Bill Steffen

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.


No Tornadoes in Nov.

November 15th, 2014 at 1:44 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Tornado Huntsville 1989  tornadoes 2014 Today is the 25th anniversary of the Huntsville AL tornado of Nov. 15, 1989 (see pic. on left).  The twister was rated F4 and resulted in 21 fatalities, over 400 injuries and damage over 1/4 billion dollars.  The tornado struck at 4:30 pm and was part of a 2-day tornado outbreak.

Through the 14th, there has not been a single tornado in the U.S.  In fact, there has been only one severe weather report!  That was a high wind report from rural New Mexico on Nov. 2.  One reason for the lack of severe weather has been relatively cool tempeatures, not only this month, but through this past spring and even much of the summer.  Since 1950, the only November with zero tornadoes was 1976 (there’s that year again that keeps show up – the winter of 1976 was the coldest winter Grand Rapids has had in the last 110 years).  For the 2nd year in a row, the number of tornadoes in the U.S. and the world is well below average.


Winter Weather Advisory, Sat. Night and Sun.

November 14th, 2014 at 3:34 pm by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

advisory   Winter Weather Advisory for Allegan, Ottawa, Kent, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Mason and Lake Counties from 7 pm Sat. to 4 pm Sun.  for over 6″ of snow.  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 Ionia to Mt. Pleasant.  The cold shot coming Mon. – Tues. looks impressive with snow, drifting snow and strong winds.  Bet there will be some schools closed on Tuesday (maybe even a few on Monday), esp. in the lakeshore counties.  Check out European model snowcover for next Tuesday evening – is it January yet?

Also:  7.6” of snow falls in Boise, ID, breaking the record for most snow in a November storm.  Inferior mirage at sunsetSnow on the mountaintops in E. TennesseeFreezing fog along the Missouri River in Bismarck ND this morningFall colors in N. AlabamaFall colors and the skyline of Birmingham.   What a cold week for the first half of Nov.  Lake-effect clouds over Lake Erie.


Michigan and U.S. Snow Cover

November 14th, 2014 at 12:17 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Snow cover Michigan   52.7% of the Western Great Lakes region has a snow cover this Friday morning.  Current snow depths:  trace for G.R., East G.R. and Hart;  1″ Houghton Lake, Baldwin and Hastings; 2″ Reed City; 4″ Boyne City; 5″ Traverse City; 6″ Muskegon; 11″ Gaylord; 12″ Stambaugh; 13″ Mancelona, Newberry; 15″ Amasa; 18″ Munising; 21″ Grand Marais, Ishpeming; 22″ Sault Ste Marie and Watersmeet; 23″ Marquette Airport and Mohawk; 26″ Ironwood.   28.4% of the Continental U.S. has a snow cover this morning compared to 8.6% on this date last year.   Muskegon set a daily snowfall record for Thurs. with 6.3″ of new snow (airport).  The old record was 2.7″ in 1969.  Sault Ste. Marie set a record with 18.2″ of snow yesterday.  The old record was 5.2″ in 1992.  Snowfall Thursday in Kent/Ottawa County…difference of 1″ to 10″ in just 7 miles.  The 12.3″ of snow at S. Bend IN was the 4th biggest daily snowfall total ever in November (record of 18″ was set back in 1911).   Morning run of the NAM model gives G.R. 4.6″ of snow Sat. night thru Sunday night…more snow showers Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  The model gives Kalamazoo only an inch – where the southwest wind misses Lake Michigan. GFS-plot has 0.21″ precipitation or about 3″ of snow.

This morning, Mobile AL had the same 30° temperature as Barrow, Alaska!  For Mobile, that was a record low temperature, for Barrow it was a record high temperature.   At 9 a.m. EST, it was warmer in Port Heiden, Alaska than anywhere in Texas.  If you look at the upper wind pattern, you can see why…huge ridge over Alaska – huge trough from Hudson Bay down to the Gulf of Mexico.  Overnight GFS model (image on right at the link) shows snow Sat. night/Sunday will be heavier north of a line from S. Haven to Mt. Pleasant.  Note the swatch of snow from NW TN to New England.  Wow:  Model forecast Continental U.S. lowest avg temp for Tuesday morning is 20°F. Some winters never get that cold e.g. 2011-12!!  Here’s a map showing low temperatures in the U.S. last night.   Meteogram from the expert meteorologists at METSUL in Brazil show winter hangs on a long time in the Great Lakes – could be increased potential for river flooding if snow cover hangs on into March/early April.  12.6″ of snow fell in Erie, PA, on Thursday, the snowiest day there since 16.3″ fell on Jan. 21, 2013.  Weak El Nino now (warmer than average temperatures along the Equator in the Pacific Ocean).  PDO is warm (backwards “C” of warm water from Alaska along the West Coast to the Equator) and that should help to keep the mean ridge (warm and dry weather) near the West Coast and the trough (cold and snow) over the Great Lakes and Eastern U.S. this winter.  More records at Casper WY with high of +8 yesterday and low of -26 this morning.  Early snowfall forecast for Italy.


Gas Price Going Down?

November 14th, 2014 at 11:24 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

gas pump nbc chicago  Here’s the latest from Ed:  “Friday, November 14, 2014, 9:30AM:  This week, we’ve seen hikes in Indiana to $2.99 and yesterday in Michigan to $3.09.  These jumps haven’t really fit the Gas Game historical pattern, and yesterday’s Michigan jump looks like a desperate effort to make up for some losses on old inventory purchased at a much higher price in September.  Expect significantly lower prices, as oil fell to its lowest price this year late Thursday, and gasoline futures followed.  Ethanol is back up, but I am still estimating a price to retailers of about $2.75, so there’s a lot of room to drop.” –Ed A.


Friday Snow Showers

November 14th, 2014 at 3:58 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Light to occasionally moderate snow showers will continue at least thru midday.  They’ll be generally more significant west of US 131.   Read the latest GRR NWS discussion. The NWS sent out a statement warning of black ice last night. The Winter Weather Advisory continues until 4 pm for the lakeshore counties plus Lake, Cass and St. Joseph Counties (and for LaPorte, St. Joseph and Elkhart Counties in Indiana.  There was one report of a foot of new snow near S. Bend.)   An inch or less is likely NE of G.R. Roads will become very slick in a few places as snow may melt and refreeze with the warm ground and the friction of the car tires. Watch 24-hour news 8 for the latest.  Just a few flurries early Saturday.  Widespread snow will fall later Saturday night into Sunday (a couple inches for everyone).  Lake enhancement should bring 6″ totals in SW lake-effect bands mostly west of a line from Benton Harbor to Grand Rapids to Howard City.  Arctic air pours in Monday and Tuesday bringing more shovelable lake-effect snow and even colder temperatures.  No sign of any big warm-ups.  The 8-14 day outlook continues to show a high percentage of below average temperatures (and above average snowfall).   Radar here will update automatically. Check out the links below:

Here’s Grand Rapids radar and Northern Michigan radar. 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 IndianahC 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.

Also:  Hettinger ND was -22F at 2 am…temperature at the S. Pole (it’s almost summer there) is -31F – wind chill -70F…snowing in Portland OR – 6.8″ of snow at The Dalles…70% of the Continental U.S. is below freezing at 3 am EST…Gile, WI up to 49.3″ of snow for the week…lake-effect snow in Nebraska??!!   -7° in Goodland KS – coldest ever so early.  Coldest temp. in Wyoming Thurs. am was -34°!!  Much of North America is coldCrimson trees at the home of the Crimson Tide14″ of lake-effect snow east of Cleveland.   WITH THUNDERSNOW!!    POLAR VORTEX!!  Low of -24F in Rawlins, WY, this morning shatters the previous Nov. 13 record from 1959 (-3F) by 21 degrees!