Bill’s Blog

Halloween – Wind, Cold, Rain then Snow

October 31st, 2014 at 12:56 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

   Happy Halloween…some ghoulish weather here.  Hang onto that broom with two hands if you’re a witch or if you’re playing in the Quidditch game at Hogwarts.  The wind chill will be in the low 20s this evening.   The green will change to blue on the radar here as rain changes to snow.  The strongest wind will be from midday to late night with gusts 40+.  Do check the links below and the thread below this on the Wind Advisory.  Snow could come down at a decent clip for a couple of hours around midday – mid-afternoon.  As temps. fall below freezing later this evening/night, there could be an icy spot on the roads.  Generally, an inch or two on the grass.   The time change is this weekend (move the clocks back on hour).  The sunrise will be very late today and Saturday (about 8:15 am), so watch out for kids heading to school in the dark and this evening when they are out collecting candy.  There’s a Lake-Effect Snow Advisory for a large section of Upper Michigan for up to 7″ of snow.  As I write this around 1 am – winds are gusting to 40-50 mph along the Lake Superior shore with light-moderate snow and wind chills as cold as the upper teens.   The wind is going to knock off a lot of the leaves that are still on the trees.  Stay off the piers and breakwaters with huge waves crashing over them today.  The lake level is up +20″ in the last year, so waves are more apt to come over the breakwaters.    As of 1 am early Friday, Gile, Wisconsin had already had 4″ of snow and 5″ of snow in 6 hrs, 2 miles ESE of Wakefield, MI.

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 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 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.

 


Wind Advisory – Storm Warning

October 30th, 2014 at 4:28 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

advisory    The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory for the entire area from 10 am tomorrow (Fri.) until 2 am Saturday morning.  North winds will pick up Friday am and gusts to 35-45 mph are likely in inland areas.  An isolated gust to 50 mph is possible at the lakeshore.  Storm Warnings will be up on Lake Michigan from 6 am to 7 pm Friday.  At 8 pm, it will become Gale Warnings, which will be in effect until 5 am  Saturday.  Winds gusts may reach 60 mph over the south half of Lake Michigan with waves as high as 20-28 feet!  Remember, cold air coming over relatively warm water creates bigger waves.   The mid-lake buoy shows a water temperature of 53°.  A Lakeshore Flood Advisory will be in effect from 8 am EDT Fri. to 5 am EDT Sat. for Berrien Co. Michigan, around the lake through Northern Indiana into the Chicago lakeshore (Cook Co.).  The strongest winds will be late morning into the evening.  The NAM model has rain from around 3 am for Grand Rapids becoming mixed with or changing to snow in the early morning.  Models give G.R. up to an inch of snow on the grassy areas – combine that with a howling wind and wind chill temperatures falling down through the 20s and it’s going to get nasty.  We become partly to mostly sunny for Sat. and Sun. with hard freezes each morning.  The GFS-plot gives G.R. 0.89″ next Mon. night thru Tues. night.

Neat picture of a single thunderstorm anvil on the eastern horizon near AustraliaNAM model printing out snowflurries down into central S. Carolina.   Tropical Storm Vance has formed southwest of Mexico.


Friday Snow

October 30th, 2014 at 4:01 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

winter weather graphic nbc tucson   Just about everyone will see some snow on Friday.  We could catch a light shower or sprinkle later today.  A few rain showers will move through tonight.  From north to south, the rain will become mixed with and then (in most areas) change to wet snow.  It may snow at a pretty good rate for a couple hours about midday/early afternoon.  The most likely place for that would be areas north and east of G.R.  Despite the warm ground, I could see an inch accumulate on some grassy areas.  The European model gives G.R. about 3/4 to 1″ of snow in the midday to mid-afternoon time frame.  The wind is going to be strong from late morning Friday into Saturday morning.  The models have the strong wind from mid-afternoon into the evening, when we could see gusts of 40 mph.  The wind, cold and wet ground will be tough for the high school football playoff games.   With the wind being strong from the north, it will give a distinct advantage to the team moving from north to south – helping kickers, especially.  Most all football stadiums run north and south.  Temperatures will to the low 30s as the snow picks up and then as we get into the evening.  Wind chills may be in the low 20s by evening when kids are out trick-or-treating.  With temperatures dropping into the 20s Friday night, there could be an icy spot or two developing.  With north winds (not coming directly off the lake, we’ll become partly cloudy, but cold for Friday night thru Sunday.  We’ll see rain showers from late Monday night into Tuesday.  High temperatures moderate back into the 50s by Monday PM.


Trackin’ Halloween Snow

October 29th, 2014 at 9:24 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Rainbow 10 29 14 Gary Saulter Bostwick LakeRainbow 10 19 14 Katie Fleet Rockordmuskegon glerl Click on the images to enlarge. We have two views of a rainbow in Rockford…on the left from Gary Saulter at Bostwick Lake and in the middle from Katie Fleet. On the right, a awesome sunset from the Muskegon GLERL camera (from NOAA Coastwatch). Skies will be partly cloudy to mostly cloudy tonight. The sprinkles have mostly ended, but I can’t totally rule out a sprinkle tonight (best chc. near Lake Michigan). A few inland areas could pick up a touch of frost. Tomorrow will become mostly cloudy with a chance of a light shower or sprinkle. Most of the day will be dry. Winds will be light southwest and we’ll max in the low 50s. As the strong system dives out of Canada, we’ll pick up rainshowers Thurs. night. Winds turn to the north and start to pick up in the early morning. The windiest period will be late morning (could be early morning near Lake Michigan) through the evening when winds will be north at 20-25 mph with gusts to 35-40 mph. Rain will become mixed with or change to wet snow in the AM. There could actually be a period when it’s snowing at a decent clip (north or east of G.R.). I wouldn’t be surprised if a few spots picked up an inch on the grass for awhile. We get well below freezing into the 20s Friday night, so it’s not impossible that there could be an icy spot. The weekend looks partly to mostly sunny…only low 40s on Saturday…mid 40s Sunday. Don’t forget the time change this weekend (back one hour). More showers will move in next Monday night/Tuesday.   Here’s the European snow forecast for Friday.

The Arctic Oscillation goes strongly positive (cold around the North Pole).  The Arctic will be building cold air that will be pushing down here in the U.S. in late Nov. – Dec.   The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) goes positive.  This cold shot will be progressive and move out to get temps. back to average early next week.  Nice sunset in NYC.


Snow Flurries on Friday

October 29th, 2014 at 2:16 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

hpc snowfall 2   hpc snowfall Click on the images to enlarge.  These are probability maps from HPC (the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center)…the first showing the (low) probabilities of 4″ or more of snow (it shows areas where they expect the most snow to fall) and the 2nd the percent chance of snow.  The Weds. morning NAM just has trace amounts of snow for us (max. 4″ east of Ironwood), while the GFS has an inch down to G.R., 3″ for Gaylord and 5″ around Herman (west of Marquette) in the U.P.   There’s a very strong contrast between the temperature of the Great Lakes and the cold air, but the general atmosphere dries out quickly and the gradient flow goes more north, rather than west off Lake Michigan.  The ground is warm, but temperatures will get below freezing into the 20s Friday night and Saturday night.  Anyone remember that Minnesota had an incredible Halloween snowstorm in 1991?  37″ of snow fell in Duluth and 28″ in Minneapolis.  Snow cover building early in Canada.   GALE Warnings for Friday – stay off the piers and breakwaters.  The models continue to show temps. in the low-mid 30s for evening trick-or-treat time with a chilly north wind.  Models have the wind 20-25 mph with late afternoon gusts to 35-40 mph.

The average wind speed in G.R. Monday was 16.5 mph.  That was the highest average wind speed of any day since 4/28.  The peak gust in G.R. was 40 mph.  We are now +0.3 deg. for the month of October.  We’re up to 4.68″ of rain for the month and 34.3″ for the year (2.36″ above average).  The high temperature map from yesterday shows the warm surge up the East Coast.  High temperatures reached 80° at Rochester NY, 81° at Scranton PA, 85° in Richmond VA, 87° at Columbia SC and New Orleans.  The high was 88° in Phoenix AZ and 71° in San Francisco.   GFS snowstorm for E. Canada and far E. MaineNASA explains why the Antares rocket failed to launchTuesday sunset over Mobile BayFall colors in the Smoky Mts.   Denver Broncos fan who disappeared while at a game 5 years ago has been foundLava continues to advance on the Big Island of HawaiiBuy a house, get a free huge organ (or visa versa).  Fall color on the Natchez Trace – I’ve taken that once, would like to do it again.  Weatherbell winter forecastSnow accumulating in the Colorado Mts.   I found the King of Weather Tweets!   Pretty landing.

From Paul Pastelok at Accu-Weather:  “If you live in the Northeast and you have heating oil, check your current prices. Last year at this time, prices were at least 75 cents higher. Prices could fall even more in the coming weeks as meetings overseas talk about not slowing production which means the price has a good chance to fall more. Plus with all the changes we are doing here in the U.S. to increase stockpile plus Russia, we are looking at conditions favoring a fall in prices (in Oct.-early Nov.) This is a good thing not only for the time of year where it can save you money around the holidays, but stockpiling before the coming winter which could be rough not only in the eastern U.S. but also in Europe. So let’s take advantage and fill those tanks now.


Early Snow Cover Points to Cold Winter

October 28th, 2014 at 8:40 pm by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

Snow Cover Northern Hemisphere 10 28 14  Snow Cover Eurasia 10 28 14  Snow Cover Canada Oct. 28 2014Click on these images from Environment Canada to enlarge.  The graph on the left is total snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere, the graph in the center is snow cover in Eurasia and the graph on the right is snow cover in N. America (Canada and Alaska)  We continue to have a huge build-up of snow in the northern areas of the Northern Hemisphere.  The bottom line in these graphics is average snow cover.  The line above that is one standard deviation above average.  The red line represents the growing snow cover this fall.  From Canada across Siberia to northern Europe, snow has come significantly earlier than average.  There is a strong correlation between early snow cover in eastern Asia and cold/snowy winters in the eastern U.S.  Air that sits over all that snow is going to be cold and getting colder as the sun continues to retreat to the south until we reach the Winter Solstice on Dec. 21.  While this is just one element that is considered in making a winter forecast, this early build-up of snow suggests that governmental units, charities and families should be prepared for the possibility of extended periods of colder and/or snowier weather relative to average  this winter.  This would especially be a factor in the mid-South that are not used to getting much snow in the winter.


Tuesday AM

October 27th, 2014 at 3:15 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

   Tues. AM – We’ll keep radar at the top of the blog for the last showers (could be a rumble of thunder during the early morning).  At 2 am, it was 70° in Frankfort with a south wind at 16 mph (gust to 22 mph).  At the same time it was just 52 in Cadillac (58 in Traverse City).  A little warm wedge plus a little downslope warning resulted in the warm temp. at Frankfort.   It’s also been windy in places overnight with gusts of 30 mph or greater in Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Fremont.  The showers move east this AM and we should become partly sunny (and windy) for this afternoon with temps. in the low-mid 50s.  Both the European and GFS take the 850mb temp. to -9 Friday evening/night – we should see our first snowflakes of the season on Friday.  The airmass dries out and winds go more northerly.  So, most areas will escape any significant accumulations…but it will be windy and cold on Friday with wind chills in the 20s and I can’t rule out a slick spot or two on the roads as temps. dip to the mid-upper 20s Saturday morning.

Officially, the temperature rose 40 degrees Monday in G.R., from an overnight low of 35 to a high of 75.  You seldom see a range like that from the day’s low temp. to the day’s high temp. here in Michigan.  That was 3 deg. shy of the record high of 78° set back in 1927.  In the last 30 years, the average date of the last 70-deg. day is Oct. 23.  The earliest day we had the last 70-deg. day in the last 30 years was Oct. 8, 2006 and the latest we have ever had the last 70-deg. day was Nov. 23, 1931.

Columbia SC had a low of 41° and a high of 90° – a 49-deg. temperature rise!  If you carrot all for accident reports, read thisHeavy rain in northern Scotland.

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.

 


Some Good News

October 27th, 2014 at 12:22 am by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

gas prices  Let’s start off this Monday with some good news.  Here’s the latest from Ed:

Sunday, October 26, 2014, 5:00PM:  “On June 5, there was a hike to $3.99 in Michigan.  Today, you can find gas under $3.  What a move!  Looking ahead, the recent jump $3.19 coincided with another drop in wholesale prices, so there is a lot of room for prices to drop this week.  I would be looking for gas below $2.90 in places soon.

Now, what explains this 25% drop in retail prices since June, and an even better record the past several years?  I have a few theories:  (1) In September, I wonder if some hedge funds got caught “leaning the wrong way”, betting on higher energy prices.  When that did not materialize, they had to liquidate their bets, causing a sudden drop in prices.  I have no evidence of this, other than I’ve seen this happen before, especially in stocks and other commodities.  (2)  There is significant evidence that the demand for oil and gas has been falling the past several years, while the supply has been rising, due in part to significant increases in US production.  We have been driving less, buying fewer cars, and fuel efficiency has been improving. Consequently, we have been buying less gasoline (which is what the Democrats wanted), while supplies have been increasing (which is what the Republicans wanted).  Hence, a bipartisan victory — lower prices.  (3)  Energy “investors” are looking at the Middle East differently than they did a decade ago.  Then, with the war in Iraq, there was a “global tensions premium” built into energy prices.  As our involvement in Iraq has wound down, the premium has slowly disappeared, and, in the case of the past few months, not so slowly.  What is confounding about this theory is that we have new Middle Eastern tensions (a.k.a., ISIS).  But, perhaps ISIS is not as big a deal as it appears, or perhaps the US really is heading towards energy independence as politicians have talked about since 9/11, and finally, in 2014, we are starting to reap the benefits.

In terms of the Gas Game, it is harder to predict price hikes when there are fewer hikes.  But I’m not complaining!!!! — Ed A.


Shower/T-Storm Anvil W. Horizon at Sunset

October 26th, 2014 at 7:50 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

muskegon glerl  radar mkx  Looking west at sunset, you could see the anvil of a thundershower that was about 150 miles west of G.R.   Click on the images to enlarge.  The first image is the Muskegon GLERL camera pointing west shortly after sunset (from NOAA Coastwatch).  You can see the thundershower anvil top over the breakwater.  The second image is the Milwaukee radar (see current loop of Milwaukee radar here).   Here’s current National Lightning Data (Sunday evening this is showing the lightning in S. Wisconsin).  We also have a nice crescent moon out this evening.   Here’s a loop of the Muskegon GLERL camera showing some boats going in and out of the channel and a nice sunset.  Most of West Michigan is in the General Thunderstorm Outlook from the Storm Prediction Center for tonight.   SPC says “SMALL HAIL WILL BE POSSIBLE IN THE STRONGEST CELLS.”

The afternoon GFS plot has the temp. for G.R. at 34 for 8 pm Friday with it cold enough that any precipitation would be snow or a mix near the lake.  It gives G.R. highs only in the low 40s for next Sat. and Sun.  The European model takes the 850 mb temperature (a little less than a mile above the ground) to around 12F – that is REALLY cold air. While it predicts an overall dry airmass…air that cold crossing the Great Lakes will produce clouds and snow showers.  We’ll get below freezing Friday night/early Saturday.  That means we could see slicks spots on the roads and maybe even some snow accumulations in some areas.  The most likely places for snow accumulations may be the U.P. and inland areas at higher elevations like Cadillac, Lake City and Mancelona.

Check out the lightning in Australia.  Here’s fall colors in Gunthersville, Alabama.  The fall color change is usually only a week or so later in the Smoky Mts., N. Alabama and N. Georgia than it is in S. Michigan.  Tropical cyclone Nilofar will brush Oman, then head toward SE Pakistan and N. India.  Record high of 89 in Lubbock  TX Sunday afternoon.  Wow!  The Lions are 6-2.  Record low number of weather stations in the U. S. Historic Climate Network reached 90 degrees this summer.   Heavy snow on Mt. Rainier, Washington – over 2 feet expected!  Venice is on the east coast of Italy – so…this is likely either a sunRISE in Venice or it’s not Venice.  I think he meant “fog” instead of “dog”.  Waves up to 26 feet off the coast of Scotland.


Sunday

October 26th, 2014 at 3:53 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Kalamazoo Nature Center Weather Station   Kalamazoo Nature Center 10 25 14 Kalamazoo Fire Safety Day I drove to Kalamazoo/Portage Saturday for Fire Safety Day.  Had a great time…talked to a lot of people, a few mentioned the blog – thanks to “Irish Coffee” for stopping by.  Leaves were really coming off the trees as I drove down US 131 under cloudy skies.  I left the Lowe’s a little after 2 pm and drove north on Westnedge, stopping at Markin Glen Park.  I hiked through the park and out onto the bicycle trail.  The campground was over 1/2 full – only one tent – the rest were campers.  Then I went up to the Kalamazoo Nature Center.  I forgot how big it is.  You could fit 2 decent 18-hole golf courses on the property.  I brought some gifts and a couple of science toys for Maranda Park parties and other appearances.  I then drove to the prairie to see the weather station.  I think (but I’m not positive) that this is the weather station that reports on the NWS morning regional climate product.  It’s in the prairie (first picture).  There may be a slight dip there, but it’s not in a valley.  It reads significantly lower than the Kalamazoo Airport on calm, clear nights.  Assuming both thermometers are accurate, there is a significant difference between the prairie and the concrete and asphalt environment of the airport.  If that is the case, you could see how moving thermometers from prairies and fields to airports might have caused the climate data to show some warming.   The middle picture shows the end of the prairie, looking east over the Kalamazoo River valley – (click the images to enlarge) – you can see that we are past peak color.  I drove home up Division, stopping to see the horse drawn cart with lots of happy kids in Wayland.   I got in a couple miles of hiking.

We’re looking at a mostly sunny Sunday.  The NAM and GFS MOS give G.R. a high of 57 and 59 for Sunday pm, but it you look at thickness lines, you’d go at least mid 60s.  Monday will be the warmest day of the week (near 70 or into the 70s if we get some sun, and probably our last 70 in 2014).  We get rain mainly Monday night with the cold front…it may turn out to be dry for more hours than not on both Monday and Tuesday.  It’ll be cooler Tuesday and cooler still on Weds./Thurs.  We are still looking at the coldest air of the season for Friday and Saturday.  The GFS-plot has -10C air at 850 mb and that would cause lake-effect rain and at least mixed snow (not impossible that some places could see some light accumulations and the season’s first slippery roads.  The GFS-plot has the 8 pm temperature at 33F with a 10-15 mph north-northwest wind.  The European has temperatures in the mid 30s for trick-or-treating with a decent wind.  It takes the 850mb temp. to -8.2C.  I know Lake Michigan is relatively warm (could keep the precipitation more rain than snow at the shore) and the air mass is dry, but with temperatures that cold, you’d have to consider accumulating snow somewhere…esp. the higher elevations around Cadillac/Lake City and in the U.P.  It’s too early for snow to hang around…but bottom line is we are looking at the coldest air of the season for Friday and Saturday – a cold and maybe wet trick-or-treat time – and the real possibility of our first snowflakes of the season.

The storm that hit the Pacific NW has left nearly 150,000 customers without power in the Seattle/Puget Sound area.  Gusts to 71 mph at Fort Hall, ID, 62 mph Hanford WA, 69 mph at Antelope OR, and 59 mph at Salmon ID.  Oklahoma City set a record high of 92 on Saturday.  It was 96 in Phoenix AZ, 91 in Wichita KS, 80 in Denver and 70 as far north as Havre, MT.