Breaking News

October 17th, 2014 at 6:31 pm by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

Ford Airport 8:45 pm – An American Eagle Plane that has arrived at the Ford Airport in G.R. from Dallas, Texas was held on the runway for about an hour.  Three people on the plane had become ill.  The plane was being surrounded with emergency vehicles.  The three individuals were taken to a local hospital for evaluation.   Stay with 24-Hour News 8 and for the latest.

Hurricane Gonzola Hits Bermuda – Showers Here in W. Michigan

October 17th, 2014 at 2:48 pm by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

bermuda radar   Saturday AM  -  Dang!  Look at this!  The eye of the storm passed directly over Bermuda!  At 8:55 pm, the airport reported an ESE wind at 74 mph with a gust to 96 mph.  An hour later the wind was S at 10 mph and no gusts.  At 11:55 pm, they reported the wind was W at 93 mph with a peak gust to 113 mph.   One report of sustained wind to 105 mph with a gust to 127 mph (Commissioner’s Point).  The radar image is from shortly after 6 pm.   Here’s a recent radar loop as the storm is moving out of the area.  Here’s the latest weather observation from Bermuda.   This could be the strongest hurricane ever to hit the tiny island.  Hurricane Fay did some damage to Bermuda earlier this month.   Here’s more from the Bermuda Weather Service.  Tweet from inside the eye of the storm on Bermuda:  “Now in the eye of the storm. Dead calm outside. Tree frogs chirping. No rain. Little wind. Incredibly eery.”   Most of the island is without power.  Video from the eyewall this evening.   Webcam from Bermuda – it should be interesting when the sun comes up in the AM.   Check out the facebook page of the National Weather Service of Bermuda.  Here’s a satellite view of the storm as it races toward far eastern Canada.  Closer view.

8:45 pm – G.R. down to 51 degrees, Cadillac is 45°.  Scattered light showers/rain across the area – no lightning now.  We’re getting gusts to 20-30 mph.  The cold air is coming down…wind gusts along the Lake Superior shoreline have been running 30-40 mph with temps. in the low 40s.

Great Lakes Water Levels and News

October 16th, 2014 at 7:34 pm by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

Lake superior water temperature  Click on the graphic to enlarge.  This is the graph of the water temperature of Lake Superior since Jan. 2009.  You can see the lake has been consistently colder this year.  The lake temperature generally peaks in the first two weeks of August.  A period of relatively calm weather may cause the temperature to spike.  It then comes back down when stronger winds mix up colder water from below the surface.  Lake Superior is 3.5 degrees below normal. Lake Huron and Michigan are roughly 2 degrees cooler than average for mid-October.

The water level of Lake Michigan/Huron is up one inch in the last month, at a time when the lake levels are usually falling.  The lake is 4″ above the long-term average level for October and 20″ higher than it was one year ago.  The highest lake level in October occurred in 1986 (remember the Flood of ’86?) when we had several homes fall into Lake Michigan due to beach erosion.  Officially, we had 11.85″ of rain in G.R. in Sept. 1986.  Some areas from N. Kent Co. into Newaygo Co. had close to 20″ of rain that month.  I looked at the weather that fall and saw that Nov. 1986 was about four degrees colder than average in G.R., though we had below average snowfall that winter.  I had mentioned earlier that there were some similarities to the cold, snowy winters of the late 1970s.  We had the coldest winter of the last 100 years in 1976-77 – then we had the Blizzard of ’78 the following winter, followed by the coldest February and 5th coldest March that G.R. has ever had.  That winter was a weak El Nino and it had above average snowfall in Nov., Dec. and Jan. (in G.R.).  The winter of 1978-79 brought Grand Rapids well above average snowfall (96″) and significantly colder temperatures for all 3 winter months.

The water level of Lake Superior is unchanged in the last month, but up 10″ year-to-year and 8″ above the century average.  Lake Erie is down 3″ in the last month, but up 7″ in the last year and 8″ higher than the October average.  Lake Ontario is down 7″ in the last month (Erie and Ontario fluctuate more than the other 3 Great Lakes), down 2″ year-to-year and it’s now 1″ below the century average.  Lake St. Clair is 14″ higher than one year ago and 9″ above the October average.   Outflow from Lake Superior down the St. Mary’s River remains well above average.    The outflow from Lake St. Clair down the Detroit River and down the Niagara River from Lake Erie into Lake Ontario is also expected to remain above average.

Also:  Because the ice caves in the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior were so popular last winter, the National Park Service is proposing charging $5 a person to go see them.   This town has more Asian Carp than another other place on EarthPirates of the Great LakesSome benefits of the higher water levels.   Note – piers and breakwaters will be dangerous places Friday night and Saturday, as strong NW winds kick up.  Waves are expected to peak at 5-10 feet and will crash over the breakwaters.  Winds could reach 25-40 mph.  Small Craft Advisories will be up until Friday evening, then they will be upgraded to Gale Warnings.


Hurricane Gonzalo and Trop. Storm Ana

October 14th, 2014 at 1:37 am by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

[Image of 5-day forecast and coastal areas under a warning or a watch]  5 Day Track for ANAHurricane Gonzalo produced wind gusts of 70-75 mph on the island of St. Maartin.  The storm will head to Bermuda, where they had a 96 mph gust from Hurricane Fay last week.  Here’s the latest discussion on Gonzalo.   We also have Tropical Storm Ana, which should come close to the Big Island of Hawaii.  While not a big hurricane, Ana should kick up some knarly surf and has the potential to produce some heavy rainfall.   Here’s the latest discussion on Ana.   The last image (of Ana) will enlarge if you click on it.  You can see the enlarged track of Gonzalo here.

Strong Earthquake

October 14th, 2014 at 12:40 am by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

e-quake    Magnitude-7.4 earthquake strikes 52 mi south of Chirilagua, El Salvador.   At this point, No widespread tsunami threat.   Un temblor de 7.4 grados de magnitud causa alarma en El Salvador.

Also, lightning in NW FloridaWe’ve had two storm fatalities, one in Arkansas and one in Alabama.  Over 40,000 were left without power in Alabama Monday evening, and 43,000 in Louisiana.  Over 250 storm reports on Monday.   7.95 in. of rain fell in 5 hrs. at Motoyama, Japan from Tropical Storm Vongfong.

Great Lakes Water Levels

October 9th, 2014 at 9:52 pm by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

Muskegon GLERL sunset  10 9 14    Click on the pic. to enlarge.  This is sunset Thursday evening (10/9/14) from the Muskegon GLERL camera (from NOAA Coastwatch).  The water level of Lake Michigan/Huron (one lake for lake level purposes, at the same level, connected at the Strait of Mackinac) is unchanged in the last month.  However, the level is 19″ higher than the level one year ago.  The level is now 4″ above the long-term October average.  Lake Superior is also unchanged in the last month.  Superior is up 10″ year-to-year and it’s 8″ above the long-term October average.  Superior is 24″ above the lowest October level reached in 1925 and 8″ below the highest October level, which occurred in 1985.  Lake Erie is 4″ higher than one year ago and 7″ above the century average for October and Lake Ontario is 2″ below the level of one year ago and exactly at the average water level for October.  Lake St. Clair is 9″ higher than it was one year ago, and 6″ above the long-term average.   The outflow from Lake Superior down the St. Mary’s River into Lake Huron continues to be “well above” average and that is expected to continue through mid-fall.  The outflow out of Lake Erie down the Niagara River is above average and that will also continue to be the case through October.

Also,  native mussels survive invasive zebra musselsbill introduced to repeal Michigan’s renewable energy mandatewind energy is heavily subsidized…$3.2 million contract for ecosystem restoration of 80 acres along Lake Michigan shorelinepush to raise more shipwrecksLake Michigan salmon run slower than usuallighthouse sells for 65.5K

Lake Michigan/Huron Water Level now 5″ ABOVE the average October Level

October 6th, 2014 at 2:24 am by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

muskegon glerl   Click on the pic. to enlarge.  The Muskegon GLERL camera (from NOAA Coastwatch) caught a kite-boarder Sunday afternoon around 2:30 pm.  At 2 pm, the weather station at the Muskegon Beach was reporting a steady wind of 27.7 mph with gusts to 35.5 mph.   The water level of Lake Michigan/Huron is up 2″ in the last month (and relative to chart datum 2″ in the last week!) and an absolutely astonishing 21″ in the past year!  The level is now 5″ HIGHER than the long-term average October water level!  Lake Superior is up 1″ in the past week, 2″ in the last month and 10″ year-to-year.  Superior is now 9″ higher than the long-term October average.   Lake Erie is up an inch in the last week, up 8″ in the last year and is also 9″ higher than the long-term October average.  The water level of Lake Ontario is unchanged from one year ago and 2″ higher than the century October average.  Lake St. Clair is 14″ higher than one year ago and 10″ higher than the long-term average water level for October.  The outflow of water down the St. Mary’s River from Lake Superior into Lake Huron continues to be “well above average”.  The outflow of water out of Lake Erie down the Niagara River into Lake Ontario is expected to be above average through October.   Most rivers in Michigan have well above average flows.

This extraordinary rebound in water levels is due to a combination of above average precipitation, below average evaporation and above average ice cover last winter.  The increased water level means smaller waves will be able to break over the piers and breakwaters, making them dangerous places to be walking on when there are significant waves.  It also means the water levels of inland connecting lakes (Spring Lake, Lake Macatawa, Muskegon Lake, etc.) have also seen significant rises in the past year.

Also, Saturday was the first time ever that the first snowflakes of fall fell in Chicago before the first snowflakes fell in Marquette, Mich.  It was only by 8 hours (8:28 EDT in Chicago and 4:30 pm at Marquette), but it still counts.  It was also the shortest period of time without snow for Chicago, which got flurries last May 17th.  For Peoria and Rockford, IL – it was the 2nd earliest snow flurries this early in the season.  Here’s Saturday snowfall totals from Wisconsin.  Check out the storm coming into Norman OK late Sunday.   Kagiana, Japan received 3.15″ of rain in one hour…Tokyo’s rainfall from Typhoon Phanfone is now 8.27.”    Since 1911, 67 tropical cyclones have come within 50 nautical miles of Tokyo.   The low temperature Sunday AM in Crestview FL was 40.   Wind gust to 55 mph at Cork, Ireland.

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).

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.

Gas Price May Be Going Up

September 21st, 2014 at 5:33 pm by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

gas prices woodtv   Here’s the latest from Ed:  “Sunday, September 21, 2014:  2:00PM:  Prices continue to drop — $3.10 a gallon in Lowell this afternoon!  While ethanol prices continue to collapse (huge corn crop this summer), wholesale gasoline did spike up on Friday, so I am predicting a possible price re-set on Monday.  Maybe $3.49. — Ed A.