Winter Weather Advisory

December 22nd, 2013 at 5:27 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Snow, ice Lake Macatawa 12 22 13  advisory 10% of Consumer’s Energy Customers are without power as of 8:45 pm Monday.  68.1% of Barry County is still without power, 54.1% of Eaton Co., 60% of Shiawassee Co…only 2.5% of Kent County.  Pic. on the left is snow and ice this (Sun.) am at Lake Macatawa from Maria Dryfhout.   It’s a little early to see this much ice on Lake Macatawa. 4:30 PM Mon.     12″ of snow in 5 hours at Twin Lake, Mich., reports NWS spotter. The Winter Weather Advisory which also includes Allegan, Kent, Ottawa, Newaygo, Barry, Van Buren and Kalamazoo Counties until 7 am tomorrow (Tue.) for “TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS FOR TODAY THROUGH TONIGHT WILL RANGE FROM 3 TO 7 INCHES. SOME LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS WILL BE POSSIBLE WEST OF HASTINGS”.  Muskegon Co. is under a Winter Weather Warning.   Bill adds that a few spots could top 7″.  Drove back from TVC this afternoon, now out doing Christmas shopping – will update later this evening.  It still looks like another 1-5″ of snow and breezy on Christmas Day.  The latest data out this PM from the GFS plot has nothing warmer than the mid-upper 20s for G.R. from Dec. 31 to Jan. 7…coldest is -1 on the 7th of Jan.  The European’s warmest is mid-upper 30s on the 27th with temps. only from 15-20 on New Year’s Eve and Day…pretty cold start to Jan.  Also: Why playing basketball after an ice storm may not work out.   Gust to 60 mph at Heathrow Airport in London, England.

Areas outside the advisory will see 1-3″ accumulations.  Milwaukee (Sullivan) had 9.3″ of snow Sunday with a boost from Lake Michigan.  Here’s the GRR NWS summary of the freezing rain event that was mostly Sat.PM/Sat. night.   We have an Ice Advisory for Lake Superior for “rapid ice growth Monday and Tuesday, the 23rd and 24th“.   Here’s some cool photos of the snow and ice around West Michigan.  Check out these 22 photos of the ice storm around Toronto, Canada.  We were up to 209,000+ without power in Michigan.

Overnight data:   NAM Caribou Mon. AM snow forecast – the most is in Muskegon and Ottawa Co. – about 4″ this PM/evening – maybe 2″ for west side of G.R. – east edge of the main snow band…maybe 2″ in S. Haven.  Significant snow stays north of I-94.

Best night ever playing Apples to Apples tonight…7 people, I won 11 times – more than twice 2nd place…it was just luck…lotsa family fun.  I went to the Methodist Church in Traverse City Sun. am (daughter 3 sang in the choir Sun. AM).  From several blocks inland, you could hear the roar of the waves coming off the  bay.  We were about 3/4-mile in light/moderate snow and we have at least a foot of snow on the ground in the yard here.  Flurries continued all Sunday pm and night.  Lions find a way to lose again.  Cousins was OK at QB for the Washington Redskins.

64 Responses to “Winter Weather Advisory”

  1. bodawg says:

    Must’ve been a pretty angry north wind up there today. I do love the look of that bay. Grand Traverse bay has one of the few south facing beaches in all the Lake Michigan waters.

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

    The NAM and the GRR NWS don’t match up at all for tomorrow. Either way areas along and west of US-131 will be getting decent amount of accumulating snow.

    1. Mike (Mattawan) says:

      Well i sure would hope so considering a lot melted courtesy of the rain we got.

  3. Paul (Yankee Springs-Barry State Game Area) says:

    Travis….gonna make it inland to me ? I’m 11 miles east of the casino….

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

      Looking like just lighter accumulations for you. I haven’t heard the GRR NWS mention anything about strong winds like we had with the previous lake effect events.

  4. Michael g (se gr) says:

    Still no power here. Broke down and borrowed a generator. Space heater and tv makes a big improvement. Wish it had been all snow last night.

  5. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

    All power outages may not be restored until Friday… right through the Christmas holiday :( Thankfully I still have power, but wish all of the rest of you good luck.

  6. Haha the NWS still hasn’t answered my question. I asked there reasoning why they never issued an Ice Storm Warning for Allegan, Barry, and Ionia, and what there “dynamics” are for issuing these. They don’t want to admit they were wrong and likely have no reasoning anyway!

    1. Bobby (Ada) says:

      From the NWS….. Big time FAIL on their part last night….

      Ice Storm Warning
      This product is issued by the National Weather Service when freezing rain produces a significant and possibly damaging accumulation of ice. The criteria for this warning varies from state to state, but typically will be issued any time more than 1/4″ of ice is expected to accumulate in an area.

    2. Scott says:

      Looking back at their past posts, they simply, it seems anyway, didn’t seem to expect as much ice to fall in areas not under a warning. They were talking light accumulations only in some areas. What seemed to happen is the Low moved farther southeast by a small margin and allowed deeper cold air to seep in. Also, the precip shield was heavier then expected. Might be wrong, but go back and see how they were answering questions pre-storm. Also look at their predicted ice accums – I think they even dropped them down some in the advisory areas.

      So how it looks anyway is that they under-estimated this storm.

      My opinion only, can’t prove if this is true or not. Simply speculating.

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

        Nobody had a handle on this storm, even after it got here.

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

        I know some bloggers here mentioned that the GRR NWS’ numbers didn’t add up for how much precip the models were giving us. i.e. 0.1-0.2″ of freezing rain possible. 1-2″ of snow and sleet accumulations expected which equals roughly 0.2-0.5″ of liquid precip. Computer models were giving us anywhere from 0.5-1.25″ of liquid precip.

    3. Mark (East Lansing) says:

      They got it 90% right, but feel free to focus on the 10% they got wrong.

    4. SW Kent says:

      Kyle, they are doing there best, they don’t need to answer to you on this event.

      1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

        Which is better than anyone on this blog.

        1. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

          Too many on this blog only talk about what they want to hear or have and if anybody points out that there may be a different outcome is ridiculed, some times to no end.
          SlimJim

        2. Boris says:

          + 1billion. Very accurate statement.

        3. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

          Yes slim, you are 100% correct. Sometimes I feel like I do that too and I’ll be sure to stop that. Others should do the same. I have noticed that a ton recently and I was just about to point that out. We don’t want to change the forecast just because we want more snow, we should simply state what will happen and not base it on our liking.

  7. Michael g (se gr) says:

    The lions are the NAM of the NFL.

    1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

      LOL – they are the worst professional franchise in the history of sports!

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

        Pathetic.

        1. SW Kent says:

          Lincoln shot!!!

          This has been the case since 1955……..until Ford sells the team, it will NEVER change.

    2. Brian (Grandville) says:

      Yes, wothless! See ya later Schwartz, time to start entertaining the thought of who replaces him.

      1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

        Wayne Fontes. The last coach to win a playoff game.

        1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

          That is scary but true! Simply amazing!

      2. Brian(Grandville) says:

        Green Bay even helped them out by losing to Pittsburg.

        1. Bill Steffen says:

          And the Bears lost, too.

  8. Dan says:

    Doesn’t matter, Lions lost and they’re out of the playoffs. That team is pathetic! No emotion, no want to, to get it done? Why? Defense was playing good at times. They just don’t have the capabilities to put teams away. Bye-Bye Schwartz, Linehan and Gun!

  9. Travis (Oakland County) says:

    Well, got to do some driving around today. It’s like a war zone over here. Trees and big branches down everywhere. Everything still coated in a thick sheet of ice. The scenery is unreal.

    And it gets even worse as you go further north.

    More than 100,000 without power, and some are being told it will be after Christmas until it comes back.

    1. Cliff(Scotts) says:

      Back to below average temps bud, see ya when it warms up again?

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

      And to make matters worse the ice isn’t going to melt, and we are going to add on what could be quite a bunch of snow here. Not sure when we’ll be able to safely cleanup the downed branches. I think our only chance is with a little wind to break the ice off the trees.

  10. tinainvbcounty says:

    So grateful to have our power back on…our first estimate was 12/28….I hope things do not get worse for cleanup, and so the crews can get back with family ASAP. I will be in full speed ahead, no more weather curveballs please!! Of course, it looks like we may be in this next set up. Does the Wednesday snow involve more lake effect in the same belt areas, or is it a system?

  11. Brad (Van Buren) says:

    Bill, you really nailed the forecast on this one. A few blog posts back you mentioned areas could get 1/4″ or more of ice and it happened. You warned people this was going to be a damaging storm with lots of power outages, downed trees and limbs…you nailed that also. West Michigan is a BIG area and the forecast isn’t always spot on for EVERYBODY, but I feel you do a good job of pinpointing the specifics. Thank you…keep up the good work.

    1. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

      Yea, storm team 8 was one of the only near accurate stations… Very impressive forecast for a storm this complex.

  12. Lol I love it how you say something on this blog that one person doesn’t like and they go into attack mode. Haha people are entitled to what they think and will do what they want, so deal with it! worry about more that a written reply on a Blog where people are free to say what they want

    1. Brian(Grandville) says:

      On a public forum like this, you never know what you’re gonna get.I wouldn’t take anything to seriously. I can see that its not easy for some of us to take criticism lightly on here, but others take a different approach.

  13. Brett says:

    How much snow will rockford area get?

  14. I don’t think you could ask for a most peaceful night! its is stone still outside and it is not to cold. Every so often you can hear the trees make a few crackling sounds. Overall, its is a great end to the weekend tonight!

    1. Michael g (se gr) says:

      All I can hear outside is generators. :-(

      Let it snow!

      New Year starts out frigid. Sub-zero lows on the way.

      1. That sucks! hope your power comes back on soon!!

  15. GunLakeDeb says:

    Most of the trees here at SW Gun Lake have a quarter to a third of an inch of ice, and many have lost branches. Two big old pines are going to end up looking like palm trees as their branches are breaking off at the trunk….

    Keep in mind, as you drive tomorrow, that big trucks are going to have sheets of ice on top of their roofs. When that flies off on the expressway, it can do a lot of damage to whatever vehicle is following. Around here, tall vehicles will be hitting trees branches sagging over the road – that’s not good, either.

    Drive defencively!

    1. If we get any more wind or snow this week, which snow looks likely, more trees will fall over and power outages will rise again

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

      My grandparents on Gun Lake said they only received about 0.25-0.33″ on ice, and said they only had a few small limbs down. They couldn’t believe that we had 3X the ice they did with how close we live to each other.

  16. Scott says:

    Might have Travis in Allegan County in mind with this…..

    ISSUED AT 928 PM EST SUN DEC 22 2013

    REALLY NO CHANGES TO THE FORECAST FOR TONIGHT. AREA OF LIGHT SNOW
    OUT AHEAD OF THE UPPER WAVE DIVING IN FROM THE NW IS GRADUALLY
    SPREADING IN FROM THE WEST. THE BEST COVERAGE OF SNOW IS STILL
    EXPECTED TO BE FOUND ACROSS THE NRN CWFA WITH LESSER AMOUNTS TO
    THE SOUTH. ACCUMULATIONS WITH THIS LIGHT SNOW ARE STILL EXPECTED
    TO BE UNDER AN INCH.

    WE ALSO STILL EXPECT A LAKE EFFECT BAND TO START SETTING UP LATER
    TONIGHT ACROSS THE SW CORNER OF THE CWFA AS THE MEAN LAYER FLOW DOWN
    THERE IS EXPECTED TO BECOME NW. THIS WILL OCCUR LATE TONIGHT AND
    WILL BRING SOME ADDITIONAL SNOW DOWN THERE…BUT LIKELY STAYING AT
    OR BELOW AN INCH.

    WE ARE STARTING TO EVALUATE THE POTENTIAL NEED TO MAYBE EXPAND THE
    WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY TO THE NORTH AND EAST A BIT…AND EXTEND
    IT OUT IN TIME A BIT ALSO. THE MODELS ARE STARTING TO COME IN
    CLOSER AGREEMENT ON A POTENTIALLY ENHANCED BAND THAT COULD
    OSCILLATE A BIT TO THE NORTH…AND THEN SOUTH AGAIN LATER MON AND
    MON EVENING. IT MAY BE TOUGH TO PIN DOWN WHAT COULD BE A NARROW
    BAND. WE WILL TAKE A LOOK AT 00Z DATA BEFORE ADJUSTING THE
    HEADLINE AT ALL. IF ANY CHANGES ARE DEEMED TO BE NEEDED…THIS
    WOULD LIKELY OCCUR ON THE 4 AM MON FCST PACKAGE.

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

      It could get very interesting here if that convergence band sets up over my area. I’m afraid to see how many more branches would come down.

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

    Did anyone watch Fox 17′s weather segment? Kevin Craig said all the computer models are showing a heavy convergence band somewhere in Allegan, Van Buren, or Kalamazoo counties. He said he is expecting 3-6″, but wouldn’t be surprised to see 8-12″ totals if a strong band sets up. I don’t know if we will have any trees left around here if we get anywhere near that kind of snow.

    1. Brian(Grandville) says:

      I’ll be going to Kzoo tomorrow morning, so I’ll get a good look at what you have experienced. Hopefully the snow moves a bit further north, for your sake, and I would like a few inches of fresh snow just in time fore Christmas.

  18. Just heard another tree by my house bite the dust! very loud crash stirred the stillness in the air!

  19. Mike (Berrien county) says:

    We missed the big ice & most of our snow is gone now here…. however some light snow/freezing drizzle is coating things up pretty good right now though. Still anxious to see how this lake band sets up. Also looks like a nice Christmas system snowfall coming by the looks of the 0Z NAM. Considering high snow to liquid ratios in place with the arctic air, & this water equivalent precip map, looks like we’ll be piling it up again over the next week or so….. http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/qpf/p168i.gif

    1. Ben (North Muskegon) says:

      And look at the UP. Their snow cover is going to be getting crazy deep.

  20. John says:

    The 00Z NAM has everyone along and west of 131 getting up to 8″ of snow through Christmas, most of which for me would come on Tuesday night into Wednesday

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

    00Z NAM gives my area 0.5-0.75″ of total precip through 84 hours. At a 20:1 ratio, as Bill mentioned in this post, equates to 10-15″ of snow…wowzers!

    1. John says:

      How about my area? Norton Shores

      Thanks

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

    I should say 0.5-0.7″ of precip. It shows 0.5-0.7″ of precip for your area as well. At 20:1 that would be 10-14″, at 15:1 that would be 7.5-11.25″.

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

      That was suppose to go for the reply to John.

    2. John says:

      Thank you Travis!

  23. Scott says:

    Looks like our blogger Nathan made the NWS Storm assessment PDF with his pic of the Split Tree.

    Congrats!

    http://www.crh.noaa.gov/images/grr/presentations/December21_22_IceStorm_2013-12-23_04-00-57.pdf

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

      That is pretty cool, crazy that the tree split like that as well. They used my ice report as well, although their graphic shows about 0.4″ of ice for my area.

  24. Ben (North Muskegon) says:

    http://www.erh.noaa.gov/box/tables/snowfall-meltwater.html
    Here is a snow ration table. According to the table 20:1 occurs in the 15-19 degree range and 15:1 is in the 20-27 degree range.

    1. John says:

      Thank you Ben!

    2. Cort S. says:

      This table should be used with extreme caution:

      This gives a statistical relationship, which means that there will be (potentially substantial) variation around these values for any particular weather system.

      This is hosted on NWS Boston’s site. I don’t know where these numbers came from. Are they based on national snowfall and meltwater data, or did the data only come from Boston’s area? It’s possible that Michigan snow vs. Massachusetts snow may not have the same statistical relationship numbers.

      This gives a relationship based on surface temperatures, which does not govern snow crystal habits or size. The characteristics of your snow crystals (and therefore your snow/liquid ratio) will be determined by the temperature and supersaturation properties in the the ice crystal formation layer (the cloud)…

      http://www.weatherwise.org/sebin/b/n/queries-figure-3.jpg

      There will be other factors, too, such as the depth of the dendritic growth zone layer (“DGZ”, approx. -12 to -17 C air temperature in the cloud). That along with the vertical velocity of air moving through that layer will affect the supersaturation of the air and the residence time of an ice crystal in the fluffy snowflake growth zone.

      That’s not to say that surface temperature will have nothing to do with your snow/liquid ratio. Once the snow has fallen, the snowpack will settle or melt or sublimate away, and the snow depth will decrease with time. Warmer temperatures will increase your rate of sublimation (water molecules going from solid to gas phase). Within the snowpack, sublimation will cause ice crystals to morph from nice flaky dendrites to balls of rime ice, which are denser. If I remember correctly, snowfall and liquid equivalent numbers are taken every 6 hours, which gives the snowfall a little time to settle.

      Don’t forget the typical differences between synoptic and lake effect snow crystals (which tend to be different because of the factors I mentioned in the ice crystal habits paragraphs). The NWS Boston table is probably only using snow data from synoptic systems. If I remember correctly, a week or two ago, NWS Grand Rapids measured 40:1 ratios from lake-effect snow, and surface temperatures were in the mid-upper teens or near 20.

      Also for fun, here is a map of average snow/liquid ratios:

      http://www.eas.slu.edu/CIPS/SLR/slrmap.htm

      We usually hear the rule of thumb is 10:1, but in West Michigan, the median ratio is about 13:1.

      1. Mike (Berrien county) says:

        Wow… fascinating stuff. Thanx! On a side note, I think that’s why I read about such varying snowfall amounts over such short distances sometimes every time it snows… people don’t necessarily adhere to any type of 6 hr rule before taking snowfall measurements. Actually I wasn’t aware of that myself, but thanx though.

        1. Cort S. says:

          Yeah, it’s amazing just how complicated the atmospheric microphysics are which produce different snow crystal habits… and then the act of measuring snow and liquid equivalent is itself difficult to do accurately in a consistent manner. If you use a snow board to measure new snowfall on top of an existing snow pack, it should not be cleared off more than once every 6 hours, or if your office prefers, only once every 24 hours.

          Behold, a 14-page document on the subject of snow measurement!
          http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/coop/reference/Snow_Measurement_Guidelines.pdf

  25. Judy (Fennville) says:

    I’ve played Apples to Apples…..we get a little rowdy with people trying to convince the judge to pick their “match” card as the best one. It’s interesting to see how some people justify their matches, especially when they don’t have anything remotely similar in their cards (and also after having a few beers).

    Sorry to hear that so many people are still without power, but am very glad that I am not one of them for a change.

    Got 4+” of snow last night.

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