Bill Steffen

No Rain Until October ?!

September 22nd, 2014 at 8:58 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

610temp.new 610prcp.new 814prcp.new   We might not see rain until October.  The European has showers and t-showers moving in late next Monday night and definitely on Tuesday.  The other models are a little slower and don’t have rain until Oct. 1-2.  However, when the rain gets here, it looks significant with a slow-moving front.  The GFS hits at 1-2″ from Oct. 2-4.  These are the long range outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center. The first map is the 6-10 day temperature departure from average for Sept. 28 – Oct. 2.  CPC is pretty confident that warmer than average temperatures will prevail in the Great lakes and pretty much everywhere east of the Rockies.  I agree with that.  The middle map is rainfall departure from average for Sept. 28 – Oct. 2.  They have dry conditions from the mid-Mississippi Valley thru the Great Lakes and Northeast.  Above average rainfall is likely in the SE U.S., the Rockies and High Plains.  The third map on the right is the CPC rainfall departure from average for Sept. 30 to Oct. 6.  It shows the wet weather moving east into the Mississippi Valley, Ohio Valley and Great Lakes.

This is an excellent combination for decent fall colors…sunny, warm days – cool nights – dry weather and light winds.  A cautious note…a warm spell of weather like this in late Sept./early Oct. is not an indication of a warm winter ahead.  Last year it was warmer than average in Sept. (+0.9) and Oct. (+2.1).  In 1977, September was very close to average and in 1978, September was slightly warmer than average.  In 1951, the only other year that we didn’t reach 90 during the summer, we were 0.5 cooler than average in Sept. and 2.7 warmer than average in October.  We started Oct. 1951 with highs of 76, 83, 80, 87 (yes, 87!) and 77.  Winter hit when November came.  We had measurable snow on each of the first 8 days of November.  On the morning of Nov. 8, GRR reported 12″ of snow on the ground!  That melted quickly, but it came with abandon in mid-December and by Christmas Day we had 22″ of snow on the ground in G.R.

I knew Kyle Underwood was tall…but I had no ideano tropical activity in the Atlantic…a tropical storm could form W-SW of Acapulco in the eastern Pacific (I think “Rachel” is the next name on the list).  Here’s severe weather reports from Monday.  Melbourne, FL has received 4.92″ of rain since Friday.  A rain gauge near Huger SC measured 4.39″ of rain between 330pm-5pm including 1.33″ between 440pm-445pm!  Snow in Finland.


A Sunny Week

September 22nd, 2014 at 2:29 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Lake Michigan sunset from Report it 10 15 12   It’s almost 2 am.  My 2 cats have cornered a mouse.  They don’t eat mice, they just chase them all over the house for hours on end (my female cat will eat an occasional insect – once I saw her swat a fly out of mid-air – knock it to the ground and eat it, a spectacular feat)…the vast majority of the time in the basement, but this mouse has made it upstairs (probably chased upstairs) and is now cornered under the refrig. My wife is asleep (and hopefully staying that way).  I can’t do anything about the mouse right now and the cats are quite entertaining, both patiently waiting (and will probably wait for hours) to resume the chase.  I have a live trap out and eventually the mouse will be relocated to a faraway park.  Over the 36 1/2 years we’ve lived here…we’ve had a number of critters try and move in..including a chipmunk, a bat and a bird here in the house.  All were shooed back outside.

Anyway, happy Autumn…the Fall or Autumnal Equinox is today (Mon.) at 10:29 pm EDT.  Since the Equinox occurs at the exact second all over the globe, there will be some time zones when the seasonal change will occur on one day and others when that moment is the day after.   So, depending on where a calendar is made, it might show a different date for the change of season.  This time, an American calendar will show 9/22 for the Autumn Equinox, while a calendar from Europe might show 9/23.

We’re starting a spectacular stretch of sunny weather as our clouds break up today.  A high pressure ridge will bring dry conditions the rest of the week and warming temperatures after a rather cool day today.  The overnight GFS-plot keeps G.R. dry until the night of Oct. 1-2.   The Lions won, the Tigers have a 1 1/2 game lead in the most interesting division at this point.  Michigan St. and my Wisconsin Badgers combined for 141 points on Saturday.  Art Prize is about to begin with perfect weather into the coming weekend.  Here’s the details on the very unusual 6 am tornado that occurred Sunday am in Rochester Hills.   So many Michigan tornadoes are these relatively small spin-ups that are so hard to predict in advance.  This one supposedly lasted 2 – 3 minutes.  Also, look what the last day of summer was like at Summit Camp, Greenland.


Gas Price May Be Going Up

September 21st, 2014 at 5:33 pm by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

gas prices woodtv   Here’s the latest from Ed:  “Sunday, September 21, 2014:  2:00PM:  Prices continue to drop — $3.10 a gallon in Lowell this afternoon!  While ethanol prices continue to collapse (huge corn crop this summer), wholesale gasoline did spike up on Friday, so I am predicting a possible price re-set on Monday.  Maybe $3.49. — Ed A.


Sunday

September 21st, 2014 at 1:27 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

 Wind damage indiana 5:15 pm Sunday – Mostly overcast, though the clearing is coming…clouds are clearing eastern Wisconsin and there are large areas of sunshine over Lake Michigan.  It’s windy (gusts to 35 mph around 4 pm at Muskegon, 33 mph S. Haven, 32 mph Kalamazoo, 30 mph Grand Rapids) and cool (57° G.R., 52° Ludington, 49° in Cadillac, 43° at Sawyer AFB in the U.P.  Clearing and cool tonight, then mostly sunny for the rest of the week.   I’ll leave radar up for the last of the showers/sprinkles, most now well E and NE of Kent Co.  The Port Sheldon buoy waves peaked at 13.5 feet around 4 pm with winds of 26 mph and gusts to 37 mph.  The mid-Lake Michigan buoy and the Ludington buoy were both reporting waves of 9.2 feet at 5 pm.  The water temp. was 59°.

Today (Sun.) is the last full day of summer.   Tomorrow (Mon.) is the Autumnal Equinox.   Here’s a list of severe weather reports from Saturday.  The picture is a downed tree near Hamlet, IN (from WNDU), where there was a gas leak caused by a fallen tree.  Three homes were evacuated there.  There were several injuries in Plymouth IN where a car ran into a downed tree. There was quite a line of wind damage reports from south of Chicago to the Detroit area.  Clio, MI had 60 mph winds and 2″ of rain in an hour.  Here’s a picture of the storm hitting the Univ. of Illinois football game in Champaign/Urbana.   Michigan has reported 16 tornadoes in 2014.  Eight of the 50 states have had no tornadoes this year (AK, HI, RI, NH, NJ, UT, OR and VT).  Nebraska has had the most tornadoes of any state in 2014 (87) followed by Mississippi (75), Iowa (63) and Texas (58).

Model update:  NAM (car.) has a high of 67.2 today (Sun.), then 61 Monday, and 71.5 Tues.  The GFS plot has a low of 39 Mon. AM for G.R., then highs beginning Monday of 62, 71, 74, 75, 77, 78 and no rain thru next weekend.  The European is also dry from Monday thru next Sunday.

Also:  White House fence jumper was “concerned that the atmosphere was collapsing”.  Question…what if 25 or 50 people jumped the White House fence instead of just one?  Neat pic. of a tornado in the NetherlandsSnow in northern Scandinavia…here’s Kiruna, Sweden.   1.19″ of rain on Mackinac Is.

Here’s Grand Rapids radar and Northern Michigan radar. See the Slight Risk Area in a thread below this one for today/tonight. Storm Total Rainfall will show the heaviest rain and Milwaukee looping radar. Regional radar and the Updated GRR NWS Short Term Discussion. More links: Grand Rapids radar, Northern Indiana radar, Chicago radar, Detroit radar and Milwaukee radar. Here’s regional radar, the College of DuPage Radar Map (pick any radar in the U.S.), College of DuPage Grand Rapids radar, the West Michigan Lightning Tracker, National Lightning Tracker, the local warning/advisory map and the National warning/watch/advisory map, a surface weather map. You can checkout the latest Grand Rapids NWS discussion, the Northern Indiana NWS discussion (includes the Michigan Counties that border Indiana), the discussion for Northern Lower Michigan, and Eastern Lower Michigan. Check out Storm Total Precipitation. Here’s the Spyglass Condos Weather Station the S. Haven GLERL station, the Muskegon GLERL station, the Grand Haven Steelheaders webcam and weather station, and the weather station at Holland State Park. Check out the Maranatha Webcam at Lake Michigan and links to webcams. Here’s the infrared satellite loop (night) and the visible satellite loop (daytime), Lake Michigan water temperatures (summer). Here’s recent storm reports from SW Michigan, Northern Michigan, NE Illinois, SE. Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and E. Michigan. Check out the wind and wave height at the South Mid-Lake Michigan Buoy (Apr. to Nov. only), the North Mid-Lake Michigan Buoy (Apr. to Nov. only), the buoy at Big Sable Point near Ludington and the weather station on the beach at St. Joseph. Here’s Michigan wind gusts from MesoWest, data from the MAWN agricultural weather stations and Weather Underground (data at the bottom from private weather stations). Here’s the Consumers Energy Power Outage Map.

Rainfall Fri. Night: 1.33 Ojibway (Isle Royale) and 0.81 at E. Jordan. Extreme rainfall rates/amounts reported in West Texas – 8.96″ in ~3 hrs – with flash flooding. The rate of sea ice expansion in the S Hemisphere is incredible. A new record expanse of ice and not by a little…by a LOT.


Severe T-Storm Watch until 9 pm

September 20th, 2014 at 3:35 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

WW0504 RADAR Thumbnail Image   Really nice rainbow in G.R!  The threat of severe weather is pretty much over in the WOOD viewing area.  There is a new Severe T-Storm watch for SE Michigan.  There are significant storms in Lenawee and Washtenaw Counties and just north of Flint.  The Michigan football game is in a storm delay (and they’re offense has been in a delay of late, too).   The watch continues for part of N. Indiana and NW Ohio.   The batch of rain moving from MN to WI will be over West Michigan after 1 am.  Nothing severe expected with that.

So far, Gust to 56 mph, small hail and .75″ rain in 7 minutes at Peotone IL and gust to 62 mph at DeMotte IN.  Area south of a line from S. Bend to Sturgis under the gun for damaging wind gusts next 1 1/2 hours.   NWS spotter reports a 70 mph wind gust 1 mile south of Valparaiso, IN…estimated gust to 80 mph north of North Liberty IN.  Damage at Wanatah, Bremen, and Plymouth IN…gust to 70 mph at Hamlet IN.  Injuries in Plymouth IN – where a car ran into a fallen tree.  Winds hit 60 mph at N. Webster IN with damage and 3/4″ hail at Goshen IN.  Gust to 63 mph west of Hillsdale MI – trees and power lines down.  Gust to 65 mph at Clio (near Flint).


Meso Discussion MI, IN, IL

September 20th, 2014 at 2:29 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

meso  Meso Discussion for MI, IL, IN – 40% probability of a watch.  The meso is mainly for Berrien and Cass Co. in Michigan.   SPC says:  “AS ACTIVITY STRENGTHENS THIS AFTERNOON…MORE INTENSE CELLS WILL HAVE POTENTIAL TO PRODUCE DAMAGING WIND GUSTS AND HAIL…WHILE AN ISOLATED TORNADO CANNOT BE RULED OUT. AREA IS BEING MONITORED FOR THE POSSIBLE ISSUANCE OF A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH BY 4 pm.”


Saturday PM Showers and Storms

September 20th, 2014 at 3:00 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

  Saturday 2:20 PM – Meso for Kansas City – look out Detroit Tigers.   The latest from GRR NWS:  “THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED THROUGH ABOUT 11 pm WITH THE HIGHEST CHANCE ACROSS SOUTHEAST LOWER MICHIGAN. THERE COULD BE STRONG DOWNDRAFTS AND LARGE HAIL WITH A FEW OF THESE STORMS BUT THE SPECIFICS IN TIMING AND LOCATION CANNOT BE PINNED DOWN UNTIL THE STORMS ACTUALLY FORM. OUTSIDE OF THE STORMS…SOUTHWEST WINDS WILL CONTINUE TO GUST TO 30 mph INTO THIS EVENING.”  From the Chicago NWS:  “TRENDS SEEM TO FOCUS ALONG/SOUTH OF THE I-80 CORRIDOR FROM EARLY/MID AFTERNOON INTO THIS EVENING. THIS WOULD ALSO BE THE AREAS FOR THE BEST CHANCES FOR SEVERE WEATHER”.   Here’s radar (updates automatically, but is a few minutes behind reality) and lots of useful links to follow today’s storms.   A band of showers (mainly scattered sprinkles) is located from Mt Pleasant to near Benton Harbor…a few showers and t-storms are developing near and southwest of  Chicago.  We also have t-showers developing near Milwaukee and Janesville WI.   These are moving E to ENE and could affect areas south of a line from Holland to St. Johns during the late afternoon/early evening.  The storms west of Chicago time to Berrien Co. at 4:30-4:45 and to the Kalamazoo Airport about an hour later, around 5:30 pm.    See the next two threads for more info.  Here’s the latest thunder probabilities from SPC.  Update from GRR NWS:  “STILL THINKING THAT STORMS WILL DEVELOP AFTER 2 PM…BUT MOSTLY
DRY ACROSS THE SRN CWA PRIOR TO THEN
.”   Satellite loop.  The Slight Risk Area from SPC now covers all of Southern Lower Michigan and more of NW Ohio.  SPC late morning update says:  “SEVERE THUNDERSTORM GUSTS AND HAIL ARE MOST PROBABLE TODAY… FROM NORTHERN MISSOURI ACROSS CENTRAL AND NORTHERN ILLINOIS TO SOUTHERN LOWER MICHIGAN.  SCATTERED TSTMS ARE EXPECTED TO DEVELOP IN NE-SW SWATH THIS AFTN AND MOVE GENERALLY EWD ACROSS OUTLOOK AREA…WITH DAMAGING GUSTS AND SPORADIC SVR HAIL POSSIBLE. A FEW SUPERCELLS ALSO MAY DEVELOP…AND A TORNADO RISK CANNOT BE RULED OUT WHERE STORMS CAN MAINTAIN RELATIVELY DISCRETE CHARACTER INTO MATURITY…LAPSE RATES ALOFT ENOUGH TO PRODUCE MLCAPE RANGING FROM 1000-1500 J/KG OVER LOWER MI AND NWRN INDIANA…”   At 11 am – gust to 33 mph at Holland and 31 mph at Battle Creek…at 2 pm up to 76 deg. in G.R., 79 in Kalamazoo (headed to 80) and …a much more stable 69 at Ludington, 71 at Fremont and 67 in Muskegon.  Sunshine with instability building along and south of I-94.

Model data:  The morning run of the European model still gives G.R. 1.07″ of rain from late Sat. thru Sunday.  The morning run of the NAM (caribou) is in…it gives G.R. 0.75″ of rain thru 10 pm and another 0.12″ tomorrow (Sun.).  Afternoon temps. are in the mid 60s tomorrow, near 60 on Monday and near 70 on Tues. with lows in the upper 30s Mon. AM.   The chance of severe weather remains over the entire area, with the best chance of severe from 2 pm to 8 pm southeast of Holland to St. Johns.   Morning GFS also forecasting heavy rain this PM along I-94 during the late afternoon-early evening.   I’m at work…Ellen (new meteorologist) here, too.   Meso-discussion for MN, E. Dakotas – watch is likely there.    Thunderstorms will be approaching Kansas City where the Tigers and Royals are playing.   The morning run of the GFS would have us dry from Monday thru at least Oct. 1.

Here’s Grand Rapids radar and Northern Michigan radar. See the Slight Risk Area in a thread below this one for today/tonight.  Storm Total Rainfall will show the heaviest rain and Milwaukee looping radar. Regional radar and the Updated GRR NWS Short Term Discussion.  More links: Grand Rapids radar, Northern Indiana radar, Chicago radar, Detroit radar and Milwaukee radar. Here’s regional radar, the College of DuPage Radar Map (pick any radar in the U.S.), College of DuPage Grand Rapids radar, the West Michigan Lightning Tracker, National Lightning Tracker, the local warning/advisory map and the National warning/watch/advisory map, a surface weather map. You can checkout the latest Grand Rapids NWS discussion, the Northern Indiana NWS discussion (includes the Michigan Counties that border Indiana), the discussion for Northern Lower Michigan, and Eastern Lower Michigan.  Check out Storm Total Precipitation. Here’s the Spyglass Condos Weather Station the S. Haven GLERL station, the Muskegon GLERL station, the Grand Haven Steelheaders webcam and weather station, and the weather station at Holland State Park. Check out the Maranatha Webcam at Lake Michigan and links to webcams. Here’s the infrared satellite loop (night) and the visible satellite loop (daytime), Lake Michigan water temperatures (summer). Here’s recent storm reports from SW Michigan, Northern Michigan, NE Illinois, SE. Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and E. Michigan. Check out the wind and wave height at the South Mid-Lake Michigan Buoy (Apr. to Nov. only), the North Mid-Lake Michigan Buoy (Apr. to Nov. only), the buoy at Big Sable Point near Ludington and the weather station on the beach at St. Joseph. Here’s Michigan wind gusts from MesoWest, data from the MAWN agricultural weather stations and Weather Underground (data at the bottom from private weather stations).  Here’s the Consumers Energy Power Outage Map.

Rainfall Fri. Night:  1.33 Ojibway (Isle Royale) and 0.81 at E. Jordan.   Extreme rainfall rates/amounts reported in West Texas – 8.96″ in ~3 hrs – with flash flooding.  The rate of sea ice expansion in the S Hemisphere is incredible.   A new record expanse of ice and not by a little…by a LOT.


Weekend Sports Thread

September 20th, 2014 at 2:53 am by under Bill's Blog, Sports, Weather

detroit lions logo You’ll have to be careful outdoors today. There are lots of sporting events and aluminum bleachers are not the place to be when we have lightning. Eastern Michigan is at Michigan St. (noon – Big Ten Network), Utah is at Michigan at 3:30 pm (WOTV4), Murray St. at W.M.U. at 7 pm (ESPN3). There is a good chance of showers and t-storms for those games, so be prepared. The storms may be past Big Rapids when GVSU and Ferris St. tangle in the evening at 7 pm – but no guarantee on that, and showers are possible there. Notre Dame has a bye week. CMU is at Kansas at 3:30 pm and there is a chance of a shower or t-storm out there.  The Tigers are out in Kansas City – also a chance of a t-storm there.  The Lions and Packers play Sunday at 1 pm.   Often a very slim tornado chance gets top billing, but a much greater area and a much greater number of people are in danger from lightning in most storm situations.

Check out this flash of lightning at a high school football game in Colorado.


Slight Risk of Severe Storms for Saturday

September 19th, 2014 at 2:37 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

0600 UTC Day 1 Outlook day1probotlk_1200_hail day1probotlk_1200_torn  Saturday morning update:  The Storm Prediction Center has put SW Michigan, N Illinois, N. Indiana. SE Wisconsin, much of Minnesota, E. North Dakota and now SE. Iowa and NE Missouri,  also a tiny few square miles of NW Ohio in a Slight Risk Area for Severe Thunderstorms on Saturday (left image).   The middle image is the probability of a severe hail or wind report within 25 miles of a give location and the graphic on the right is the probability of a tornado within 25 miles of a given point.  So, wind and hail are the greater threats.    SPC says: “SCATTERED SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED SATURDAY FROM SOUTHWESTERN LOWER MICHIGAN TO NORTHERN MISSOURI…LARGE HAIL AND DAMAGING WINDS ARE POSSIBLE WITH ORGANIZED MULTI-CELL CLUSTERS AND ISOLATED SUPERCELLS”  The Grand Rapids National Weather Service says:  “CONFIDENCE IS HIGHER THAT WE WILL SEE SOME SEVERE WEATHER…WITH A POTENTIAL FOR DAMAGING WINDS AND LARGE HAIL THE 0 TO 1 KM SHEAR AND HELICITY DO SUPPORT AND ELEVATED RISK FOR TORNADOES. FORECAST SOUNDINGS FAVORED THE 18Z TO 02Z ( 2 pm to 10 pm) TIMEFRAME FOR THE POTENTIAL SEVERE WEATHER. “. I’ve got the afternoon/evening shift Saturday.  I’ll update the blog when I can.  Click on the images to enlarge.  Here’s severe reports from Friday.

Early Sat. AM overnight model data:  The NAM (caribou) gives G.R. a high of 77 today (Sat.) with 0.62″ Sat. and 0.02″ Sun.  The rain would come from 1 pm to 9 pm today.  The GFS plot has rain starting earlier and temps. in the upper 60s much of the day.  It gives G.R. a similar 0.60″ of rain Sat. and another 0.15″ Sat. night and Sun.  The GFS-plot is then dry from Monday thru the rest of September.   The European gives G.R. a whopping 1.22″ of rain in 6 hours Sat. PM and a total of 1.75″ from Sat. AM to Sun. PM – quite a soaking.  It does look  like a fantastic start to Art Prize.

Also, up to a foot of rain in Luzon, Philippines from Tropical Storm Fung-wong.  66 mph thunderstorm gust 19 mi ESE of Contact, NV.


Great Lakes Water Levels

September 18th, 2014 at 9:21 pm by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

Marquette flooding uppermichiganssource.com Lakeshore Blvd. Sept. 10 14 Lake Superior cold water  Click on the pics. to enlarge.  Lakeshore Boulevard was closed in Marquette back a week and a half ago due to flooding from Lake Superior.  The higher lake level and a strong north wind that produced large waves pushed the water onto the road.  Check out the video here from www.uppermichiganssource.com.  The graph on the right shows the water temperature of Lake Superior, as cold as it gets in mid-September.  The weekly lake level summary for Sept. 19 from the Army Corps of Engineers shows that Lake Superior is up 1″ in the last month, up 9″ in the last year and is now 7″ above the long-term average.   It’s now just 6″ below the highest level ever reached in September  (back in 1985).  Lake Michigan/Huron is also up 1″ in the last month.  Michigan./Huron is up an astonishing 19″ in the last year (390 billion gallons per inch = an increase of 7.41 trillion gallons on Lake Michigan.  The increase is 7.6 trillion gallons for Lake Huron).  Lake Michigan is exactly at the long-term Sept. average.  Lake Erie is up 7″ year-to-year and 6″ above the century average, while Lake Ontario is now 1″ above the long-term average.   Lake Superior’s outflow down the St. Mary’s River into Lake Huron is expected to remain “well above average through September.

And…Mystery wreck identified in Lake Erie…nice Lake Michigan video here….nice loop of pictures from the Muskegon GLERL camera.