Keepin’ the beer coldMay 24th, 2014 at 11:12 pm by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
Click on the images to enlarge. The first picture (from Ted Belej and the WLUC facewook page) is looking over Keewenaw Bay Friday. The second picture (form Shawn Stockman Lightseeker and the WLUC facebook page) shows a good side to all the ice on Keewenaw Bay…sure you have to paddle your kayak through icebergs and you have to wear your Arctic parka – but at least it’s easy to keep the beer cold (picture taken Friday). The third image is the MODIS satellite picture from Saturday afternoon (from NOAA Coastwatch) showing ice by Duluth, in Keewenaw Bay and east of Marquette. The image on the right shows that as of 5/25, we STILL have a 3.7% ice cover on Lake Superior – one week away from June and four weeks from the Summer Solstice. It’s the most ice ever this late in the spring. Mt. Bohemia in the U.P. had 351″ of snow this past winter. Here’s North American snow and ice , showing many of the lakes still frozen north of Lake Superior. Hudson Bay is frozen over, as well as a good portion of Lake Winnipeg. There is a solid snow cover over Northern Canada, including all of Nunavut and Northern Quebec. Here’s Arctic sea ice extent. NOAA is forecasting Arctic sea ice extent to go above average extent by late July! Antarctic sea ice extent is near a historic maximum extent. The National Snow and Ice Data Center says: “Antarctic sea ice extent for April 2014 reached 9.00 million square kilometers (3.47 million square miles), the largest ice extent on record by a significant margin. This exceeds the past record for the satellite era by about 320,000 square kilometers (124,000 square miles), which was set in April 2008″. The ice cover is significantly bigger than last year and more than 2 standard deviations above average.” Antarctic sea ice extent has been growing for 30 years. Total global sea ice is well ABOVE average. After shrinking from 2009 to late 2012, total global sea ice has made a significant recovery and is now above average extent. Check out the webcam at Barrow, Alaska – looking out on the ice-covered Arctic Ocean. They get 24-hours of daylight in Barrow from mid-May to early August, so check the camera any time of day or night. Finally read on for my daughter’s (#3) guide for tourists in the Traverse City area:
Welcome back to Traverse City. I can tell you’re back because today I had to slam on my brakes while a few bikinis scampered across US-31, in a location not designed for scampering.
Tourists are the reason that there is a Kilwin’s in every town where I have court. And in the summers, they don’t close at 3PM, also because of tourists. You’re also the reason that all of the seasonal rest areas between here and Grand Rapids open for the summer. For this I salute all tourists.
I also appreciate the uptick at work. We have a saying – Come on vacation, leave on probation! So by all means, have fun! I’ve suggested that we buy Johnny Advertising in the touristy bars, but the boss doesn’t think it’s classy.
No really, don’t commit crimes while you’re here. When I was a prosecutor, I don’t know how many times I got phone calls from downstate attorneys who “Don’t really practice this type of law, but my friend/brother/coworker/neighbor got busted for _____ and I’m trying to help them.” Don’t be that person who makes your friend have to make that phone call that makes a local prosecutor have to explain drunk driving laws to a business attorney.
We have a new splash pad downtown, and it is caveat emptor. There was a thing a while ago where they had to shut it down, something about sewer water and not actually having permits. But that picture of your little one in the water was very cute.
Put money in the meter. In Traverse City, there are little elves paid to hide behind your car until you walk away and then write you a ticket. This is especially true if you are a tourist. Feeding the meter will save you money in the long run.
Check out upnorthlive.com for 50% off deals. There’s some pretty good restaurant, salon, even hotel stuff on there, so watch it every day leading up to your vacation.
Many of you say you like it here so much you wish you could move here. If you do, please consider running for mayor. Funny thing…our current mayor was arrested for drunk driving ON THE WAY HOME FROM A MEETING and we still reelected him. Sometimes all this summer sunshine, or cabin fever, or whatever you want to blame it on ruins our good judgment.
Speaking of local government, they’re always on some kind of bandwagon to ban water bottles, or festivals, or happiness, or something or other. Unless it has to do with Michael Moore. This city’s leadership never gets sick of Michael Moore. He has a really big house on Torch Lake and he’s going to give it to us because he’s a socialist and that means we should all be equal.
I highly recommend canoeing the Betsie River while you’re here. It’s much better to do on a weeknight than a weekend, because on the weekends the entire river pretty much just turns into a river-long boozer. And I know the number and quality of law enforcement assigned to deal with said boozer, and let’s just say you don’t want to risk needing law-enforcement assistance on a Saturday afternoon on the Betsie River, on account of the drunk next to you getting out of hand (DNR excepted, the DNR in the area is very good). But on a weekday night it’s the most beautiful, quiet spot in the entire world. Wild birds, sunset, fresh air, it’s the best. It’s worth it to park at the bottom and pay for a ride back to the top, rather than drive two cars (you’ll inevitably park incorrectly and get a ticket, anyways). There are places to grill when you’re done. An absolutely must for a Traverse City vacation.
The Sleeping Bear Dunes are also best on a weekday. Probably a 10th of the crowd. The best beach of our area is probably Empire, followed by Old Mission Point. There are some low-traffic public parks on the peninsula that are also nice. If you’d like a nice walk on the way, I like Manistee’s downtown. The Big Rapids Jimmy Johns is your last stop for decent food before Cadillac.
And finally, tell me when you’re going to be in town! Hanging out with me will be the highlight of your vacation. …Michelle O.