Upwelling Sends Water Temps. Crashing

August 13th, 2014 at 11:01 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

port sheldon water temperature august 14    Click on the graph to enlarge.   This is a graph of the water temperature at the Port Sheldon Buoy which is about 3 miles to the northwest of Holland St. Park.  You can see the water temperature was in freefall Tuesday as we had a fairly strong north wind that caused upwelling to occur.  Warmer surface water was pushed away to the south and southwest as colder water from +100 feet below the surface rose to the top.  The water temperature at the Ludington buoy had a drop of 18°.        Here’s a graph of wave height from the mid-Lake Michigan buoy about 40 miles west of Holland.  You can see how quickly the wave height increased (to 8.2 feet) and then subsided.    The beach water temperature was 49° Weds. AM  at Holland St. Park and just 53° at Grand Haven St. Park and Hoffmasteer St. Park.  Inland temperatures are much warmer.  The water temperatures Weds. evening of Reeds Lake in East G.R. was 74° (2-foot depth).

Also:  Portland, ME, picked up 4.49″ of rain in 3 hrs…Updated total: 13.57” of rain fell in last 24 hours in Islip, NY, smashing the state-wide rainfall record, 8.94″ at Chester CT…5.7 magnitude earthquake in Chile Weds. everning…here’s Storm Reports from Weds.   There was one tornado (in of all places, Washington State)…the largest hail fell near Meacham, Oregon…the fastest wind gust near Twin Falls, Idaho and a severe storm in Hidalgo, Texas along the Rio Grande River destroyed two mobile homes.   I talked to a meteorologist from Brownsville, Texas once and he said they have a Severe Weather Watch about 4 times a year, that’s all.

21 Responses to “Upwelling Sends Water Temps. Crashing”

  1. Hey Bill I made an observation earlier and noticed in 2012, 2013, and 2014 the lake temps at the Port Sheldon buoy crashed at nearly the same date in August. Is there something about this time of year that makes them go down this time of year? Or is it pure coincidence? Might be a stupid question, but I am just curious :)

    1. Barry in Zeeland says:

      I replied to you earlier Kyle, and yeah, that is really odd. Even the blistering summer of 2012 the temp crashed into the 40′s around the same date. History repeating itself?

      1. Yeah I thought 2012 would be high, but it was the same trend. Water temps crashing. Not sure why. Hopefully Bill has a better analysis

        1. DF (EGR) says:

          Very windy days mix up the top few inches of water and it crashes. I can tell you from sailing all my life, and cleaning the bottom of the boat out there, if you go down a foot or two the water temp is freezing. Every crash is just one of those very windy periods.

        2. Mike(Shepherd, Mi) says:

          It is more wind direction than speed a N or NE wind pushes the warm water away from shore and drags water from a hundred feet under to the surface.

  2. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

    It’s a cool start today While its now 51° at the airport here at my house I now have 49° and about 20 minutes ago it got down to 48° here. Last year this time of August also was on the cool side as GR only had a high of 71 and lows were also in the upper 40’s

    1. DF (EGR) says:

      Chilly morning. 51° at my house. 49° in Lansing.

      1. I fell to 53 degrees overnight here at my house.

  3. Travis (Oakland County) says:

    Upwelling happens all the time. Nothing that significant.

    Sure felt refreshing this morning. I’m sure we’ll all be wishing it was like this next week when the very warm and humid air takes over.

    1. DF (EGR) says:

      Actually, to this extent on the east side of Lake Michigan its very rare. Plunges like this happen about once a year on average, already up to two this year. Small upwelling happen often but only around 10° or less, not 20°+.

      1. Travis (Oakland County) says:

        I would guess localized upwelling is very common to that extent.

        If you look at any annual water temp chart, you will see the minor blips down here and there. Just like we saw last month.

    2. Mark (East Lansing) says:

      When is the heat supposed to return? NWS GR only has me barely breaking 80 through midweek.

      1. Rad (Jenison/Hudsonville) says:

        FOX 17 say’s—–However, starting Friday and continuing into next week, temperatures will rise into the 80s.

        There is a chance that we could hit 90 degrees next week as well.

      2. Travis (Oakland County) says:

        Next week.

        Even WOOD has this in their forecast today:

        “Very Warm and Humid Next Week”

        1. Rad (Jenison/Hudsonville) says:

          WZZM 13—>Thinks 91 on the 22nd & 92 on the 23rd

        2. Mark (East Lansing) says:

          So it looks the the warm up will not occur until the end of the week. Sounds good to me. Only three more weekends until school starts. Besides, we’ll be in South Haven all next weekend, so I hope the heat does arrive then.

      3. Mark (East Lansing) says:

        Thanks. NWS only goes out to next Wednesday.

        1. Rad (Jenison/Hudsonville) says:

          Not sure how many times it will change by then :}

  4. Just as a quick question, how cold did places like Leota up in Clare County or any other traditionally cold places get? Bill you may know this since you sometimes post the overnight lows.

    1. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

      Kyle, while the list may not be complete here is a list of some of the colder spots overnight lows for August 14th in Michigan

      Kenton 32°
      Wakefield 33°
      Watersmeet 35°
      Leota 36°
      Ironwood 37°
      Pellston 39°
      Bellaire 40°
      Grayling 41°

      As you can see it was one very cold August night and I am sure there could have been frost is several locations.

      1. Thanks for the info Slim! Wow yeah I am sure there would be frost at some of those temps!

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