Thurs. evening – I’m back from doing the weather downtown at the lightning of the Grand Rapids Christmas/Holiday Tree. It was the world’s most wonderful tree-lightning ever! The tree was perfect, covered in snow like a Currier & Ives winter scene. The fluffy lake-effect snowflakes falling down and the clean, crisp Canadian air lifted our spirits. We sang carols and counted down to the moment when 40,000 colored lights burst forth in glistening glory. There was free coffee for everyone and many folks (I’d estimate 400+ were there) headed inside the Art Museum. Meijer is sponsoring free admission to the Museum on Tuesdays (day) and Thursday evenings. There are hundreds of thousands of pretty, colored LED lights downtown and it’s a great place to spend a winter evening.
Some updated climate data: The last 8 days have averaged 15° colder than average. The last day with a temperature warmer than 35° was Veterans Day. We are up to 26.4″ of snow for the month in G.R., now 3rd highest snowfall total for any November (and probably 2nd place by midnight). We have had only 7% of possible sunshine over the past two weeks. Today is the 9th day in a row with measurable snowfall (hard to do when your average high temperature is still in the mid-upper 40s). We have now had over 103″ of snow in calendar year 2014 with the rest of November and all of December to add to that. This could be the snowiest calendar year ever in Grand Rapids. The snowiest winter ever in G.R. was the winter of 1951-52 with 132″ at the airport and 144″ downtown. 1951 was the only other year besides 2014 when we did not reach 90° in the summer. Here’s the month snow totals for the G.R. Airport for the winter of ’51-’52 beginning with Nov: 26.9″, 51.3″, 21.2″, 12.6″, 9.5″, 10.5″. Here’s the GRR NWS discussion. Thundersnow! BTW – HAPPY BIRTHDAY to TERRI DEBOER today!
Gusty winds have caused some drifting, especially in outlying areas. There were a few schools closed this Thursday, but most everyone should be back tomorrow (Friday). Schools do not want to use up all their snow days before Thanksgiving. We still have a chance of a period of light freezing rain or sleet early Saturday before temps. climb above freezing for the afternoon. It looks breezy over the weekend and downright windy on Monday and Tuesday. Both the GFS and NAM models forecast a little freezing rain Sat. AM. The GFS gives G.R. quite a few hours of precipitation from Sat. AM thru Tues. PM with 0.73″ of rain for Sunday PM/evening. The European is similar with the heaviest rain Sunday PM and a total from Sat. am to Tues. night of 1.11″. Check out the links below:
Here’s Grand Rapids radar and Northern Michigan radar, NAM model 3-day snowfall forecast and GFS model 5-day snowfall forecast (totals increased on the Sat. overnight model run). Storm Total Snowfall will show the heaviest snow and Milwaukee looping radar. Regional radar and the Updated GRR NWS Short Term Discussion. More links: Grand Rapids radar, Northern Indian 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 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.
I’ve been saying that we’ll have some schools closed on Tues. The NAM (car) model has a temp. of 22.5 Tues. AM (and it stays in the low 20s all day), a west wind off the lake at 24 mph, snow plus blowing and drifting snow. The NAM forecasts 2.3″ for G.R. (airport) tonight/tomorrow..another inch Monday and an additional 8″ from Monday night into Tuesday night. The GFS3 has less with a total of 5″ thru Weds. for the airport. In any case, they’ll be enough snow to drift around in the brisk winds from late Mon. thru Weds. t’hat model also has a temp. of +1° for G.R. next Sat. morning. The European model has 0.43″ total precipitation thru Thurs. for G.R. That’d be 7-8″ of total snowfall, with enough wind for some 1-2 foot drifts.