January 3rd, 2014 at 5:35 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Local  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 PMTemperature at 1 pm was 12 with a 15 mph south wind and a wind chill of -4Smoke plume was visible on Storm Track Live radarLIVE COVERAGE ON WOOD-TV and   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 1994The 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 electricityDelhi, India has coldest temperature in December in 17 yearsColdest in Pakistan in 46 yearsAl 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 Georgiacenter 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.

336 Responses to “Friday MAJOR fire at FIFTH THIRD PARK”

  1. Could Michigan be the next state to close all schools Monday? lol I hope so..but considering how pathetic our governor is probably not.

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

      Better than the previous one dude.

      1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

        He’s too young to remember.

  2. Jim S (Saugatuck Twp) says:

    The Euro shifted further SE, 12Z NAM a big shift NW…GFS a slight shift NW, Canadian not much change, WGN shows almost a foot of snow around Benton Harbor up to Holland…and now the 18Z NAM just came in much further southeast with the low…barely clipping far SE Michigan with advisory type snow.

    1. DF (SE Mich) says:

      Typical :)

    2. The 18z NAM I see has 3-4 inches over most of the area and 6-8 near the Thumb and that’s at 10:1 which would be 5-8 over much of the area, but yes much less 6+ 10:1 amounts

    3. Not to mention the last 4 NAM runs have flip flop more that dirty politician

    4. Jeremy (Three Rivers) says:

      NWS Northern Indiana is discrediting the latest 18Z NAM. Said it’s not even grasping the basics of the storm and are worried about excessive accumulations much more than forecast. The latest discussion a good read.

  3. Could Michigan be the next state to close all schools Monday? lol I hope so..but considering how pathetic our governor is probably not

    1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

      It’s not the Governor’s decision.

      1. If its not his decison, then explain why Minnesota’s and possibly Wisconsin’s is going to. If its not his decison then those state would not have

        1. I’m not sure what Michigan has..and I have no reason to think that we would be any different, but i’m not sure

        2. John says:

          The governor in Michigan leaves it up to the schools, no he will not cancel classes for the whole state, that’s because we don’t get the cold that those states on the other side of the lake, but I supposed if he feels it’s necessarily

        3. Mark (East Lansing) says:

          I guess he can issue any sort of Executive order in an emergency situation. But like John said, we won’t be nearly as cold on this side of the lake.

          I am interested, though, into understanding why Kyle believes Gov. Snyder is “pathetic.”

        4. yooper4021 says:

          I agree with you John and Mark. I think the Governor could in extraordinary circumstances, but conditions here won’t be as extreme as MN and WI. I don’t think it will come to that.

    2. Mike in Hamilton says:

      I didn’t know school closures was a litmus test for the governors performance.

      1. Bill Steffen says:

        School closings have gone well in recent years here in MI. The police even told me after the Groundhog Day Blizzard how good the reaction was. Everything was closed. Most everyone stayed put and off the roads. Keep in mind that Michigan is a BIG state…from Monroe to Ironwood and it’s not easy to have a blanket decision like that made in Lansing. Minnesota and Wisconsin will be colder than Lower Michigan because the air won’t be coming across a Great Lake for them.

  4. Could Michigan be the next state to close all schools Monday? lol I hope so..but considering how pathetic our governor is probably not

    1. SW Kent says:

      Kyle, we have an excellent governor.

      1. Well your entitled to your opinion. I have to disagree.

        1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

          Do tell….

        2. Jordan (Twin Lake) says:

          Ask INDY about right to work, Mark.

        3. yooper4021 says:

          Yes, do tell…

        4. tinainvbcounty says:

          I share your opinion, Kyle.

      2. J-rod says:

        I think he is at least better than Granholm was. Hate his “One tough nerd” commercials though…

    2. suehelen says:

      Why would it be the governor’s responsibility to close schools? Wouldn’t that be up to individual school districts? And if you think it’s too cold for your child to be outside, keep them home. I think we still have that right as parents.

  5. Lovely Snow says:

    My earlier comment was really that the person was claiming that there would be school no matter how cold. That is just not true. While schools will vary on their closure policy, and some do not have policies in place, they will all consider temperature. My guess is that many, many school will close Monday and Tuesday.

    1. Interesting read..Thanks!

  6. Jim S (Saugatuck Twp) says:

    18Z still gives me a foot plus of snow (not the crazy 15-18″ of snow the 12Z had). The system snow does not look quite as impressive, so this is a combination of the snow along the cold front, some system snow, and then lake effect.

      1. Jim S (Saugatuck Twp) says:


        1. Ok, your’s must be more speedy than mine, I’m at 54 hours on weather bell

  7. Our school “Breckenridge” has closed school several times over the years, and delayed due to cold, but I’m guessing if the GOV feels there is a reasonable safety risk, I’m very certain he can order all public schools closed. Private or Charter schools probably not but not sure about that.

    1. Jim S (Saugatuck Twp) says:

      I can understand Minn and Wisc. They are talking -50 wind chills. We won’t be close to that I don’t think. NWS says -25 may not occur, but decided to issue the watch as the models may underestimate the wind chills.

  8. Schools in Kalamazoo County are talking about closings on Monday. According to the article Lovely Snow gave me..Portage Public Schools will close past -15 degrees. On the flip side..Kent County schools close past -30 wind chill..but Grand Rapids Public is willing to close even if its a little less that that

  9. Lovely Snow says:

    My guess is that the Governor could call some sort of emergency thus granting him any authority he needed to close schools. I recall one time when I was teaching 3rd grade, our district didn’t close in the morning. Many didn’t. It was a bad call. They did not want to send the kids home. The County Sheriff made the decision for them–told them they had to send them home before things got worse.

  10. Jim S (Saugatuck Twp) says:

    Interesting that the highest wind chills will be found around I-94.


    1. slimJim550 NW GR (1) says:

      But read the zone forecast no mention of -20 wind chills at all

    2. John says:

      Its weird how they’ve been talking about dangerous wind chills and now their not sure if those dangerous wind chills will occur, bravo NWS bravo! NOT!

      1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

        That’s why it’s called a watch. Why bash the NWS so much? I think you need a more constructive hobby.

  11. slimJim550 NW GR (1) says:

    very active day. First off I work at the Whitecaps so a very sad day in the regard. Not sure how long and what shape the ball park will be like after the rebuild. Looks to me that half of the stadium is distorted.
    And for the weather the NWS in their zone write up don’t seem to think we will see a lot of snow and it seems to are down playing the wind chills as well.

  12. Govoner Snyders approval rating is many people think that he is a crappy govoner obviously

    1. Tom says:

      I can’t believe you are already worried about school being closed or not closed for Monday! You’ve had 2 weeks off plus the day before Christmas break. Chances are you don’t walk 2 miles to school so what are you so worried about? I’m sure your parents will be glad to see you get back to school instead of being on the computer 24/7!!!

    2. With our economy and compared to the US House and Senate and Pres those numbers are damn good

      1. Actually Tom I hardly ever see both my parents..they are divorced. I flip flop house to house on a weekly basis. Its hard trying to see them both at one time during the when a snowday comes along I can finally ride out to my dads house and see him since im not busy with homework. There divorce made them realize they still have their kids…and they enjoy every moment with us.

        1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

          Yeah, it was similar for me growing up. The cool thing was twice as many birthday and holiday celebrations

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

        She didn’t blow us away, she just plain sucked!

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

      Nice grammar. Not sure where you came up with your approval numbers, but regardless; if the people don’t like him, he’ll be voted out. Simple as that.

    4. Mark (East Lansing) says:

      It was only 44% when he took office. And, the rating has actually been going up over the past 18 months. Go figure.

    5. SW Kent says:

      Kyle, don’t go there.

    6. Lisa says:

      Obama’s isn’t much better. Your point is?

  13. If we get a decent amount of snow and I think we will see at least a couple inches (for cooling effect) and then any clear skies will see either -15 to -30 either because winds will be strong and will be below zero with the vortex near or over head OR will our winds will be say 10mph or so but the air temps will push -10 to -20 i.e. like we did this morning and we weren’t under the polar vortex, regardless of winds were going to get extremely cold early next week.

    1. wow sorry about the horrible grammar, hopefully you get what I was trying to get at.

  14. iseeplanes says:

    New Thread

    1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

      Thank goodness. This one went south quickly.

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

        Yeah too bad. Our buddy Kyle had to bring politics into the discussion and the ship hit the sand as they say.

        1. Jack says:

          Wait Till The SH* T hits ” The Fan “!!! CUE, Little Feat HERE::: Stay Cued…

        2. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

          Will keep this short just a I pad test

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