Bill’s Blog

Blue Moon

July 30th, 2015 at 12:01 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Moon - Blue Moon - Jack Martin 7 29 15  Here’s a great shot of the moon last night from Jack Martin at Great Lakes Photo.   We have a full moon the next couple nights.  The second full moon of any month is sometimes called a blue moon.  It doesn’t look any bluer than another other moon.  The next blue moon in July won’t be until the year 2034.  The last blue moon was on August 31, 2012.  In 2018, there will be two full moons in January, no full moon in February and two full moons in March.   The full moons of summer hang lower in the Southern sky.

Sunny, Breezy

July 30th, 2015 at 2:22 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

maranda   The weather looks great for Maranda’s last Park Party of 2015 at Northwestern Middle School in Battle Creek.  The Battle Creek Public Schools is providing transportation to the Park Party.   Free lunch will be served to anyone 18 and under starting at 11:30 a.m. (while supplies last). Every Maranda Park Party also includes free activities, games, entertainment and, of course, fantastic prizes!  You can try the Pump Rocket Target Game from the (Kalamazoo) Air Zoo, a Rescue Squad bounce house from E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety, and free healthy snacks from Meijer. Party goers can keep all their free goodies in complimentary Priority Health backpacks.   I’ve talked about the “Maranda Effect” and the dry weather we seem to always have for Park Parties.  For the five days of Park Parties this year, we’ll have only 0.06″ of rain over the 24-hour periods of those five Thursdays, with only a trace of rain during the period from set-up to tear-down.  We didn’t have any super hot and humid days this year (84 last week and we’ll be up around that again today) and low 70s the coolest start to a Park Party.

There’s so many other activities going on now, including the Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival (I’m headed to Grand Haven today), the Ottawa County Fair and the Grand Rapids Symphony Picnic Pops.  It’ll be a little breezy from late morning to late afternoon, but lots of sun and much lower humidity than yesterday morning/midday.  Enjoy the day!

Dry Air Pouring Into W. Michigan

July 29th, 2015 at 3:11 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

meso    6:50 pm -  Skies have cleared in W. Michigan.  Dewpoints have crashed downward.  the dewpoint in G.R. went down 20 degrees in two hours from 3 to 5 pm.  Not much of a change in temperature, but a big change in the moisture content of the air.  Clear tonight, full moon, mostly sunny tomorrow.

This is a map showing the area outlined in a meso discussion that was issued from the Storm Prediction Center for SE Michigan and W. Ohio.  The storms have already raced into Ohio and Ontario.  The E. Michigan storms produced gusts to 50 mph in Clinton Township (Mccomb Co.) and 48 mph at Romulus.  1.7″ of rain fell at W. Bloomfield and 1.5″ at Orchard Lake.  Branches and several power lines were downed by the storms.

The European model has 0.01″ of rain for G.R. Friday night, 0.83″ Sunday night into Monday am and 0.56″ from Weds. evening through Thursday of next week.

Earlier:  3 pm dewpoints:  74 Marshall, 73 Ionia, 69 Grand Rapids (airport), 61 Muskegon, 57 Fremont, 54 Big Rapids, 53 Kenosha WI, 46 Milwaukee.    85 the high for G.R. so far today.  Radar and links below

Chance of a Shower

July 29th, 2015 at 2:06 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Central Great Lakes sector loop    12:25 pm -  We’re  running out of our chance of a shower.  Cloudy now in many areas, but clearing is on the way (satellite loop).  Very muggy air right now, but drier air is coming.  The dewpoint in G.R. at 11 am was 73, and it was still 70 in Muskegon, but it’s down to 57 in Milwaukee, 51 at Madison and Oshkosh WI. – so much drier air is on the way.  Still a chance of a shower or t-shower this afternoon along and east of US 127/I-69.

Rainfall from last night:  0.44 W. Olive (western Ottawa Co.), 0.28″ four miles south of Gr. Haven, 0.16″ south of Marne, 0.13″ Allendale, 0.12″ W. Walker, 0.06″ Comstock Park, 0.03″ Belmont, 0.01″ N. Muskegon.  Not much.  Water temps. this AM:  73 Saugatuck, 72 Ludington, Mears S. P., 71 Muskegon, 70 Hoffmaster S. P. and Duck Lake S. P., 69 Orchard Beach S.P. (Manistee).  Reeds Lake water temp. (East G.R.) is 82.

Heavy rain fell from Iowa across parts of Illinois:  5.85″ Hartford IA, 5.61″ Indianola IA, 4.4″ Knoxville IA, 4.26″ Bedford IA, 3.56 Guthrie Center IA, 2.97″ Oskaloosa IA, 2.44″ Des Moines IA, 2.44″ Ames IA, 2″, Streator IL, 1.21″ Plainfield IL (just SW of Chicago).

Also:  Smoke from Alaska wildfires travels all the way to Norway…From the National Climatic Data Center:  “When combining the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere sea ice extents, the globally-averaged sea ice extent during May was 24.75 million square km (9.56 million square miles), 2.40 percent above the 1981-2010 average and the seventh largest May global sea ice extent on record. There is no trend in May globally-averaged sea ice extent.”   Glasgow, Scotland has seen back to back highs of just 12C. Less than 1C off the 2001 ‘coldest July day’ on record. We’ve seen double rainfall too.  Phoenix AZ coolest July since 1999.  Prelim M6.2 earthquake 145 mi. SE of Anchorage AK.  5.96″ of rain fell in 4 hrs near Hartford, Iowa, SE of Des Moines.  Student-Mentorship Opportunities at the Storm Prediction Center: College-level meteorology students have unique… mph winds in the Big Horn Mountains.  Towering cumulus creating shadows at sunset.  An amazing & dangerous lightning show  in southern IA. Over 3400 strikes in 15 minutes!  Sunrise from the Intl. Space Station.  Monday’s 95 F temp in Central Park was the hottest temp recorded in NYC in over 2 years.  20,000 customers without power after t-storms went through the Tucson AZ area.  July record 10.22″ of rain at Birmingham AL.

Links: Here’s Grand Rapids radar and Northern Michigan radar, Milwaukee looping radar. Regional radar and the Updated GRR NWS Short Term Discussion. More links: Northern Indiana radar, Chicago radar, Detroit radar and Milwaukee radar.Here’s 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. 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 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 h[-/pb.21fcdgcottom from private weather stations). Here’s the Consumers Energy Power Outage Map102bn

Trackin’ the Heat

July 28th, 2015 at 11:49 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

muskegon glerl   shn glerl apn glerl  Here’s some lakeshore pics. from the GLERL cameras (from NOAA Coastwatch) from shortly before noon.  On the left, Muskegon shows a calm lake with high clouds in the western sky.  The South Haven camera in the middle shows some stand-up paddlers and some cirrus clouds to the north.  On the right we have Alpena (maybe someone could leave a comment and tell me what the pile to the left might be (if it’s road salt (and I don’t think it is), they’re ready for winter).  Here’s a satellite loop showing the approaching high clouds.  It’s totally clear east of G.R. as I write this…we haven’t even popped a cumulus cloud as of 11:45 am.  Here’s regional radar, showing the storms heading east from western Wisconsin.  Those will weaken and we should stay dry this evening.  Here’s current temperatures.  G.R. was 83 at 11 am – that’s 2 deg. ahead of where we were yesterday at 11 am and we made 88 for a high temp. yesterday…so, 90 is a good guess for the afternoon high.  At the beach, the temp. is 76.8 at Muskegon and 80.4 at S. Haven.  Water temps. this am:  75 Saugatuck, 72 S. Haven, 71 Holland, 70 Grand Haven and Ludington, 69 Hoffmaster S.P. and 68 at Mears.  Here’s the convective outlooks from the Storm Prediction Center.  As of 11:50 am – just heavy rain out of the storms in W. Wisconsin – no severe reports, no watches, no mesos.  The Slight Risk Area for today is generally from SW Wisconsin to Kansas City centering on Iowa.

If you’re hot – this pic. may cool you off…getting even a trace of snow at Missoula on 7/28 is impressive.  Missoula is currently 51 and cloudy as I write this.  Coolest July since the 1970s in Ireland and the northern U.KThey do get an occasional tornado in EnglandVideo of the Manitoba tornado yesterday.

90 This Afternoon

July 28th, 2015 at 2:25 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Erase me   Pic. from Charles Russell of sunset in Greenville last night – nice collection of high clouds to give the sky some character (with a waxing (means getting bigger each night), gibbous (about 3/4 full) moon in the southeastern sky at sunset.   We made 88 in G.R. Monday and we’ll have an even better chance at 90 today.   We’ve had 9 days now without measurable rain in G.R. (today will be the 10th).  During these 9 days we’ve had 83.9% of possible sunshine.  The average wind speed in G.R. for the last 52 hours has been 3.4 mph, that’s all.  We are now losing 2 minutes of daylight each day and we’ve lost 42 minutes of daylight since the Summer Solstice occurred on 6/21.  Sunrise today in downtown G.R. is 6:29 and sunset is 9:08.  The sun is highest in the sky (solar noon) at 1:49 pm (the reason why it’s not 12 noon is that we move the clock ahead for Daylight Saving Time and the fact that we live at the west edge of a time zone.   In Boston, solar noon today is at 12:51 pm, an hour earlier than G.R.  Moonrise is at 6:40 pm and the moon is highest in the southern sky at 11:38 pm.

Also:  Wow, check out the tornado yesterday in Tilston, Manitoba (Canada), more here.     Magnitude-7.2 earthquake hits Indonesia.   Check out the MODIS satellite pic. of Lake Michigan from Monday PM – lots of green.  Here’s temperature difference from average over North American for Jan/Feb. 2016 from the CFSv2 model…it predicts warmer than average over Canada – cooler than average over the Southern U.S. (El Ninos tend to be cloudy, cool and wet across the south.  BTW, many of the significant tornadoes in FL occur during El Nino late winters.  CFSv2 also showing lots of rain for CA this winter.   European model vs. GFS – Euro wins.  90 day SOI (Southern Oscillation Index) not nearly as low as 1997 same time.  Looking down on a rainbow from 35,000 feet.  34.1″ of rain in Chittagong, Bangladesh since Thurs.  Cool pic. of t-storm from the air.  Over the last 8 days, Ahmadabad, India received over 240mm of rain which is more than they received (201mm) from Jan 1-Jul 20.  Heavy rain in IndianaSevere reports from Monday – pretty good storms in WY, eastern MT and the western Dakotas.

Monday Night

July 27th, 2015 at 1:55 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

muskegon glerl   south haven glerl apn glerl  Here’s three pics. from just before 2 pm.  These are the GLERL cameras (from NOAA Coastwatch) from Muskegon, S. Haven (center) and Alpena (right).  Relatively light winds today and clear to partly cloudy skies.  We have some high clouds coming in from the west-northwest at Muskegon, where the air temp. is a relatively warm 78.1.  The S. Haven Lighthouse reports an air temp. of 79.5.  Nice ship sailing out of the channel there on the right side of the pic.   In Alpena you can see the cumulus clouds building over the land, but not over the water.

Lake Michigan water temps. this AM:  73 Holland, 72 Saugatuck and Duck Lake, 69 Muskegon and Hoffmaster S.P., 67 Grand Haven and 66 Orchard Beach (near Manistee).  High temps. today (Mon.):  88 Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, S. Haven, Jackson, Detroit, Howell, Alma and Mt. Clemens… 89 Benton Harbor, Fremont and Lansing… 90 Holland (Regional Arpt.), Big Rapids, Houghton Lake, Gaylord, Saginaw… 91 Muskegon, Ludington, Mt. Pleasant and Alpena… 92 Flint… 94 Pellston.   Also:  87 Detroit City, Marshall and Ionia, 86 Adrian, 85 Hillsdale and Three Rivers, 84 Charlotte, 82 Sturgis, Coldwater.     Including today, G.R. is 2.6° cooler than average for July – this will be the 6th month out of the last 7 with cooler than average temps.

The morning run of the models has tomorrow at least as warm as today, a warm night Tues. night, a chance (not a sure thing) of a shower or t-shower on Weds. (though both Tues. evening and Weds. evening may be dry…nice on Thursday (Maranda Effect – don’t have to look at the maps) and Friday, then a chance of a shower or t-shower over the weekend (again, certainly not a sure thing).  Again, a distinctly cooler air mass will move in for around August 6 – 10.  Wouldn’t be surprised if we had a couple days with highs 10+ deg. below average.

Also:  Snow is falling on Saddle Mtn in Bitterroot Range near 8000ft elevation…some heavy rains in FL should continue, Fort Myers had 4.47″, with 1.91″ at Marco Is…heavy rain in parts of IA with 4.5″ at Keosauqua and 1.78″ at Cedar Rapids…chilly in the U.K., noon temps. (average noon temp. is 68) included 52 in Glasgow, Scotland and 55 in Belfast, Ireland…Current temp. of -61F at the South Pole with a wind chill of -103!  Link:  I’ll have to add that to the blog thread!  At Vostok, Antarctica, they report a high of -74F and a low of -81…currently -79F.

Near 90 Today and Tomorrow

July 27th, 2015 at 1:40 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

814temp.newIndianapolis flood GRR NWS pic. Three unrelated pics. here.  Click ont he pic. to enlarge.  First (and only because it’s a bigger pic.) is the 8-14 day temperature outlook (for August 3-9) from the Climate Prediction Center. Note the “B” for “Below Average” is right about over Grand Rapids. So if you like it hot, enjoy the next couple days. If you like it cool, the cool pattern comes back to the Great Lakes starting around Aug. 3-4.  July 1-26 is still 2.9 deg. cooler than average.  Despite the heat early this week, July will be the 6th month out of the last 7 with cooler than average temps. in G.R.

The middle pic. is flooding around Indianapolis Sunday evening.  Here’s more pics. of the flooding.  The Indianapolis Airport (IND) was up to 1.25″ for the day, bringing them to 13.13″ for the month, a new July record.  Other preliminary totals:  4.78″ Geist Reservoir, 3.92″ eight miles north of IND, 3.81″ Castleton.  They were evacuating White River St. Park.

The pic. on the right is from the GRR NWS (and thanks for doing this).  You may have heard of a heat burst.  They are rare and are usually associated with a decaying t-storm or in this case a puny shower aloft.  Rain falling down evaporates, cooling the air and making it heavier than the surrounding air…so it starts to move downward toward the ground.  As it does, the parcel warms as it’s compressed due to the higher pressure near the ground.  What was interesting about this “burst” was the dramatic drop in dewpoint, while there was no significant change in either temperature or wind speed.  You can check Muskegon’s observations here (they are saved for 72 hours at this URL).   At 7:55 pm, the temp./dewpoint at Muskegon was 82/64.  At 8:55 pm, the temp. dewpoint is 80/45.   That’s a 19-degree dewpoint drop, with the usual (expected) 2-degree drop in temperature and a wind north at 6 for both hours.  By 9:55 pm, the dewpoint is back to 56 and by 10:55 pm it’s 62.

Also, big 6.9 magnitude e-quake in the Aleutian Islands – no tsunami expected.  The European weather model (that comes out later than the American models BTW tops the list in general accuracy.  Sunday the FIM and Canadian models seem to be doing the best job on the coming cool pattern a week down the road, though (IMHO).   Storm Team 8 pays a fee to get the complete European data set from Accu-Weather and Weatherbell.   321 homes have been evacuated in Trinity, FL due to river flooding, according to emergency manager. No injuries reported.  Kyle’s pic. of sunset in Marne.  Check out this sunset pic.  Nice U.P cb.   Columbia, SC has hit 100 deg. 15 times this summer, 6th most in history and it’s only July 26th. I believe the record is 27 back in 1954.


Sunday PM

July 26th, 2015 at 2:04 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

muskegon glerlshn glerl  chicago glerl   8:10 pm – These are early aftn. pics. from the GLERL cameras at Muskegon (left), S. Haven (center) and Chicago (right).  It’s partly cloudy and warm.  High temps today:  G.R. 86, Muskegon 90 (airport), Holland 88, Kalamazoo 86, Battle Creek 85.  Some hot spots up north:  91 Traverse City and Alpena, 90 at Iron Mt.  It got at least as warm as 78 at the airport on Mackinac Island.   That was the first 90-deg. temp. at Muskegon since July 19, 2013 – more than 2 years ago.

It’s been cooler by a Great Lake…the air temp. at the Muskegon Beach rose to 76.8 this morning when the wind was east, then cooled to a 1:15 pm temp. of 68.5 as the wind has come off the water, then back up to a high of 78.8.  The S. Haven beach had a high temp. of 77.5 and the Chicago water intake peaked at 73.4.

Water temps. this am:  S. Haven 71, Muskegon 69, Grand Haven and Hoffmaster S.P. 68, Saugatuck 65.  At 5:40 pm, the surface water of Reeds Lake stood at 83 degrees…nice!  It’s back to 82 at 8 pm.

\There’s rain passing south of us in IndianaHeavy rain of 2-4″ in the Indianapolis area.    Here’s current conditions…and a satellite loop (daytime) showing the high clouds coming in from the west (note it’s cloudy on the Chicago pic. on the right here.

Also:  Cool tornado video from Minnesota Saturday PM in a partly cloudy sky  (note the debris)!    Cool lightning pic. from VirginiaStrong winds in Germany yesterday (deep low pressure system for July), 98 km = 61 mph..New Orleans Audubon Park tied the record high of 100 degrees Saturday…Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport has hit 100 degrees for the first time this summer Sunday PM.

Warmest Days of 2015 (so far)

July 26th, 2015 at 2:19 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Grand-Haven-beach-july-31-2011  Big Crowd  muskegon glerl We’ve got the 3 warmest back-to-back-to-back days of 2015 on the way for today, tomorrow and Tuesday.  The overnight run of the NAM model gives G.R. highs of 86, 88 and 91 for Sun., Mon. and Tues.  Starting with today (Sun.) here are the highs from the overnight run of the GFS model:  89, 90, 89, 87, 84, 86, 85, 84.   The chance of rain on the GFS model for each day (G.R.) starting today (Sun.) in percent is 0-1-13-63-21-26-49-50.   I agree that Tues. Night/Weds. is the time to watch for the next decent chc. of a shower or storm.  After that we’ll have to wait until late Fri. or more likely Fri. night for the next chance of a t-storm.  Our area saw no rain or trace amounts on Saturday.  There were a few showers and storms east of US 127.  In Sanilac Co. 50 mph winds were reported and just west of the town of Peck, they got an inch of rain in 1/2 hour.  Here’s the severe weather outlooks for the next 3 days and beyond.  Most of the storm reports for Saturday were in South Dakota.   Grand Rapids high of 87 on Saturday made it the warmest day of 2015 so far.  We’ll be at least that warm today, but the humidity will be slightly lower.  It was cooler at Lake Michigan.  The thermometer at the shore at Holland St. Park had a high temp. of 71.4 on Sat.  The Muskegon Beach weather station had a high temp. of 74.7 on Sat.   Here’s Lake Michigan water temperatures.  The water temperature at the Port Sheldon buoy was up to 69 Saturday evening.  Pic. on the left is Grand Haven St. Park on 7/31/2011 – pic. on the right is the Muskegon GLERL camera at 9 pm.  Daylight is shrinking now at the rate of about 2 minutes per day.   Still looking at cooler pattern starting around 8/3.

Also:  Wow!  Tough landing in strong winds in Amsterdam Saturday!  Gusts to 63 mph at the airport.   Wave heights of 12.5 ft. well out over the North Sea but might be higher, especially near Dutch coast.  Trees toppled in Amsterdam.   Tropical Storm Halola will bring heavy rain and gusty winds to Japan and Korea over the next 2 days…not much wind damage, though.  This is a long-lived tropical storm, forming in the Central Pacific more than 3 weeks ago.    Nope – not allowed to do this.   Lake Michigan sunset Saturday from Montague.  Yesterday was the coldest July day for Gander, Newfoundland in 23 yrs with max of 7.3C!   4.3 earthquake struck 9 miles west-southwest of San Bernardino, Calif. at 5:54 a.m. PDT Sunday – also a 5.0 magnitude e-quake in S. Alaska.  Still no 100-degree temp. in Dallas this summer.  Cape Hatteras, NC, broke its July 24 rain record with 3.57″.   Tampa, FL has received over 4″ of rain since Friday.