Back from Florida

January 31st, 2012 at 12:25 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

  Just a quick note…got back from Florida at 12:15 AM early Tues. AM.  Most unusual to fly from Orlando to Michigan in January and have it be clear all the way home.  Quite an interesting night here in W. Michigan.  At midnight it was 15 and calm in Big Rapids and 47 with a wind gusting to over 30 mph at Muskegon!   The wind, sky cover and snow cover making a big difference overnight.   We had 3 days of perfect weather Saturday to Monday (swam in the outdoor pool).  Interesting note…I got recognized nearly a dozen times at Disney.  Only part of one day I had on a Bill’s Blog T-Shirt.  I was recognized by someone who lives outside the viewing area who reads the blog (cool) – also Brian VanderArk  and family were down there – and I had some guy from Boston recognize the shirt from the G.R. Lipdub.  I had a nice conversation with the bus driver taking us back to our hotel from Disney (I wind up talking to everybody!).  He was an African-American gentleman who was in his 70s (but looked 20 years younger than that).  He said he would get bored if he ever retired for good, so when he retired from his regular job, he came down to Orlando for the weather and since had had been driving buses on the side for years, decided to do that here.  He was a faithful listener to the RBC ministries program from Grand Rapids.   We did the Animal Park one day and the Magic Kingdom the next.  We were there before the park opened and were about the last to leave.  Guess it snowed here while we were gone!  Thanks to whomever cleared my driveway!   Season Snowfall: 32.2″ G.R., 39.5″ MKG, 43.6″ Kalamazoo, 26.6″ LAN.  Unseasonably warm air over much of the Lower 48 U.S.  Look at these high temps. from Monday:  65 Des Moines (warmer than Jacksonville FL), 70 McCook Nebraska (warmer than Brownsville TX).  It was 50 way up at Calgary, Alberta.  On the other hand, it continues to be bitter cold and snowy across Alaska.  Bettles reached a record -60F both Saturday and Sunday.  Fort Yukon bottomed out at -62F.  Circle Hot Springs had a high of -49 on Sunday.  Yakutat picked up 61.4″ of snow in the last week, with another 9″ in Juneau.  Alyeska, AK is up to 462″ since Oct. 1.  If you look at the NCEP temperature departure from average…you can see the warm air relative to average over the central U.S. and NE Canada.  Much of Europe, Asia, S. America and Australia are relatively cool right now.  We could see a little light rain or drizzle later on today into early Weds. AM, but the overall pattern this week will continue to be warm with below normal precipitation and the snow we have will melt.   UPDATELooks like the coldest January ever for much of Northern Alaska.  Fairbanks has had more mornings of 40 below and colder (16) than any year since 1971, and since winter is only 9 days past the halfway point for temperature, the record (21) could easily fall.  AND – Extreme cold and heavy snow has hit eastern Europe, leaving at least 60 cold fatalities.  Fatalities are reported in Poland, the Ukraine, Serbia and Bulgaria, where snowdrifts reached nearly 7 feet.  Istanbul had their coldest temperatures in 30 years and readings in Serbia were as cold as -37.  The extreme cold is pushing west into Western Europe, where it could snow along the Mediterranean shore.  The Arctic Oscillation, which has been consistently positive since early November has now gone negative. The North Atlantic Oscillation, which has also been positive for most all of the fall/winter is going closer to neutral.  This combination should bring us colder air not this week, but at some point next week.  The European model out around Feb. 8 has a cooler pattern for the Great Lakes and Northeast.  The GFS has a brief cold shot around the 13th, but continues the overall warm pattern.   Here’s current conditions, with temperatures today in the 50s at the lakeshore (where the wind is gusting to 30-40 mph) and pushing close to 50 over what’s left of the snow cover inland.  We’ve been in the right spot to see some sunshine today.

167 Responses to “Back from Florida”

  1. fixxxer says:

    Bet you wish you were back in florida! ;)

    1. Skot says:

      You lost your bet. Bill Lives for unexpected phenomenon like Michigan.

  2. I snagged this image from and drew in the warm front. The map shows temperature readings from weather stations around Michigan.

  3. TomKap (Michigan St. & Fuller) Grand Rapids says:

    I love the fact that the temp shot up 13 degrees in one hour at 11pm.
    Bring on the warmth!!!
    (47 in Holland right now)

  4. TomKap (Michigan St. & Fuller) Grand Rapids says:

    It’s 12 degrees in Leota (just east of BR).
    48 in South Haven.

  5. Skot says:

    My wife is 98.6 and I m going ny nyte.

    1. fixxxer says:

      You seriously fail!

      1. Skot says:


        1. fixxxer says:

          Not really…indu & rj do a good job of that. If anything im a voice of reason! ;)

    2. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

      I know what that means LOL, good luck!!!

    3. Yup (Grandville) says:


      1. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

        (((((BABY DANCE)))) Boy Skot, work work work what a difficult job ;-) LOL!

    4. DF (SE Mich) says:

      On a weather blog… really?

      1. KSEA Caledonia-Cutlerville says:

        I personally don’t care where it is, the making of another life is beautiful, Good luck to the both of you. Wish I could turn back the time to when my little one was well much more little again lol.

      2. Kate (44th and Breton) says:

        Oh come on, we all like to get to know each other! Some of us have been here for years!

      3. DF (SE Mich) says:

        You people are sick. This is a new low for the blog and I’ve been here since the blog was founded. Post about the weather or go somewhere else…

        1. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

          Hey, that can be part of the weather because the weather can affects all kinds of moods. I think it’s awesome.

        2. INDY says:

          df take your son travis go for a walk around Detroit do us all a flaver!!!!MORE LIKE GO FLY A KITE!!! INDYYY

        3. Hummer13 says:

          DF stay on your own side of state….gosh! We don’t want you on the westside the best side!!!!

        4. DF (SE Mich) says:

          Enjoy talking to yourself?

        5. INDY says:


        6. DF (SE Mich) says:

          Less caps and more procreation reporting, if that is where we want to go. Also, let’s compare the report to the spelling standard.

        7. INDY says:

          ALL okk eatsi d is RELLY a nIE Place t Beeee hows that df! INDYYYYY!

        8. fixxxer says:

          you guys know the more you talk to indy the more he will act like an idiot on here right?

  6. Nathan (GR) says:

    Still a snowless winter….. :(

    1. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

      Nov-Jan temps have been close to 5 degrees above average. It’s like we’ve been in an entirely different climate this winter.

    2. fixxxer says:

      Really because i see snow.

  7. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

    Can you believe we will hit 50 four out of five weeks in January?!

    Unbelievable… So much for that cold shot to start February… Still no significant cool downs in sight.

    Enjoy today everyone!

    1. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

      I beginning to wonder that maybe the big cool down will come in March. I just hope it dont come in April/May or worse yet June/July. But then again maybe it will be just a warm year!

      1. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

        I sure hope so Jim that there will be no cool down that late in the season, I do NOT want a repeat of 2009 or worse!

      2. fixxxer says:

        Im thinking this summer will be a scorcer….BRING IT ON!

  8. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

    Went for a walk along Lake Michigan yesterday. The ONLY ice to speak of consisted of little 3 to 6 inch “rocks” of ice that kind of collected along the shoreline. No mountains of ice to speak of, with large waves. Didn’t look too much different from summer. Usually the shoreline takes on its masterpiece of “glacier”…not this winter! I can’t believe the lake is still helping to warm us up.

    I was thinking since there s literally no ice to speak of…that probably means we’ll warm up faster in the Spring, since there will be nothing to melt.

    1. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

      That may happen, but dont count on it.

    2. Kate (44th and Breton) says:

      Does this mean our storms may be intense too? I remember in the spring the reason a lot of storms weakened was because of the cold water.

    3. GunLakeDeb says:

      *I* was thinking this morning that if it stays like this (the weather) – the usual threat of Spring flooding isn’t going to happen. Of course, speaking as someone who enjoys paddling those melt-swollen rivers, it’s going to be a letdown :-( But we have weeks and weeks for Mother Nature to make me eat those words….LOL!!

  9. Welcome back – sounds like you had a great time! Interesting all of the people you saw and met – great stories! I went to high school with Brian Vanderark. He was very tall and very popular. :) He was in student council with me. That is something about the difference in weather in Muskegon – those cities are only 70 miles apart! It will be interesting to see how our weather finishes out. The winter we are having in Lansing reminds me so much of how winters were every year in Springfield, Missouri. You’d have 6 inches of snow, then melt and in the 50′s then maybe an ice storm, then maybe some rain….and an occasional thunderstorm thrown in.

  10. dano (Norton Shores) says:

    National Weather Service Gaylord Michigan
    743 am EST Tuesday Jan 31 2012

    “There continues to be some potential for a sharp cooldown late next
    week…as an Arctic vortex attempts to drop into Hudson Bay and far
    northern Ontario. But even here…the 00z GFS has backed away from
    earlier solutions which had -30c air at 850mb poised to our north by
    Thursday next week. We will wait and see.”

    I guess I am hanging on for something to happen this winter before we have to give up. :(

    1. Steve G says:

      I agree. The models have been extremely volatile in that range. Anything could happen!

    2. INDY says:

      And a blizzard is coming next Tuesday keep a one eye out on that!!! OUR FIST BIGG DADDY SO LATE IN THE WINTER YEAR BRING IT!!!! INDYYY

  11. INDY says:

    Bill I am glad your home safe, Fixxer did a verry nice job running thee blogg !!!! I bet u had a blast and had some nice talks with some folks . How many sprites did u and micky mouse drink , sofar let us fill u in get ouitside and do some yard work going to hit 55* today in West Michigan!!!!! INDY is Going to grill some T-Bones out at the YARDofBRICKS the heat is onnnnnnnn….!!!! Bill stay WEST!! INDYY

  12. DF (SE Mich) says:

    Detroit TV is saying 57° today.

    1. INDY says:

      From thee eatside of thee slate spank u!! INDYYY

      1. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

        Indy, for the last time, please let it go. We have people from all over on this blog: Lansing, Detroit, Up north, Chicago, the UP, Denver, Alaska, Florida, Indiana…

        That’s what makes it great!

        1. INDY says:

          TARVIS but it’s ok for u to blogg about me !!! INDYY

        2. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

          Who’s Tarvis?? I only reference your predictions from time-to-time, Indy, because I feel like they usually mislead casual readers of the blog.

          The goal of this blog is to make readers more educated, not sensationalize events and predict a major blizzard every week that never happens.

        3. INDY says:

          predicks from the east get least what a new goal !!! INDYY

        4. Hummer13 says:

          Indy, I like you new name for Travis….”Tarvis” that will be easy to remember! Thanks Indy!!!!!

    2. KSEA Caledonia-Cutlerville says:

      Wow what a wonderful day it will be if that happens! Don’t get me wrong I love the snow but I don’t mind a warm sunny day either.

  13. Billy Boy says:

    My wife and I were returning from Chicago and stopped in South Haven along Lake Michigan on Saturday around noon. I bet the wind was blowing 50mph and temp was around 31 degrees. Didn’t feel like it though. I was amazed at the white caps and the power of the waves crashing in.

  14. Dee says:

    Was the color of the bus driver’s skin relevent to the story?

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      Guess not. Would you have been offended if I had pointed out other characteristics like his gray hair or hearty laugh?

      1. Kate (44th and Breton) says:

        I didn’t find anything wrong with it, jeesh.

      2. Hummer13 says:

        Dee is it snowing where you live?

    2. fixxxer says:

      Grow up dee. Some of you on here sicken me.

  15. Jim S (Saugatuck Twp) says:

    51 degrees…10am. Will we make a run at 60?

    1. KSEA Caledonia-Cutlerville says:

      I was wondering that myself. Its very nice out, love it!

  16. Kate (44th and Breton) says:

    Bill, with these unseasonably warm temps, people all over are talking about global warming happening. I remember reading somewhere an article you wrote on it. Where can I find that? Or what is your opinion on this warm winter?

    1. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

      Updated figures show no global warming in the past 15 years. And, if anything, scientists are now pondering the odds of another mini ice age as the solar cycle winds down.–Cycle-25-need-worry-NASA-scientists-right-Thames-freezing-again.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

      1. Kate (44th and Breton) says:


        1. Steve G says:

          I would suggest a more reputable and neutral source for your climate info. Travis linked to a right wing British gossip tabloid. Accuweather has a fairly even handed analysis of 2011 here, including perspective on the long term:

          Of course Bill is correct that this warm spell in the US has very little to do with climate change, if anything.

        2. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

          The story was picked up by a number of sources, including the AP I believe. The site really has little to do with it.

        3. big Daddy BC says:

          It’s cold in ALASKA? Really? LOL Look, it’s warm in Brazil!!

        4. Bill Steffen says:

          Rio de Janeiro, Brazil was cooler than average in January (-0.8 degree) and Brasilia never got warmer than 84 in July! Temperatures were also cooler than average in Peru and Uruguay, but the cold spot was La Paz, Bolivia. They were 5.6 degrees colder than average in January!

        5. big Daddy BC says:

          Record-breaking heat helped welcome in 2012 in parts of southeastern Australia. South Australia’s capital city of Adelaide broke its daily maximum temperature record on January 1st, reaching 106°F The global land surface temperature for January 2011 was 0.45°C (0.81°F) above the 20th century average of 2.8°C (37.0°F).

        6. Bill Steffen says:

          First, they need to upgrade to the 1981-2010 normals. Keeping the coldest decade in the 30-year normal and keeping the warmer 2000s out makes the number look warmer than it is. 2011 was the 3rd coolest year out of the last 12.

          Both Sydney and Melbourne, Australia have had 7 days in a row cooler than average. Australia looks pretty chilly right now:

          The global temperature was BELOW AVERAGE in January: and remains below average in February:

      2. Bill Steffen says:

        As is often the case, parts of the globe are unseasonably cold (Alaska, Eastern Europe) and parts have been unseasonably warm (much of the Lower 48 states). If you take the globe as a whole, we’re pretty close to average today. and (this map from the NASA IR data shows that today the Earth is 0.3 degrees cooler than average – you can see there’s not a lot of warm air in the S. Hemisphere right now.

        1. Kate (44th and Breton) says:

          Thank you Bill!

        2. big Daddy BC says:

          Kate, Bill’s linking you to Dr. Maue, a regular on the Rush Limbaugh show. Maue is a young rightist scientists that gets lots of attention for his support of denier science. He posts all over the blogosphere. Just google him. That’s true of most of the links you’ll find on here. They’re political sites rather than scientific. Try NOAA or NASA if you want a an unbiased look at AGW.

        3. Bill Steffen says:

          Another lie…if Dr Maue (who is from West Michigan) is a “regular” on Rush’s Show…prove it. Waiting….waiting…nothing, eh? Has he EVER actually been on his show, or did he just get quoted once or twice? Yet another Ph.D. who laughs at the global warming alarmism.

          Did you see this: Look at that!! Here’s part of the article:

          “Last week, the UK Met released its latest global temperature data to the world. It shows that the Earth has not warmed in 15 years. The warming ceased after the great super El Nino of 1998.”

          “The numbers are based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations around the planet. The data was quietly released last week without fanfare and it confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.”

          The NASA IR data shows the same thing: January’s going to be close to normal or even on the cool side.

          Here’s more: “Dr. Nicola Scafetta, of Duke University in North Carolina, is the author of several peer-reviewed papers on GCMs. He argues the Met Office climate models show there should have been “steady warming from 2000 until now.”

          “If temperatures continue to stay flat or start to cool again,” Scafetta said, “the divergence between the models and recorded data will eventually become so great that the whole scientific community will question the current theories.”

          “Professor Judith Curry agrees. She is one of America’s most eminent climate experts and works at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She argued it is becoming evident that factors other than CO2 play an important role in rising or falling warmth, such as the 60-year water temperature cycles in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.”

        4. big Daddy BC says:

          Again with the rightwing links. Maue is a regular on the circuit. Just google him. It’s that easy. Above you link to Exxon-Spencer. Yet another denier scientist that gets paid by big oil to lie about climate change.
          Your point about warming is misleading…big surprise. The thirteen hottest years ever occurred during the last fifteen. The heat is here, slick. All the major meteorological organizations agree. What you don’t get is the effect an increase in atmospheric moisture and exposed ocean water have had on temperature extremes. It takes approximately 7x more energy to vaporize water than it does to raise liquid water one degree. In addition, water has the highest specific heat value of any commonly seen compound except ammonia. The more water we see vaporized, the more heat energy is being absorbed.
          You deniers with barely a grasp of the basics and no formal education misrepresent the science with FOX NEWS sound bites like the one above both intentionally and unintentionally. Bill, stick to broadcast meteorology. You’re not a scientist. You have no education in physical meteorology. You work for a corporate media mogul and get paid six figures to forecast, period. When you get that part figured out, maybe we’ll believe you on some stuff outside of your realm of expertise, but as of now, you’ve forecast the last four seasons completely wrong.

          NOAA disagrees with your assessment completely

        5. Steelie says:

          Good Day,

          With regard to water vapor, one word… sublimation.


        6. Bill Steffen says:

          5:49 AM – you’re up early, comrade. NOAA/NASA gets BILLIONS (literally) of dollars for “global warming”. They are a special interest group that needs to keep the cash coming in. A few of them have worked hard to “hide the decline”. The truth is that the warming has stopped: and Remember this Climategate email: “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.” Ah…the travesty continues!

          You lied when you said that Dr. Maue was a “regular” on the Rush Limbaugh Show, just like you lied when you said that Romney was a polygamist. Why can’t you leftists be honest?

        7. big Daddy BC says:

          So you’re claiming that NASA and NOAA get billions of dollars for climate change research? NOAA and NASA are special interest groups? LOL And you just called me a lier? LOL …And Maue has a picture of Rush Limbaugh on his website, you ignoramous.

          Romney is an abortionist CEO that’s worth a quarter billion dollars, pays 15% in taxes, and took a government bailout. His bedroom is the least of our worries.

        8. Bill Steffen says:

          From the infamous Stimulus… $1.3 Billion went to NASA’s climate efforts, $400 million to NOAA’s, and another $300 million for the National Science Foundation. The states also have a piece of the action, with California (apparently not feeling bankrupt enough)devoting $600 million to their own climate initiative. That’s a lot of money! A whole lot more than the paltry $125,000 that Exxon gave to the Heritage Institute.

          There you go again with Romney! He’s not an abortionist! As far as I know he hasn’t even gone thru Red Cross First Aid! He was the CEO of the Salt Lake City Olympics and turned a massive deficit into a small profit! He was praised by everyone for the successful event. The U.S. also has a massive deficit and he might be the guy to make some progress on reducing it, so our country WON’T GO BANKRUPT!

          Quit lying bigD. Romney gives millions to charity every year. Biden gave a whole $369 to charity:

        9. big Daddy BC says:

          Romney’s filthy rich at a quarter billion but pays only 15% in taxes. He’s got lots of extra cash to give to the Mormon orphan fund. But, really, why should the middle class care how much wealthy CEOs give to charity? …Especially when we’re paying more in taxes!

          Here’s the truth on Romney’s abortion record. He did a fundraiser at Planned Parenthood for God’s sake.

          BTW, Exxon and the fossil fuel block gets $36.5 billion in subsidies every year from those middle class tax dollars. Are they a charity too?

        10. Bill Steffen says:

          LOL – all you’ve got is insults – you’re global warming alarmism is drowning in a sea of facts and data. LOL

        11. big Daddy BC says:

          You think it’s an insult to be called filthy rich? LOL Or is it insulting to point at your hypocrisy. You put up post after post about cowboy poetry festivals and deficits yet ignore the billions that go to fund your denier scientists and their corporate sponsors. Your man, Romney took a corporate bailout. He’s worth hundreds of millions of dollars and dodges taxes. And, he keeps a large portion of his fortune in overseas!! LOL You rich teabaggers are too much. Bill, you and your six figure income make the rest of us sick.

        12. big Daddy BC says:

          “GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is under fire after news reports surfaced showing that his company, Bain Capital, benefited from multiple federal bailouts amounting to well over $50 million.”


        13. Bill Steffen says:

          Ooooo – I’m a pig! I am so insulted! LOL. You guys love bailouts…from Chrysler to Solyndra. Romney paid all the tax he owed (unlike Timothy Geithner, Tom Daschle, Charlie Rangel, etc.) You said “Billions go to fund denier scientists” Prove it! PROVE IT! I want you to prove the BILLIONS! I want actual numbers. I want the names of actual scientists and the amount of money they got and it better add up to BILLIONS.

        14. big Daddy BC says:

          …Or what? LOL You’ll never pull off tough guy so don’t try, nerd boy. Exxon gets billions in subsidies from the US government alone. They make ten billion in profits per quarter in addition to that. Corporations sponsor activists like you to spread misinformation because it makes them money. Your parent company has a vested interest in confusing the public. You’re bought and paid for.

        15. Bill Steffen says:

          You lie again. There’s no BILLIONS going to “denier scientists”. Just like Romney’s not a polygamist. All you’ve got is insults and lies. Every day there’s new data that shows your global warming alarmism is folly:

          Dr. Judith Curry from the BEST group at Berkeley said: “‘There is no scientific basis for saying that warming hasn’t stopped,’ she said. ‘To say that there is detracts from the credibility of the data, which is very unfortunate.’


    2. Brad says:

      I would also consult with scientific publications on AGW- some aren’t too technical- by climatologists and other scientists who research the topic. I recommend generally against mass media sources if you are comfortable with some of the scientific concepts discussed in the more technical resources. The more emotion stripped away from the analyses, the better.

    3. Brad says:

      I was wondering too how this winter stacked up among the warmest winters in Michigan and elsewhere in the Lower 48. But, we have had warm winters in the past, followed by cold winters, so it would be premature to classify this winter as a “change” in our overall climate. Now, if warm winters increase, especially in the absence of known factors (e.g., La Nina), that may constitute stronger evidence of warming.

    4. GunLakeDeb says:

      It just depends on where you are in the world – while WE here in Michigan are having warm weather – as Bill’s blogs have repeatedly pointed out, OTHER people are really suffering in the bitter cold. The poor folks in Alaska – who are used to heavy winters! – have surely lost their sense of humor by now…..

  17. MaryJane says:

    Current: “Blowing and drifting; white-out conditions west of US 131, ten inches or more expected today, with high probablity of five to ten inches of additional snow overnight. If at all possible, avoid traveling. Many roads now impassable. Stayed tuned in to Bill Steffan for your up-to-the-minute weather forecast.” AHHHH…THE GOOD OLD DAYS!

    1. ~Sherry~(Comstock Park) says:

      We can only hope!

  18. Kate (44th and Breton) says:

    Lets hit 60 degrees and get some thunderstorms!! we can only hope right :D

  19. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

    Its unofficial but I now have reached 50° here with lots of sun. Also I still have at lest 2″ of snow on the ground yet! We Still have a ways to go to tie or break the record warm temp today (57°) but it still early we shall see. There is a news article in today’s Grand Rapids Press on the lake still being wide open and IF we get some cold in February or for that matter March we “could” see a good lake effect event. But remember at this point its just speculation and nothing more.

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      That’s a good point…it’s usually harder to get lake-effect in Feb.- March, but the lake is open and relatively warm, so a decent Arctic shot could give us December-like lake-effect.

  20. kevin. w says:

    Most models now giving us just glancing blows of arctic weather for the next two weeks. Noaa’s winter storm hunters (just like hurricane hunters) went yesterday to see what the strength of the high is in the eastern pacific and the strong low coming in over the gulf of alaska because models can’t sample the data out in those areas. Thats because there are no jets that fly frequent enough over that area and the models can’t get the input for proper accuaracy that they need. If you look at the canadian, the euro and the GFS models there forecasts are much different today than they were yesterday thanks to those flights bringing in that data and why NOAA does this. NOW what looked like a pretty good cold blast coming down is now going to be pushed more toward the eastern parts of Canada and the northeast states with just glancing hits from the arctic down this way. The euro weeklies came out (I’d put alot stock in that model because it has done awesome with this winters pattern) and pretty much says above normal temps. through Feb. and betting that CPC will keep there above temps. maps on there revision today. We have 5 more days of solar winter left and once you get past Feb. 5th the sun will start its thing on warming the south up as the sun is higher in the sky. Even though the oscillations are showing slight negative signs arctic temps. will become less impressive as we go further into Feb. and march. MJO oscilliation is still showing phase 7/8 which still gives our mild pattern, will just have to wait and see. But with the pattern that we’ve been in since November really doesn’t show real big signs of changing much really at all. IMO

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      And I’ll add that we had no snow cover south of us…so as the sun climbs higher in the sky, these days with south or southwest winds are going to bring warmer air as the sun climbs higher in the sky. Daylight is increasing at nearly 3 minutes per day as we get into mid-February.

      1. GunLakeDeb says:

        I LOVE the lengthening days!! Was thrilled to get out of work at 6PM and still have ample daylight!!

    2. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

      Great information there, Kevin! You really know your stuff. I was wondering why all the local NWS kept referencing a new data download that was happening yesterday.

      We might get a few days in the 20′s in Feb, but it looks like another above average month right now. Count on lots of 30′s, 40′s and 50′s.

  21. kevin. w says:

    I see that on the high res satellite picture Bill and there really isn’t much of a snowpack west or northwest of us either. I always say after feb 17th winters back breaks and after march 15th any snow we get won’t last but a few days. I am really concerned with this fast pacific jet that those areas that got hit with the tornadoes last year may be in trouble this year. What is also interesting is that lake michigan isn’t froze up like it really is this time so when we get into our severe weather season that cold lake won’t kill those storms crossing the lake this spring and summer like years past.

    1. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

      While its true that the lake is not frozen nor is there much ice on the lake. But remember the water temp at the bottom is still 39° and with any wind that will bring the cold water to the surface. So while the lake may not take as much energy to “melt” the ice it still will be colder then the land around it. A lot depends on what late February, March and April bring.
      That said good point on the sun angle as today it has taken a long time for the snow and ice that was on my road to melt (there is still some left) by late February and March the ice and snow would melt much faster. On the other hand there still have been some BIG snow storms in February and March as to if there will be this year or not we will have to wait and see.

  22. storm waning says:

    I know many enjoyed the winter blast that lasted for about 36 hours this past weekend. I did as well. It was great to say…. “This is how winter should be in Michigan.” Many posted basically… “Yeah! Winter is back!” But it just sat down, had a cup of coffee for a quick visit and was gone again.

    Winter is over…. sadly. Yes… we will get occassional “shots” of cold air/snow. But these back to back days of 40 plus and now we are bumping 50! are killing any snowfall.

    I still argue that winter should be measured in two areas…. total snowfall and a measure of the longest unbroken time period of days with snow on the ground.

    Bill (or anyone) what is the typical longest stretch of snowfall on the ground during a typical winter? And how many days have we had snow on the ground this “winter”?

    I know today “counts” as a snow cover day… but this is what I’d call “dead snow” its like a snowcone that’s fallen on a July sidewalk.

    1. GunLakeDeb says:

      I like the concept of “usable winter”, because we haven’t have much this year. I’ve probably only seen snowmobiles on 3 days, total?? (There’s a trail that passes about 50′ from my office window)

      Regarding long stretches of snowcover – I’d guess 3 months?? I can’t offer a date for that – only “bagfuls”. As someone with 3 dogs and a tiny yard, the moment the snow starts to melt, I go out and scoop poop. Recently (2008/09?) my yard was a “Five bagger”. The most I’ve had THIS winter was barely a “One Bagger”

      Yeah, Indy – from my YardofPoo……. ;-)

      1. storm waning says:

        “Usable winter” I like that phrase. There should be a metric for that..

        Regarding dog poo… a winter’s severity or lack there of could be measured in

        1 bag low to no snow
        2 bag fair snow
        3 bag medium
        4 bag higher
        5 bag heavy snow
        6+ bag a “Little House on the Prairie” winter

      2. INDY says:

        lololololololo u better get a rake out Deb!! INDYY

        1. GunLakeDeb says:

          This year hasn’t been bad, because the snow hasn’t stayed long (back to that “usable winter” thought) – but a few years ago, I wanted waders and one of those big vacuum trucks like the sewer guys have!!)

  23. toquin says:

    Bill S. Whats your thought on tapping maple trees for maple syrup production? Perfect conditions are below freezing at night, and 40-45 daytime. Should I wait utill the middle of the month or start drillig holes?

    1. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

      There are a couple of maple trees I see on my daily walks that have been running for the most part all winter.

  24. storm waning says:

    I wasn’t clear… let me rephrase the question

    “Bill (or anyone) what is the typical CONTINUOUS stretch of snowfall on the ground during a typical winter? And how many uninterrupted CONTINUOUS days have we had snow on the ground this “winter”?

    1. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

      Try this for the average number of days looks like we should have between 60 and 90


      1. DF (SE Mich) says:

        Cool map.

  25. Correct if I’m wrong but we have not had a 1 inch>= snow pack for 10 days in a row once this year

    1. storm waning says:

      I would say that is correct at least for the area just SW of GR. Ten in a row would be a max. maybe even 7 days at most

    2. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

      As of yesterday the NWS at GR has reported one inch of snow on the ground for 19 days this winter (17 this month and 2 in December) there very well may have recorded it today as well but will not tomorrow. so lest say 20 days this winter so far! You know January has been above average in the snow fall department here in GR.

      1. storm waning says:

        Yes above average, but do you know how many of those 20 days are linked together?

  26. INDY says:

    Super Tuesday blizzard is looking good !!!! INDYYY

    1. DF (SE Mich) says:

      How did the weekend 8″ turn out? Maybe some of your other aliases on here can confirm your prediction.

      1. DF (SE Mich) says:

        Although a 3-4″ shortfall is good in Harald Camping standards.

      2. storm waning says:

        “Aliases” is right. I thought all the bloggers knew or know that all the double consonants are the same person. I figured it was a given or some kind of inside joke. I skip over the entrys that readdddddddddd like thissssssssssssssss

        1. INDY says:


        2. INDY says:


        3. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

          I’ve been forced to ignore Indy and all his fake names too…

        4. INDY says:

          Did daddy tell u to?????INDYY

      3. Hummer13 says:

        Zeeland 11 inches DF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        1. INDY says:

          eastslide 3.5 inches of snow for the winter!!! OWWOWO…

    2. DF (SE Mich) says:

      A square mile in Allegan did meet it I guess… good job…

      1. bobcat says:

        Much of the Holland, Zeeland, Hamilton area picked up a good 7-12″.

  27. DF (SE Mich) says:

    Up to 54° over here. It sure was nice out at lunch.

  28. INDY says:

    Bill well all snow is gone at thee Yardofbricks temp 55* ready for more when it melts it snows Tuesday storm is going to be close time to start tracking !!!! WEST MICHIGAN’S BILLS BLOGG!!! INDYYY

  29. Martin (Muskegon) says:

    I will be changing my name on this blog to Martin(Marquette) because we are moving to Marquette in a few days I am really going to miss west michigan but I will still be on this blog!

    1. DF (SE Mich) says:

      Looks like good weather for the move. Good luck.

  30. Martin (Marquette) says:

    There it is changed

  31. INDY says:

    up 56* now out at the YARDofBRCIKS Bill!! INDY

    1. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

      51.1 at the YardOfDucks, and if Deb wants to talk about YardOfPoo, ROFL come up to my house with a Great Dane and a YardofDucks/Geese, then you’ll see poo in bag fulls.

      1. GunLakeDeb says:

        OMG!! ROFL!! When the wild geese get onto my lawn it truly is “carpeted” in poo. Like 10,000 Chihuahuas on Ex-Lax :-( Which is why my dogs are trained to chase them away!!

        1. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

          Well my yardofducks isn’t that bad at all! I only have 10 Indian Runner mix ducks and 2 Sebastopol geese and 1 great dane on just over 2 acres, so it’s nothing like what wild geese leave in piles.

        2. GunLakeDeb says:

          Yup – do the math – 25 geese on a lawn that’s maybe 30′ x 60′.

        3. INDY says:


  32. fixxxer says:

    Bring on spring!

  33. UNCLE SPARKEE says:

    Hehheehe, your ol aunty Edna and I took a ride today to visit the Amish. Nice day fur a ride. Bought some homemade bread to go with the rabbit soup tonight. I love the Amish, thats some clean livin. I which some of my kin in lake view could live more like them, he’ll I wish I could. Warm and windy up here in the back woods!

    1. UNCLE SPARKEE says:

      Ishmael told me to get ready for February, winter is goin to make up for lost time. I believe the Amish weather predicts cause they live off the land, they know more than you big city satellite folks. These folks live and plant by the weather.

      1. GunLakeDeb says:

        Ishmael is probably pulling up the CPC predictions on his IPad that he keeps stashed behind the hay mow. ;-)

  34. fixxxer says:

    Would of been the perfect winter day if the sun was out. I hate the gloomy cloud cover!

    1. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

      Yeah I was disappointed to see the clouds move in as well. I think tomorrow is suppose to be pt sunny again. Who knows, it’s pure Michigan.

      1. fixxxer says:

        PURE michigan sucks about 7 months out of the year.

    2. UNCLE SPARKEE says:

      Son, it was the perfect day in Amish country! Ishmael let little whyit ride his miniture pony. I bought Fresh rolled cigs and ol aunty Edna stocked up on Amish bread! Dont get any better. You ever get to ride a pony when you were young?

      1. GunLakeDeb says:

        Every weekend – at Thayer’s T-7 Stable on Big Star Lake Rd.

  35. kevin. w says:

    Remember all the arctic air is on the other side of the globe so if we get any cold air intrusions showing up on the models it will be a modified form and won’t last long. Still no big storms on the maps all the way til Feb. 14th.

  36. Rebecca says:

    Will we ever get enought snow again this season to go riding again? I miss my snowmobile.

  37. INDY says:


  38. Nathan (GR) says:

    I was only a few feet away from a car crash near Woodland Mall! I hope everyone is ok, there is an ambulance there now…..

  39. Jeff says:

    I usually take Wzzm13′s and Woodtv’s forecasts and roughly interpolate the information to get the best forecast. Bill and George do a pretty good job.

    Also, I’ve been reading that February may be more like a normal February rather than a warm February, mostly starting on the 7th or 8th, I guess we’ll see.

    1. fixxxer says:

      naw i think the rest of the winter will be on and off mild like it has been. now the BIG question is how will this effect spring & summer?

      1. fixxxer says:

        and yes i think we may end up paying dearly for this mild winter, god i hope not.

        1. INDY says:

          Oh will we better ask a crystal ball!!! Fixxer why do u think a lot on the blogg? INDYYY

        2. fixxxer says:

          Well someone needs to use their brains on here!

  40. Steelie says:

    Good Day,

    What a nice day! I was able to ride my bike up to the Post Office and send some packages out. Took the long way home and enjoyed the fresh “warm” air. But wow… what a big melting event. We went from several inches on the ground to all grass now… Even the ground feels a bit squishy.


  41. Vincent(N.E.Kent CO) says:

    Did anyone else’s temp just spike up? I watched mine go from 48 to 51.9 in 5 mins. Clouds cleared out also. For now anyways. Sure is a nice night to be outside. Feb will prolly be in the 40′s 50′s and a few 60′s the way this winter has been going.

  42. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

    I’m 48.5, tonight I was looking at last March weather photo’s I took and we had that ice storm March 24th, so anything still goes with old man winter no matter what models or forecasters say that may or may not happen. So we still have plenty of time for snow and ice storms yet, it’s only 1st of February come tomorrow.

    1. INDY says:

      I can’t wait to have snow on the ground in MAY and below temps ! INDYYYY

      1. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

        Oh HUSH on the below temps in May I want THUNDERSTORMS in May!

        1. fixxxer says:

          There will be no snow in may, indy is full of it.

      2. Dan says:

        Late season dump in April! You can count on it! I bet we receive more than one good snowfall in the month of April!

  43. Martin (Marquette) says:

    Well Marquette in 5days I am going to miss west Michigan:(

    1. LM (GH twp) says:

      Good luck to you, Martin!

  44. Tyler says:

    Man what a winter this has been. I think we have gotten 13 inches of snow for the season in Escanaba. We have maybe 4 inches on the ground right now. Most of December the ground was bare, Christmas eve we had a snowfall but then melted right after Xmas then New Years we had a couple inches but then that melted. January 10th we had snow to stay for at least till now. We had a couple warm days that brought the snow cover down to 2 inches but another 2 inches yesterday has it up to 4. It was 37 here today for a high and it is supposed to be in the 30s all week so we might be down to nothing for snow left except the piles.

    1. Steve G says:

      That sucks. I was hoping ski at Mt. Bohemia this year to your north. According to their website there is plenty of snow up that way.

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