Weekend Sports Thread

October 11th, 2014 at 2:09 am by under Bill's Blog, Sports, Weather

ferris state logo   Michigan is idle this week.  Michigan St.  is at Indiana.  That game is on ESPN at 3:30 pm.  Western plays at Bowling Green at 2 pm and Central hosts Ball St. at 3:30 pm.  The big game of the day is #5 Notre Dame at #2 Florida St.  You can see that game at 8 pm on WOTV4.  I’ll throw this in for Jack Doles…Nebraska at Northwestern at 7:30 pm on the Big Ten Network.  Ferris is at Ohio Dominican at 1 pm.  Let’s see if they can keep the streak going.  GVSU is up at Michigan Tech at 1 pm.   The Wings host Toronto at 7 pm.  The Lions host New Orleans at 1 pm on Sunday – that could be a good game.

Weekend Sports Thread – Sunday update

October 4th, 2014 at 2:12 am by under Bill's Blog, Sports, Weather

detroit lions logo   It’s do or die for the Tigers.  Price takes the mound at 3:45 pm today (Sunday) in Detroit.  Low 50s and a chance of a few light showers/sprinkles, but I think they get the game in.   The Lions host Buffalo and should win that game…that’s another 1 pm start.   The Sunday night game is Cincinnati at New England.  That’s on WOOD-TV.  I stayed up to watch the exciting end of the MSU/Nebraska game.  Wow, way too close.   The speculation about Brady Hoke will continue after the 3rd loss in a row.  With away games at MSU, Northwestern and Ohio St., they may not get to a bowl game this year.  Would Harbaugh want to come back to Ann Arbor?  Exciting end to the Notre Dame game.  N.D. has a pretty tough schedule.  If by chance they run the table or maybe had one close loss, you’ve got to figure that Kelly & Co. make it to the playoffs.  Grand Valley and Ferris St. both got big wins.   Ferris St. is 4-0 and leading the GLIAC.   We have early football on WOTV4 at noon.   There were 3 MAC games that were decided by one point, including a tough loss for Western in overtime to Toledo. Central beat Ohio 28-10.

Weekend Sports Thread

September 27th, 2014 at 2:23 am by under Bill's Blog, Sports, Weather

detroit lions logo     General zonal upper level flow and lots of relatively dry and warm air will mean great weather for sporting events across most of the U.S. this weekend.  The Tigers lost Friday evening (11-4) and the Royals won (first time in the playoffs for them since 1985!)…so the Tigers are now just one game up on the Royals with 2 games to go.  The Tigers have an evening game today (Sat.) and a day game on Sunday.  The Lions will be NYC to play the Jets at 1 pm on Sunday.  The Packers and Bears also kick off at 1 pm.   New Orleans is at Dallas in the evening NFL game on WOOD-TV/NBC.

Michigan State hosts Wyoming at Noon on ESPN2 (should be an easy win for the #9 Spartans).  Michigan takes on Minnesota in the Big House at 3:30 pm.  That game is on WOTV4 at 3:30 pm.  WMU is at Virginia Tech at 12:30 pm on ESPN3.  Central travels to Toledo for a 7 pm game, also on ESPN3.  Notre Dame is at Syracuse and you can see that game on WOOD-TV at 8 pm.  GVSU (0-3) hosts Lake Erie at 7 pm.

Model update:  The overnight GFS-plot has high temperatures for Grand Rapids beginning today (Sat.) of 77, 77, 77, 76, 73, 78 and 67 on Friday.  The next rain for us on the GFS-plot is Thursday evening/night.   The European has a little stronger front for Monday night/Tuesday AM with a few light showers possible then and a little cooler air for Tuesday.   The Euro. is pretty wet for next Friday as the cool air settles in.  Next weekend (Oct. 4-5) won’t be nearly as warm as this weekend.

Check out this flash of lightning at a high school football game in Colorado.

Rain for Friday Football Frenzy

September 12th, 2014 at 12:16 pm by under Bill's Blog, Sports, Weather

football frenzy game   Showers will spread from NW to SE during the late afternoon and evening.  The morning run of the NAM (caribou) has the rain in G.R. mainly falls between 5 pm and 7 am tomorrow morning.  It has rain reaching Kalamazoo by around 8-9 pm.  Plan on taking the ponchos and rain gear if you’re headed out to a game this Friday evening.  The NAM (car.) gives us 1/4 to 3/5ths inch of rain tonight.  It’s east of us by around 10 am Saturday with the sun coming out Sat. PM.  The model also gives G.R. a low of 36 Sunday morning, so we may be looking at Frost Advisories for Sat. night.  We’re going to cover 21 games tonight, inc. Lowell/East G.R., Mona Shores/Rockford and Portage Northern/St. Joseph.

Frost and freeze in parts of the U.P. this AM – morning lows:  33 Marquette, 31 Houghton, 29 Watersmeet, 28 Doe Lake, 26 Kenton.  A mix of rain and snow last night at Ironwood.

Here’s Grand Rapids radar and Northern Michigan radar. See the Slight Risk Area in a thread below this one for today/tonight. Lots of 2-4″ rainfall totals in Iowa. Storm Total Rainfall will show the heaviest rain and Milwaukee looping radar. Regional radar and the Updated GRR NWS Short Term Discussion. Lots of links below. Links: Grand Rapids radar, Northern Indiana radar, Chicago radar, Detroit radar and Milwaukee radar. Here’s regional radar, the 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 late. st 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. Check out Storm Total Precipitation (until they reset it). 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). Check out the webcam at Krupp’s Resort in the U.P. Here’s the U.S. Low Temperature map. Here’s a live look at the Houghton Bridge. Here’s the Consumers Energy Power Outage Map. Here’s Closings.

Top Ten Ways to Tell Bill Steffen is a Bad Golfer

April 18th, 2014 at 10:44 pm by under Bill's Blog, Sports, Weather

easter bunny running   I’m playing golf Saturday here in Oak Ridge.  I played once last year and twice the year before that.  It’s not a pretty sight.  Here’s the top ten ways to tell that Bill Steffen is a bad golfer:   10)  Bill’s so bad off the tee that the course makes him take along a “designated driver”.  9)  Bill’s favorite club is his ball retriever   8)  Bill’s had to regrip his ball retriever six times.  7)  Bill’s divots are so big that the course makes him take along a fork-lift truck and four carpet layers   6)   Bill gets excited when he gets a hole-in-six   5)  Bill’s handicap is higher than the number of losses the Detroit Pistons have had this year.  5)  The only person on Earth with a better left hook than Bill Steffen is Floyd Mayweather.   4)  Bill uses green golf balls, because they show up better in the sand traps.  3)  When Bill plays, the course hands out hard hats and flak jackets   2)  Bill’s divots are bigger than the potholes on Burton Street…and the #1 way to tell Bill Steffen is a bad golfer…the Easter Bunny flees in total panic when he hears that Bill is playing golf!

UPDATE:  Survived golf – no people or animals were injured.  A had a very honest 109.  I did par one par 3.  I lost 3 balls, but found 4…so I was +1 for the day.  Fish, broccoli, potato salad and homemade oatmeal-raisin cookies for dinner.  Tomorrow, we all go to church, then home for the Easter Sunday ham brunch (which my almost 95-year old mother insists on doing mostly on her own), then out to Frozen Head State Park to enjoy what should be an awesome day.  You should have near perfect weather in Michigan for Easter Sunday as well – enjoy.

Final Four

March 29th, 2014 at 2:58 am by under Bill's Blog, Sports, Weather

  Michigan and Michigan St. are done, having reached the Elite 8.  Only Wisconsin will represent the Big Ten in the Final Four next Saturday.  With Kentucky and Florida waiting, that’ll be a tough hill to climb.     Here’s the schedule… The Final Four games are next Sat. 4/5 with FL/CT at 6:09p and WI/KY at 8:49p.  The big dance is the evening of 4/7.   We’ve got one #1 seed, one #2 seed, one #7 and one #8.

Also, nice MODIS picture of Lake Superior from Friday.  Here’s Lake Huron.


NCAA Basketball

March 20th, 2014 at 12:50 pm by under Bill's Blog, Sports, Weather

   Michigan, Michigan St. and Wisconsin all advance to the Sweet 16 – a bit of a scare for MSU and quite the comeback for Wisconsin.  We welcome your comments below.

“Subtropical” Sochi

February 16th, 2014 at 12:42 am by under Bill's Blog, Sports, Weather

sochi snow    Click on the picture to enlarge.   Click here for a wider view (you can see the Caspian Sea on the far right).  This picture was taken on February 3, 2014, just a few days before the opening ceremonies of the XXII Olympic Games.  Sochi is located on the eastern shore of the Black Sea, not far from the southernmost point in all of Russia, Sochi is a resort town with a warm, humid subtropical climate. Palm trees grow there. However, the cold alpine climate of the Caucasus Mountains lies just a short distance inland. In the winter, the mountains offer steep slopes for snow sports and a decent venue for the Olympic games. This image, taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite, provides context for the area around Sochi.

The Caucasus Mountains form the border between Europe and Asia, spanning the gap between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. They also often form the boundary between cold, dry air from Asia and relatively warmer and more humid air coming in from the Mediterranean Sea to the west. Flowing in from the south and west, the humid ocean air hits the Caucasus and gets pushed up. The rising air cools, resulting in heavy snowfall when temperatures are cool enough. Because of this pattern, snowfall tends to be heaviest in the southern and western Caucasus. Rosa Khutor, the new ski resort that is the venue for mountain events at these Olympics, is built in one such region.   The Olympic Village is not right at Sochi, but a short bus ride to the south (at Adler).   The average high temperature for mid-February at Adler is 53.   The month started out cool, with highs in the mid 40s for the first six days of February.  Then it warmed into the 50s and finally into the low 60s for Weds. to Fri. (12th to 14th).  It should turn a little cooler for the early part of this coming week.

Rosa Khutor is about 25 miles from Sochi and its subtropical warmth (afternoon highs in winter in Sochi are around 50F). Leading up to the games, some critics voiced concerns that Rosa Khutor would not have enough snow for competition. In February 2013, it was warm and raining at the resort, forcing several World Cup events to be cancelled. Spurred by these fears, the resort stockpiled 16 million cubic feet of snow and installed hundreds of snow-making machines to make sure the slopes would be snow-covered.   Temperatures cool as you go higher up in elevation.  Some ski runs have had dry, powdery snow higher up at the start, but slushier conditions at the end of the races where it is warmer.   Picture and story information from NASA Earth Observatory.

Super Bowl and another cool week

February 2nd, 2014 at 3:40 am by under Bill's Blog, Sports, Weather

super bowl 48 logo  Live Sports Thread – who do you think will win and why?  Anyone want to guess when the Lions will be in a Super Bowl?  I’ll be watching the game, but probably not with my computer – a bunch of friends are getting together.  Several new threads, so scroll down and check ‘em out.   Also:  WOW!  Look at this wave in Cornwall, EnglandFireworks rehearsal in Sochi.  Olympics actually starts Thursday, opening ceremonies Friday!

Looks like temperatures about 5 to 8 degrees cooler than average this week.  Not much snow, as the storm track will be south of Michigan.  Western drought…rainfall in January compared to (average):  San Diego 0.01″ ( 1.91″), Los Angeles trace (2.61″), San Francisco 0.01″ (4.05″), Sacramento 0.14″ (3.52) Las Vegas 0.00″ (0.52″), Seattle 3.61″ (5.41″).  Snowfall at Flagstaff AZ in January was 1/10th inch compared to an average of 22.5″.   On the other hand, W. Palm Beach FL had 9.93″ of rain, about 3 times average.   January snowfall (all of these totals are well above average):  Boston 21.8″, New York City 19.7″, Philadephia 25.0″,  Pittsburgh 17.8″, Detroit 39.1″ (snowiest month ever), Dover 15.9″, Atlantic City 18.8″, Norfolk VA 11.4″,  Atlanta 2.6″, St. Louis 15.8″, Minneapolis 22.7″, Cincinnati 20.4″, Alexandria LA 4.5″, Denver 14.2″, Cheyenne WY 14.7″, Great Falls MT 18.8″.  With the colder pattern, many places had snow hang around longer than average.

Model update:  The GRR NWS has a good Sunday PM discussion.  I buy the cold nighttime temperatures the next couple of nights.  Fresh snow cover, light wind (or calm) and clear to partly cloudy skies (late tonight and tomorrow night) mean cold temps.  This weeks significant snow will be confined mainly to Tues. night/earlyWeds.   The GFS plot has 0.15″ of precipitation mainly Tues. evening/night – the European has 0.17″.  We’re probably looking at a 1-4″ snowfall with the least up at Ludington and the most toward Jackson/Hillsdale/Coldwater.  It’ll be another cold week with highs in the low-mid 20s Sunday – Weds. and maybe only upper teens for Thurs. / Fri.  The European also has a couple/three inches of snow Saturday/Sat. night.  Best day for some sun will be Monday.   The GFS – plot has high temps. of only 13, 16 and 17 for Thurs. – Sat. – that’s probably a touch cool, but more Arctic air for the end of the week.  We’ll continue to track the progression of ice cover on Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes.

USGS reports a 6.6 magnitude earthquake 455 miles (732 km) northeast of Whakatane, New Zealand. No tsunami expected.  Ten people rescued after huge wave knocks bus off ocean road in England.   Phillip Hoffman, the actor who died (drug overdose?) was in the movie Twister.   You know, we could make an absolutely great Twister 2 starring commentators from this blog.  I won’t name names, but this show could get awesome ratings.  This could be the new “Storm Chasers”.   Verkoyansk, Siberia is 71 below zero at 3 pm EST (Yikes!).   Snowstorm in Oklahoma – thundersnow in N. Texas this afternoon.


January 1st, 2014 at 9:10 pm by under Bill's Blog, Sports, Weather

facebook rose bowl    We put the game on the HUGE screen (190.4″ x 107.2″) in the studio after the 6 PM news.  Sparty had me worried (that and the Big Ten doesn’t seem to fare well in bowl games), but MSU lands in Comeback City.  Awesome stuff  on 4th down.  We all said (before the play) that Stanford should fake the run and throw a pass.   I think the Spartans overachieved a little  and I think the coaches get some credit for that.   BTW, still looks brutally cold for the Packers/49ers game Sunday late PM…probably a little below zero for most of the game with -15 to -20 wind chills.