Great Lakes Ice 400% of Average for 3/26

March 26th, 2014 at 10:43 am by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

Great Lakes Ice March 26 2014   muskegon glerl 3 26 14 Click on the images to enlarge.  The Great Lakes have 400% more ice cover than on an average 3/26 and this is a record extent for any 3/26.  As of Weds. AM (3/26), Lake Michigan has a 48.8% ice cover, Lake Superior is at 89.2% coverage, Lake Huron 84.8%, Lake Erie 85.6%, and Lake Ontario.  While the link lasts, here’s the sunset from the Muskegon Beach Tues. eveningLots of ice on the Alpena GLERL camera, looking out on Lake Huron.

The low temperature of 7° in G.R. was just one degree shy of the record low of 6° set in 1996.  Other low temps. this morning:  9° Kalamazoo, 0° Fremont, -3° Big Rapids, -4° Entrican (Montcalm Co.) and Manistee, -5° Baldwin and Reed City, -10 Wellston (Manistee Co.), -14° Cadillac, -17° Lake City and Wakefield, -21 Spincich Lake (in the U.P.).   Snow cover:  trace Grand Rapids and Lansing, 2″ Big Rapids, 3″ Muskegon, Reed City, Hopkins, 8″ Hart, 12″ Baldwin, 16″ Houghton Lake, 28″ S. Ste Marie, 31″ Ironwood and Newberry, 36″ Marquette (airport), 43″ Grand Marais, 47″ Mohawk.   The GFS model is forecasting up to 10″ of snow for the eastern U.P.

House collapse on Cape Cod from strong wind.    Snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere has been increasing over the past couple decades.

139 Responses to “Great Lakes Ice 400% of Average for 3/26”

  1. Should begin to get rid of more of that ice coming up starting tomorrow and beyond. Especially with 50 degree temps and some rain showers

  2. Florida1993 says:

    Glad I don’t live in the eastern U.P.

  3. Jeremy (Three Rivers) says:

    Just to state how annoying this cold has been… Accuweather’s 45 day forecast does not have a 70 on it. And it goes into May…

    1. Accuweather has major temperature shifts on a daily basis

  4. Jim S (Saugatuck Twp) says:

    I hope the 12Z GFS is wrong, but it is showing a significant storm toward the middle of next week with ice/snow to rain, then back to ice/snow. Would be a travel nightmare for those traveling for spring break.

    1. J-rod says:

      Yikes, have a robotics competition in Iowa … Should be interesting at least.

  5. Wswplz says:

    So when did the blog become some politically charged, jeez. I was reading a thread from a few days back and oh my, I guess fossil fuels should be a stone better left unturned on this blog. I’m not looking forward to the mess this rain is going to cause, although It will be nice to feel the heat wave that is coming with the rain. I was talking with a friend of mine last night who lives in Colorado and she asked me how cold it was there, I replied oh not very cold it’s 9 out right now so pretty comfortable. She thinks I have lost it, which may be true, but it is quite funny how we begin to adjust to what we define as warm.

    1. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

      That was nothing. A couple of years ago, it was actually worse. Anybody remember BigDaddy?

      1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

        BDBC? I thought I saw him on here not too long ago.

        1. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

          Oh yeah? I haven’t seen him. He and Dan (and Bill) used to go at it for long periods of time.

        2. Mark (East Lansing) says:

          There were so really colorful exchanges, no doubt.

        3. Mark (East Lansing) says:


        4. Dan says:

          Yes I remember those days. Where did the Big Daddy go? It may be difficult for me to admit but I actually kind of miss reading his posts.
          Since when does having a conservative view point become evil?
          It has always been interesting to me that the most powerful people in the United States cannot even sit down to accomplish the tasks of this nation. I scale it down, the people of influence at our capitol building in Lansing many times will not even talk to each other. Just because of a certain view, that automatically makes the other view wrong?
          A lot more could/would get accomplished locally and nationally if influential people in elected offices just communicated with one another. It’s been this way for years for what purpose? RANT over! Back to the weather.
          It sure looks nice outside. Can we get some warm temperatures pleases? I think, just to have some fun. I am going to open my garage door this weekend, start the lawn mower and bring it out of the garage. I may even go up and down the sidewalks with it. JUST FOR FUN!

        5. Mike M. says:

          Big daddy gave up just like they all do in the end. The important thing is to stay in their face. Punch back, twice as hard. They have thick heads but tin chins. They hate being stood up to.

      2. DF (SE Mich) says:

        He’ll be back when it’s warm.

        1. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

          Hah. True! Out of hibernation mode.

    2. Larry of Hastings, barry co says:

      Fossil fuel is more dependable than wind/solar energy. It’s about time red blooded Americans stand up to the extreme leftwing, if we don’t, it’s goodbye U S A.

      1. Ansel says:

        I believe a red blooded American would prefer to protect the land instead of destroy it. But hey, if its more dependable.

      2. Ansel says:

        Bill, what does that have to do with anything? If you were to post something that were related such as:
        it may make a little more sense as I’m not sure what your link has to do with anything. Im sure if they were NRA protesters you would have no problem with them, because guns are liberty but a healthy environment is not. Right? If you want to make political points just come out and say it like I have, but don’t masquerade as a weather blog and rip on anyone that believes in environmentalism or climate change.

        1. Bill Steffen says:

          Read your comment (4:06 pm) and then go to the link that I posted above. Most people will get it. It’s people like me (various Boy Scout conservation projects, helping to start the Dane Co. Clean-Up while a student at the Univ. of Wis.) and my family (my mother helped start recycling in her town) and people like Deb who actually do the work. So many others (and I’m not accusing you personally) pontificate, but don’t walk-the-walk: Conservatives have done and do a lot for the environment…look who started the EPA:

        2. Resourceful Nana says:

          It’s easier (and less expensive) to find ways to improve the dependability of solar and wind than to clean up coal ash, nuclear waste, and oil spills in the Gulf, Great Lakes, and Kalamazoo River. For example, use the wind to pump water up hill and then, when the wind isn’t blowing, let the water fall and turn elec. generating turbines. There’s other workable ideas out there. Michigan stands to grow more jobs from renewables than from burning more coal-which isn’t mined in these-here parts. This isn’t about left or right, it’s about common sense. If we pollute enough of our water and soil with fossil fuel and nuclear waste, it will be goodbye habitable earth, and not just for red-blooded humans, but for all living species–well, then again, I’m sure some bacteria will thrive.

        3. Ansel says:

          I applaud your efforts! I worked in the outdoor education industry for the last decade where we try to impart some conservation values in youth. Positive experiences in nature as a youth are the #1 determinant of whether an adult will have “land ethic.” Conservatives have, historically done much for the environment, but the recent track record leaves much to be desired. As for you resourceful Nana, you make good points. While alt. energy is not where we want it to be, with some resources and innovation it could catch up REAL quick. Germany is a good example, They increased renewables to from 6% to 25% in 12 years! I would like to think we could do better! Furthermore, our water will soon a very scarce resource, :
          (ask California) and we should make every effort to protect it. The water one fracking well uses is obscene. Water that as of now, we have no way of using again.

        4. Ansel says:

          Heres a good video explaining the challenges that await. Its done really well.

        5. Bill Steffen says:

          Nana – I disagree with your first sentence. If that were true, someone (from the mighty John Holdren to George Soros) would be doing it. As I said…when we need electricity the most (on the hottest days in summer and coldest days in winter), solar and wind energy are often of little help.

          Again, the DOE map shows that most all of Michigan is in the fair to poor category for wind energy:

          Solar is less viable in Michigan that just about any other state due to the persistent cloud cover (82% this winter) during the cold season when we need energy the most.

          Someone can correct me if I’m wrong but I think even the Zeeland Generating Station (one city block) makes more electricity than The Ludington Pumped Storage Facility (which takes up 1,000 acres). A cost-of-generation would be useful, too.

          I could generate a whole lot of jobs if we switched to people on treadmills to generate electricity. Making electricity significantly more expensive will cost jobs.

        6. Bill Steffen says:

          Ansel – Germany has seen the light and is backing away from the energy-poverty that is the result of the huge costs associated with embracing less unreliable and over-expensive energy:

          From the article: “Former Environment Minister Jürgen Tritten of the Green Party once claimed that switching Germany to renewable energy wasn’t going to cost citizens more than one scoop of ice cream. Today his successor, Altmaier admits consumers are paying enough to “eat everything on the ice cream menu.”

          And this from the New York Times:

          “Mr. Taeuber relies on just a single five-watt bulb that gives off what he calls a “cozy” glow to light his kitchen when he comes home at night.”

          Folks, these people call themselves “progressives”, but this is not progress. It’s regressive, not progressive. It’s an unnecessary burden on the poor and middle class, on the elderly and those on fixed incomes, on single mothers and those with disabilities. And it won’t cause global temperature to move 1/10th of a degree.

        7. Ansel says:

          The process won’t be easy, but at least Germany is awake to the fact that none of us survive in a poisoned environment. Our reliance on fossil fuels is unsustainable, we have to start change somewhere. Why put our heads in the sand to the challenges we are creating. There is burden to any undertaking this large, as it is a challenge of monumental proportion. The only unnecessary burden we our placing on someone will be our children’s children, because we our magnifying problems they will face. BTW, lets say your right and it doesn’t raise the temp at all. We could probably agree that it will help clean up the air pollution problems we see. Look how many dirty air kills!
          If anything else were killing that many people we would be up in arms!

        8. Bill Steffen says:

          Did you read my comment, “Ansel”? Germany is awakening! They’re moving away from the burdensome central-planned energy-poverty! It’s interesting that your link shows a picture from Communist China. Leftists do so well at protecting the air and water, don’t they?

          Folks, do you really think that Al Gore (or Ansel?) would live like poor Mr. Taeuber, cited in the NY Times article that I linked to? With his 5-watt carcinogen-filled light bulb in the kitchen?

        9. Ansel says:

          As usual the retort includes a political point. Bill Steffen career politician. What do you think folks?

        10. Robert (Plainwell) says:

          Even if man quit using oil, what about natural seepage pollution?

  6. Travis (Oakland County) says:

    400% of average? So I guess you would call 2012 1,000% below average?

    Temps start looking good tomorrow! 48 Friday, 50 Sunday, 54 Monday (Opening Day)

    1. yooper4021 says:

      Yes, true statements about 2014 and 2012. And 2013 was 50% of average. And 2011 was average. In fact, this would be a good exercise for my son’s math class – learning about fractions/percentages now.

    2. Mark (East Lansing) says:

      This is from last year, but it has some good info on past opening days:

    3. DF (SE Mich) says:

      … and 2014 is 10,000% above 2012… ;) No I didn’t actually calculate it.

      1. yooper4021 says:

        LOL. I’ll ask my son to calculate it tonight.

    4. Jeremy (Three Rivers) says:

      2012 was way closer to the green line (average) than 2014, which is about 3 times farther above. 2012 was actually closer to average if I’m not mistaken.

  7. Paul m says:

    All the cold & ice is caused by global warming just ask Al Gore!

  8. More conservative nonsense!! Someone always sticking in their political jab on a weather blog!

    1. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

      You just stuck your own political jab in there, didn’t you?

      1. DF (SE Mich) says:


    2. Daniel G says:

      They don’t understand it (let alone read about it)so they make statements like a 10 year old on the playground.

    3. yooper4021 says:

      Ah yes, civil debate/discourse on both sides. Ever wonder why Congress’s approval rating is about 10%?

    4. Paul m says:

      FYI Mindy I’m just kidding, couldn’t help myself!

    5. Michael g (se GR) says:

      I assume the mathematical fact that the ice cover is 400% of normal is the conservative nonsense that Red Mindy is referring too? What an inconvenient truth .

  9. Daniel G says:

    Friend of mine called from River Road up near Frederic on the Manistee. He said minus 11 when he looked this morning.
    Last year the ice was off Myers Lake on April 7. This year its anybodies guess! I’m calling for tax day April 14. Of course two years ago we were boating already!!!! Not this year!!!

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      Last year March was 4.1° cooler than average.

  10. Everyone has a RIGHT to their opinion!

    1. yooper4021 says:

      Agree wholeheartedly. But the other side isn’t evil and ignorant just because you or I have a different opinion.

    2. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

      Unless you’re a republican or a Christian… :P

      1. Jack says:

        Amen Matt….CUE:: Big Tent Revival – If Loving God Was A Crime – YouTube
        ► 4:18► 4:18 Stay cued & God Bless !! :-)

  11. Jack says:

    Every Politician …Talks Wonders & Sh–s Blunders !!! ( except Jerry Ford) !, Stay Cued….First Thunder Storms of the Season coming APRIL 1st….. ;-)

  12. Just goes to show how conservative this blog is. Where is Big Daddy? He’s my Hero!!!

    1. yooper4021 says:

      And another “politcal jab”?

    2. Brian(Grandville) says:

      No one is holding a gun to your head, and telling you to stick around sunshine.

    3. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

      He might be trying to melt a glacier with a hair dryer?

      1. Jeremy (Three Rivers) says:

        That would take too much electricity… unless the hair dryer was hooked up to some solar panels…

  13. Heck ya, everyone else is. Look above!

    1. yooper4021 says:

      OK, have a good time.

  14. I love it!! The conservative CLICK on this blog is in a uproar!! TOO BAD!!!

    1. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

      I don’t think there is any CLIQUE in an uproar. Is there?

    2. yooper4021 says:

      What is a CLICK?

    3. Paul m says:

      Wow I’m like Rocky I stirred the pot!

  15. Oh ya, must be you, all that snow has went to your brain!

  16. WOO WHO!! BRING IT!!

    1. Cliff(KZOO) says:

      How about them hurricanes Mindy???? Nice to see ya back at it.

  17. yooper4021 says:

    Back to weather…

    Interesting post on Tom Skilling’s blog regarding correlation between cold winters and the following spring and summer seasons:

    The Chicago National Weather Service office crunched the numbers to see if there has been a correlation in the past. They looked at the top 20 coldest winters on record and then the springs and summers that followed.

    12 out of 20 springs that followed those coldest winters ended up being below average with seven of those springs ranking among the top 20 coldest springs on record. So 60% of springs that followed colder than average winters ended up being cooler than average.

    The correlation is much stronger for a cooler than average summer following a colder than average winter. 80% of summers that followed the top 20 coldest winters ended up being cooler than average or 16 out 20 summers.

    1. Larry of Hastings, barry co says:

      I want a steaming hot summer.

      1. yooper4021 says:

        I’m with you. I’d take extreme heat over extreme cold any day. Can’t wait to get to Florida in a month.

      2. Sandy(Hudsonville) says:

        No way! 70′s & no humidity

        1. Brian(Grandville) says:

          Now that sound good to me.

    2. Mark (East Lansing) says:

      So you think that perhaps there’s not truly a correlation between the two distinct seasons, but rather just an extension of a prolonged weather pattern?

      1. yooper4021 says:

        Yeah, I think you’re on to something there….and a stubborn weather pattern at that.

    3. Jen from Middleville says:

      Thank you!! For info I was wondering about, and for changing the blog back to weather. ;-)

  18. DF (SE Mich) says:

    Flint now only need 0.4″ of snow for the all time record after the dusting last night. Detroit is 1.9″ away, I still think their both in the bag, just a matter of time.

    1. DF (SE Mich) says:

      *They’re… whoops.

  19. If you havn’t been outside yet today, get out and enjoy the nice sunshine! Even though temperatures are in the upper 20′s to lower 30′s, the sun makes it feel warmer than that. I can only imagine what that 50 will feel like with sunshine. Might have to pull out the shorts in that weather haha. Overall, today was a really nice day. We got to enjoy a awesome sunrise with the frost reflecting on the trees making it look even better, and now nothing but blue sky overhead. I want the sunshine to stick around!!!!

    1. Florida1993 says:

      I want rain so this white stuff melts faster.

    2. on the Grand says:


      1. I would like a big downpour of rain to wash the salt of the roads around here. Parking lots and side streets are the color white from all of the salt

  20. Larry of Hastings, barry co says:

    I want see & hear a thunderstorm.

    1. Larry of Hastings, barry co says:

      *to…left out. Issues with my keyboard.

  21. Intellicast gives me a half an inch of rain with the system coming in for tomorrow. Is is supposed to begin as snow?

    1. John (Norton Shores) says:

      Snow and freezing rain switching over to all rain after 9am

      1. Vincent(N.E.Kent CO) says:

        It has been all snow. It is still snowing going on noon. No rain at all.

  22. Craig (Holland North Sider) says:

    I would rather have another couple of dry weeks to get more of this snow melted. Ground is gonna be majorly saturated if we get a bunch of rain.

    1. Sandy(Hudsonville) says:

      I agree! :)

  23. yooper4021 says:

    Glad to hear that the potential snow for Saturday has moved further south, but tomorrow morning could be a mess.

    1. GunLakeDeb says:

      It’s never a good sign when the meteorologist is scratching his head (re: what we’ll wake up to tomorrow). Glad I only drive a mile to work.

  24. Jacob G says:

    So the first week of April still looking like a battle zone right through the great lakes. There will be some tight temp gradients (strong baroclinc zones). Looks like we will have several chances of mixed precip and cooler temps. I am not confident yet that we are going to see a snowstorm of 6″+, those happen every 25-30 years in April, but some models want to go that route. However I am increasing my confidence of icing events coming up. I don’t have the hires 12Z Euro data in front of me as there are some current issues getting the data. I will update later once that data comes in. I guess this is par for the course in Michigan during spring break.

  25. Jacob G says:

    We had low of 4 last night, and nothing higher than 32 here in Kent City today. Still an average of 4-6″ of snow around the area.

    1. Barb says:

      I still have 4-6 inches of snow in most of my yard in SE GR.

  26. Ansel says:

    A good write up on our cold and others warm weather. It looks like Australia was as red as we were blue!

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      Readers of the blog won’t be surprised, but you may be when I tell you that I agree with the point you are making. I made the same point in the warm year of 2012 and I’m making it now…a few weeks (or even a few years) of warm or cold weather cannot be taken by itself to be “climate change” (formerly called “global warming” until the Earth stopped warming). The year-to-date global temperature anomaly is +0.032°. That’s a very tiny fraction of a degree above average and almost exactly the anomaly during our Michigan “hot” March of 2012. The broader point is that global temperature has been flat – not rising for over a decade: No one disputes this, even James Hansen: “The five-year mean global temperature has been flat for the last decade…” – James Hansen et al.

  27. John (Norton Shores) says:

    My thoughts and prayers go out to the Boston firefighters, and the families of the two firefighters who lost their lives bravely trying to put a fire out and get all of the people evacuated!

  28. Barb says:

    I’m so bummed. I can’t go to my cottage this weekend in Cheboygan because the guy who opens & closes it says there is just too much snow to be able to get to it. He can’t even plow the driveway because of the amount and thickness of snowpack!

  29. INDY says:

    Wow 2 days in the mid 50′s then back in the 40′s thanks I travas for talking up our heat wave!! Mid 40′s in April wow!! That’s real warm!!! INDYY!!

    1. Rodey (Rockford) says:

      Reminds me of all the snowstorms Assdyy predicted that never happened.

  30. Well, Today I just bought a county road map for the state of Kansas for storm chasing, so I can have a reference for what roads to go down. Each day that passes I get more and more excited!!!!

    1. One of those books that has all the different counties on different pages to get an in depth look at the roads per county. Going to try and study some of the county names in Kansas.

    2. Brian(Grandville) says:

      When are you going again?

      1. Whenever the condition warrant it. I do not have a set day. I will likely know a couple days in advance

        1. Brian(Grandville) says:

          If I had to guess, based on the pattern. Mid April through May should be quite active, in terms of what your going after, in that region.

        2. Yeah I am predicting a spike between April 15-May 25 (although, I am not sure if this cooler air is going to push it back even farther).

        3. It all depends where the risk area is, but at this point, our home base is going to be Salina, KS or Emporia. That very well and likely will change once we get close to an actual outbreak.

        4. Cort S. says:

          Might want to open up your target area to include Oklahoma, especially the western half.

        5. Yes, the area near Enid, Stillwater, Hennessy could be good too. Hennessy got a tornado a little while back

        6. Or the familiar tornado town of Woodward, OK

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

    I went snowmobiling around the house again today. The shaded areas still had a powdery inch of snow from yesterday. Still over a foot of snow in the shaded areas here. Our dirt road still has patches of snow on it. Our snow depth usually looks like this at the end of February, or during the first week of March. It’s amazing how long our snow has lasted.

  32. DF (SE Mich) says:

    Tigers opening day is getting cooler is see. Down to 54 degrees with possible rain. Still nice compared to the last couple days I guess :)

    1. Jack says:

      GO TIGERS!!! Ya Going to Opening Day DF ??

      1. hockeyfan says:

        What’s your prediction for the Tiger’s season?

  33. Michael g (se GR) says:

    12 days this month 15* or greater below normal, including the past 3 before today at -18*. Unbelievable!!

    1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

      Just like last year according to Travis! Who knew?

  34. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    What a great weather day! Temps in the 20′s in late March! INCREDIBLE! There is more on the way! Bring it baby! ROCK n ROLL will never die!

  35. Brian(Grandville) says:

    Hey Kyle, check this out. Also not hard to find the Standale tornado.

    1. Very cool map! Thanks for sharing!

  36. Michael g (se GR) says:

    Fun fact. The first 26 days of March, temps have averaged about 2.5* below FEBRUARY’S normal monthly temp!

    1. Brian(Grandville) says:

      Yup, and going on 5 months in a row with below average temps. How can this possibly be happening.

    2. Brad says:

      Now that’s brutal.

    1. Paul m says:

      No but can you say we all want to here your famous words!

  37. Cort S. says:

    Y’all want to see a mini supercell in northern California?

    1. That’s crazy! Usually California does not see supercells!

      1. It also has a tornado warning on it, right near Chico CA and another south of Yuba City.

  38. mk says:

    Ansel we could clean the water and air to near perfect. Yet you Lefty’s would want more, never satisfied ever!


    That town is just northeast of Sacramento, CA (the state capital)

      1. Larry of Hastings, barry co says:

        Very cool photos of the tornado.

      2. Wswplz says:

        Thanks for the pics!

    1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

      How bizarre. Haven’t heard of any severe weather this year so far, really. But when we finally do, it’s Northern California.

    2. Larry of Hastings, barry co says:

      The NWS said it was 48 degrees. Temperatures that cool you don’t see tornadoes too often. All I can say…wow!

    3. Wswplz says:

      Ya I’m from Norther Ca and you just almost never have this type of weather, it’s rare just to have thunder storms except in a few locations in Ca.( mountains, deserts ) Very cool to see even a mini supercell in that area as lived about an hour away from Roseville in walnut creek Ca where we were lucky to see lighting once a year. I’m ready for some SVRTSTM’s to start off what I hope to be an exciting year with our share of good storms!

  40. Wswplz says:

    This is such a welcome sight to just be included in the general thunderstorm outlook for tomorrow! Actually a portion of the slight risk has warranted a SIG Severe threat outlined with none other than a black thatched area along the dry in parts of southern Mo.

    1. Wswplz says:

      Here is the probabilistic outlook from the SPC showing the elevated risk area.( sig ) …..wish that were us!

      1. Larry of Hastings, barry co says:

        Severe weather is getting closer. I am thinking within 7-10 days we might be in the slight zone for severe storms. Just my 2 cents worth.

  41. Wswplz says:

    It’s interesting to see a blizzard warning towards the end of March, also to see the conditions in which the blizzard warning is being issued. I’m not saying this to question the NWS for issuing the warning, but would point out that we experienced these conditions more then once this winter , of course we are just naturally a bit less sensitive to weather in these parts, shall I say winter extreme pros. Lol

  42. Larry of Hastings, barry co says:

    Looks like Thursday will be a nasty day…cold, snow and rain.

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