Amazing Increase in Ice on Lake Michigan

March 1st, 2014 at 12:11 am by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

lake michigan ice noaa coastwatch    Winter Kewaunee Feb. 15 2014 Fisherman 5 degrees Norm Ray WLUK  Click on the images to enlarge.  The graph on the left is the percentage of ice cover on Lake Michigan.  I can’t remember a time when I’ve seen it go up and down and up that much that quickly.  We had the ice accumulating up to +80% coverage…then we had the big wind storm on the 21st with gusts to 60-65 mph across Lake Michigan, which broke up a lot of the ice cover.  Then, we get a very cold night with little or no wind and look at how much ice (albeit thin and vulnerable to breaking up again) reformed on the lake by late Friday (the 28th).   The picture on the right was taken by Norm Ray at Kewaunee, Wisconsin on Feb. 15th.  The wind had blown the ice away from shore and you can see lake-effect clouds forming in the background.  You can also see the “steam” rising off the open water near the pier (breakwater).  That steam caused by cold air coming over relatively (important word) warm water is sometimes called “Arctic Smoke”.   There is a lone fisherman.  The temperature was 5 above zero (pic. from WLUK).   BTW, Green Bay has now set a record for most below zero temperatures in a winter.

Model update:  The European would give GRR a total of 2-3″ of snow by Sunday am – a little more south toward I-94 and a little less to the north…we’re slightly below zero on the Euro. Monday and Tues. AM and we get another 3/4″ of snow Tues. PM.  We finally get above freezing on Friday.  The NAM (car.) has 1.9″ of snow and then 3.8″ Sat. night for G.R…looks a little high.  The GFS has about 2″ of snow for G.R. (a little more to the south, mainly Sat. evening/night) and another couple inches Tues.  The GFS plot has lows of 3 and 6 on Mon. and Thurs. nights and it gets to 32 Friday and keeps temps. at or below freezing thru 3/17!!  (overdone…but you get the picture…the snow is going to be slow to melt this year.

Also, check out this picture of the icy grip of winter!  Let’s give that man a hand.  Here’s a pic. of the small tornado in N. California.  Downtown L.A. had the first calendar day with an inch or more of rain on Thursday since Oct. 2011.  Think spring!  Here’s 3 minutes of time-lapse flowers blooming.   Check out the cool pics. of snowflakesAnimals growing up (and people).  50-foot high snowman.   NBC news reporter needs to be rescued.

229 Responses to “Amazing Increase in Ice on Lake Michigan”

  1. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

    NWS added an advisory for one inch of snow… Im assuming that they issued this advisory just because it will be impacting the Sunday morning commute?

    1. Cort S. says:

      Nah, it’ll end before the church rush. Point forecast goes for 3 inches possible in Kent. Localized brief heavy snow bursts possible, with reduced visibilities. Some people in the advisory may see 4″.

    2. If your seen 1 inch of snow as the reason you need to not use the point and click, those are worthless I think. Go to the text products and find you area those tend to be more of what they “nws” intends. The WWA area should see a solid 2-3 with some 4 inch amounts or so I think.

      1. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

        Oh okay, it just seems like they should go with ’2-4′ inches… one is a little low. Unless they aren’t confident, which worries me a bit.

        1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

          The RDB model predicted a solid 2-4 inch event about 8 hours ago! It is a rock solid lock! Mark it down!

  2. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    Let me describe the condition of the trails today! INCREDIBLY AWESOME! What a GREAT winter day! I am sure that fixxxer and fixxxer jr went outside and enjoyed this FANTASTIC winter day :)

  3. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    I see that we are in a WWA and they are forecasting 2-4 inches of SNOW for GR! Um where have I heard that before? Imagine that! Who Knew?

  4. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    Wow it is SNOWING again! Not bad for a DRY week :) Keep those dry weeks coming!

  5. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

    Urgh, why do I even look at NWS forecasts. “An inch or less” for the Muskegon area? We already have a nice thick covering with that heavy band over the lake not even here yet. So it goes from 2 to 3 inches to a heavy dusting in one county?

    Urgh, Urgh, Urgh. The NWS almost always gives us the least amount in their forecasts.

    Who knows. Perhaps I’m completely wrong. :P

    1. Cort S. says:

      Nope, being out of the advisory does not equal a dusting. Looking at their grids this afternoon through tomorrow morning, they give Muskegon 2.5, Holland 3.5, GR airport 3.6.

      1. Cort S. says:

        And if you free yourself from the tyranny of political boundaries, perhaps the NWS would have chosen this demarcation for the yes/no advisory decision: (roughly South Olive to GR to Flint if the link changes)
        So that’s another way of looking at it. How would you draw the line? There are no wrong answers. Or every answer you choose is wrong. Paradoxically, both of the previous statements can be true when you take a north-to-south impact spectrum and change it to binary.

      2. Chip Byrd (North Holland) says:

        Do you think that there will be much LE on the other side of this storm?

        1. Cort S. says:

          There will be a mid-lake convergence band tonight, with NW winds from Wisconsin meeting up with NE winds from Michigan. Sunday afternoon-evening, whatever is left of that band may be nudged ashore south of Holland. Does not look to be significant.

      3. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

        The zone forecast says “an inch or less” for Muskegon County.

        Perhaps that is the problem with having several meteorologists working on different parts of a forecast…

        1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

          An inch or less! What a joke! Ridiculous!

        2. Cort S. says:

          That’s a computer algorithm that takes the grids and spits out a zone forecast for the counties. Don’t know why it’s saying an inch or less. It shouldn’t.

          Actually… since I checked the grids, they’ve updated them. They give you a half inch this afternoon, plus almost an inch overnight. So that’s why the algorithm says an inch or less for the overnight period… though in reality, their grids now imply a total of about 1.5.

          Come on, students! Please learn from me!

        3. Mark (East Lansing) says:

          Or maybe your area is merely a fraction of NWS GR’s 141,000 sq mi area of responsibility and you really should take their “pinpoint” forecast with a grain of salt.

    2. Rocky (Rockford) says:

      They have consistently missed the Muskegon forecasts and left them out of many WWA they should have been in. How about last night – they predicted 1 to 1.5 inches and you got 3 to 4 inches! No surprise that is exactly what the RDB model predicted for Muskegon! Imagine that!

      1. Cort S. says:

        But then you’ve got all the CoCoRaHS observers from Holland to Ludington saying it was 1.5 to 2 inches, so maybe you and the NWS are equally wrong, depending on who you ask.

        1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

          Now that is about the best point I have heard on the blog all month! Keep up the good work Cort! I love it!

        2. Wswplz says:


        3. BlueRooster (NE GR) says:

          Best post in a while! Haha!

  6. Jim ( Spring Lake) says:

    Snowing very light. Just a dusting so far at SLCC.

  7. Jeremy (Three Rivers) says:

    All the snow is north of me so far… Heavier stuff coming later:

  8. Dan (Byron Center) says:

    Snow has picked up a bit. If it will stay at this rate, we could get 5 inches by tomorrow! Going for the #1 spot ! 2013-14 snowiest on record!

    1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

      That is the spirit!

  9. Ned S. (East of Holland) says:

    Light to moderate snow in the Holland area. We received about 1 1/2 to 2 inches overnight Friday. We could conceivably break Holland’s seasonal record. I believe it’s somewhere around 159 inches. We’ve had close to 145 now.

  10. Wswplz says:

    Is it fairly safe to say that storms which eject from the south tend to have ratios 10 -1 or less where storms like these would be around that or more and finally Northern track storms 20 to 1 just as an average? Basing them on general dynamics, not specifics of course.

    1. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

      Wow, and STILL following the Ohio Valley track…lol

      Nice, beautiful flakes falling here. Time to stop grading and enjoy my second walk for the day outside.

      1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

        Oh ya and all of those warm weather nuts that keep telling me winter is over and we will be seeing some warm weather soon will be in for a rude awakening! We have two or three more SNOWSTORMS still to come! COLD and SNOW ROCKS!

    2. Wswplz says:

      I have to give credit where credit is do, as I didn’t think we had to much chance in getting an additional 36-48″ of snow, I think it was Feb. 15 -20ish when you said that Rockey. Looking at just the 36″ I would say there is a good chance and who knows maybe more. Nice call!

      1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

        Thanks and just the facts baby!

  11. Wswplz says:

    Im surprised Bill hasn’t started a new thread with with the traditional waring / advisories map, or is he on tonight’s weather, no tomorrow ?

    1. Paul m says:

      It’s going to all rain!

    2. Wswplz says:

      Did you happen to see Washington…!

      1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

        15 inches of rain! WOW!

    3. IrritatedLurker says:

      oh my god no we do not need another foot and a half of snow.

    4. Cort S. says:

      If only you knew how far into model fantasy land you have taken that map.

      1. Rocky (Rockford) says:


      2. Wswplz says:

        Yes, I was about to mention Washington washed into the sea….

  12. Debbie (Jenison) says:

    Coming down here pretty good in Jenison. Cottonwood Dr. is already snow covered. It is so pretty, big fat snowflakes. Stay safe and warm out there tonight!

    1. Wswplz says:

      Big Fat Flakes….I like it! Thanks Debbie..

  13. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

    Snowing pretty nicely here right now. It looks like a band has set up along 1-96 south of Muskegon right now.

  14. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    Has anyone noticed that we are still entrenched in COLD and SNOWY pattern! Not bad for a dry week :)

    1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

      Nice map!

    2. AJ (Cedar Springs) says:

      3-5 for my area. I like the looks of that!

  15. Michael g (se GR) says:

    I’m not tired of snow yet, but I’m ALMOST tired of snow. Never thought I’d say that. :-)

    1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

      Almost is the key word! I don’t think that I could ever get tired of SNOW, SNOW and more SNOW! Bring it!

  16. John (Norton Shores) says:

    Tomorrow night looks like another very cold one especially if we clear out.

  17. IrritatedLurker says:

    FACT IS, it is MARCH! Yes winter is probably going to stick around longer than it usually does, but the FACT is we ARE officially almost done with the winter season and it WILL stop snowing. There is NOTHING wrong with being SICK and TIRED of slippery roads and dangerous temperatures after enduring this brutal season! BRING ON SPRING!

    1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

      Wow take a pill!

    2. yooper4021 says:

      Thanks for sharing.

  18. John (Norton Shores) says:

    It’s only March first and I already have almost half of March average snowfall, average March snowfall is around 8″ and I have received close to 4″ of snow with last nights snowfall and today’s snowfall.

    1. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

      But we are anticipating some very light winds, so windchills won’t be a factor thankfully :)

    2. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

      Thank you, John! I knew for sure we got more than “1 to 2 inches” last night.

  19. Cort S. says:

    The latest HRRR simulated radar forecast: click here

  20. on the Grand says:

    Clocks spring forward next week.

  21. Jeremy (Three Rivers) says:

    Snowing like crazy!

  22. Mark (East Lansing) says:

    Good call on the WWA. Low visibility, roads are snow-covered and slick. We have 2″ now. Big fluffy flakes coming down. It’s quite beautiful – and enjoyable since it’s not brutally cold for a change.

  23. GunLakeDeb says:

    I’m blown away by how fast Lake Michigan refroze!!! Think of the volume of water…… just amazing. And hopefully will keep the Lake Effect to a minimum? Not that a good wind won’t break it all up again.

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