Lots of Snow = Lots of Cold Air

November 19th, 2013 at 9:10 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

north american snow cover    north pole snowcover  asia snow coverI’ve been dropping hints on the blog that I think that we have a lot of cold in our future as we head into winter.  We’ll see more northwest-flow lake-effect snow this winter, which should lead to above average snowfall in the usual northwest flow lake snowbelts (Holland south to Berrien Co. and inland to Kalamazoo…also Oceana Co. and Mason Co.  They’ll see good snows this winter in places like Mancelona and Newberry.   Inland areas (Mt. Pleasant, Lansing) will tend to see more average amounts of snow.  With the cooler air in early winter, we’ll have a good number of days in Dec. and Jan. with snow on the ground (an excellent chance of a White Christmas).    Look at the maps…solid snow cover from the U.P. northward this morning (snow depth this AM;  2″ Sault Ste. Marie, Watton & Newberry, 1″ Marquette, Gaylord,  Munising, Paradise, Trout Lake and Big Bay)…solid snowcover of a large portion of NE Asia.  The ice is already starting to form on the west side of Hudson Bay and the icecaps at both the North Pole and South Pole have grown significantly in the past year (the Antarctic icecap is at a record extent for November:  “The U.S. space agency NASA announced, the sea ice in the Antarctic has extended over an area of ​​19.47 million square meters at the end of September. That is the highest since measurements began in 1979″).  A larger portion of the Earth’s surface is covered in white snow and ice, allowing more of the sun’s light to reflect back toward space and there is less heating of the ground (and the air near the ground) during the day.   Keep the snow shovels ready and save a few extra dollars for the heating bill.

Model update:   The overnight European run has 0.10″ of rain Weds. night into early Thurs., 0.26″ Thurs. night into Fri., just 0.01″ Sat. (that would be snow) and 0.25″ Monday PM – Tues. and that would be 2-3″ of snow.  The GFS has 0.06″ Weds. night into Thurs., 0.26″ Thurs. night into Fri. without a lot of snow inland.  Both models are COLD…the European would keep highs in the low 30s for Sun. – Weds. of next week.  The GFS is mid 30s…in any case, it’s cold enough for any snow to stick, esp. to non-pavement.

News:  We now have 4 confirmed tornadoes in Michigan Sunday (we had only 6 tornadoes in Michigan in November from 1950-2012).  This was the first tornado in W. Michigan since April 2011.  The Northern Indiana NWS reported 11 twisters in the counties they covered.  The tornado in Washington, Illinois may turn out to be the strongest tornado anywhere in the world in the month of November.  Congratulations to Vicki Cech, who appeared on national TV on the Steve Harvey Show to talk about water safely.  Along with the show, 50 volunteers built a new playground has been built at Grand Haven St. Park.  Vicki puts together the awesome Beach Survival Challenge, raising thousands of dollars each year for life rings and beach safety.  Well deserved.

 

175 Responses to “Lots of Snow = Lots of Cold Air”

  1. mr. negative says:

    SE GR – noisy sleet

    1. Scott says:

      Sleet? Not surprising with Dewpoints below freezing, 27 at GRR! I haven’t heard any sleet here but I will be honest the precipitation I had to watch for a second (E. VB County) because it had that “look” of “just barely” light rain – like it had melted just hundreds of feet higher.

  2. Barb says:

    Any snow for Thanksgiving for Cheboygan? I’m thinking of heading up if it’s not too treacherous.

  3. Scott says:

    Highlights from this morning’s Area Forecast Discussion Grand Rapids:

    Highlight 1:

    WE WILL SEE SNOW SHOWER ACTIVITY PICK UP THEN DURING THE DAY ON SAT
    FROM NW TO SE. A SECONDARY AND STRONGER SHORT WAVE DIVING SE OUT OF
    CANADA WILL HELP TO PUSH AN ARCTIC FRONT THROUGH THE AREA. AREAS
    INLAND HAVE A CHC OF A SNOW SHOWER…WHILE AREAS ALONG THE LAKESHORE
    FAVORED IN A NW FLOW AND EVENTUALLY NNW FLOW WILL SEE LAKE EFFECT
    PICK UP IN COVERAGE AND INTENSITY.

    Looks like they got the NW flow nailed down.

    Higlight 2:

    WE COULD SEE SOME
    ACCUMULATING SNOW ACROSS THE NRN AND SRN TWO LAKESHORE COUNTIES
    LATER SAT AND THEN INTO THE LONG TERM.

    I wonder if they mean the two lakeshore counties of Berrien and Van Buren, or if they mean rows. Wish they had named them specifically.

    Highlight 3:

    MODELS ARE IN DECENT AGREEMENT ON THIS SCENARIO. AS A
    RESULT THE FORECAST NOW FEATURES LIGHT ACCUMULATIONS OF SNOW FOR
    MOST LOCATIONS MONDAY.

    Very good! Glad to see things seem to be falling in place. Maybe :)

    Highlight 4:

    ANOTHER IMPRESSIVE SURGE OF ARCTIC AIR ARRIVES TUE NIGHT AND WILL
    LIKELY PERSIST INTO THANKSGIVING DAY. SOUNDINGS LOOK DRY DESPITE
    THE LAKES ADDING MOISTURE TO THE AIRMASS. WILL NEED TO MONITOR
    MODEL TRENDS TO SEE IF MORE MOISTURE SHOWS UP. GIVEN THE NORTH TO
    NORTHWEST FLOW…ACCUMULATIONS SHOULD BE CONFINED TO AREAS CLOSER TO
    THE LAKESHORE.

    Getting cold, maybe snowier!

  4. Scott says:

    Potentially good news for snow lovers SW Mich:

    Categorical snow pops now Saturday for my County (VB) – 80%. They’ve got me to 2″ of snow for the first blast Sat and Sat night, a possible break Sunday, then snow chances all the way through the rest of the forecast period.

    Saturday is going to have wind too – grids have winds gusting over 30 MPH. So brief visibility problems could be an issue. If we get more snow then the couple of inches they have in the grids, I’d suspect some counties could go into advisory criteria, but that’s a way yet to speculate on that.

    I’m also not going to speculate on if NWS is being conservative with the 1-3″ light accumulations at this time. LES is difficult to pin down with accums. Since this is the first snowfall with wind of the season – if no LESA, I would suspect a WWA could possibly go up for the first snow/wind of the season? Wouldn’t doubt it.

    Could this bust? it’s weather, anything’s possible – but when they go categorical a couple days out it’s starting to look like it’s falling into place.

    1. Michael (Berrien county) says:

      NWS northern IN….. http://forecast.weather.gov/product.php?site=NWS&issuedby=IWX&product=AFD&format=CI&version=1&glossary=1 “AT THIS POINT ACCUMS OF 1 TO 3
      INCHES WOULD SEEM REASONABLE IN SOME LOCATIONS AS DEGREE OF OMEGA
      DECENT BUT NOT OVERLY STRONG TO INDICATE HIGHER ACCUM POTENTIAL.
      HOWEVER WITH AMOUNT OF COLD AIR ARRIVING INCREASE COULD BE NEEDED
      AND ANY STATIONARY BANDS COULD ADD UP ACCUMULATIONS AS WELL.”

      1. Michael (Berrien county) says:

        Needles to say, I’m guessing some of the lakeshore counties will quite likely need WWA’s for this event. There probably will be some locally higher accumulations like last event. We were under a LES warning for the last one for 4 to locally 8 inches…. turns out a few localized spots near St. Joseph/Benton Harbor ended up with nearly 18 inches. Usually too, from my witnessing these lake events…. they take a little while longer than forecast to wind on down too. I would not be surprised to see some accumulations even continue on into Sunday with how cold the air is expected to get… upper teens to low 20′s Sat. night, with water temps still nearly 50 degrees…. creates quite a bit of instability for snow shower development.

        1. Scott says:

          Right.

          Because this run is a bit of a switch from the previous opinion/forecaster, I’m thinking that they are starting out a little cautiously and will adjust things as we get closer. I think right now they’re getting people acclimated to the snow potential and will pin down accums as we get closer to the event.

          One thing I caught on the GFS model isn’t the Accums per say, but the length of the LES streamer. Has it stretching out as far as Fort Wayne on the 90hr. That to me indicates a pretty solidly built structure, and I can’t imagine it not being at least moderate intensity along the LM immediate few counties.

  5. Jim S (Saugatuck Twp) says:

    WoodTV showed some 3-6″ amounts in the far SW corner of the state. I was on the 1-3″ 3-6″ line. It only looks like a window of 6-8 hours of snow, so I am not sure we’ll get more than a couple inches.

    1. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

      I am assuming this area was in the 1 to 3 inch range?

      1. Jim S (Saugatuck Twp) says:

        I believe so.

    2. Michael (Berrien county) says:

      Where was that map at?

  6. Jim S (Saugatuck Twp) says:

    My point forecast on the NWS site gives me about 1″ Saturday and less than 1″ Sat. night. Snooze.

    1. Brian(Grandville) says:

      Yup, I think winter doesn’t get going around here until after Thanksgiving, but not nearly as late a start as last year.

  7. John says:

    I could most certainly see most lakeshore counties getting between 1-3″ well see!

  8. John says:

    The GFS seems to be going crazy it gives my area 4-5″ of snow! Although I wish that would happen I don’t think it will!

    1. John says:

      Never mind I looked at last nights run! This mornings run only gives my area 1-2″ I can see that happening!

  9. Michael (Berrien county) says:

    This has me getting moderate to heavy snow… but the accuweather local forecast for my town says little to no accumulation. Go figure. That’s why I refer to it as ‘acclueless’ weather. http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/cold-to-trigger-lakeeffect-sno-1/20172495

  10. Jim S (Saugatuck Twp) says:

    It seems we keep chasing the long range for snow…and with each model run, the chances diminish. This morning, it was looking like Monday would give us a better shot at snow, the 00Z and 06Z GFS supported it, and it was mentioned in the NWS discussion. Just looking at the 12z, and the snow for Monday is long gone.

    1. Sprites(Holland) says:

      It’s November. Snow will come.

    2. Michael (Berrien county) says:

      Seems as if the latest GFS model run has backed off some on the strength of the arctic plunge that it had originally advertised for next Weds & Thanksgiving Day. Have to wait & see what the next GEM & Euro runs have to say about that I guess.

      1. Scott says:

        GFS: Teasing amateur meteorologists and causing professional meteorologists to use the words “Out to Lunch” since 2000. Cause of headaches, head scratching, disappointment, depression, and frequent use of the word “Figures”. LOL

        According to an article I read, next year, the FIM model should be out – 2014. Supposedly. This model is supposed to finally put GFS to rest as a replacement, called the “Flow-following, finite-volume Icosahedral Model.” It uses an Icosahedral grid. If you want to check out FIM, and it’s major differences, there’s a website called fim.noaa.gov which should prove for some interesting morning reading. The sooner FIM replaces GFS the better.

    3. arcturus says:

      Why do you continue using the GFS? On October 31 you’re quoted as calling for a ‘massive blizzard’ around Nov 15th. We know how that turned out.

      My call on that same day for a dusting around here til December has held up much better.

  11. Travis Ulberg (West of Martin, Allegan County) says:

    How about this for a temperature flip flop. Last week Anchorage was a very warm 45°, and yesterday they were a very cold -30°!

    1. Scott says:

      That’s quite a flip-flop. -30 is more then perfect for the old “Throw hot water in the air and make a steam cloud” deal. :) One of my favorite winter traditions.

      Wish I had a snow machine in the temperatures to come! One of these days and years, maybe I’ll make one and someday, make my own winter paradise. Now that would be fun!

      1. Travis Ulberg (West of Martin, Allegan County) says:

        I’ve always wanted to have a snow machine as well. I think my yard would look like I lived in the U.P.!

  12. Scott says:

    Short and sweet discussion from GRR…

    NEXT SHORTWAVE IS APPROACHING FROM THE SOUTHWEST AND WILL BRING
    ANOTHER ROUND OF LIGHT RAIN TO THE AREA. HIGHEST PROBABILITIES AND
    BETTER RAIN AMOUNTS WILL BE ACROSS THE SOUTHEAST CWFA WHERE HIGHER
    PWATS NEAR ONE INCH WILL BE PRESENT. WENT WITH CATEGORICAL POPS FOR
    THE I-94 CORRIDOR…TAPERING TO CHANCE POPS NORTH OF I-96.

    ONCE THE SHORTWAVE PASSES BY LATER THIS EVENING IT HELPS TUG THE
    FIRST COLD FRONT SOUTH THROUGH THE AREA LATE TONIGHT AND EARLY
    FRIDAY. THERE MAY STILL BE SOME LINGERING AREAS OF LIGHT RAIN OR
    MIXED LIGHT RAIN AND SNOW IN THE MORNING BUT THE DEEPER MOISTURE
    BAILS OUT QUICKLY FOR THE AFTERNOON. THE DRYING ACTUALLY LOOKS
    SIGNIFICANT ENOUGH TO BRING DECREASING CLOUDS AND SUNSHINE FROM
    NORTHWEST TO SOUTHEAST AFTER 18Z. THINGS STAY QUIET MOST OF FRIDAY
    NIGHT AS WELL UNTIL THE ARCTIC FRONT COMES THROUGH 12Z-18Z SATURDAY.

    TIME FRAME OF BEST/HEAVIEST LAKE EFFECT SNOW LOOKS TO BE FROM
    ROUGHLY 21Z SAT THROUGH 06Z SUNDAY. THIS IS WHEN THE UPPER JET DIPS
    SOUTH OF THE STATE AND THERE IS DECENT OMEGA SHOWN IN THE DGZ
    BETWEEN 3K AND 6K FEET. THE FLOW IS NNW WHICH MEANS THE HARDEST HIT
    AREAS SHOULD BE SOUTH OF HOLLAND AND ALSO ACROSS MASON AND LAKE
    COUNTIES. THINKING 1 TO 4 INCH ACCUMULATIONS ACROSS THESE AREAS AND
    PROBABLY DECENT IMPACT CONSIDERING SFC TEMPS FALLING INTO THE TEENS.
    DESPITE LOWER END ACCUMULATIONS… ADVISORIES COULD BE NEEDED FOR
    ICY ROADS AND WHITEOUT CONDITIONS FOR A FEW COUNTIES WEST OF HIGHWAY
    131.

    LONG TERM
    (SUNDAY THROUGH THURSDAY)
    ISSUED AT 338 PM EST THU NOV 21 2013

    NEXT WEEK LOOKS LIKE IT WILL BE RATHER COLD WITH TEMPERATURES
    SEVERAL DEGREES BELOW NORMAL. SUNDAY WILL BE THE COLDEST DAY WITH
    HIGHS IN THE MID 20S. AFTER THAT LOWER TO MID 30S FOR HIGHS ARE
    EXPECTED.

    EACH DAY LOOKS LIKE THERE’S A CHANCE OF LAKE EFFECT SNOW SHOWERS.
    MONDAY HOWEVER HAS THE HIGHEST CHANCE AS SW FLOW COMBINED WITH SOME
    ISENTROPIC LIFT IN THE WAA REGIME WILL RESULT IN SNOW SHOWERS FROM
    HOLLAND NORTH THROUGH WRN OSCEOLA COUNTY. INSTABILITY INCREASES
    MONDAY AFTERNOON OVER THE EASTERN PART OF THE LAKE AND CONTINUES
    INTO TUESDAY. IT’S POSSIBLE WE COULD SEE A COUPLE OF INCHES OF SNOW
    IN THE NW CWA MONDAY AFTERNOON.

    ANOTHER SHOT OF COLDER AIR WEDNESDAY WILL FOCUS SHSN ALONG THE
    LAKESHORE AS BOUNDARY LAYER WINDS BECOME NLY.

    1. John says:

      I hope that the models continue to build deeper moisture over the lake for Monday because with a rare southwest flow my area would get hit hard!!!

  13. John says:

    There’s lake effect snow watches up in the UP just imagine if the models had held true all week we would of been under those watches!!!

  14. Scott says:

    Well, accumulations are looking meager so if all I get here in VB Cty is 1″, I’ll take 1″. I would appreciate it, Mother Nature, if it would snow enough that the blades of grass wouldn’t stick out. Either cover the grass, or don’t. LOL.

    It’s OK. It is, as many have said here, only November. Yes, I am anxious for a good dumping of snow as are the rest of the Snow Lovers here – but I recognize the necessity of patience.

    NWS did recognize the possibility of up to 4″ of snow in some locations. So a few of us might just win the bet here. Regardless, this week will look wintery with at least a bit of snow and flying flakes. I’ll take that over light drizzle or rain, stratus/nimbostratus skies, and a stiff,, damp wind any day.

    1. John says:

      I’m just saying if we get deep enough moisture and the right temps we could be in for a good snow event northwest of Holland to Reed City! Here’s hoping! :)

      1. Scott says:

        I do hope it works out for you!

        1. John says:

          Yeah but I will be happy with a couple inches! We rarely get sw flow!

  15. John (Holland) says:

    Acculess is still saying 3.5 inches for Saturday here. Would be nice, but I won’t hold my breath.

    1. Scott says:

      It does, and it also indicates 41 MPH wind gusts (I’m thinking that’s overdone, probably 30-35 MPH gusts). IF, if if if, that was to pan out, that would create near blizzard conditions – especially if the snow persists with dropping temperatures into the teens.

  16. John says:

    18Z GFS has a longer period of NW flow lake effect this weekend than the 12Z hopefully that would mean more snow! Scott?

    1. Scott says:

      I see the timing is as the NWS is saying, I don’t see a significantly longer event. The platform I use is still loading the 18Z so I’m only seeing it up to 84, but that’s mostly sufficient now.That also allows me to crosscheck it’s run with the NAM. I don’t see any more snow then the previous runs (with the usual caveat, at this time.)

      I think it’s going to be a light event, but this will have wind. So even light events can have moderate visibility impact, especially in open areas.

  17. INDY says:

    3-6 inches of snow on thee ground by Monday in West Michigan!!! INDYY!

  18. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    Get ready GR – we have a dusting of SNOW on the way this weekend. Whoopee!!!

    1. Scott says:

      What we really need is a good, powerful synoptic low to strengthen up and slowly move and close off to our E, pulling in an abundance of good old gulf moisture. Then, strong Lake effect to kick in after it passes. This is what I am hoping for later in the season. That way every snow lover can get in on it in this area. I love watching the precipitation shield work in from the south and overcome all the dry air. That’s the fun of it. Even better – throw in some lightning for good measure!

      These marginal LES events are just that – marginal, and only a few are getting into it. I’m waiting and hoping for bigger game!

      And a brief story: The heaviest snow I ever saw, to this day, was when a band of very heavy snow worked in from the north (I lived elsewhere) and dropped 1″ of snow in just 15 minutes. The snow got as heavy as it seemed it could, and then surprised me by getting heavier. It was powder, and you could not literally see across the sidewalk to the street. Now that was impressive!!!

      1. Scott says:

        I was in the Eastern Great Lakes region at the time – and I don’t recall if it was LES related or synoptic. It was an W-E band moving South – and reflectivity was at about 35 Dbz.

      2. Rocky (Rockford) says:

        We will be seeing plenty of synoptic SNOW events this winter! We will be seeing two or three large SNOWSTORMS of 10+ inches each! We will also be seeing a lot of West wind lake effect events, so get ready Grand Rapids! Hey hey, my my, ROCK n ROLL will never die!

      3. Last year when I was plowing in Hamilton it was snowing so hard by the time I got done with the parking lot (about 1 hr later) the first spot I plowed already had another 4-5 inches, that was intensely crazy!

  19. John says:

    The 18Z GFS has a clipper system coming towards the Great Lakes around the 7-9th of December! If that holds true we could be looking at 2-6″ of snow from that and a lot of times with clipper systems we get good LES to follow here’s hoping! Still a couple weeks out!

    1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

      That sounds about right. The RDB model has been showing our first major SNOWFALL to hit the week of the 8th! Bring it on.

  20. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    I absolutely love the temperature forecast for this weekend and next week!

  21. John says:

    I remember a couple years ago in Norton Shores I think it was during a weekend or something like that, we got really hammered by LES! The NWS issued a lake effect snow advisory only expecting 3-5″ of snow well it kept snowing and snowing! We probably had at least a foot of snow in just 4 hours! Then after that the NWS reissued the LESA and it just kept snowing really hard! I had to leave to go somewhere that took about 2 hours, when I pulled into my driveway I couldn’t believe how much snow had fallen at least a fresh 8-10″ of snow in just 2 hours!!!! So overall we had close to 20-22″ of snow in just 12 hours! That was the best ever especially because it was totally uncalled for! Defiantly should have been a lake effect snow warning that night! Hope we get something like that this year!

    1. John says:

      And not to mention only about 5-10 miles east and north of me had bear ground! It was a close to Lake Michigan event.

      1. Jordan (Twin Lake) says:

        ^ Deb (OKC) ^

  22. whatBillwantstosaybutcant says:

    Scott, do you have a job?

  23. Grand Gary says:

    So, are we going to be plowing snow this weeken?

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      The NAM caribou has a max of about 2″ in W. Van Buren Co. and that’ll blow into drifts Sat. night.

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