Bill Steffen

Advisory Extended

November 18th, 2014 at 9:37 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

advisory   The G.R. NWS has added another  Winter Weather Advisory.  This for Newaygo, Kent, Barry, Kalamazoo and Montcalm Counties until 3 am.  it’s a Winter Storm Warning for Berrien and Cass.  NWS is forecasting 6-10″ by Thursday night for those 2 counties.


Snow Showers Continue

November 18th, 2014 at 5:52 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

advisory   The Winter Storm Warning (pink color on the map) continues to 9 pm.  The Winter Weather Advisoryfor Oceola, Mecosta, Montcalm, Ingham and Jackson County has been cancelled.  A new Winter Weather Advisory will start at 9 pm for the lakeshore counties from Van Buren County to the north.  We also have a Winter Storm Watch for the counties that border Indiana (Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph).

The high temperature so far in Kalamazoo has been 17°, that’s 30 degrees colder than the average high of 47° for Kalamazoo.  The high of 19° so far today is four degrees colder than the previous coldest high temperature for Nov. 18, which was 23° in 1989.  Snowfall today at the Ford Airport through 5 pm has been 7.3″.  Add the 6″ that fell yesterday and that’s 13.3″.  The monthly total of 18.2″ makes it the 9th snowiest November and more coming for the next 48 hours.  Muskegon has picked up 1.5″ of snow since midnight.  The heaviest snow has been inland in eastern Ottawa and Kent Co. with less snow at the lakeshore.

Snow totals so far downwind from Lake Erie


Snow Tuesday

November 18th, 2014 at 12:28 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

5:10 pm – Several heavy bands of snow, which you can see in the darker blue color.  Over a foot fo snow has fallen from far nrothern Allegan Co. into E. Ottawa and Kent Co.  We had a report of 11″ from Oshtemo, west of Kalamazoo, where there was a car/train accident.  Roads are snow covered and slippery and traffic moves slowly when you get in heavy snow showers.

Over 400 schools closed this morning – including G.R., Kalamazoo and Grand Valley St. Univ.  At my house, I’ve got 13.5″ of new snow on the bird bath and it’s still coming down – .  Lots of snow overhanging my gutter on the east side of the house.

This is the coldest morning in the U.S. in November since 1976!! It was snowing as far south as Columbus, Georgia this morning.  It’s in the upper 20s this am in northwest Florida.  Lake-effect snow and snow showers continue today.  Under the dominant bands, you could see 12-18″ of accumulation with drifts easily over 2 feet by the time this winds down.   Even areas outside the band are getting 6″-plus with lighter amounts east and southeast of Battle Creek and from Montcalm Co. to the northeast.    Here’s the GRR NWS discussion.    Weds. AM a dominant SSW band of lake-effect snow will form from Grand Haven north into Muskegon, Oceana and Mason Counties (maybe W. Newaygo Co. and could drop +6″.  The band will weaken and shift east as the wind goes more westerly in the afternoon.  Snow flurries could last into Friday AM.  We will warm enough to get rain showers over the weekend, with an outside chance of a brief period of freezing rain on Sat. before it gets above 32 degrees.

 

Grand Rapids has had 3.6% sunshine in the last week and only 12.1% sunshine in the last 2 weeks.  The mid-Lake Michigan buoy is still out there and it shows a water temp. of 44 degrees.  The north Lake Michigan buoy is at 43.4 deg. and both the east and mid-Lake Superior buoys show a water temp. of 39.4 deg.  G.R. has now had six consecutive days with high temps. in the low-mid 30s (average high is 47).

This snow is all lake-effect – very dry air mass over most of the U.S.   Unseasonably cold day across most of the country.  Check out the record cold temperatures!   For date of Nov 18th, this is coldest, earliest in month since at least 1958.   HRRR model at 8 am Tues forecasts CONUS (Lower 48) temp of 20.0°F –> coldest in records back to 1979 for entire November.  20°F forecast for Tues. morning for CONUS Lower 48 average would be lowest for month of November since Nov 29-30, 1976 –> 38 yrs!!  Now a full 3°C below 1981-2010 climate normal for CONUS Lower 48 average temperature for month-to-date November!  Thundersnow!!

Check out the links below:

Here’s Grand Rapids radar and Northern Michigan radar, NAM model 3-day snowfall forecast and GFS model 5-day snowfall forecast (totals increased on the Sat. overnight model run). Storm Total Snowfall will show the heaviest snow and Milwaukee looping radar. Regional radar and the Updated GRR NWS Short Term Discussion. More links: Grand Rapids radar, Northern Indian radar, Chicago radar, Detroit radar and Milwaukee radar. Here’s 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. 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.

I’ve been saying that we’ll have some schools closed on Tues. The NAM (car) model has a temp. of 22.5 Tues. AM (and it stays in the low 20s all day), a west wind off the lake at 24 mph, snow plus blowing and drifting snow. The NAM forecasts 2.3″ for G.R. (airport) tonight/tomorrow..another inch Monday and an additional 8″ from Monday night into Tuesday night. The GFS3 has less with a total of 5″ thru Weds. for the airport. In any case, they’ll be enough snow to drift around in the brisk winds from late Mon. thru Weds. t’hat model also has a temp. of +1° for G.R. next Sat. morning. The European model has 0.43″ total precipitation thru Thurs. for G.R. That’d be 7-8″ of total snowfall, with enough wind for some 1-2 foot drifts.

 


Get a Bill’s Blog T-Shirt

November 18th, 2014 at 12:05 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Art Van Santa Claus Parade Logo   Hey, we are looking for 10-12 volunteers to walk along beside me in the Santa Parade in downtown Grand Rapids on Saturday, November 22.  A Bill Steffen T-Shirt will be provided, but you have to be there by 8:15am.  You’ll walk the parade, and hand out Bill Steffen Mustaches.  Contact Laura.Rizzo@woodtv.com if you are interested and to get more details.   Note – the parade starts at 9 am.  I’ll be leaving when I’m done in the G.R. parade, so I can get to Hudsonville and be in that parade.


Winter Storm Warning until 9 pm

November 17th, 2014 at 4:07 am by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

advisory  Click on the graphics to enlarge.nohrsc  A Winter Storm WARNING (pink color on the map on the left) will be in effect for most of the area until 9 pm Tues.  It’s a Winter Weather Advisory for the counties along US 127 plus Montcalm, Mecosta, Osceola, Branch and Hillsdale Counties.  This is for a combination of significant snowfall, strong winds, blowing and drifting snow, low wind chills (especially by November standards), low visibilities and hazardous driving.  We could see snowfall from 1-2″ in Southern Branch and Hillsdale Counties, to a foot with 2+ foot drifts downwind from the fattest part of Lake Michigan.   Again, I do anticipate quite a few school closings for Tuesday.  There are Gale Warnings for the Lake Michigan shore areas.  Here’s a map of NAM model snowfall and GFS model snowfall.  See links in threads below.  Roads will be snow covered and slippery.  Temperatures will be in the upper teens to low 20s tonight and tomorrow (average high temp. for today is 47°).  The afternoon G.R. National Weather Service discussion says there is a possibility of isolated thunder and lightning in the heaviest snow showers tonight!

On the right, the Monday morning snow cover map shows that the Continental U.S. has a 50.4% snow cover!   This is the most snow on the ground that I can remember this early in the season.  It’s more than 20% above the 10-year average for Nov. 17th.    There were snow flurries all the way down to Dallas, Texas on Sunday – the first time it’s ever snowed in Dallas on any Nov. 16.  Here’s snow on the ground this morning in Kentucky.  The surface weather map shows the cold air that’s coming.   At 8 am it was 24° in G.R. and only 10° in Milwaukee with a wind chill factor of -5°.  As the snow picks up, roads will get very slick.  Tornado last night in Blountsville, Florida.  Two injuries were reported.  The tornado hit the Panhandle State Prison, where about 30 cars were damage (some flipped).  Significant  building damage there.  Almost 7 inches of rain in parts of Alabama over the past 24 hours.  Here’s snow on the ground in Cincinnati (snowday for the Cincinnati Reds!)Snow on the ground in Oklahoma and Tennessee.

At 5:45 pm – Quite variable conditions, with some heavy snow showers and just a few flakes in between the snow showers. Downwind from the fattest part of Lake Michigan, I could easily see some spots getting a foot or more of snowfall total by Weds. evening with 18-24″ drifts.  When the wind is stronger, the heaviest lake-effect snow can fall inland from the lake, with lesser amounts at the shoreline.   Roads will become very icy as the snow picks up in intensity.  Temperatures are in the upper teens to low 20s with wind chills in the single figures.   Colder than average weather setting up for the winter in the populated areas of the Northern Hemisphere…Eastern U.S., Europe and China.

Tweet from Joe Bastardi:  “Weatherbell showing similar set up to 1976,with enso from Sept hurricane activity, n hem snow cover. Similar conditions, similar results.”  The winter of 1976-77 was the coldest G.R. has seen in the last 110 years.  If we get early cold, lots of ice on Lake Michigan could minimize lake snow and lake warming.  This is the kind of winter when we have a chance of having an Arctic high pressure center park over us with clear skies and calm winds – we could challenge all-time record low temps. (-24° for G.R., set in 1899 – G.R. made -22F in Jan. 1994).


Winter Storm Watch!

November 16th, 2014 at 3:53 pm by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

advisory   The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for most of West Michigan from Monday afternoon through Tuesday evening.  The Watch will likely be upgraded to a Warning.  The NWS warns of “heavy lake-effect snow, strong west winds, blowing and drifting snow, wind chills down to zero, possible whiteout conditions, dangerous driving conditions”.  Read the G.R. NWS discussion.  It says:  “INSTABILITY BECOMES EXTREME AS THE ARCTIC AIR SPILLS IN FROM THE  WEST AND (Lake Michigan) WATER TEMPERATURES ARE LARGELY IN THE MID 40S. THUS A CONSIDERABLE RESPONSE FROM THE LAKE IS EXPECTED… IF 500 MB TEMPERATURES DO  FALL TO COLDER THAN MINUS 40 OVER THE LAKE…AS SHOWN BY THE NAM  AND GFS (models)…THAT IS DRY ADIABATIC UP TO THAT LEVEL…WHICH IS VERY UNUSUAL. MODELS SHOW INVERSION HEIGHTS CLIMBING TO OVER 15,000  FT…WITH STRONGER OMEGA IN THE DGZ. ALL THIS SPELLS HEAVY LAKE EFFECT SNOW. AS THE COLDER AIR WRAPS AROUND THE SOUTHERN END OF LAKE MI…ENHANCED LOW LEVEL CONVERGENCE IS LIKELY TO LEAD TO AN I-94 BAND OF SNOW…EXTENDING WELL INLAND TOWARD BATTLE CREEK AND CHARLOTTE…IT LOOKS TO ME LIKE CONDITIONS WILL DETERIORATE CONSIDERABLY FOR THE EVENING COMMUTE MONDAY. THIS IS WHEN TEMPERATURES FALL INTO THE UPPER TEENS TO LOW 20S…INSTABILITY INCREASES CONSIDERABLY AND MIXING HEIGHTS  DEEPEN. MOST LOCATIONS WILL SEE GUSTS OVER 30 MPH. THAT COMBINED  WITH HEAVY LAKE EFFECT SNOW SHOULD LEAD TO CONSIDERABLE BLOWING SNOW AND THUS A RISK WHITEOUT CONDITIONS. THUS AN INCREASED POTENTIAL  FOR HIGHWAY PILEUPS…ESPECIALLY FOR PORTIONS OF I96…I196 AND  I94. POSSIBLY FOR THE MONDAY EVENING COMMUTE…BUT MOST LIKELY FOR  MUCH OF TUESDAY.  It won’t be much better on Weds.  I’ve mentioned for several days that we’ll see school closings on Tuesday (and maybe Wednesday).  Travel Monday will be better early than late.  Travel Monday night and Tuesday may be difficult and time-consuming. NAM  The wintry pattern will last much of the week.  Gale Warnings will be in effect for the Lake Michigan shoreline.       Also:  WOW – latest CFS model says cold winter for much of the U.S.   Bittersweet Ski Area staying open ’til 9 today (Sun.).

NAM model forecast snowfall, GFS model forecast snowfall, NWS snowfall forecastLower Michigan snow forecast map.

 

Coldest in 127 years of record!


Ski Season Opens in Lower Michigan

November 16th, 2014 at 3:13 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

boyne highlands  This is a screen grab from the Boyne Highlands webcam….it’s snowing there and they’ve been making snow almost 24/7.  They report 1 lift open, 1 trail and 10 acres of skiing with an 18-24″ base.  Today (Sunday) is opening day and you can ski FREE today – they say:  “We are proud and pleased to be the first resort in northern Lower Michigan to offer you terrain for the season’s first runs and in celebration of winter’s early arrival, we are offering free access!  FREE skiing and riding on the Heather slope with MacGully chairlift service, 10am-4:30pm, today.“   Ski Brule is open for the second weekend of skiing in the U.P with reduced rates…Forbush Cross Country is open…Boyne Mt. plans to open Friday and Caberfae on Saturday.  We’ll try and let you know when Cannonsburg, Pando and the rest of the SW Michigan resorts open.

Interesting line from the Gaylord NWS early Sun. am discussion:  “TUESDAY…LES SHOULD CONTINUE TO RAMPAGE…”   (LES is lake-effect snow).  “rampage” is a pretty strong word.  From the GRR NWS Sun. am discussion:  “LAKE SNOWS SHOULD CONTINUE PRETTY MUCH UNABATED THROUGH THE WORK WEEK…”

Also:  15F in Redmond, Oregon, setting a new all-time record low for the city in the month of November.  Cold still pretty intense (for Nov.) early Weds. amPavlof volcano erupting in AlaskaPretty sunset in Birmingham, Alabama.   Snow in Telluride Colorado.  Game time temp of 26 degrees in Madison Wisconsin – coldest Badger football game since Nov. 21, 1964.

By the way, the picture that is on this blog thread – I also put it on the WOOD facebook page (if you look for it at the link…you’ll have to scroll down a ways, and it’s the 2nd time the pic. was put on the facebook page).   The picture (showing snow in Negaunee, Mich. from Daniele Carol Photography has had over 24,000 shares, 5850 likes and 2, 416,000 views just from the WOOD-TV facebook page!  It’s gone all over the world.  The internet is pretty amazing.


Snow

November 15th, 2014 at 6:47 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

  2:40 pm Sunday -  New CFS still showing very cold winter for much of the U.S.   Mostly light snow at this hour.  Side streets and rural roads have slick spots.   Snowfall totals of 1-3″ outside the Advisory and 3-6″ with an isolated 10″ in the Advisory area (see more in thread below this).  Here’s the updated GRR NWS forecast snow mapNational Weather Service regional snow forecast.  I still think the snow/wind/drifting event coming from Monday PM thru Wednesday will be significant and I still look for some school closings at least Tues. AM.  Accu-weather talking about “snow in feet“.

Snow totals:  5″ Orangeville (Barry Co.), 4″ Scottville, S. Haven, 3.5″ Grand Rapids, Mears, Allendale, 3″ Alpine Twp., Belmont, Rockford, Fremont, Jenison, Big Rapids, 2″ Hopkins, DeWitt, Big Rapids.     Up north – 18″ at Brutus and Conway in Emmet Co., 11″ E. Jordan,  up to 9″ in Leelanau Co., 8″ Harbor Springs, 7″ Petosky, 5″ Charlevoix and Wellston (Manistee Co.)

Snow on the ground in Oklahoma, St. Louis, Utah, the Alps, Fairbanks AK.   Blythe California: temp 61F, dewpoint 5F, RH 10% w/north wind at 35 mph.  3″ of snow south of Amarillo, TX; snow pressing toward Lubbock and Childress.  2nd straight morning, of Redmond, OR, setting a Nov. record low as temps. dropped to -19 F; normal: 26 F.   Six inches of snow forecast along the Ohio River.   Yesterday at this time it was 68 F in Amarillo, TX. Currently, it is 19 F with snow falling.    Alaska volcano erupts.

Check out the links below:

Here’s Grand Rapids radar and Northern Michigan radar, NAM model 3-day snowfall forecast and GFS model 5-day snowfall forecast (totals increased on the Sat. overnight model run).   Storm Total Snowfall will show the heaviest snow and Milwaukee looping radar. Regional radar and the Updated GRR NWS Short Term Discussion. More links: Grand Rapids radar, Northern Indian radar, Chicago radar, Detroit radar and Milwaukee radar. Here’s  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. 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.

I’ve been saying that we’ll have some schools closed on Tues.  The NAM (car) model has a temp. of 22.5 Tues. AM (and it stays in the low 20s all day), a west wind off the lake at 24 mph, snow plus blowing and drifting snow.  The NAM forecasts 2.3″ for G.R. (airport) tonight/tomorrow..another inch Monday and an additional 8″ from Monday night into Tuesday night.  The GFS3 has less with a total of 5″ thru Weds. for the airport.  In any case, they’ll be enough snow to drift around in the brisk winds from late Mon. thru Weds.  t’hat model also has a temp. of +1° for G.R. next Sat. morning.   The European model has 0.43″ total precipitation thru Thurs. for G.R.   That’d be 7-8″ of total snowfall, with enough wind for some 1-2 foot drifts.

 


Winter Weather Advisory

November 15th, 2014 at 2:10 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

advisory  Three counties have been added to the Winter Weather Advisory  (Barry, Ionia and Montcalm).  The advisory starts this evening and runs until 4 pm tomorrow (Sun.).  This is a general 1-3″ snowfall, with an added boost of lake-effect snow downwind from Lake Michigan.  Areas in the Advisory could see 6″ or more of new snow by late Sunday. I’ll bet someone gets 10″ out of this…with much less snow where the wind misses Lake Michigan, southeast of a line from Benton Harbor to Hastings to Mt. Pleasant.  North of that line, the snow could get rather heavy for a brief time.  Sometimes the heavier snow with SW flow sets up along or just west of U.S. 131 from Allegan Co. to the north.

The cold shot coming Mon. – Tues. looks impressive with snow, drifting snow and strong winds. Bet there will probably be some schools closed on Tuesday (maybe even a couple on Monday), esp. in the lakeshore counties.

The NAM (car) gives G.R. (airport) 4.8″ Sat. night/Sunday.  The GFS3 gives G.R. (airport) 2.8″.  It also gives G.R. 9.2″ through next Friday and 14″ to Muskegon.  Grand Rapids doesn’t get warmer than the low 30s all week on the GFS3 and we’re +6° next Friday night at 5 am.  The GFS-plot has .28″ precip. which would be about 4″ of snow.  Keep in mind this is for the airport, which is southeast of the city.  There would be more snow northwest of G.R. on “The Ridge”.   The GFS-plot doesnt give us a temperature warmer than 39° the rest of the month!  Tuesday it gives G.R. a 1 pm temp. of 22 with a 20 mph west wind.  That model gives us measurable snow every day Sunday thru Friday next week.   The European has the temp. in G.R. down to +5 next Sat. morning.  It’s also got +7 Fri. AM and 11 at the airport Monday night (which could only happen if the wind is southwest enough to miss Lake Michigan.  The Euro. has the temp. at 850 mb. down to -17.7C Tues. AM…still -16C Fri. PM.  This is going to be a very cold week for Nov.

Also:  Check out this sunrise thru the icicles at Two Harbors MN at Lake Superior.    7.3 magnitude earthquake off Indonesia – no significant tsunami.  Fall colors Friday in Central Park NYC.


Weekend Sports Thread

November 15th, 2014 at 1:55 am by under Bill's Blog, Sports, Weather

ferris state logo  I’m off to Kalamazoo for the Holiday Parade.  If you see me, say “hi”.  Temps. ought to be in the upper 20s for the parade, the wind not terribly strong from the WSW or SW.

Football starts at noon on WOTV4 with Ohio State at Minnesota.  Minnesota’s not bad – hope they keep it close.  Iowa at Illinois is on the Big Ten Network at Noon.  Miami (of Ohio) is at Central Michigan at 1 pm.  Eastern visits a significantly improved WMU Bronco Team.  That game is at 2 pm – plenty of time to head there after the parade.  Nebraska at Wisconsin should be a good game – that’s at 3:30 pm on ESPN3.  Northwestern is at Notre Dame (they’ve had to remove snow from the field there, too – the South Bend Airport had a record (lake-effect) snow of 12.2″).  That game is on WOOD-TV at 3:30 pm.  Michigan State plays at Maryland at 8 pm on the Big Ten Network.  Michigan has a bye week – 2 games left with Maryland and Ohio State.  Ferris State’s next victim is Walsh – that game is at Noon and GVSU heads to Saginaw Valley for a 1 pm game.  The Lions are at Arizona for what could and should be the game of the day.  That game is at 4:25 pm.  Minnesota and the Bears tangle in snowy Soldier Field Sunday at 1 pm.  Chicago will only get an inch or two of snow Saturday night, but they’ll have to clear things off Sun. am.  We’ve got high school playoff games today as well…join us for the Frenzy on 24-Hour News 8 today.