!! Stay warm!

      1. Ramblewood says:

        Crooked Tree & Stonebridge here (N Ramblewood)… no power outage at all.

        I walked my dog a couple hours ago and snow almost buried him. haha

  7. dano (Norton Shores) says:

    Received about 12″-14″. Lot of snow removal this morning….

  8. GW (Grandville) says:

    So with the snow winding down, do you think we’ll fall short of breaking the record? Or have we broken the record? Last I heard was 12.9″ at 7 AM.

    1. Steven (Hudsonville) says:

      The NWS’s official measurement as of 10 am was 15.9″. They need to get 0.2″ before 1 pm to tie the record.

  9. Chip (Holland) says:

    At Lake Macatawa it looks like about 12-13 inches. But it’s hard to determine.

  10. INDY says:


    1. Steelers (Freeport) says:

      It’s on its way from Cadillac.

  11. Lisa (Caledonia) says:

    I took a lot of measurements around the yard and averaged them, and we’re at somewhere between 10″ and 15″. Many drifts are 36″ tall. This is awesome!

  12. Mike in Hamilton says:

    It took 2 hours to snow blow the driveway… too bad the road is still un-plowed. 11″ on the level down my road, and my car only sits about 4″ off the ground…

  13. KF in Lowell says:

    Still snowing lightly out here southeast of Lowell. Snow fall around 12-14 inches. Hard to measure due to blowing snow. Back roads are pretty much drifted shut. I will be surprised if there is school tomorrow. The plows in Ionia County usually plow us last as we are not far from the Ionia/Kent county line. Be safe everyone.

  14. Momof9 says:

    Snow Day tomorrow! I think I could get my kids to school but some of their teachers may not be able to make it in. I’d rather them stay home than deal with subs.

  15. Rick (Coopersville) says:

    I wonder what the storm total was for Coopersville in the 78 blizzard.

  16. Chuck R. in Paw Paw says:

    Aside from the Negative Nellies out there, I’d say this was a fairly potent storm. The one in 78 was a whopper, so this one was just about that caliber. btw, did fixxer see his shadow today?

    1. INDY says:


  17. Steelers (Freeport) says:

    I “attempted” to plow our (1/4 mile) drive this morning with our ATV……NOT!

    Local dairy farmer just came through with the tractor and 10′ blade. His family swims in our pool during the summer and he clears our driveway following sizable snow fall.

    Now the challenge is to keep up with the drifting.


    The Blizzard of 1978 was worse. Even if it turns out there was more snow in this one, the impact of the one in ’78 was more crippling. People stranded for days at home and couldn’t get to work, and others stranded at work and couldn’t get home. There were stories of women in labor being taken to the hospital on snowmobiles. Citizens had to clear streets with snowblowers and shovels because the plows were occupied only on the main roads. And, of course, there were stories of a baby boom nine months after the storm.
    Having said that, I must tip my hat to this storm as being right up there in the top two or three I’ve experienced in my life.

  19. Randy (Rockford) says:

    This storm was FANTASTIC!! It rivals the “78″ storm, not quite as bad but almost as bad. I have about 14 inches of snow from this storm. I just got done snow blowing my driveway and many spots had 24 inches of snow!!!!!!!!!! The BLIZZARD of 2011 was all it was advertised. It was by far the best storm that we have seen in many, many years!

  20. kentwoodchicken says:

    BWWAAAK! Coop held together and NASA approved glowing thermal beak warmer worked perfectly!
    Just thought you’d like to know!

  21. Rocky says:

    2500th post…yes.

  22. INDY says:

    Blizzard 2011 3 days of fun and lots of model runs We called this one THE BIG ONE ….. We blogged it right this time makes up for a slow start in winter for sure…Good thing Blizzard 2011 was over night becouse the day would of been epic lots would of been stuck and sunk, I say the only reason this was not as bad as some would say in 78 becouse the time it came!! I was out side lots last night and it was bad news Bears, with the technology we have today and having the blizzard spend thee night over us and the snow a mounts we have right for sure the best Blizzard ever in my books!!! Thanks Bloogers and Bill and news 8 for being great!!! INDY!!

    1. Bruno (next to Northview H.S.) says:

      Well said Indy!! :)

      1. bobcat says:


    2. slim Jim nw GR (2) says:

      I definitely say the biggest sense 1978 bigger then the 1999 storm thats for sure!

  23. Cedar_Mom says:

    ARGH!! I’m in Vegas and been watching this storm and temps and as of last night your time at 10:30pm my greatest fear happened, we have lost power I called our house and our answering machine didn’t kick on, only straight to voicemail through our cable provider, just called our house again today, STILL no electricity, meaning no heat, meaning OMG I’m scared to come home to frozen pipes and what will happen if electricity doesn’t come on here real soon. Does anyone know how fast pipes can freeze and explode with temps like they are?? I’m very worried. My animals are in my basement tucked away so at least they are out of the cold, wind, but I’m sure they are still cold. We don’t have a generator, and my mom can’t get out of her driveway and up her hill to go up to our house, and even if we have a generator, no one can unlock our house to hook it up and let it run with supervision. Not due to come home until Sunday night late! How does the 5 day outlook?

    1. Lisa (Caledonia) says:

      It should be clear tomorrow and Friday. Maybe more snow Saturday…not sure yet.

  24. slim Jim nw GR (2) says:

    I tossed this up earlier (cant find it now) but for some reason the link did not work so will just post the whole tex.

    1206 PM EST WED FEB 2 2011






  25. slim Jim nw GR (2) says:

    This was the biggest storm sense the 1978 storm…Remember this time around there was (and I hate to use the word only) but only 12-15″ of snow while in 1978 (where I lived anyway) there was over 22″ and in 1967 there was over 30″ but for most of the people on this blog this is their biggest snow storm.

    1. Soccer6713 says:

      I agree. For my kids this is their biggest storm ever. Even the neighbor kid (23 years) was fasinated by all the snow and drifting. But none of them were around in 78 to be able to compare. We were talking with family this morning after drives into work and many said it was the worst they have ever driven in. Then we got to thinking that in 78 we all had only just gotten our drivers licences within a year or were just within reach of one so yes, this was the worst we had ever driven in.

  26. Jim S.(Saugatuck Twp) says:

    Over on the east side, weathermen are on air explaining why they didn’t get the big dump they were supposed to. Didn’t we go through this in early December?

  27. Bedhead says:

    Any chance that a rural district like Cedar will still be off school tomorrow?

    1. Randy (Rockford says:


Leave a Reply