One more thought on Lake Superior Ice

June 15th, 2014 at 2:26 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Icezilla - Lake Superior Ice on June 10 2014   This picture was released by the Earth Observatory, showing ice in SW Lake Superior on June 8th.  Click on the picture to enlarge.  Here’s what they wrote (lots of interesting links to pics. of the ice).   Dr. Roy Spencer expands on the story here.   He says the June 8 picture shows the iceberg to be about 1 mile long and 800 feet wide!  The iceberg was so big it was spotted from a high bluff 20 miles away on June 10th!  A comment on Dr. Spencer’s blog write up:  “We took a walk out to Lusk Caves (Canada) at the weekend. Basically a very long tunnel, near the surface, carved out of the rock by a stream.  It was surprising to still see ice just 10 metres into one of the tunnels.”   The mid-Lake Michigan buoy west of Holland was STILL showing a water temp. of 38.3° early Sunday morning!

Also, the Storm Prediction Center’s Slight Risk Area includes the SW corner of Michigan for tonight.  We’ll have two or three chances for at least isolated severe storms in Michigan this week.  Severe Weather was rockin’ the Plains on Saturday:  80 mph gust 3 miles WSW of Saronville, NE…79 mph gust at Hastings, NE, airport…86 mph gust at Phillipsburg, KS…75 mph at Hill City KS…Phillipsburg, KS had 86 mph gust w/ line of storms before instrument stopped reporting…Baseball-sized hail at Arapahoe, NE…80 mph gust 2 miles E of Oakley, KS…79 mph gust at Atwood, KS…Baseball sized hail in Goodland, KS, reports NWS office…Stockton KS tornado.   Dry Saharan dust/dry layer will keep the Atlantic Ocean west of Africa free of hurricanes for the near-term.   Finally, check out Leah Kroll’s video of the heavy rain Weds. in Caledonia.


58 Responses to “One more thought on Lake Superior Ice”

  1. ralphdraw3 says:


    You’re not going to like this article at all:

    Photographing Alaska’s stunning landscapes has been a passion of Bruce Molnia’s since the first time he visited the 49th state, as a Cornell University graduate student in the late 1960s. It was these photos – taken by everyone from John Muir in 1879 to later explorers like William Field and National Geographic’s Bradford Washburn – that Molnia would use when he was asked in 1999 by then-Interior Secretary Bruce Babbit to find “unequivocal, unambiguous” proof that climate change was real.

    What follows is over 20 pictures of melting glaciers in Alaska starting with the Muir Glacier.
    Muir Glacier & Inlet in (1895) In the photo above, the west shoreline of Muir Inlet in Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve is shown as it appeared in 1895. Notice the lack of vegetation on the slopes of the mountains, and the glacier that stands more than 300 feet high.

    Muir Glacier & Inlet in (2005) In the photo above, the west shoreline of Muir Inlet in Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve is shown as it appeared in 2005. Over the century since the first photo was taken, Muir Glacier ceased to have a tidewater terminus. Note the lack of floating ice and the abundant vegetation on many slopes. http://www.thesoapboxroadshow.

    1. DF (SE Mich) says:

      Very cool link! Too bad no one hangs around the Antarctic to see that compassion.

    2. Brian(Grandville) says:

      At the same time an iceberg on Lake Superior may last into July. How can that be.

      1. Cort S. says:

        Lake Superior: The shape of the jet stream this past winter:

        Alaska: A process occurring over decades.

        1. Bill Steffen says:

          That’s cool – look at the Omega over the relatively warm water south of Alaska.

        2. Mike M. says:

          A process that began loooong before co2 supposedly made an impact. Say, just what did pull us out of the Little Ice Age, Cort?

    3. Bill Steffen says:

      In the early 1980s, I visited the Crowfoot Glacier in Alberta, Canada. There were similar pictures showing the retreat of that glacier. The guide said that pictures and records showed that the glacier had been retreating at a fairly constant rate since the first records in the 1880s. It’s likely this glacier and others were never in complete equilibrium since the last Ice Age. That’s what the guide said.

      The weather in Alaska is often the opposite of what we have the Great Lakes. Either there is a ridge in the Western U.S./Alaska and a trough over the Great Lakes or visa versa. Alaska had warm winters in the late 1970s, while we were having our coldest 3-winter period in recorded history from 1976-1979 here in the Great Lakes.

      While is is retreating in parts of the world, it is increasing in other parts of the world. Look at the growing ice extent in Antarctica. This is from the National Snow and Ice Data Center: “In the Antarctic, sea ice extent increased at a rate of 108,500 square kilometers (41,900 square miles) per day in May 2014. For Antarctica, the linear rate of increase for May ice extent is 2.6% per decade relative to the 1981 to 2010 average.” Note the last sentence.

      NASA data continues to show no warming since 2002: I predict there will be no significant warming between now and at least 2020.

      1. mike says:

        nothing of consequence lives in Antarctica, Polar bears etc. live in the Artic, which is melting.

        1. mike says:


      2. ralphdraw3 says:

        Michae Mann update (for Bill )

        It’s another story in the realm of politics, where Mann, an affable scientist, has been dragged into the fray by diehard climate change deniers. He was a central figure in the trumped-up “climategate” scandal, accused with other scientists of fraud by conservative bloggers and pundits before being vindicated by eight separate independent investigations. He was later the subject of an “academic witch-hunt” by former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli until a circuit court judge ruled that Cuccinelli had provided no “objective basis” for his crusade.

        But if he began as an unwilling combatant in the public debate, he has since become a fierce defender of scientific discourse. He’s currently suing for defamation the National Review, right-wing columnist Mark Steyn and the Competitive Enterprise Institute — a libertarian think tank dubbed “a factory for global warming skepticism” by The Washington Post that has received funding from ExxonMobil, the American Petroleum Institute and Arch Coal, among others.

        1. ralphdraw3 says:

          Good job Bill,

          Keep at it…

        2. ralphdraw3 says:

          BTW I love it when Rush uses the word “slut”! Too bad Rush has had like 3 marriages or is it 4?. I lose count. Perhaps Rush knows more sbout the tides than Bill Oreilly

        3. Bill Steffen says:

          I certainly not endorsing Rush Limbaugh’s marriage history…all I’m citing is one segment that thoroughly embarrassed the mainstream media and their lapdog groupspeak. Nothing Rush has said has equaled the filth of Martin Bashir.

      3. ralphdraw3 says:

        If the glaciers had not reached “equilibrium” in polar regions that would mean that temperatures were increasing or at least above average for maintaining glaciers.

        The melting of glaciers in polar regions and elsewhere would mean that sea level will continue to rise.

        1. Bill Steffen says:

          Sea level rose (if you can believe them) 8″ in a little over 100 years…and it’s been steady since 2008. Al Gore bought oceanfront property, so I doubt he expects any significant rise in sea level. And global temperatures have been flat since 2002.

        2. ralphdraw3 says:

          I dont know where you get the year 2008 for sea level rise stopping. I dont see that indicated in any articles, especially with increased Antarctic melting.

          From Wiki:

          Sea level rise is expected to continue for centuries.[13] In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projected that during the 21st century, sea level will rise another 18 to 59 cm (7.1 to 23.2 in), but these numbers do not include “uncertainties in climate-carbon cycle feedbacks nor do they include the full effects of changes in ice sheet flow”.[14] More recent projections assessed by the US National Research Council (2010)[15] suggest possible sea level rise over the 21st century of between 56 and 200 cm (22 and 79 in).

        3. ralphdraw3 says:

          National Geographic:

          Core samples, tide gauge readings, and, most recently, satellite measurements tell us that over the past century, the Global Mean Sea Level (GMSL) has risen by 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters). However, the annual rate of rise over the past 20 years has been 0.13 inches (3.2 millimeters) a year, roughly twice the average speed of the preceding 80 years.

          Over the past century, the burning of fossil fuels and other human and natural activities has released enormous amounts of heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere. These emissions have caused the Earth’s surface temperature to rise, and the oceans absorb about 80 percent of this additional heat.

          The rise in sea levels is linked to three primary factors, all induced by this ongoing global climate change:

        4. Bill Steffen says:

          Well, well – look at this, and from NPR no less:

          From the article:

          “”My humble plan was to become a hero of the environmental movement. I was going to go up to the Canadian Arctic, I was going to write this mournful elegy for the polar bears, at which point I’d be hailed as the next coming of John Muir and borne aloft on the shoulders of my environmental compatriots …

          “So when I got up there, I started realizing polar bears were not in as bad a shape as the conventional wisdom had led me to believe, which was actually very heartening, but didn’t fit well with the book I’d been planning to write.

          “… There are far more polar bears alive today than there were 40 years ago. … In 1973, there was a global hunting ban. So once hunting was dramatically reduced, the population exploded.”

          Sea level unchanged since 2008:

        5. ralphdraw3 says:

          You still have not given the source for your “fact” that sea level has not risen since 2008.

        6. Bill Steffen says:

          check out this paper published by Nature Climate Change:

          The rate of sea level rise

          Anny Cazenave, Habib-Boubacar Dieng, Benoit Meyssignac, Karina von Schuckmann, Bertrand Decharme & Etienne Berthier

          Abstract. “Present-day sea-level rise is a major indicator of climate change. Since the early 1990s, sea level rose at a mean rate of ~3.1 mm yr−1. However, over the last decade a slowdown of this rate, of about 30%, has been recorded. It coincides with a plateau in Earth’s mean surface temperature evolution, known as the recent pause in warming. Here we present an analysis based on sea-level data from the altimetry record of the past ~20 years that separates interannual natural variability in sea level from the longer-term change probably related to anthropogenic global warming. The most prominent signature in the global mean sea level interannual variability is caused by El Niño–Southern Oscillation, through its impact on the global water cycle.”

          Even THEY admit the slowdown…and acknowledge it fits with the “pause” in “global warming”.

        7. ralphdraw3 says:

          Wonderful, Bill! A slowdown but not a stop. And not a stop in 2008 which you got from who knows where.

          So the rate of increase is only at 70% previous pace. This means melting will continue and sea level will continue to rise…

        8. ralphdraw3 says:

          Oh.. you and Rush may have to throw out your talking point on tbe evil Chinese (even though we Americans have dumped billions of metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere over the last 100 years – way way more than the Chinese have):

          The leaders of China and the UK have declared the threat of global warming to be “one of the greatest challenges facing the world”, and have called on all nations to reveal their action plans well ahead of a major climate summit set for Paris in late 2015.
          In a joint statement released on Tuesday by UK Prime Minister David Cameron and his visiting Chinese counterpart, Premier Li Keqiang, the leaders said climate change was already happening, “much of it as a result of human activity”.
          “The odds of extreme weather events, which threaten lives and property, have increased,” the statement said, citing the recent reports by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “Sea levels are rising, and ice is melting faster than we expected.”
          In a nod to the severe pollution frequently enveloping many Chinese cities, the statement added: “In addition, the burning of fossil fuels creates serious air pollution, affecting quality of life for millions. Both sides recognise that climate change and air pollution share many of the same root causes, as well as many of the same solutions.”

          Read more:

        9. ralphdraw3 says:

          As I read the graph on sea level rise, it continues to rise past 2008 and peaks in 2010. It drops for two years and is on the way up.

          In essence, there is no pause in sea level rise after 1998 – it continues to rise steadily until 2010.

        10. Bill Steffen says:

          That’s rich, Ralph – what’s next – The Chinese will declare that there is no pollution in China? It’s just WORDS – you know that! “Peace in our time!” cried Neville Chamberlain! The Chinese are building coal plants, lots of them:

        11. ralphdraw3 says:

          Bad news on the pause:

          According to new data released this week, May 2014 is officially the warmest May in recorded history.

          Both NASA and the Japan Meteorological Agency have tentatively ranked May at the top of historical measurements, though NASA’s numbers are preliminary because crucial information is still missing from China.

          Gavin Schmidt, the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, which maintains NASA’s global temperature database, explained the Chinese data glitch.

          Still, the fact that NASA and the Japan used different calculation methods to arrive at similar results is telling. Another agency, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, will release its estimate of May global temperatures next week using a third method.

        12. ralphdraw3 says:

          2014, March, April, May quite warm

          This follows the release of satellite measurements of the average temperature of the global troposphere for May by the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) which showed that May 2014 was the third warmest May in the satellite record which dates back to 1978.

          Both NASA and UAH show a sharp rise in the global temperature anomaly this year although UAH has lagged. The NASA May anomaly compares with an April figure of 0.73oC, the second warmest April in the NASA record after 2010, and with March’s 0.71oC, the third warmest March in the NASA record after 2010 and 2002.

        13. Bill Steffen says:

          The third warmest May since 1980 is no reason to make utility bills “skyrocket” on the poor and middle class. The trend remains flat since 2002:

      4. ralphdraw3 says:

        The Antarctic ice is sea ice not land ice like glaciers, and sea ice does not effect sea level.

        1. Bill Steffen says:

          Ralph – Temperatures over Antarctica have NOT been getting warmer: The ocean temperature pretty much around the entire continent of Antarctica is colder than average:

          From the National Snow and Ice Data Center: “In the Antarctic, sea ice extent increased at a rate of 108,500 square kilometers (41,900 square miles) per day, very close to the average rate of 108,400 square kilometers (41,850 square miles) per day. For Antarctica, the linear rate of increase for May ice extent is 2.6% per decade relative to the 1981 to 2010 average.”

          The Arctic Anomaly is going positive this summer for the first time since 1996:

  2. John (Norton Shores) says:

    The NWS is still mentioning the word derecho with their 3:30am update, and all of Michigan is now in the 5% severe weather outlook by the SPC for Tuesday upgrade to slight risk in future updates is likely.


  3. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    Great job Bill – keep the facts coming about the ice, the cold lake water, all of the below average temperatures, our recent record setting winter and finally the COLD and SNOW headed our way for this coming winter! ROCK n ROLL will never die baby! Get used to it!

  4. Rodey (Rockford) says:

    Just the FACTS. Temps are still running above average for the month. Who knew? Nice stretch of 80′s coming up. Imagine that. Going to be a nice MILD winter. Get used to it. I love it. Fantastic.

    1. fixxxer says:

      rocky & rodey need to both shut up. its like a circus on here with you 2.

      1. ron says:

        Actually Bill creates the circus and you know he loves it. He could be posting about the coming heat and storms even a derecho in our backyards, but instead he post about ice 300 miles north. He loves the circus around here and gets you guys all riled up.

        1. fixxxer says:

          Feeding the trolls i guess.

        2. Brian(Grandville) says:

          If it wasn’t there, we wouldn’t have to talk about it right. I actually think it’s quite interesting, and amazing.

        3. Dikehopper says:

          “Actually Bill creates the circus and you know he loves it.”

          I can personally assure you that Bill does not love it.
          For those who haven’t liked Bill’s ongoing coverage of the late ground snow and the late ice on the Great Lakes -

          Bill sure the heck isn’t alone. These subjects are being covered by the major news wires and major American newspapers, too. It has been very unusual and the unusual makes the news.

          This would be especially true for coverage from a meteorologist, wouldn’t it?

          If all one wants is a simple weather forecast, then stick with the simpler TV weather forecasters. (Personally, I like the ones with short skirts and low-cut tops. But I have to admit that Bill is a complete failure in this regard. I even shudder to imagine…)

          Bill’s blog is for a broader perspective.

      2. Rodey (Rockford) says:

        Tell you what, I’ll shut up when you stop with your asinine negative comments.

  5. DF (SE Mich) says:

    The wind blows and Lake Michigan is back to the cold. I’m glad I’m not doing the sailing race in late June across the lake…

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      Lake Michigan (and the Great Lakes in general) are colder than during the cool summer of 2009. Just looking at this, you’d forecast slightly cooler than average temperatures for Michigan in July.

  6. Off to the NASCAR Race at Michigan International Speedway south of Jackson. Just entered Ingham County I think. Been coming down here 8 years straight. My dad has for over 30 years straight. It’s kind of a father day tradition

  7. DarrenSVRstm ( Cedar S ) says:

    They have been raising the QPF potential considerably as they are now talking about 3-5 inches of rain and possibly a lot more within areas of convection .

    1. fixxxer says:

      some of you are going to be disappointed come tuesday.

      1. michael g (SE GR) says:

        I’m sure your mom is disappointed every day fix.

        1. fixxxer says:

          Maybe but since shes been dead for 11 years i doubt it. But thanks for the compliment.

      2. John (Norton Shores) says:

        Do you really have to be negative all the time, my gosh!

        1. fixxxer says:

          Its not negative. Its common sense. Think about where you live john.

        2. Mark (East Lansing) says:

          Speaking of feeding the trolls…

    2. michael g (SE GR) says:

      That could get messy!

  8. Bnoppe says:

    I’m not getting to excited about storms yet 1) umm it’s michigan 2) timing maybe off 3) not all models agree
    We shall see

    1. John (Norton Shores) says:

      Most models are in agreement on timing and location now, now we just do the waiting.

      1. Bnoppe says:

        I was looking at the spc outlook

      2. John (Norton Shores) says:

        Oh okay gotcha! The SPC has us in the 5% area for Tuesday, I think it’s good they are playing it slow, they don’t want to pull the plug just yet!

  9. michael g (SE GR) says:

    Looking more and more like we’ll see our most interesting week of weather since February this week!

    1. fixxxer says:

      How so? More crystal ball type forecasts that will be wrong? Or the fact bill is still talking about ice and cold?

  10. Jack says:

    On June 15 in Southwest Lower Michigan…

    More than 20 houses sustain damage as a tornado hits the southern part of the city of Jackson, Michigan.
    Tornadoes caused a quarter million dollars damage in Lower Michigan. In Kent County, a barn is destroyed and two houses damaged by a tornado near Cedar Springs. In Allegan and Ottawa Counties, several buildings are damaged along a twelve mile path, ending just south of Jenison. Mobile homes are damaged near Walton in Wexford County.
    A series of strong tornadoes struck central Lower Michigan. In Gratiot County, several homes were damaged, two of them severely as a tornado moved from near Pompeii to North Star. In Jackson County, a tornado kills one person and injures another as it moves about 5 miles west of Munith.

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