From Iowa

November 24th, 2012 at 2:06 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

  Gayle and I left early Thursday to drive to Iowa City to spend Thanksgiving with daughter#1′s boyfriend and his extraordinary family.  They are semi-retired faculty of the music dept. at the Univ. of Iowa and his father has been a symphony conductor who has traveled the world.  We drove I-80 across Illinois, crossing the harvested cornfields amid a fairly strong SW wind.  We saw wind turbines to the distant south and north in central Illinois.  We started our trip in sunshine and a bit of early morning haze, then watched white high-level clouds move in.  The clouds thickened and turned gray, as we approached the Mississippi River and we hit a few sprinkles as we passed into Iowa.   We easily found our hotel just off I-80, which was filled with Nebraska football fans ready for the Friday game against the Hawkeyes.  Our warmest temperature on the car thermometer was 64 just before we crossed the Mississippi River.  We checked into our motel, then found Bill and Sue’s condo and greeted visiting relatives from Texas, Missouri, Iowa and Illinois.  The family tradition is that the Thanksgiving Holiday family reunion is in Iowa and Texas in alternate years.  Wednesday night (which we missed) was chili, Thursday is turkey and Friday every goes to the favorite Mexican restaurant.  We feasted Thursday and got back to the motel is the cold air was moving in.  During the night, the wind howled as the temperature dropped below freezing by morning.  In the early morning, we watched the wind blow large Styrofoam cartons, huge sheets of plastic and other loose items from a construction site across the area in front of the motel.  A large Iowa Hawkeye statue had blown over and a traffic barricade and another parking sign had blown over during the night.   Nearby Cedar Rapids had a peak gust of 53 mph with 10 hours of winds gusting to 35+ mph and I’ll bet that’s what it was here in Iowa City.  The low here tonight is supposed to be 10-15 above and it feels cold.  With friends who joined us we had over 30 for the dinner at the Mexican restaurant.  Tomorrow (Sat.) Bill is going to take me up and down the Iowa River and describe the catastrophic flood of June 2008, which claimed their house.  We’ll head home Saturday afternoon.

I see that snowfall amounts in W. Michigan were light, but heavier snow fell just to our north.  14″ was reported just south of Grayling!  Eight inches of snow fell on the north side of Higgins Lake, with 6.1″ at Houghton Lake.  In the U.P., Twin Lakes had a foot of snow, 9″ at Ironwood, with 6″ at Marquette and Munising.  Here’s snow reports from the U.P. and northern Lower Michigan.  Check out the Snowman Cam at Twin Lakes in the U.P.  Here’s a camera at Houghton Lake (looks like winter!).  The next snow goes south and southeast of us.  Grand Rapids is now +0.3 degree for November (though the next five days look cool) and we’ve had only 1/2″ of precipitation this month in G.R.

58 Responses to “From Iowa”

  1. Jack says:

    Hi Bill : Keep Having Fun…and..Have a Safe Trip Home. God Bless !,! Lord Willin You’ll be Back.. CUE:Saturday Night-The Eagles – YouTube

    ► 3:18► 3:18

  2. INDY says:

    Bill is getting on the right page for next Saturday high of 33* with snow close to my 20′s Rocky Rockford told ya get the sleds ready winter is here!! Put away the golf clubs have a great Saturday go MICHIGAN…….INDYY….

    1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

      Temps in the 40′s next weekend and I will be golfing!

  3. Irish coffee says:

    R.I.P Larry Hagman

  4. kevin. w says:

    I’m with Rocky and not believing anything past 3 or 4 days on the models anything past that is fantasy land. I’m not expecting any real winter weather til around Christmas time and hopefully will have snow on the ground and more coming and not this lake effect boring no storms type pattern. If we end up with a dry winter and can’t imagine what next summer is going to be like.

    1. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

      You know there is a possibility that we could end up with a dry winter. We could even have a cold dry winter (although there should be some lake effect)
      Now as for a long range seasonal guess, after last winters guesses and even this past summers guess it should be clear that long range forecasting is sill not quite there just yet and needs a ways to go. That’s said we should be soon setting the pattern that we will have for the first part of the upcoming winter if we are now in the winter pattern what we see is more likely then not what we will get.

    2. Rocky (Rockford) says:

      Hopefully we even see some real winter and snowstorms by Christmas. It is not looking good.

  5. Ned S. (Now in South Holland) says:

    Enjoy your weekend Bill. We look forward to seeing you on the tube next week.

  6. Deb (Oklahoma City) says:

    I’ve been trying to tell you guys it will be a dry winter and in fact even dryer than last with with fewer inches of snow than last winter so give it up it will not be a snowy winter for you snow lovers look at the long range they put all of west michigan in the below normal precip and that was the 60 day long range sorry on snow for you snow lovers this winter!

    1. Deb (Oklahoma City) says:


  7. Deb (Oklahoma City) says:

    And to look that the entire sow belt region except west Michigan got accumulating snow west Michigan had under an inchin all spots so that will be that way all winter so,don’t count on any snow!

    1. Jeff (Fremont) says:

      Don’t be jealous because you are in OKC (I lived there for 5 years) and won’t be receiving any good winter weather this year, I will be at Boyne come January.

    2. michael g (SE GR) says:

      Does the manager at your trailer park know that you’re stealing his wifi again Deb?

  8. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    Imagine that – the forecast now agree with me – no snowstorms next week and above average temperatures for the first week of December! We are stuck in another horrible winter weather pattern, yet we keep hearing from various people and weather web sites about the cold and snow coming. What a joke – there are no snowstorms in sight and no reason to believe that we will be having a decent winter this year. Get ready people for a winter similar to last year if not worse! I will be heading up to Canada and the UP to find some good skiing this winter. In the meantime I will just continue golfing until and if winter arrives!!

    1. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

      Definitely looks like a warm start to December. Surprise, surprise

      1. Deb (Oklahoma City) says:

        And the CPC is also showing way above average temps for Janruary as well I see no snow in the future for you guys!

  9. arcturus says:

    Remember that discussion a few days ago about a possible ‘snowy blast’ hitting next week?

    Here’s the latest from the NWS: ‘A QUIET AND COOL WEEK IS THE MAIN THEME.’

    1. Deb (Oklahoma City) says:

      Yep exactly it will be that way all winter here will be talk of a snowstorm hitting then two days later it will say a mainly dry and cool pattern there will be no snow this winter!

      1. Sprites says:

        You have major problems if you actually think that. Wow, be logical, Deb.

        1. Deb (Oklahoma City) says:

          I do not have major problems your the one with major problems because you always get hyped up on these long range models saying that there will be a winter storm and as rocky said below those long range models interpreting a storm are wrong 95% of the time so when it comes to the end of the season and there was no storms I will not be the one complaining only the one saying you should of listened in the first place and I know sprites is you INDY

      2. Ryan says:

        if long range forecasts are junk, then why reference the cpc for January?

    2. Rocky (Rockford) says:

      Yes, how could I forget that. This has been happening since about the end of October and it happened all last winter!

  10. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    Get Ready – The CPC may be changing their long range winter prediction to above average temperatures and below average snowfall!

  11. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

    So in 4 days we went from “Arctic blast bringing a big storm and cranking the lake effect snow machine” to nothing?

    No wonder nobody believes any of the models. That’s just sad.

    1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

      Exactly and that is why none of the model HYPE and none the long range forecast HYPE can ever be taken seriously! It is wrong approx 95% of the time. Those are not good odds!

  12. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    The Sunday forecast – party sunny, 40 degrees and a fairly light wind. Another great day to head to the golf course. ROCK ON – golfing all year again.

    1. Deb (Oklahoma City) says:

      I was looking at for GR and they have 50 degrees for GR next Sunday and Monday looks like spring like weather is back on the way for you guys!

      1. ryan says:

        It’s funny that you say the long range predictions are worthless, yet you seem to do the same thing when forecasting dry and warm temps for the whole winter. You’re obviously uneducated and/or hypocritical in these matters with that line of thinking.

  13. michael g (SE GR) says:

    Rocky and Deb, (as a side note, I think you two should hook up and make some fugly babies) here’s an idea. How about you make a forecast for this winter, with SPECIFICS, and then see how it plays out, instead of repeating the same wild unsubstantiated claims 8 or 10 times every day.

    1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

      No michael, just the facts!

    2. Deb (Oklahoma City) says:

      Michale give it up a snowy winter just won’t happen already the month of November is above average in temps oh and what did they say it was going to be? the coldest November since 2002 so far that is not the case you need to know that you have been notified and if it is a below normal snowfall winter don’t be complaining!

      1. Brian(Grandville) says:

        Deb, we do not care what you think winter will turn out to be here. I don’t understand why you spend so much time trying to harass people that enjoy the winter months.It’s very immature. Maybe you should find a blog that teaches how to spell, and use punctuations correctly.

        1. Ryan says:

          A blog that focuses on events in OKC…

        2. Tiffany says:

          seriously, i am tired of reading this blog and seeing all the crap about above normal temps and this winter being like last. WHO CARES! winter will be what it may. take your negative crap else where cuz im sick yours.

      2. Deb (Oklahoma City) says:

        This is a public blog I can do,what I want and I’m sick of you people telling me where to go cuz I’m not leaving!

  14. Bnoppe says:

    Another note the Tuesday system has not been swamped by the local network and we’ve seen stranger shifts in the tracks of Low pressure systems as till

    1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

      Give it up. The Tuesday system is dead and will be a total non factor for West MI.

      1. Bnoppe says:

        Will see but we should know 100% by this evening watch the afternoons models to see if there’s an upper ward dhift

        1. bnoppe(Albifon) says:

          and the only area’s that would see any snow would be south of I-94 near the boarder and it would be light

  15. Steelie says:

    Good Day,

    It may be too early to tell, but there are indicators…

    Also, let us not forget that there are a lot of folks whose livelyhoods depends on at least a “normal” Winter.

    That said… I had a chat with a buddy from GRR/NWS. He said their “best” forcaster (and he is pretty good) is calling for a roller coaster Winter. Above normal, below normal, above normal, repeat. Snowfall could be close to normal or maybe a bit below. From my perspective, as long as we get at least average overall precip (that includes rain mind you) I can live with that for our rivers, lakes and aquifers.


    1. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

      I certainly agree and feel bad for those in the winter business. But there are also just as many people that benefit from a mild winter (golf courses, more drivers on the road, etc).

      Plus, most of the people that depend on winter establish pre-paid contracts, so I’m guessing they made it through last winter okay.

      The one big negative is if we start to see significant declines in out-of-state winter tourism due to the lack of snow.

    2. Ya! And anyone can say predict that forecast. What the H does that tell us, that they covering there butts.

    3. whatisthedeal says:


      I believe you and your friend’s co-worker at the NWS, Sherlock Holmes, may be on to something with his forecast for this winter. I am not a winter nut by any means, and I actually loved last winter. I am a golf junkie like Rocky, but I do not play on 40 degree days like he does. However, I have lived in Michigan my whole life (over 40 years), and I know that this winter is far from over. Furthermore, we all know it is almost a 100% possibility that this winter will still end up much more “winter-like” than last winter. It is almost impossible to have back to back snow deprived winters here.

      Yes, cycles come and go, but it can’t be denied that when the hammer drops, we are going to pay dearly for last winter. It might not happen in the next couple of weeks, but it will happen eventually. Not saying once the really bad stuff hits, it will stay around for a long time, but it could. That is why I am with Travis, Steelie, and Sherlock from the NWS. I believe it will be up and down, possibly to the extreme. Look out!! Having said all this, I still like early springs and warm to hot summers. Travis, I agree with your assessment on out of state winter tourism, although I think gas prices and the economy already took a big chunk out of that…

    4. Irish coffee says:

      Bill Marino IS good!! ;)

      1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

        His winter forecast for last year was horrible just like all of the other experts. There is no reason to believe his forecast for this year will be any different!

  16. michael g (SE GR) says:

    Joe Bastardi‏@BigJoeBastardi

    GFS ensembles much colder much quicker now after day 6-10 warmup. In line with what indices would say

  17. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

    “Sunny, dry weather into early December. Just about the time I’m ready to throw in the towel on Indian Summer, model guidance makes me do a double-take. The ECMWF shows another warm bubble of high pressure expanding north next weekend.

    We’ll see more 50s, a 1 in 3 shot at 60.”

    1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

      Another warm bubble – imagine that? More golf on the way and no snowstorms in sight!

  18. We don’t need another warm winter like last, and even a warmer one. WE could be looking at another crop damage again. And water levels are very low on lakes,ponds,streams revers . A lot of wild life suffered and plants and trees also. So it would be nice to just have a average winter, and remember winter starts Dec. 21st. And I like how Bill is keeping it tone down this year except for him saying our colder and snowier Nov. then last year. The weather people need to do away with the 7 day and 8 day forecast, it changes ever 6 to 8 hours.

  19. Jordan (Twin Lake) says:

    Bill is there a way that you can delete Deb off this blog or since so many people have reported her just like Facebook because I’m getting so sick of her negative comments and her bullying on this blog. It is getting so annoying I thought she would come back on as a better person but nope she didn’t and if you can’t, Deb please leave go do this stuff on a Oklahoma blog because you do not realize how much it is annoying people!

    1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

      Might I suggest that you simply do not read her posts?

      1. Jack says:

        Good Point Rocky ! Those 2 Remind me Of Soap Opera (he, she,Grining ) Cue: Carmen “The Soap Opera Song” – YouTube

        ► 1:55► 1:55

  20. Jordan (Twin Lake) says:

    On my opinion for this winter is that it will be an average winter I don’t think it will be an above average winter but I also don’t believe it will be below average winter either just average!

  21. Evie says:

    Hi Bill,
    It sounds like you had a great Thanksgiving weekend with friends and family! I always enjoy hearing your family times!

  22. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

    Ok, this is getting annoying. You guys are saying that all of the models are not trustworthy (which is true) and that all of the models were wrong about this weeks snow.
    So, that’s true, they were wrong. But now people are using this is a incentive to lead people to think that this winter will be warmer than average. And on top of that, the models are always wrong. So if your saying the models are trending toward a warmer winter, and they are showing storms which will miss us, then you just proved yourself wrong because you JUST stated that the models were crap. So people have to stop listening to the models and future forecasts and just simply rely on the true facts.
    Number one, the NAO is going negative (off the charts) so this equals a cold winter
    Number two, accuweather is showing warm temps for us in December! And they are ALWAYS wrong, so it should be cold. :)
    Number three, we are in a weak to no El Niño, which will lead to a cooler than average winter.
    Number four, the Greenland block will be shifting into a position which will allow us to get a blast of cold air in late January (and perhaps before)
    So those are just some of the facts. Also, don’t forget about the Old Farmers Almanac. They were the only correct source from last winter, so if anything, rely on them! And guess what… They are leaning toward a cool winter too!
    AND we are having snow already! Last winter we got no snow until January, and this year we are getting it in November! BIG DIFFERENCE.
    So this is my winter forecast and I hope you guys agree with me! (I’m sure you will find a way to disagree, but I don’t really care. I want to hear your thoughts!

    1. Jack says:

      Spin: ;-) . “Talk Talk” The Music Machine – YouTube

      ► 2:07► 2:07

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