Bill’s Blog

Another Volcano Erupts – 32 feared dead

September 27th, 2014 at 3:21 am by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

ontake one ontake 2  Mt. Ontake in central Japan erupted Saturday at 11:53 am local time.   A hiker on Mt. Ontake tweeted this photo one minute before the eruption, and hasn’t tweeted since.  Some 240+ hikers were on the mountain when the eruption occurred.  At least one death and 30 injuries have been reported with another 31 still missing and presumed dead.   Check out the pics. and video of the eruption here.

From Wikipedia:Mount Ontake (also referred to as Mount Kiso Ontake) is the second highest volcano in Japan at 3,067 m (10,062 ft) located around 100 km (62 mi) northeast of Nagoya. It is on the borders of Kiso and Ōtaki, Nagano Prefecture, and Gero, Gifu Prefecture.  Thought to be inactive until 1979, it underwent a series of eruptions over the following year  The volcano has five crater lakes, with Ni no Ike at 2,905 m (9,531 ft) being the highest mountain lake in Japan.   (click on the pics. to enlarge – from Wikipedia – pic. on right is the mountain with snow on top in spring).


Weekend Sports Thread

September 27th, 2014 at 2:23 am by under Bill's Blog, Sports, Weather

detroit lions logo     General zonal upper level flow and lots of relatively dry and warm air will mean great weather for sporting events across most of the U.S. this weekend.  The Tigers lost Friday evening (11-4) and the Royals won (first time in the playoffs for them since 1985!)…so the Tigers are now just one game up on the Royals with 2 games to go.  The Tigers have an evening game today (Sat.) and a day game on Sunday.  The Lions will be NYC to play the Jets at 1 pm on Sunday.  The Packers and Bears also kick off at 1 pm.   New Orleans is at Dallas in the evening NFL game on WOOD-TV/NBC.

Michigan State hosts Wyoming at Noon on ESPN2 (should be an easy win for the #9 Spartans).  Michigan takes on Minnesota in the Big House at 3:30 pm.  That game is on WOTV4 at 3:30 pm.  WMU is at Virginia Tech at 12:30 pm on ESPN3.  Central travels to Toledo for a 7 pm game, also on ESPN3.  Notre Dame is at Syracuse and you can see that game on WOOD-TV at 8 pm.  GVSU (0-3) hosts Lake Erie at 7 pm.

Model update:  The overnight GFS-plot has high temperatures for Grand Rapids beginning today (Sat.) of 77, 77, 77, 76, 73, 78 and 67 on Friday.  The next rain for us on the GFS-plot is Thursday evening/night.   The European has a little stronger front for Monday night/Tuesday AM with a few light showers possible then and a little cooler air for Tuesday.   The Euro. is pretty wet for next Friday as the cool air settles in.  Next weekend (Oct. 4-5) won’t be nearly as warm as this weekend.

Check out this flash of lightning at a high school football game in Colorado.


Weekend Weather

September 26th, 2014 at 9:08 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

muskegon glerl sunset nice 9 26 14  muskegon glerl sunset 2 9 26 14 muskegon glerl sunset 3 9 26 14 Friday evening – I’m off today.  I worked last Sat. and Sun.  Tonight I’m home with my wife, who is back from several days in Chicago helping daughter 1 paint her condo.  I’m watching the Tiger game…they’ve got some work to do here, down 10-3 now.  We went to the Meijer Gardens today…looked at the Art Prize entries there.  We went through the Children’s area (every kid was happy), walked by the pond (saw many turtles, a great blue heron, ducks (two kinds), geese, small fish and swans that were sitting five feet from the boardwalk), went up to Lena’s farm, said “hi” to Fred, saw the Japanese Gardens – coming along nicely and had a sandwich, some fruit and chocolate non-fat milk from the cafeteria.   I had a Dr. appt. today, keeping track of my heart.  Don’t know if you can tell at all, but I’ve lost 15 pounds this summer.  I was 185 on June 2, on July 18th I weighed 177 and today I was 170.  I’ve brought a few suits out from the back of the closet that were retired early.  I spend a lot of time sitting at the computer and munching.  I am now walking 20-30 minutes a day…I think I’ve only missed 4 days since Memorial Day.  Gayle’s done a great job of keeping me on a healthier diet.  I’ve found out the hard part is that the biggest factor in weight control is what you eat and how much of it you eat.  I’ve got more to do…I have to get a better treadmill, because I won’t be walking every day this winter.  I could certainly work on my flabby muscles – I’ve got some tips from my fitness-expert daughter (#1).

Beautiful day today!  The high temp. in G.R. was 77°.  We made 80° in Kalamazoo and at the Regional Airport in Holland.  The Muskegon Beach had a high of 72.7° and the Port Sheldon buoy, about 3 miles out in the lake, had a high of 66.6° at 11:50 am.   These are sunset pictures from the Muskegon Glerl Camera (from NOAA Coastwatch).  Click on the pics. to enlarge.  You can see the thin crescent moon in the picture on the left.

Also, Wisconsin fall color report.  Look at the hail that fell during a thunderstorm in Napa, California!  Hurricane activity in the Atlantic peaks in September.  However, this Sept. 8th lowest for hurricane activity in the Atlantic since 1968.  In the Western Pacific, this Sept. could have the least hurricane (typhoon) activity since 1973.   8″ of snow at 8,500 ft. elevation on Mt. Lassen in CA.  Enjoy the warm air while we’ve got it.  Old Man Winter getting organized now in the Arctic!  Record high temps. this Friday:  Hilo HI 90, Miles City MT 97, Elko NV 90 (tied), Page AZ 94, Sheridan WY 92.  Bismarck ND reached 93 today – warmer than any day in August.  Rainfall:  Naples FL 1.78″, Orlando FL 1.66″, 1.19″ Redding CA, 1.00″ Del Rio TX.  Stormy conditions are generating 25-foot waves out at sea to the NW of Scotland.  Pretty windy in the Scottish Mts.  Gust to 98 mph on top of Cairngorm Summit.     Could be some quick showers at the Ryder Cup (on WOOD-TV in the early AM).  Lava flow in Iceland seen from spaceKing Fire in California seen from outer spaceIs this really the “hottest July ever”?  T-Storms prompt Flash Flood Warning for Las Vegas.   Severe t-storms possible in AZ on Saturday.


Great Lakes Water Levels and More

September 25th, 2014 at 8:34 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Bill at Lake Michigan Grafton Wisconsin August 2014   Here I am at a park in Grafton, Wisconsin on our recent trip around Lake Michigan.  Click the pic. to enlarge.  You can see a cloud deck in the distance over the lake and a single  boat enjoying the late afternoon sunshine.    The water level of Lake Michigan/Huron is at the highest level it’s been at since Oct. 1998.   The level is up one inch in the past month…and (drum roll) it’s now 20″ higher than it was just one year ago!!  That is an incredible gain over 12 months.  That’s an increase of 7.8 TRILLION gallons of water in just one year for Lake Michigan and 8 TRILLION gallons for Lake Huron.   The level is exactly at the long-term average.   Lake Superior has gained one inch in the last month and is up 9″ year-to-year.  Superior is 7″ above the century average and just 6″ below the highest level ever reached in Sept. back in 1985.   The outflow of water from Lake Superior down the St. Mary’s River into Lake Huron is expected to remain “well above average” through much of the fall.   Lake Erie is up 6″ in the past year and is now 5″ above the century average.  Lake Ontario is unchanged in the last year and one inch below the long-term average.   Lake St. Clair is up 10″ in the past year and is 6″ above the century average.  The warm, sunny and dry weather may cause the lakes to drop an inch in the next week or two.  We’ll continue to see light winds and relatively calm conditions on the lakes through the weekend.

Also, check out the cool Lake Michigan sunrise pictures from Wisconsin.    Hurray for the Coast Guard Wow…It’s more than twice as old as meCalifornia funnel.


Some Clouds

September 25th, 2014 at 11:18 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

muskegon glerl   Here’s a picture from shortly before 11 am from the Muskegon Channel GLERL camera (from NOAA Coastwatch).  We’ve got a layer of mid-high level clouds overhead.  This is relatively thin and allowing some dim sunshine to filter through, but should hang with us into this evening.  Here’s a satellite loop (daytime) and a satellite loop you can use when it gets darkLocal Radar and Regional radar show there’s no rain out there (some non-precipitation echoes, but no actual rain reaching the ground, save for a few sprinkles in Illinois).  There is rain today for some of the big cities out East up into New England and some much needed showers out in California.  San Francisco has picked up 0.41″ – the most rain in a single day since March 31.  Daytona FL had a whopping 6.41″ of rain on Weds.  Raleigh NC had 3.17″.   Here’s current Michigan temperatures/weather.

The 500 mb (upper level) JMA/JAMSTEC forecast for December shows a trough over the eastern U.S. – a cool and stormy pattern.  New JAMSTEC also looks cooler for W. Europe.  As I have been saying for months…we will have a weak El Nino heading into winter.  It will be centered a bit more toward the Central Pacific instead of near coastal S. America.  This is called a Modoki El Nino and this pattern often is cool for the Great Lakes and Eastern U.S.   Here’s a waterspout off the coast of Valencia, SpainStorm coming into Sydney, Australia Weds  Magnitude-6.1 earthquake strikes 80 miles NW of Anchorage, Alaska


November 1951

September 24th, 2014 at 9:37 pm by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

1951 ski univ. of detroit at cadillac   Pic. is the Univ. of Detroit Ski Club, which had the fortune of forming in Oct. 1951 and skied at Cadillac.  What a November to start a ski club!   November 1950 was a cold and snowy month.  Grand Rapids had the coldest two mornings ever on Nov. 24th and 25th in 1950 with lows of -9° and -10° – the only two days G.R. has been below zero in any November.  We also had the famous Blizzard of 1950 and the Blizzard Bowl between Michigan and Ohio St.

Snow and cold dominated Michigan from the beginning of Nov. 1951, with measurable snow in G.R. each of the first 8 days.  Daily record snowfalls of 5.8″ on the 4th, 6.4″ on the 6th and 7.6″ on the 7th were mainly lake-effect snow.  Parts of West Michigan had over 2 FEET of snow in the first week of November.  Grand Rapids had record low temperatures from the 2nd to the 6th that still stand today, with consecutive lows of 18°, 17°, 15°, 6°and 9°.  The temperature stayed below freezing on the 5th and 6th.   Muskegon also had 5 consecutive record lows, including 12° on the 6th.

Michigan’s average temperature for the month of 29.2° was 2.5 deg. colder than any previous November, with records going back to 1887.  For the state as a whole, the back-to-back Novembers of 1950 and 1951 were the two coldest Novembers ever.  The coldest temperature in the state during the month was -19° at Watersmeet.  Temperatures fell below zero at the Croton Dam at least one morning.   Statewide, the average snowfall for Nov. 1951 was 16.7″.  That ranged from 2.2″ in Monroe to 46.4″ at Bergland in the U.P.  On the morning of the 5th, Bergland had 28″ of snow on the ground.  A few spots in the Keweenaw Peninsula had over 24″ of snowfall in the first four days of November.

A large amount of the corn crop and some of the sugar been crop had not been been harvested yet when the cold and snow hit.   It warmed up after the 8th and the heavy snows of the first week of November melted.  The southern 2/3rds of Lower Michigan had thunderstorms between the 9th and the 12th.  The snow came back in Dec. 1951 and Grand Rapids had 22″ of snow on the ground by Christmas Day.

1951 was the only other year (besides 2014) when we didn’t reach 90 degrees in G.R. during the summer, an interesting similarity.   We also had a warm spell in late Sept./early Oct. in 1951 with the temperature reaching a record 87° on Oct. 4, 1951.

Here’s the latest JAMSTEC winter outlook, showing blue (cold) in the Great Lakes.


Art Prize Begins With Perfect Weather

September 24th, 2014 at 11:35 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

art prize logo   Sunny, warm days and clear cool nights through the weekend.  We could see an isolated patch of fog at night.  We’ll see light winds and no rain.  The overnight GFS-plot has no rain until the night of 10/1.  The European model would have our first rain next Tuesday afternoon.     Nice satellite pic. of the wrapped-up storm coming into the Pacific NW.


Meteor Tuesday Evening

September 23rd, 2014 at 11:25 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

meteor nasa   A meteor flashed across the sky Tuesday evening around 10:06 pm.  If you saw the meteor, let us know which direction you were looking and how high the meteor was above the horizon.  If you can describe the color, length and other features, that would be great.  (file pic. of meteor from NASA).   The meteor has been seen throughout Michigan and adjacent states.  Here’s a list of fireball reports.  This is from Cort’s link below:  “Event #2306-2014 – Over 77 witnesses from MI, IL, OH, IN, ON WI, PA, NY and KY reported a bright fireball over Michigan.


No Rain Until October ?!

September 22nd, 2014 at 8:58 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

610temp.new 610prcp.new 814prcp.new   We might not see rain until October.  The European has showers and t-showers moving in late next Monday night and definitely on Tuesday.  The other models are a little slower and don’t have rain until Oct. 1-2.  However, when the rain gets here, it looks significant with a slow-moving front.  The GFS hits at 1-2″ from Oct. 2-4.  These are the long range outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center. The first map is the 6-10 day temperature departure from average for Sept. 28 – Oct. 2.  CPC is pretty confident that warmer than average temperatures will prevail in the Great lakes and pretty much everywhere east of the Rockies.  I agree with that.  The middle map is rainfall departure from average for Sept. 28 – Oct. 2.  They have dry conditions from the mid-Mississippi Valley thru the Great Lakes and Northeast.  Above average rainfall is likely in the SE U.S., the Rockies and High Plains.  The third map on the right is the CPC rainfall departure from average for Sept. 30 to Oct. 6.  It shows the wet weather moving east into the Mississippi Valley, Ohio Valley and Great Lakes.

This is an excellent combination for decent fall colors…sunny, warm days – cool nights – dry weather and light winds.  A cautious note…a warm spell of weather like this in late Sept./early Oct. is not an indication of a warm winter ahead.  Last year it was warmer than average in Sept. (+0.9) and Oct. (+2.1).  In 1977, September was very close to average and in 1978, September was slightly warmer than average.  In 1951, the only other year that we didn’t reach 90 during the summer, we were 0.5 cooler than average in Sept. and 2.7 warmer than average in October.  We started Oct. 1951 with highs of 76, 83, 80, 87 (yes, 87!) and 77.  Winter hit when November came.  We had measurable snow on each of the first 8 days of November.  On the morning of Nov. 8, GRR reported 12″ of snow on the ground!  That melted quickly, but it came with abandon in mid-December and by Christmas Day we had 22″ of snow on the ground in G.R.

I knew Kyle Underwood was tall…but I had no ideano tropical activity in the Atlantic…a tropical storm could form W-SW of Acapulco in the eastern Pacific (I think “Rachel” is the next name on the list).  Here’s severe weather reports from Monday.  Melbourne, FL has received 4.92″ of rain since Friday.  A rain gauge near Huger SC measured 4.39″ of rain between 330pm-5pm including 1.33″ between 440pm-445pm!  Snow in Finland.


A Sunny Week

September 22nd, 2014 at 2:29 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Lake Michigan sunset from Report it 10 15 12   It’s almost 2 am.  My 2 cats have cornered a mouse.  They don’t eat mice, they just chase them all over the house for hours on end (my female cat will eat an occasional insect – once I saw her swat a fly out of mid-air – knock it to the ground and eat it, a spectacular feat)…the vast majority of the time in the basement, but this mouse has made it upstairs (probably chased upstairs) and is now cornered under the refrig. My wife is asleep (and hopefully staying that way).  I can’t do anything about the mouse right now and the cats are quite entertaining, both patiently waiting (and will probably wait for hours) to resume the chase.  I have a live trap out and eventually the mouse will be relocated to a faraway park.  Over the 36 1/2 years we’ve lived here…we’ve had a number of critters try and move in..including a chipmunk, a bat and a bird here in the house.  All were shooed back outside.

Anyway, happy Autumn…the Fall or Autumnal Equinox is today (Mon.) at 10:29 pm EDT.  Since the Equinox occurs at the exact second all over the globe, there will be some time zones when the seasonal change will occur on one day and others when that moment is the day after.   So, depending on where a calendar is made, it might show a different date for the change of season.  This time, an American calendar will show 9/22 for the Autumn Equinox, while a calendar from Europe might show 9/23.

We’re starting a spectacular stretch of sunny weather as our clouds break up today.  A high pressure ridge will bring dry conditions the rest of the week and warming temperatures after a rather cool day today.  The overnight GFS-plot keeps G.R. dry until the night of Oct. 1-2.   The Lions won, the Tigers have a 1 1/2 game lead in the most interesting division at this point.  Michigan St. and my Wisconsin Badgers combined for 141 points on Saturday.  Art Prize is about to begin with perfect weather into the coming weekend.  Here’s the details on the very unusual 6 am tornado that occurred Sunday am in Rochester Hills.   So many Michigan tornadoes are these relatively small spin-ups that are so hard to predict in advance.  This one supposedly lasted 2 – 3 minutes.  Also, look what the last day of summer was like at Summit Camp, Greenland.