Bill Steffen

Monday Evening

December 8th, 2014 at 11:23 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Bill with red Georgia Clay    This picture was taken today in Lumpkin GA. and shows the red clay that is prevalent throughout much of the South.  Very few basements are built in tornado prone areas in Tornado Alley across the South due to the shrinking and contracting clay.  I visited Moore OK after the EF5 tornado of 5/3/99.  I talked to a home-builder.  He said he’s only built a handful of basements in Oklahoma.  He told me that the last basement he built cost $40,000.  They had to bring down truckloads of “good” dirt from Kansas and put in a pricey drain system to make it work.

Monday am – we got up, went down to the motel breakfast then Gayle went up to shower and I walked down to the beach (at Destin FL.).  On the way, I passed the seafood restaurant we ate at the night before.  Being a two-cat owner, I was missing my own a little and had befriended a cat who lived outside the seafood restaurant in a dog house.  They set out food, water and a litter box.  The must have remembered me.  It came over and I petted it for about a minute before wishing it a nice life.  The sky was as interesting as it was the night before…several layers of clouds in a variety of colors.  The air was clean and clear and you could see detail all the way down to the horizon.  One young man was fishing at the edge of the water.  There were a dozen people walking beach.  Our motel was right on the incoming landing strip for the Regional Airport (and maybe Eglin AFB), so I saw a handful of planes fly very low to the ground overhead.

We drove north into an overcast sky, but with quite a bit of color variation.  Temperatures quickly fell from the 50s to the mid-upper 40s and a cool north wind gave a hint of December.  We drove past more cotton fields, most harvested, some not.  There was a trail of cotton balls on the side of the road.   There was one spot where there were dozens of large pressed cotton rectangles, big enough to take up most all the room in a semi or to fill a train car.  The cotton was covered by colorful tarps of yellow and orange.  I should have taken a picture.  The Southern Pines stay green all year and I imagined that the pine forests didn’t change much with the changing seasons.  We reached Atlanta as the evening rush hour was beginning and that slowed us up.  On I-75 north of Atlanta there’s one short distance where they had 8 lanes going in each direction (and we were still clogged up).  It got dark by the time we reached the Tennessee border (earliest sunsets of the year this week).  We got to Oak Ridge around 8:30 pm.  Gas here is as low as $2.35.   Everyone is turning in early (inc. me).

I see (as promised) we have the mix of precipitation across Michigan as I write this.  Temps. are in the low-mid 30s as I write this.  Anywhere it is at or below freezing, or above freezing, but snowing fairly hard there could be slick spots during the morning.  Newaygo and Mecosta Counties have had about 1.5″ of snow so far.  There is also some fog.  Slick spots are reported in Northern Lower Michigan.  The first 8 days of Dec. have averaged 3.8 deg. below average.   The GRR NWS reports that November 2014 was the cloudiest November since 2000, with 19% of possible sun.  However G.R. had 43% sun 1st week of December.   Snow at Lambeau didn’t slow the Packers.  Look at this:  Blocking Ridge means temps. like the fridge!  Look at the chilly flow over the Great Lakes.

Also – wind gust to 78 mph on the coast of Iceland, waves to 48 feet!…Flood Watch for San Francisco and much of Central California as powerful new storm moves in off the Pacific…the past three days at Marble Bar, Australia, temps hit a scorching 117 F Saturday and 118 F on Sunday and Monday…Snowfall in IrelandNOAA report says California drought due to natural causes not so called “global warming”.  December rain causing sizable dent in drought and helping to refill reservoirs in California…Halo around the moon in Ohio Sunday nightHeavy coastal rains and inland snows with the northeast storm…24 fatalities in the Philippines from Typhoon Hagupit…

Early Monday Morning – from Destin FL

December 8th, 2014 at 1:28 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Bill with Cotton Southern Alabama 12 7 14  Bill with cotton stache southern Alabama  Bill with butterfly - Pensacola Beach 12 7 14  Bill - Pensacola Beach 12 7 14 view from pier Bill - Pensacola Beach 12 7 14 Christmas ParadeBill - Sunset Gulf Breeze near Pensacola FL 12 7 14 on trip with Gayle  Early Monday – in Destin, Florida.  Click on the images to enlarge.  Spent Sat. night in a motel just north of Montgomery, Alabama.  We woke put to bright sunshine and after a quick breakfast at the motel, we hit the road going south.  I found a Pure gas station.  We had one in Wilmette IL when I was growing up, but it was gone by the time I was in high school and I haven’t seen one since.  They had the best road maps.  I always loved maps and geography.  I actually have a double major in Atmospheric Science and Physical Geography.    Up to this point, most of the trees were bare.  There are the Southern Pines and they have planted bushes along the sides of the interstate that still had green leaves.  As we went south…a higher percentage of the trees were green.  Palm trees are planted here in the South, they don’t grow naturally in inland Alabama and we saw our first palms in Greenville, Alabama, south of Montgomery.   We stopped for another $2 cold cut 6″ sub from Subway (pretty good deal we think).  I took a case of mixed juices along for the trip that we got at Aldi’s.  We stopped at a cotton field that was partially harvested and took a few pictures.  That’s me by an unharvested plant.   The cotton makes a pretty good back up ‘stache!  Got gas at $2.49.  Read on: (more…)

Sunday from Alabama

December 6th, 2014 at 10:17 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Bill with pansies at Alabama Welcome Station 12 6 14  bill rocket alabama welcome station 12 6 14  On the left is me with some pansies, blooming nicely in December.  Pansies (some varieties especially) are cold tolerant and are planted in parts (esp. urban areas) of the South to provide some color during the winter months.  On the right is a 224-foot tall (real) Saturn rocket at the Alabama welcome station on I-65.  It’s been there for 35 years.  We’re in Central Alabama.  There were peaks at the sun here this PM, but generally it’s been cloudy all the way down.  It was in the low-mid 50s, but with a healthy north wind and a damp, cool feel to the air, it didn’t feel that warm.  There was quite a bit of standing water in the fields in Southern Indiana and rivers appeared high from the recent rains all the way down here to Alabama.  We saw what appeared to be swans flying southeast, along with geese, buzzards, hawks and ducks.  We got the $2 six-inch subs at Subway for lunch – pretty good deal.  Lots of Univ. of Alabama flags on the windows of pick-up trucks around here.  We may touch Florida and see the Gulf of Mexico for a few hours before turning back to Tennessee.  There weather down here should be cool and dry.  We’ll take it.  Gas is $2.49 down here.  The people we’ve met have been pleasant.  Watched Wisconsin’s total collapse in the first half of the Big Ten Championship game.  Embarrassing – MSU could have given them a better game.  Heck – Indiana could have given them a better game.   Full moon tonight – the full moon of Dec. is called the “Cold Moon”.

Magnitude 6.8 earthquake 72 mi WSW of Panguna, Papua New Guinea, USGS reports. No tsunami threat expected.  VERY heavy rain and catastophic flooding from slow-moving typhoon Hagupit in the PhilippinesFlooding will cause a greater threat to life and property than wind.   Catbalogan Airport in the Philippines has received 316 mm (12.44″) of rain since Saturday morning.  Northeast snowstorm, Pennsylvania to Maine – east coast cities get mostly rain.  22 named tropical storms in the Western Pacific is well below normal (n=30+) … but last 3 of last 4 (Phanfone, Vongfong, Nuri, Hagupit) maxed out 130-155 knots (145-170 mph).  Only one hurricane (Arthur) affected the Eastern U.S. this year.  The Eastern Pacific had 20 names storms and 9 major hurricanes, the most since 1992.  Most hurricanes that form off of Western Mexico move northwest away from land and eventually dissipate without causing major damage.   Video of pyrocumulus clouds in California (formed over a wildfire).

Just looked at the new overnight NAM run …dry, pleasant and 34 deg. Sunday – a light mix to maybe wet snow and 36 deg. Monday PM into Monday night and dry and 37 deg. Sun. afternoon.  I’m not watching weather that much, so again, check with the Storm Team 8 forecast for the latest.   The GFS-plot has 0.13″ of a mix to wet snow Monday PM into Monday night…slick spots possible Monday evening/night, but with temps. near freezing main roads may just be wet.  Overall quiet pattern for next week as the significant snow misses us to the East and heads into New England.


December 6th, 2014 at 1:32 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

muskegon glerl   muskegon glerl 2muskegon glerl 3  These are 3 pics. from the GLERL cameras at the Muskegon Channel (from NOAA Coastwatch) on Friday.  Click on the images to enlarge.  All 3 pics. show a boat going out or coming in the channel.   They took in the South Mid-Lake Michigan Buoy on Weds.  Remarkably, the North Mid-Lake Buoy is still out there west of Traverse City.  Friday night it showed a water temp. of 41°.   I want to send a special “thank you” to all those involved in making, placing and maintaining the buoys and those involved in getting good data out to the meteorologists, boaters and general public.  It’s a big help and I really appreciate the fact that we still have the buoy data coming in through a good portion of the fall.

I’m in Columbus, Indiana tonight.  We started getting sprinkles leaving Chicago around midday and it’s been a steady rain since mid-afternoon from Lafayette on down (where about 1/2 way between Indianapolis and Louisville).   Indianapolis and Louisville have already had 3/4″ of rain.  This would have been a significant snowstorm if it was about 10-12 deg. colder.  There were still a few spots north of Lafayette where there was some snow in the gully on the west side of the road where the November snow had drifted there (probably 3 feet deep at it’s greatest in the gully.  Like last time, you get the best deal on a motel room thru the coupons that are in pamphlets at the rest areas.  It’s cheaper than any of the other discounts we tried (like senior, AARP, etc.).  It was slow going around Indianapolis.  We actually thought about seeing if we could get tickets to the Big Ten Championship Game, but I think rather than pay the big bucks for an end zone seat, I can see more on TV – do plan on watching the game. There are a couple of games on WOTV4 today.  I got gas for $2.73 north of Indianapolis and avoided the $3.25 in Chicago.  However, south of Indianapolis, there were several stations at $2.49.  We take the long route, but we’re planning on getting to Tennessee to spend most of next week with my mother and sister (and her family).  They had a nice “all you can eat special” at a restaurant we stopped in…but I just don’t eat like that now.  I got a nice moderately-sized piece of chicken, baked potato, vegetables and salad…no dessert.

I’m not watching the weather as much as I usually do (which is still a lot), so check with Storm Team 8 for the latest.  A shout out to Matt Kirkwood, who did my Friday shift on the night of the company Holiday Party.   The weekend looks dry with a mix of precipitation Monday changing to all snow for Monday night into Tuesday.  Weds. looks cool, but Weds. to Fri. could be dry with some sun and slowly moderating temps.  A midweek storm in the East dumps snow in the higher elevations (mostly rain at the Atlantic Coast) and pulls down some cool air midweek for the Great Lakes.  Welcome snow has fallen in the Sierra Nevada Mts. of California.  Wow!  Gust to 148.3 mph on White Mt. in California!  That’s a November record!  Interesting pic. of abandoned home on the Canadian Prairie at sunset in winter.   4.1 e-quake in California – they’re used to these.  Typhoon Hagupit moving through the Philippines today (Sat.) with winds over 100 mph and flooding rains.  Here’s a track map for Hagupit.   Sunset at Key West FL.  The coldest 3-months of the year are Dec. 6 to Mar. 5.

WOW – CFS brings on the cold for much of Canada and U.S. for January!


December 4th, 2014 at 8:29 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Bill and Gayle Chicago 12 4 14  Picture of my wife and I in downtown Chicago Thurs. afternoon.  It was cold and I had a hat on…which I took off for he pic, so I have “hat hair”.  This is Daley Plaza and in the background is the Chicago official Christmas Tree.  IMHO, you couldn’t have a prettier tree than we had for the tree-lightning in downtown G.R.   No snow on the ground here, but it was a chilly, damp day with an east wind off the cold waters of Lake Michigan. They have a German-themed Christkindlmarket on the Plaza.  It’s very well done with many interesting items for sale.  While many are German-themed…you can find wool sweaters from Ireland, knit hats from Ecuador and Peru and interesting items from Nepal.  The Plaza was packed with people.  We watched Peter Pan on NBC.  Daughter #1′s significant other is a very good cello player, who is with the orchestra of a play going on in the evenings here in Chicago.  He knows a couple of the musicians playing the Peter Pan live musical tonight.

Check out GRR NWS forecast update…the morning discussion is very good and discusses the chance of snow early next week, the warmer air that will come with the non-recurving typhoon (Hagupit) in the Philippines (NWS discussion says Indonesia, but it’s really the Philippines), and the eventual return of cold to the Great Lakes.  With the cold coming back, this will not be a month with a record or near-record low amount of snow.   Here’s European model snowfall thru Dec. 11 showing Eastern snowstorm.  The model tries to print out about 3″ of lake-enhanced snow early next work week.  We’ll get a couple days of colder weather with the northerly flow on the back side of the Eastern storm.  The model shows mainly rain for the East Coast cities, with up to a foot of snow from the higher elevations of northern PA up to Maine and eastern Canada.  Here’s the successful launch of Orion this (Fri.) morning.  Look at the latest CFSv2 model forecast for January.   It’s now showing my idea of an Eastern U.S. mean trough and a cold month for the eastern U.S.   Unlike last winter (which was a great winter to head to Florida if you dont like cold and snow), the cold fronts will penetrate farther south into Florida.

From Bloomberg:  “China offered new details on its commitment to rein in greenhouse gases and called on rich nations to speed up delivery of the $100 billion in annual climate-related aid they’ve promised by 2020. Su Wei, China’s lead climate negotiator, coupled his comments on China’s commitment with a call to accelerate funding for climate aid, shifting the pressure to industrialized nations, led by the U.S. and European Union, to do their part toward reaching an agreement next year.  The “$10 billion is just one 10th of that objective,” and “we do not have any clear road map of meeting that target for 2020,” Su said. Climate aid is “a trust-building process,” he added”. Alex Morales and Reed Landberg, Bloomberg, 5 December 2014   Think how much student loan debt we could pay off annual with 100 billion dollars or money for public schools or to fix our roads.  That’s 2 billion per state!

Also:  Phoenix AZ received more rain Thursday than in all of October and November combined!  Cool thunderstorm coming into Sydney, AustraliaTyphoon Hagupit will be a strong hurricane when it hits the PhilippinesClose-up of the eye of Hagupit.  Here’s Hagupit track map…no recurvature, so milder pattern for the Great Lakes into mid-December.  What does a 50% chance of rain mean?   Video of the “Hail Mary” pass for Univ. of Central FloridaAnother picture of “the catch“.  Least) predictable weather in the U.S. = Rapid City SD (I’ve made this claim for 30+ years), most predictable is Honolulu, HI.  Satellites have helped forecast the weather on the West Coast.  Northern Plains into the Great Lakes is tough area to forecast compared to much of the U.S. and certainly compared to most of the world.  December 1-4 global temperatures relative to average…warmer than average in the SE and SW – cooler than average over much of the Northern U.S. and Central Plains.  Noisy fire as the Red Eagle Skeet Shooting Ammunition Barn goes up in flamesSnow over Lower 48 and N America in Nov most extensive in records back to 1967.   Yosemite River back to average-plus level flow after very dry year reduced flow.   San Francisco has had more than 4.5″ of rain since Sunday. In ALL of 2013 SF total: 3.38″!    Windy frost in Germany.

I won’t do a separate lake-levels thread, but Lake Michigan/Huron is down 2″ in the last month, up 20″ in the last year and 7″ higher than average.  Lake Superior is now 9″ above average, Lake Erie is 6″ above average and Lake Ontario is 3′ below average level.  Rivers are higher than average, precipitation in the first two weeks of December is likely to be below average.

Thursday – From Chicago

December 4th, 2014 at 12:49 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

willis red green   Gayle and I drove to Chicago to see daughter #1.  This is the view out her 7th floor condo looking at the (used to be Sears, now) Willis Tower about 4 blocks away, lit up in red and green.  We passed an accident near Holland and a slowdown where it always slows down coming into downtown Chicago on the Dan Ryan.  I remembered to bring sufficient change for the now unmanned toll booths.  There is a 90% full moon high overhead.  The full moon in a couple days near the Winter Solstice climbs high overhead.  I’ve noticed that many of the buildings are totally lit up at night, including the office building across the street.  It seems to be unoccupied at this hour.   I’ll stay here Thursday and head south on Friday toward Tennessee.  It’s nice traveling on dry roads.  Some of the ponds on the way down had ice, some didn’t.  There were a couple spots on the shaded north slopes were a dusting of snow lingered into the afternoon and a few spots were drifted snow from November still hung on in the gully on the side of the highway.  There were still some decent snow piles in a few spots that the plows had built up.   Canadian model snowfall forecast thru 240 hours (thru the 13th), shows only a little light snow from the G.R. area northward with nothing along I-94.  A snowstorm does come up the Appalachians.

We remain in an overall cool (certainly not cold by Dec. standards) and dry pattern.  G.R. is at 31.1″ of snow for the season.  During last year’s 2nd highest season snowfall ever (116″), we didn’t reach 31.1″ until Christmas Day.  The first 3 days of Dec. have averaged 7 deg. colder than average in G.R.  Milder pattern for much of the Continental U.S. for the next 10-14 daysUpper level winds bottle Arctic air up in Canada.

Wow!  Drought-busting rains in California!  San Francisco has received 4.20″ of rain in the past 4 days. In 2013, they had 3.38″ for the entire year!  Sacramento received 2.25″ of rain Weds., breaking the daily record of 1.39″.  Rainfall totals up to 12″!!  Double rainbow in Sacramento.   BIG sinkhole in San Francisco.  Bitter cold in Northern Canada:  The temperature fell to a frigid minus 48 F at Shepherd Bay, Nunavut.   Evacuations underway in Tacloban City, Philippines, as Super Typhoon Hagupit nears.  This storm moving slower than Haiyan and is now up to 170 mph!  That was the area hit hard by Typhoon Haiyan.   Here’s a satellite pictures and track map.   Thursday, the temperature hit a scorching 112 F in Kintore, Northern Territory, Australia.  Kansas sunset.   NASA launch of Orion at 7 am ThursKey West sunset.  The Holiday Lights of DisneyWorld.   Berlin, Germany failed to climb above freezing the past 2 days, the first time since Jan 29-30, 2014.


December 3rd, 2014 at 2:40 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

modis lake michigan   modis lake superior north america snow cover  Here we have a Tuesday PM MODIS Lake Michigan satellite picture showing the lake effect clouds over the lake with a due south wind.  There is some snow on the ground in Wisconsin west of Milwaukee and you can see the ice thru the thin clouds on Lake Winnebago.  The Lake Superior MODIS picture is from Monday (from NOAA Coastwatch) and it’s classic early winter lake-effect cloudiness with a west-northwest wind.  You can see open water in Lake Nipigon north of Lake Superior.  Pretty much all the inland lakes are frozen over.  You can see ice in a couple bays of northern Lake Superior (Black Bay and I forget the bay to the northeast of Black Bay).  The image on the right is Tues. am North America snow cover and ice cover.  Ice cover has grown rapidly over Hudson Bay, which looks to be about 2/3rds to 3/4ths ice covered .  There is snow on the ground from Wisconsin across the Northern Plains.  Air that comes off the snow cover will be cool, but a zonal westerly flow will bring warmer air to the lee of the Rockies and that will start to melt the snow there.   The overall pattern is quiet and seasonal.  A touch of overnight  snow and freezing drizzle (up to 2″ of snow in Oceana. Muskegon and Newaygo Counties) may have left an icy spot to dodge this am, but that won’t last long.  Daytime temperatures will be in the low-mid 30s for the next several days with no significant storms.  Into mid-December, snowfall should be below average over most of S. Michigan with temperatures rising to a little above average.

Precipitation over the Great Lakes Basin was 135% of average in June, 110% of average in July and 120% of average in August.  Lake Michigan/Huron rose 1.9″ during that 30-day period when the average is a 4.7″ fall.  Lake Superior had a 1/2″ rise when it typically falls 1.2″.  At mid-October, Lake Superior was 3 deg. cooler than average, Lake Michigan was 1 deg. cooler than average and Lake Huron was 1.5 deg. cooler than average.  River levels remain above average flow.  Here’s river levels in cubic feet per second (at 2am Weds.) compared to average in (  ):   Grand River at Grand Rapids 5570 (2760), Kalamazoo at New Richmond 2980 (2220), Muskegon at Croton 2740 (1930) and the St. Joseph at Three Rivers 1540 (1060).

Also, I raked up 6 bags of leaves Tues. and 3 bags on Monday – almost all those leaves came down after we got the snow.   There was a thunderstorm in San Francisco overnight.  1.37″ at the San Francisco Airport to far, 1.55″ downtown and they may go over 2″.  A daily record 1.15″ in Los Angeles and 1.32″ at Sandberg CA,   Blizzard conditions in Japan – very cold from Japan across China and up into Siberia.   Interesting follow up note…Typhoon Hagupit looks like it will NOT recurve past Japan.  In (another) victory for the European model (remember Sandy?), the cold air across Japan and China will win and push Hagupit west into the Philippines around the 7th/8th.  Implications:  Arctic air in the Great Lakes may very well be delayed (NOT cancelled, just delayed).  Average to above average temperatures now more likely thru the middle of Dec.

Interesting survey here about where people get their weather information.   The survey said “local TV news”.  That’s only one of the platforms we use to get weather information to customers.  We have radio, the internet, the weather ap, the blog, etc.   Anyway, I would guess that in this market that the Weather Channel and Weather Underground would be lower and that the National Weather Service and local private meteorologists (all media) would be higher.  The NWS has five offices that are responsible for the state of Michigan (Northern Indiana covers the Michigan counties that border Indiana) and they have excellent meteorologists.  This is a very hard area to forecast (Lower Michigan is surrounded on 3 sides by the Great Lakes).  We get great differences in snowfall over short distances.  It’s also very hard to forecast severe weather here.  Many of our tornadoes are relatively small, quick spin-ups that come and go in a few minutes and are embedded in showers or relatively weak t-storms.  You wouldn’t be focusing on the storm that produced the tornado…it may be overall weaker than the storm next to it.  It’s actually easier to give warnings when you have the big Plains supercells.

Univ. of Alabama Birmingham dropping football, bowling and rifle from athletic program.  The last school to drop football was Pacific in 1995.   Any thoughts on Hoke’s replacement at Michigan?  Big basketball game for my Badgers tonight.


Tuesday PM

December 2nd, 2014 at 3:34 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

lake michigan ice Here’s the band of snow coming thru tonight.  An inch or less in most areas, but enough for some slick spots into the morning commute.    Click on the image to enlarge.  We’re almost at 1% ice cover on Lake Michigan already.  It’s a cold start to Tuesday…many temps. in our area were down around 10-15 overnight with a few spots in Northern Michigan getting below zero.  No big storms this week.  They are getting much-needed rain out West.  N. Bend ORE. had 2.83″ of rain Monday.  The San Francisco Arpt. had 3/4″ of rain and Anaheim had 0.35″.

Wow…cold morning!  -22 at Stambaugh in the U.P. this morning, -19 at Amasa, Doe Lake and Wakefield, -17 at Champion, -12 at Iron Mt., -7 Marquette, -4 Munising…it was an impressive +3 this morning at Ojibway on Isle Royale, surrounded by open water.  In the Lower Peninsula, the low temperature reached -2 at Grayling and Roscommon, -1 at Leota (Clare Co.), +1 at Gaylord, +2 at Baldwin.  Houghton Lake reached +4, Manistee and Reed City +7, Cadillac +8, Mt. Pleasant, Entrican, Belding and Big Rapids +9, Ludington+10, Ionia and Lansing +12, Gr. Rapids, Muskegon and Benton Harbor +13, Jackson, Grand Haven and Grandville +14, Kalamazoo +16 and Battle Creek and Holland Arpt. +18.   Overall, relatively mild pattern over much of the U.S. next two weeks…pattern should flip before Christmas.

1.26″ of rain have been recorded at San Francisco International Airport through 1 pm EST today. Last December, SFO had only 0.35″ total for the whole month.  Up to 6″ of rain for the California mountains…means big increase in reservoir levels.  Major ice storm in Austria.  From Joe Bastardi:  “Severe Cold locking into the Far East. China going to need everyone of those coal plants this winter.”   Typhoon Hagupit heading toward the Philippines right now, powerful stormmay wind up close to where Haiyan hit.   Lava flow – Cape Verde IslandsPretty mountain pic.

November 2014

December 1st, 2014 at 1:39 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

advisory  Click on this image from the G.R. National Weather Service to enlarge.   November 2014 brought record snowfall to many locations in Michigan.  Grand Rapids recorded 31″ of snow, beating the old November record of 28.2″ from way back in 1895.  The highest snow total for the state was at Bergland Dam in the U.P. with an amazing 87.4″.  They did not submit weather reports for Nov. 1-6, so that total was just for 24 days.  Herman in the U.P. had 76.3″ of snow in November, including 19.7″ on the 12th.  More snowfall reports for the month of Nov:  S. Ste. Marie 65.4″, Gaylord 57.9″, Munising 57.9″, Marquette 53.0″,  Wellston (Manistee Co.) 44.1″, Big Bay 42.3″, Petoskey 40.4″, E. Jordan 38.6″, Maple City 34.6″, Boyne Falls 34.5″, Cadillac 33.2″, Kalkaska 32.7″, St. Ignace 29.7″ (13.6″ on the 17th), Bloomingdale 25.9″, Traverse City 25.5″, Fremont 25.3″, Muskegon 24.5″ (2nd snowiest), Hart 22.9″, Lake City 21.3″,  Charlevoix 21.1″,  5 NW Battle Creek 20.9″, Hastings 20.6″, Scottville 17.3″, Big Rapids 16.1″, Grand Haven Beach 13.9″, Lansing 6.2″.  Note there was more snow inland, than right at the Lake Michigan shoreline.

Precipitation (rain plus melted snow) in G.R. totaled 4.11″ and that was 0.60″ above average.  The highest 24-hour total was 1.91″ on the 23rd/24th.  At the G.R. Airport, the highest snow depth was 8″ on the 19th and 21st (I had over a foot on the ground for a couple days at my house in Alpine Twp.). We had a whopping 18 days with a trace or more of snow and 14 with measurable snow.  We had 18.6% of possible sunshine compared to an average of 28%.  We only had 4 days with over 50% of possible sunshine.  The average wind was 11 mph. Grand Rapids was 5.8° cooler than average in Nov. with an average temp. of 34.3°.  Kalamazoo was 6.0° cooler than average, Lansing was 5.7° cooler than average and Holland was 5.0° cooler than average.

In December, the average high temperature falls from 40° on Dec. 1  to 30° on Dec. 31.  The average low temp. falls from 28° on the 1st to 20° on the 31st.  I saw a couple of groups of golfers out Sunday PM.  The Zeeland Holiday Parade is tonight (Dec. 1).  Temperatures this afternoon in the mid 20s – today is the coolest day of the week as temps. recover back into the 30s for the rest of the week.  No big storms this week and most of the first 2 weeks of Dec. will feature more quiet days than not with average temps.  Late morning: Missouri big winner right now for downward 24-hr temperature change: 40°F colder than yesterday!!   Early aftn. Monday – Texas on average is 25° cooler than 24-hours agoCold air and snow coming to NW Europe.  Previous longest hurricane-free streak in FL was 5yrs – current streak of 9yrs is unprecedented.  Lowest wind chills in MN overnight:  Grand Marais -39, Ely -35, Hibbing and Intl. Falls -34.  Fairbanks AK has only had 9.1″ of snow so far this season.  Floods in Corsica and Morocco.   From NASA satellite IR data:  Globally, November 2014 temperature was about 0.1°C less than November 2013.   Big snows in the Sierra Mts. of California – a dent in the drought!

White Christmas

December 1st, 2014 at 2:01 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

hagupit track  typhoon track   typhoon satellite   Click on the images to enlarge.  It’s 2 am Monday am.  I’m on vacation.  So…am I on my way to Hawaii or Cancun?  Of course not…I’m tracking a newly formed tropical depression just north of the Equator in the Western Pacific Ocean.  Right now, it’s called 22W, but it’ll probably get named today and will become Hagupit.  It’ll pass by Yap Island.    Then, it moves north and recurves to the northeast east of Japan.  When do recurving Western Pacific typhoons do?  Very often they induce a trough in the Eastern U.S. 6-10 days later.  The PNA (Pacific North America Pattern) goes from the current negative (note the rain in California now) to positive (ridge reforms in the West).   The NAO (North American Oscillation) and the AO (Arctic Oscillation) haven’t locked into a pattern their individual members offer a wide variety of solutions.  However, I think there’s a good chance that a trough will reform over the Eastern U.S.  That will allow the very cold air across Canada to start down into the Central and Eastern U.S.  If you look at the MJO heading toward Phase 1…that’s a pattern that also suggests cold air for the Great Lakes down the road.   We should get some lake-effect snow and probably synoptic snow as well and with temperatures expected to stay cool, I think on this Dec. 1 that we have an excellent chance of a White Christmas here in Michigan and much of the Great Lakes and what should be good conditions at the area ski resorts for the Christmas – New Year’s school break.   So, we get a break this week…cool with not a lot of snow…but down the road, Old Man Winter may be spending Christmas in Michigan.

Also:  Magnitude-4.7 earthquake in N. Arizona near Flagstaff.  Some freezing rain and sleet around St. Louis MO. overnight.  Last 10 days, cold in Central Russia and Canada.    November quite cold in the Great Lakes, but the very preliminary figure for the globe from satellite shows +0.07° warmer than the 1981-2010 climate average.  The Atlantic hurricane season is over.   Accumulated Cyclone Energy of 65 is about 2/3 of average (1981-2010). Nothing remarkable.  Welcome rains continue in California.   Preliminary rankings for coldest Novembers in the Continental U.S. since 1958:  1) 2000 2) 1976  3) 1959  4) 2014 (t).  Iridescent clouds!   Pretty Mountain Snow.    Glacier National Park..