Friday MAJOR fire at FIFTH THIRD PARKJanuary 3rd, 2014 at 5:35 am by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
MAJOR FIRE AT FIFTH THIRD BALLPARK!! 1/3rd of the main building has been destroyed. Locker room destroyed. Middle area has smoke damage. Check out the Whitecaps Twitter Feed and @fifththirdfire. Propane tanks may have been exploding…first base side of the park. 25% of the main building is on fire. Kent Co. Emergency Management says stay out of the area. Stay off US 131 and West River Drive in early PM. Temperature at 1 pm was 12 with a 15 mph south wind and a wind chill of -4. Smoke plume was visible on Storm Track Live radar. LIVE COVERAGE ON WOOD-TV and www.woodtv.com. Two aerial fire trucks have been shooting water at the fire from above. Too much ice on the river to use that water. Water freezing up will be a problem. The park’s sprinkling system isn’t holding back the fire. The sprinkler system may not have been “loaded” as part of this side of the building is not heated. The park opened in 1994. The fire started in one of the suites. The drive-through Christmas lights displays and electric wires are in the parking lot. The ballpark is in Plainfield Township. Surrounding depts., inc. Grand Rapids have been fighting the fire. Grand Rapids and Plainfield Twp. recalled fire fighters into work. Fire fighters worked to save the left field and center of the building. The fire started in a luxury suite on the right field side of the main building. 30 employees in the building – all safe. Management says that the park will be rebuilt. Opening day is April 8. Beer Fest is Feb. 22nd. Detroit Tigers say they will assist. The burned section will be rebuilt and baseball will go on this spring. Also, Minnesota Governor has ordered all schools to be closed on Monday due to the anticipated Arctic Blast. I’ll leave radar (updates automatically) here at the top of the blog for the band of snow showers/flurries that will move onshore and gradually dissipate. A couple inches of snow has been reported around Muskegon. There could be some light accumulations and slick spots from this right at the shore from Allegan Co. north. The wind will pick up today from the S-SW and that will likely cause some drifting, which may also produce slick spots. Most of the area got below zero this morning. Low temps. last night: G. Rapids down to -9, S. Haven down to -12, Marshall to -17 and Pellston in N. Lower Michigan at -24. Stambaugh in the U.P. was the coldest at -31. The agricultural thermometer near Lawrence in Van Buren Co. hit -20 an d Hastings checked in with -18. Here’s a forecast wind chill map for next Monday night. Here’s our wave of the day! NYC has a shot at zero early next week. New York has not hit zero since 1994 and has not hit zero twice in a winter since the winter of 1942-43. Clear, calm and 40 below zero in parts of Quebec…wind turbines no help when the wind is less than 5 mph. They’re running low on electricity. Delhi, India has coldest temperature in December in 17 years. Coldest in Pakistan in 46 years. Al Gore has not sent out a tweet since Dec. 22. Antarctic ice extent at an all-time record high (in the satellite era). Also, it’s now been 8 years since we’ve had a Category 3 or higher hurricane hit the U.S.- longest stretch ever.
Model data: The NAM (caribou) has the temperature peaking today at 16.1 with a 17 mph SW wind (it’s 25 mph at Lake Michigan), so while the temperature goes up some, the wind chill will still be near zero this PM. Late Sat. to Sun. snowfall off the NAM: 1/2″ G.R., 2.1″ Lansing, 3.9″ Kalamazoo Airport, 5″ Jackson. The GFS (caribou) has a total of 7.1″ for G.R. from Sunday to Thursday AM. Kalamazoo gets 7.1″, a brief break then another 2.2″. Jackson gets 6-7″ of snow Sat. night/Sun. then another 3″ and Jackson gets to -11 when the wind turns WSW on Tues. am and misses Lake Michigan. The coldest on the GFS (caribou) for G.R. is -3 around midday Monday with a 20 mph wind and a wind chill of -25…we get back to the low 30s on Thurs. on the GFS (caribou). The European has measurable snow for G.R. for every 6-hour period from late Saturday thru Thurs. AM with a total of 0.76″ precipitation. At a very conservative 20-1 ratio, that would be 15″ of snow (and keep in mind that a 20 mph wind would blow the heaviest lake-effect snow inland toward US 131. This is going to be nasty on a number of fronts…the cold, the wind, the snow, the slick roads…the cold temps. mean very light, fine snow that’s going to blow and drift around. The European has the coldest temp. of -6 occurring in the afternoon on Monday…which would be a top-ten coldest mid-afternoon temp. ever in G.R. We don’t get warmer than the mid teens from Sunday late aftn. to Thurs. AM. BTW, if you think we can’t get heavy snow because it’s too cold look at Boston. They were getting heavy snow at 2 above zero (they’ve had 14″ of snow there, with up to 20″ in S. Mass.).
Also: Snowing down in Georgia…center of the huge upper level cold low comes over Georgian Bay…Painesdale in the U.P. is up to 52″ of snow on the ground…Dec. 31 sea ice was the largest extent ever recorded in the satellite era.. due to record ice extent around Antarctica…weather report from Mars Curiosity Rover shows a high temp of -20F. So… Mars was warmer than half of Minnesota this AM…wettest year ever in Ironwood MI – 53.37″ was 152% of average.
Links: Grand Rapids radar, Northern Indiana radar, Chicago radar, Detroit radar and Milwaukee radar. Here’s the College of DuPage Radar Map (pick any radar in the U.S.), College of DuPage Grand Rapids radar, GFS snowfall for the next 120 hours and NAM model snowfall for the next 84 hours. the West Michigan Lightning Tracker, National Lightning Tracker, 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 Precipitation (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 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 (summer). Here’s storm reports from SW Michigan, Northern Michigan, NE Illinois, SE. Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and E. Michigan. Check out the wind and wave height at the South Mid-Lake Michigan Buoy (Apr. to Nov. only), the North Mid-Lake Michigan Buoy (Apr. to Nov. only), the buoy at Big Sable Point near Ludington, the weather station at Manistee Harbor and the weather station on the beach at St. Joseph. Here’s Michigan wind gusts from MesoWest, data from the MAWN agriculutural weather stations and Weather Underground (data at the bottom from private weather stations). Check out the webcam at Krupp’s Resort, where they are pushing toward 3 feet of snow on the ground. Check out the cold temps. on the U.S. Low Temperature map. Here’s the morning run of the NAM forecast snow amounts. Here’s a live look at the Houghton Bridge.
Here’s the Consumers Energy Power Outage Map. We continue to watch for ice jams on Michigan rivers as the cold air continues. Here’s some river water temps. Check out our new Lakes and Rivers Webpage.