Ice Growing Again on the Great Lakes

March 17th, 2014 at 9:16 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

modis lake michigan   Modis Lake Superiormodis lake huronmodis lake eriemodis great lakes    modis lake ontario Click on the images to enlarge. These are the MODIS satellite pictures taken yesterday (Sun.) and today. Skies were mostly clear over most of the Great Lakes, so we have a pretty clear view of the ice on the lakes. If you look at this graph, you can see that ice cover has actually increased on Lake Michigan over the past few days with the cold air, up around 15% coverage. Houghton was -20° Sunday morning, the coldest temperature ever so late in the season and 37° colder than average.  Through Monday, Grand Rapids is 10.5° colder than average for March.  This is the 5th consecutive month with colder than average temperatures in G.R. (Nov. was 2.3° colder than average, Dec. 3.1° colder than average, Jan. 6.3° colder than average and Feb. 9.1° colder than average).  We have now hit 100 consecutive  days with an inch or more of snow on the ground in G.R. and 98 consecutive days with 4″ or more of snow on the ground.   Tomorrow Muskegon hits 60 consecutive days with 12″ or more of snow on the ground.    The long range outlook continues the cool pattern, with a few days getting to average temperatures and most days staying below average.    The 6-10 day European looks “outrageously cold“  for Michigan and the Great Lakes.

Also:  Truck flips over on Hansen Bridge in Idaho.  Freezing rain has caused traffic accidents and power outages in parts of North Carolina.   Surf’s up in CaliforniaJapanese model keeps the Great Lakes cooler than average into at least early April.   Here’s what the White House looked like on St. Patrick’s Day morning – with the fountain turned green.    10-day is crazy-cold.   Winter Storm Warning E. South Dakota across Minnesota to NW Wisconsin.

The overnight European model gives G.R. a total of 0.44″ of precipitation thru Thursday AM – most of it rain, with maybe an inch of snow at the back end.   The GFS plot has 0.36″ with the same inch of snow as it ends.  Watch for slick spots on the roads Weds. night into early Thursday.

29 Responses to “Ice Growing Again on the Great Lakes”

  1. INDY says:

    Wow Bill the cool pattern continues no Spring!! Bring on Summer Now!! INDYY!

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

    There is some serious cold coming our way. The Euro is trying to take us 20-30° below average next week. Our average high by next week will be closing in on 50°. Could be more records broken.

    1. John (Norton Shores) says:

      Very cold for this time of the year!

  3. Brian(Grandville) says:

    I was hoping to have more corned beef left over for tomorrow, but everyone just kept eating it. I guess spring has taken a rain check this year.

  4. kevin. w says:

    I think the lake shore areas will have a hard time getting out of the 60s at least through June. A farmer told me today there is 4 feet of frost in the ground and said that planting looks to be at the earliest Mid May if not the end of May. We all like our food and if this continues could be looking at a multi billion dollar disaster. I sure hope not and I’m ready for at least some normal temperatures and forget this cold snow BS.

    1. Jim S (Saugatuck Twp) says:

      Just read an article today about how farmers and gardeners may be looking at a bountiful summer due to fewer crop damaging insects reduced by the cold weather. I’m sure people will look at the glass half full or the glass half empty….but it’s out of our hands so we’ll see what mother nature has in store.

      1. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

        Interesting!! Two different perspectives…

  5. Larry of Hastings, barry co says:

    This cold/hard winter cost will run in the billions. I am sure the spring severe weather will also be costly.

  6. Michael g (se GR) says:

    Euro looks brutally cold to end the month (relative to average of course), 5 DAY MEAN close to 30* below normal. Astounding. March will definitely be our 5th month in a row below average, likely be the 5th month in a row colder relative to average than the month that preceded it.

  7. kevin. w says:

    I’ll say this: the weather from now on is going to be one interesting puppy as we go into a whole other season(s).

  8. Larry of Hastings, barry co says:

    The ice fishing people are enjoying this long cold season.

    1. Michael g (se GR) says:

      Ice baits were out on Reeds Lake today. The snow has melted off of the lake, and then this past weekend’s frigid temps froze it smooth and solid. The whole lake looks like a perfect skating rink.

      1. Michael g (se GR) says:

        Ice “boats”.

  9. kevin. w says:

    I did look up the first flakes of the year as do every year and it was Oct.7 so I’d say we’ve had 6 months of cold and….

  10. Larry of Hastings, barry co says:

    I am also concern. Are we looking at another Palm Sunday 1965? We are way over due for a major outbreak. There is nothing we can do about severe weather, but we can plan ahead.

    1. GunLakeDeb says:

      Don’t forget that we worried about that last winter, too (the freak warmup) – and it didn’t happen. Praying this year will be “quiet” also. I bought Ernie Ostuno’s book about the tornado outbreak of 1956: GR had received 6″ of snow the last few days of March; then a warmup came along on the 3rd and all hell broke loose. I can’t imagine what an f-5 tearing through West Michigan would be like now…..

  11. Brian(Grandville) says:

    The latest satellite pics look like Torch Lake is mostly frozen. Which is rare I assume.

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      Torch Lake is a relatively deep lake (deepest point 285 feet deep, average depth of 111 feet):,_Michigan%29 So, it’s harder and slower to freeze in the winter.

  12. John (Norton Shores) says:

    I just watched a youtube video about someone talking about severe weather chances this year, and that person is really concerned about a number of derechos impacting the Great lakes this summer because of the position of the jet stream.

    1. kevin.w says:

      Yep I’ve been hearing the same thing. Big warm up followed by big cool down will mean big mean storms. IMO

      1. Jacob G says:

        With a weak El Nino coming on I remember back in August 09 during the last El Nino event and cool summer. Powerful line of storms with through Fruitport to Kent City and we got hit pretty nasty. I remember it was one of the few hot days that year in the 90′s before the storm line developed and came through. We didn’t have power for about a week and we lost several trees however the week following it was cool temps in the 60′ and 70′s. It made for cleanup easier when it was less humid and warm out.

        1. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

          Oh boy. That was awful around here. I remember it much like you. Cool summer, and then we had a really hot week that ended with those storms. Some people were without power for weeks here…some couldn’t even get to their homes. (I live just outside of Fruitport)

    2. Larry of Hastings, barry co says:

      Derechos storms do more damage than tornado in most cases.

    3. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

      That would make sense. The same pattern that has brought us clippers this winter and possibly even next week, would bring us derechos along the same track.

  13. Jack says:

    Bill, I Love These MODIS Pics. Every Time You Put Them UP. Stil Thinks these Pics. Would Make a AWESOME Design on a TIE!!! Or a Artprize Entry if Designed Properly ! Thoughts…..Bill or Anyone….. BTW..Stay CUED..”………… ;-)

  14. Tom Merkel says:

    When does the Jetstream get pushed back where it belongs?

  15. jake says:

    hey Bill why don’t you spend a week in antantarctica. I guarantee you once you come back you wont want the cold and snow

    1. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

      Yikes! How was your time there?

    2. GunLakeDeb says:

      You understand that Bill is reporting the weather, right??

      I suspect that if Bill had ANY influence over the weather – that he’d be making it warmer because EVERYBODY is complaining about it and he’s sick of hearing them whine ;-)

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