Windy – Still ColdJanuary 29th, 2014 at 11:32 am by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, News, Weather
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.