December, 2012

Happy New Year

December 31st, 2012 at 8:56 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

   Happy 2013 everyone!  Hope it’s your best year ever!  Thanks for reading my blog.  I’ll update this, but some preliminary climate notes:  December in G.R. looks to be 5.9° degrees warmer than average with an average temperature of 35.1°.  The month was 5.6°  warmer than average in MKG and 5.2° warmer than average in Lansing.  We had 2.72″ of precipitation in G.R., which is 109% of average.  The average wind speed was 9 mph and we had roughly 17.5% of possible sunshine (average is 20%).  We had more minutes of sun from 2 PM July 3rd thru July 6th (3 1/2 days) than we had in the whole month of December.  We only had 5 days all month that were more than 1/3rd sunny (33%).  Snowfall in December in G.R. was 7.2″ in G.R.   Most of the Lower 48 states were warmer than average in 2012 (Detroit +3.6°, Dallas +3.1°, Oklahoma City +2.7°, Cincinnati +2.7°).  There were a few places that were near or cooler than average (Miami +0.1°, Seattle -0.3°, San Francisco -0.6°, Honolulu -0.5°) and most of Alaska had a cool 2012 (Anchorage -2.7°, Juneau -1.9°, Fairbanks -2.5°, Nome -3.7°).  NASA IR global temperature anomaly (current 1981-2010 average base) has the Earth at +0.039 degree warmer than average in 2012, with much warmer than average conditions over much of the Arctic and North America and cooler than average temperatures over Alaska, central Asia and a significant part of the Southern Hemisphere.      December Global Temperature Anomaly shows the globe was pretty close to average, with warmer than average over the Eastern U.S., Eastern Canada, and the Poles – colder than average over Western Canada, Alaska and much of Central Asia.


No Big Storms

December 30th, 2012 at 5:55 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

   Kids having fun at Pando Winter Sports Park in the picture, where they are celebrating their 50th year.  With the cool temperatures, ski areas have been able to make snow and have pretty good conditions.  They will continue to be the case for the next week.  Here’s the afternoon Lake Michigan MODIS satellite picture.  Note it’s clear in Wisconsin and south of I-94.  It was also clear in the late PM at Cadillac and Houghton Lake.  Ice is forming in Green Bay.  Shallow Lake Winnebego is frozen over.  The deepest lakes in Wisconsin still have open water (Lake Geneva, Green Lake).  The lake-effect clouds held solid over most areas north of a line from S. Haven to north of Jackson.  We had a dusting of snow last night and there are icy spots on sidewalks, parking lots and a few lesser-traveled roads.  The split jet stream, well north and south of us means that we miss the storms again this week.  We will get occasional lake-effect snow showers, but the factors really don’t come together for any real significant accumulations over most of the area.  There will be scattered snow showers/flurries Monday/Tuesday.   Temperatures will be cool.  The NAM (Caribou) gives G.R.  a high of 34 on Monday, a temperature of 27 at Midnight, temperatures holding in the mid 20s most of Tuesday and a high of 28 on Weds.  It gets a little breezy late tonight/Monday and that will keep wind chills in the teens.   You can see fireworks on New Year’s Eve in Saugatuck, Jackson, Ludington and in Kalamazoo, where there is a big all-evening party around Bronson Park.  Thousands will be in downtown G.R. for the big HOT FM Party with Sylvia Yacoub from THE VOICE.   And…the Lions lost – at least they’ve made ‘em close. The Lions finish a disappointing 4-12 ending with 8 losses in a row.  The Lions had four turnovers, none for the Bears.  Calvin Johnson has a record year, but does not make 2,000 yds.    ALSO:  A new study on the giant tsunami that hit Japan after the big Earthquake on 3/11/11.  The sea wall at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant was 18.7 feet high.  The tsunami at the nuclear facility averaged approximately 47 feet high.  At one point they found that the water climbed to 68.9 feet (21 meters).  If you figure 12.5 feet per story in a downtown building, that would have been a “wave” over 5 1/2 stories high.

Also:  How we build a railroad today.


Weekend

December 29th, 2012 at 12:04 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Local   WOW!   Big comeback win for Michigan State!  G.R. had 1/2″ of snow Saturday since midnight, which pretty much melted as it fell.  The season snow total for G.R. is now 7.1″.  Model update below.  For those of you into snow and cold, check out the GRR NWS discussion.    Here’s NAM model snowfall thru 84 hours, the GFS snowfall thru 120 hours and the HPC snowfall predictions. Here’s WOOD-TV Interactive Radar, looping radar. Check out the current conditions, regional radar, GRR radar, northern Indiana radar, Chicago radar and Milwaukee radar. Here’s the College of DuPage Radar Map, Storm total rainfall, 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 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,  Maranatha Webcam at Lake Michigan and links to webcams. Here’s the infrared satellite loop (night) and the visible satellite loop (daytime). Here’s Lake Michigan water temperatures (summer). Here’s storm total rainfall for W. Michigan and E. Michigan. Here’s data from the mid-lake buoy (not available in winter) and the Wind Map.  Here’s local storm reports from Iowa, Western Wisconsin, Eastern Wisconsin, and northern Michigan. Check out these webcams and the Snowman Cam from Gaylord.  For current Michigan weather observations and wind speeds, click here. You can check out the S. Haven Lighthouse, the Spyglass Condos Weather Station by the Holland Channel, the Muskegon beach (when the wind is in knots – kts. – multiply by 1.15 to get mph), and the beach at Michigan City, Indiana.

Model data:  The models print out very little snow.  The 00Z NAM Caribou is in now and it gives G.R. a dusting Tuesday night and that’s it out 3 days.     Older 12Z Saturday data:    The GFS still takes G.R. down into the single digits Thurs. AM, but with partly cloudy skies and a light east wind (not off the lake).  The European has temperatures in the mid-upper teens (not that cold).  The NAM has the most snow with 2″ for G.R. Monday night and Tues. AM and as much as 3-4″ for Kalamazoo.  We continue to be out of the main storm track (snowing in the East/Northeast today).  There’s generally 1-3″ of snow over most of our area, up to 5″ in Jackson Co., 8″ in Cadillac, 10″ at Kalkaska and 14″ at Gaylord.  The ice is slowly forming for ice fishing and ski/tubing resorts are mostly open with good conditions.

Cool model airport.


Light Snow

December 28th, 2012 at 1:47 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Local  Occasional light snow tonight thru Saturday will amount to a dusting to a little over an inch.  Roads may have isolated slick spots, especially lesser traveled roads at night, parking lots and sidewalks.  Today we have 64.4% of the Lower 48 States with a snow cover.  That’s more than any 12/28 in at least the last 10 years.  Montreal, Canada had their biggest single-day snowstorm ever with 17.7″, bringing their December total to 32″.   One traffic jam due to the storm had motorists stalled for up to five hours!  The GFS and European models still have the Arctic outbreak for next Thurs. or Friday with daytime temperatures stuck mainly in the mid-upper teens to near 20.  The Canadian model isn’t as cold.  It would be a quick shot of cold air with temperatures warming back to at least average fairly quickly.   For current Michigan weather observations and wind speeds, click here. You can check out the S. Haven Lighthouse, the Spyglass Condos Weather Station by the Holland Channel, the Muskegon beach (when the wind is in knots – kts. – multiply by 1.15 to get mph), and the beach at Michigan City, Indiana. Snow cover as of 12/28 AM: 12″ Grand Marais, 14″ Marquette, 14″ Gaylord, 10″ S. Ste. Marie, 7″ Cadillac, 6″ Lake City, 4″Alpena, Houghton Lake and Baldwin, 2″ near Big Rapids, Lansing, Grandville and the Ford Airport in G.R.  Here’s NAM model snowfall thru 84 hours, the GFS snowfall thru 120 hours and the HPC snowfall predictions. Here’s WOOD-TV Interactive Radar, looping radar. Check out the current conditions, regional radar, GRR radar, northern Indiana radar, Chicago radar and Milwaukee radar. Here’s the College of DuPage Radar Map, Storm total rainfall, 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 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 Marantha Webcam at Lake Michigan and links to webcams. Here’s the infrared satellite loop (night) and the visible satellite loop (daytime). Here’s Lake Michigan water temperatures. Here’s storm total rainfall for W. Michigan and E. Michigan. Here’s data from the mid-lake buoy (not available in winter) and the Wind Map. And…here’s the 84-hour NAM snowfall amount forecast for W. Michigan and the 120-hour GFS snowfall amount forecast.  Here’s local storm reports from Iowa, Western Wisconsin, Eastern Wisconsin, and northern Michigan. Check out  these webcams and the Snowman Cam from Gaylord.         Here’s a few pictures of the last snowstorm.


Winter Weather Advisory Dropped

December 27th, 2012 at 9:48 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

    The National Weather Service has dropped the Winter Weather Advisory for the entire area.  The morning run of the NAM (Caribou) shows just a dusting.  It is snowing at my house at 12:30, but the flakes are so small and few that it could snow like this for a week and not accumulate an inch.  Light winds today are making it a rather comfortable day to be outdoors.  The GFS does give G.R. a temperature of zero on the morning of 1/4.  That’s 2 runs in a row of the GFS with some Arctic cold around 1/4.    The European is in now.  It gives Grand Rapids 0.10″ of precipitation…that’s maybe an inch and a half.  The European is right with the GFS on the cold shot for 1/3-1/5.  It has the temperature in G.R. down to 9.5F Thursday evening the 3rd and the 850mb temperature at -18.5 (or -1.3F).  Depending on the usual factors (wind direction, wind speed, overall moisture content of the atmosphere, cyclonic curvature, etc.) we could get some hefty lake-effect snow out of air that cold.

Snowfall from the Weds. system:  14″ Rochester NY, 15″ Montreal, Canada, 12″ Bradford PA, 11″ Chagrin Falls OH, Port Huron MI and Burlington VT.  The storm produced wind gusts of 74 mph at Blue Hill MA and 70 mph at Eaton Neck NY.  GRR is still +6.7 degrees above average for December thru Thursday.


Full Moon

December 27th, 2012 at 7:55 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

   The full moon of late December is called the “Cold Moon”.  This is the full moon closest to the Winter Solstice, so it’s the full moon that will climb highest overhead.   The moon tonight is approximately 251,300 miles from the Earth, which is greater than the average distance of 238,866 miles, so this full moon will look slightly smaller than an average full moon.   Here’s some interesting facts about our moon. (picture from NASA).  Second picture is the moon coming up over Reed’s Lake (from professor and climatologist Andy Schut).  Click the pics. to enlarge.


2/3rds of Lower 48 states has a snowcover

December 27th, 2012 at 1:43 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Click the map to enlarge.  Look at the swath of snow from the storm from N. Texas to New England.  It’s hard to see, but there’s a tiny dot around Muskegon/Grand Haven without snow on the ground.  65% of the Lower 48 States has a snow cover this morning.  Last year on this date, there was only a 24.3% U.S. snow cover.   Also, the latest GFS has a massive Arctic outbreak across the eastern U.S. around Jan. 4.  Lake Michigan makes a difference…the model has Green Bay -12 Friday 1/4 AM and Traverse city +12.  It’s the GFS model and that does have a tendency to overdo cold outbreaks in the long term, but it it’s right, we’d have highs of 10-15 for at least one day with lake-effect snow showers a certainty.  The European model is also latching onto a cold outbreak.  It’s got the 850mb temperature in G.R. down to -17C (1.4F) on Tues. 1/3 with lake-effect snow.  Both models look pretty chilly for the first week of Jan.  There’s a slight risk of severe weather in LA/MS tomorrow.


Thursday

December 27th, 2012 at 2:11 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

   This is snow on the ground in Central Arkansas (pic. from KARK) where the National Guard has been called out to help with the storm clean-up.  Up to a foot of snow fell in Arkansas, with 9″ in Little Rock (their 3rd biggest December snowfall).  Albion IL had 18.3″, with 11″ in Evansville and nearly 8″ in Indianapolis.  Watch out for slick spots on the sidewalks, parking lots, side streets and rural roads especially today.  There are no significant storm systems coming our way.  The models print out some light snow from Friday PM into Saturday night…an inch, maybe two at the most.  Most days next week we’ll have a chance of a little light snow or flurries.  Grand Rapids officially received 3.1″ of snow yesterday, more than doubling our season snowfall to 5.8″.  That’s more than the 3.6″ we had for a season total last year on 12/27, but 19″ below average.   We’ve had 21% of possible sunshine for December through the 26th.    There is more snow in the forecast.  An inch or two is likely from Friday into Saturday and lake-effect snow showers are likely early next week with additional accumulations.  With the coldest air of the season a possibility by the middle of next week and Lake Michigan still around 40F, the potential is there for some areas to get more significant lake-effect snow as the Arctic air arrives.  The morning GRR NWS discussion is a good one.  Speaking of the NWS, SPC did a good job with the outlooks (risk area out on Day 4) and watches with the Christmas Day severe weather down South.


Snow Ends, Cool Continues

December 26th, 2012 at 1:22 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Local  Thurs. AM -   Snow accumulations ranged from 1-5″ with the highest totals in Branch, Hillsdale and Jackson Counties to the east.  Heavy snow fell from NE Texas to New England.   Muskegon has least amount of snow on the ground of any place in Michigan…pretty weird.  Here’s NAM model snowfall thru 84 hours, the GFS snowfall thru 120 hours and the HPC snowfall predictions. Here’s WOOD-TV Interactive Radar, looping radar. Check out the current conditions, regional radar, GRR radar, northern Indiana radar, Chicago radar and Milwaukee radar. Here’s the College of DuPage Radar Map, Storm total rainfall, 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 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 Marantha Webcam at Lake Michigan and links to webcams. Here’s the infrared satellite loop (night) and the visible satellite loop (daytime). Here’s Lake Michigan water temperatures. Here’s storm total rainfall for W. Michigan and E. Michigan. Here’s data from the mid-lake buoy (not available in winter) and the Wind Map. And…here’s the 84-hour NAM snowfall amount forecast for W. Michigan and the 120-hour GFS snowfall amount forecast.  For current Michigan weather observations and wind speeds, click here. You can check out the winds at the S. Haven Lighthouse, the Spyglass Condos Weather Station by the Holland Channel, the Muskegon beach (when the wind is in knots – kts. – multiply by 1.15 to get mph), and the beach at Michigan City, Indiana.

Snow totals as of Noon from northern Indiana,  central Indiana (nearly 8″ in Indianapolis), southern Indiana/Illinois (18.3″ Albion IL, 11″ Evansville IN), Arkansas (up to 14″, with 10″ and thundersnow at Little Rock where it was the 3rd biggest December snowfall ever) (2-3 foot drifts in NE Arkansas – with snow falling down to NW Mississippi) and north Texas (up to 7.2″ with a little snow in Dallas and Fort Worth).

WOW!  61.4% of the Lower 48 states now has a snow cover at midday – but now Grand Rapids or Muskegon!  Huge difference from last year, when only 27.5% of the Lower 48 states had a snow cover.  With this storm “filling in” the area between Detroit and Buffalo with snow, 99% of Canada will have a snow cover (the exception being right at the Pacific Ocean).


Winter Weather Advisory

December 26th, 2012 at 12:18 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

The Winter Weather Advisory continues until 7 AM Thurs. (may be dropped with the 4 AM forecast) for Ionia, Barry and Kalamazoo Counties to the east.  Accumulations are 1-4″ for everyone east of a line from Holland to Big Rapids and 4-7″ for the southeast part of the state.

Both Cannonsburg Ski Area and Pando Winter Sports Park will be open for skiing/snowboarding on Wednesday.