Football Frenzy!

August 27th, 2015 at 12:42 am by under Bill's Blog, Sports, Weather

full moon u.s. naval observatory   football frenzy Football Frenzy – high school football kicks off tonight. It’s all cameras on deck for the Frenzy. We’re planning on covering 20 games this evening and 19 games tomorrow evening. Highlight games tonight: W. Ottawa/Mona Shores, Lowell/Walled Lake Western and Portage/Battle Creek Lakeview. Watch the highlights at 10 pm on WXSP and at 11 pm on WOOD TV8. We’ll also have cut-ins throughout the evening on WOOD.  Pic. is what the moon looked like last night.  We’ll have a nearly full moon the next couple nights.  The full moon is technically Saturday at 2:35 pm and the full moon of August is most often called the Sturgeon Moon.  Here’s the names and times of the full moons of 2015.  Next month we have the Harvest Moon, plus a lunar eclipse!  Here’s this week’s Sky at a Glance, where you can check the location of planets and other cool things to see in our nighttime sky.  Here’s the list of Space Station Flyovers for West Michigan.  You can also get the latest on West Michigan astronomical events from the Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Assn.  Check out for details on auroras, the number of sunspots, asteroid approaches and more.  Here’s a link to a map that shows where the space station is right now (takes a little while to open the page). Here’s another tracking map with the position of the sun.  Nearly full moon hangin’ over the Windy City.  Grand Rapids is now 1 degree cooler than average for the month of August.  Michigan was the coolest of the Lower 48 states on Weds.  Last 4 days G.R. has had 19% of possible sunshine.  Three of the last 7 days have had highs in the 60s.  Last 7 days have been 5.4 deg. cooler than average.

The overnight models are more bullish on rain for Saturday.  the NAM model gives G.R. a 27% chance of rain Fri. night and a 70% chance of rain on Sat.  The GFS has a 29% chance of rain late Fri., a 59% chc. of rain Fri. night and an 80% chance of rain on Saturday.

It’s been a cool start to the day – here’s current Michigan temps, Michigan webcams and the latest Lake Michigan water temps. (Reeds Lake in East G.R. last check had a water temp. of 70).  Here’s yesterday’s U.S. high temps. – including a hot 102 at Laredo TX, Chadron NE and Imperial NE.  On the cool side – the high was only 62 in Cleveland, 68 in Columbus OH, Elkins WV and Pittsburgh PA.  Buffalo managed only 69.  The past two days, Grand Marais (beach) in the U.P. has had high temps. of 54 and 53.  Once again the warmest temp. in the U.S. was at Death Valley CA (115), while Togo MN dipped to a frosty 32.

View of Tropical Storm Erika from the Hurricane Hunters Aircraft near sunset Weds.  Here’s the latest projected path of Erika, which should come close to Florida.  4.76″ of rain near Homestead, FloridaHurricane Ignacio heading toward HawaiiAurora last night in Wisconsin – nearly full moon makes it harder to see.  the kp-index is at a 5 as I write this.   1.31″ of rain in 1 hr at Mount Rushmore, SD.  Look at the cool, wet weather coming for Washington State – great news for fire fighters.

Happy Easter Weekend

April 4th, 2015 at 2:43 am by under Bill's Blog, Sports, Weather

wisconsin logo  michigan state logo  ON WISCONSIN!!  music!  Whew…started 14-6 MSU…ended with a 20-point loss…Badgers win!  My alma mater…they are celebrating in Madtown tonight!  Wisconsin lost to Duke by 10 during the regular season back on Dec. 3.  It’s been 74 years since Wisconsin was in the final game.  Happy Easter and Passover!  Here’s more on the “blood moon tonight.  This is the shortest total lunar eclipse of this centuryMichigan will see a partial eclipse.  This is the first full moon of Spring and the moon will be close to the bright star Spica.

Today (Sat.) skies will be partly to mostly sunny.  Temperatures will reach the low 50s inland, but hold in the low 40s at the Lake Michigan shore.  It’ll be windy today, esp. in the PM when we may see gusts to 30 mph.  Sat. night there will likely be some light snow north of US 10.  Sunday there could be a 20-degree temperature difference across the area, with low-mid 40s in Mt. Pleasant and low-mid 60s south of I-94.  It looks breezy and cool with periods of rain from Mon. – Thurs.

Wow!  Check out lightning hitting this tree.  At least 42 water rescues in and near Louisville KY after 1.5″ in an hour on wet ground.  Look what the rain did to Highway 22Big t-storms hitting S. Korea.   Frankfort, KY, broke its April 3 rain record with 5.26″.  Dust devil Wanneroo, Australia.  Investigation leaning toward lightning” as cause of the GE Appliance Park Plant Fire in Louisville.


“Mr. Sunshine”, R.I.P.

January 24th, 2015 at 1:45 am by under Bill's Blog, Sports, Weather

ernie banks   Like Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin, those of us who grew up on the north side of Chicago waited for the Chicago Cubs to win a World Series.  The Cubs last won a World Series in 1908, four years before Arizona and New Mexico became states!  Every summer we went to that pumpkin patch called the “Friendly Confines”.  My father first took me there in the late 50s.  I saw the ivy-covered outfield walls, the big scoreboard in center field and I saw the players I watched on TV.    Back then we watched Jack (“Hey! Hey! Ernie!) Brickhouse (who lived about a mile and a half from me in Wilmette – I used to ride my bicycle out past his house hoping to see him) and Vince Lloyd on our black-and-white TVs (and raced to Walgreens to test the tubes in the TV when the TV stopped working) and we listened to Jack Quinlan and Lou Boudreau on our new transistor radios.  Anyone remember this song(more…)

Sunday PM

January 11th, 2015 at 1:21 pm by under Bill's Blog, Sports, Weather

Green Bay   Click on the image to enlarge.  This is a screen grab from a skycam (from WBAY) in Green Bay showing Lambeau Field at the start of the Green Bay/Dallas playoff game.  It was 24 deg. in Green Bay and mostly cloudy.  The wind was only 6 mph and the wind chill is 18.  Green Bay wins!  Daughter 2 is happy -  Cowboys 9-0 on the road this season.  Check out V.P. candidate Paul Ryan at the Packer game with his kids.   It was in the low-mid 40s with a chance of a light rain or snow shower during the game late this PM.  At 1 pm Sunday, it was up to 27 in Grand Rapids, warmer than we’ve been in over a week.  It was an even-freezin’ 32 at S. Haven, Holland and Muskegon.  Here’s the latest satellite loop (daytime).   Here’s a summary of the Thursday snowstorm from G.R. NWS.  More local weather in the threads below this one.

Sunday AM snow cover:  36″ Grand Marais, 26″ Munising, 22″ Marquette (airport), 18″ S. Ste. Marie, 17″ Hart, 16″ Ironwood, 15″ Muskegon, Fremont and Traverse City, 13″ Scottville, 12″ west of Hastings, Walker, 11″ Holland and Grandville, 10″ Grand Rapids, East G.R., Kalamazoo and Gaylord, 9″ Big Rapids, Reed City, Middleville, W. Cloud, Manistique, 7″ Houghton Lake, E side of Belmont and Paw Paw, 6″ east of Hastings, Plainwell and Saranac, 5″ Lansing, Grand Ledge and Ann Arbor, 4″ Flint, Saginaw and Alpena.  45.2% of the Continental U.S. has a snow cover this morning, compared to 40.3% last year on this date.

Model update:  Snowfall forecasts for tonight from the NAM (car):  0.5″ Grand Rapids, 2.0″ Kalamazoo, 1.4″ Lansing…from the GFS (car.):  0.5″ Grand Rapids, 1.2″ Kalamazoo, 0.8″ Lansing.  Low temps. Tues. and Weds. AM:  NAM (car) – for Grand Rapids  -11.3, -10.0…from the GFS (car) -6.3, -15.1.   Two pretty cold mornings this week.  No big storms this week.  There could be flurries and it’s not impossible there could be a touch of freezing mist late Weds. night/Thurs. AM.  Schools should be open all week at this point.   EPO index and NAO index are negative at the end of the month, hinting at a trough in the Eastern U.S. and a relatively cool pattern for the Great Lakes.

Also:  Cyclone Bansi in the Indian Ocean

Lions/Packers and Cold New Year’s Eve

December 28th, 2014 at 1:00 am by under Bill's Blog, Sports, Weather

detroit lions logogreen bay packers logo We’ve had the last regular season games today. Green Bay wins 30-20.  Green Bay wins the division for the 4th year in a row.  Detroit has a tough road game at Dallas to start the playoffs.  Rodgers had a Q.B. rating of 139.6 today.  I’m doing the weather on the 10 pm news (WXSP and after the NBC game around 11:30 pm news.  Sunday Night Football on WOOD/NBC is Cincinnati (10-4-1) at Pittsburgh (10-5). That should be an offensive dual and the winner of that game gets a home game in the Playoffs.   No touchdowns for the Bears today.  Wonder what happens to Trestman and Cutler (who is promised over 15 million dollars next year).  He’s had 18 interceptions and 24 turnovers this season.   Harbaugh comes to Michigan – probably “announced” at the b-ball game Tue.

Weatherwise, At 7 PM, it’s partly cloudy and 29° in G.R., 26° and 32° at Muskegon.  It’s snowing lightly at S. Ste. Marie, Newberry, Pellston, Harbor Springs and Alpena.   It’s going to get colder.  The NAM (car). has a mid-pm temperature for G.R. of  30° Monday and just 23° on Tues.   The GFS-plot has a mid-pm temp. of 33° Sunday, 27° Monday, 22° Tues., 21° Weds., 27° Thurs. 31° Fri. and mid 30s with rain/snow next Saturday.  The coldest air on the GFS-plot is the 7th/8th.  The models are overall dry, but cold air will generate some lake-effect snow showers and (mostly) light accumulations this week.   The overnight MOS high temps. for G.R. are remarkably similar (36°/30°/23° for the GFS and 36°/30°/22° for the NAM) for Sun. Mon. Tue.  I’d be tempted to add a couple degrees to that because of no snow on the ground and an open Lake Michigan.   GFS snowfall for the next 120-hours:  Not much for G.R. (though maybe a bit underdone for midweek)…up to 8″ for the U.P. (also probably a tad underdone).   The European has some pretty cold air over us Jan. 4-7.   Las Vegas NV may end up with more snow in Dec. than G.R.

Also:  “Massive” snowstorm traps 15,000 in the AlpsTropical Depression moving through the Philippines will produce heavy rain, but little wind damage.    AirAsia: Flight “was requesting deviation due to enroute weather before communication with the aircraft was lost”.   Closed – Both directions US 24 @ Minturn  in Colorado b/c of land slide;  No est. time of reopening.  Highest in U.S. Sat. was 83° in Sanford, FL – coldest was -19 in Laramie WY, most rain was 2.56″ in Montecello AR.  Fairbanks AK reached -20 for the first time this winter.  Barrow AK reached -28° and Deadhorse AK dropped to -32°.   Sunset at the Pacific Ocean in Cambria CA.   It was a White Christmas for the high mountains of Hawaii3.5″ of snow Saturday in Oklahoma City.  The beautiful Colorado Rockies after a 6-12″ snowfall.   Heavy snow in the Pyrenees Mts. between France and Spain.   Heavy snow in Meribel, France.  Parts of Alabama have had 10″ of rain this month.

The 0.67 of an inch of precipitation measured yesterday at the National Weather Service in Negaunee Township broke a record for December 27th. The 7.8 inches of snowfall was just short of the record for the day of 8.1 inches which was set in 1971.  The 2014 precipitation total thus far of 44.83 inches places fifth on the list of all-time wettest years on record here at NWS Marquette. 1-4″ of snow for NW Lower Michigan.

Sports Thread

November 28th, 2014 at 12:43 pm by under Bill's Blog, Sports, Weather

ferris state logo   I’m a little late with the sports thread.  The Lions beat the Bears.  We turned off the TV for dinner when it was 14-3 Bears and after dinner the Lions were ahead for good.  The Bears sure have some problems…I know it’s Detroit, but only 13 yards rushing?  And the defense has certainly come down a couple notches since the Urlacher/Lovie Smith days.  Looks like the Lions are on the road to the playoffs, probably not a Super Bowl team yet, but for all the years we’ve watched them, 8-4 is pretty good.  They may end up 11-5 for the season.   I can’t get Western Michigan (vs. N. Illinois) on my Comcast at home (ESPNU), so I’m watching Iowa and Nebraska on WOTV4.  There are 16 college games on today.   WOTV4′s second game at 3:30 pm is Stanford at UCLA (where it’ll be sunny and 80°).  Saturday, WOTV4 is the place to watch football, with Michigan at Ohio St. at noon and Michigan St. at Penn St. at 3:30 pm – both on WOTV4.  Notre Dame is at USC at 3:30 pm Sat. and the evening game on WOTV4 is #2 Oregon at Oregon St. where they are getting a steady rain today and could catch or rain or snow shower Sat. evening.  Ferris St. is in the playoffs and they play in Big Rapids against Ohio Dominican at Noon tomorrow (Sat.).  Of course, we have Michigan high school playoffs going on today and tomorrow.   Muskegon Catholic, Mona Shores and G.R. South Christian all play today.  The high school playoffs are televised on Fox Sports, which for me is Channel 48 on Comcast.  We’ll have the highlights on 24-Hour News 8.

Blizzard Bowl

November 25th, 2014 at 1:42 pm by under Bill's Blog, News, Sports, Weather

On Nov. 25, 1950 Michigan and Ohio State met for what has been called the “Blizzard Bowl” or the “Snow Bowl“. Check out the film of the storm here and here. Michigan won the game 9-3 despite gaining only 27 yards of offense in 46 plays. They had no first downs, didn’t complete a pass and punted 24 times. In fact, there were 45 punts in the game. Both teams mostly tried two runs then punted on 3rd down, so in case the punter slipped, they could try again on fourth down. Only 2 of the 45 punts were returned (for a total of 8 yards). That was mostly because the return man couldn’t find the ball. Most just hit the snow and stopped without bouncing. There were only 10 fumbles in the game. The temperature at the start of the game was +10° and the wind was howling out of the north-northeast. One Ohio St. player remarked that he was supposed to go down and block a linebacker, but when he ran downfield he could find him! All the points were scored after blocked kicks in the first half. Several hundred Boy Scouts were on the sidelines helping to sweep snow off the field so the officials and players could find the yard markers. Most of the state of Ohio got 10″ or more of snow, with reports up to 33″ and drifts up to 25 feet! The temperature in Grand Rapids that morning reached -10°F, the coldest temperature ever recorded here in the month of November. (photo – OSU library)

Weekend Sports Thread

November 15th, 2014 at 1:55 am by under Bill's Blog, Sports, Weather

ferris state logo  I’m off to Kalamazoo for the Holiday Parade.  If you see me, say “hi”.  Temps. ought to be in the upper 20s for the parade, the wind not terribly strong from the WSW or SW.

Football starts at noon on WOTV4 with Ohio State at Minnesota.  Minnesota’s not bad – hope they keep it close.  Iowa at Illinois is on the Big Ten Network at Noon.  Miami (of Ohio) is at Central Michigan at 1 pm.  Eastern visits a significantly improved WMU Bronco Team.  That game is at 2 pm – plenty of time to head there after the parade.  Nebraska at Wisconsin should be a good game – that’s at 3:30 pm on ESPN3.  Northwestern is at Notre Dame (they’ve had to remove snow from the field there, too – the South Bend Airport had a record (lake-effect) snow of 12.2″).  That game is on WOOD-TV at 3:30 pm.  Michigan State plays at Maryland at 8 pm on the Big Ten Network.  Michigan has a bye week – 2 games left with Maryland and Ohio State.  Ferris State’s next victim is Walsh – that game is at Noon and GVSU heads to Saginaw Valley for a 1 pm game.  The Lions are at Arizona for what could and should be the game of the day.  That game is at 4:25 pm.  Minnesota and the Bears tangle in snowy Soldier Field Sunday at 1 pm.  Chicago will only get an inch or two of snow Saturday night, but they’ll have to clear things off Sun. am.  We’ve got high school playoff games today as well…join us for the Frenzy on 24-Hour News 8 today.

Weekend Sports Thread

November 7th, 2014 at 10:42 pm by under Bill's Blog, Sports, Weather

ferris state logo Michigan State hosts Ohio State at East Lansing Saturday evening.  There will be a few light showers in the am and a chance of a lingering light shower/sprinkle in the pm.  It should be dry for most of the game, but I can’t rule out a stray rain or even snow shower.  Temperatures during the game will be in the upper 30s to around 40, not real warm.  It’s a nationally televised game on WOTV4 at 8 pm.  The Michigan/Northwestern game in Evanston should be a good one.  That’s at 3:30 on ESPN2.  I was born about a mile and a half from the NW stadium.  Over on WOTV4 at 3:30 pm you can see Notre Dame and Arizona St.  That’s out in Tempe, AZ.  I believe both of those teams are 7-1.  Ferris State hosts Northern Michigan at noon.  Ferris is 9-0 and averaging an amazing 49.4 points per game!  I went up for a Ferris game about 10 years ago and it was a lot of fun.  You can park close by, concessions are reasonable and this year, you’re going to see some championship football.   Tiffin is at Grand Valley for a 4 pm game.  The Detroit Lions are home for a 1 pm game with Miami.  The Sunday night game on WOOD-TV/NBC is Chicago at Green Bay.  The Red Wings have a Sunday game at 6 pm with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Nascar is in Phoenix.

The local GRR National Weather Service is hosting a seminar for media meteorologists, so I’ll be out at the airport during the day.  I’ll let you know a little of what I learn.  I’m sure we’ll be discussing the winter forecast and the coming Arctic air.  Have a good weekend.

Weekend Sports Thread

October 24th, 2014 at 9:03 pm by under Bill's Blog, Sports, Weather

ferris state logo Michigan and Michigan St. – 3:30 pm on WOTV4.  Michigan St. is a 17-point favorite.   The weather looks very good…partly cloudy and low 60s.  There will be a cross wind, west at about 15 mph.  Almost all football stadiums run north and south.  Another big match-up is Ferris St. at Michigan Tech.  Both schools are 6-0 in the conference.  That game is at 1 pm.  GVSU has been coming back and they are now back to .500.  They head to Findlay, Ohio for a noon game.  Central Michigan is at Buffalo (3:30 pm – ESPN3).  It’s Homecoming at Western Michigan where they host the Ohio at 2 pm.  The evening game on WOTV4 (8 pm) is Ohio St. at Penn St.  If you really can’t get enough football and don’t need the sleep, the Nevada/Hawaii game in Honolulu starts at midnight EDT.   Then get up early for the Lions/Atlanta match – starting at 9:30 am EDT in London, England.  The Sunday evening game on NBC (WOOD-TV) is Green Bay at New Orleans.  Monday night is Washington and Kirk Cousins against Dallas.    The weather looks good for pretty much all of the games.  That may not be the case next weekend.