T-Storm late Sat. Night/Sunday

March 17th, 2012 at 1:07 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Local    1:30  PM. -  Back from church and a nice walk in Rogue River Park.  I saw and heard woodpeckers in stereo! …one to the right of me and one to the left.  The forsythia are yellow, the willows are greening up…there were a lot of people at the Rogue fishing for steelhead.  There are some showers, mainly SE of a line from Battle Creek to Lansing.  The satellite loop shows the upper level disturbance heading toward the SE corner of Michigan.   We’ll clear out and have two very warm days Monday to Tuesday.    Grand Rapids is now 13.5 degrees warmer than average for March!  Interesting fact – the 3 warmest Marches were all followed by snowier than average winters.   It was 82 in Traverse City today, warmer than Key West or Ft. Lauderdale, and exactly the same high as  Honolulu!  …and 14 degrees warmer than Yuma AZ at mid-afternoon!  TVC was 25 degrees warmer than Los Angeles.  That tied the warmest ever in March for TVC.  It was 80 in Pellston, 78 in Gaylord and 75 in Marquette – all the warmest ever at those locations in March (though data doesn’t go back as far at these stations -Marquette started in 1961, so they missed 1910 and 1945).  The warmest was Indian River at 84.   78 in G.R. – another record high temperature – the 3rd in the last 4 days, but only 60 on the beach at Muskegon and 48 at Manistique with a south wind coming down the length of Lake Michigan.  Fruit Basket/Flowerland says soil temperatures are running a month ahead of average and they are starting to put down lawn applications.  It’s St. Patrick’s Day and there’s a lot of green on the SPC thunderstorm outlook.  Note the chance of thunderstorms for coastal California, Phoenix and Las Vegas.  The air is stable now here (6:30 PM).  There were storms northwest of Chicago that produced many hail reports and local flooding.   There are more storms SW of Chicago, and an arc of showers/thunderstorms NE of St. Louis moving towards us.  That should get here until after 2 or 3 AM.  I was there at the station until nearly 4 AM Saturday looking through past data on warm Marches and what that means for the summer and next winter and I’ll have something on the blog about that later this week, so keep checking back here.    Satellite Loop here.  Here’s links to the current conditions, regional radar, GRR radar, northern Indiana radar, and Chicago radar and Milwaukee radar. 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 (which has been occasionally out of service), the Grand Haven Steelheaders webcam and weather station, and the weather station at Holland St. Park. Check out the WOOD lightning tracker and U.S. lightning and links to webcams. Here’s the infrared satellite loop and the visible loop (daytime). If you can think of any other useful links, please leave them in a comment.   NOTE:  I can’t wear green in front of the chroma/key screen  Id love to wear a green shirt/tie…but no can do.

79 Responses to “T-Storm late Sat. Night/Sunday”

  1. KSEA Caledonia-Cutlerville says:

    We will just have to wait and see then!

  2. DF (SE Mich) says:

    The droves of workers here cleaning up and repairing can do without rain for some time.

    1. GunLakeDeb says:

      Praying the weather stays good for them. It was heartbreaking to see the Henryville, IN area get snow after the tornado damage – I know it didn’t stay long, but when you’re hoping to find ANYTHING that belongs to you – snow cover doesn’t help.

      I have seen about 10 times more motorcycles this winter, than snowmobiles. How weird is that for Michigan??

      1. DF (SE Mich) says:

        It has been awesome weather so far. Walked the damage line in town and a lot of progress is being made. Half of our town is still without power since thy have to replace quite a few poles which were taken out.

    2. fixxxer says:

      sorry to say but it looks like storms for most of us tomorrow.

      1. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

        That is why I’m busting my arss today outside power washing the deck, duck pen, you name it! I’m hoping for storm but I know how it goes so nothing wrong with hoping but I’m also realistic so don’t need to remind me just in case you decided to fixxx ;-)

  3. Herb (SE Muskegon Township) says:

    I have a feeling we have a hot summer, with an active storm pattern.

    1. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

      It could go either way warm cool or average the most likly would be average.

      1. fixxxer says:

        a cool summer sucks IMO.

      2. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

        I’ll take average rather then cool. I have been so spoiled this winter.

  4. fixxxer says:

    i hope bill isn’t hinting on a cool summer because of this. they said last summer was going to be cold and it was one of the warmest we have had.

    1. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

      The last realy warm March in 1945 that summer was on the cool side.

      1. fixxxer says:

        i believe bill told me awhile ago he believed this summer would be average to a bit above. really though, this far out no one could know for sure.

  5. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

    Going back to 1900 at various recording stations here in GR it looks like we have had 11 Marches where the average mean temp has been 40° or warmer (right now we are at 45.3° using that temp there has only been two other years where the average mean has been 45 or higher (1945 and 1910) using only those two years the following summer was cool in 1945 and just above average in 1910. Looking at all of the 11 years (1902, 1903,1910, 1921, 1938, 1945, 1946 , 1973, 1977, 2000 and 2010) three 2010, 1938 and 1921 had very warm summers. Three had cool summers 1946, 1945 and 2000. While the others were near average. One of the years that I am looking at for a possible so called analog year is 1921 where we had a somewhat similar winter leading up to that summer but hey who knows what will happen. As it has been pointed out there is still a lot of cold air around and if that is drawn in our direction any time it could get cold (of very cool) depending on when it happened. BTW if we end up with a summer like 1945 or 1946 or 2000 we will have a cool summer but if we end up like 1921 or 2010 we will have a warm one.
    On a side note I am now up to 80° here. I already too a nice long walk out side and will go back out for a while more for some yard work.

  6. fixxxer says:

    as bill said i think we stay dry today, that’s unless we get some pop up storms like yesterday?

    1. fixxxer says:

      well brad i will give you that the weather this entire winter has been very unusual. not sure i chalk it up to “global warming” but at times it does feel surreal. we will have to see how the spring & summer pans out as far as excessive heat and severe weather.

      1. Brad says:

        The meteorologists seem stumped. Look at the winter forecasts here and elsewhere, the blocked jet stream with June heat in March (unprecedented extreme highs and minimum lows, long duration), and the unpredicted tornadoes the other day (earliest and most powerful on record in MI). The times, they are a-changin’! In the long run, regardless of the arguments about what is causing these weather anomalies, the people and ecosystem are stressed by them. It will be interesting to see what happens to our fruit crops this year.

        1. fixxxer says:

          well as slim said i foresee many frost events yet. i bet they are stumped as so am i. this may be a very hard year to predict severe weather and weather overall.

        2. Brad says:

          I’m looking for a dump of wet, heavy snow over tulips and leafed-out trees in April…or, better yet, a cold snap with lows in the single digits. I can’t imagine the chaos that would bring. Wait…yes, I can!

          Meanwhile, I have offered to not charge Bill high rates for energy usage. In return, Bill has offered to donate money to the poor folks on Kiribati, who are losing their land to the sea as the global climate warms and melts the icecaps and glaciers:


        3. fixxxer says:

          well brad im not going to comment on all of that but i do know the drastic change in temps is not good for a persons health. i know ive felt like crap all winter with the up’s & downs.

        4. Bill Steffen says:

          Brad…who said the tornadoes were “unpredicted”? Eastern Lower Michigan was in the Slight Risk Area from SPC days ahead of the event. There was a watch issued well in advance of the tornadoes. The sirens were sounded in Dexter at 5:09 PM. The tornado came through at 5:35 PM. That’s 26 minutes lead time! It was the prediction that saved lives. People heard the sirens, were watching TV or listening to NOAA Weather Radio. They had been educated to go to safe places. Look at all that damage and NO injuries! I’ve said on the blog that La Nina years have 20% more tornadoes, more strong tornadoes and more long-track tornadoes…also a much greater chance of a day with 40 or more tornadoes in 24 hours. That’s as good as prediction gets right now.

          Michigan had a dozen F4 and F5 tornadoes from 1953-1977 and not a single tornado that strong since then. With the flip to the cold PDO and a greater percent of time with La Ninas, I would expect more tornadoes and more strong tornadoes in the next decade. Wait until the AMO goes cold to go with the cold PDO and see what happens. Enjoy the low heating bills. Winters like the late 1970s would be a real hardship for many people, especially with the effort being made to raise gasoline prices to European levels and to make utility rates “skyrocket”.

        5. Brad says:

          What was the assigned risk for tornadoes assigned that morning?

        6. Bill Steffen says:

          Hmmm…good question. I don’t know. I didn’t work that day. Maybe someone else knows what the percentages were from SPC in the AM over the area or can look that up. The outlook data is archived. I’ve got to keep working on the evening shows. I’ll bet they were looking for hail more than tornadoes that day.

        7. Todd A (from Holland but in GR) says:

          15% chance of large hail in the Dexter area. (4th map down on the page)

        8. Sorry to contradict, but I believe it was a Severe T-Storm Watch issued- not a Tornado Watch. SPC also didn’t have even a 2% tornado. I don’t blame them, because it really was not looking like a likely situation. NWS in Detroit did have very good lead time on their warnings though.

        9. Bill Steffen says:

          Here’s more on Kiribati – seems the story went through one reporter from AP – this article sheds more light and is a different take from the AP reporter: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/10/so-many-people-so-little-rain/

          Sea level is not static and has varied by hundreds of feet over even recent Earth history. Sea level dropped in 2010. See this graph from NASA: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/images/earth/grace/earth20110823-full.jpg and that the Antarctic icecap has grown significantly: http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/S_timeseries.png Take a look at this graph and tell me they have a global warming catastrophe: http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.antarctic.png The icecap didn’t get down to average all summer! Now it’s increasing again. I don’t think we have to worry about significant rises in sea level. Here’s more on Kiribati – seems Greenpeace is “egging them on”: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/09/kiribati-on-the-move-not-sinking/ What IS a concern is that we’ve built on just about every square inch of our barrier islands (which are not permanent). Sanibel Is. now has over 6,000 permanent residents. That’s not counting the tourists. In 1926 a hurricane produced a 14-foot tide that covered most of the island. An 1877 hurricane covered the entire island. It’s only a matter of time until that happens again. Then the relatively rich residents will come whining to the government to help them rebuild. Another subsidy for “the rich”…kind of like the $7,500 of taxpayer money (soon to be $10K) to every buyer of a Volt. An average Volt buyer has an income of 165K, so it’s a subsidy to the rich. We could save more energy giving out $2,000 subsidies for buyers of a Chevy Cruze or Prius…cars that average people can better afford.

    2. Char says:

      Ah, please leave the global warming alone. Whether you believe it or not its annoying to hear about constantly people harping one way or the other. Just enjoy the nice weather.

    3. Char says:

      Also it seems like people complain when the local news stations hype up or sensationalize the weather but then probably the same people also complain if they feel they werent warned in advance of a thunderstorm/moderate amount of snow/tornado. I’m glad people dont come to my job with their lack of knowledge and education in my field and try to tell me I’m always wrong or off. Bill keep up the good work. I enjoy reading your blog, its good to see someone so passionate about what they do.

  7. Brad says:

    WOW. This is sad for our western forests, but predicted by climatologists and biologists for a long time.


      1. GunLakeDeb says:

        We saw this devastation in 2008 when we went to Yellowstone/Tetons; and in 2006 in Alaska (who surely only has ONE breeding season for their Spruce Beetles) It makes one sick to lose those trees – and the dead trees are also fodder for forest fires.

      2. Randy (SW Walker) says:

        Go hug a tree Brad. I am impressed you are stepping out without Joanne and DB though. Way to grow a pair (finally)

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      Being that’s the Washington Post and that I’m skeptical by nature…I’d like to actually see the temperature data from weather stations in the area with consistent temperature records. I’d like to see if the “warming” was consistent across all seasons…if there was a difference in annual maximums and more so minimums. Often one cold minimum means more the other 364 days combined. It sure isn’t warm in Alaska and far NW Canada now. Do we have evidence that this species has peaked like this before?

  8. fixxxer says:

    as i was driving around this morning with my windows down i see how most of the activity outside is summer like. then reality sets in that it is only march 17th and i still feel were going to pay for this somehow.

    1. Brad says:

      It can’t last…can it?

      1. fixxxer says:

        good question, honestly i don’t know. but growing up in michigan i doubt it.

  9. fixxxer says:


    WOW look at the temp difference out west. were warmer than florida right now. just unbelievable.

  10. Brad says:

    It’s painful that this beautiful weather coincides with March Madness. It’s normally not nice enough to fret not being outdoors this time of year.

    1. fixxxer says:

      well as you can tell by how dead the blog is, everyone is outside. i couldn’t tell you as im not into sports.

      1. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

        I am outside powerwashing the house, the deck, the duck pen, patio furniture, ect. I may think about doing a bon fire tonight we shall see.

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

          We are having a bonfire tonight :) .. First one I can remember this early in the year. Gotta love it!

        2. fixxxer says:

          Enjoy it while you can.

  11. Fred says:

    78 here in Greenville. Then back home to Cedar Springs and lay in the hammock.

  12. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

    In looking at what might happen in the days ahead from Northern Indiana. Look towards the end of the page and see the number of days that got below 32° in some of the past warm Marches


    Still 80° here with lots of sun

  13. fixxxer says:

    A few 90 day outlooks through may call for pretty warm temps for the midwest but also above average precip.

  14. Mike (Mattawan) says:

    Wow. I still can not believe this amazing mid-march weather. Just spent the whole day outside doing work that would’ve had to be done a month or 2 from now, and many of our trees (including fruit trees) are beginning to bud. I can’t help but think we will pay for this amazingly warm weather with a big freeze later on. But I guess we just wait and hope that doesn’t happen an in the meantime, enjoy this weather! And I got several readings from several different sensors around the yard today saying 80, 81, and 81.

  15. fixxxer says:

    Got soo warm in my 3rd floor apartment i turned the air on. Just crazy for march.

    1. Brian(Grandville) says:

      So did I, can’t stand it when it gets above 75 inside.

      1. 81F in my room, I am sitting in the sun with the fan on low and the window open! It’s a small fan only 12 inches around.

        1. fixxxer says:

          I use fans all year round.

  16. tiffany says:

    if we do end up getting frost,are we going to be warned so we can cover our plants up?

    1. fixxxer says:

      Im sure. I keep seeing around the 24th-25th we will be chilly…yuck!

      Looks short lived though.

  17. I passed by an argument on facebook somewhere that made me laugh. People were claiming that HAARP was using their device to push the troposphere out into space at the north pole area, pulling the jet stream northward. I’m amazed at the speculation with this warmth. I mean, I know there is a reason, we just don’t know what it is yet. Meanwhile, I certainly am enjoying the heck out of this weather!!

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      30 years ago, I used to always get “The Russians control the weather”. I’d ask them if that was the case, why Russia had about the worst weather in the world? Would they try and make it warmer in winter in Siberia? Weather’s BIG…man is small…arrogant at times, but still small.

  18. GunLakeDeb says:

    Here’s a temperature that blew me away: I just put a thermometer in Gun Lake and it’s 63 degrees!! No wonder the kids are already playing in the lake!

    I live on the West side, where the average depth is between 4-5′; so it warms quickly, to say the least!!

    1. fixxxer says:

      Gonna have a warm lake this spring/summer.

      1. Barry in Zeeland says:

        Yup! Can you say e-coli outbreak?

  19. BJ says:

    Hi Bill:
    You mentioned that we are above average this winter for precipitation since we had a lot of rain. I may have missed this in a previous post of yours but what is the total snowfall/rain amounts for the winter in Grand Rapids?
    Thank you,. I enjoy your blog very much and check in several times a day. I have learned a lot.

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      Season snowfall is at 51.2″. That’s 20″ below average, but no where near the bottom for season snowfall. Tenth place for least snowfall in G.R. is 35.9″ in 1982-83. Precipitation since 1/1 is 6.84″ which is +1.78″ above average. Where we missed the winter forecast was the lack of Arctic air…so more of the precipitation was rain than snow. It’s been a long, snowy cold winter across Alaska and NW Canada. It’s still cold up there…but there has been no blocking over NE Canada to drive the cold air south. We’ve had a strong west to east flow, flooding the country with mild, Pacific air. It’s interesting that when we came out of the strong and long La Nina of 1973-76, each of the next 3 years we had at least one VERY warm week in spring. I’ll do more on that (hopefully) next week.

      1. Brad says:

        I’m not sure there is a statistic for this, but I am curious how many days had 1″+ snow on the ground this winter. The bare ground all winter gave the impression we had less snow than we did.

        1. Bill Steffen says:

          That I can look up. I’ve got 3 days in Dec., 19 in Jan., 11 in Feb. and one in March for a total of 34 days.

  20. fixxxer says:

    Went for a walk with the kid. Most of the trees and bushes are budding. Unbelievable how early this is happening. NO MORE SNOW….!

  21. Sounds lovely and warm in many places. I will vouch for the 48 degrees in Manistique … we’ve been dealing with a wind chill all day. The last two days were nicer with temps in the 50s and some sunshine. Other than the snow a couple of weeks ago, it’s been a fairly easy winter up here. The farmers really needed more snow though, it’s very dry here.

  22. Bernie (Da Original) says:

    Swarms of mosquitos have hatched.Maybe a good frost will wipe them out for most the summer. But that wouldn’t be good for the bats and the songbirds that eat them.

  23. bobstam says:

    Bill, what do you think about snow for the next 3-4 weeks? I’m not talking about snow that sticks on the grass for half a day but icy roads or plowable/shovable snow?

    1. Barry in Zeeland says:

      I think those days are long gone. Ground is way to warm now from the constant sun beating down on it.

    2. Bill Steffen says:

      I’m not seeing any significant snow into the first few days of April. We’ve had snow as late as May 9, so I can’t answer that question, but nothing showing now.

    3. fixxxer says:

      i think were done with snow bob.

  24. Soccer6713 says:

    Spent the night in Mt. Pleasant on Friday and came out of hotel today before noon to 74 degrees. Furnace has not run for 4 days. Was it really St. Patricks Day today or Fathers Day? Noticed many buds on trees are already leafing out. I swear my flowers are on steroids as they are accelerating out of the ground at top speed!

  25. budone (Marysville) says:

    How are the tulips in Holland and the fruit trees fairing?

  26. Char says:

    The key word in global warming is “global”, not local or national.

  27. Char says:

    Fixxer I rarely post here but I do usually read the blog and comments. Its good to see you positive and upbeat. Warm weather puts a positive spin on everything. Enjoy.

  28. Herb (SE Muskegon Township) says:

    We might get a decent snow, but the soil is warmer than average. Also the sun is higher up and will melt anything we get quick. Remember severe thunderstorm watches means severe thunderstorms are possible, and severe thunderstorms can produce a tornado even without being under a tornado watch. I really do believe we are in for a warmer than average summer. We will see.

    1. fixxxer says:

      Any snow after this warm weather would be a travesty…

  29. Tyler says:

    It is 58 degrees at midnight on St. Patricks Day! This is unbelievable, just like a Mid August night. I have never seen this before in March ever! Our snow is completely gone, except the snowbanks from the Leap day storm especially in the Wal Mart parking lot those piles are still a good size but they lost half their size.

    1. fixxxer says:

      In sure it would be much warmer than 58 at night in august. But yes it feels nice.

      1. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

        Sleeping with the windows open! LOVE it!

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