Uncategorized

Thursday

February 5th, 2015 at 3:27 am by under Uncategorized

  3:15 am – Flurries linger in the lakeshore counties during the early morning.  I saw two city plows out as I left the station to drive home.  One was doing a masterful job trying to deal with the parked cars that are on the sides of the streets.  The streets narrow as cars park a bit away from the curb and it’s hard to get thru some of the streets when cars are parked like that on both sides.  Observe the odd-even parking if you can.  I had zero when I pulled into the driveway with a bright full “snow” moon and the planet Jupiter racing the moon to the western horizon.  The snow crunches when it gets cold and there’s an added crunch from the touch of freezing drizzle Tues. evening.  At 3 pm, the wind has turned northeast at S. Haven and Muskegon.  This is called “cold air drainage.  Air over the lake is warmer relative to the land, so it rises and colder air from the land drains into the lake from all sides.  So we have northeast winds now at Muskegon and S. Haven, a southwest wind at Traverse City draining unto the bay, the wind is west at Sheboygan, Milwaukee and Racine, Wisconsin and down at Chicago.  The coldest temps. are up north, where at 3 am, Cadillac is down to -9 and Grayling has -17.

Both the European and GFS models give us around 1/10th inch of precipitation this weekend…not much, but that could include a little freezing rain.  Then we get a couple inches of snow next Weds./Thurs. as a fresh batch of Arctic air arrives.  The European gives G.R. morning lows a little below zero on Tues., Thurs., Fri., and Sat. of next week.

Here’s Grand Rapids radar and Northern Michigan radar, NAM model 3-day snowfall forecast and GFS model 5-day snowfall forecast. Storm Total Snowfall will show the heaviest snow and Milwaukee looping radar. Regional radar and the Updated GRR NWS Short Term Discussion. More links: Northern Indiana radar, Chicago radar, Detroit radar and Milwaukee radar. Here’s 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 latest 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. 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). Here’s the Consumers Energy Power Outage Map


A Mother’s Voice

January 21st, 2015 at 1:41 pm by under Uncategorized

IMG_0186I had the opportunity to meet and interview Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin at this year’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Celebration at GRCC. She had a message as an advocate against violence, a regular person thrust into the public eye after a personal tragedy and a mother who has lost a child. I could see the pain in her face as she held her head high and addressed the hundreds of people gathered that evening for MLK Day. You just want to hug her and I did twice. Ms. Fulton spoke from the heart, recounted the day her son Trayvon was killed and the love and support that helped her overcome. She now dedicates her time and efforts to speak out against violence towards children, especially violence toward young black men. I was touched by her words and as a mother can relate to her pain. She left us with a message that we all need to be the change if we want to see a different America.  That’s what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. also challenged us to do more than four decades ago…


Saturday Showers

November 8th, 2014 at 2:50 am by under Uncategorized

   Scattered showers…that may include a period of wet snow, especially as the precipitation tapers off this afternoon.  Low 40s most of the day, but temperatures could drop a few degrees in the afternoon.  Winds will shift to the west-northwest and increase to 15 mph or more inland and 20-25 mph at the shore.  I’m at a National Weather Service Seminar today.  Check the links below on this thread and the threads below that have been updated.

Here’s Grand Rapids radar and Northern Michigan radar. Storm Total Rainfall will show the heaviest rain and Milwaukee looping radar. Regional radar and the Updated GRR NWS Short Term Discussion. More links: Grand Rapids radar, Northern IndianahC 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 latest 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. 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). Here’s the Consumers Energy Power Outage Map.

 


Wednesday

October 15th, 2014 at 1:24 pm by under Uncategorized

   1:21 pm – The stock market is down over 400 points today and falling.  This is a similar pattern to 2008, when gasoline prices dipped, then the stock market dipped, then the economy dipped right before the election.  I’ll leave radar at the top of the blog. A few more widely scattered showers and sprinkles today, lots of clouds and occasional damp pavement.  Winds will be light.  Oct. 1-14 was 0.5° cooler than average in G.R.  Average high temps. are now in the low 60s and falling at the rate of about one degree every 3 days.

Check out this picture of the Northern Lights last night from Kyle Underwood-land up in NE Minnesota.  We could have seen the aurora here in W. Michigan (though fainter and more on the northern horizon than in NE Minnesota, but it was cloudy here.

Storm Total Rainfall will show the heaviest rain and Milwaukee looping radar. Regional radar and the Updated GRR NWS Short Term Discussion. More 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 latest 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. 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). Here’s the Consumers Energy Power Outage Map.


“Into the Storm” filmed in Michigan

August 8th, 2014 at 1:52 pm by under Uncategorized
"Into the Storm" poster courtesy Warner Bros

“Into the Storm” poster courtesy Warner Bros

Fictional storm movie uses Michigan as its backdrop
Originally titled “Category Six”, then filmed under the name “Black Sky”, “Into the Storm” was Directed by Steven Quale, visual effects protege of James Cameron who also directed ”Final Destination 5″ and was the second-unit director on “Avatar”.
.
It stars Richard Armitage (“The Hobbit”), Sarah Wayne Callies (“The Walking Dead”), Matt Walsh (“Veep”), and Max Deacon.  The premise of the movie is about “Storm trackers, thrill-seekers, and everyday townspeople document(ing) an unprecedented onslaught of tornadoes touching down in the town of Silverton”.
.
According to the Michigan Film Office, “Into the Storm” was awarded a $12.1 million incentive on  $40.7 million of projected spending in Michigan.
.
Here is my original blog on the production posted June 8, 2012……
.
Multi-million dollar film project coming to Michigan
Steven Quale directing "Final Destination 5"

Steven Quale directing “Final Destination 5″

The Michigan Film Office is announcing that a Warner Brothers 5-figure budget project about a devastating Tornado has been approved for the state’s film incentives and is expected to begin filmming on the eastside of the state later this summer.

The untitled tornado feature film project (originally titled “Category Six” or the script titled “Category Six”) is about a super tornado that sweeps through a small town.   The movie is expected to shoot in metro Detroit and at Michigan Motion Picture Studios in Pontiac.

The project, according to the Michigan Film Office, was awarded an incentive of $12.1 million ($12,105,139) on $40.7 million ($40,730,908) of projected in-state expenditures. The project is expected to hire 461 Michigan workers with a full time equivalent of 170 jobs.

Steven Quale, who directed “Final Destination 5″ and was the second-unit director on “Avatar” will direct the movie that IMDB says  is about “A group of high school students document the events and aftermath of a devastating tornado.”

Alycia Debnam Carey

Alycia Debnam Carey

Arlen Escarpeta

Arlen Escarpeta

Two young actors have been cast as the leads: Alycia Debnam (“The Occult”, “Dance Academy”) and Arlen Escarpeta (“The Client List”, “Final Destination 5″).

The production company Broken Road Productions says the movie is a “found-footage natural disaster movie, about high schoolers documenting a massive hurricane” and that Quale is a visual effects protege of James Cameron.

Broken Road Productions has several popular movies, and several not-so-popular movies to its credit: “Jack and Jill” (2011), “Zookeeper” (2011), “Sorcerer’s Apprentice”  (2010), “Knight and Day” (2010), “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” (2009), “Next” (2007), “Are We Done Yet?” (2007), “The Forgotten” (2004), “Anger Management” (2003), and “Radio” (2003). (more…)


Weekend

August 2nd, 2014 at 2:00 am by under Bill's Blog, Uncategorized, Weather

  The radar in the upper left will update automatically.  I’m off to Grand Haven for the Coast Guard Festival.  I’ll walk in the parade and stay to say a few words before the fireworks (some of the best in the Midwest).  There may once again be a few widely scattered showers and thunderstorms popping up in the afternoon. Again, the chance of rain will be lowest at the lakeshore.  In an overall dry pattern (Grand Rapids officially has had just a tenth of an inch of rain in the last 2 weeks), be grateful if you get a little rain.  There could be a few patches of fog around sunrise.  Sunday looks dry.   Check out Storm Total Rainfall to see who’s had rain today.

Also:  Tropical Storm Bertha bringing heavy showers to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas…should miss the U.S, though a stalled front will bring some heavy rain to VA and NC.  Minimal Hurricane Iselle in the Eastern Pacific could eventually bring some heavier showers to Hawaii.  Typhoon Halong in the Western Pacific is a Category 4 storm with a very well defined eye.   Flooding north of Phoenix AZ.  1.36″ of rain in 45 mins, 2 miles NNW of Glendale, AZ.  Lightning over Phoenix.

Here’s GRR looping radar. 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, and a surface weather map. You can checkout the latest 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.


Happy Father’s Day

June 15th, 2014 at 2:14 am by under Bill's Blog, Uncategorized

   This is my father, John Steffen on his 70th birthday, July 22, 1983. He lived to five days shy of his 91st birthday, and always looked much younger than his age. Both of his parents were immigrants from the tiny country of Luxembourg.  Dad was a percussionist and played harmonica.  He actually started playing violin as a youngster. He played drums for the Grosse Point Band well into his 80s and marched carrying the bass drum in the Memorial Day Parade in Wilmette, IL until he was 86. He was in the Army Air Corps for over five years in WWII (flew in B-24s and B-25s) and then started working the line at Bell & Howell in Chicago for 75 cents an hour, working his way up to be Chief Liaison Engineer. He was the youngest of eight children and the 7th boy, growing up in Chicago on Granville Avenue (north side – Rogers Park, just a few blocks from where Betty Ford was born). He was the drummer of the band that Northwestern University put together to tour Europe in the late 1930s to show Europe American big band, swing and jazz music (for a taste of what that trip was like…rent the movie “Swing Kids”). He loved to play jazz because it was so creative, and you didn’t have to play it the same way every time.   Happy Father’s Day to all.  It’ll be a nice day weatherwise this Sunday, dry and pleasant for most of the day, with clouds increasing a bit and a chance of a shower or t-storm by evening (and especially overnight).  This next few days will be warmer than average and more humid.  We’ll be back to a wetter pattern with several rounds of (possibly strong to even severe) storms this week.


Connecting with Community Awards

May 30th, 2014 at 10:40 am by under Uncategorized

0000074We wrapped up our Connecting with Community Awards with a special broadcast showcasing all eight finalists and this year’s winner. I am always left with a feeling of awe and inspiration of the great work that happens that I never knew about.

The great thing about the Connecting with Community Awards is that we can show how sometimes one idea or one person can really make a difference. This year’s winner was Camp Shout Out. They are a unique summer camp for kids who stutter. It was great to talk to these kids and learn how even though they have difficulty speaking, they too have a voice.

Check out the whole program here.

 


Sunday Snow

January 26th, 2014 at 2:55 am by under Uncategorized

Local   With a couple inches of light snow on the way, I’ll leave radar at the top of the blog.   Do read the two threads below on the famous blizzards on this day back in ’67 and ’78.

Model update on Sunday/Sunday night snow:  NAM (Caribou) – Sunday and Sunday night combined:  Grand Rapids 3″, Lansing 2.4″, Muskegon 3″, Kalamazoo 3.4″, Big Rapids 1.5″, S. Haven 3.4″, Ludington 3.4″ (thru Mon.).

Links: Grand Rapids radar, Northern Indiana radar, Chicago radar, Detroit radar and Milwaukee radar. Here’s the College of DuPage Radar Map (pick any radar in the U.S.), College of DuPage Grand Rapids radar, GFS snowfall for the next 120 hours and NAM model snowfall for the next 84 hours. the West Michigan Lightning Tracker, National Lightning Tracker, the local warning/advisory map and the National warning/watch/advisory map, and a surface weather map. You can checkout the latest 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 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, the weather station at Manistee Harbor 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, where they are pushing toward 3 feet of snow on the ground. Check out the cold temps. on the U.S. Low Temperature map. Here’s the morning run of the NAM forecast snow amounts. Here’s a live look at the Houghton Bridge. Here’s the Consumers Energy Power Outage Map. We continue to watch for ice jams on Michigan rivers


1-3″ of snow this PM/Night – Slick Roads

December 8th, 2013 at 3:14 pm by under Uncategorized

Local     Snow will total 1-3″ this afternoon and night, with a little more snow north and west of G.R. than to the southeast.  More snow showers, accumulating snow and drifting on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  Roads will be snow covered and slippery.  There is a Winter Weather Advisory for the Eastern U.P. and much of Wisconsin.   Check out the webcam at Krupp’s Resort, where they are pushing toward 2 feet of snow on the ground. . Check out the cold temps. on the U.S. Low Temperature map.  We are now up to 59% of the Lower 48 states with a snow cover, more than 3 times average.  Saturday was the coldest day in the U.S. ever in the first half of December (since satellite data began in 1979). Here’s record temperatures in N. American over the past 24 hours.  It’s pretty easy to tell where the cold front is on the temperature anomaly map. Here’s the morning run of the NAM forecast snow amounts.   The long range looks cool…right now I’d say Dec./Jan. are going to end up about 2 deg. colder than average.

Low temperatures Sunday am:  14 G.R., 13 Holland, Kalamazoo and Battle Creek, 9 at Lansing, Hopkins and Hastings, 8 at Mt. Pleasant and Big Rapids, 7 at Fremont and Entrican, 6 at Belding and Cadillac, 5 at the Kalamazoo Nature Center, -1 Baldwin, -9 Marquette, -17 Wakefield.   Keep checking back to this thread for these links: Grand Rapids radar, Northern Indiana radar, Chicago radar, Detroit radar and Milwaukee radar. Here’s 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, and a surface weather map. You can checkout the latest 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 Rainfall (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 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, the North Mid-Lake Michigan Buoy, the buoy at Big Sable Point near Ludington, the weather station at Manistee Harbor and the weather station on the beach at St. Joseph. Here’s Michigan wind gusts from MesoWest, data from the MAWN agriculutural weather stations and Weather Underground (data at the bottom from private weather stations.

We’ll have to watch for ice jams on Michigan rivers as the cold air settles in next week. Here’s some river water temps. Also, many inland lakes will be icing up in the next 10 days. Beware of early thin ice.