First Snowflakes

October 18th, 2013 at 2:20 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Snow on pansies mackiefox ReportIt   For you weather geeks…when was the last time you saw a 498 thickness knocking on the door of Minnesota in October! The morning run of the European would certainly be cold enough for at least a mix, if not a changeover to all snow next week, with some accum. possible – best bet for that would be Thurs. night.  The model has the air temps. in the upper 20s Fri. AM with an 850 mb temp. of -8C.  That’s pretty cold for October.  That would be cold enough for at least a rain/sleet mix if not an outright changeover to wet snow.  With Lake Michigan around 58 degrees by the middle of next week…the additional warmth could keep it all rain near the lake, but some snow would be more likely inland, especially in the slightly higher elevations from Newaygo County northward.  The difference in temperature would also likely increase precipitation amounts.  Look what happened yesterday with the MAWN station just south of S. Haven reporting 2.29″ of rain.  So, this does bear watching.  ALSO – (now, keep in mind it’s the GFS, notorious for overdoing cold and snow in the long term) – day 15 of the GFS (again, don’t put much into this) has an 850 mb temp. of -12 for G.R. on Halloween, the 3oth, with a high temperature of 39 and a west wind of 25 mph coming off Lake Michigan.   If that’s the case, you might want to think about trick-or-treating as an Arctic Explorer.

ADD:   WOW – Just WOW!!!  (link is gone…it was a forecast of the NAO and AO thru the end of the year and it was nearly continuous stretch of negative AO and negative NAO with blocking and LOTS of cold and snow for West Michigan).   Brazilian meteograms forecasting lots of snow and cold from late October to Christmas (and maybe beyond) for the Great Lakes.  Also, wildfires burning in Australia and 33″ of rain in 24-hours.

We’re seeing some sunshine at the moment (noon).  At 11 am the temperature was 60 in Muskegon and around 49 along US 131.  The warmer lake is having an effect.  There are heavy cumulus to the west of me toward the lake and certainly the possibility of instability showers courtesy of an upper level disturbance combined with the lake-warming.  Here’s current conditions and a satellite loop.   Clouds will overspread the area again during the early-mid afternoon.

Look at the forecast for Ironwood…look at how many time periods have SNOW in the forecast!

99 Responses to “First Snowflakes”

  1. Back in November 2011 I had the pleasure of filming a rather nice batch of lake effect as our first snow (Sparta, MI) here is that video. Prepare for watching heavy snow!!

    1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

      Oh, I’m looking forward to that. :)

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

    Nice Charles. I have it wrote down here that it was my 1st snow and had a 1/4 inch that meted by noon.

    1. Thanks Vincent! I think the most that accumulated over my locale at the time was close to 2 inches. A heavy band trained over the area. But it melted off rather swiftly. Real slushy wet stuff.

  3. Mike M. says:

    AArgh…Bill, your WOW link is dead! Don’t leave us hanging, what was it?

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      Sorry, link is gone…I explained above. Here’s another WOW for you (courtesy of Drudge):

  4. INDY says:

    Don’t remember snow ever before Halloween going to be a bad winter across West Michigan…..INDYYY

    1. Deb says:

      We had a bad storm back in the 90′s can’t remember what year, but I was watching the world series and the power went out. So much heavy wet snow fell it was taking tons of power lines and tree limbs down. A lot of the trees still had leaves on them.

      1. tracy hallengren says:

        1997 if i remember correctly

    2. Travis (Oakland County) says:

      Hate to tell you, but it’s perfectly average for Southern Lower Michigan to get at least a little snow by the end of October.

      1. yooper4021 says:

        This map would say something a little different…

        As would this information…

        Average date of first measurable snowfall:

        Flint – November 16
        Saginaw – November 15
        Detroit – November 17

        1. Travis (Oakland County) says:

          Widespread accumulating snowfall is very different than seeing some snowflakes Bill mentioned.

          Chris Edwards (meteorologist at WXYZ tweeted this morning):

          “Hate to tell ‘ya, but it’s average for us to get at least a little snow by the end of October.” @edwardswxwxyz

        2. yooper4021 says:

          It’s certainly not unusual we see snow in October, but I wouldn’t characterize it as “average” (based on data presented above).

        3. Travis (Oakland County) says:

          I’ll let you argue with a paper bag again if you want to ;) Seems to be what the blog has turned into!

        4. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

          While it dose not snow ever October it has and will continue to do so. This is from DF who put this further down on the comments

          DF (SE Mich) says:
          October 18, 2013 at 11:28 am
          Average snowfall in October across lower Michigan:
          Grand Rapids: 0.5″
          Lansing: 0.4″
          Muskegon: 0.2″
          Detroit: 0.1″
          Flint: 0.4″
          Saginaw: 0.3″

          As you can see its not unusual at all for some snow to fall in October and it should be noted that a October snow had no indication of the winter that follows it.

      2. GunLakeDeb says:

        I agree with Travis – we usually see some snowflakes before Halloween. Of course the ground is still warm – so there’s no accumulation. Sounds like the kids might need to bundle up this year!!! Maybe I’ll dress as a “Snowmobiler” to hand out the candy….LOL!!

    3. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

      There have been reports snow at the NWS office here in GR in on October 28th 2011 also there were reports of snow in October in 2008 and 2006. On October 27th 1997 GR reported 2.4” of wet heavy snow. So yes it has on many occasions snowed before Halloween here in GR.

      1. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:


    4. Gary says:

      Ah, youth! :-) It’s not uncommon, though not often as serious as one late October in the mid-’90s when I stood guard over my young fruit trees to knock the wet snow off the leaves so they would break off the branches. We had a bunch of food ruined in the subsequent power outage.

  5. Travis (Oakland County) says:

    For all the cold talk, it’s been another fairly mild week for Southern Lower Michigan.

    In fact, mine and Muskegon’s streaks continue. Both are now at 23 consecutive days without a colder than average day.

    Meanwhile, GR’s only posted 2 below average days for the entire month, Kalamazoo only 1, Lansing 2, Saginaw 1.

    According to WXYZ, today should be another nice one for me! Plenty of sun and back into the 60′s. My average high is now in the 50′s and average low is in the 30′s. Next week still looks chilly until another recovery after that.

    Still waiting for my first frost. By this time last year, I already had 6 lows of 32 or below – including two in the 20′s. For as cold as next week may be, Wood is still showing only one possible low of 32.

    1. INDY says:

      And hits himself again ………lolololo 60′s today keep your head little guy!!!! INDYY

      1. Travis (Oakland County) says:

        This afternoon: Clouds building, breezy & pleasant. Highs: 61-65 / Winds: SW 10-20

        Read more:

      2. Rodey (Rockford) says:

        Apparently you have to hit yourself again little dude.

    2. yooper4021 says:

      Here fishy, fishy, fishy…

      1. Mark (East Lansing) says:


    3. DF (SE Mich) says:

      Flint had frost multiple times during September… September 17, 23, 24, 25, 26…
      You house is like fixxxxxx’s.

      1. Travis (Oakland County) says:

        Guess it depends on your definition of frost.

        Maybe I should have said hard freeze – implying below 32 – seeing as frost is entirely too subjective to measure.

        You are citing every low below 40 as having frost?

        1. DF (SE Mich) says:

          If you are checking for frost at 11am, you are correct that you are still waiting.

      2. INDY says:

        Yeaaa what a dumbass Travass is !!! Good call DF!!!! u are thee only weather blogger east I trust!! INDYY

        1. Rodey (Rockford) says:

          The head stooge speaks.

    4. DF (SE Mich) says:

      Are you talking about this recovery in two weeks?

        1. Bill Steffen says:

          Seriously? They don’t think it’s going to go below 32 deg. in the first 16 days of November…with a negative AO and NAO? I doubt it.

    5. Mark (East Lansing) says:

      Which “mine/my/me” are you using today? Flint, or one of the many reporting stations you use?

      1. yooper4021 says:

        Whichever one snags the most fish… :)

      2. Travis (Oakland County) says:

        As I stated previously, I use Flint for all monthly data as it is my closest major NWS center.

        Lots of closer observation stations though for current readings.

  6. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

    So far today is off to a sunny start, I had a low of 37 here with frost once again on the roof on the house across the road (its a black roof so it stands out)..its now up to 45 here still with clear skies.

  7. DF (SE Mich) says:

    The bottom drops out tonight, just in time for football!!! Average highs are still the 60′s in GR and Detroit in mid October.

    Here in the reality of A2 we’ve had frost every morning this week except Thursday.

    1. Ben (Ann Arbor) says:

      The actual low in Ann Arbor is regularly several degrees below the forecast low. It has happened for years, don’t know why they don’y realize it and adjust.

      1. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

        Where is the reading taken for the AA temps??

        1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

          If I had to take a guess, I’d say outside.

  8. kevin. w says:

    I’m heading up toward Traverse City this weekend based on some of the short range models waterspouts look favorable from Manistee toward Traverse City. I think the shoreline drive Saturday/Sunday/Monday should be good for any fall color/waterspout scenery this weekend.

    1. DF (SE Mich) says:

      Send Bill the video ;)

    2. GunLakeDeb says:

      Should be a BEAUTIFUL drive!!

  9. Sandy (Hudsonville) says:

    I remember one of the 1st yrs I lived in West Mi we had snow for Halloween. My kids had to wear snowmobile suits & boots with their costumes. I had never experience snow that early before. It would have been Oct 77 or 78. Does anyone else remember that?

  10. DF (SE Mich) says:

    Average snowfall in October across lower Michigan:
    Grand Rapids: 0.5″
    Lansing: 0.4″
    Muskegon: 0.2″
    Detroit: 0.1″
    Flint: 0.4″
    Saginaw: 0.3″

    Although October snow happens, it certainly isn’t more than a dusting on average.

  11. Travis (Oakland County) says:

    Already 60 degrees currently in Muskegon. Only 49 degrees in Kalamazoo. Quite the contrast again today.

    1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

      As per NWS at 11:55 am, 57 degrees at Muskegon County Airport and 54 at KZoo/BC International Airport.

      1. Travis (Oakland County) says:

        I’m glad Bill verified the 60 degree reading on the blog heading but nice try.

        1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

          Settle down. I merely posted the temps of those two locations at a specific time and cited my source for verification purposes.

  12. Travis (Oakland County) says:

    60 degrees in Flint at 1pm. 59 already in GR. Beautiful day!

    NWS observation stations here:,-92.06543,49.05227,-82.946777&density=1

    1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

      And a lot of 40s on the other side of Lake Michigan. Amazing what a cold front can do.

  13. INDY says:

    Been a long time we had snow before Halloween in Home of Bill’s Blog West Michigan…..INDYY

    1. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

      Looks like you have to go all the way back to 2011 since GR last had snow before Halloween

      And October 2009

      And of course in 2006 GR had 2” of snow on October 12th

      So it all depends on what you call a long time ago/

  14. arcturus says:

    John Shaner had a high of 48 and rain today in his forecast Tuesday lol.

    1. Travis (Oakland County) says:

      It was a tricky forecast. Take a look at Chicago right now! That said, I’m not surprised Wood was too cold again.

      60 in GR. 66 and sunny in Monroe. Is it summer out there? ;)

      1. arcturus says:

        It was WMXI Fox17. Shaner’s forecast was much cooler that NWS’s. He tends to do that.

      2. michael g (SE GR) says:

        Yes Travis. 60* is a normal afternoon temp in GR in the summer. Good call.

    2. INDY says:

      Thanks its raining outside now watch what u blog!! INDYY

  15. Josh says:

    WOOHOOO highs in the 40′s next week…even for TRAVIS!! BRING ON THE COLD!! SNOW is COMIN SOON!!!!!!!! Don’t like it…Get out of Michigan people!!! HAHAHA Im getting my snowboard and skis ready. And tuning up the snowmobile!! Won’t be long now folks!! Looks like we are in for a SNOWY and COLD winter!!!! Keep on being silly TRAVIS…you give us all a good laugh!! HAHA

    1. INDY says:

      No that’s Travass we all thought fixer was crazzy we miss him……Just had a 46 mph wind gust outside thee YARDofBRICKS that wind is cold today makes 54* degrees feels like 35* degrees outside!!! stay warm ….INDYY!!!

      1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

        I never thought that I would say this, however Travass is worse than fixxxer! That is amazing but true! fixxxer aka Rodey is a close second though!

        1. Rodey (Rockford) says:

          I always knew I would say this. You are a pathetic little idiot. I love it. Fantastic. Thanks for listening.

    2. Rodey (Rockford) says:

      So you trying to be the fifth stooge? Pathetic being you are.

  16. arcturus says:

    Travis, you’ve certainly got under the skin of most of the lunatics out there. Look at all their pitiful comments (mostly aliases of just one or two people)! Keep up the good work! If your statements weren’t considered knowledgeable and researched you would be mostly ignored. That’s why few bother to comment on the ignorant trolls who have nothing to contribute. Everyone knows who they are and I take personal pleasure with every comment they make knowing you’ve pissed them off even more while exposing them further for who they are.

    I see what you mean about Chicago’s temps.

    1. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

      Yeah I think you are right there are a couple of personas on here who write the same old same old. But Wood TV and Bill go along with as if they didn’t they would change it.
      Note this from John Dee’s web site


      1. Bill Steffen says:

        Free speech is usually a good thing.

    2. Rocky (Rockford) says:

      What are you talking about? You are NUTS! Travis is a delusional global warming freak. We all realize not to believe one single word that he utters! His propaganda is outrageous!

      1. Rodey (Rockford) says:

        We all know not to believe a single word you say. Such a babbling idiot. Fantastic. I love it. Thanks for listening.

        1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

          fixxxer Pine Rest is calling. Get ready for the padded cell!

      2. Rodey (Rockford) says:

        He talking about you being a jerk and a troll you idiot. Pathetic. I love it. Fantastic.

        1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

          Take some meds quickly and get a life!

    3. Barry in Zeeland says:

      Well put arcturus and Slim. I just wish INDY would stop the swearing every other post. My kids also read this blog daily and I’m sick of telling them to skip over his posts because of his language. They seem to get so frustrated over things out of their control they just feel the urge to vent here. Gets sickening real fast.

      1. Rodey (Rockford) says:

        That’s because Indy rocky and a few others are blithering idiots who think the blog belongs to them.

    4. Josh says:

      My name is Josh. I am my OWN persona. And I have NO other aliases on here!! So…put that in your pipe and smoke it. ;)

      1. Aug says:

        All posts here are just fixxxer,Rockey And Indy arguing with each other. I almost feel like sending pine rest this message board so they can get multiple person therapy.

      1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

        Yes this must be due to global warming!

  17. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    Hey Bill, thanks for all of the great information about all of the cold and snow on the way. We can only hope that the NAO and AO forecast holds true. That along with the blocking and we could have an early and hard winter! We may just get hammered! Rock n Roll will never die!

  18. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    INDY – keep up the good work!

    1. Jack says:

      FYI….Rocky &Indy…ECT…. ” The YE OLDE JEM MODEL IS GETTING CUE-UP( pun intended ) Tomorrow ( JEM B- DAY)….AND WILL BE UP AND RUNNING SOOOON ! To Long – Range PREDICT ” Winter STORMS” !! ” So… Keep it HERE on Billy’s Blog for all Latest JEM Model Winter Weather UPDATES &&&. MORE….. Stay CUED!!!!!!! “”"”" GO GRIFFS!!!! ;-)

      1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

        Bring it on. The JEM model can predict the long range snowstorms and then the RDB model will bring it home! I love it! Fantastic! ROCK n ROLL is here to stay!

  19. Austin says:

    The weather does what the weather does! As I have said before. Always has…always will! If you enjoy the hot and warm weather…enjoy it whilst we have it. If you enjoy the cold and cool weather…enjoy that whilst we have it! We have 4 very distinct seasons in Michigan…which I LOVE…if I didn’t…I would move. As I said before in other posts, I remember very snowy Halloweens growing up…and I remember very warm Halloweens growing up. I remember very cold snowy Easters…and I remember very warm sunny Easters! I also remember once when I was a very young boy it got into the 70′s I believe right around Christmas day and obviously most Christmas’s we are rather chilly and white!! That can be said for ANY TIME OF THE YEAR THROUGHOUT ANY YEAR!! I also vividly recall in the late 80′s or early 90′s one summer where it was so called we barely ever went swimming…and then another year it was so HOT we couldn’t get out of the pool!! Its called WEATHER for a reason…because you never know WEATHER or not it will be colder or hotter one year from the next. People just have this tendency to wish the worst on things and to try to create panic and commotion. The point is…whether the snow comes next week…or 6 weeks from now…It will come! And it will come when it is supposed to for THIS time of year..and it WILL come!! Trying to keep focusing on how above or below average and all that other crap will NOT. CHANGE. THIS. TRUTH!! So just CALM DOWN…and just enjoy the weather that we are having each day! HAKUNA MATATA…it means no worries…for the rest of your days. It’s our problem free…philosophy…HAKUNA MATATA!! :)

  20. Aug says:

    Cold and rain with more on the way. Fantastic. I love it.

  21. Lunatic Travis says:

    Anyone else see the flying circus clowns outside? I’m not crazy.

  22. michael g (SE GR) says:

    Down to +5.7* month to date through yesterday. Headed for zero by month end.

  23. Mark (East Lansing) says:

    Gorgeous moon out tonight.

  24. Went looking at fall colors today in northeast Michigan. At sunset Bay County, Isabella County, Midland County and Gratiot County all had clear skies on the ride back here where I live. Going to be a cold night over there if skies stay clear longer.

    1. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

      How were the colors? They are beautiful around here. I noticed driving along 31 through Muskegon itself that there is not much color…but that’s because of all the oaks. Otherwise, this area and along Hoffmaster look great!

      1. Colors are awsome matt! Isabella County just east of Mount Pleasant is the best. Midland County looks great as well with the bright yellows of the birch trees! worth the trip over there ill say that!!

  25. Aug says:

    Go ahead and not let my posts be seen,bill. Maybe you should shut this whole thing down and help your terrible news station find anchors who don’t stutter every word,or,hey here’s an idea: hire a production staff that’s worth a damn and doesn’t cut out sound or pictures every day like clock work. Maybe stop playing today show at art prize and hire someone to make an app that could be made by a three year old aka your producers. Oh and hey, how about that amazing wood youtube channel with ten hits per video,lol.

    Wood tv will always be the worst. At everything. Enjoy being irrelvent!

  26. INDY says:

    It’s a nice thing that berry from Zland can only read bad words on Bill’s blog!! Bill INDY has your back and uncle Jack will pick up thee slack on here!! Stay Cued INDYY

    1. Jack says:

      INDYYYY….. A CUE for The ” WINTER STORMS”……Coming SOOOON ?? SPIN:: ;-)

    2. Jack says:

      P.S. INDY!!!!!! Happy Birthday Day 2 MMMMMEEEEE !!! Lol….. Staying CUEDDDDDD !! Go Tigers !!

  27. INDY says:


    1. Jack says:

      Thanks INDY !!!!! ” Firing Up A FAT ONE”…… 4 My 58th !!!! Stay CUED!!!!

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