October, 2011

Thursday Showers

October 27th, 2011 at 12:59 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Local Thurs. early PM – Skies are becoming partly cloudy over much of the area.   Scattered showers will slowly taper off in inland areas.   We’re going to become partly sunny.  There is more rain in the forecast, and I’ll update this evening with more on that.   Also, some of the drought-plagued areas of Oklahoma and Texas are getting some much needed rain.   Here’s radar and links: current Grand Rapids NWS radar, Regional Radar, GRR Zone Forecasts, lightning for our area and national lightning data. Here’s the latest visible satellite loop, current U.S. severe t-storm and tornado watches, current meso-discussions, and today’s storm reports from SPC. Here’s Storm total rainfall, Milwaukee radar, Chicago radar, current Michigan conditions, and the National warning/watch/advisory 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 a surface weather map, infrared satellite loop (day or nighttime). To report hail, strong winds or other severe weather to Storm Team 8, call 1-800-8WOODTV.


Snow in the Rockies

October 27th, 2011 at 2:54 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Picture from KCWY – click to enlarge.  Snow has tapered off in Colorado and Wyoming and will diminish this morning in northern New Mexico.  Here’s a map of snow totals in Colorado, with the highest up to 20″ northwest of Denver.   Here’s dozens of snowfall totals from Colorado, Wyoming,  and northeast New Mexico.  Here’s Colorado snow climatology.  At the height of the storm, 140,000 customers were without power in Colorado as the wet snow brought down trees and power lines.   The snow will melt quickly as temperatures climb to 60 in Denver on SaturdaySeveral ski areas in Colorado are open. Loveland reported 21″ of new snow and a midnight temperature of +9F.  Solvista was the coldest spot at midnight with a temperature of +5.  Denver had a record high temperature of 80 on Monday!   Wednesday they had a high of 32 and a low of 14.   Thirty hours later they had 6″ of snow on the ground!   Snow pictures here.


Weds. PM Update

October 26th, 2011 at 2:17 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

UPDATE:  Check out the change in 24-hours near Denver, Colorado.   Denver had a record high temperature 80 on Monday….today there are over 100,000 customers without power because of snow snapping wires.  Snow totals:  20″ near Ward, 14″ Estes Park, 12″ Longmont.  More on the western snow farther down the thread.  Random note, the secret to success from Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is (drum roll) is…THIS (huh?  what?  that’s quite a racket he’s got going there).   High temperatures Monday ranged from 70 in Holland and Kalamazoo to 45 in Big Rapids.  So, today will be about 20 degrees colder in Holland and Kalamazoo today and a couple degrees warmer than Monday in Big Rapids.   The overnight run of the GFS doesn’t give us anything warmer than 56 thru 11/11…it might give us a couple snow showers as a system moves out on 11/4, but I’m not buyin’ it (at least not yet…remember the GFS often likes to jump the gun on fall snow).  I’m still looking for our first real snow in mid-November.  Speaking of that…I’m still working on the winter forecast.  I have not written the blog article.   Thirty hours later, they are getting light to moderate snow, with heavy snow falling in the mountains.  Cheyenne, Wyoming went from 71 degrees Monday afternoon to over half a foot of snow on the ground 30 hours later!  Barrow, Alaska is up to 8″ of snow on the ground.  They had a high of 18 on Tuesday.  Heavy rains hit the SE Alaska coast with 24-hour rainfall totals of 3.97″ at Cordova, 3.19 at Seward and 3.04 at Valdez, where it was in the mid-upper 30s during the rain (10 degrees cooler and that would have been one heckuva snowstorm).  The picture of the aurora Monday night is from Travis McCall – click to enlarge.  Here’s another cool Michigan pic. of the aurora.    Have an awesome day!


Hurricane Rina

October 25th, 2011 at 1:07 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

TC Activity Hurricane Rina is now a Category 2 storm and it’s headed toward Cancun/Cozumel.   The storm will likely then turn northeast toward western Cuba.  The storm may very well come up into or just south of the Florida Keys/Miami area as a weak hurricane.   Here’s the latest Public Advisory on Rina and the latest Public Advisory.   Here’s the latest radar image from Cancun and the latest Funktop Satellite Loop.   Here’s the latest radar loop from the Florida Keys and the Miami area.  We’re also watching the tropical depression south of Hispanola.   So far this year we’ve had a 17 named storms (some that would not have been named years ago), but only six have made hurricane status.  A high number of tropical storms in the S. Atlantic/Caribbean can create a general area of slightly lower pressure, which can act to “pull down” cold air in late fall and early winter (that’s a subtle hint as to what’s coming later this week in my winter forecast).


Gas Price Going Up

October 25th, 2011 at 12:31 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

I see today that the price of a barrel of crude is up over $93.  Here’s the latest from Ed:  “We probably look good for the weekend, with a stagnant market, but it looks like the falling prices at the pump are catching up with us. We didn’t move much again today, but we’re firmly in “spike territory”. Expect the prices to go up sometime in the next few days.  It’s best to keep the tank full.


Northern Lights!

October 24th, 2011 at 9:28 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

The Northern Lights have been visible in West Michigan overnight.  First, check out this AWESOME VIDEO from Michael Gavan in E. Martin MI.    Check out these pictures from Marquette.   Here’s a picture from the Space Station!  The aurora was confirmed by several knowledgeable viewers and my wife shortly before 8 PM.  They’ve weakened some now (12:25 AM) and we have clouds all the way to  Lake Michigan that are moving east.  It’s been a reddish-greenish glow, visible on the northern horizon almost to overhead at times with minimal flashing.  It’ll be hard to see among the city lights and without a view to the northern horizon.  Leave a comment if you can see them.  Craig James called me and he can see them clearly from Plainfield Twp.   I was out in the parking lot and there’s too much light to see much of anything.    Jupiter is shining brightly to the east, I can see that.  If anyone gets pictures then can send them to newsroom@woodtv.com or put them on the WOOD-TV facebook page.   Pictures from Kristen Lombard in Montague, Michael Gaven in East Martin and Jordan Auten in Muskegon Co. – click the pictures to enlarge.    CHECK OUT this picture from Norway!  Here’s pictures of the Northern Lights from Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, Maryland, New York, Estonia, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Latvia.

From Alan:  “CME IMPACT: A coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth’s magnetic field on Oct. 24th around 1837 UT (2:37 pm EDT). The impact strongly compressed our planet’s magnetosphere and may have exposed geosynchronous satellites to solar wind plasma. Mild to moderate geomagnetic storms are possible in the hours ahead as Earth’s magnetic field continues to reverberate from the hit.  Sky watchers in Scandinavia, Canada, and northern-tier US States should be alert for auroras, especially during the hours around local midnight.  The Auroras are visible down to Illinois, Indiana and Ohio so far.  Check http://spaceweather.com for updates.


Monday PM

October 24th, 2011 at 11:53 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Sunshine this afternoon and relatively mild temperatures today with a fairly brisk west wind.  Here’s a few wind/small hail reports from last night.  There was some nice convergence along a relatively weak front.  The storms would have left a bigger mark if it was June instead of late October.  We are now slightly above normal for rainfall in G.R. this month (2.59″ so far) and after the first half of the month was 6.1 degrees warmer than average, the recent cool weather has knocked the monthly average down to 2.9 degrees above normal through the first 23 days of the month (and it could go down below +2 degrees by the end of the month).  We have a new tropical storm (now a minimal hurricane) named Rina, that will come to the east coast of the Yucatan and then turn northeast toward Cuba.  It still looks like rain Tuesday/Tuesday night with cool temperatures and a couple more periods of light showers from Weds. to Sunday.  It still looks like we’ll have to wait until mid-November for some snow.  They are going to get a snowstorm out in SE Wyoming and Colorado with 4-8″ possible and temperatures as cold as the single digits in the mountains.  That’ll be quite a change…Denver set a record daily high temperature of 80 Monday afternoon.   It also still looks dry for trick-or-treat during the evening of the 31st, but we’re still a week away from that.  Picture from POSTED here at woodtv.com.


Sunday Night Showers/T-Storms

October 23rd, 2011 at 7:46 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Local 4 AM – At least 6 spots with trees/wires down.   Gust to 67 showing at the Muskegon Glerl Weather Station on the beach at Muskegon (though other stations nearby weren’t nearly as high as that).   50 mph in Borculo and in East Gr. Rapids, 49 mph at Holland St. Park and at the Spyglass Condos on the beach north of Holland, 48 mph Henry St. in Muskegon,  45 mph in Park Township north of Holland, 45 mph at the S. Haven beach and 46 mph at M-45 and Lake Michigan, and 44 mph at Bilmar’s on the beach at Grand Haven, 41 mph at the Grand Rapids Ford Airport, 44 mph in Jamestown, 36 mph Byron Center, 35 mph at the Muskegon Airport, 32 mph on Lake Michigan Dr., west side of G.R., 29 mph in Walker, 28 mph in Allegan.   We had reports of small hail in Grand Haven and Bellevue.  Showers and t-storms moving through quickly.  Rainfall of 1/3rd inch or less in most places.   Winds do shift to the W-NW and get gusty as the t-storms come through.   Wow, the Indianapolis Colts got  CRUSHED!   Almost everyone will see rain with a little more rain north and less south.  They had 45 mph wind gusts west of Milwaukee and at least one report of pea-sized hail north of Milwaukee.   All this should be moving out by daybreak, and we should see sunshine later today for the midday and afternoon.  More showers for Tuesday, then cooler for Wednesday and Thursday.    Here’s radar and links: current Grand Rapids NWS radar, Regional Radar, GRR Zone Forecasts, lightning for our area and national lightning data. Here’s the latest visible satellite loop, current U.S. severe t-storm and tornado watches, current meso-discussions, and today’s storm reports from SPC. Here’s Storm total rainfall, Milwaukee radar, Chicago radar, current Michigan conditions, and the National warning/watch/advisory 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 a surface weather map, infrared satellite loop (day or nighttime). To report hail, strong winds or other severe weather to Storm Team 8, call 1-800-8WOODTV.


Lake Michigan Water Levels

October 22nd, 2011 at 9:00 am by under Uncategorized

The weekly update on the water level of Lake Michigan shows the lake is down 2″ in the last month, but one inch above the level of one year ago (note the level was taken on Thursday).  The lake is 15″ below the century average.  Lake Superior is up one inch in the past month and three inches above the level of a year ago.  The biggest Great Lake is still 11″ below the century average.  Lake Erie shows no change in the last month, but the story here is that Lake Erie is 13″ above the level of one year ago and 9″ above the century average.  Lake Ontario is down 2″ in the last month, but 2″ above last year and 2″ above the century average.  Lake Michigan water temperatures are mostly in the mid 50s right now.   The storm this week sure churned up the water.  Salmon fishing has been pretty good this fall so far, I’m told.   Picture from bzingler on POSTED.


Weekend Sports Thread

October 22nd, 2011 at 12:30 am by under Bill's Blog, Sports, Weather

FINAL:  Wisconsin 31, Michigan State 37.  Michigan State and Wisconsin WAS the game of the day!  Sparty got lucky.  It was the right call, ultimately.  I may have to live 3 lifetimes to see Wisconsin in the BCS final.  I have to do the 6 PM and 11 PM news today (Sunday).   We use green for a chroma-key background color, so I can’t wear green.  I could wear black.  Eh…not my style to mourn.  When I came to Badgerland, the team hadn’t won a game in over two years!  The previous year (1968), they only scored 85 points ALL SEASON.  So I guess I should be thrilled with the improvement they’ve made.  The game turned when Wisconsin was pinned by a punt at their own five and called the obvious running play that MSU was anticipating.    My alma mater (Wisconsin) had five home games against mostly weak opponents and the one away game against N. Illinois at Soldier Field was kind of a home game, because there were more Badger fans than Husky fans in the stands.   Now, Wisconsin is on the road for four of the next five Saturdays.  The Badgers lead the nation with an average of 50.2 points per game.  They won’t get that against a tougher Michigan State defense.  Wisconsin will have to run the “Ball” to win the game and convert on 3rd downs.   Michigan State is without William Gholston (deservedly so, IMO – not just for the punch, but for twisting the helmet of Denard Robinson).  Michigan State won the match-up last year 34-24.  The Badgers haven’t won at East Lansing since 2002.   You’ll see two good quarterbacks in Kirk Cousins and Russell Wilson.  The game is on ESPN at 8 PM.  The Wolverines have a bye this weekend.  Western and Central both had close losses today.   After three very close losses, Grand Valley has put a total of 173 points on the board in their last three games.  It’s the West Michigan showdown with the Lakers hosting Ferris State.  The Lions have a challenge against Atlanta in a 1 PM match-up Sunday at Ford Field.  I should also note the Chicago Bears/Tampa Bay game is being played at Wembley Stadium in London, England (a spot of tea at halftime?).   Saturday, I’ll spend some time working on the winter forecast at home with papers and folders spread out on the table.  Sunday, I’m doing the evening shift on TV.   The weather looks good this weekend…some frost Sat. AM, a passing shower Sunday evening.  Enjoy, and thanks for checking my blog.