Windy – Still Cold

January 29th, 2014 at 11:32 am by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

muskegon glerl    This picture is a quick grab this morning from the Muskegon GLERL camera Weds.  morning showing lots of ice on Lake Michigan as far out as you can see.  We have some open water on the right at the channel.  It was clear across the lake in Chicago. With more ice on Lake Michigan, the cold air spends less time crossing open water, so the lake-effect is somewhat diminished.  We had some sunshine on Weds.  The big story has the wind.  Weds. we had a gust to 38 mph in Grand Rapids and 39 mph in Ionia.  The wind is causing drifting snow, especially in outlying, open, rural areas.  It’s going to stay windy today.  We should see significant drifting and some blowing snow.

The Weds. morning run of the NAM (caribou) gave  G.R. 1.1″ of snow late Thurs. PM and Thurs. night (slick spots for the Thurs. evening and Fri. morning commutes…and a healthy 4.2″ during the day Saturday.  Here’s the model’s predicted snowfall…first number is Thurs. evening/night and second number is Sat:  Kalamazoo 1.7″/3.7″, Holland 1.4″/4.2″, Lansing 0.9″/3.0″, Muskegon 2.0″/2.7″, S. Haven 1.4″/3.8″, Ludington 2.3″, 2.6″, Mt. Pleasant 0.6″/3.9″.   The first system gets a little bit of a boost from Lake Michigan…not 2″ in Muskegon and 2.3″ in Ludington and there may be a touch more boost than that…the second system is not lake-effect or lake/enhanced.  The amount of snow will depend on the path of low pressure passing to our south.  As it does, we stay in the cold air.   We may be mid-upper 20s Thurs. night/Fri./Sat. – but we can’t seem to get a day up to our average in the low 30s.   Another 1.1″ of snow since midnight at GRR, so we’re up to 78.3″ for the season – like I said, even average snowfall from here on out will bring us over 100″ for G.R. and over 120″ for the lakeshore.       Go here, to the 6-hour, 1km satellite loop of Lower Michigan and you can see Lake Michigan is mostly clear this Weds. AM (I’ll find a MODIS picture later this PM to put on the blog).  You can see the ice on the lake and the lake-effect clouds seem to be centered downwind from the longest stretch that the air spends over open water.   It looks like Torch Lake is frozen over (a deep lake and harder to freeze over in winter) and we are starting to accumulate ice in Traverse Bay.  Long range has Feb. 4-5 storm staying mostly south/southeast of us, but large high north of Montana brings more Arctic air to the Great Lakes – keeping us colder than average thru 2/14.   Both the new European weeklies and the CFS model keep the cold in the Great Lakes thru week 3 (through mid-February).   Here’s an oddity:  Missouri is the only state in the Union that does not have some snow on the ground this morning.   Snow on the beach at Gulfport, Mississippi!

From Dec. 1 to Jan. 28 – this is the 9th coldest winter so far in Chicago – avg. temp. of 19.47.  Two winters really stand out for cold in Chicago, 1983-84 (15.0°) and 1976-77 (15.9°).  In the climate record, seven of the top 9 coldest winters in Chicago have occurred since 1975.  Only 2 occurred from 1875-1975.   Reread my earlier post on average January temperature in Grand Rapids.  Especially look at this graph of average January temperature by decade.   We’re exactly where we were in the early 1900s.    Cold pattern continues into February.

Some much needed rain for California on the way (and mountain snows).  At 2 pm – Atlanta 26° – dewpoint 3° – ice preventing cars from going uphill.  BTW – NWS had good Winter Storm Warnings out for snow and freezing rain.  Don’t blame them for the mess down South, the storm was well forecast.   More Atlanta pics. here.  Yesterday (Tue.) the high temperature in Anchorage, Alaska was 44 (16 days in a row warmer than average).  In Atlanta, where the average high is 53° the temperature fell from 25° at noon to 21° by evening.

302 Responses to “Windy – Still Cold”

  1. John (Norton Shores) says:

    The NWS in the twin cities area upgraded Minneapolis and surrounding counties to a winter storm warning for 4-6″ of snow, that’s what the NWS in Grand Rapids need to do as well but maybe a blizzard warning

  2. steven (Derby Lake) says:

    Bill- Here’s an interesting time lapse of ice in Chicago. Video is off the water intake,0,7147658.htmlstory

  3. John (Norton Shores) says:

    Grattan academy in Kent county is closed tomorrow

  4. John (Norton Shores) says:

    Nope NWS didn’t do any upgrading or any changes to their wording in the advisory, they better hope this doesn’t turn out worse than expected, as it’s already going to get pretty bad tomorrow, should at lease be a winter storm warning

    1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

      Have faith. They know better than you do.

  5. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

    I thought we also needed to be under a certain temp for blizzard warning?

    1. John (Norton Shores) says:

      Should at least be under a winter storm warning

  6. dereks says:

    Every thing in Montcalm county cancelled once again!

  7. steven (Derby Lake) says:

    Looks like Stanford is giving #1 Arizona some trouble. Called the upset the other day. The Duke beats Syracuse Saturday.

    1. Steven(DerbyLake) says:

      ahh it was close

  8. John (Norton Shores) says:

    Winds are increasing here

  9. Brian (Grandville) says:

    00Z GFS is much farther north with the saturday system.

  10. INDY says:

    Winter watches coming For Saturdays storm sound thee alarms!! From drinking more sprites and seeing no lights YARDofBRICKS INDYY!!!!!

    1. ER From GR says:

      Cant wait to watch the snow blow in over at my Bachelor party!!! send the kiddos off to gramos come join in the fun at West Olive A.K.A Snow township USA!!!

  11. Brian (Grandville) says:

    Pictures and video headlines from Atlanta are hillarious. ” digging out from the worst winter storm in years”. LOL!

    1. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

      I JUST posted something on Facebook about how ANNOYING all the reporters are. People are NOT starving from having to sitin traffic….and OH NO….they slept in CVS. Seriously? Give me a break. Try living in a third world country and then they wil see actual problems. Oh, and we Americans ALWAYS have to blame somebody. I blame Rocky for everything that happened. He didn’t go down there and repeat 3590938372829 times that a a “big whopper” of 1 inch was coming. Sorry Rocky. As an American, I HAVE to blame somebody……..

      1. Jordan (Twin Lake) says:

        Sounds like you’re an Obama sympathizer. Don’t mess with America, butthole.

        1. Matt (Spring Lake) says:


  12. tinainvbcounty says:

    Where the heck did all this wind come into play in the forcast.? Things here got worse mid day with winds I certainly didn’t expect, making roads fairly nasty again. Things started dying down again around 3 or 4 this afternoon, now I see possible 50mph gusts and 25-30 mph sustained winds with more snow for tomorrow? I was looking forward to an improved weather day tomorrow…just “regular” snow without the relentless winds, which has been our big problem to deal with. I didn’t totally ignore the WWA text I got earlier for tomorrow, but didn’t really get a chance to look at it more in depth until now. Surprised at the wind speeds are listed that high and just an advisory. Is this wind just expected to be in a few spots directly on the shoreline or what?? :S

    1. John (Norton Shores) says:

      50mph for the lakeshore and 40mph winds inland

      1. tinainvbcounty says:

        40mph is still high! Yuck!

  13. WswPlz says:

    They still haven’t updated since 3:45pm so they might make some changes last minute….( except aviation ) they usually update between now and 3:00am…it will be interesting to see if the NAM is correct with the winds, being that we are kind of in a sandwich between 1032mb high and a 992mb low to the north…I guess we will find out…

  14. The GFS, Canadian has both the weekend storm and next weeks storm right over the area and even the ECMWF is trended north and now slams southeast lower. So get ready. Plus a 3 storm for next week is on per GFS and Canadian and also the ECMWF although its way south but it might be making the same mistake as looked to be doing with the system for next week by keep it flat pushing east. If the afternoon runs are supportive then you will see a beefed up hazardous Weather Outlook followed tomorrow by a possible Winter Storm Watch for the southern 1/2 of lower Michigan. But in the mean time hang on to your hats, if we do have 40+mph winds and 3-5 hours snow then I have to believe will see blizzard warnings.

  15. All Gratiot County schools are closed this morning

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