Overall – A Cool Spring

February 21st, 2014 at 2:39 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

30day   90-day outlook  These are the latest outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center for March (on the left) and March through May (on the right).   These are probability maps, with blue indicating a higher probability of cooler than average temperatures and the tan/orange indicating a higher probability of warmer than average temperatures.  As you can see Michigan is in the “Go Blue” for both March and March t0 May.  The core of the cool is forecast to be over the Western Great Lakes.  I might personally have expanded the blue area for March, since the month is going to get off to a rockin’ cold start with Siberian air crossing the North Pole and coming down into the U.S.   Look at the cold air over S. Canada and the Northern U.S. over the next week.    Tweet from Joe Bastardi tonight:  “Euro(pean model) run very cold tonight through most of March.  Puts us on track for coldest Nov-Mar since ’96, and perhaps the 1970s.”

Also – neat pic. of a reindeer with the Northern Lights in the background.  Here’s a cool video of the Northern Lights from N. Dakota.   Marquette, MI hit 41F on Wed., the first day above freezing since Dec. 5th. That’s 75 days straight at or below freezing!

98 Responses to “Overall – A Cool Spring”

  1. TomKap (Michigan St. & Fuller) Grand Rapids says:


  2. Scott (robinson twsp) says:

    Nuts, guess I better order another min load of propane. :( Was hoping to squeeze out 13% into spring.

  3. Dan says:

    We get back to an arctic blast. How about our snow chances? Looks to be light for today. Monday and Tuesday clipper systems.

  4. Andy says:

    With the snow cover that we have its a no brainer to call for a cold spring,Ice won’t be out in southern MI until late march or even early april so the air will still be cold even on warmer days

  5. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

    Here it comes….my NWS rant. 6 hours of heavy snow on Monday and no upgrade to warning. 24 hours of no real wintry weather in Grand Rapids/Muskegon and we have been under a Winter Weather Advisory. I’m not saying it is a fail of a forecast. I am saying Monday an upgrade was necessary, while the past two days have not been. They make a big deal with these several day advisories, and then act like half a foot of snow in 6 hours is not a big deal. That’s how you lose credibility.

    1. DJ2450 (Central Gratiot) says:

      Matt you deserve some ranting privileges today. Yesterday morning you and I discussed the NWS forecast high temperatures for the day and you felt they were too high and stated the following.

      “I am wondering if we are actually going to even get into the 40s today. Checking conditions out to the south and west in Illinois and Iowa, I don’t really see any places really warm in the 40s and 50s. This system doesn’t really seem all that strong either, so there may not be such a strong pull of warmth north. That is my forecast. We will see if I am right by tonight”.

      Officially at the Muskegon and GR NWS the high temperature briefly touched 40 degrees late in the evening. Most of the day the temps. hovered in the mid 30′s at both locations.

      Nice observation and forecast.

      1. Brad (Van Buren) says:

        Woodtv covers a large area. I was at 47 for quite quite some time yesterday.

        1. DJ2450 (Central Gratiot) says:

          I agree but Matt is in Spring Lake and was not stating a forecast for Van Buren Co. Matt would have to verify but I think he was referring to the NWS predicted highs for his area.

        2. Brad (Van Buren) says:

          I do agree the advisory was overdone and underdone on Monday. Not sure exactly what the forecast was calling for at Spring Lake yesterday, but it did make 43 in West Olive and 43 in Hudsonville. They are a little South of Spring Lake though.

        3. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

          Hey Brad, I made it briefly to 40. Grrr. Lol

        4. Bill Steffen says:

          FYI – Muskegon made 43 in the evening, Holland 46 – I saw Hudsonville and Jenison at 45 and they may have gotten a degree or two higher. Hastings and Hopkins reached 47 and S. Haven got to 49. Milwaukee made 42 and Kenosha WI 44. Midway Airport in Chicago got to 51 and it was low 50s at Gary, Burns Harbor and Michigan City, Indiana. I specifically said it wouldn’t make mid 40s until evening.

      2. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

        Thanks, DJ

    2. Mark (East Lansing) says:

      Feel better now?

      1. yooper4021 says:

        Not sure what irritates me more – backseat drivers or Monday morning weathermen??

        1. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

          It doesn’t take much to realize how poorly our NWS does in issuing headlines.

    3. yooper4021 says:

      Matt, again, if you would have read the text of yesterday’s/today’s WWA, you might have a different take. It was issued for a combination of weather conditions, including the high winds. And, as of 7:30 this morning, the parking lot at my office building is an ice rink and the side roads are freezing up quickly. It’s going to be a mess today as the temps drop.

      Here’s text from the WWA issued on Wednesday evening:


      1. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

        Yet again, I read the forecast. Totally ridiculous to have a loooooong advisory when there really wasn’t much at all yesterday. Ridiculous way of issuing headlines. Period.

  6. carol dee says:

    So summer comes in late June and leaves in August I suppose..whatever happened to the long summers?

    1. Lisa (Caledonia) says:

      You must be forgetting 2012, when we had high 80s in March… ;)

      1. AlleganJoe says:

        That was in 2012…not…2014.!! The weather has changed and this year we may have a cool Summer with temps in the 70′s if we are fortunate. :(

  7. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

    It’s still to early to listen to that! (And the wind woke me up)

  8. Brad (Van Buren) says:

    I was right about this being a yawner. Some nice rain yesterday/last night, little breezy, but the cool down did not come as early as I thought, and didn’t get any fog here. It was 43 when I went to bed at midnight, it is still 39 degrees here at 6am and my deck has completely dried out. I was expecting to wake up to everything being frozen solid by the talks of things.

    1. BigCountry(Wyoming, MI) says:

      Agreed, nothing crazy in West MI. Although you wouldn’t have had to go more than 150 miles or so south for tornadoes!

  9. fixxxer says:

    I doubt we will be that cold going into may bill. You guys says this often. We all know its too early to give spring predictions. You guys are just going by the persistant cold pattern. I think we will just transistion right into summer myself.

    1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

      You may very well be right, Fixxx.

    2. michael g (se GR) says:

      Was it too early to forecast a cold winter in November? Apparently not.

      1. Jerry says:

        In late December the Weather channel had their January forecast on weather.com. They predicted above normal temps for the Great Lakes for January! lol

  10. Mark (East Lansing) says:

    In my never-ending quest for a silver lining, my car is the cleanest it’s been since September.

    1. Brenda (Otsego) says:

      Yep. Free car washes yesterday.

  11. Julie says:

    I am going to cry. I am just hoping for a good and fast frost heave so we can get some firewood…or, at least, a good melt a freeze for firewood. We plan a year ahead and went thru 1 1/2 winters of wood. Allllll that work and praying we don’t need wood thru May. Come on spring!!!!!

  12. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

    Lord I hope it’s not another repeat of 2009 or worse, but it’s almost looking promising. We need a good melt and warm we have a house to list a yard to get cleaned up for listing and so on. But then again, maybe hiding what is under the snow up here at the YardOfDucks wouldn’t be a bad thing while listing and showing, LOL ;-) But hey it’s fantastic fertilizer.

    1. BigCountry(Wyoming, MI) says:

      Houses still sell in the winter, list away!

    2. GunLakeDeb says:

      Oooh Swatz – I hear ya about “what lurks beneath”…. my yard is going to be a “Ten-Bagger”. Ugh.

  13. Stacsh says:

    The advisory was for early thursday and today, it’s snowing hard here in Grand Haven, icing up real quick

  14. Mark (East Lansing) says:

    Lansing and GR hit 43 yesterday. Muskegon 40, Holland 43 and Flint (sorry Travis, beat you to it) was 45 yesterday. Fortunately, it didn’t drop below freezing overnight. As someone mentioned last night, the roads (around here at least) have been blown dry except for the ponding of water, so the commute into work was uneventful. Now back to winter, but it was fun while it lasted.

  15. Travis (Oakland County) says:

    My snow drift on my patio has gone from 16″ to 7″ this morning. Parking lots have become lakes. The wind really hasn’t been too bad here.

    Looks like a fourth warm day in a row and the 6th out of my last 9. It’s been a nice break. Actually, this weekend looks pretty nice too.

    1. michael g (se GR) says:

      Yeah, quite a warm day. Wind chills in the low teens and near blizzard conditions. Balmy!!

  16. Me :-) says:

    See some snow moving in. Combined with the wind that might be tricky. How much snow is expected for today?

  17. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

    51MPH gust!! The wind is much worse than the freeze up

  18. Stephen(NorthMuskegon) says:

    Man is the wind nasty around the lakeshore if i had to estimate gusts are anywhere from 60-70 mph

  19. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

    I think we should have a wind advisory instead of a winter weather advisory…

    1. BigCountry(Wyoming, MI) says:

      No offense intended young grasshopper, but it doesn’t matter what you think, you’re not pulling the strings at NWS! (Yet) :)

    2. GunLakeDeb says:

      I agree – I’d hate to be pulling a high-profile trailer right now. It’s probably why the highways are closed in spots – vehicles BLOWN from one lane to the next? The wind is awful here – it feels like the gusts are in the 40+ range….

  20. INDY says:

    Hey sw kent thanks for telling us our snow would be gone ok half gone !! Lost maybe 4-5 inches still have 20+ with 6-8 foot piles out at theee YARDofBRICKS and wow its snowing !!!! WHO WOULD OF THOUGHT!! LET IT SNOW LET IOT SNOW LET IT SNOW!! INDYY!!

    1. Barry in Zeeland says:

      Pretty close. As I posted last night, my Tuesday morning measurement was at 29 inches, last night I measured an average of 16 inches. Just about exactly half.

      1. INDY says:

        Enjoy !!! INDYY!!

      2. BigCountry(Wyoming, MI) says:

        That’s crazy how different your measurement is from mine, the snow has settled 6″ here since Monday. I went from 28″ to 22″

        1. Barry in Zeeland says:

          My Tuesday measurement was early morning before Monday’s snowfall settled much. That was a light fluffy snow.

      3. DJ2450 (Central Gratiot) says:

        We only drpped 3″ here. However, the snow on the ground here is primarily synoptic snow so it’s more dense and compacted to begin with.

  21. DF (SE Mich) says:

    Well it did get up around 50° almost everywhere in southeast Michigan for an hour… at midnight… Man I wish I could have felt that. GR made it to 43° for just a moment. Anyway, now everything is a sheet of ice, the roads are not good over here.

    1. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

      I went out here when I had a temp of 41 and it felt and smelled “spring like” I just went out and took some snow depth readings and now its snowing and wind and it feels cold and “winter like”

  22. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

    Here we are on Friday morning. The temp here has now gotten down to 32° and there is light snow and blowing snow. Also its rather windy. The snow pack here in the yard is now in the 13 to 17” range so while there is still a lot of snow on the ground here it’s a lot less then it was on Tuesday AM. Of course the snow we now have is very crusty and almost ice like.

    1. DF (SE Mich) says:

      Still a ton of water content in that snow I bet.

      1. BigCountry(Wyoming, MI) says:

        Big time, I don’t think we lost any water content but gained it with .68″ of rain.
        I’ve also been wondering if the ice layer towards the bottom of the snowpack from the December ice storm has any positive or negative impact on rain falling on it and snowmelt above it. It would probably shield the liquid from having a chance to soak into the ground, which won’t really happen much at this point with frost in the ground anyways. IDK

      2. michael g (se GR) says:

        Grand River hardly rose at all. Flooding risk for spring higher than ever.

  23. DF (SE Mich) says:

    I now average about 6″ of snow in my yard, not nearly as much snow melt as I thought would happen. Flint is definitely in sight of the all-time record for continuous snow cover. Detroit will reach the top 3 easily but the record is still 20 days away.

  24. INDY says:


    1. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

      I would not go that far but the light snow we are getting is blowing around a lot.

  25. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

    Anyone have any idea of how deep the frost is in the ground? I heard Kzoo has told people to keep their water running. But I have not heard of a lot of water main breaks just yet.

    1. Barry in Zeeland says:

      I was wondering that to. A friend of mine is going to start digging out a basement for his new house in about 2 weeks. Curios to see how far down it’s frozen.

    2. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

      They said about 5 feet

    3. DF (SE Mich) says:

      I have no idea about this map accuracy but here is something from the NWS.

      1. BigCountry(Wyoming, MI) says:

        Those numbers are about all I’ve heard from multiple sources, so I guess we go with that.

        1. DF (SE Mich) says:

          I think road commissions are the official source since they administer frost laws, but you’d have to call probably.

      2. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

        I would think that will all the snow on the ground it would act to insulate the ground but in the streets where its plowed it could be deeper then where there is snow cover. As you said not sure if that is accurate or not. You would think maybe farmers may keep an eye out on that and for sure you think city water departments would also. And of course one good group of people to ask would be grave diggers.

  26. Brian(Grandville) says:

    My wife just called and told me the roads are pure ice. I have to go to Hudsonville at 9. Take it slow out there people.

  27. INDY says:


  28. INDY says:

    Just had a 57 mph wind gust out at thee YARDofBRICKS wow!!!! INDYY

  29. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

    Here is the CPC’s very long range (guidance) for next winter I have to wonder how this will play out.

    And of course be for next winter come we have to have a summer season and here is the CPC’s long range take on the upcoming summer.

    1. DF (SE Mich) says:

      Their long term guess for this Nov-Dec-Jan was the worst prediction I’ve ever seen out of them. I have zero confidence in those long range guesses.

    2. Jim S (Saugatuck Twp) says:

      Just about every long term forecast is the same. I can’t recall them ever forecasting a cold winter or summer a year in advance.

    3. Jeremy (Three Rivers) says:

      They almost never forecast cold weather. 90% of the time they don’t use even the lightest shade of blue in their forecasts.

  30. dano (Norton Shores) says:

    Horrible visibility, snowing and 28*. Nice way to start the weekend.

  31. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

    Can we say whiteout? Wow. Seriously. White. Out. :P

    Yes, yooper, WWA is appropriate…..for today! :)

    1. Eileen (Hesperia) says:

      Same here! Feel sorry for all those who are on the roads today. Be safe out there!!

  32. Dan says:

    It is almost Blizzard-like conditions out there! WOW! Be careful if you have to drive! Those winds are really creating huge visibility issues! The WWA makes sense to me.

  33. Pog says:

    WOW….Just saw Dorothy and Toto fly by with the wicked witch of the cold Siberian vortex express right behind them…Anyone know how long this wind is supposed to last and what the max gust has been…If I were a guessing man I’d say pretty close to 70..My slider window is going in and out like a squeeze box (Cue…Jack….Cueing Jack>>>)

    1. Dan says:

      Daddy’s got a squeeze box, Momma don’t come home at all! Classic tune!

  34. Sandi says:

    Sounds like a repeat of last year Bill.

  35. Travis Ulberg (West of Martin, Allegan County) says:

    Snowing light to moderate here with only a little accumulation so far. Hoping for at least an inch to give us some traction on our roads, and for snowmobiling. I can tell we didn’t lose a lot of snow because the snow is only 3-4″ below the top of our picnic table. It’s the first time we’ve been able to see any part of the picnic table in weeks.

    1. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

      I have an old fence post (4ft) in my far back yard and the snow is still well over half way up but there is more showing then there has been a while.

    2. Barb says:

      I still have bushes and small trees entirely covered in my front yard.

  36. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

    Also getting light to at times moderate snow fall here and a lot of blowing snow. Have to get ready and make an appearance at work so will see how bad the roads and visibility is. One more item the temp is now down to 30° here now.

  37. Barb says:

    I will be heading to warm Utah the week after next to enjoy some hiking and biking!

  38. Brian(Grandville) says:

    Just got back from Hudsonville. Zero visibility with snow and blowing snow. I had to come to a complete stop 3 times before I could see the road. That was on Quincy st btw.

  39. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

    We have received about two inches of new snow, and it has NOT helped roads very much. The roads and visibility are awful out there. Please be careful folks. Intersections are REALLY bad. Take care!

  40. Mark (East Lansing) says:

    I feel for all you westsiders. Not much happening here other than wind. Actually, the sun just came out briefly.

    1. Jeff (Richland) says:

      Not much happened here are Kzoo either. When I came into work at 9am the roads were either dry or just a little wet in places. The potholes, on the other hand, are out of control. Some roads are so bad patching will not work and they need to be milled and resurfaced.

      1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

        Can you imagine what they’re going to be like in a month or two? Tire and alignment shops are going be to making a ton of money.

  41. Brenda (Otsego) says:

    New blog.

  42. John (Norton Shores) says:

    I was actually supprised there were very few schools closed this morning but anyways, zero visibilty for much of the morning and blowing snow and the roads are very slippery!

    1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

      You sound disappointed.

  43. Jeff (Richland) says:

    Those predictions and graphics are very depressing Bill. I don’t even care about being above average, I would be OK with just AVERAGE temperatures. It feels like this pattern will never end and a cooler than average Spring and Summer prediction is tough to swallow at this point.

    1. fixxxer says:

      Every year they preach a cold spring and summer and it never pans out. Id say it will be about normal. Joe.b must make these maps up. Him and his cold weather bias-hype.

  44. Wswplz says:

    I think we can thank the rain for one thing, and that’s the compacted snowpack, it would be much worse today if the snow was loose with these srtrong winds. I’m just trying to find a silver lining in this messy weather we have, because it’s nasty out!

  45. mr. negative says:

    No spring, cold summer, early, long winter…routine for the next 5-10 years.

    1. Dingid Forester jr. says:

      = time to move.

  46. JoAnne says:

    They are also predicting a warmer fall and winter of 2014/2015

Leave a Reply