Tuesday PMFebruary 12th, 2014 at 2:43 am by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
Click on the image. We’re up to 86% ice cover on the Great Lakes – only 1994 was higher on Feb. 11th and that was by just 2%. We have had just 15.8% of possible sunshine since Dec. 1 in G.R. The average for Dec. 1 – Feb. 11 is 24.7%. Tuesday was the first day since Jan. 21 when we didn’t see at least a trace of snow in G.R. and only the 2nd day since Jan. 13th. The warmest temperature of February so far is just 27 and you have to go back to Jan. 14 to find a temperature warmer than 34. The average wind speed Tuesday of 3.6 mph made it the calmest day of the winter and the calmest day since Oct. 10. Muskegon added 2/10ths inch of snow yesterday to bring the season total to 110.7″. Holland’s total remains at 122.9″.
There is an area of light snow approaching from Wisconsin, but it’s falling apart – there may be a half inch of snow in Ludington and Manistee…and mainly trace amounts down to Muskegon/Grand Haven, but not much. I’m still tracking the possibility of some rain/freezing rain for next Monday. The morning run of the GFS now only takes G.R. to 40 on Thurs. the 20th, but with 1/4 to 1/2″ of rain. That won’t melt all the snow and if the snow traps the rain, it’ll only mean more water sitting on the ground with the potential for flooding down the road.
Brief model update…both the GFS plot and the European models give us around an inch of snow Thurs. night into Friday, a cool, but pleasant weekend, rain/freezing rain with temps. in the low-mid 30s on Monday (roads could be slick). Both models have temps. rising to the mid 40s on the 21st. The GFS plot is mid 40s on the 22nd and the Euro. takes G.R. to 51 with at least 1/2″ of rain. There’s a lot of snow on the ground, so I’d be cautious with a gung-ho warm-up.
I looked up the # of 40-degree days in February in past years. Last year we had 6, in 2012 we had 12. Since 1978, we’ve only had two years that we didn’t get to 40…that was 1978 (coldest Feb. ever in G.R. after the big blizzard and 2010 when the warmest was 39. The most was 16 in 1984 and 1987. The average for those 36 years is 6.7 days with highs of 40 or better in February.