Tues. PM updateFebruary 18th, 2014 at 2:26 pm by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
Pic. on the left is the sunset Sunday from the Muskegon Glerl cam. You can see open water in the channel and there is some open water farther out from shore. The second picture is Mr. Kelleher proudly weather a Bill’s Blog T-shirt today in Sarasota, Florida, where the high temperature today was a pleasant 76°. On the right is sunset tonight (Tue.) at the Grand Haven pier from Alexis Hernandez. With some sun and a push of warmer air…temperatures are shooting upward. Grand Rapids shot up to 43 degrees after sunset. Muskegon and S. Haven made 46. These are the warmest temperatures since Jan. 13th, five weeks ago. It was cooler to the north, where Mt. Pleasant stopped at 33 and Big Rapids at 35.
Updated season snowfall: Grand Rapids 101.1″, Holland 134.5″, Muskegon 120.7″, Kalamazoo 96.1″, Lansing 56.3″. The snow depth of 24″ this Tues. AM in G.R. is an all-time February record and just 3″ shy of the all-time snow depth record of 27″ after the Blizzard of ’78. We have now gone a record 14 days with more than 20″ of snow on the ground. Muskegon had 27″ of snow on the ground at daybreak, Lansing 19, Fremont, Hart and Baldwin reported 25″ on the ground. The least in the GRR NWS warning area was 15″ at Big Rapids. Duluth MN has set a record for most days below zero in winter. Since Dec. 1 a whopping 60 of 80 days have had minimum temperatures at or below zero. It’s the 3rd snowiest winter in Detroit, and snowiest since 1925. For the Midwest Climate States (MN, IA, WI, MI) this so far is the 6th coldest winter since 1895. The 15-21 day European model for March 3-9 has the coldest air relative to average right over the Great Lakes. It’s the 2nd snowiest winter in Philadelphia and New York City now has 17″ of snow on the ground. For NYC, it’s already the 7th snowiest winter with a season total of 57.1″.
We’ll cloud up tonight and there is a chance of a few flurries, a few snow pellets and a slight chance of a trace of freezing mist. The sun should be back out tomorrow PM. We’ll be dry for the Thurs. AM commute, but rain pushes in about mid-morning from south-southwest to north-northeast. The temperature will be close to 32 when it starts and may only reach the upper 30s by the evening commute. Temps. will rise briefly into the 40s Thurs. night. A strong cold front will push thru with strong winds (gusts to 40 mph with the front and behind it into Friday AM. We’re still looking at 1/2 – 3/4″ of rain. Even though the Slight Risk Area for severe thunderstorms comes up into areas south of I-94, I think a better bet for severe (mainly wind and hail) will be in KY, TN, SE IN and W. OH. We may have some school closings on Friday with the strong winds and icing as temps. fall below freezing. Arctic air returns. High temps. for G.R. on the GFS-plot beginning on Saturday: 20, 17, 20, 20, 14. I think that’s a little cool – but sure no sign of spring yet. With the 40+ wind gusts on the Great Lakes Thurs. night/Friday, it’ll be interesting to see if a significant amount of ice breaks up or gets pushed away from the WI/IL shore. Also, I’m still concerned about roof collapses with the rain Thursday falling into the snow cover on flat roofs. I also remain concerned about a cold first half of March, the snow sticking around and the increased potential for flooding in late March or April.