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.

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.