Sunday PM

January 20th, 2013 at 4:12 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

   The first image on the left is the black and white visible satellite image from mid-afternoon (from ADDS).  It’s sunny in Wisconsin.  The clouds and snow flurries/showers we have are all generate by lake-effect…cold air coming across relatively warm water.   Check out the current weather map.  The temperature at each weather station on the map is the number in the upper left.  There isn’t as much difference between eastern Wisconsin and West Michigan here in the late afternoon.  The sun has warmed the air a little in Wisconsin during the day, so often the difference is a little less in the late afternoon in a situation like this than in the morning.  The second image is Lake Michigan water temperature from GLERL.  The actual temperatures are probably a few degrees cooler than what is indicated on the map.  Lake Michigan goes through a process of overturning in early winter when the water temperature stays at around 39-40 degrees for a couple weeks and I suspect the water temperature is around 40.  Note where the warmer water is located.  You can see here that Lake Superior (farthest north) and Lake Erie (shallowest Great Lake) are the coldest lakes, and Lake Michigan and Lake Ontario are the warmest.    When you try and forecast lake-effect snow, you have to look at many factors, including the water temperatures, the fetch – or how great the distance that the air will be coming over the water and the residence time (the time the air will spend over the water – if the wind is stronger, the air will spend less time over the water water).  Here’s currents in the Great Lakes.   This is dictated by the wind direction, speed and geography.  Note that today, there is a uniform surface flow from north to south over Lake Superior, but a little more disrupted flow over Lake Michigan.   BTW – I was at the station last night until 4:50 AM – around 1 PM, I updated radio forecasts from home and right now I’m checking weather and watching the Atlanta-49ers game.  I’m on call if and when team coverage is needed.  Kyle Underwood called early this afternoon and we went over the weather and how we plan coverage for all our media for the next 72 hours.  There’s a lot going on behind the scenes.  At this point I would lean on the slightly higher end of snowfall amounts – the most favorable lake-effect areas should see over a foot of snowfall this week.  The latest NAM (Caribou) gives G.R. 7″ of snow this week and Holland 14.4″.

Also, the GRR NWS has wisely noted the possibility of ice jams on area rivers by the end of the week into early next week.   Also (as is often the case) when we have a cold shot, the upper pattern aligns to bring cold air to Europe and Eastern Asia.  Lots of winter going on in the U.K. and in Japan.  London has had 10 days in a row with colder than average temperatures and during that time they’ve been 6 degrees cooler than average.  Dublin, Ireland is in the mid 30s and snowing.  The weather has moderated in northwest Mexico after some of the coldest temperatures in 42 years and heavy snow.

288 Responses to “Sunday PM”

  1. Scott (west olive) says:

    Were getting skunked in the snow dept.

    1. Nick (Grand Haven / West Olive) says:

      yeah we are

      1. Todd In Nunica says:

        the term “fashionably late” is getting REAL old

  2. Todd In Nunica says:

    WELL…..long day at work behind the snowplow….lol a lot blew off the lots and to be honest more is stuck to the lots here in Nunica than along my plow area. Seems I found 1 drift that if I pushed the yardstick hard enough (possibly to the point of bending) I hit 2″…..so pretty much I just took a midnight drive and checked out all the cops sitting at the gas stations….lol Dropped the plow a few times JUST to test it out…..the blue on the radar is some real light snow..(drove through a few bands on my way home)….and actually looks to be forming inland more than on the immediate lakeshore……oh well back home, guess ill just sleep and check in the am.

  3. katie in kentwood says:

    Well its been snowing lightly in gr….we couldnt even see the road surface on i96…freaky! Radar looks like its ramping up!

  4. tinainvbcounty says:

    Good to know! Just let the dogs out for a run and nothing here yet. Was really wondering if anything was actually going to happen or not, and we’re in the strike zone for accumulation.

  5. mart (gr) says:

    radar is starting to fill in! woot!

  6. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

    Hey everyone! Looks like some snow on radar.i don’t think I’ll be listening to any forecasted totals, it’s one of those wait and see senerios!

  7. Rumrunner says:

    Just ran the ambulance the length of M 6. Slippery, with a cloud of snow kicked up behind me. If this keeps up, its going to be nasty in the morning.

  8. Katie in Kentwood says:

    I watched a car spin through the intersection of Breton and 28th. I was in the left turn lane and SO GLAD I waited for him to get through the intersection or he could have plowed into me. He took off at a high rate of speed after he spun around a few times, so I bet he was drunk…also, there are two panhandlers at 28th/east beltline and they were yelling at me for help, so I called the police instead for them to take care of it. Definitely was a sketchy situation. Radar is filling in quite nice!

  9. Rumrunner says:

    Made it through the night. Its a treat driving. Im glad I got out before the rush. Im sure folks will be running into each other. Stay safe. This dude is hittin the rack.

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