Bill’s Blog

Average Temperatures start to drop

September 2nd, 2014 at 9:07 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Average Temperature August to December from DTW NWS   Click on the graph (from NWS-NOAA) to enlarge.  The graph shows average temperature in Southern Michigan.  The average high temperature for G.R. has already dropped 5° – from 83° in mid-July to 78° on Sept. 1-3.  The fall starts downward at a faster rate from here on.  The average high temperature in G.R. is down to 73° by Sept. 16 and reaches 67° by the end of the month.  by Oct. 15th, we’re down to 61° and on Halloween, it’s 55°.  We reach 40° by the end of November.  As of today (9/2) we have lost 2 hours and 14 minutes of daylight and we’ll lose another 81 minutes of daylight by the end of the month.  Average temperatures lag the position of the sun by about one month.  So, even though we’ve already lost a lot of daylight, average temperatures haven’t fallen very much.  I will be tracking the amount of snow cover that accumulates over N. Canada and Asia.  If snow cover is more extensive than average (which was the case last fall), that is often a sign of a colder and/or snowier winter in the Great Lakes.  If you’ve got a bucket list of things you wanted to do over the summer, the clock is ticking.  We’ve still got some warm, summer days ahead, but fall is going to be knocking on the door before too long.


Do You Know Someone in AZ.or NW Mexico?

September 2nd, 2014 at 2:56 am by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

  It was pretty amazing to see no tropical storms/hurricanes anywhere in the world on 8/28-31.  That has started to change.   First, we have a new tropical storm in the southwest Gulf of Mexico.  We’re down to the letter “D” and this is Dolly.  It will continue moving west into Mexico.   It’s a minimal tropical storm, but it will produce strong, gusty winds, some beach erosion and heavy rain.  The circulation around the storm is counter-clockwise, so the strong winds will occur north of where the center of the storm comes onshore.  That would be north of Tampico.  Now, that red “X” west of Mexico in the image on the left is going to be hurricane Norbert and it’s going to move north up toward the Gulf of California.  The models show this storm bringing significant moisture up into Arizona and the Southwest, where there could be significant flooding in 5-7 days.  If you know someone in Arizona, NW Mexico or the desert SW – they should follow the weather forecasts very closely this week.  The afternoon model of the GFS through 8-days & the Monday morning European model thru 10-days both show major rains (2-6 inches) for Phoenix AZ.

Also, weak El Nino still on track - and remember, weak El Ninos can bring cold and/or snowy winters to Michigan and the Great Lakes states (1977-78). Warmer than average sea surface temperatures south of SE Alaska would argue for continued mean ridge in the west and trough in the East.   Hail as large as golf balls reported in St. Louis by NWS spotter Monday evening.  Law enforcement reported a large tornado on the ground near Cedar Vale, KS, around 8:20 pm CDT Monday evening.   An early season frost is possible in parts of upstate NY and NW New England next Monday (9/8).   1.45″ of rain in 30 minutes in Marlette, MI Monday afternoon.   Sunday 8/31 was the first day since June 29 with no lightning across the state of New Mexico.   Double rainbow plus lightning.   Several new and updated threads below this one…read on if you have time.


Updated Severe Weather Outlooks

September 1st, 2014 at 11:36 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

1630 UTC Day 1 Outlook 1630 UTC Day 2 Outlook 1630 UTC Day 3 Outlook  The Day 3 outlook for Thurs. shows a Slight Risk Area over much of Wisconsin and the U.P.  We’ll have a chance of a t-storm from Weds. night into early Friday.  Gusty winds will be the primary threat.  Th maps here for severe risk for Day 1 (on the left), Day 2 (in the middle) and Day 3 (on the right) should update automatically as SPC adjusts their severe weather forecasts.  There was wind damage in Mt. Pleasant on Monday.  Here’s severe reports and rainfall reports from N. Lower Michigan and Southeast Michigan.  As of late morning, there are some showers in N. Indiana and another areas of showers and storms in far NW Illinois that may clip far SW Michigan.  I’ll update this afternoon/evening.   Sullivan, IN, reports 3.65″ of rain as downpours continue for Midwest.

Monday night model data:  The European gives G.R. 0.69″ of rain from Thurs. night into Fri. evening.  We’d be dry and cooler for the coming weekend with highs down in the low 70s.  The NAM gives G.R. 0.22″ Weds. night and 0.21′” Thurs. PM into early Friday – with a high of 89.3 on Thurs. (probably our last shot at 90).  It’s also dry and pleasant for the coming weekend.   The GFS plot has just 0.14″ (but looks underdone) with low-mid 80s Thurs., low 70s Sat. and mid 70s Sunday.  Plan on a nice weekend.

Check out the GRR NWS discussion and the latest surface map. Check out Regional radar to see the rain across the Great Lakes. Here’s GRR radar, local lightning data, meso-discussions and current watches from SPC and a satellite loop. Here’s current Michigan temperatures, National lightning data and the latest discussion from GRR NWS. Here’s National Storm Reports for today and yesterday. Here’s a live pic. of the beach at Grand Haven, Here’s the latest Grand Rapids NWS discussion.


First Day of School

September 1st, 2014 at 10:46 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Bill in kindergarten   This was my kindergarten picture from 1956 (had that TV-smile going even back then).  I remember we started the third Monday of September.  We went a half day on Christmas Eve. and had a week off between Christmas and New Years.  For the most part, no interstate highway system back then (Ike was working on that), so people didn’t race to Florida and back.  There was no “winter break” outside of Christmas to New Years.  The school never closed for a winter storm.  Whoever made it to school got a day of part-school and part-fun, like watching a National Geographic film about African animals  in the gym.  I remember skating to school one day after an ice storm with my shoes in my Scout backpack.  I remember, fountain pens, Venus Paradise colored pencils and Elmer’s glue.  Lunch was 35 cents in the cafeteria and milk was 6 cents.

The first day of school for many is today (Tue.) and the weather should be pleasant (slight chance of a sprinkle or very light shower early from Muskegon Co. to Saginaw Co. southward), a bit less humid.  Wednesday should also be a nice day with partly-mostly sunny skies.  The warmer, more humid air will be back on Thursday, giving us a chance of a t-storm.  A stronger cold front will then usher in cooler weather for Friday PM and the weekend, with daytime temperatures back to the low 70s.

Happy Birthday to Daughter #3!


2 Tornadoes Confirmed

September 1st, 2014 at 9:59 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

tornado northern Michigan   Two tornadoes have been confirmed in Northern Lower Michigan Monday afternoon. One in far northeast Kalkaska County (9 miles northeast of Kalkaska), rated an EF-1 with maximum winds around 100 mph, and another just to the southwest of Johannesburg in Otsego County, also rated an EF-1 with maximum winds of 110 mph. More details will be coming soon.  These would be similar to the early July Sunday evening tornado that hit the south G.R. metro area.   No injuries were reported that I can tell.  Three people were trapped in their home by fallen trees for a short time.  A considerable number of trees were toppled and power was out in the areas affected.


Dry from Tues. PM thru Weds. Night

September 1st, 2014 at 12:23 pm by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

meso watch Some severe weather in N. Lower Michigan on Labor Day.   Two tornadoes spun up, one NE of Kalkaska and one NW of Grayling. Radar caught substantial velocity couplets and also debris signatures.“  Three people were trapped in a house by storm damageHere’s U.S. storm reports.   There was a Severe T-Storm Watch for NE Michigan.   Here’s the meso-discussion that was in effect for E and SE Michigan. Latest GRR NWS discussion.  Roadway flooding up to 1′ deep near M-46 in Merrill, MI, with more than 1″ of rainfall in 45 min.   A mini-hurricane at my house when the squall went thru in Alpine Twp.  Gusts to 40 mph and heavy rain.  My gutters were overflowing.  Only one decent crack of thunder.     Click on the graphics to enlarge.   SPC had a meso-discussion out for a Severe T-Storm Watch for a large portion of N. Michigan.  “   Scroll down to check radar and links below.   When we did the Muscular Dystrophy Telethon on Labor Day, we’d love a day like this, because everyone came inside and turned on the TV – our phone bank would light up.

There’s an outside chance of a sprinkle or very light shower mainly south of a line from Muskegon to Saginaw Counties early Tues. morning.  Most of us will be dry for the day today.  The European model says …less humid Tues. and Weds…warm and more humid on Thurs.  The model has only 0.1″ of rain Friday into early Sat., but that looks underdone to me.  Significantly cooler for next weekend into early next week.  The Euro. takes temps. to the mid-upper 40s next Monday morning.


Showers/Sprinkles exit Tues. AM

September 1st, 2014 at 9:50 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Tues. AM – There’s a slight chance of a light shower (basically, a sprinkle) south of a line from Muskegon to Saginaw during the early morning.   Yesterday, 0.75″ of rain in an hour in Hesperia.     Updated GRR NWS Short Term Discussion.    Here’s looping radar and Milwaukee radar.   The Beach Hazards Advisory ended at 10 pm Monday but we may need a Beach Hazards Advisory on Thursday.

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.

Also, it’s not just in Michigan, looking at data from the U.S. Historic Climate Network, the number of 90-degree days has been going down since the 1930s.


Few Showers/T-Showers

September 1st, 2014 at 1:00 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Storm total rainfall    Click on the image to enlarge.  I was kayaking Sunday PM at Camp Lake in N. Kent Co.  You could look off to the S-SE and see cumulonimbus clouds.  You can see the streaks of rain that fell on Storm Total Rainfall from the NEXRAD radar at the Ford Airport.  The high temp. Sunday was 84 at G.R., Kalamazoo and Battle Creek – 79 at the Muskegon Airport and 72.7 at 11:59 pm at the Muskegon beach.  It was a rather humid day.

Also:  Magnitude-4.5 earthquake 3.3mi) NE of the Bardarbunga volcano in Iceland.  There is still an alert for a possible major eruption of that volcano.  Vehicles stalled in flash-flood waters 2mi ESE of Des Moines, IA, airport. NWS spotter reports 3.60″ of rain in 5 hours near Charter Oak, IA and a tornado was spotted near Sydney IA. Emergency manager reports a dam has failed and Hwy 39 is closed due to flash flooding 5 miles N of Denison, IA.    Semi-trucks overturned on I-29 near Sergeant Bluff, IA.  August temperature anomaly +0.165°C compared to 1981-2010  climatological normal.  Season-to-date 3 North Atlantic tropical storms (2 hurricanes) total ACE = 19.55 … about 40% below 1981-2010 climatological average.  Looking at the last 10 years, 2014 wildfire acreage burnt in last place , less than 50% of normal for the last 10 years. Tornadoes in 15th percentile.  No tropical storms anywhere on earth on August 31.   Great Lakes water levels rising to near to above average…Arctic ice extent up significantly in the past 2 years, Antarctic ice extent at near record – more than 2 standard deviations above average, record to near record yields for corn, soybeans and Michigan fruit.  Thunderstorm rolls into New York City – then a rainbow over New York City.


Heavy Rains Saturday Evening

August 31st, 2014 at 2:10 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Storm Total Rainfall 8 30 14   Here’s storm total rainfall as of about 1:30 am (click on the graphic to enlarge).  While some areas didn’t get any rain on Saturday, others got soaked.  Storm total rainfall indicates up to 3″ of rain (and it’s still falling in St. Joseph, Branch and SE Calhoun Counties) from mostly evening and early night storms.  A funnel cloud was observed near Ossineke (Alpena Co.).

Also:  Lake Charles, LA, shatters its Aug. 30 rain record with 7.87“…Lightning, heavy rain end Idaho-Florida football game after 1 play…Magnitude-5.4 earthquake 50 miles NW of Fairbanks, AK…4.16″ rain in Paducah, Kentucky…When was the last time there were no tropical storms anywhere on Earth during Labor Day Weekend?…wettest August in Dallas since 1996.

The overnight NAM model gives G.R. just 0.16″ of rain Monday PM and another 0.03″ Monday night.  The GFS-plot has 1″ of rain from Monday PM thru Tuesday AM for G.R. – dry for Tuesday PM and Wednesday.  It has a high of 85 on Thurs. for G.R. and 87 Friday.  The European model gives G.R. 0.37″ from Monday PM to early Tuesday.  It’s dry for midweek.  The European would give us highs in the upper 80s Thurs. and/or Friday, then a t-storm with a significant cool front Friday PM and much cooler for Saturday the 6th.


Severe T-Storm Watch Possible

August 30th, 2014 at 2:32 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

MD 1638 graphic The Storm Prediction Center has issued a meso-discussion about possible severe weather developing this afternoon across a large section of Lower Michigan and parts of northern Indiana and northeast Illinois.   SPC says:  “THE RISK FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WILL INCREASE THROUGH THE AFTERNOON. CONVECTIVE TRENDS WILL CONTINUE TO BE MONITORED…AND THE ISSUANCE OF A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH IS POSSIBLE…DMGG WIND GUSTS SHOULD BE THE PRIMARY SVR RISK…. MARGINALLY SVR HAIL…AND POSSIBLY A WEAK TORNADO…CANNOT BE RULED OUT WITH MORE SUSTAINED… DISCRETE/SEMI-DISCRETE CONVECTION.”  Here’s Grand Rapids radar (line of showers and storms from Houghton Lake to Lowell to N. Van Buren Co. as I write this).  Here’s regional radar.  Here’s the latest Grand Rapids NWS discussion.   See more links in the 2 threads below this one.

No severe weather reports…but gusty winds, heavy rain and lightning.  Not much from G.R. west (a bit of a lake shadow perhaps.  The only severe reports nationwide as of 5:30 pm are a gust to 61 mph at New Orleans and 1″ hail at Pontotoc, Mississippi.   The Holland Regional Arpt. had a gust to 39 mph this afternoon.  Gusts to 30-35 mph throughout much of the area.  The Port Sheldon buoy is reporting waves of 3.8 ft. and a water temp. of 70.