Bill Steffen

More floods in the Southwest

September 14th, 2014 at 5:04 pm by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

  Hurricane Odile is (as I write this) a Category 4 storm with peak winds of 125-130 mph.  It is probably at its peak now and will slowly weaken as it move along he west coast of the Baja Peninsula.  This is a major storm that will produce strong winds and very heavy rain over the southern Baja.  Moisture from this storm will move into S. California and Arizona, where significant rain and some flooding will occur next weekend.  Here’s the forecast trackforecast advisory, public discussion, map of anticipated strong winds, SW U.S. radar, latest Funktop satellite loop, visible satellite loop, radar for southern Baja (Los Cabos) and the latest forecast discussion from NWS Phoenix AZ.

Edouard is a hurricane out in the central Atlantic.  It is no threat to land and will eventually weaken as it moves northeast into cooler water.  We are past the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season (Sept. 10) with relatively little damage from storms in Central and North America.

Typhoon Kalmaegi batters the Philippines and heads toward S. China and N. Vietnam.


Frost Advisory

September 13th, 2014 at 3:08 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

frost advisory   Click the graphic to enlarge.   It’s a little early for this.  The National Weather Service has issued a Frost Advisory for Mason, Lake, Newaygo, Mecosta, Isabella, Osceola and Clare Counties.  Skies will be mostly clear tonight.  Urban areas will dip to the upper 30s to near 40, while cold spots, mainly to the north of Kent County will see temperatures down to the low 30s with scattered frost.  We’ll also have patchy fog during the early morning.  At midnight, it’s already down to 33 at Cadillac and Houghton Lake and 37 at Ludington.  The skies are mostly clear, but (as I write this) no northern lights (aurora).    It’ll be mostly sunny Sunday pm with a period of light rain on Monday. (image from the National Weather Service).

The overnight run of the NAM (Caribou) gives G.R. an early morning low this Sunday of 36° and a high this afternoon of 62°.  Monday morning’s low is 42° with a high of 63°.  The NAM gives G.R. 0.09″ of rain.  Tuesday’s high and low on the NAM for G.R. is 40° and 64°.

McAllen, Texas has received 4.33″ of rain since Friday morning, more rain than they received from June through August!


Saturday

September 13th, 2014 at 10:22 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

radar  adds  muskegon glerlshn glerl Saturday 10:20 am – The rain has ended, except for a band of lake-effect light rainshowers that comes onshore in far SW Allegan and Van Buren Co. and extends down to the Indiana border (radar pic. on the left is at 10:10 am).  That band will shrink and die out as drier air works in during the midday.  It’s not impossible that there could be a waterspout out over the lake until the band dissipates.  The second image is a satellite view, showing skies have become partly sunny over a good portion of West Michigan.  We’ll stay partly sunny thru mid-afternoon and become mostly clear toward late afternoon.  The 3rd and 4th images are pictures from mid-morning from the GLERL cameras at Muskegon (showing calmer water because of the NNE wind with some boats out and then South Haven, where the north wind is producing bigger waves that are crashing over the breakwater.  At 10 pm, the temperature was an even 50 in G.R.  Cadillac was 44, so this north wind will keep us quite cool (for Sept. 13th) today.  Rainfall last night was heaviest north of G.R., where Reed City had 0.72″ and Mt. Pleasant 0.70″.  Grand Rapids had 0.30″ and just a trace to a few hundredths of an inch fell south/southeast of Battle Creek.  Here’s more rainfall totals for W. MichiganNo severe thunderstorms for the U.S. over the next several days.  There were no severe weather reports anywhere in the U.S. yesterdayOverall dry pattern for the next week from S. Michigan to Tennessee.  We’ll get some light rain showers on Monday.  Forecast rainfall amounts on Monday for G.R.:   GFS-plot 0.02″, European 0.03″, NAM (caribou) 0.37″ (NAM is often the highest of the 3 totals).  This is the only rain now thru next Thurs.  While the GFS does take G.R.’s high temps. back to the low 70s by Thursday, the European keeps us cool, with lows for G.R. next Friday AM in the mid 30s.   Heavy rains are likely in Florida and along the Gulf Coast.  Moisture from Tropical Storm Odile will produce significant rain once again in Arizona and S. California.  The drought in Central California continues.  Crops there are irrigated.   Overall this has been a very good year for agriculture in the U.S.

Cold air covers a large section of the central U.S.  Here’s some record low temperatures for the U.S.  Here’s a map of low temperatures last night (37 in Moline IL and Kirksville MO – 35 in Dodge City KS – 19 W. Yellowstone MT.)  Rapid City SD had a high temperature of 39 on Thursday – their average high for the date is 78!  It was a chilly  Up to 20″ of snow fell in Wyoming.  College Station, TX received 3.60 inches of rain on Friday, more than they typically receive in all of September!   Memphis, TN received 4.45″ of rain on Thursday, 1.36″ more than they typically receive in all of September!  Is The Weather Channel for sale?

I’m a guest auctioneer at the Pierce Cedar Creek Institute Late Summer Night Auction tonight (on Cloverdale south of Hastings).  We’ll have a behind the scenes tour of WOOD up for auction and 100 other items.  We had a segment on the auction on 8West this week.


Rain for Friday Football Frenzy

September 12th, 2014 at 12:16 pm by under Bill's Blog, Sports, Weather

football frenzy game   Showers will spread from NW to SE during the late afternoon and evening.  The morning run of the NAM (caribou) has the rain in G.R. mainly falls between 5 pm and 7 am tomorrow morning.  It has rain reaching Kalamazoo by around 8-9 pm.  Plan on taking the ponchos and rain gear if you’re headed out to a game this Friday evening.  The NAM (car.) gives us 1/4 to 3/5ths inch of rain tonight.  It’s east of us by around 10 am Saturday with the sun coming out Sat. PM.  The model also gives G.R. a low of 36 Sunday morning, so we may be looking at Frost Advisories for Sat. night.  We’re going to cover 21 games tonight, inc. Lowell/East G.R., Mona Shores/Rockford and Portage Northern/St. Joseph.

Frost and freeze in parts of the U.P. this AM – morning lows:  33 Marquette, 31 Houghton, 29 Watersmeet, 28 Doe Lake, 26 Kenton.  A mix of rain and snow last night at Ironwood.

Here’s Grand Rapids radar and Northern Michigan radar. See the Slight Risk Area in a thread below this one for today/tonight. Lots of 2-4″ rainfall totals in Iowa. Storm Total Rainfall will show the heaviest rain and Milwaukee looping radar. Regional radar and the Updated GRR NWS Short Term Discussion. Lots of links below. Links: Grand Rapids radar, Northern Indiana radar, Chicago radar, Detroit radar and Milwaukee radar. Here’s regional radar, the College of DuPage Radar Map (pick any radar in the U.S.), College of DuPage Grand Rapids radar, the West Michigan Lightning Tracker, National Lightning Tracker, the local warning/advisory map and the National warning/watch/advisory map, a surface weather map. You can checkout the late. st 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 (until they reset it). 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). Check out the webcam at Krupp’s Resort in the U.P. Here’s the U.S. Low Temperature map. Here’s a live look at the Houghton Bridge. Here’s the Consumers Energy Power Outage Map. Here’s Closings.


Lakes Michigan/Huron now ABOVE average water level

September 11th, 2014 at 7:41 pm by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

Flooding Marquette 9 10 14   This picture from www.uppermichiganssource.com is Lakeshore Boulevard in Marquette today.  The combination of strong north winds and rising Lake Superior water levels caused waves to crash over the boulder-wall and onto the roadway Thursday morning.  More pictures and video here.

The water level of Lake Superior is up 1″ in the last month (at a time when the lake often loses water) and is now up 8″ in the past year.  Superior is now 7″ higher than the long-term average water level.  The water level of Lake Michigan/Huron (one lake for lake level purposes) is up another inch in the last week and (drum roll) the water level is now one inch ABOVE the average September lake level!  Get this…Lake Michigan/Huron is now 19 inches higher than it was one year ago, an unprecedented 12-month increase!  That’s a gain of 7.41 trillion gallons of water in just 12 months.  Lake Huron has gained 7.6 trillion gallons of water in the past year, Lake Superior 4.4 trillion gallons and Lake Erie 1.02 trillion gallons.  That’s a total gain of 20.4 TRILLION gallons of water to the Great Lakes in just 12 months!   Lake Erie is 6″ higher than it was one year ago and 6″ above the average water level.  Lake Ontario is unchanged in the last year and 3″ above the average water level.  Lake St Clair is up 11″ year-to-year and is 7″ above the September average level.   Quite the opposite from this article (press release) that came out only 2 1/2 months ago.

Also:  Carp Attack!   Surf’s UpKayaker from Brazil goes over Tahquamenon FallsMinnesota tackles zebra musselsShipwreck discovered.   The water temperature at buoy just off Ludington dropped 11 degrees in the last 24 hours, from 69 to 58.  It’ll continue to go down with the N-NE winds continuing.


Rain Friday Night

September 11th, 2014 at 12:51 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

muskegon glerl  It was only 52° at noon here on the beach at Muskegon (pic. from the Muskegon GLERL cam. – from NOAA Coastwatch).  We’ve had a band of lake-effect light rain that we have been able to see coming into W. Allegan and Van Buren Co.   There are still a few sprinkles and pockets of drizzle/mist elsewhere, but it’s all pretty light.  We’ll have a chilly night tonight.  The morning run of the NAM (caribou) takes G.R. to 39.3°  at daybreak.  We’ll be dry during most of the day tomorrow, but rain moves in for tomorrow night from NW to SE.  The NAM (car.) has rain starting in Muskegon around 6 pm, G.R. at 7 pm, Kalamazoo at 10-11 am and not until around 1-2 am for Jackson.  So the Friday night football games may be wet (and chilly) esp. to the west and north of G.R.  It’s not impossible that really cold spots (mainly north of Kent Co.) could see a little scattered light frost either tomorrow AM or Sunday AM (when the wind should be calm).

Heavy snow in Custer SDEarliest significant snow on record at Rapid City (and records go back to 1888).  Quite the cold shot from E. Canada to the S. Plains to E. Washington/Oregon.   A lot of the parameters that led to the cold winter from the N. Rockies to the Great Lakes are still in place now.   Monroe MI in the southeast corner of the state had 4.72″ of rain yesterday!  Heavy rain hit much of the state – 3.20″ at Marquette (city) and 2.31″ at Escanaba.  The most in the U.P. was 4.31″ in Harvey.  Big Bay had 3.34″.   The low temperature this am was 32° at Stambaugh, 36° at Herman and Paulding and 38° at Ironwood and Marquette (airport).  Grand Rapids was 2.7° warmer than average for the first 10 days of Sept. – but we’ll eat through that in the next week.


A Cool Week Ahead

September 10th, 2014 at 9:44 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

610temp.new   The cold air is pouring into Lower Michigan and it’s going to be sticking around for awhile.  I don’t think we reach 70 again until the middle of next week.   The gusty winds have caused some power outages.  As of 10:40 pm, Consumers Energy reports 2,926 customers without power.  That includes 493 customers in Kent Co., 738 in Allegan Co. and 484 in Moncalm Co. and 406 in Kalamazoo Co.   This is the 6-10 day outlook from the Climate Prediction Center.  We know it’s going to be colder than average for the next 6 days and this map takes us to Sept. 16-20.  It shows a greater chance of cooler than average temperatures from much of Texas to the Great Lakes and east to the Atlantic.

Shiverin’ Snowman look at this!  At 2 am Heavy snow was falling in Custer, SD, located near Mount Rushmore.   Great Falls, Montana had snow yesterday.  Fairbanks, Alaska has not had snow yet.   At midnight, Eagle River, Wisconsin was reporting “flurries”.


Water Rescue Grand Haven

September 10th, 2014 at 6:44 pm by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

water rescue grand haven 9 10 14 one     A kayaker had to be rescued by surfers at Grand Haven State Park.  The peak wind gust at the Grand Haven Steelheaders Weather station was 40 mph.  The biggest waves at the Port Sheldon buoy this afternoon was 9.8 feet.  We had the rescue live on 24-Hour News 8 at 6 pm.  We’ll have the story and interviews with the rescuers on the news tonight at 10 pm on WXSP and at 11 pm on WOOD-TV-8.  We think the video will make the TODAY SHOW tomorrow morning – so watch DAYBREAK and the TODAY Show tomorrow morning.   Here’s a link to our web story.   Here’s a live picture of the waves at Grand Haven State Park right now.

Two of Bill’s Blog’s  favorite people will be on DAYBREAK Thurs. AM to talk about beach safety and the rescue yesterday.  They are Bob Pratt, Director of Education, Great Lakes Surf & Rescue Project and later in the program he’ll be joined by, Vicki Cech – who began the Beach Survival Challenge to purchase liferings and promote beach safety.  Tune into Daybreak from 4-7 am on WOOD-TV Thursday am.


Five Tornadoes Reported

September 10th, 2014 at 2:14 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

WW0501 RADAR Thumbnail Image    Five tornadoes  hit near Cleveland OH this PM – near the towns of Rittman, Stow, Streetsburo and HiramStory on Stow damage.   There has been building damage and a road is blocked by debris.  Wind damage was reported at a mall near St. Louis and at Salem, Oblong and Breese, Illinois and at Lizton, Odon and Farmland, Indiana.  Here’s Storm Reports for Weds. from SPC.   Most of West Michigan had 2/3rds to 1 inch of rain.  Coldwater reports 1.7″ of rain.  4.5″ of rain fell in Huntington IN.  I-475 was closed in Toledo due to flooding.   Waves to 10-feet at the Port Sheldon buoy Weds. evening.  Gusts to 45 mph at Castle Park in Allegan Co., 43 mph at Holland Harbor, 40 mph at Grand Haven (channel), 39 mph at Muskegon, 37 mph at S. Haven.    Here’s radar for SW Michigan, SE MichiganNW Ohio, N Indiana, Indianapolis and regional radar.

 


Severe Risk Wednesday PM – 1:10 pm update

September 10th, 2014 at 2:29 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

day1probotlk_1200_torn day1probotlk_1300_hail  day1probotlk_1300_wind Click on the images to enlarge.  These are maps from the Storm Prediction Center.  The first shows the possibility of tornadoes and shows only a low 2% area from east of St. Louis to Hillsdale MI to Monroe Co. south into NW Ohio.  This area does include St. Louis, Indianapolis and Fort Wayne.  The middle map shows a 5% probability of severe criteria (1″ in diameter or greater) hail.  This area includes areas south of a line from S. Bend to Port Huron.  The final map on the right shows the risk of severe criteria winds (gusts to 58 mph/wind damage).  This is the greatest threat today.  They show a 5% chance south of a line from Holland to Grand Rapids to just south of Saginaw, the 15% area is pretty much identical to the Slight Risk Area and includes areas from Lafayette IN, to west of Ft. Wayne to Battle Creek to Port Huron – in Michigan this would be along and east/south of I-69 and the greater 30% risk is a narrow band from the St. Louis area across central Illinois to near Indianapolis.  You can follow the day’s severe storm reports here.  Here’s GRR radarregional radar and a surface weather map, which shows the surge of warm, moist air coming up toward the Risk Area and the contrasting cool air moving down through the Northern Plains.  As I write this, the latest HRRR model rainfall forecast shows heavy rain coming across W. Michigan.  Kirksville, MO now up to 9.16 inches of rain in past 24 hours, plus wind damage.

At 1:10 pm, we have a uniform area of light-moderate rain over much of the area (moderate rain at my house.  The temperature and dewpoint in G.R. are both 69 with a SSE wind at 20 mph.  Midway Airport in Chicago is 75/70. The cold front is Madison WI to Quincy IL and making steady progress to the east.  Solid cloud over over the S. Great Lakes.  The clouds and steady rain are holding down temperatures and hence instability, lowering the chance of severe weather.  Winds will stay breezy out of the south and shift to the west behind a strong cold front, which will bring in the coldest air since mid-May, with temperatures during much of the daytime in the 50s.  Another slug of steady rain moves up Friday evening/early night, which could bring some cool and wet weather for the Football Frenzy games Friday evening.

Overnight model data:  European gives G.R. 0.98″ of rain in 6 hours this AM into early PM and 1.09″ total with another 0.40″ Friday night into early Sat. and 0.05″ Monday.  The GFS plot has 0.66″ for G.R. today, another 0.41″ Friday night and 0.14″ on Monday.  It gives G.R. 40 deg. early Fri. am and 39 deg. early Sun. am.  The GFS-plot doesn’t take G.R. to 70 (after today) until the 21st.  This is definitely a swing to a cooler pattern.  The NAM (caribou) has 0.78″ for G.R. today.  100% chance of rain – good day to keep the umbrella/rain coat with you.  Gale Warnings are out for Lake Michigan from 11 am today to 11 am Thurs. AM.   Here’s the latest GRR NWS discussion (worth the read this AM).

Monday afternoon in Cut Bank, MT: 81 degrees, 10 degrees above average. This morning it’s snowing there.  New tropical storm (Odile) could bring more heavy rain to NW Mexico and the Southwest U.S.