A Rumble of Thunder, Anyone?

December 1st, 2012 at 2:05 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

1200 UTC Day 1 Outlook  As I write this, the Storm Prediction Center has W. Michigan in a relatively small thunderstorm outlook for later on today/tonight. It’s pretty iffy. Here’s the discussion.  In 1982 we had a very warm start to December with highs of 59,67,63,50,63,47.  I remember seeing a perfect thunderstorm anvil in the morning looking west out over Lake Michigan.  We had 3.68″ of rain in those first six days of Dec. 1982.  Later we were 65 on Christmas Day (I picked a blooming dandelion from my front lawn that morning) and we were 61 on the 28th.   Later we had the 7 consecutive record high temperatures from March 1 – 7, with a high of 72 on March 3.  We had only 36.2″ of snow that winter and the snowiest 24-hours was 8″ on March 20-21 right at the Spring Equinox.

Here’s some facts about the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season and pictures of the record snowfall in Moscow.  There’s 18 people missing after an avalanche in Kashmir.  Here’s a summary of Hurricane Sandy.

81 Responses to “A Rumble of Thunder, Anyone?”

  1. This winter is looking a lot like the last.

    1. fixxxer says:


  2. whatBillwantstosaybutcant says:

    I remember the Crithmeth (HA! to funny) of 1982. I was 9 years old and my siblings and i played touch football in the big side yard of the farm i grew up on. Perfect day that was. Bill if i remember correctly that next year 83′ or maybe 81′ the lake shore had one heck of a January. I remember school was cancelled more often than not that month. We watched out the window at a county worker as it took him four or five hours to make it to our house. He came to the front door and asked if he could use our phone. We had a party line at the time so he had to wait for our neighbors to get off of the phone! Those were the days. My father made him some coffee and he showed us his plow truck. It had a big V plow on it. The snow was so deep (heavy drifting where we lived) that he would back up the truck and just ram the pile until the truck would stop and then repeat. We had just moved from Hancock Michigan in 79′ so we were impressed with that January storm in Muskegon County. Hancock received 320″ of snow in the winter of 79″ so we were no strangers to that madness. That reminds me………..i miss winter.

    1. Irish coffee says:

      Cool reminiscings!! I think you were referring to Jan. ’81..there was like 3 Sunday’s in a row w/ hvy snfl + strong winds resulting in multiple snow days early in the week several x’s that year— worst was near lakeshore areas… i was a junior at Mattawan High..

  3. I love a good thunderstorm, always look forward to a chance, even if it is small. I was looking at the WRF earlier and it shows some heavier returns embedded within the rain after dark. I’m thinking it will be something similar to Thanksgiving when we had a handful of lightning strikes from about Holland to Edmore. Nothing serious. Gotta love those anvils though. I know I do. There is a fine looking storm system that is producing some thunderstorms to the northwest of Hawaii right now. Click Here to see a 3 panel image of it.

    1. Also, if anybody needs a good thunder and lightning fix, this video is definitely for you http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WN0EfWOK2GM Enjoy.

      1. Jenkarley says:

        sweet video!

  4. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

    It’s December 1st! 24 days of chocolate begins!!

  5. kevin. w says:

    Well for what its worth Greenland blocking is starting to show up here (http://www.meteo.psu.edu/~fxg1/ECMWF_0z/hgtcomp.html) don’t know how strong it will be or what it really means for our winter? It was -50 near yellowknife and close to -60 just north of there and (for what its worth) the euro ensemble and Canadian ensemble for the first time show a good push of arctic air down here about mid month and HOPEFULLY it could be the start of something coming. The GFS (I know fantasy model) has been VERY consistent on showing a big storm around mid month just like it was the only model showing the left hook of Sandy out about ten days before the storm hit. Maybe were on to something finally or are we just in another fantasy land again. But if this doesn’t materialize and we just end up warmer in two weeks than I guess we just my as well say another “bust” for winter 2012……hope not.

  6. Dan says:

    I hope these models end up verifying with what they are showing. We’ve got TO have some Winter. I wonder if Mother Nature takes requests and honors them? Mother Nature, here in Michigan winter has not officially arrived. Could you please do something to make it seem like Winter? PLEASE! Thanks, from a Winter Weather Junkie!

  7. michael g (SE GR) says:

    Henry Margusity‏@Accu_Henry

    According to the GFS, the cold dam breaks after the 10th and the wild winter weather is “GAME ON” .

    1. michael g (SE GR) says:

      Joe Bastardi‏@BigJoeBastardi

      Models lining up with our idea about stormy cold mid Jan to mid December now too. http://Weatherbell.com covering this pic.twitter.com/e3FGZvJw

    2. Brian(Grandville) says:

      I just noticed that myself. Not making any bets, but winter may just arrive then.

  8. Jenkarley says:

    1st of December! I want snow!

  9. INDY says:

    60 days to Febuary and last March we had 80′ degrees +++++, Sure could use some snow our drought is still going strong in West Michigan it’s verry dry outside ..Michigann winters are about done the glob is getting warmer thanks to that major quake in Japan our earth’s axis is on a tilt now from that quake and our 4 seasons in Michiagn are about gone spring will be the norm with hot summers and verry little snow and cold now thanks to Japan……Enjoy your sprites INDYY….

    1. Scott (west olive) says:

      I was wondering when someone would bring the tilt up. I remember reading that on yahoo news.

  10. KevinS (Saugatuck) says:

    So what your saying is, It’s not looking good..
    Sure hope something happens here soon, bc if not, winter is a BUST.

  11. Bnoppe says:

    We need to start a fantasy weather league. Where the earlier you bet on a storm and what it’s going to do the more you win

    1. Katie in Kentwood says:

      Thats an awesome idea, lol.

  12. Jordan (Twin Lake) says:

    There are a cople models agreeing on giving us a big winter storm the 24-26 now wouldn’t that be great we cold defiantly be in for a white Christmas :D haven’t had one of those in 3 years I reay for one!

  13. Resourceful Nana says:

    Lots of geese, swan, and ducks enjoying the calm water on our lake. I like snow when we have those dreary, winter days, but the month of November was unusually sunny and I enjoy that, too! Although I know we need the rain/precipitation. Haven’t had any flow in our county drain in many months. One way I plan to get a “winter fix” is to go see the movie, “Chasing Ice”. Supposed to have lots of beautiful photography and lots of documented evidence for global warming. Seeing is believing, they say.

    1. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

      I have no faith in models any more I don’t buy into anything these days until I actually see it on radar 1/2hr out from arriving into the area and that to is questionable.

      1. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

        Forecasting models and our reliance on them has truly ruined the excitement and passion of weather.

        1. Sprites says:

          Don’t look at them then.

        2. Cort S. says:

          Nah, that’s a bit of an overstatement. Try telling that to me in October. Myself and all the other weather geeks were watching Hurricane Sandy a week in advance, and drooling over the extreme meteorological epicness that they were portraying. There is no way we would have been able to predict the unprecedented left hook into the East Coast with >90% confidence four days in advance, without a little help from the of physics equations that our computers crunch for us.

        3. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

          :) good point, Cort.

        4. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

          In some states/areas the models are reliable but WOW here is Michigan there is no hope for the models to be accurate, this year I do have to say now I understand why Michigan is a very hard state to forecast. It’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t, at this point until it’s at your back door practically you can’t count on the models.

        5. Cort S. says:

          I’ve lived in places other than Michigan, and trust me, the models have their good times and their bad times everywhere. Remember the March heat wave? The models predicted that a week in advance, and it was actually underdone! As far as thunderstorms go, Lake Michigan often throws a monkey wrench into the forecast, but not always. I’ve explained the difference between surface-based and elevated thunderstorms, and why Lake Michigan shreds some storms but not others. Even if we didn’t have Lake Michigan to our west, we would still have our share of fails. Lots of places in the country get busted slight and moderate risks. They also get slight risks that end up going gangbusters. Michigan is no exception, but it just has somewhat less probability of succeeding because of our geographical situation. Even if you live in Dixie or Oklahoma and are under a high risk, your location is still not guaranteed to get a thunderstorm. Here’s an experiment: For any slight risk anywhere in the country, pick a random point on the map within that slight risk and see how often they get a thunderstorm or a severe weather report that day. You’ll find that Kent County isn’t the only place in the country with bad luck. It’s all about probability.

    2. bobcat says:

      Great story. There is no ‘documented evidence’ for global warming.

  14. Sprites says:

    In all serious though, I somewhat agree. Don’t take them for 100% accuracy though. They still can give you a good idea of major pattern changes.

    1. Cort S. says:

      It’s also important to recognize that different scales of atmospheric motions are better resolved in models than others. Mesoscale features like thunderstorms, lake-effect snow bands, and narrow axes of heavy snow in deformation zones are unable to be resolved by global models like the GFS. Those features are too small in space and time, and they are below the grid point spacing and time steps that the model has. Use mesoscale models like the HRRR to try to predict mesoscale features, but even they are limited by the quality and resolution of our weather observations. Models like the GFS and ECMWF (European) are great at predicting large, synoptic-scale systems and blocking features in the jet stream many days in advance: the same blocking features which gave us our March heat wave and the sudden left hook in Hurricane Sandy’s track.

      1. Cort S. says:

        Also for mesoscale features, meteorologists don’t entirely rely on models either. The SPC still practices the art of hand-analyzing weather maps when trying to predict thunderstorms. They bring their colored pencils to work! Getting immersed in the weather maps and coloring-in your own isobars, fronts, and moisture areas really helps you “feel” the atmosphere, man! I’ve done it before; it’s groovy.

        1. Mike Geukes says:

          Sad thing is hand analysis is not being taught as much in synoptic/mesoscale classes like it was many years ago.

        2. DanielG says:

          Cort I enjoy readinng your analysis!
          As for winter, I work in the rail yard off of Chicago Drive and have to say that LAST winter was GREAT! Tee shirt in March??? But it whacked the fruit growers and really wasn’t a good thing for most anyone. Cept we that toil outside!
          I have a few years left before retirement…and anyone that says they are looking forward to winter should spend a few days with me playing remote control loco in the rail yard! If it never snows again I couldn’t be happier…but I know that wouldn’t be good and I know winter will come soon enough. Always has, always will.
          And when I retire…maybe THEN I’ll buy me a snowmobile…not until though.

        3. GunLakeDeb says:

          So you’re saying you need to be an artist also??? ;-)

  15. Mike Geukes says:

    I am redoing my website. Here is a site I made for the EURO (ECMWF) FORECAST MODEL,there are many links to lots of maps.

    1. Mike Geukes says:

      There are paid sites out there for more detailed maps of the Euro model.

    2. michael g (SE GR) says:

      Nice! Hard to find links to the Euro.

  16. Nathan Anthony says:

    Bill, when do you think winter will finally start? I’m desperately waiting for snow, but I don’t know how much longer i have to wait…

  17. Barry in Zeeland says:

    Temps in the 50′s and no snow in sight! Happy first day of meteoroligical winter everyone!! Except maybe that ftfd0806 guy………oh heck, happy meteoroligical winter to you as well.

    1. michael g (SE GR) says:

      Snow is in the Euro’s sights.


  18. Winter waning says:

    So then…… There you have it. Lo the winter is over, fall to spring…..

    1. Tim From Zeeland says:

      Snow lover here. I want it as much as the next person.
      1. Thats well over a week away. I will believe it when I see it.
      2. If it does come, just how long will it last? A shot of cold and snow only to have warm weather return in force?
      Not trying to be down in the mouth. Just seen the reports before.
      3. I do seem to miss JR from Rockford. He was always over the snow and cold is coming. lol

      1. michael g (SE GR) says:

        He changed into Rocky and became a golf fanatic.

  19. michael g (SE GR) says:

    GFS knows too.


    1. michael g (SE GR) says:

      Well, that didn’t work. Copy and paste I guess.

      1. Cort S. says:

        The “a href” html tag will handle those pesky long URLs:

  20. Nathan says:

    Hey Bill, it looks like it might get colder soon!!!!! (Ahhhhh!!!!) When should the cold begin? (Screams!!)

  21. arcturus says:

    December will end up above average in temps, just like so many others. Safe bet too considering how cold it would have to get to offset this string of new normal warm temps. ‘Above average’ has been used so much it’s no longer an accurate description. From this time forward I’m calling above average dead; welcome to the new average, welcome to the new normal.

    1. Brian(Grandville) says:

      The new normal. Please. It’s called a weather pattern, they never stay the same. They go in 10-30 year cycles.

      1. arcturus says:

        Whatever you gotta tell youself.

        1. Brian(Grandville) says:

          So if this is the new normal. Blizzards in W. Virginia, in October could be the new normal. Keep in mind, U.S. land falling hurricanes, and tropical storms have been well below predicted expectations in the past few years. By your theory of G.W. that shouldn’t be happening.

    2. michael g (SE GR) says:

      Really? 3 days of 15 above normal is easily offset by the next 28 being only 2 below normal.

      1. arcturus says:

        Or, vice versa, 2 below normal for ‘only’ the next 28 consecutive days. Now who’s the one who should be saying ‘really?’

        1. Bill Steffen says:

          For the past 4 months (August 1 to November 30, Grand Rapids was exactly average. Kalamazoo was -0.25 degree from average.

          February, March and April 2013 were significantly colder than average in West Michigan and throughout much of the Eastern 2/3rds of the country.

  22. Jeff (S.E. Ionia County) says:

    Well, it will get white someday. Before ya know it, spring will be here ;)

    1. fixxxer says:

      Im counting the days already.

  23. Nathan says:

    SLightly updated forecast: Still looking like it will be around an average winter… Maybe a little colder?http://www.crh.noaa.gov/images/grr/presentations/Winter_Forecast_Updated_2012-11-19_12-47-14.pdf

    1. fixxxer says:

      All speculation.

      1. Nathan says:

        All fact.

        1. fixxxer says:

          I hope you dont really believe that.

  24. The Fun Is Nearing, Very Cold Air Is Coming By The Middle Or End Of Week 2, Not Next Week But The Week After !!

    Here In Breckenridge we ended November +0.1 degrees and recorded only 0.37 inches of rainfall, but what a soy and corn harvest for our area. We forecasted a corn intake goal of 6.5 million bushel and are just a tad under 8 million thus far with more still coming in. A busy 4 days this last week as we set a record for rail shipments of 320 cars or just over 1 million bushels loaded in again just 4 days. Tuesday 90 cars of corn, Wednesday 65 Cars of corn, Thursday 65 Cars of corn then Friday 90 cars of soybeans.

    1. Jack says:

      Thanks Mark !! The Farmer Feeds us ALL !! :-)

    2. GunLakeDeb says:

      That is fantastic, considering the drought this summer!!!

      1. DanielG says:

        The farther north you went the better the harvest. Newaygo is looking to ship a lot more grain trains this year. The Marquette railroad boys tell me the deer are standing on top of the outdoor corn mountains there.
        Good to hear the elevators over towards Saginaw are doing so great. I noticed they are running a LOT of grain trains on CSX out of Flint and they come from Breckenridge, Wheeler and a lot of other elevators over that way. Makin money for the farmers AND the railroad. Good for us CSX shareholders…if they would put it out in a news release that is.

  25. INDY says:

    Step outside and feel the spring air in December INDY is going to sleep outside tonight with his sprites and a nice cool fire out thee YARDofBRICKS!! From no snow on this drought we have going INDYY……

    1. Jack says:

      Yooo Indy… CUE : The Byrds – America’s Great National Pastimes – YouTube

      ► 3:08► 3:08

  26. Jordan (Twin Lake) says:

    Bill that thunderstorm forecast for today is not iffy right now were having very loud thunder shaking the house with really heavy rain! this is supposed to be snow not rain!

  27. weather watcher says:

    Quite a few rumbles…along with some lightening. A very nice little storm overhead. Great way to start the month of December.

  28. DF (SE Mich) says:

    Bill, your football team is looking good!

    1. DF (SE Mich) says:

      35 points in the first half already… Wow!

    2. DF (SE Mich) says:

      41 in the first half!

      1. Jack says:

        How about Them….. BADGERS ! ,!!!!!

  29. Runner1759 says:

    Nice little thunderstorm with some heavy rain right now in Oceana county.

  30. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

    Same pattern everything north of us or south, and if we get snow probably the same pattern as well.

    1. Jack says:

      Hey, Swat- Zoo !! I Hear What You’re SAYIN, Spin : ;-) . Aerosmith – Same Old Song And Dance (Lyrics) – YouTube

      ► 3:50► 3:50

    2. Jordan (Twin Lake) says:

      The warm front is stalled a little north of you that is why it is north of you tonight don’t lose confidence ;)

    3. fixxxer says:

      No one wants snow. ;)

      1. whatBillwantstosaybutcant says:

        ummm. i do.

      2. Brian(Grandville) says:

        I like skiing, ice fishing, ect.
        I don’t mind the snow.

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