Dry and Mild

August 27th, 2014 at 2:23 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

muskegon glerl east   muskegon glerl west Here’s two pictures from the Muskegon Glerl Cameras (from NOAA Coastwatch).  The first is looking east down the channel.  You can see the sky is about half covered in “fair weather” cumulus clouds.  Those clouds are a little less than a mile above the ground and show no significant vertical development.  Over land there is a variation of surface heating.  A dark “muck field” in Hudsonville or a parking lot will heat up more than a forest.  Warm air rises and the thermals lift surface air.  The air cools and reaches the saturation point and some of the invisible water vapor in the air condenses into droplets of water so tiny that the air can hold them up.   Sunlight is white light and the clouds have a variation of white to gray, depending on the light that reaches them.  Some light always comes through the clouds.  Otherwise it would be pitch black in daytime on a cloudy day.   The second picture on the right looks west.  Over Lake Michigan we have a uniform surface of water and the temperature is cooler.  So, there are no cumulus clouds, but you can see some scattered higher level cirrus clouds.  Sometimes the clouds will move in different directions because the wind is different at different levels of the atmosphere.  Dewpoints are 10° lower today, so it feels more comfortable.   The 1 pm temps. include 73° in G.R. with an east wind, 75° at the Holland Airport.  Both of these stations have an east wind.  At the Muskegon beach, it’s 70° with a northwest wind.  So, you can see we have a lake-breeze.  It doesn’t penetrate inland very far.  There is convergence where the east wind meets the west wind.  That’s where the surface wind will be come and air is rising.  On a day with more moisture, that’s the place where a shower or even a t-shower could develop.  However, the air is too dry for that to happen today.  With the warmer Lake Michigan water temperatures (around 70°) there is less contrast between inland areas and the shoreline, so there is less variation in temperature lakeshore to inland and the lake breeze is relatively week.  It would be stronger if the Lake Michigan water temperatures were in the low-mid 50s after an episode of upwelling.

It’s a beautiful day.  My wife and I just got back from our almost daily walk and I just took my blood pressure and pulse (119/76 and 58).  I’m sitting on our 3-season porch, where I can look out in 3 directions almost to the horizon to watch the sky.  Everything is green and growing with the timely rain we have had.  I have a cup of coffee and a couple of plums that came from the farmer across the street from me.  I can watch the birds at my two bird feeders (a couple of purple finches there now).   I already have a good start on the forecast (which I usually start at home – fewer distractions here and I like the view.  This is a wonderful time of year with a good harvest underway, not only in Michigan, but across most all of the U.S.  The drought continues in mainly California (they have had some rain in Arizona and the Pacific NW), but crops in California are irrigated.  At this time of year, you can see a wide variety of wildflowers – Queen Anne’s lace, chickory, wild  daisies.  So much of what I enjoy is free – sky, storms, wildflowers.

Model update:  The NAM (caribou) has 0.14″ of rain for G.R. Friday morning and another 0.44″ during the midday/afternoon on Saturday.   The GFS plot has 0.20″ in the midday/afternoon Friday and a similar 0.49″ during the midday/afternoon.   The GFS is then dry for Sunday (best bet for a dry day over the Labor Day Weekend) and then 0.29″ of rain Monday PM/evening.  The GFS is then dry for most of the middle of next week.   The NAM (caribou) gives G.R. a high of 74° tomorrow and then 86°-87° on Fri. as the warmer, more humid air pushes back in.  The GFS plot has 76° and 83° for Friday.  No sign of any really cool air through the first 10 days of Sept.   Also, no sign of any big hurricanes hitting the U.S. (Sept. 10 is the peak of the hurricane season).  Cristobal (a minimal hurricane) is splitting the difference between the U.S. and Bermuda.  Marie (which will be downgraded to a Tropical Storm) far off the coast of Baja, Mexico is also far from land and will weaken as it encounters cooler water.   The tornado count remains low for the 2nd year in a row and we continue to have an overall low number of wildfires and acres burned.

33 Responses to “Dry and Mild”

  1. Daniel G says:

    “So much of what I enjoy is free…” Ya got that right Mr Steffen, ya got that right!

    1. Jack says:

      + 1. Oh BTW Bill it’s WED. ;-)

      1. Rocky (Rockford) says:


      2. Bill Steffen says:

        Yup…changed it…thanks.

  2. Sandy (Hudsonville) says:

    It’s a beautiful day! Hope everyone has a chance to get outside and enjoy it!

    1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

      +100 TRILLION!

    2. Rocky (Rockford) says:

      fixxxer and his band of clones will still be complaining on another PERFECT SUMMER day!!!

      1. matt says:

        oh look just in time for school to be out and you post right away. Did you have a good day at school while telling your famous lies about what you did on your summer vacation? ya moocher.

    3. Paul m says:

      Awesome beach day at Grand Haven State Park today!

  3. Teresa says:

    Hey Bill: what’s the chances of rain for the area south of I-94 this weekend? We really need the rain down here.

  4. Debbie (Jenison) says:

    We are going up to Higgins Lake to go camping this weekend. Weather is not looking the best :( Oh well, some of the best camping trips we have had has been in the rain. I hope everyone has a safe and fun weekend.

  5. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    We will not be seeing a lot of rain this weekend! Do not change your outdoor plans! Get outside and enjoy the BEST SUMMER EVER! It will be a great weekend for cookouts and golfing baby!

    1. matt says:

      oh look just in time for school to be out and you post right away. Did you have a good day at school while telling your famous lies about what you did on your summer vacation? ya moocher. And look already the first lie of the new school year, “cookouts and golfing” Sure you’re going golfing.

      1. Michael g (se GR) says:

        Do you actually think the same post is clever hundreds of times in a row?

        1. matt says:

          No but thanks for listening.

        2. matt says:

          Well maybe, why do you ask Mr. G?

  6. Jack says:

    BILL IS READY FOR FOOTBALL !!! Nice Tie BILL!! Is it NEW ? Love it….and Once Again it’s WEDNESDAY PM. Thanks for all you Do. Also, U going to INDY’S Party on Sunday ??? @ Thee YARDofBRICKS….Stop Bye – And say HELLO! Stay CUEDD… ;-)

    1. DF (EGR) says:

      MSU Friday night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. Jack says:

        S”PARTY” ON ! DF !! :-)

  7. Benard Lamfers says:

    Nothing like knowing the blood pressure of he star weather man.

    I’m 79 and mine is 115/56 with pulse rate of 55 – every day with few exception.

  8. Jack says:

    BILL: The ” Best Thing” in Life Is Definetly FREE …..CUE : Big Tent Revival “The Best Thing” – YouTube
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vd1hOlMLJpk. GOD BLESS YOU…. In His GRIP JACK & Irene :-) . :-)

  9. Michael g (se GR) says:

    Amazing that Bill’s bp is that low with everything he has to put up with on here..,

  10. Kris McHale says:

    Took the kids to the Muskegon beach from about 12 to 2:30 (from Alger Heights in GR). I cannot remember ever seeing the water as clear as it was; you could see the bottom literally as far out as you could see. It was Caribbean/Puerto Rico coast clear.

    Is there a weather-related explanation for this? I have lived in Michigan since 2008 so my experience with the big lake is relatively short.

    1. matt says:

      You get any pics Kris? If so post them that would cool to see. Sounds like you had a good time.

      1. Kris McHale says:

        Tried to paste some, it wouldn’t take. I’ll try a different format; it really is something to see.

    2. Michael g (se GR) says:

      It’s been unusually clear like that every time we’ve been out there this summer. I don’t know if it’s due to the colder water this year, the filtering effect of the zebra mussels, or something else. It has been a significant difference.

  11. Jack says:

    VERY Pretty SKY, RIGHT NOW! On GVSU Web Camera Live @ Lubbers Stadium CHECK IT OUT GANG ( BILL) :

    1. Brian(Grandville) says:

      Sure is, what a beautiful evening. Don’t bother to turn on the Tigers game right now.

      1. Jack says:

        To Late, I have been Watching. WHATUP with Price ? With the TIGERS Luck he Probably INJURIED! Damn YANKEES….Stay CUED…it’s NOW 8-1 whoopee …… ;-)

      2. Mark (East Lansing) says:

        Ugly. Very ugly.

        1. Paul m says:

          Until Detroit gets a serious closer they will not win the World Series!

  12. SW Kent says:

    Bill, can you please give me your forecast for Saturday noon in Ann Arbor?

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      There will be scattered showers/storms across S. Lower Michigan on Saturday. The odds of it storming at noon may only be 30%, but the odds of a storm or two in Ann Arbor on Saturday are probably 60-70%.

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