Great Lakes Water Levels

September 18th, 2014 at 9:21 pm by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

Marquette flooding Lakeshore Blvd. Sept. 10 14 Lake Superior cold water  Click on the pics. to enlarge.  Lakeshore Boulevard was closed in Marquette back a week and a half ago due to flooding from Lake Superior.  The higher lake level and a strong north wind that produced large waves pushed the water onto the road.  Check out the video here from  The graph on the right shows the water temperature of Lake Superior, as cold as it gets in mid-September.  The weekly lake level summary for Sept. 19 from the Army Corps of Engineers shows that Lake Superior is up 1″ in the last month, up 9″ in the last year and is now 7″ above the long-term average.   It’s now just 6″ below the highest level ever reached in September  (back in 1985).  Lake Michigan/Huron is also up 1″ in the last month.  Michigan./Huron is up an astonishing 19″ in the last year (390 billion gallons per inch = an increase of 7.41 trillion gallons on Lake Michigan.  The increase is 7.6 trillion gallons for Lake Huron).  Lake Michigan is exactly at the long-term Sept. average.  Lake Erie is up 7″ year-to-year and 6″ above the century average, while Lake Ontario is now 1″ above the long-term average.   Lake Superior’s outflow down the St. Mary’s River into Lake Huron is expected to remain “well above average through September.

And…Mystery wreck identified in Lake Erie…nice Lake Michigan video here….nice loop of pictures from the Muskegon GLERL camera.

Severe Storms in San Diego

September 17th, 2014 at 11:55 am by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

San Diego Damage 1San Diego Damage - Palm Trees on Fire  San Diego Damage - Palm Trees on Fire 2 Severe T-Storms hit the San Diego, CA area yesterday, downing trees (one fell on a school bus) and power lines and producing heavy rain and local flooding. Strong winds flipped planes at Montgomery Field, where 1.07″ of rain fell in less than an hour and the dewpoint soared to 73°.  Lightning hit a couple of palm trees, setting them on fire.  Residents were putting out the flames with fire extinguishers and garden hoses.  Here’s a list of damage reports from SW California…links to more video and pictures here and hereEven one bolt of lightning is exciting in San Diego!  Wildomar reported 1.89″ of rain and Anza had 1.44″.   Downsloping east winds sent the desert heat to the ocean shore where Los Angeles hit 103° and Riverside soared to a blistering 111°.

All of Arizona and far SE California remain in the General Thunderstorm Outlook for the next 3 days.  Check out the radar in Tucson.  A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for all of SE Arizona.  They’ve also had Flash Flood Warnings.  The Cluff Ranch rain gauge reported 2.6″ of rain in less than 6 hours.  Rainfall records in Arizona.

Giraffe and Funnel Cloud

September 16th, 2014 at 9:42 pm by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

Giraffe with Funnel Cloud WPTV facebook Lion Country Safari picture 2   Giraffe with Funnel Cloud WPTV facebook Lion County Safari Funnel Cloud WPTV Florida facebook Lion Country Safari These pictures are from Ashleigh at Lion Country Safari and the WPTV facebook page in West Palm Beach, Florida.  It’s not every day you get to see a giraffe and a funnel cloud in the same pic.  Check out the severe weather reports from today (Tue.).  Moisture from Hurricane Odile triggered some storms in S. California.  Look at all the lightning around San Diego this PM.  Flooding at Wildomar CARadar shows heavy rain.  A tree fell on a school bus in Spring Valley CA.  Trees and wires were down in Riverside and San Diego Counties and 1″ hail was reported at Joshua Tree CA.  Flooding trapped one person in a vehicle.   Check out these videos of the storm.

More floods in the Southwest

September 14th, 2014 at 5:04 pm by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

  Hurricane Odile is (as I write this) a Category 4 storm with peak winds of 125-130 mph.  It is probably at its peak now and will slowly weaken as it move along he west coast of the Baja Peninsula.  This is a major storm that will produce strong winds and very heavy rain over the southern Baja.  Moisture from this storm will move into S. California and Arizona, where significant rain and some flooding will occur next weekend.  Here’s the forecast trackforecast advisory, public discussion, map of anticipated strong winds, SW U.S. radar, latest Funktop satellite loop, visible satellite loop, radar for southern Baja (Los Cabos) and the latest forecast discussion from NWS Phoenix AZ.

Edouard is a hurricane out in the central Atlantic.  It is no threat to land and will eventually weaken as it moves northeast into cooler water.  We are past the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season (Sept. 10) with relatively little damage from storms in Central and North America.

Typhoon Kalmaegi batters the Philippines and heads toward S. China and N. Vietnam.

Lakes Michigan/Huron now ABOVE average water level

September 11th, 2014 at 7:41 pm by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

Flooding Marquette 9 10 14   This picture from is Lakeshore Boulevard in Marquette today.  The combination of strong north winds and rising Lake Superior water levels caused waves to crash over the boulder-wall and onto the roadway Thursday morning.  More pictures and video here.

The water level of Lake Superior is up 1″ in the last month (at a time when the lake often loses water) and is now up 8″ in the past year.  Superior is now 7″ higher than the long-term average water level.  The water level of Lake Michigan/Huron (one lake for lake level purposes) is up another inch in the last week and (drum roll) the water level is now one inch ABOVE the average September lake level!  Get this…Lake Michigan/Huron is now 19 inches higher than it was one year ago, an unprecedented 12-month increase!  That’s a gain of 7.41 trillion gallons of water in just 12 months.  Lake Huron has gained 7.6 trillion gallons of water in the past year, Lake Superior 4.4 trillion gallons and Lake Erie 1.02 trillion gallons.  That’s a total gain of 20.4 TRILLION gallons of water to the Great Lakes in just 12 months!   Lake Erie is 6″ higher than it was one year ago and 6″ above the average water level.  Lake Ontario is unchanged in the last year and 3″ above the average water level.  Lake St Clair is up 11″ year-to-year and is 7″ above the September average level.   Quite the opposite from this article (press release) that came out only 2 1/2 months ago.

Also:  Carp Attack!   Surf’s UpKayaker from Brazil goes over Tahquamenon FallsMinnesota tackles zebra musselsShipwreck discovered.   The water temperature at buoy just off Ludington dropped 11 degrees in the last 24 hours, from 69 to 58.  It’ll continue to go down with the N-NE winds continuing.

Water Rescue Grand Haven

September 10th, 2014 at 6:44 pm by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

water rescue grand haven 9 10 14 one     A kayaker had to be rescued by surfers at Grand Haven State Park.  The peak wind gust at the Grand Haven Steelheaders Weather station was 40 mph.  The biggest waves at the Port Sheldon buoy this afternoon was 9.8 feet.  We had the rescue live on 24-Hour News 8 at 6 pm.  We’ll have the story and interviews with the rescuers on the news tonight at 10 pm on WXSP and at 11 pm on WOOD-TV-8.  We think the video will make the TODAY SHOW tomorrow morning – so watch DAYBREAK and the TODAY Show tomorrow morning.   Here’s a link to our web story.   Here’s a live picture of the waves at Grand Haven State Park right now.

Two of Bill’s Blog’s  favorite people will be on DAYBREAK Thurs. AM to talk about beach safety and the rescue yesterday.  They are Bob Pratt, Director of Education, Great Lakes Surf & Rescue Project and later in the program he’ll be joined by, Vicki Cech – who began the Beach Survival Challenge to purchase liferings and promote beach safety.  Tune into Daybreak from 4-7 am on WOOD-TV Thursday am.

Quick Update on Weds. Severe Weather

September 9th, 2014 at 12:29 pm by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

probabalistic    Probability of severe weather Weds. within 25 mi. of a given point.  Note the highest probability is from Chicago east along the I-94 corridor south to Findlay, Ohio, across northern Indiana back to northeast Illinois.  The great threat is wind damage.  Keep in mind we could have a general rain with very little thunder in the AM early PM and then a line of low-topped showers/storms (which could also have only a little lightning) that could punch out wind.  The general wind in the AM/Midday will be brisk from the south.  Temps.10-15 deg. cooler than average Thurs. – Sunday.

Lake Michigan/Huron returns to average level !!

September 7th, 2014 at 3:00 am by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

Lake Michigan - Bill and Marie and the Mac Bridge   Me and daughter #2 at the Mackinac Bridge on our recent August trip around Lake Michigan.  BIG NEWS!   Lake Michigan and Lake Huron have finally returned to the century average water level (for the first time in +14 years!)  At this moment NONE of the Great Lakes are below the long-term average level.  Lake Michigan/Huron (one big lake for lake level purposes, joined here at the Strait of Mackinac) is up 2″ in the last month, up (and this is EXTRAORDINARY!) a whopping 18″ in the last year.  That’s a gain of over 7 trillion gallons in just 12 months!   The lake is now at the long-term September average.  Lake Superior is up 1″ in the last month, up 8″ year-to-year and is now 6″ above the long-term average.  Lake St. Clair is up 10″ in the past year and is 7″ above the long-term average.   Lake Erie is up 5″ in the last year and is 7″ above the century average.  Lake Ontario is now 5″ above the long-term average.  The outflow from Lake Superior down the St. Mary’s River is forecast to be well above average into the early fall.  The outflow from Lake Erie down the Niagara River is also expected to be above average flow.  Rivers in Michigan are at or above average September flow.

I assume that the dramatic rise in Great Lakes water levels will reduce the number of articles like this (which states:  “Potential global warming impacts include reduced water levels (due in particular to decreased winter ice cover allowing more evaporation)…and warmer water temperatures…Within another 30 years Lake Superior may be mostly ice-free in a typical winter.  Lake Erie water levels, already below average, could drop 4-5 feet by the end of this century, significantly altering shoreline habitat”).

Soaking next Weds., Very Cool End of Week

September 6th, 2014 at 3:29 am by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather  storm reports These are the 6-10 day and 8-14 day temperature outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center.  Click on the maps to enlarge.   Note the dark shade of blue over the Great Lakes.  A very cool (for the first half of Sept.) shot of air arrives for the end of the week.  The GFS-plot has an afternoon temperature for G.R. of 64 on Thursday, 55 on Friday with a chilly 38 Saturday (the 13th) morning.  The European would give G.R. mid 60s Thurs. and near 60 on Friday.  In the meantime, the models print out mostly sunny and pleasant conditions for this afternoon, Sunday and Monday and a real soaking for mid-week.  The overnight GFS-plot has 1.31″ of rain for G.R. from Tuesday night thru Wednesday evening and the overnight European gives G.R. 2.01″.   GFS rainfall forecast has heaviest rain from G.R. south.

Here’s video of the seiche that occurred on Lake Michigan Friday evening (I mentioned that this could happen Friday afternoon).

The map on the right is storm reports from the Storm Prediction Center.  Each blue dot represents wind damage.  You can see how the storm progressed from the Chicago area into SW Ontario.   Here’s a list of storm reports from SW Michigan, E. Michigan, N Indiana (includes the Michigan counties that border Indiana) and the Chicago Area.

Hurricane Norbert is now a Category 3 storm west of the Baja Peninsula.  Here’s a satellite view of the storm.   There hasn’t been a new Western Pacific tropical storm since August 2nd and Atlantic tropical activity only 49% of normal.  Thunderstorm over TorontoThunderstorm over St. LouisStorm coming into Benton HarborPanoramic shot of the severe storm that battered the north suburbs of Chicago with winds as high as 80 mph.   Severe storm approaching Wrigley Field in Chicago.  Nearly 1″ of rain fell in 15 minutes near Pinconning, MI.  Monet St. Angelo, Italy has received 243 mm (9.57 inches) of rain since Sept. 2 and counting.  Green Bay, WI received 2.42 inches of rain on Thursday which is double the amount of rain they received in all of July!  Here’s WOOD’s story on the storms yesterday evening.

Do You Know Someone in AZ.or NW Mexico?

September 2nd, 2014 at 2:56 am by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

  It was pretty amazing to see no tropical storms/hurricanes anywhere in the world on 8/28-31.  Today (9/3) we have  “Dolly” in her last hours as a weak tropical depression.  That storm produced heavy rain and gusty winds in E. Mexico around Tampico.  It will continue moving west into Mexico and fade to nothing.   We also have tropical storm “Norbert”, soon to be hurricane Norbert and it’s going to move north up west of the Baja Peninsula then as it weakens it will curve northeast toward Arizona.  The models show this storm bringing significant moisture up into Arizona and the Southwest, where there could be significant flooding in 3-4 days.  If you know someone in Arizona, NW Mexico or the desert SW – they should follow the weather forecasts very closely this week.  The afternoon model of the GFS through 8-days & the Monday morning European model thru 10-days both show major rains (2-6 inches) for Phoenix AZ.  The storm could bring some early season snow to the mountains of Colorado.

Also, weak El Nino still on track - and remember, weak El Ninos can bring cold and/or snowy winters to Michigan and the Great Lakes states (1977-78). Warmer than average sea surface temperatures south of SE Alaska would argue for continued mean ridge in the west and trough in the East.

Earlier:  Hail as large as golf balls reported in St. Louis by NWS spotter Monday evening.  Law enforcement reported a large tornado on the ground near Cedar Vale, KS, around 8:20 pm CDT Monday evening.   An early season frost is possible in parts of upstate NY and NW New England next Monday (9/8).   1.45″ of rain in 30 minutes in Marlette, MI Monday afternoon.   Sunday 8/31 was the first day since June 29 with no lightning across the state of New Mexico.   Double rainbow plus lightning.