December 16th, 2013 at 2:24 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

snowicane lake superior    Shiverin’ Snowman – Look at the “snowicane” that formed over Lake Superior Sunday (from the Marquette NWS facebook page).  They say:  “A mesolow can be seen (shown in the blue circle), which is a smaller scale low pressure system that commonly forms on the Great Lake during the winter time. This is primarily what has been responsible for the strong gusty winds and heavy snow bands that have been pushing into areas along the Marquette and Alger county shorelines. The system even has sort of an awesome eye near the center of rotation. This image was take around 1:30 pm EST.”

53 Responses to “Snowicane!”

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

    Hurry, Bill…give it a name! Be famous!

    1. guy says:

      is it scary bill :) :0

      1. vegeta says:

        hey do you love your work?
        Over 9000

  2. mark McCune says:

    Come on Bill give it a name.. let’s hear it..

  3. julio vega says:

    Is this type of weather phenom rare in Michigan..I never heard of a snowcane before..interesting..

    1. “Snowicane” in quotes :) . It is a made up word. A mesolow is very common. There’s probably a half dozen or so over the U.S. at any given moment. It just happens to be wrapping itself up in lake effect clouds and snow. The fact that it is so clearly visible probably has to do with the banding that happens with lake effect precipitation.

      1. William says:

        What you cant let people make up words by themselves and have a little fun with it. You have to come on here and be the douche bag that calls them out on it. If you have nothing better to do then to call people out on made up words when they are just trying to have a little fun with out the sun. Stop being such a douche bag and going around trying to correct everyone, who cares that he made up a word. I live in Michigan and for as much snow as we get SNOWICANE should be a real word for us.

        1. Lol. Wow, you’re a pretty fun guy, William. Nobody is calling anyone out on anything. Although you’ve personally attacked me for helping someone understand a weather phenomenon, So I’ll call you out on that. Do you have anything better to do than misuse a worn out word to cut someone down for being helpful? Bill himself put it in quotes, so I’m not correcting Bill. Julio asked a legitimate question and I answered it. I’m pretty sure you are the only one out of line here and may need to find a different blog to troll.

        2. Michael K. in Lansing says:

          Dude. Either you’ve got a bad case of PTSD (help is available, don’t be afraid to get some) or else….you’re kind of an idiot

  4. Stephanie says:

    Julio it states in the story that this is a common occurance in the winter time over the great lakes…..

  5. DF (SE Mich) says:

    Very cool!

  6. Bruce says:

    What are the wind speeds of this snowicanes?

    1. Ray says:

      Around 70 mph.

  7. kevin. w says:

    I think even with the warmer air coming in and getting rain or rain/snow type of weather Thur/Fri. there’s going to be alot schools closed because the roads will be well below freezing. Will have to see but I really think the air temp. is going to have to be warm to keep it liquid on back roads and pavement. I’m betting that the back roads will an ice rink for a long time because after this quick thaw it probably won’t get above freezing for a long time. IMHO. :)

    1. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

      With the Christmas break starting after Friday there could be a idea to call off school on Friday we shall see.

      1. Michael(Caledonia) says:

        That is a very good point. Too bad the schools don’t think the same way.

  8. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

    For anyone who wants to have a little more information on the subject (this is from a system way back in the late 1970’s)


    1. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

      I should have said the mesolow subject

    2. Mike (Berrien county) says:

      Very interesting info SlimJim.

  9. GunLakeDeb says:

    No snowicane here, but a very cold “one brrrrlow zero” at 7:30 AM down in the bowl of Gun Lake. I have to admit that -1, with sunshine (SUNSHINE!!!!!!!!! feeling giddy!!) and minimal wind, still feels warmer than 20 and windy….

    1. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

      I should add I had the coldest low of this winter so far this AM as I got down to +3° That looks to be the same low as at the airport.

      1. +1.5 here this morning “Breckenridge”

      2. Jim S (Saugatuck Twp) says:

        17.3 this morning here. Close to the lake…below zero is rare. Had a -3 last Feb.

        1. GunLakeDeb says:

          I can’t find the photo I took may years ago of a -20F reading on our thermometer…but we do get some insane readings down here….LOL!!

  10. kevin. w says:

    Went by the bank at 8 this morning and read 7 degrees came back about 15 minutes ago and read -6. Now thats a pretty good temp. change in about 2 hours.

  11. Mark (East Lansing) says:

    Monthly departures from average:

    Sault Ste. Marie -10.9
    Marquette -9.8
    Alpena -7.8
    Gaylord -6.9
    Houghton Lake -6.7
    Holland -6.5
    Saginaw -6.5
    Lansing -6.2
    Detroit -5.9
    Muskegon -5.6
    Kalamazoo -5.0
    Grand Rapids -4.8
    Battle Creek -3.8
    Jackson -4.6
    Battle Creek -3.8

    1. yooper4021 says:

      WOW. Gaylord is nearly 3 FEET above average snowfall, season to date. Petoskey and Traverse City also a foot+ above average.

    2. DF (SE Mich) says:

      You forgot Flint! -4.6°

      1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

        Totally unintentional, I swear.

        1. DF (SE Mich) says:


  12. Mike (Berrien county) says:

    I know I’ve posted this before, but this was the biggest “snowicane” & biggest lake effect snowstorm I’ve ever lived thru in my life. Dumped between 2-3 feet here in Berrien & across the stateline in South Bend in Jan of 2011.

    1. Mike (Berrien county) says:

      P.S. Yes they are known as mesolows on the Great Lakes.

    1. DF (SE Mich) says:

      Compliments on the legitimate link. Freight stuck in the ice in only mid December… wow.

      1. GunLakeDeb says:

        Sheesh!! That seems incredibly early?

  13. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

    3-8 inches for Muskegon! It’s a wait and see event again…we need Bill to help out :p

  14. Uncle Sparkee says:

    Your ol uncle spaks knees twitched, somthing bigs brewin in the next 5 to 7 days. Look out! Let’s hope the big yellow m sign doesn’t go out. I can’t feed all you big city lights, nephew Indy eats like a horse!

    1. Jack says:

      Keep On Sparking ….UNCLE SPARKEE :::::::: Cough,cough, Maybe We Can Fly Above The Snow STORM. !!, See Ya SOONN ? Stay cued… ;-)

      1. Uncle Sparkee says:

        Flying high in the back woods of Baldwin my friend jack. Ice fishing been good, home made apple jack ciders been real good, the green twizzlers been reeeel reeeel good!

        1. Jack says:

          LIKE IT…..Neppuuu Indy & I, Gonna stop UP Some time Dis Holiday Season ! For ICE FISHING and Twisted TASTY TREATS !!! Stay CUED U.SPARKEE. ;-)

  15. kevin. w says:

    So a week ago the euro model was right about the warm up for Thursday/Friday. So is the euro going to be right about Sat-Mon epic snowstorm that says its going to bury us with over a foot of snow and high winds with drifting.

  16. Barb says:

    I heard from another station that the storm will likely stay far south so might not get much.

    1. Jordan (Twin Lake) says:

      Awwwe…. That’s too damn bad, isn’t it? Im sure Norton Shores will receive 10 feet of snow.

  17. Jack says:

    If Wanna Get Down !! Down On The Ground ” SNOW”Icane :::::: Lololo….Stay Cued ,!!! ;-)

    1. Mike (Berrien county) says:

      Hahahaha…. good one Jack!

  18. fixxxerswrist says:

    i remember the times me and master would drive around the apartmentsooking at the girls with their belly shorts and snake tats. then the missus found out and master now has me flipping the magazine pages for him.

    1. Jack says:

      Wow,That Must be Hard to Do fixxxerswrist !! Especially With The PAGES STUCK TOGETHER !!!! LOLOLOLOO. LOLO…stay Sticky CUED!! ;-)

      1. fixxxer says:

        Go stuff it jack.

        1. Jack says:

          I was Talkng To ” Your WRIST” Fix. oh, and When it comes to Stuffing IT….Well I Think Your WRIST has Got YA Coverded ( PUN INTENDED) !! Stay Cued 4 Micheal Jackson doing ” BEAT IT” !! Lololo SideNOTE:: Are You READY 4 The STORM On The HORIZION ????

  19. kevin. w says:

    The weekend storm GFS shows about an inch the Euro shows any where from 18 inches in Chicago, 15 in G.R. 20+ around Detroit 16 in the Saginaw Bay area with lake Huron enhancement. HUGE model differences so which one do we believe or maybe believe in Santa instead.

    1. Joe T says:

      I agree… Santa is the best bet!

  20. Ned S. (Now in South Holland) says:

    Snowing very heavily just east of Holland. Doesn’t look like it will last long. Visibility is less than 1/4 mile.

Leave a Reply