Long-Range Thoughts (Summer)

April 24th, 2012 at 11:10 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

  One of the highlights of summer – the Coast Guard Festival Fireworks in Grand Haven the first Saturday of August.  If you’re just looking for the numbers forecast, scroll down to the bottom.  The weather geeks here like a little background:

Well, we’ve just come through a winter with a La Nina that behaved like an El Nino.  For the most part, the cold, Arctic air never really made it down into the Lower 48 states.  We had above normal precipitation in all three winter months, but it was warmer than average, so more of the precipitation fell as rain instead of snow.  We had the warmest March ever in the Great Lakes and in some cities (inc. Grand Rapids and Chicago) April is going to turn out cooler than March.  The sea-surface temperature anomaly map shows that La Nina is fading.  The water along the Equator is still cool in the central Pacific, but it’s warmed to a little warmer than average west of South America.  So, let’s assume that La Nina is fading to either neutral (sometimes called La Nada) or a weak El Nino.  You can also see the cold PDO (Pacific Decadal Oscillation) (note how the PDO tracks with global temperature…warm from 1910-1950, cooler in the 50s to 70s, then warmer) which is colder than average water from Alaska down the west coast of the U.S. and Mexico.  This should lead to cooler than average temperatures this summer along the immediate Pacific Coast (and a fairly brisk ocean breeze) and fewer and weaker hurricanes off the West Coast of Mexico.  You can also see warmer than average water in the Gulf of Mexico (this could lead to early hurricane/tropical storm formation in the Gulf of Mexico – though fading La Ninas usually don’t have high numbers of tropical storms (not to see you can’t have one or several major impact storms).  I think the mean (warm) ridge will in the mean be over the eastern Rockies and western High Plains, where temperatures will be warm.  Drought will continue to be a problem from West Texas up into western Kansas and in parts of the Southeast U.S. (though rainfall there should be a little closer to average in the East than it has been so far this year).

Here’s the list of La Nina/El Nino years.  I tried to find similar years to see what followed.  Note that we’ve had a La Nina for nearly two years going to a level of -1.5.  I looked at 1951 (we had a cool summer and then the snowiest winter EVER in W. Michigan in 1951-52 after a La Nina), 1956-57 (the Standale tornado was 1956 – though both the Standale and Palm Sunday tornadoes were preceded by cold weather in March, unlike this year), 1972 moved to a strong El Nino and I think this one coming will be weaker – 1972 featured a cold March and a cool fall, the long La Nina of 1973-76 – more on this later, 1986 (also moving toward a more significant El Nino – we had just five days that hit 90 in the summer of 1986), 1989 (that was a cool summer with only one 90-degree day and a brutal start to winter with cold and 19.4″ of snow in Nov. then Dec. 1989 was the coldest December EVER in G.R., more than 10 degrees colder than average, then January was 10 degrees warmer than average – quite a flip – we did get 90″ of snow that winter).   1999-2001 was a long and strong La Nina.  In 2000, we only had 9 days all year that reached 85 degrees.   In 2001, it didn’t snow much until just before Christmas…then it hardly stopped snowing and we had 4 feet of snowfall in a week (it was fluffy stuff that settled down and I don’t think we had above 18″ on the ground.  In 2001, we had 8 days that hit 90 degrees.  The winter of 2008-2009 was pretty average.  In 2008 and in 2009 we only had 3 days that hit 90 all summer.   The pattern is that you don’t see a lot of really hot days when you pull out of La Nina.  The trek coming out of La Nina often features a cold winter.  Will that be this coming winter, or the next one?  March of 1910 was very similar to this year.  That year was very warm in March, but it got cool after that.  It was the winter of 1911-12 that was the very cold one.  The winter of 1976-77 was brutally cold – following La Nina.  In general, years when La Nina fades to neutral or weak El Nino have average to below average temperatures.

One thing that I found interesting about the years pulling out of the 1973-76 La Nina was that the following several years all had very warm periods in spring.  In 1976, we were 4.8° warmer than average and had four days in the 70s.  April had 72% sunshine and a five-day stretch in mid-April when the average high temp. was 82°.  The summer than followed was 0.6° warmer than average.  In 1977, March was 6.9° warmer than average and April had a stretch from the 10th to the 21st that was 17.5° warmer than average, and May 19-26 was the warmest week of the year with an average high for that week of 90.1°.  The summer than followed was 0.8° cooler than average.  In 1978, the warmest week of the year was warmest week of the year with an average high of 89° and no rain.  Following that, all 3 summer months were cooler than average.  Note that all 3 years had periods of unusual warm weather in spring, followed by an average to cool summer…and…the winters were cold and snowy!!  The winter of 1976-77 tied 1903-04 as the coldest ever in G.R.  The winter of 1977-78 featured the Blizzard of ’78, followed by the coldest February and the 5th coldest March ever in G.R.  And the winter of 1978-79 saw the Great Lakes freeze over!   So winters coming out of La Ninas can be cold and snowy.  I thought it was also interesting to note that the number of 90-degree days in G.R. decreased during this period.  We had 21 days of 90-degree heat in 1976, 11 in 1977, 8 in 1978 and 5 in 1979.  We didn’t get to double-digits again until 1983.  From 1974 to 1986, we didn’t have a single day above 95 degrees.

So, my forecast for the summer calls for near normal temperatures (+0.5° above average), 65% of possible sunshine (slightly above average), a summer maximum temperature of 94° and 9 days reaching 90-degrees at the Ford Airport, the maximum water temperature at the mid-Lake Michigan buoy of 75° (five degrees cooler than last year).  Precipitation (which can vary greatly over short distances with summer convection) I’ll peg at 11.2″ or slightly above average, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see a dry stretch (around 2 weeks) in late summer.   Our greatest severe threat will be damaging wind from fast moving storms coming from the west or northwest.  Fast-moving storms can come on you quickly, so stay up with the forecasts on thunderstorm days if you’re boating, at the beach or camping.   With the La Nina fading, the overall tornado count will go from above average back to near normal (La Ninas have more tornadoes, more long-track tornadoes, more strong tornadoes and more single-day outbreaks of +30 tornadoes).

I’ve looked through years when we have had similar weather conditions.  It’s interesting to note that if you take the three warmest March months in the last 100 years in G.R., all three had above normal snowfall the following winter.  While it’s not saying much, the ocean currents and analog years certainly favor a cooler fall and earlier snow this year.  A very cold and/or very snowy winter is certainly within reason either this coming winter or the next.  This year mirrors 1910 very closely and the cold winter was the second in 1911-12.  Note the cold and snowy winters that followed the 1973-76 La Nina.  2001-02 was also a snowy winter here in W. Michigan.  I discounted 1992 because of the influence of the Mt. Pinatubo volcano, which cooled the Earth by 1/2-degree.

Some other forecasts:  Environment Canada is forecasting a warm summer for most of Canada.   You can assume they’d have Michigan on the warm side.  The Climate Prediction Center’s forecast overall looks pretty good to me (though I don’t think it’s not going to be a warm summer on Catalina Island).  I’d have the heat ridge at least one state to the east of where they have it and I’d include above normal precipitation areas, mainly to our south.  The warm Gulf of Mexico will continue to feed some quality moisture northward.  Here’s the CFSv2 forecast – which has temperatures here close to average.

To sum it up…the pattern will be cooler than last year and cooler relative to average for the Great Lakes to Northeast for the summer and fall.


94 Responses to “Long-Range Thoughts (Summer)”

  1. DF (SE Mich) says:

    Very interesting, sounds good to me.

    Speaking of Catalina Island I am off to do a sailboat race from LA to Mexico soon. Should be fun! The temp doesn’t change much over there so it should be fairly easy to pack.

  2. KF (SE of Lowell) says:

    Thanks for the information Bill. I am NOT looking forward to a snowy winter. But it is Michigan and we were spoiled last winter. I am going to enjoy the comfortable summer–it can’t get here soon enough.

  3. Randy (SW Walker) says:

    Bring it on- whatever it may be! Just can’t wait for summer. Thank Bill

  4. Rick Hull says:

    Thanks Bill for the most interesting read yet.
    I can remember those years you pointed out especially the blizzard of 78 when it snowed like crazy cus it was on my birthday just like the bilzzard of 67.
    If what you figure holds true then we can expect snow like we had in i think 07 08 season when i helped out with my brothers snow plowing buisness. we were out day and night for weeks on end it seemed.
    Again thank you for the information and please keep up the fantastic work you and Storm Team 8 do as i depend on you for all my weather information and will continue to do so till i’m gone.

  5. Jeff B. (Gowen) says:

    I just appreciate all the time that Bill takes for us to give us all this information. He is second to none. Thanks Bill! Can’t wait for summer! Now I can also plan acccordingly for the nasty winter.

    1. fixxxer says:

      they have no idea what next winter will be like.

      1. Just desserts says:

        I hope it is cold and rainy with no storms. That would be so sweet.

  6. Brad says:

    Bill, these seasonal forecasts are kind of pointless without recaps or “scorecards.” The winter forecast was like a filled-out bracket that you never scored.

    Anyway, this is a very safe forecast- calling for average conditions across the board. But, will we ever know how you did if you don’t crunch the numbers at the end of the season? :-( .

    1. big Daddy BC says:

      LOL We all know the score. 0-4 in 2011

      1. Paul says:

        “0-4 in 2011″? I think bdbc mistaken that with his speed dating night at Rumor’s Bar, lol. Life is hard (or soft?) for bdbc, especially when you’re a cross dresser, poor little fella.

      1. Michael S says:

        How about a real scorecard on your predictions, instead of partisan hackery?

  7. fixxxer says:

    and when are these warm temps suppose to kick in because i don’t see it anytime soon. i hope when you say an average summer that doesn’t spell cold. we all know how the winter forecast turned out.

    1. Just desserts says:

      Cold, cold, cold! Keep it coming – and rain too!

  8. Jeff (SE Ionia County) says:

    I will take an average summer. :)

    1. fixxxer says:

      so will i jeff. i just hope these high winds die down, as i said it’s been a very windy year soo far.

      1. Jeff (SE Ionia County) says:

        Agreed Fixx

      2. Just desserts says:

        Nah, more wind the better.

        1. Deb (Ludington) says:

          Um more wind the worse = power outages trees down which killed a lady a couple weeks ago so less wind =better

  9. GunLakeDeb says:

    Thanks, Bill, for supplying us *Weather Geeks* (I say that with pride!) with background info!!

    Average is fine with me – I LIKE Michigan’s variety of weather

  10. Jan says:

    I just hope that this summer forecast doesn’t result in as big a surprise as the winter forecast did. That one was way off. If this one turns out like that, too, then it must be time to change the way we look at data. Obviously the models didn’t help much last time.

    1. fixxxer says:

      exactly jan, if anything i hope it turns out well above average rather than well below. i guess we shall have to wait and see but soo far the month of april sucks.

    2. big Daddy BC says:

      That’s why he’s forecasting average to above. Must be that global cooling phase is over. LOL

      1. Bill Steffen says:

        Global cooling is right! Wow! Look at how the icecap at the S. Pole has grown in the last year: http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/S_timeseries.png Same thing at the North Pole! http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/observation_images/ssmi1_ice_area.png Wow! The icecap at the North Pole is approaching one standard deviation ABOVE AVERAGE!! Global temperature for 2012 is BELOW AVERAGE: http://policlimate.com/climate/ncep_cfsr_t2m_ytd_anom.png (NASA IR data).

        And now ANOTHER climate alarmist jumps off the sinking ship: http://climatedepot.com/a/15621/Alert-Gaia-scientist-James-Lovelock-reverses-himself-I-was-alarmist-about-climate-change–so-was-Gore-The-problem-is-we-dont-know-what-the-climate-is-doing-We-thought-we-knew-20-years-ago

        1. Michael S says:

          How about the record temps being set across the west?

          Or how about some actual science about the antarctic ice melt?


          Considering your entire belief about climate apparently rests on ice amounts at the poles, I assume your position will change if ice levels do? Or will you cling to some other out-of-context statistic? I’d bet you haven’t a clue about how a wacky La Nina should influence ice levels.
          How about you stop getting your information from rightwing blogs and start reading some actual scientific journals?

        2. Bill Steffen says:

          So what if there’s a heat wave of a few days in a very small part of the globe…happens all the time. The GLOBAL temperature has been COOLER THAN AVERAGE since Jan. 1: http://policlimate.com/climate/ncep_cfsr_t2m_ytd_anom.png

          Pssst….the Antarctic icecap ISN’T melting!! http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/S_timeseries.png It’s been getting BIGGER since the mid 1980s: http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.antarctic.png

        3. Michael S says:

          Read the Nature paper. You disagree with the scientific conclusions? Their measurements? It’s cutting edge science in one of the best journals in the world. It’s worth a few minutes of your time.

        4. Bill Steffen says:

          Nature has been in the tank for alarmism and objective scientists have noted that. Note this comment from Revkin’s blog at the NY TIMES:

          “I also have to agree with Jim West. My firm ‘belief’ in AGW had already been undermined by some extremely bad papers about mosquitoes, arthropod borne disease, and the effect a warmer Earth on wildlife (I am a biologist). But, I assumed these were just opportunists jumping on the gravy train and that the problem was with the journal review process, not AGW.

          But the Climategate emails made it all too clear that there was no science at all in ALL these famous papers in Nature and other ‘prestige’ journals. Rather, all the sound and fury appeared to be generated by an unscrupulous cabal eager for grant money, fame, and lots of CO2 generating trips to warm and pleasant spots where they could regurgitate their story to a corrupted press and conniving politicians.

          As far as I can tell now, many of the assumptions of AGW appear to be false, nothing that one reads on climate change from Nature to Drudge is reliable.”

          There’s literally tens of billions of dollars being thrown at this issue (two billion to NASA alone) and that would all dry up if the papers conclusions didn’t jive with those who pass out the money. From Gore’s silly claim in 2008 that “the icecap will be GONE in five years” to Mann’s “Hide the Decline” – it’s a house of cards that is collapsing under the weight of reality (polar ice, global temperature).

        5. big Daddy BC says:

          If it’s science, he won’t accept it. Apparently all the world’s scientists got together to create these warm temperatures. They’re in cahoots with the liberals to keep helpless companies like Exxon from making a profit. LOL

        6. Bill Steffen says:

          “all the world’s scientists” you say? LOL What a joke!! Here’s ANOTHER former global warming enthusiast who has seen the error of climate alarmism: http://notrickszone.com/2012/05/09/the-belief-that-co2-can-regulate-climate-is-sheer-absurdity-says-prominent-german-meteorologist/

          “Puls: Ten years ago I simply parroted what the IPCC told us. One day I started checking the facts and data – first I started with a sense of doubt but then I became outraged when I discovered that much of what the IPCC and the media were telling us was sheer nonsense and was not even supported by any scientific facts and measurements. To this day I still feel shame that as a scientist I made presentations of their science without first checking it. The CO2-climate hysteria in Germany is propagated by people who are in it for lots of money, attention and power.

          If you’re a teacher who’s been rather blindly recanting climate alarmism, take some time to look at the facts and data like Dr. Puls or Dave the Biologist in my last comment. Keep an open mind and see if the actual raw data and facts point to near term catastrophic global calamity or whether natural factors play a more prominent role in climate swings.

        7. Michael S says:

          Remind us again why we should care what a meteorologist says about climate? Does he know anything about the science? Peer reviewed papers, etc?

        8. Bill Steffen says:

          Remind me why we should care about a non-meteorologist, non-climatologist who works for the biggest lobbyist in the entire world. http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/12/13/30-major-u-s-companies-spent-more-on-lobbying-than-taxes/ Remember, this is the company that paid no taxes! http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/general-electric-paid-federal-taxes-2010/story?id=13224558#.T6x0wlKwUzQ

          No taxes…billions in “rebates” and 84 MILLION on lobbying (which works out to 141,176 PER CONGRESSPERSON!!).

          In the first months of this year, Exxon (XOM, Fortune 500) paid $3.1 billion in taxes in the United States — more than even the $2.6 billion in profit it made selling oil and gas.

  11. fixxxer says:

    also remember guys this thursday marks the day last year we have those severe storms here in gr.

  12. INDY says:

    Bring on the hot stuff so we make a some cash on our ice cream!! What a nother nice day Bill keep them rolling ….INDYY…..

  13. Nathan (GR) says:


    1. fixxxer says:

      Needs to get here quick.

      1. Just desserts says:

        Keep it cold, keep it cold, keep it nice and cold!

      2. CVS says:

        You need a job quick…..

        1. Lisa (Caledonia) says:

          Really, CVS? What is the point? That was mean for no reason.

        2. Yup (Grandville) says:

          To be fair, he has a job.

  14. For n00bs: “To sum it up…the pattern will be cooler than last year and cooler relative to average for the Great Lakes to Northeast for the summer and fall.”

    I on the other hand, and one of the geeks who read the entry! Very well done Bill. I can almost agree with you completely, but I think we will reach 90 11 times this year. Some areas of MI almost reached 90 in March, and that was remarkable. As far as the fast moving lines of storms from the NW, I can agree with that. Though I personally prefer storms that just pop up over land and move eastward, the squall lines would make better sense. We had a number of those in 2008. I was talking to a storm chaser friend of mine in CA earlier today, and he was saying that he thought we would be moving toward El Nino this summer also. I could see it. I just hope that nothing like 2009 happens, that was IMO, the worst summer ever. Except for 8/8/09 when that powerful line of storms ripped through Fruitport, Kent City and other areas. Most exciting event of the whole summer for me. Hated to see that damage though, it was extensive. We’ll see how it all unfolds. Nice to see the sunshine outside today, but the wind has kept me indoors. Looking forward to warmer air. Thanks for the write up, much appreciated.

    1. fixxxer says:

      11 90 degree days doesnt sound “cool” to me charles.

      1. I didn’t say I agreed with the “cool” thoughts anyway, so don’t worry.

  15. ~Sherry~(Comstock Park) says:

    Sounds good to me Bill. I like number of 90 degree days. Hot and Humid! Now that is a Michigan summer:}}

  16. michael g (SE GR) says:

    What a load of information! I’d be betting on the summer being a little cooler than average myself, but there should still be plenty of nice summer weather.

  17. Nathan (GR) says:

    I love summer Bill! But I really miss lake effect blizzards and sledding…..

  18. bluegill says:

    Thanks for the information Bill!

    It is interesting given the winter we’ve had that the arctic ice is nearly at the 1979-2000 average. http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_stddev_timeseries.png

    It is fascinating that some are saying the sun activity is the main culprit to the unusual weather. There is some research that indicates the weather trends on earth are similar to the trends on Mars and other planets. Stirs the debate on whether it is global warming or more of a solar system phenom – or perhaps a combination.

    1. Michael S says:

      There is not any research that says what you think it says. We have very good telescopes that measure the solar output of the sun…. why would we use Mars or any other planet as a sun thermometer?
      That’s what you’re suggesting, by the way. That using Mars as a thermometer is better than using million dollar heavily instrumented telescopes that directly measure the sun.
      Don’t let Bill’s unrelated points get in the way of the facts.

    2. Bill Steffen says:

      NASA said in the past that the S. Polar icecap on Mars was melting: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2003/07aug_southpole/

      This from National Geographic: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/02/070228-mars-warming.html

      And more: National Geographic News
      May 4, 2009

      A prolonged lull in solar activity has astrophysicists glued to their telescopes waiting to see what the sun will do next—and how Earth’s climate might respond.

      The sun is the least active it’s been in decades and the dimmest in a hundred years. The lull is causing some scientists to recall the Little Ice Age, an unusual cold spell in Europe and North America, which lasted from about 1300 to 1850.

      The coldest period of the Little Ice Age, between 1645 and 1715, has been linked to a deep dip in solar storms known as the Maunder Minimum.

      1. Michael S says:

        This is why arguing with you is useless. The NASA article does not state what you says it does. It specifically says that the melting of the ice cap is due to the orbital variation of Mars. Not solar activity, orbit. Seriously, read the article!
        In the National Geographic article you linked, you take the position of the guy who:
        “Abdussamatov’s work, however, has not been well received by other climate scientists.” and “His views are completely at odds with the mainstream scientific opinion,” said Colin Wilson, a planetary physicist at England’s Oxford University.
        Amato Evan, a climate scientist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, added that “the idea just isn’t supported by the theory or by the observations.”
        “Wobbles in the orbit of Mars are the main cause of its climate change in the current era,” Oxford’s Wilson explained.

        From now on, quote peer-reviewed scientific papers to support your claims. You’re obviously not an expert in the field.

        1. Bill Steffen says:

          The point is that this sunspot cycle has been weak. We’ve had a dimmer sun, a low number of sunspots, a weakening of the solar wind and more than several peer reviewed papers that pose the question of whether the sun is entering a similar state to that before the Dalton and Maunder Minimums.

          The bigger issue is whether we will burden the middle and lower class with “skyrocketing” utility bills (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNSZ62xiD4M) and $9 a gallon gasoline (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122904040307499791.html) – which will do NOTHING to budge global temperature.

          My brother-in-law is a top environmental research scientist for the Oak Ridge Laboratory. He’s done projects with Energy Secretary Chu. I asked him how many of the scientists at Oak Ridge were skeptical of CO2 driven catastrophic global warming and his answer was “80%”.

        2. Michael S says:

          Bill, readers shouldn’t believe anything you say or link to because you either blatantly lied about what you posted above or suffer massive problems with reading comprehension.
          Where are the peer reviewed research papers that support your assertions? If the climate was so strongly driven by solar activity then why don’t we see clear 11 year cycles in the temperature data? Don’t you think it’s maybe a little more complicated than your simplistic theory?
          Who’s your brother in law and who are his colleagues? What papers have they published about climate? Simply being a scientist at Oak Ridge, which doesn’t study climate, doesn’t provide any authority whatsoever. Every science field is different, even within the same subject. Biologists can criticize biology papers– great, that’s what they’re supposed to do. But a Biologist knows nothing about climate models and a neutron physicist knows nothing professionally about climate science.
          Kind of like how you have clearly demonstrated a meteorologist knows nothing about climate science- weather and climate are different, the models are different, the data is different, and you don’t even have a clue because you apparently spend no time trying to educate yourself on the current research in the field.
          I wish we had tapes of you back in the day claiming that cigarettes are good for you and acid rain is just a liberal plot. Same mustache, same idea.

        3. Bill Steffen says:

          I didn’t lie. I pointed out the obvious, that global temperature dropped with/after the Dalton, Sporer and Maunder Minimums: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maunder_Minimum

          I’ve linked to very credible sites, like the National Snow and Ice Data Center: http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_timeseries.png and http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/S_timeseries.png

          …and the Univ. of Illinois Cryosphere: http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.2.html and http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.antarctic.png

          I’d love to see my brother-in-law debate you on catastrophic warming from CO2. I’ll assume you’re not a climatologist or meteorologist unless you can prove otherwise. I’d sure bet he knows more than you about atmospheric chemistry. Alarmists in general won’t debate. What Pat Michaels, Roy Spencer, John Christy, Bill Gray, David Legates or George Taylor could do to Al Gore (or even “handcuffs” Hansen)!

        4. Michael S says:

          Meteorologist? What does that have to do with climate? You look at the outputs of the models and smile and talk about them on TV. Do you even work to develop the models, or are you just one of those presenters?
          How about you back up your scientific bonafides with some peer-reviewed research?

        5. Bill Steffen says:

          If it has nothing to do with climate, then you should have no qualms about debating me, Craig James, Dr. Ryan Maue (who is from W. Michigan and comes thru here every year)or any other meteorologist of my choosing. You can adjust a computer model to do just about anything you like. You can “Use Mike’s TRICK to HIDE THE DECLINE”. But, eventually, reality comes to call (like the icecaps growing like the national debt). Then the alarmists REALLY have to adjust:

          “The problem is we don’t know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books – mine included – because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn’t happened.” – former alarmist James Lovelock quoted this month.

        6. Michael S says:

          Looking at your links, again it’s a story of selective nonsense. Your Illinois link, which you link to the Bering Sea (ice anomaly positive) ignores the 10 or so other surveys in the Northern Hemisphere, all of which have negative anomalies. It’s pure dishonesty on your part. Don’t change the subject and post a million additional links, stand up and respond to why the Bering Sea is more representative than the Artic Sea Basin, the St. Lawrence, etc. (I agree that South Pole ice is increasing, by the way. That’s what the data shows, and this point is not in dispute.)


          By the way, you always change the subject. When have I claimed “catastrophic” warming? I’ve claimed human-caused warming is occuring. I don’t know the catastrophic point, and I’ve never claimed to. What percentage of your brother’s friends believe in moderate warming? James Inhofe was quoted as saying, “I believed in global warming until I learned what the solution was.” I suspect this is the most honest statement he’s ever made on the issue.

        7. Bill Steffen says:

          Then show me the “ten links”. Even the graph that you link to shows Arctic ice above the zero line and with a cold PDO coming off an extended La Nina, you can bet the ice melt this summer will be a little less than the past several years. Check Anthony Watts ice page, it’s got graphs and maps that you can click on to read at the source: http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/sea-ice-page/

          Here’s an example, the S. Polar icecap: http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/S_timeseries.png and http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.antarctic.png Does that look like a global warming disaster?

          “Human caused warming” is of little use to you unless you can force wealth transfer. So, even though urbanization and planting the Midwest in corn and soybeans are obvious examples of “human caused warming” (a good portion of the corn and soybeans are irrigated…factor in transpiration and you ramp up the dewpoints and raise minimum temps), they are ignored (or you find a computer model to dismiss them) because they don’t suggest the goal of wealth transfer fed by the desire to micromanage every aspect of one’s life (carcinogen-filled light bulbs?) http://www.maine.gov/dep/homeowner/cflbreakcleanup.html.

          Draconian measures like “skyrocketing” energy costs and “European level (9-dollar) gasoline will do nothing to “save the planet” or budge global temperatures a tenth of a degree, but they will hurt a lot of poor and middle class.

        8. Irish coffee says:

          “Climate change”, in reference to global parameters, should always include TOTAL global ice anomalies…all too frequently northern hemispheric ice patterns alone are discussed in an attempt to ‘persuade’ agnostics that humans are “burning down the house” so-to-speak.Sea level has not risen according to expectations….temps. haven’t followed ‘computerized’ projections as expected…& contrary to popular belief, there is NO scientific CONSENSUS wrt to exact bio-diversity effects in the future- 10years out; let alone 50-100! Yet many still beat the drums loudly for big-brother controls/restrictions wrt population control,resource usage,property rights,liberty,etc.
          Power and control….power and control- the more things change,the louder the cry for even MORE centralized POWER & CONTROL of the masses.Climate change is just 1 of a potpourri of selective props in the manipulation scheme of gaining/holding POWER=controlling the sheep-le.

        9. Michael S says:

          Bill, I’m talking science, not policy responses. You keep changing the subject and moving on from your distortions and misunderstandings. I don’t know when I was clamoring for an excuse to execute a giant wealth transfer. Everyone should be very clear about the sources you’re using, which seem to all come from Anthony Watts:

          Science offers predictions; Hanson did in 1981 and let’s see how he did:

          The negative sea ice anomalies in the NH are at the site you linked. I know you just link whatever Anthony Watts comes up with without looking at context or basis, but do a little research. For example, JPL explains why global sea levels have dropped (strong El Nino and La Nina increasing rainfall on the continents), and predicts they’ll continue upward in the coming years. See, that’s a testable prediction.

          I still don’t know of the point of debating you and Craig James debating on climate change. I’d refer to the science, and you’d obscure with a flurry of anecdotal evidence from some bloger without any testable scientific theory to justify the data. If you believe it’s all natural variation, then find the papers that detail all the known natural variations, and make a prediction.

          You can’t even stay focused enough to recognize your position on the temperature station urbanization issue is wrong. You apparently aren’t interested to take the time to learn the science behind sea ice extents to understand why sea ice levels are up or down. You just see one data point that works with your political viewpoint, and then the blinders go back on.
          Let’s address the science. Post peer-reviewed research papers, not blogs (Unfortunately your go to source Anthony Watts hasn’t published anything. In fact, he might not have even graduated from college). Forget what you think about my political stances, because you don’t know what you’re talking about. Stay on topic. Okay?

        10. Bill Steffen says:

          It’s a shame, but quite predictable that you won’t debate any of the dozens of quite credible climatologists who have rejected politically-based alarmism. You dismiss anyone who disagrees with you without examining their facts, data and reason.

          “Handcuffs” Hansen (he’s been arrested on more than one occasion and led away in handcuffs) has made many a wrong prediction. Motivated only by his rabid worship of “The Cause” he ignores data and clings to his predictions long after they have been disproved. He’s looked silly (and very lonely) with his multiple predictions of a “Super Nino” (2006 for one: “We suggest that an El Niño is likely to originate in 2006 and that there is a good chance it will be a SUPER El Niño” – big bust there). In 2011 he said this: “we believe that the system is moving toward a STRONG El Niño starting this summer.” NO ONE else was predicting that (nature went the opposite direction into a La Nina). His 1988 temperature predictions failed, as temperatures stayed below his zero emission level: http://www.real-science.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/ScreenHunter_97-Dec.-25-07.19.gif (his graph). He’s tried hard to inflate Arctic temperatures, to localize the Medieval Warm Period, to knock down the hot 1930s (they had to backtrack on that one, too). He starts with a conclusion and works back to fudge the numbers to arrive at a preconceived conclusion.

          There are dozens of peer-reviewed papers written by climatologists who question global warming alarmism. I’ll refer you to Pat Michaels, Robert Balling, Sallie Baliunas, Willie Soon and Roger Pelkie for starters.

          The American Assn. of State Climatologists (all 57 states!) has commended Anthony Watts for his work on exposing poor siting of weather stations.

        11. Michael S says:

          Hmmm. Nice sources- let’s review.
          Dr. Ryan Maue – meteorologist. zero climate publications.
          Dr. Pat Michaels- Cato employee with 40% of funding from fossil fuel organizations, very few publications.
          Robert Balling- This guy actually publishes, but it looks like his expertise is in precipitation.
          Sallie Baliunas- “In 2003, Baliunas co-authored a highly controversial paper with Willie Soon that reviewed previous scientific papers and came to the conclusion that the climate hasn’t changed in the last 2000 years.
          Thirteen of the authors Baliunas and Soon cited in the paper refuted her interpretation of their work, and several editors of Climate Research resigned in protest at a flawed peer review process that allowed the publication. According to the acknowledgments listed in the paper, it was partially funded by the American Petroleum Institute.”
          Willie Soon- aerospace engineer, no major publications and “every grant Dr. Soon has received since 2002 has been from oil or coal interests.”
          As for Dr. Pelkie, he says “Human-caused climate change is real and deserves effective policies in response.” Ouch.

          Great cast of characters there. You claim all the climate scientists are in it for the money, but you’ve cited a bunch of people who work for Cato, Heritage, Heartland (of the recent mass murderers believe in climate change billboards), etc.
          Remind me again why debating you or Craig James would help anyone? I’ve published in policy journals… have you or Craig?

        12. Bill Steffen says:

          Oooo! You’ve published policy journals. I’m sooooo impressed, Michael. You can’t challenge the data, the facts – so you attack character. That’s all you have. Show me where Dr. Maue has deliberately published false information. And you imply false information because he was essentially taking bribes! Unless you can prove that, it’s a despicable lie, Michael – a despicable lie!

          Who leads you’re “cause”? A politician who has made 10′s of millions off carbon schemes…who said in 2008 that “the icecap will be gone in five years” and that “the temperature 2 kilometers down is several million degrees”…who screeches about rising sea-levels, then buys oceanfront property. And you have a camera-seeking character who’s been arrested twice and has been breathtakingly wrong with long range forecasting (“Super Nino?”) and has had his data corrected five times (all five times because it was too warm). And you have the Climategate emails, clearly showing a conspiracy to circumnavigate the law and to force publishers to deny access to anyone who disagreed with them…Champions of free speech and open-mindedness. I won’t get into “Hide the Decline”. And you have dear Prof. Gleick: http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/15/documents-appear-to-reveal-broad-effort-to-amplify-climate-uncertainty/?ref=earth

          You won’t debate,- you’d have too much to lose. Dr. Maue vs the policy journal guy! But the offer stands. Dr. Maue is from W. Michigan and comes through here on occasion. If you’re chicken, you can see if you can find a fellow policy journal publisher to take him on.

        13. Michael S says:

          Please provide some proof that Al Gore “leads” the climate effort, or where I’ve referred to him. You continually attach arguments to me that I have never made.
          Dr. Maue is a meteorologist. He has no authority on climate issues (I don’t either, because even though I’m a physicist by training climatology is a completely different field). A debate between us might as well be on Shakespeare because neither of us have done any research on climate models.
          Additionally, please show me where I attacked Dr. Maue’s character– this “despicable lie” you accuse me of. Your reading comprehension seems to be lacking.

          The fact is that I get my information from experts in the field who publish in peer reviewed journals that evaluate the science. If they’re wrong, people publish papers that say they’re wrong. That’s how science works. Your primary source is a meteorologist with no formal training and no college degree.
          You accuse the scientists of making tons of money off their research grants, which shows you have no idea how research funding works. I’d bet your guys have made more from Cato, Heritage, Heartland, etc than even the most famous climate scientists. And the scientists are doing actual work for a living, instead of just making things up.
          Refer me to a peer-reviewed model of the climate change over the last 80 years that isn’t due to CO2 and methane…

        14. Bill Steffen says:

          If Dr. Maue has “no authority” then you REALLY have no authority!! You’re chicken to take him on. You know you’d get your clock cleaned! You insinuated that his graphs couldn’t be trusted because of a supposed link he has to an oil company. You’re implying that he’d corrupt data for personal gain and I’m calling you out on it. If you can find corrupt data on his site, let us all know about it.

          Then there is the sheer hypocracy of you, an employee of GE, the biggest lobbyist in the WORLD – calling someone corrupt because of a weak tie to an oil company. GE paid NO TAX in 2011 – but they did have BILLIONS in profits and spent 84 MILLION DOLLARS on lobbying!! That’s $141,176 PER CONGRESSPERSON!

  19. Herb (SE Muskegon) says:

    Thanks for the info Bill. I will go with 7 90 degree days for Ford Airport. I think we are gonna have a much harder winter coming up. BTW, what do you see derecho wise for us?

  20. Scott (west olive) says:

    Big Daddy will probably say, we will be cool this summer because of all the icebergs from global warming that are floating towards the equator. LOL Anyway, great post for the summer. Little cooler at night keeps the skeeters away. Bring on the campfire’s

    1. Bruiseviolet (formerly Rockford- now Cedar Springs) says:

      I normally like listening to a certain radio station- but the other day they were having a discussion with their “experts” on how global warming is to blame for the recent rash of “extreme weather” and then they went off on how within 10 years you won’t be able to take a dog sled to the north pole because the gaps in the ice will be too large blah blah- I flipped the channel. Not going to be apart of the fear mongering and lies.

      1. Bill Steffen says:

        Rowing to the Pole: http://www.rowtothepole.com/images/474/full/jpeg Al Gore said in 2008 that the icecap would be “gone in five years”. Here’s an update on how he’s doing: http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/observation_images/ssmi1_ice_ext.png If he was referring to the South Polar icecap, his odds are (if you can believe it) even worse: http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/S_timeseries.png

        1. Irish coffee says:

          The reward for his propagandist HYPE? A NOBEL PRIZE!!
          That’s about as PATHETIC as Obama receiving a PEACE Prize for authorizing MORE cruise missile attacks than ALL other recipients COMBINED!Hopefully Obama will run on his record…misery index,unemployment #’s,% of people in poverty,disposable income vs. ’08, gas prices(on trend to catch Europe), Eric Holder “Fast & Furious”weapon-gate,etc He’s certainly provided “CHANGE”.. just SANS HOPE.
          As for summer wx,..i will go 1.2 BELOW avg temps(JJA)..W/ abv. to much abv. avg. precip(13-14″<all RAIN:) NO snow, 5 days AOA 90 (and that's for JJA) 9 TOTAL 90+ days when including May & Sep. and 62% possible sun..If i'm wrong, i will wear a "BIG DADDY FOR CEREAL CITY EMERGENCY MANAGER" T-shirt to Lakeview Square Mall & Binder Park Zoo every day from Labor Day until Halloween.

      2. Brad says:

        “Blah blah”- the American attitude to solving problems. Perfect!

      3. big Daddy BC says:

        Bruiseviolet, your post is an obvious cry for approval. How desperate does one have to be to come to this place for a pat on the head? Yes, the old deniers agree. Yes, Bill Steffen is grateful for your comment. It’s gives him a chance to add in some more activist propaganda (and take another jab at the former vice president).
        In truth, I think you have Daddy issues. How about instead of switching the channel, next time you watch and learn.

        1. Bill Steffen says:

          Bruiseviolet isn’t driven by political extremism, so she can evaluate plain science and data like this in an objective manner:

          The icecap at the S. Pole has grown significantly in the last year: http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/S_timeseries.png Same thing at the North Pole! http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/observation_images/ssmi1_ice_area.png Wow! The icecap at the North Pole is approaching one standard deviation ABOVE AVERAGE!! Global temperature for 2012 is BELOW AVERAGE: http://policlimate.com/climate/ncep_cfsr_t2m_ytd_anom.png (NASA IR data).

          And yet ANOTHER climate alarmist jumps off the sinking ship: http://climatedepot.com/a/15621/Alert-Gaia-scientist-James-Lovelock-reverses-himself-I-was-alarmist-about-climate-change–so-was-Gore-The-problem-is-we-dont-know-what-the-climate-is-doing-We-thought-we-knew-20-years-ago (same thing for Dr. Claude Allegre)

          Bruiseviolet is not alone. Public support for skyrocketing utility rates and European gasoline prices is waning fast: http://www.gallup.com/poll/153875/Worry-Water-Air-Pollution-Historical-Lows.aspx

        2. Michael S says:

          Sigh. Public opinion about energy prices has nothing to do with whether climate change is happening. Nor does a single data point about ice amounts, nor does the opinion of a fanatic like the Gaia guy. Read some actual science and get back to us.

        3. Bill Steffen says:

          Sigh. Climate change is always happening. There has been and is no such thing as climate stasis. We’ve had both palm trees and glaciers in West Michigan long before we drove SUVs. Check my links above. Today the National Snow and Ice Data Center graph has the Arctic icecap areal extent back to average for this time of year. It’s the first average since 2001. Both polar icecaps have expanded significantly in the past year…the Arctic icecap at average and the Antarctic icecap above average. NASA global IR satellite data shows the full global temperature slightly cooler than average since January 1 and global temperatures have been steady now for a decade. Again, check my links in my comment above this one.

        4. Michael S says:

          Climate change is happening, and we understand a lot of the causes (orbit, etc, etc, etc). The question is what is the variation in temperature absent all these well known factors?
          Scientists caught in “climategate” have published papers explaining their models predict a flat temperature until 2020. Look it up.

        5. Bill Steffen says:

          Climate change is ALWAYS happening. It happening now with urbanization. Las Vegas may never set another record low temperature where the thermometer is located now. It happens when we plant the Midwest in corn and soybeans, a sizable portion of it is irrigated. Des Moines, Iowa hasn’t set a record high temperature in July since 1955. Just moving weather stations to airports in the last century, where there is a lot of concrete and asphalt and planes/vehicles to stir the air on calm, clear nights made a difference in the climate record. Michigan’s one-degree temperature increase (whoppee) in the last 100 years is “mainly at night in winter” according to Jeff Andresen, the state climatologist.

          The Climategate scientists are a cabal of conclusion-driven opportunists who conspired to ignore Freedom of Information Acts and force publications to limit free speech. They were driven by politics, money and fame. Mann’s hockey-stick has been discredited.

        6. Paul says:

          Everyone, remember when “bdbc” and “michael s” (could the “s” stand for full of sh__?)posts on this blog, they are extreme leftists who can’t find a roll to play in the main stream of society (like having a job). Here is an example of what they are trying to do to TV meteorologists throughout the country.


          Stand by Bill and let WOOD TV 8 know it.


  21. Bruiseviolet (formerly Rockford- now Cedar Springs) says:

    I love how on ABC World News Now they just showed the ENTIRE state of Michigan as getting SEVERE storms today.

    *rolls eyes*

  22. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

    I can very well see where this summer could be cooler than average. But that said one has to remember that long range guesses are just that educated guesses and there are always a lot of things that can go one way or the other! My take on the summer is I will agree with Bill’s idea of a cooler then average summer and then heading into late summer early fall we could swing back into an above average pattern. Also I would never even try to guess the number of 90° days for any summer. Just way too may variables to even try.

  23. INDY says:

    17 90+ degree days coming with verry little rain dry and hot summer kind of like winter!! Thee ice cream will be going out the door the sprites will be going down and summer will be no bummer!! Keep the pets loaded with water and burn off the bugs u will need more then normal sun screen fire danger will be up step outside and feel the heat wave’s and see all the babe’s …..BILL ,BLOGGERS ARE U READY????…INDYY!!

    1. Yup (Grandville) says:

      Indy, do you add vodka to your sprites? ;)

      1. Irish coffee says:

        ….more like YEA!germeister!! Stay FROSTY INDY!!

        1. INDY says:


    2. Bernie (Da Original) says:

      Any flavor sherbet goes good with Sprite for a float. ;)

  24. Dan says:

    Ah thoughts of Summer! Bring it on. INDY: are you still trying to get all the Bloggers together at the ice cream shop? Let us know!
    I am so ready for warm weather. I just returned from Myrtle Beach. Sunny everyday with the temps were in the 70s and 80s! I was hoping that weather followed me home!

    1. Irish coffee says:

      Gullah Gullah..and welcome home Dan! Lookout for a toasty MAY – which should roast like a pig-in-a-blanket; just beyond May, a summer breeze should provide a bridge over troubled waters for Chicago each Saturday in the (Grant) Park

      1. fixxxer says:

        yeah irish because your predictions have been SOO accurate last winter! …just saying. ;)

        1. Irish coffee says:

          I admitted to being WRONG for winter fixxxx…..yet i never heard you commend a very good call i made for last summer; you wouldn’t have a anti-Irish bias would ya?…just sayin’ ;)

    2. INDY says:

      Yes Dan as of now Saturday May 5th and Sunday MAY 6th going to be the big days for Ice cream mark it down Bill is going to try to make it on Saturday afternoon would love to have all u bloggers up so come one come all Lakeview Michigan across from main street pizza Dippity Dogs and Cones is the name and ice cream is our game!! INDYY…

  25. Paul says:

    Summer weather will be low to mid 80s with some 90 degree days.
    I am thinking mid to late May there going to be an explosion of severe weather.
    It been way to quite here in the plains and midwest.

    1. fixxxer says:

      Very quiet indeed.

  26. Laurie says:

    What I really, really want to know is, when can I put my seedlings (cucumbers, zucchini, various flowers…) out??!!! I planted them at the normal time (mid-March), which usually means they’re ready to plant mid to late May, but due to the warm March weather, they have grown at an alarming rate and I now have veggies with BLOSSOMS on them!! It’s such a tricky balancing act, knowing when to set them in the ground and I certainly don’t want to see the weeks of TLC we’ve given them all go up in smoke with a hard freeze. Your blog leads me to believe that it just may be okay to put them in the ground this weekend?? Help!!!

  27. Dave Jousma says:

    Bill said on April 24th:

    “…So, my forecast for the summer calls for near normal temperatures (+0.5° above average), 65% of possible sunshine (slightly above average), a summer maximum temperature of 94° and 9 days reaching 90-degrees at the Ford Airport, the maximum water temperature at the mid-Lake Michigan buoy of 75° (five degrees cooler than last year)……”

    How many 90+ degree days have we had so far? I wonder what this winter will bring?

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