Wednesday PM

February 29th, 2012 at 3:12 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Local   9:45  PM – A mix of rain and snow across the area.  We’ve got a dusting on the grass at WOOD.  It seems to be melting on the pavement.  Late this PM, we had a gust to 54 mph at Battle Creek (not a t-storm), and 47 mph at Kalamazoo.   At 5 PM – wind was west at 22 mph, gust to 37 mph at Tulip City Airport in Holland and NE at 5 mph in Hudsonville!!   At 5 PM – 44 degrees, cloudy and east wind at 7 mph in G.R. – sunny and 61 in Coldwater, 62 in downtown Kalamazoo.  What a difference!   Three Rivers and Sturgis made 64, Indianapolis is 70…while it was still mid 30s in B. Rapids and Mt. Pleasant.   The warm air in our southern counties won’t last long, it’s back to 42 in Milwaukee and 36 in Madison with a stiff west wind.  Here’s a summary of snowfall from this system (to the north of G.R.).  Check out the surface map.     Tornado Watches cover most of Tennessee and Kentucky up into Ohio.  Look at Storm Reports.  Tornadoes along the Ohio River.  Severe storms moving up into Ohio.  Twelve dead and a hundred injured in yesterday’s tornadoes.  Lake City, up near Cadillac reports 6″ of new snow and 19″ of snow on the ground.  I look at that and go – I missed the season snowfall this winter, but not by much.  The AVERAGE snow depth this month of February at the Houghton Lake airport has been 18.2“.  We’ve had above normal precipitation in G.R. this winter…it’s just that we’ve had more rain and less snow.   Leelanau Co. reports 6″ of new snow, 4.5″ as close as Osceola Co (Dighton).   Mancelona has 4″ of new snow and 17″ on the ground. You can often tell where the slick roads are by looking at school closings.   Up to a foot of snow has fallen in the U.P.  We had several power outages this morning, but the biggest one in Grandville/Wyoming was NOT weather related, I’m told.  There’s a risk of severe t-storms today over E. Indiana and much of Ohio, and a moderate risk for severe storms and tornadoes over Tennessee (word to my mother and sister in Oak Ridge – watch out this evening).    Grand Rapids NWS discussion is pretty good.  Here’s lightning data (click on the lightning tab).  Here’s links to the current conditions, regional radar, the forecast snowfall off the NAM model (out to 84-hours) and the GFS model (out to 120-hours), the HPC snow forecast, and a surface map. Here’s the local warning/advisory map 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 closings, the Spyglass Condos Weather Station the S. Haven GLERL station, the Muskegon GLERL station.

The record high for today is 54 (1/4th as many Feb. 29ths as other days).  This is called “Leap Day” in a “Leap Year”.  It’s called Leap Year because your birthday leaps over a day.  If you’re birthday is on a Monday, the next year it will be on a Tuesday…but if it is a Leap Year, your birthday leaps over Tuesday to Wednesday.  AND – check out the snow they’ve had in Valdez, Alaska (26″ new…all-time February snow depth record of 97″ (that’s over 8 feet high – and that’s not counting the drifts!).   All-time February record high temperatures were set in a few locations in Sweden and Denmark, with Kristiansand/Kjevik reached a high of 61F.  Here’s a few pictures of tornado damage in Branson, MO.   Finally, something fun.

173 Responses to “Wednesday PM”

  1. That lightning tracker is nice, however it seems to be a bit behind. I know real time lightning data isn’t free, but is there some way to link Allison House into a radar and host it online somewhere? Or would that qualify as illegal use? Just wondering.

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

    Rain here, and some ice on the trees. Temp is 32.4°. Going back outside for a better look.

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

    Road sounds just wet and cars seem to be going along ok. Still raining and breezy. I can here the ice in the trees. Ice on the fence and truck hood,but not real bad as i can still push thru it with my fingers. If it warms up soon i should be fine here. 32.5° now.

  4. janetn says:

    Up here in Newago we have a little freezing rain on top of a little sleet. The roads are no doubt slick. But the ice film is not enough to damage trees or power lines – Count me thankful!

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

    Major damage from a twister in Harveyville Kansas last nite just after 9pm. Lots of damage all across SW MO including Branson.

  6. Nathan (GR) says:

    Rediculous freezing rain and ice is slamming the side of my room right now!

  7. Nathan (GR) says:

    The temperature is 31 here with all ice falling. Wow, this is really cool! I still can’t believe my school isn’t delayed yet!

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

    Still raining here and only 32.5°.

  9. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

    Raining, 32.4, pressure 29.67, ever so slight thin ice on my deck rail, see droplets beginning to freeze but nothing that I can walk or drive on carefully, once daylight shows itself a lot of this will be just rain and melt the frozen droplets. Glad I didn’t bust my back filling up containers last night. But they were inside in our basement bathroom/washroom ready to fill if the forecast remained the same as it was 24-48hrs ago.

    1. GunLakeDeb says:

      Just the fact that you were able to post implies power on!! Glad you didn’t get bombed with ice!!!!

      Just good ol’ rain for us – no thunder.

  10. INDY says:

    Tracking 50′ weather coming after a little snow this week’nd spring may bling! INDYYY

    1. DF (SE Mich) says:

      Only 36 hours ago…

      INDY says:
      February 27, 2012 at 5:16 pm

      YEAA 1-3 inches of snow then 1-2 inches of ice with 50+ winds thats INDY’S wall!! INDYY

      1. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

        I think he’s still at the store spreading hype and telling more people to stock up on supplies.

  11. Yup (Grandville) says:

    Lights out between Ivanrest and Clyde Park, including Burlingame’s traffic light. Eery drive in this morning!

    1. Yup (Grandville) says:

      I should say on 44th street.

      1. Mike says:

        Power’s been out at my house between 44th and 36th and Byron Center and Burlingame since 5AM this morning. Pretty good size power outage there.

  12. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

    34°(33.6°) with light rain falling. So just a cold rain and not much more. Its a good thing but for the most part its hard to get an ice storm here in our area as its hard for a good supply of cold air to dam up in this area.
    I still will not think we are out of the woods for winter type events until mid to late March.

  13. KF (SE of Lowell) says:

    I live about three miles from the Kent/Ionia border and it is raining hard here. Just got back from the bus stop and the gravel roads are mainly wet/slushy. A few patches of ice from the snow-melt. Husband drove to 44th and Kalamazoo area in Kentwood and he said the main roads were wet.

  14. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

    Lots of hype for mainly all rain. NWS sure botched their Winter Storm Watch issued days in advance. That was a strange call.

    1. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

      I agree, to me then should never issue a advisory or watch any sooner then 24hrs in advance because to much changes within that time.

    2. michael g (SE GR) says:

      A watch mean the potential exists for 6″ or more of snow, or .25″ of freezing rain, or a combination. GRR has had over .4″ of rain with a temp of 34*. They missed warning criteria by 2* from 48 hours out. Yeah, what a terrible forecast.

      1. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

        Well, I think White Lake nailed it by saying the forecast was way too tricky to think about issuing a Winter Storm Watch days in advance. By your criteria, any time we get moderate levels of precip between 30-36 degrees, a Winter Storm Watch would get issued.

        By the way, my car said only 30 degrees out this morning, and yet it was still rain. So it’s more than 2 degrees.

        1. michael g (SE GR) says:

          Either your car thermometer was wrong, or your perception was. If it was 30* and raining, it would have been freezing on trees, power lines, and other elevated surfaces. Unless of course basic laws of nature don’t apply in Oxford.

        2. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

          It also said 31 on the news this morning, and 30 when I woke up to Weatherbug, so I think it’s accurate. We did have a little bit of slushy ice on the trees and my car outside, but the problem must be that the ground is warm and the atmosphere is warm – producing rain and not sleet or snow.

          My point being, you can’t just look at the temperature and say it’s going to result in solid ice. Even at 30 degrees this morning with precip falling, it wasn’t bad.

          Hey michael, tell me… what day(s) aren’t we going to get out of the 20′s like you wagered? ;)

    3. Dan says:

      Depends where you are, points north of GR were getting ice and sleet.
      Also, a watch means that conditions are right for this to occur! Think of how many times a Tornado Watch is posted in the Spring and Summer times? Does a Tornado actually happen in those times? More often than not, it is because the conditions were right for a Tornado to form.
      I’m not defending the NWS, just saying that models and the trends have been VERY difficult to pinpoint, especially this WINTER!
      More WINTER still to come, it is NOT over yet!
      Still wanting you to show me that 60 degree temp today, Tyler (Oxford)!

      1. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

        Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t consider a Winter Storm Watch and a Tornado Watch to have the same probability of occurrence. Otherwise, we’d have Winter Storm Watches posted all the time.

        Further, Tornado Watches are usually issued only hours out and not days out. They’re much different.

        1. Dan says:

          Yes, Winter Storms occur in the Winter and Tornadoes occur in the Spring, Summer and sometimes Fall! The dynamics are much different for sure! I’m purely only talking about what may go into “watch criteria” is all!

        2. Dan says:

          Same kind of parellel could be drawn for the effect of Lake Michigan on the storms (Winter and/or Thunderstorms) coming across the Lake! The Lake acts as a MAJOR player in the dynamics in the dynamics of these storms. I’ve seen it where there are some HUGE and VERY POTENT Thunderstorms moving over the Lake. The Lake rips the storms apart, while Winter storms can be strengthened.

      2. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

        As for 60 degrees, I cited the NWS who said we could see close to 60 degree temps along the MI/OH border. And sure enough, Toledo’s expected to hit 58 today. It will be interesting to see how much southern air works it way up.

        1. Dan says:

          You said Michigan would hit 60 go back and look at your post.

        2. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

          There’s certainly a good chance of that happening! Indianapolis is already 63.

          You said no parts in MI were going to get even close to 60 which is going to be incorrect.

        3. Dan says:

          As I stated earlier, you would need to show me where that temp is recorded. Then, I’ll come on and give you your respect, until then I’m not buying it! GR area forecasted temps for the mid 40s today. That is not even close to 60, is it? That said, KZOO may approach 50. You will have to show me, Tyler.

        4. Dan says:

          Do you live at Fixxxer’s house? Indianapolis is NOT located in Michigan, is it? Also, nice back pedal with mentioning OH in there. C’mon dude, if you are going to make a statement, then, stick to it!

        5. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

          I’m not backpedaling, Dan. Not sure what you’re talking about really. Here’s my post from yesterday:

          Travis (Oxford, MI) says:
          February 28, 2012 at 7:00 am

          Talking about Wednesday:

          “A good 30 degree temp gradient should be present along this front. Based on the latest NAM/ECMWF this could mean temps pushing 60 near the mi/oh border while temps remain stuck in the 30s across the Saginaw valley and Thumb.” WOW

        6. Dan says:

          Because you make a lot of statements that are not correct, Oxford weather. Shall I begin with last Friday’s snow event?
          How about that?
          As I have been saying, you show the temp hitting 60 in Michigan, Oxford!
          I’m not talking about OH or Indiana, I’m talking about MI!

        7. DF (SE Mich) says:

          He posted, in quotes, a message from the NWS… what are you comprehending about that?

        8. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

          Dan, you make no sense. I never said Oxford specifically was going to hit 60 degrees. I referenced the NWS statement, so blame them if it doesn’t happen ;)

          As for last week’s snow, I said 12 hours before that it wasn’t going to be as big as the NWS’s 5-9″ prediction. I predicted a general 3-6″ for most, and that’s exactly what the NWS cited in their storm wrap up report.

        9. Dan says:

          You need to go back to Oxford, then tell us what the weather is over there. How about that? Maybe, there is a chance we will have the same weather as Oxford, Oxford.
          Would that be, Meteo Oxford?
          Don’t really care what you think. Only trying to figure what you can never be wrong. If you are going to quote somebody, then stick to it, Meteo Oxford!

        10. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

          Dan, there’s people from all over this blog: Denver, Indiana, Florida, Marquette, The UP, etc. Oxford is no different! But thanks for your hospitality. You sound very ignorant.

        11. Yup (Grandville) says:

          Don’t forget Alaska Travis!

        12. Dan says:

          I appreciate your compliment here, Meteo Oxford. However, as usual and based on your posts, YOU HAVE MISSED THE POINT!
          Could be dangerous for you to use that word. Did you have to look it up?
          Thanks, but no thanks!
          You come across as a “know it all” Then, when challenged you will not even accept the responsibility for your own comments.
          When you challenged, you call me names.
          Hmm,, IMPRESSIVE, NOT!
          Have a nice life in OXFORD!

        13. Paul says:

          You 2 go get in the ring with some boxing gloves and go at it.
          I bet some places today will hit 60 degrees in Michigan along the boarder county.

        14. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

          Dan, it already hit 64 in Michigan today, and the Winter Storm Watch you said yesterday would turn into a warning never happened.

          You’re 0 for 2 ;)

    4. DF (SE Mich) says:

      Agreed, once again White Lake is the role model. We are downwind though =)

      1. INDY says:

        Dan not verry bright or right from thee armpit side of the state!

  15. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

    Just looked out back and that tree I’m concerned about losing a branch has already had a small limb fall off, good thing we didn’t have to much ice. I think between the wind and the light coating of ice and the tree 1/2 dead I’m not surprised we lost a bit of the tree. Now to drive my boys to school off Post/131

  16. Jim S (Saugatuck Twp) says:

    Hoping to get into the 50′s here today…they even mention some sun possible. The models are crazy this time of year. The GFS was showing a huge storm (rain for us) heading through the U.P., and now the 06Z GFS barely has a storm. All the other models have the storm, which would give us a nice warm up and plenty of rain Friday. Also, the 06Z GFS has some crazy rain to snow storm for late next week. I won’t buy that.

  17. joe says:

    we did not have crap for snow this year that is great warm winters are awesome im tired of all the meteroligist hyping up the winter like it was going to be bad

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      We didn’t think there would be any snow with this system south of G.R. and very little in our northern counties.

      1. INDY says:

        Bill we have 5th graders on your blogg !!!

  18. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

    Wind is strong up here but I can’t tell you what it is because my wind cage on my weather system is froze and it’s on top of the garage so I don’t think I’ll be climbing on any ladder. Raining, roads are wet with a few slick spots, small twigs are breaking off and fall on Myers Lake Rd, have a bigger portion of a tree limb w/twigs down in my yard. Nothing is freezing on the roads so much as to surfaces that aren’t being traveled. Definitely see ice on the trees up here, but not heavy enough to bend them so much. As I watch our partially dead tree swaying in the wind I’m waiting to see more limbs fall.
    Temp 32.9
    humidity 96%
    Pressure 29.58
    Wind N/A

  19. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

    Oh, LOL bless my sons heart he was paying attention at the Skywarn Class, he saw some low level clouds and one that was hanging low looking like a tornado, and he says “Mom there is a Scud Cloud” and I asked him what does a scud cloud look like and he said a “tornado but it isn’t one.” And I said why is it called a “Scud Cloud” and he said “because it hangs down but it isn’t rotating.” :-) Proud momma!

  20. DF (SE Mich) says:

    0.1″ of ice in A2 on trees and grass. 35° and raining now.

  21. Jim S. (Saugatuck Twp) says:

    We have had about 3/4″ of rain…still a little more to go, then the dry slot. Come on 60′s! Let’s see how warm it gets today.

    1. DF (SE Mich) says:

      I’d love to hit 60° as well!

  22. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

    I’m having a brain fart with the Long/Latitude that was mentioned at Skywarn to give your directions of report. I went to Google Earth found my spot, now how do I find or get to the Long/Latitude report? I see degrees at the bottom of the page XXXX . N and then XXXX W stuff like that. Would that be what I write down for my destination?

    1. GunLakeDeb says:

      Yes! It’s measured in “hours, Minutes, and seconds” even though you see “feet and inches” punctuation

      1. Cort S. (Plymouth, NH) says:

        Yeah, Lat/Lon can be measured in Degrees (0-90 or 180), Minutes (0-60), and Seconds (0-60), but it gets confusing because another way to do it would be Degrees (0-90 or 180) with decimals (0-100). The NWS’s storm report software uses Degrees with two-digit decimals, so you should use that when sending in a report.

        Main & Muskegon St in downtown Cedar Springs –
        In degrees/minutes/seconds it’s 43° 13′ 12″ N, 85° 33′ 00″ W.
        In degrees/decimal it’s 43.22°, -85.55°
        (It’s a negative longitude because we are in the Western Hemisphere.)

        Summary: 30 minutes would be 0.5 degrees.

        Here’s a website to help you convert them:

        1. GunLakeDeb says:

          Thanks for the correct info, Cort!!


        2. GunLakeDeb says:

          That was supposed to be “hours” (smacks forehead – DUH!)

  23. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

    Well I got a picture of the ice up here coated on the trees and bird feeder, what I thought was just a small branch/twig was actually a long limb off our tree. I was surprised just waiting for more to break off with this wind

  24. DF (SE Mich) says:

    IF the sun can come out the temps will go up quick. It looks like clouds should clear out.

  25. Jim S. (Saugatuck Twp) says:

    The U.P. getting the brunt of this storm, and then can prepare for a possible blizzard on Friday as a sub 980mb low is on the way….according to some models. We could warm up pretty good Friday on the other side of that low pressure. Not sure if we would get any thunderstorms with that.

    1. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

      Looking at the radar, I wouldn’t be surprised if Traverse City had some nice thundersnow this morning.

      1. GunLakeDeb says:

        I saw that, too!! It looked “loud” ;-)

  26. Jim S. (Saugatuck Twp) says:

    Gary, Indiana is up to 61 and sunny as of 10am.

    1. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

      52 degrees and sunny in New Buffalo already. Wish I was down there today.

  27. ~Sherry~ (Comstock Park) says:

    I had some ice on the trees here around 3am. Checked again around 5am and it was just rain.

  28. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

    I still have ice on trees, bird feeders, fence, part of my driveway. Temp is still steady at 33.4

  29. bluegill says:

    Hard to measure the snow today (NE Grand Traverse County) as the wind is really blowing and we had a couple hours of sleet/snow mix early this am. Took 4″ of the driveway at 10am that was packed down pretty tight. No real ice around hear as the trees are clear and no ice in the snow from the driveway. So far conditions are much better than the potential ice forecast – though sounds like another wave later today. Snow is pretty deep here and snowmobiling has been best of the season the last couple weeks.

  30. Imthemom (just n holland) says:

    Ok the 2012 snowballs are in the freezer. Spring may start. The latest I ever collected snowballs was April 10 ( about 5 or 6 years ago).

  31. Tim (Spring Lake) says:

    So far my sister in law in St Joe is reporting some sun and the temp has already broke 50 there. It just needs to make it another hour 1/2 north now!!!!

  32. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

    Niles, Michigan just hit 62 degrees. Heat wave!

      1. Jim S. (Saugatuck Twp) says:

        Sun just came out here…we should be hitting 50 shortly…I hope.

  33. Terri Dykstra says:

    I have a Question for Mr Bill Steffen,My Husband is a smoker and he goes outside to smoke, usually on a clear night He will usually see the Little Dipper inside the Big Dipper, this has been this way since January, Are they supposed to side be side?

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      The Little Dipper wouldn’t be inside the Big Dipper, but they are relatively close in the northern sky. Look at the picture here: The bright star that is at the end of the handle of the Little Dipper is the North Star. During the night, the stars (not the planets) will rotate around the North Star. So you can imagine the Dippers moving in a circle around that point.

    2. Brad says:

      What is your husband smoking?

  34. Kate (44th and Breton) says:

    Been listening to the scanners in Missouri and Kentucky all morning. Tornadoes like crazy!

  35. Matt says:

    Get a life you guys!!!!!!!!!

  36. storm waning says:

    As written in Bills blog entry….

    “We’ve had above normal snowfall in G.R. this winter…it’s just that we’ve had more rain and less snow.”

    I am the egg-man koo-koo-ka-choo! What does this mean? “above normal snow… just less snow?”

    Poor guy needs sleep

  37. ~Sherry~(Comstock Park) says:

    He probably means above normal precipitation. We wish it would have been all snow. Maybe next year:)

  38. Paul says:

    I AM Telling all of you Winter is done and over bring on 90 degree weather.

  39. Paul says:

    58 In Benton Harbor.

  40. Jim S. (Saugatuck Twp) says:

    South Haven at 56 and sunny. I am about 20 min. north of that. Gotta be pushing mid 50′s now. Not much wind and full sun. Must feel like spring.

    1. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

      64 now in Niles. NWS nailed it today. Jealous of you guys that are in the sun!

  41. Paul says:

    64 South Bend Ind.

  42. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

    Ice coating has finally melted off the trees and feeders, still a bit on our fence yet but almost gone. Still cloudy and 33.8 waiting for the temp to rise. Hey spring, it’s about time you sprung!

  43. Lade_Trucker says:

    Michigan Indiana line 63* at 9:30 a.m. Rockfor IL. 53* 10:24 C.S.T. almost had to kick on the A.C. Sun beatin’ down in the rig!

    1. Lade_Trucker says:

      Very Windy! Two handed driving day!

  44. Hastings says:

    Land hurricane :)
    Steady 41.9F for the last ~15 minutes in Hastings. Steady cloud cover still.

    1. GunLakeDeb says:

      Hang on – it’s just clearing here!! Yay sunshine!!!!!!!

  45. Stephen says:

    From Dr.Greg Forbes
    FRI MAR 2
    Numerical models still are somewhat different in details, but another severe
    weather outbreak seems likely. Severe thunderstorm and tornado outbreak in
    southeast MI, OH, east and south IN, KY, TN, north AL, north and west-central
    MS, northwest GA, east and south AR, north LA, west WV, a strip of TX from
    near Longview to College Station.

    Could be looking at the first tornado outbreak of the season.
    Spring is almost here

  46. Paul says:

    Sun trying to come out here in Grand Haven 44….

  47. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

    Hey you southerners give us some of that sun!! only 35.6 yet up here and getting a bit of fog over the packed snow up here.

  48. kevin. w says:

    Tornado season coming the next few weeks. Get ready for a wild ride up in Michigan. Waiting for something down here in florida.

    1. Yeah, the GFS = Spring after March 6th from what I was seeing.

  49. Bnoppe says:

    Kevin looks like your warm air bubble is about to. Explode over us next wek

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