Happy St. Patrick’s DayMarch 16th, 2013 at 10:56 pm by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
<–click to enlarge the map of Ireland. Over the last 15 years (inc. 2012), this has been the weirdest day for weather in W. Michigan! After 3 years in a row with temperatures well above normal on St. Patrick’s Day today was 15 degrees cooler than average with a high of 30 in G.R. That follows five years that were significantly colder than average. In fact, here are the high temperatures for St. Patrick’s Day starting in 1998: 36, 60, 37, 39, 39, 68, 33, 35, 28, 38, 37, 71, 65, 78 and 30. There have been no 40s, no 50s…it’s been either real warm or real cold on St. Patrick’s Day in W. Michigan. The weather was cool, but nice Saturday for the big St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Conklin. Which brings me to the weather of Ireland. Just like the wind coming off Lake Michigan moderates the climate, making the lakeshore cooler in spring/summer and warmer in winter…the same is true in Ireland. The wind off the ocean keeps the temperature fairly constant. The difference between the average high temperature in Dublin in January (45F) and July (67F) is only 22 degrees. The warmest temperature in Dublin in calendar year 2008 was just 72F (you won’t find a lot of backyard swimming pools in Ireland). The coolest temperature was 25F. Dublin only recorded 1/10″ of snowfall in 2008 – that coming on April 6th. There were two other days with trace amounts. The city did have 1/10″ of snow on 3/11/13 and trace amounts on the 12th and 13th. Dublin is actually 700 miles north of Grand Rapids. Despite it’s northerly location (summer daylight grows to 17 hours long in June), winters are milder due to the influence of the relatively warm Gulf Stream current. Ireland is the 20th biggest island in the world (3rd biggest in Europe) and is just slightly smaller than South Carolina. Rainfall is frequent and mostly light. Dublin records thunder an average of only four days per year. The average high and low temperature for Dublin on 3/17 is 50/36. Yesterday (3/16/13), the high/low was 46/27. The first 16 days of March were 3.5 deg. cooler than average. Marquette added another couple inches of snow. They are now up to 171.4″ for the season and they are (at the airport) at a season high 43″ of snow on the ground. Twin Lakes has had 217.9″ this season! Hoist Basin has the most snow on the ground that I’ve seen in years at 58″ (almost 5 feet) on the level this morning. It was also cold in the U.P. with lows of -15 at Champion and -17 at Stambough.
Lunch (church pot-luck) today featured authentic Irish stew, from a lady who grew up in Ireland – yum. Came home, filled the bird feeders, picked up twigs outside and getting ready for Wisconsin-Ohio State. Here’s a St. Patrick’s Day Quiz (I got 9 out of 10, but I had to guess between two answers on a couple of them).