Enjoy this last mild day with temperatures topping out in the low-mid 50s this evening (mid 40s north). Here’s the model update from early morning: The NAM (only goes out to 72 hours) gives GRR a high of 52 today with an isolated shower. The GFS takes us to 50. the European has 52 after sunset. The European has an additional 0.13″ of rain. The models bring in the cold, with the NAM (caribou) taking us down to 39 by 7 am Thurs. and 30 by evening (watch for any puddle freezing up Thurs. evening). The GFS plot has 37 at daybreak and 28 by 8 pm in the evening Thursday. The Euro. would also be down to 28 by 7 pm Thurs. Friday all the models have us holding in the mid 20s much of the afternoon, with low-mid 20s during the day Saturday and mid-upper 20s at most on Sunday. Despite WNW winds off Lake Michigan Thurs to Sat. – the models don’t print out any measurable snowfall (I think there will be at least flurries). Sunday the wind goes NE-E. We could see snow by Sunday evening. Monday the GFS prints out 0.23″, which would likely be about 3-4″ of snow. The Euro. is 0.16″ precip. or maybe 2 1/2 inches. Monday we reach the low 30s. Then the REALLY cold air gets here. Tuesday at 1 PM, the GFS has a temperature in G.R. of +9 with a wind west wind at 20 mph (the high temperature Tue. may be 20 at 12:01 am). At that wind/temperature some schools won’t do recess. There’s steady snow showers off Lake Michigan and slick roads. The European actually prints out 0.08″ and the GFS about the same. Now, we’ll have a high snow to water ratio and events like this tend to be underdone. A west wind at 20 mph means the air doesn’t spend much time crossing the lake. The flake size will likely be small. There will certainly be blowing and drifting snow. The snow is steady thru Tues. night into early Weds. – long duration. The temperature is back to the low 20s Weds. PM on the GFS and 20 on the Euro. I could easily see the entire period producing 6″+ even in inland areas. The GFS doesn’t take us above freezing again until the 14th. Same story on the Euro. Here’s GFS snow/rain/ice pellets/freezing rain out 5 days. Bottom line…relatively warm today with a few showers…cooler tomorrow…colder still Fri-Sun…snow Sun. night/Monday (prob. plowable for much of the area) and REALLY cold with snow and drifting snow Tue. and Tue. night. BTW, natural gas prices has risen 9 of the last 10 days as people know the cold air is comin’. Here’s the CFS forecast for the rest of December…coast-to-coast cold!
Also: Denver was 56 at noon yesterday…then the cold front went thru…the temp. dropped 19 deg. in an hour, 7 more deg. the next hour and fell 44 deg. in 9 hours. At 1 PM Mon. Cheyenne WY was 50, at 1 PM Tue. they were 16. Rapid City SD was 53 at 1 PM Mon. and 18 at 1 PM Tue. High temps. Tues: 8 at Yellowstone N.P., 5 at Great Falls MT, 6 at Calgary, Alberta, 10 at Minot ND. The Golden Snow Shovel goes to Gibbonsville ID with 30″ of new snow. Two Harbors MN had 20.5″ and Duluth 14″ (both of those with a lake-effect boost from Superior). There was a standing seiche on Lake Superior with a strong ENE wind. Also, massive lake-effect snows off the Black Sea. Significant snow for a large part of Arizona (and it may snow in Las Vegas, Seattle and Dallas).
Midday Weds: NAM (caribou) gives G.R. 2.2″ of snow Monday and 1.9″ on Tues…maybe another inch Weds. GFS plot has snow starting Sunday evening. Enjoy the 50+ deg. this evening. GFS has nothing warmer than mid 30s from Thurs. PM thru the middle of the month. Here’s monster-sized snowdrifts near Calgary, Alberta. Here’s Canadian temps. (in F). The mid-Lake Michigan buoy is still out there! It shows a water temp. of 43.5 at 1 PM. Here’s the National Watch/Warning map. From Dr. Joe D’Aleo: “A polar stratospheric warming sometime between late December and February is favored in the west QBO near the solar max, which would tank the AO/NAO and lock in the cold. It usually starts out of southeastern Asia and blossoms to the pole. It takes a few weeks after to bring the effect down. Meanwhile the cold continues to build and the snowcover is increasing.”
Click on the image to enlarge. This is the 183-hour GFS model valid for next Tuesday Night. Shiverin’ Snowman! Keep in mind it’s the GFS and the GFS has the tendency to exaggerate cold blasts in the fall and winter in the mid-long term…but if this is anywhere close to being correct…this is brutally cold…with a stiff wind and lake-effect snow for everyone. The thickness is at 494 and our 850 mb temperature to -25! The air/lake temperature difference will be very large…however the flake size may be smaller and the fetch a bit shorter with a west wind. The GFS plot has temperatures during the day Tuesday from 6 to 12 above with a 20 mph west wind! A temperature of 6 with a 20 mph wind is a wind chill of -14. If it’s 6 on this side of the lake, it’s probably -5 to -10 in Wisconsin. The GFS gives G.R. a high of 14 and low of 3 on Weds. I often go a few degrees above the plot numbers. The GFS also gives G.R. about 2″ of snow Sun. night into Monday with temperatures peaking around 32 Monday. The model also has more synoptic snow about 12/16. . The European model gives G.R. low-mid 50s briefly Weds. evening and only low 20s for much of the daytime hours on Saturday. For next Tues. AM, it has a surface temp. of 11 in G.R. with a -21.6C 850 mb. temp. and a thickness of 510 dropping. Certainly lake-effect snow, but again, there are factors that could limit accums. some. The Euro. gives G.R. 0.13″ of precipitation Sun. night and Monday. That should be snow, but could be a freezing rain/snow mix.
These are the 6-10 day (Dec. 8-12) and the 8-14 day (Dec. 9-16) temperature outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center issued Sunday PM. The blue areas have a good chance of seeing colder than average temperatures and the darker the blue, the better the chance of colder than average. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that much dark blue on a 6-10 day map before. It’s a sure thing that the Arctic Express is coming. The coldest air will plunge down into the northern Rockies and the High Plains, but it’ll get chilly here in the Great Lakes. The overnight run of the European model has our 850mb temperature (a touch less than a mile above ground) going down to about -2F. The model gives Grand Rapids air temperatures only in the low 20s most of Sat. PM and a low of 14 Sunday AM. The GFS has a Sat. AM temperature of 16 with a 13 mph WNW wind off Lake Michigan. If it’s 16 in G.R. with a WNW wind, it might be 5 above in Milwaukee. The overall airmass looks dry, but that kind of cold will generate lake-effect snow. GFS model showing the temperature plunge. Here’s the European model Friday AM with temps. 24 deg. below average in Montana. Check out the European forecast temps. for Denver. How does Peyton Manning do in +5 degree air with a -10 wind chill factor? Green Bay is going to be a cold game, too. Note the purple area from E. OK to W. PA – that’s the European forecast of accum. snow. Looks like it stays warm in S. Florida – still time to plan a trip there to avoid the cold shot.
In the meantime, most all of today is dry – it could be the best day of the work week to run errands and do the shopping. Tonight (Mon. night) we’ll get some light precipitation and the temperatures may be cold enough for a little mixed freezing rain, so watch out for icy spots this evening/tonight/early Tues. esp. on lesser traveled roads. Keep an eye on the car thermometer (assuming it’s working) and slow down if it shows 32 or below. The GFS gives G.R. rain showers Tues. thru Thurs. with 0.32″ and the European has 0.50″. The European takes the temp. in G.R. to the low to mid 50s Weds. night/early Thurs. before the cold air moves in and sends temps. to the low 30s by late Thurs. The GFS has our warmest temps. in the upper 40s Weds. night. Also: Light Pillars in Anchorage, Alaska. The Detroit Free Press columnist (Drew Sharp) voted Ohio State 8th in the AP Poll. I personally think Michigan State has a decent chance of knocking off Ohio State in a neutral setting. Even with a loss, MSU could to to the Rose Bowl. Here’s the Auburn radio call at the end of the Auburn/Alabama game…one of the top ten most dramatic last plays of a football game IMHO. Here’s another nice pic. of the Mt. Etna volcano in Italy.
Click on the images to enlarge. The first (on the left) is temperature departure from average. Pretty much the entire state had colder than average temperatures in November. Grand Rapids was 2.3 degrees cooler than avg. (Muskegon 0.9 deg. cooler than avg. and Lansing 2.9 deg. cooler than avg.). With a temperature of 37.8 deg., it was the coolest Nov. in G.R. since 2002. Precipitation departure from average is the middle graphic. You can see how the heavier precipitation relative to average is north of G.R. and how the precipitation is above average over much of the Lake Michigan drainage basin (Lake Michigan up 2″ in the last month). The 3rd map is snowfall. Grand Rapids officially had 2.2″ for the month…however, Muskegon had 3 times that just on Thanksgiving Day (6.5″) giving them their snowiest Thanksgiving Day ever. Lansing, well inland from the lake-effect, had only 0.7″ of snow. Snowfall totaled 25.6″ in Gaylord. When you add in October, Gaylord is already up to 30.5″ for the season. Herman in the U.P.had 36.1″ of snow in November and adding in Oct., they are up to 43.1″ for the season. While we only had 2.2″ of snow for the month in G.R., we did get at least a trace of snow on 13 days. We had 34% of possible sunshine and an average wind speed of 11 mph made it a relatively windy month. The highlight of the month was the severe weather outbreak on 11/17. From 1950 thru 11/16/2013, we had only five total tornadoes in the state of Michigan in November. We had four on 11/17/2013 (Waters, Centreville, Leslie and skipping from E. Muskegon Co. to Isabella Co. Over 10% of Lower Michigan lost power in the storm and it took nearly a week to get everyone back to full power. December starts with a few relatively mild days, but cold air will rule for much of the month.
Model update – overnight runs: The NAM (caribou) generally has afternoon temps. in the mid 30s and lows in the mid-upper 20s the next 3 days. It gives G.R. a whopping 0.01″ Monday and 0.01″ Monday night. The GFS plot has 0.01 very late Sat. night (mix), 0.01″ late Sunday and 0.04″ Tues. (that would be snow)…then showers Weds. and Thurs. changing to snow showers for Fri. 43 on Weds. is the highest hourly temp. It gives G.R. 18 Saturday am with a 10-15 mph WNW wind and snow showers coming off Lake Michigan. The European gives G.R. about an inch of snow Mon. PM/Night…we get all way to the low-mid 50s very briefly early Thurs., then it’s back below freezing by midnight. Friday THRU Monday are only in the 20s with snow showers and at least light accums.
Here’s a picture taken earlier today from the Muskegon GLERL camera. It was mostly cloudy with breaks int he clouds. A light offshore wind meant the lake was pretty calm. You can see the snow sitting on the breakwaters. The big story continues to be the almost unprecedented jump in Great Lakes water levels over the past year. Lake Michigan/Huron (one big lake for lake level purposes) is now 15″ higher than it was one year ago today. Since each inch of water on Lake Michigan represents 390 billion gallons of water, that means we’ve added 5.85 trillion gallons of water to Lake Michigan in just the past 12 months. The water level of Lake Michigan/Huron is up 2″ in the past month, but remains 14″ below the historical average. It’s 14″ above the lowest November level ever, reached in 1964. Lake Superior is down 1″ in the last month, but has climbed 12″ in the last year. Superior is 3″ below the century average. Lake Erie is down 3″ in the last month, but up 6″ year-to-year. Erie is 2″ below the long-term average. Lake Ontario is down 1″ in the last month, but up 13″ in the last year. Ontario is 2″ above the century average. The flow of water down the St. Mary’s River from Lake Superior to Lake Huron and the volume of water going down the Niagara River from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario is expected to remain near average. Precipitation for G.R. for 2013 is 7.11″ above average. The flow on the Grand River in Grand Rapids as I write this is at 114% of average flow.
The pic. is from Pando Park’s facebook page. Pando is open ’til 10 today (Friday) and 10-10 Saturday for skiing, snowboarding and for tubing. Resorts have been making snow and have natural snow (even powder conditions!). Here’s a list of ski resorts open in Michigan (up to 48″ bases already!). Also open: Bittersweet in Otsego and Timber Ridge in Gobles. Here’s North American snow/ice cover. +95% of Canada has a snow cover. Lake Winnipeg pretty much frozen over and ice is forming at a good clip over Hudson Bay.
Noon – Skies are variable…some areas cloudy, others (southeast of Kent Co.) have seen some sun. Skies cleared out over much of W. Michigan giving us a chilly start to the day with some patchy dense fog. At my place at 5 am, you could see a crescent moon with a layer of fog to my east along the Grand River. Be very careful driving in fog when the temperature is below freezing. You can get condensation and black ice forming on roads in those conditions. Fresh snow, clear skies and light or calm winds brings cold temperatures. The temperature this AM dipped to -9 in Atlanta, -8 at Pellston and Gaylord and -3 at Marquette. Muskegon had 6.5″ of snow yesterday, the snowiest Thanksgiving Day ever. This was the first Thanksgiving with snow on the ground since 2004 for many of us and the first time since 2000 that we stayed below freezing for the full 24-hours of Thanksgiving. Friday AM snow cover: 12″ Big Bay and Fife Lake, 10″ Grand Marais, Beulah, 9″ Traverse City, 7″ Fremont, Muskegon, Scottville and Newberry, 6″ Lake City, 5″ Marquette and Munising, 3″ Grandville and Walker, 2″ East G.R. and 1″ Ford Airport and Hopkins. This is fluffy snow that will settle some even with temperatures below freezing. Here’s a satellite loop.
It was a cold Thanksgiving for much of the country. At one point early Thurs. AM, the average temperature in the Lower 48 states was 26 and the average temperature in the state of Florida was 40. Lows Thurs. AM included 31 at Houston, 36 at Brownsville and the southern tip of Texas, 19 in Marfa TX, -10 at Waverly CO, 25 Mobile AL, 29 Gainesville FL, 14 Jackson TN, 19 Rome GA, Birmingham AL and Charlotte NC, and it dipped into the 30s at Tampa and Orlando. It should be cool and dry today and tomorrow with improving road conditions as the day goes on today. I’m working the evening shift today, so tune in for details on the storm coming next week. (graphic from nbc33). The overnight run of the GFS has us into the (relative) warm sector for next week’s storm with rain around the 4th/5th…then as the cold air comes in we get snow on the 7th/8th with some pretty cold air around the 8th-10th. The overnight European model looks best with a brief shot of warmer air – up to 55 on Thurs. of next week – then below freezing – with highs in the low-mid 20s around the 7th-9th. The Lower 48 temperature anomaly (difference from average) derived from satellite sensor is -0.961C. It’s been a cold month for the Lower 48 states. However, the global anomaly is +0.157C with the U.S. and Southern Canada leading the world in cold and Russia leading the world in warmer than average temperatures this month. Despite the brief warm-up next Thurs., the overall pattern looks cool. Smaller ponds are freezing over and quite a few of the inland lakes are starting to ice up.
This is after 86″ of snow, most of it coming in 2 days at Abruzzo, Italy – ENE of Rome in the province of Pescara. It’s been quite stormy in Europe. Paris has had more rain this month (4.72″) than in an average October and November combined. Picture is from Unwetterzentrale Deutschland, which is the German National Weather Service (from their facebook page). Pictures and video of the snowstorm here.
Last night driving home from work in the early morning on US 131, my car died on the expressway. I’m guessing it was the alternator. All of a sudden my dashboard dimmed. My headlights appeared to dim, but I could click the bright lights on and off…the car seemed to lose power, so I managed to pull off to the side of the road. I put on the hazard flashers…which worked for a few minutes…then got slower and slower and then stopped altogether. The headlights wouldn’t turn off, but seemed to be dimmer. I called my wife (not wanting to bother 911) and she and my daughter showed up about 20 minutes later. In the meantime, unrelated by kind of spooky…one by one, four of the street lights turned off. So, it got kind of dark where I was. It was snowing and a decided to leave the vehicle and go about a 1/2 block south, where a concrete barrier would protect me in case a car spun out (it was snowing and cars were whizzing by. My daughter is a lawyer and found a non-emergency police number and they called a tow truck (I didn’t want to leave the vehicle there…it’s a 2002 that I got in 2001 used – figure that out with 166,000 miles on it and some rust, so it isn’t worth much, but I didn’t want it there nonetheless). A very pleasant policeman arrived and sat there with his lights on until the tow truck came. The tow truck got the vehicle up (and over to Russ and Ron’s on Alpine) in a matter of minutes ( a very pleasant and efficient driver – I thanked him several times for working on Thanksgiving morning). It was cheaper than I thought it would be.
I got to sleep around 6 am and got up to eat at noon. The food was perfect (traditional – turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, bread, cranberry sauce, Alpine Township apple pie, the decorations were simple and perfect and it was nice having daughter 3 and her family here. The snow was falling all day…fat, fluffy flakes – floating – dancing through the air on a gentle breeze. It was a Currier and Ives picture worthy of the softest and most perfect White Christmas. Most of my relatives live a distance away and it’s always nice when we can get together (a shout out to daughter 1 – joining the very big Jones family Christmas in Texas this weekend and to my mother (who just had a tooth pulled yesterday) and sister enjoying the day in Oak Ridge, Tennessee). I’m off today…I work tomorrow…it should be a good day for everyone out shopping as the snow will taper off and the road conditions will improve. UPDATE: Daughter 1′s significant other is a significant runner. Thanksgiving morning he finished 52nd in the Houston Turkey Trot. He beat all the women…again…3 years ago when he ran in that race, they made a mistake and registered him as a woman. He pointed out the mistake, but it didn’t get changed and one list had him as the top woman’s finisher.
Fresh snow cover means cold nighttime temperatures with clear skies and calm winds. The temperature reached zero in Cadillac last night, -3 in Gaylord and -5 at Indian River. If it clears out tonight, it’ll get chilly. I’m tracking a good storm system for the latter half of next week…looks like more rain than snow for us right now, but too early to tell for sure…cold air to follow around the 8th-10th. (more…)