Thursday Night – Showers push east

July 19th, 2012 at 3:06 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Local   8:40 PM – Still a few scattered showers and sprinkles mainly now east of I-69.   Lots of clouds lingering tonight   This was the coolest afternoon since the 2nd week of June and only the 2nd time we won’t make at least 80 in G.R. since June 13th.  It has made 82 in Holland, where they had some breaks in the clouds.   Who got rain? Check out storm total rainfall.  Rainfall totals:  2.8″ Cannonsburg, 2.73″ Sparta, 2.2″ Hersey, 1.72 Oshtemo, 1.5″ Comstock Park, 1.21 Holland, 1.17 Rockford and Muskegon, 1.02″ Ada, 0.96″ Kalamazoo Airport, 0.7″ Grand Rapids Airport, 0.68″ Allendale, 0.39″ Battle Creek (1.5″ 3 miles east of BTL).   It was the heaviest rain in over a year for Midway Airport in Chicago (2.52″), Valparaiso, IN had 2.25″.  Check out these 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, the Grand Haven Steelheaders webcam and weather station, and the weather station at Holland State 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).

87 Responses to “Thursday Night – Showers push east”

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

    Ok, so which one of those “off-target” models predicted an inch of rain for GR again today??
    Phhhtt. They haven’t been right in months.

  2. Dan says:

    Steady rain last night! Looks like we get more in the next hour or so!
    The grass and the crops are loving it!

  3. clownfire says:

    My little garden (on the NE edge of GR ) has been much happier since rain is finally here! Finally no more city water for them for a while…I hope.

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

    We’re going to need a LOT more than 3/10th inch…..

    1. Skot says:

      thats what she said.

      1. Mike (Shepherd, Mi) says:

        LOL nice!

      2. Hudsonville BarnCat says:


        1. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

          ROFLMAO that is what my 13 1/2yr old keeps saying actually kept saying when he’d come home from school after the middle school “Locker Room” talk.

    2. Paul says:

      Tom, why always such a doomsday outlook? A little rain is better than nothing!

  5. SBPortage002 says:

    Over 7/10s of rain so far with more coming. That nice soaker has arrived nicely around here.

  6. Vicki (Holland) says:

    There is a gentle rain falling right now. It’s so peaceful hearing the rain hit the trees. It’s true what they say about the sweet smell of rain!

  7. michael g (SE GR) says:

    Only .13″ at the airport. GR is in the wrong spot again.

    1. Steelie says:

      Good Day,



  8. marianne says:

    woke up to rainnnnnn in south haven hallelujahhh!

  9. Ed (coloma) says:

    Finally! I got 1.5 inches of rain overnight.

  10. Bnoppe says:

    Anyone notice that were in the day 8 severe weather outlook

  11. Todd In Nunica says:

    the rain pretty much went around my area yet again….looks like enough to settle the dust…but thats it.

  12. Yup (Grandville) says:

    Thankful for the rain we received!

  13. SS (Pwell Area) says:

    Thunder lightning and RAIN!!!!

  14. Jordan (Twin Lake) says:

    WOW the SPC already has us in a day 8 outlook that’s the farthest it can go and when they do that we know the ingredients are right because it’s very rare to have us in a day 8 outlook already!

  15. Dave says:

    At the corner of 8th Avenue and M-45, just west of the Ottawa/Kent county line, we received 0.20 inches last night. Hoping for more.

  16. Jordan (Twin Lake) says:

    And the NWS in GRR is already saying that spotters activation may be needed next Wednesday and Thursday WOW! I think we have a great set up next week lets hope :)

    1. Lisa says:

      of COURSE! Kids will be at band camp next week.

      1. Jordan (Twin Lake) says:

        Do they have a basement or some place to take cover in case the weather gets nasty?

        1. Lisa says:

          The cafeteria has a basement, but if the kids are on the field, not sure they’d get to that building in time…

    2. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

      See go back on past posts this past week and I said “MARK MY WORDS July 20-Aug. 3 will be W. Michigan’s turn that is because I AM the GR/Kent Bubble and I will be leaving for that duration so of course we are in the 8 day outlook. LOL!

  17. Mike (Shepherd, Mi) says:

    Hopefully we can get one good severe outbreak before the year is over.

    1. Jordan (Twin Lake) says:

      And next week may be our chance :)

    2. DF (SE Mich) says:

      One tornado was enough over here, keep any severe weather to yourself. =)

  18. mike[kalamazoo county] says:

    1″ here shut of irrigation at a little after 3:00 a.m. it’s a great thing. No friday fuel bill this week!!!

  19. Mike (Wyoming) says:

    Some rain is better than none but it seems like we just get the north or south edge of every storm lately.

  20. Clara says:

    Well, my rain barrels are full again so we must have gotten a decent amount of rain in NE GR. It was still raining when I left for work.

  21. phlrnnr says:

    We got .3″ just NW of Hudsonville. Looks like most of it went south. Thankful for the rain we got, but was hoping for more.

  22. Mike (Mattawan) says:

    when i woke up this morning, i couldnt believe my eyes, it was actually raining…. Its so nice getting a good measurable amount of rain….. Nice and refreshing too. Hopefully we see more in the near future!

  23. Aaron says:

    Must have been lucky with the rain in Zeeland last night. My rain gauge had 2.1″ in it this morning.

    1. Brent says:

      Aaron, I live near 112th Riley. I had the same amount in my rain guage also.

      1. Aaron says:

        Makes sense then, I live near 104th and Riley.

  24. ~Sherry~ Comstock Park says:

    I had about 1/3 of an inch here!! So wonderful!! Need more but I will take what I can get at this point!

  25. Lynne@LittleWhitefish Lake says:

    7/10″ at Pierson yesterday – maybe 1/10 over night – still very greatful.

  26. Fiz says:

    Are we still on track to getting rain this after noon? My weather app says 60% but I’m wondering if that is referring to the storm last night that came early? Or are we going to get more this afternoon? Thanks!

  27. Jeffery North Ionia says:

    Im wondering the same thing as Fiz, Are we still set up for more rain later? Lets hope so…

  28. Jordan (Twin Lake) says:

    I think everybody has a good shot of seeing some rain next Wednesday and Thursday because there will be a cold front and a lot of times those cold fronts trigger a line of showers and storms sometimes a severe squall line and that may happen next Wednesday and Thursday as we have a good set up for severe weather and were already in a day 8 outlook and that’s rare!

  29. Mark (Okemos) says:

    Hey Bill -

    Why all the chatter about next Wednesday and Thursday by the NWS & the SPC? It’s not too often they talk a week ahead of time.

    1. Jordan (Twin Lake) says:

      Because its a great set p next week :) a set up we have not seen In a long time could be interesting next week :)

      1. Cort S. says:

        The setup is good, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s better than what we normally get for severe weather setups in a typical summer. It’s also the agreement between different models and the low spread among the model ensembles that have allowed them to be able to draw the lines this far in advance.

        1. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

          It’s just been so darn hard to depend and believe the models this far out, what and why has it been so difficult this year, from winter to spring to summer? It’s been opposite of the model predictions.

        2. bnoppe(Albion) says:

          well this hasen’t been a typical summer

        3. Cort S. says:

          It hasn’t necessarily been any worse than previous years. They have had their good days and their bad days. We just tend to remember the recent bad days for a while and eventually forget the bad days of years gone by. As fixxxer would say, “the models have always sucked.”

          The science of modeling the atmosphere is complex… it’s almost as complex as the atmosphere itself. Meteorologists therefore have to understand first why the weather behaves the way that it does, and then understand why an advanced computer program doing trillions of calculations for a 24-hour forecast behaves the way that it does, and tie them together. (This is why meteorologists need to take Calculus, Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, and Statistics classes.)

          It’s called a model because it isn’t exactly the real atmosphere, it’s just pretending to be one that’s very similar to our own. We can’t build models that can represent the atmosphere the way that it really is… from the small-mesoscale down to the molecular level… because that requires more computing resources than what the world has available. It’s a simplified version of the real atmosphere, with all of physics equations of fluidynamics and energy (radiation, momentum, heat) built in to represent real-world processes.

          A model needs the following things to do a good job of representing the real atmosphere: good equations, and good observations of what the current state of the atmosphere is. Many of our equations are fundamental and true, but many equations may have to be simplified because they contain variables which we as people are unable to measure. Still other equations have to be dumbed down to save on computing resources. For example, instead of explicitly calculating all the microphysical processes that go on inside a cloud, we can take things like humidity and CAPE to spit out an amount of rain that might be generated from such a situation, without directly modeling a complex of thunderstorms or how they will evolve. This of course introduces errors within the model, which grow bigger and bigger as your forecast out further and further.

          We need good current weather observations in the model, but the world is a big place, and we can’t have a thermometer on every single square inch of the earth, or launch weather balloons from everywhere at every minute. So we do the best we can to smooth and massage the data to create accurate observations out of nowhere, so that the model can take the current state of the atmosphere and crunch the equations to predict what it will be like in the future. These unavoidable small errors in initial conditions will grow and grow and grow with forecast time.

          Certain weather patterns are more predictable than others. The scale of weather systems affecting us is important. The synoptic scale is the size of those big low pressure systems which give us big snowstorms. The mesoscale is the size of thunderstorms. Global models like the GFS are built to be synoptic-scale models: they can model the jet stream around the hemisphere and the low pressure systems it spawns, but it can’t directly model smaller processes within a low pressure system including thunderstorms. Mesoscale models like the HRRR are designed to model thunderstorms better, but can only do so over regional areas and short time frames for lack of computing power.

          Well that was fun. Maybe at another time, we can talk about how to gauge our confidence in a model’s current predictions by talking about Ensembles.

        4. Fiz says:

          Thanks for typing that out, Cort!

      2. Deb (Ludingon) says:

        Jordan the set up could change too this far out in advance don’t count on much

        1. DanielG says:

          About an inch and an eighth in the guage out on the dock on the east side of Myers Lake as of 5:55. Most of that fell after 11AM too. Just a nice steady rain all afternoon. Me thinks its probably too late for the non irrigated corn and beans up here though. Beans maybe not. Lake is down about 10 or 12 inches this past month. We started high and now are going LOW.
          Last nites thunderstorms turned away from up here. Watched the lightning around midnight and then BUPKUS here north of Rockford.

    2. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

      I’m not placing any bets this far in advance they’ve done this before and set up has been there and nothing has come of it, but again the bubble will be gone for these next 2 1/2wks ;-)

  30. Jordan (Twin Lake) says:

    Just got a nice 30 minutes of soaking rain probably had about .3″ in that time but I will take what ever we get!

  31. fixxxer says:

    looks as it may clear up in the next 3-4hrs. much cooler today and tomorrow in the low 80′s before we warm back up. long range at this point brings us back in the 70′s for highs going into august.

    1. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

      Why do you always bring up the long range Fixxx when you say it’s junk? Which we all know it is and can’t count on so why bother bringing it up.

      1. Yup (Grandville) says:


      2. fixxxer says:

        because its fun to look at even if it doesn’t pan out. im thinking august will probably bring more rain and cooler weather.

        1. Cort S. says:

          For what it’s worth, we’re in luck… the CPC just released their August outlook:

          60% chance of above-normal temperatures:

          33-40% chance of below normal precipitation:

          Looks like a continuation of the current July pattern, but I’ll agree with that it will probably be a little bit cooler and rainier. But then again, it’s difficult to get much hotter than record-hot and much dryer than nearly zero, so it’s not a bad bet to make.

  32. Cort S. says:

    As of Tuesday’s data cutoff point, the latest drought monitor puts West Michigan in a severe drought:

    1. Bnoppe says:

      With the rain and more rain expected this upcoming week that will change

  33. Brandon says:

    Very little rain again near Lake Bella Vista… We have to be the driest spot in WMI now. I’d estimate less than 1/2 inch of rain in past 6 weeks. Any definitive answer on this, Bill Steffen?

  34. Kevin(Rockford) says:

    .05 here, with a little more on the way it looks like

  35. GunLakeDeb says:

    I’m SOOOO grateful for the .33″ of gentle rain we got!!!! I was driving to pick up my kayak trailer, and noticed that the corn around here looks “refreshed” – it’s still not very tall, but the leaves have uncurled and it’s nice and green again! The grass that had gone dormant, looks like it’s trying to wake up again….

    1. Travis Ulberg (West of Martin, Allegan County) says:

      We got luckier here again. Had 1.07″ in the rain gauge this morning!

  36. Jordan (Twin Lake) says:

    Keeps on raining and raining I’ll take it :) now up to .5″ here for today’s total rainfall :)

  37. Jeffery North Ionia says:

    Looks like I may be getting a little more rain here in the next few hrs… Not much but looks like another litle system is moving through.

  38. Deb (Ludington) says:

    I am leaving this blog I just found out today that I will be moving to Oklahoma so I am sad to leave but I have to my moot a new job so I will not be on the blog anymore

    1. Deb (Ludington) says:


  39. fixxxer says:

    low 70′s = crap

    1. Cort S. says:

      C’mon, man! Take one for the team! You’ve had a month and a half of heat and sun. Now let the people who need it badly take one day of clouds and rain.

        1. Cort S. says:

          Crazy summer nut. ;)

    2. fixxxer says:

      summer doesn’t last long round here so im trying to soak it up.

    3. ~Sherry~ Comstock Park says:

      You just had to throw that in there didnt you Fixxxer? :)

      1. fixxxer says:


  40. cindymh says:

    Just wondering . . . now that much of Michigan has had some rainfall, does this mean the drought is “officially” over? Or is it a temporary reprieve? Are there definitions to go by?

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      This is temporary and welcome…hopefully the start of a pattern of at least occasional rain…it weakens the overall drought, but doesn’t end it.

      1. Paul says:

        Got some good rain up here in Traverse City but still need lots more! Not sure about the GR area but up here they are saying exceptionally dry as opposed to drought. Does anybody know how they measure the different phases of a drought? Is it just the amount of rain we have gotten or do temperatures play a factor in it as well? I mean, if we get 2 inches of rain but it’s 90 and higher all week I would think that 2 inches would be evaporated much quicker.

        1. Bill Steffen says:

          Here’s the Drought Monitor: Here’s an explanation of the categories:

  41. Herb (SE Muskegon) says:

    RAIN!! Woohoo!

  42. fixxxer says:

    Well there you go, your getting your rain. “Severe” drought over.

  43. Mr. Negative says:

    ADA – 1/4 inch of rain overnight. Just started to sprinkle here…doesn’t look like it will add too much.

  44. ~Sherry~ Comstock Park says:

    I have an inch and a half of rain so far and it is still raining!! Rain barrels are full and I am one happy camper!!

  45. Hugh near Ada says:

    Beautiful soaker! Been raining all afternoon – even rained a little on the Tigers this afternoon. Tigers won. Very grateful for this rain. I wish I had a rain guage to see exactly how much we received.

    1. Jack says:

      Same Here Hugh….Ahhhhhhhhhhh………Should be a Great Series with The Soxs…..Go Tigers…..

  46. Janet Boyd says:

    I’m 62 of age and live in Lowell,all my life.
    Most every year, when the Ionia Free Fair start there is alway rain and the Kent Youth Fair,also will have some rain, not as much as Ionia and not every year. But these 2 fair will have rain. Ionia 9 out of 10 time. Kent County Fair is about 5 out 10 time.
    So I have been saying all summer, that I can’t wait for the Ionia Free Fair to start this year to get some rain.

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

    Total rain here was just over 1 inch. Very nice!

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