A Cool Week AheadDecember 23rd, 2012 at 1:29 am by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
Thanks to Jack Martin for this picture of snow on the ground Saturday AM in Fennville. There was some snow accumulation in a narrow lake-effect band from western Allegan County down to Indiana. It’s kind of hidden under the clouds in this MODIS Great Lakes satellite picture from Saturday afternoon (also not the snow on the ground across Oceana, Newaygo and N. Montcalm Counties northward…you can see the open water at the ponds in Newaygo Co. and in Wisconsin, Lake Winnebago and Green Lake (a very deep lake) have open water. At the southern tip of Lake Michigan in Indiana, you can see no snow on the ground in the 5-10 miles closest to Lake Michigan (where it was a couple degrees warmer), but snow on the ground to the south across northern Indiana. The air will be cold enough this week that all precipitation should fall as snow. It looks partly sunny for today (Sun.), but could go overcast for a few hours. I’m working the evening shift Sun./Mon./Tues., so tune in to 24-Hour News 8 for my latest forecast. The NAM (caribou) has high temperatures of 32/32 for Sun./Mon. With bare ground I think the mid 30s we have out will be closer. The GFS has 0.07″ precipitation for G.R. Monday PM (still a little hope for a “white Christmas”), 0.29″ Weds. PM to Thurs. AM (which would be 3-4″ of snow if that were to happen), 0.06″ Friday PM/Night and 0.10″ Sat. PM/Night. It also has 3/4″ of rain on 1/6, but that’s a long way off and not to be trusted yet. The European has 0.02″ Christmas Eve night (a dusting), 0.05″ Weds. night (3/4″ – but more snow could fall toward I-69) and then 3-4″ on Saturday the 29th in the European is right (GFS has less snow). I think that’s still the best bet for some shovelable snow. We miss the Christmas snowstorm that goes south of us (and could give 6-12″ of snow to parts of Arkansas!). Here’s the MODIS picture centered on Lake Superior. Note the lake-effect clouds coming off Lake Nipigon. Most of the lakes are frozen in Canada and NE Minnesota and there is a little ice forming in the bays of Lake Superior. You can also see the “circle” north of La Crosse, Wisconsin.
The cold air is still in place from northern MT/ND/MN to Alaska. Cut Bank MT had a high of +4 on Saturday, Williston ND couldn’t get past +8. Fairbanks had a high low of -36/-43. This is the most nights of -40 below and colder in Fairbanks since 1980 and they have a week left in the month. Chicken, Alaska had a high/low of -48/-57, both record lows. Most of Alaska is colder than average. The high/low down at Juneau was 17/3 and at Anchorage 9/-5. Eastern Europe is also very cold. St. Petersburg, Russia had a high of zero (F) on 12/19th – that was 24 degrees colder than average. 83 people have died from the cold and 500 in hospitals in the Ukraine. 61 people have died from the cold in Poland. Warsaw had a high temperature of 13F on Saturday, 22 degrees colder than average. It’s been bitter cold in Siberia. A “severe cold snap” has also hit northern Thailand. Your friends vacationing in Florida had a relatively cool Saturday with highs in the low-mid 60s even down to Miami and Key West. It’s been wet in California. Sacramento had another 1.25″ of rain, bringing their monthly total to 4.22″. Here’s Christmas Weather Extremes courtesy of the GRR NWS. Here’s a nice write-up on the snowfall (up to 20″ near Madison! – 2nd greatest single-day snowstorm ever for MSN) in Wisconsin last Thursday.