July 22nd, 2013 at 1:00 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Local  Sorry I checked out Sunday evening as the showers and storms came in.  It was kind of a last minute thing, but my 94-year-old mother is up here from Illinois.  My daughter 1 was also up to teach a WERQ group at East Hills Athletic Club and brought my mother along.  Daughter 3 was down from Traverse City for the concert of their guest musician from France, Melodie.  She has been at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.  I took her delightful family (including the kids of the chef for Steve Jobs) thru WOOD-TV.  We watched (what turned out to be a 2-hour) video from the kids that we hosted from Austria.

My grandmother is from Austria and we spent part of the evening online trying to learn more about her, which has turned out to be a fascinating search.  We don’t know much about my mother’s mother.  She was raised in Ybbs, Austria and came to the U.S. on a ship (the Cleveland) out of Hamburg, Germany in 1911.  However, when she went back to Ybbs in 1930 (by boat with my mother, who was 10 years old at the time), there was no record of her being born there.  They asked if illegitimate children were registered and they said “Oh, Yes”…everyone born in Ybbs would have been registered.  Her mother died at age 34.  Her father was “Sebastian” and played the accordion.  He also died relatively young.  She had a brother (who we found out might be a step-brother) who was killed in WWI.  When they went back to the small farm where she grew up, she talked with the family who was living there (who were related in some way to Anton’s wife, who had also died) and while that was happening, another women peered from behind a door and looked at them like she was seeing ghosts! The couple said the older woman “came with the farm” (whatever that meant).  Ybbs had built the new post office on top of the old common cemetery, so there were no gravestones to look at.  In the U.S., my grandmother was Josephine Bieber (Busscher when she married my grandfather), but we found out in Austria she was Josefa Biber.  Some Bibers were Austrian Catholic and some were Jewish.   The immigration papers said Josefa Bieber, but names were often changed by a letter or two when immigrants entered the country.   She had black hair, as did my mother, before it turned gray, certainly not a Germanic blonde.   They visited an aunt Louisa who was rather unfriendly and scolded my grandmother for not writing (the letters were all censored back during the war).  My grandmother came to America by herself at age 24.  Her immigration papers said that she had a cousin in Philadelphia.  We can’t read the last name…something like Bergheim…but there’s no family record of any relatives in Philadelphia and my grandmother never mentioned that she knew anyone there or ever went there.  That might have been a contact that the nuns in Vienna (we know my grandmother was in Vienna for at least several years and took some cooking classes.  A kindly group of nuns in Austria worked with some nuns in New Jersey and arranged for my grandmother to work as a cook for a Jewish family in New Jersey.  My grandmother said the family (which had taken the rather Irish surname of Higgins to better fit in) were wonderful.  They helped her learn English and really helped her become an American and give her confidence.  Several years later, she found a better job in Winnetka, Illinois, working for Mr. Hibbard (who owned a hardware business in Chicago) and his wife.  That where she met my grandfather, who was the milkman and she was the cook.  They were married in 1915 in the same church that my mother attends now when she is in Wilmette during the summer.  My father is 100% Luxembourger (family from two small towns, Vichten and Bissen).  My mother’s father’s family came from Almelo in the Netherlands.  I don’t know when they came, but my great-grandfather (who died at age 28 – leaving 3 small kids and a wife) was born in what is now Winnetka, Illinois.  So, they’ve been in the U.S. since at least around the Civil War.  We also know some in that family originally came from across the current border with Germany (Dingleheim…a town that no longer exists).

Sunday evening’s storms produced 50-60 mph wind gusts across parts of Kalamazoo county.  Trees were toppled 5 miles north of Plainwell.  Hail fell in Mattawan and up to 1″ hail was reported north of Kalamazoo.  Rainfall as of 1 AM Monday:  0.89″ Battle Creek (still raining), 0.73″ Kalamazoo, 0.86″ Holland, 0.61 Grand Rapids Airport, 0.02″ Muskegon.  I didn’t get much at my place.  There was wind damage, hail damage and over 3″ of rain in parts of S. Wisconsin.

For Michigan weather observations and wind speeds, click here. Here’s WOOD-TV Interactive Radar, looping radar. Check out regional radar, GRR radar, northern Indiana radar, Chicago radar and Milwaukee radar. Here’s the College of DuPage Radar Map, the local warning/advisory map and the National warning/watch/advisory map, and a surface weather 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. Check out Storm Total Rainfall (until they reset it). 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, the Maranatha Webcam at Lake Michigan and links to webcams. Here’s the infrared satellite loop (night) and the visible satellite loop (daytime), Lake Michigan water temperatures. Here’s storm reports from NE Illinois, SE. Wisconsin and E. Michigan.

108 Responses to “Monday”

  1. Jill C. says:

    Interesting family history, Bill. Thanks for sharing the story with us. Been working on mine (and my husband’s) on and off since the 1980s.

    Husband was disappointed this evening that we didn’t get any rain up here in northern Muskegon County. He’ll have to turn the sprinklers on again in the morning, I suppose.

  2. TomKap (Michigan St. & Fuller) Grand Rapids says:

    Nice story on your fam, Bill.

    But seriously, did ‘anyone’ accurately predict this unexpected rain tonight. Sure put a damper on the Meijer Gardens concert.

  3. Jack Martin says:

    Such a wonderful Family history Bill! Thank You for such an interesting story of Your heritage! Good to see that You are enjoying Your time with Your Mother and Family!

  4. michael g (SE GR) says:

    Good soaking here overnight. Grass looks happy!

    1. Barb says:

      Great! I think you’re in my neck of the woods near Hall & Plymouth. I don’t have to worry while I’m up here in the north country at least for awhile.

      1. michael g (SE GR) says:

        Not too far away, I’m about 2 miles southeast of there.

  5. Mike L says:

    Their was an inch and a half in my rain gauge which I’m pretty sure was empty the night before… unless the neighbor’s sprinklers pointed the wrong way again last night.

    1. Mike L says:

      Sorry, here is Wyoming…

  6. kevin. w says:

    Just by looking at the models this trough in eastern north america looks to stick around for quite awhile. None of the models are forecasting any 90s for the next 21 days. Wouldn’t be surprised to see a few uncomfortable days when school starts. One more month and will be approaching September, YEAH!

  7. Jim S (North of Parchment) says:

    1.1 inches here in Cooper Township overnight.

  8. Nathan says:

    Creepily… I swam and played tennis at East Hills yesterday. To bad I didn’t see you guys!

    1. Nathan says:

      But cool family history, it is much better than mine for sure

  9. Mark (East Lansing) says:

    Just a follow up to the sunburn – I found one other product that works well and I just happened to have it in the medicine cabinet. Noxzema! Slather it on like lotion and it really takes the sting away.

  10. Jeff (Richland) says:

    Wow was last evenings storms ever a surprise! For once I am happy the forecast was a fail. We picked up another 1.3″ at my house for a total rainfall including Friday of 3″ even. Lovin it!

  11. Kevin (Msrshall) says:

    I’m guessing the NWS forecast model was a bit off predicting last nights rains.

  12. Nathan says:

    I easily picked up at least an inch of rain last night, no questions asked!

  13. Kevin(Rockford) says:

    .06 rain last night. I am up to an even 1″ for the month

    1. Kevin(Rockford) says:

      correction – 1″ not 1 foot

  14. Mike M. says:

    Luxembourger? Isn’t that a stinky cheese?

  15. Redd_Leader (Hamilton) says:

    Very cool history Bill. I am reminded of the Saturday Night Live skit of the two Austrian body builders “We are here to PUMP YOU UP!”, and “Listen to me know, here me later!” LOL

    Just to report in, the rain seemed to wrap around Western Allegan County until the last minute. When it finally did overcome the bubble it was a nice heavy/medium rain for about 50 minutes. I ended up with 0.7″, which is the same amount that I’ve received all month, bringing me to 1.4″ for July.

    I really wish that the forecasting wasn’t done with computer models. It seems (at least in my memory) that back in the 70′s it was much more accurate. But it’s probably just the way I remember it.

  16. Cliff (Scotts) says:

    2.2 inches of liquid gold

  17. INDY says:


  18. Travis (Oakland County) says:

    88 Saturday, 84 Sunday… both days muggy. Not much of a cold front, but at least the nights are cooler.

    Can’t wait for the upper 70′s, low 80′s coming up.

    Rainfall sure has been sporadic. Some spots are almost 2″ below average for the month, while others are now in above average rainfall.

    Flint: 0.33″
    Saginaw: 0.37″
    Detroit: 3.31″
    Muskegon: 0.63″
    Kalamazzo: 3.01″
    Lansing: 0.70″
    GR: 2.35″

    1. Barb says:

      Where are you getting your totals? GR has not had nearly that much rain.

    2. ray oshtemo says:

      it was a deluge for 3 hours at my house with some hail and wind,
      i got 3.85 inches sundaynight giving me over 6 inches for the month.

      1. Z-man says:

        Good to hear. I thought that people may have thought that my near 3″ overnight was a lie. Oshtemo W of S. Drake Rd.

  19. Vincent(N.E.Kent CO) says:

    Picked up a half inch of rain here.

  20. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    Get ready for a long stretch of below average temperatures! Hopefully this trend will carry right into winter. It must be due to global warming. ROCK n ROLL baby!

    1. Travis (Oakland County) says:

      According to NOAA, 2013 has started out the 7th warmest year on record.

      1. Bill Steffen says:

        Ah, we’re back to Heidi Cullen and Climate Central. Dr. Pelkie demolished her testimony last week at the Congressional hearings. That figure is bogus and based on a cold average (1951-1980). These are also “adjusted” temperatures. If you look at raw, unadjusted global IR temperature data from NASA, based on the currently used 1981-2010 average ( As of this morning, the NASA numbers are as follows:

        Global 2013: +0.01 degree C (one hundredth of a degree)
        July 2013: -0.177 degree C. (very cold now over much of S. America)

  21. INDY says:

    Hey Travis the heat is back for a few days I bet we close to 90* today….INDYY

    1. Travis (Oakland County) says:

      Did the heat ever leave?

      Where I am, I have only seen 4 below average days all July, and nothing in 10 days and counting.

      1. Bill Steffen says:

        Flint’s an unusually warm spot. Lansing has had 7 days this month cooler than average. Assuming Lansing winds up warmer than average in July…that will give them 3 months warmer than average this year and 4 months cooler than average this year.

        1. Travis (Oakland County) says:

          Not sure what you’re arguing. Even Lansing, that seems be one of the cooler spots in Michigan, is above average so far in 2013.

        2. Bill Steffen says:

          By a whopping 1/10th of a degree, and that’s assuming that July ends where we are now at +2.8 degrees…hardly a reason to burden the poor and middle class with an enormous tax incease on gasoline or “skyrocketing” utility rates.

        3. DF (SE Mich) says:

          LOL, even +0.1° is above average… I can only assume a range from 0.0° through -4.0° is average, while +0.1° and above is a scorcher. What happened to a standard deviation?

        4. mike says:

          oh please like you are worried about the poor or middle class mr. I make six figures a year.

        5. Bill Steffen says:

          So…I can’t be concerned about poor or middle class because you say (you don’t really know) I make 6 figures…

          Using your logic…that would mean not a single person in Congress would care about the middle class or the poor. They all make 6 figures. I’d sure like to trade salaries with the President. And look at this: All the union bosses make 6-figure salaries, by your measure, they can’t care about the poor or middle class. Sure most all the climate profiteers, many of them make 6 figures…they couldn’t care about the poor or middle class.

    2. Or around 80, but it’s all relative, isn’t it?

  22. Travis (Oakland County) says:

    In regards to winter, it looks as though a weak/moderate El Nino may be forming.

    This setup tends to give Michigan dry and warm winter conditions:

    Here’s another good read saying slightly below normal temps with below average snow for Michigan:

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      Your first link is just a graphic of what a typical El Nino winter might bring. Keep in mind that some of the coldest and snowiest winters we’ve had in West Michigan have come during weak El Ninos. Is Accu-Weather (or someone there on his/her own) forecasting a moderate to strong El Nino this winter??

      Look at the latest sea surface temperature anomaly: Lots of cool water along the Equator from S. America to the middle Pacific.

      1. Travis (Oakland County) says:

        Not sure what you’re arguing again. Those are early predictions for the upcoming winter and what tends to happen with the current trend to towards weak/moderate El Nino. Of course, there are always exceptions.

        Feel free to add your own prediction if you have one already.

        1. Bill Steffen says:

          Your first link in the comment above is not a forecast. It’s a generic graphic showing what typically happens in an average El Nino…the graphic doesn’t say anything about a prediction.

        2. Travis (Oakland County) says:

          Latest CPC temp forecast for November 2013 – January 2014 looks warm:

        3. Bill Steffen says:

          It’s interesting for a long time now, the CPC long range outlooks seem to never show a below average temperature area. Note even on their graphic, the coolest relative to average is the Northern Plains/Great Lakes southeast to Florida.

          Weak El Ninos can bring very cold winters to the Great Lakes. We are not heading toward a strong El Nino this winter and it’s not likely we hit moderate state…it may go weak El Nino or more likely stay closer to neutral.

        4. Travis (Oakland County) says:

          “never snow at below average temperature area”

          Freudian slip? ;)

          Then again, winter 2013 was warm when La Nina is supposed to be colder for Michigan – so who knows.

        5. Bill Steffen says:

          Fixed it…I can’t do 3 things at once…I just can’t.

  23. Teresa says:

    Great story, Bill. My dad was on a battle ship the “Cleveland” in WWII. I’m sure a different ship but it made me think of him. He passed away at the age of 89 almost 5 years ago.

  24. mr. negative says:

    SE GR – rainfall total showing 1.40 inches. Sprinklers get the week off.

  25. Ed (Coloma) says:

    1.7″ south side of Coloma. I heard well over 2″ north of Coloma.

  26. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

    We are back home from our trip. (Branson, MO then Kansas City “Overland Park, KS“) It was a long drive home, We left Overland Park at 12 Noon their time and got back home here at 2:30 AM our time. There was not much traffic all the way home with the most being on I 80 south of Chicago, but even there it was light. We did have off and on rain with some periods of heavy rain but no thunderstorms. We did see some lightning to the east as we came closer to Michigan.
    Looking over the yard the grass is still very green here (there was a lot of brown in the KC area) and I picked the first two tomatoes from our tomato plants. So far the crop looks good. And it looks like the cats Cat nip is getting ready to process. (Will have to ask Indy for some tips on that one LOL)
    BTW almost forgot the rain gauge here at my house had 0.97″ of rain in it for the week….

  27. Z-man says:

    My rain gauge (Oshtemo twp, S. Drake Rd area) indicated almost 3″ when I left for work this morning. You could see a river in the street with very small wind blown wavelets last night.

  28. ~Sherry~ (Comstock Park) says:

    Love your family history Bill. I have done extensive research on my family tree and it is a lot of fun finding out about how we came to be here. Our ancestors were a hardy group. Can you imagine getting on a ship back in the day going to a place you did not know much about or where you were going to find work and shelter? Pretty brave or foolish which ever way you want to look at it. Good luck finding out more about your ancestors!!

  29. chuckd says:

    Anyone get a rain measurement on GR NE side? Keep hearing all of these reports of 1-3″ rain last night and it seemed like it was barely damp outside when I left for work this AM.

    1. Kevin(Rockford) says:

      Not sure how far you are from Rockford, but I had .06 last night

      1. chuckd says:

        Closer to Plainfield and 4-mile area. Apparently the rain was not too far south of us, so I hear..

    2. yooper4021 says:

      Just sprinkles in Belmont, not even enough to dampen the driveway

    3. Jeff (Richland) says:

      Invest in a rain gauge

      1. Wmi says:

        Or maybe they could just ask and not get a snarky response.

        1. Cliff (Scotts) says:

          Or get a rain gauge for like 2 bucks

  30. SS (Pwell Area( says:

    That was a scary storm here last nite that came out of nowhere. We lost power overnite (again). The hail started small and then went to like quarter to golf ball size…thought it was going to break windows (we headed to basement)! Not sure what it was but weeds in side yard some are spun facing south others are spun more in the northerly direction. It was weird!!! Lots of rain and wind for sure here…

  31. Zach says:

    parts of WI, MN, IA, SD and MI are being monitored for a new severe weather watch

    1. INDY says:

      Theee Bot Has Blogged ,,,,,,,,,INDYY..

      1. Jeff (Richland) says:


    2. DF (SE Mich) says:

      You all know the drill… if you interested in South Dakota and Michigan Tech University, LOL!

  32. Nathan says:

    I am not your FB friend, Facebook is preventing us from being friends! Not too fair :p I would LIKE to be your friend though

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      I got up to 5,000 friends on facebook quickly. That’s the limit on facebook. However, at some point they dumped another 150 into the friend list. Now, I’d have to kick off 150 people to add one. I did send a note to facebook giving them my opinion that the 5,000 limit should be raised, for what that’s worth.

      I do have a facebook fan page, which you can “like”: You can also follow me on Twitter @bsteffen

  33. Kevin(Rockford) says:

    Not looking good for rain tonight as the front come thru…although we will probably get storms of doom because they aren’t talking about ‘em

    1. SS (Pwell Area) says:

      Like last night!!!!

      1. Kevin(Rockford) says:

        how about we get the storms up here and you stay dry this time

        1. SS (Pwell Area) says:

          Fine with me… it was pretty scary last nite, with hail hitting your windows so hard you wonder if it will break them!!! Plus I’m sick of losing power…I bet the appliances are sick of the surges!!!

  34. Zach says:

    New severe thundestorm watch for parts of Michigan….

    1. Barb says:

      In the UP

  35. INDY says:

    Theeee Bot Has Blogged……All Rise….INDYY

    1. Zach says:

      go drink a sprite….

    2. Kevin(Rockford) says:

      Cmon Indy, we need people to keep us updated on the goings on in the UP too. Might have some people lurking on the blog from ironwood,houghton,marquette.

      1. Zach says:

        Does the UP even have internet… I thought it was like the 1800s up there.

        1. Scott (robinson twsp) says:

          Lol. Da yooper howl!

        1. SS (Pwell Area) says:

          Is this line moving towards us???

        2. Zach says:

          DF… the ‘legitmate sources’ get it slower than the script I wrote…

    3. DF (SE Mich) says:


  36. INDY says:

    Facts DDDD DDDD thundershowers are many miles west will be to dark in town when the roll in to see them key>>>IF THE MAKE IT!!! DDD DDD…Stay tuned!! INDYY

    1. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

      Charles R. & I are going fishing here in a few and we both are feeling the aches and we both think we’ll get the storms tonight. Now that we have the aches lets see what the fish have to say about that one. ;-) Plus my flock have been P.I.T.A today!! Good Lord! Now we just need the fish to bite, bite, bite to confirm our suspicions.

      1. ~Sherry~ (Comstock Park) says:

        Have fun and catch a lot of fish!! I hope we get the storms. We need the rain!!

        1. Jack says:

          I’ll Second That!! ~ Sherry~ All 3 of Your Statements…… Stay Cued..

        2. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

          Had fun, both of us were sore, and the fish were biting, we did good tonight! He’s a riot!!

  37. Ray says:

    I too always enjoy hearing about your family history!

  38. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    Travis and his warm weather bias is becoming an incurable illness. Take your meds and get ready for a cold and snowy winter!

    1. Rodey (Rockford) says:

      Says the person who said Grand Rapids would not reach 90 once this summer.

      1. Scott (robinson twsp) says:

        He said winter would never start either.

    2. Travis (Oakland County) says:

      Rocky, you’re batting 0%.

      You said it was going to be cold and snowy last winter, and it was warm with below average snow.

      Then, you said it was going to be a cold summer without any 90 degree days.

      Talk about being wrong and cold bias.

  39. Mindy says:

    Cold and Snowy Winter? It’s not even Fall Yet!!!

  40. Dan says:

    Absolutely PERFECT day today! I love this kind of weather. I am looking forward to the mid and upper 70s! It has been a terrific sumer, thus far!! We could use some rain. Yes, we received a good shower. We are still dry in this area.

    1. Jack says:

      Agree…Dan, A Mad MAX S. VICTORY Tonite, Would Be Icing on The Cake of a Perfect DAY!! Go Tigers. !!! Stay Cued…. ;-)

  41. Nathan says:

    Great… Cabrera was kicked out. And even worse, I have seen no thunderstorms yet! Although i think they should be here by midnight according to the nws…

    1. Jack says:

      Nathan , Miggy Did NOT, Get Kicked Out, He WAS HURTING BADLY, So They WISELY Took Him out of The GAME ! Hope and Pray it’s Not 2 Serious . Showers and T– Showers, Should Arrive at Midnight, Stay CUED…. ;-)

    2. Jack says:

      Whoops, AFTER, not at ….. ;-)

      1. Nathan says:

        Yea I know it was a smart move but it is very unfortunate Cabrera is injured

  42. Nathan says:

    Wow, lots of severe weather to our west! Hopefully it makes it here

  43. Barb says:

    I think I’ll get it up here in Cheboygan but not in GR.

  44. Mindy says:

    Good ole LAKE SHREDDER, be surprised any Storms survive the journey across the big Lake.

  45. RAD ( Jenison / Hudsonville ) says:

    looks like its splitting to me ?

      1. RAD ( Jenison / Hudsonville ) says:

        Sure IS :)

Leave a Reply