Sun South Clouds North

September 18th, 2014 at 10:09 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

satellite   This is a mid-morning satellite picture (from ADDS)…click to enlarge.  Clouds from Kent Co. north – sun along much of the I-94 corridor.  Temperatures at 10 am mostly in upper 40s to low 50s (mid 50s south in spots where there is full sun).  There has been some patchy fog, especially around G.R.  Here’s a satellite loop, radar and current conditions.   The clouds will eventually erode to partly cloudy (though it may take most of the midday to do that in places.  Another cool night ahead with lows near 40 (cool spots mid 30s).  The first chance of rain will be later Friday night (after the football games).  We’ll have a chance of a shower/t-shower Saturday and especially Saturday evening/night, then back to partly sunny Sunday PM…dry Monday thru Wednesday of next week.  The Thurs. AM run of the NAM (caribou) gives G.R. 0.04″ of rain late Fri. night – and 0.50″ Sat. PM/Evening.  It gives Ludington 1.02″ total Fri. night thru Sat. evening and Jackson gets 0.91″ – more than half of that coming in one hour around 4 am Sat. night.   The overnight run of the European model gives us quite a soaking Saturday PM/night – with a little boost from moisture left over from Hurricane Odile.  That model gives G.R. 1.08″ of rain in 6 hours and 1.21″ total.  The Severe Weather Outlook Area from the Storm Prediction Center has much of the Great Lakes in the General Thunderstorm Outlook with a “See Text” for S. Wisconsin/N. Illinois.  For Saturday PM they say:  “SOME MARGINALLY SEVERE WIND GUSTS AND HAIL WILL BE POSSIBLE WITH THE STRONGER THUNDERSTORMS FROM THE CENTRAL PLAINS NORTHEASTWARD TO LOWER MICHIGAN.”  I’ll continue to give updates on the blog, so stay tuned.

Thursday Update

September 18th, 2014 at 2:01 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

north american snow cover    7 Day Tempererature anomaly Click on the images to enlarge. The first map (from the U.S. Natl. Ice Center) snows snow cover across North America Weds. Note the snow on the ground just north of Lake Superior! Here’s a picture of the snow at Geraldton, Ontario.  The second map shows the temperature difference from average over the past 7 days.  Grand Rapids averaged 9 degrees cooler than average from Sept. 11-17.   You can see the unseasonably cold air from the Continental Divide across the Northern Plains to the Great Lakes.  Much of the Southeast and West were warmer than average.

We continue to track the likelihood of showers and storms this weekend.  Yesterday, the Storm Prediction Center said:  “THE GREATEST SEVERE THREAT DURING THE DAY 4 TO 8 PERIOD IS FORECAST ON SATURDAY AFTERNOON IN THE UPPER MS VALLEY AND WRN GREAT LAKES REGION.”    Overnight models for G.R:  NAM (caribou) – high today 67, low Fri. AM 40, high Fri. 70, 0.17″ rain Fri. night (after football), high of 79 on Sat. with 0.09″ rain late Sat. and 0.06″ Sat. night.   The GFS plot has highs of 66 today, 70 Fri., and 77 on Sat.  The GFS-plot has no rain Fri. night and a healthier 0.72″ Saturday night.   The NAM MOS has a 50% chc. of rain Fri. night for G.R. and a 75% chc. on Saturday…the GFS MOS has 27% Fri. night and 47% Saturday (with a high of 80 for G.R.).  Waiting on the European.

The King Fire east of Sacramento has burned over 28,000 acres and resulted in the evacuation of 2,155 people.  Look at the smoke plume seen from satelliteMap of California firesTrick or Treat snow?   Egg-sized hail and 1.72″ of rain at Harrison AR.  Other rainfall totals from Weds:  3.22 Springfield MO, 2.75″ Tampa FL, 1.95″ Houston TX, 1.37″ Nogales AZ.  Cool lightning picsSnow in Siberia.    Large earthquake measured at 7.1 struck offshore of Guam – no tsunami.   Fireball in the NE U.S. last Sunday night.   Finally, just after sunset in Muskegon (lots of boats in the channel!).

New Hurricane

September 18th, 2014 at 12:42 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

   “Polo” is now a hurricane off the SW coast of Mexico.  Unlike Odile, Polo will miss Baja to the west and weaken as it heads out into the Pacific Ocean.  Here’s the track map for Polo.

The remnants of Odile is (as I write this) are crossing from Mexico into the U.S.   Significant rain has fallen in SE Arizona, S. New Mexico and far West Texas.  Water rescues were occurring overnight due to flooding in and near El Paso, Texas.   Here’s SW radar, forecast advisory, public discussion, latest Funktop satellite loop, visible satellite loop.

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

The remains of Typhoon Kalmaegi brought heavy rain to S. China and N. Vietnam.

There was also some severe weather Wednesday in far SW Missouri, NW Arkansa, far eastern Oklahoma and S. South Carolina.

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.

Dry Weather for Much of the Rest of the Week

September 15th, 2014 at 11:27 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

muskegon glerl   This pretty picture taken shortly after sunset Monday is from the Muskegon GLERL camera (from NOAA Coastwatch).

The Tues. AM run of the European gives G.R. a chance of showers and storms from Friday evening thru Sunday AM with 0.89″ total, much of it coming during the day on Saturday.   The GFSX is a little slower and it gives G.R. a high of 80 on Saturday.     The last 7 days have been chilly-cold for much of N. America.

Also:  5.6-magnitude earthquake 27 miles NE of Tokyo, JapanPhilippine volcano ready to erupt – thousands evacuated.   Odile now a tropical storm…will be just a depression when it moves into Arizona, but significant rain and flooding are likely, mainly in SE AZ and New Mexico.  Odile did produce a gust to 104 mph near Cabo San Lucas.    10 years ago – Hurricane Ivan, peak winds of 145 mph! – overall the Atlantic hurricane seasons have been unusually quiet since 2005.  100 structures burn in wildfire near Weed, CA. (note at link that gas is $4.01 a gallon there)  Map of Western wildfires.   2014 is 2nd lowest in the last 10 years for both the number of wildfires and the number of acres burned.   Finally, how about this for a NYC sunset.

Waterspout on Lake Michigan

September 15th, 2014 at 7:29 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Waterspout Lake Michigan 9 15 14 near Holland Ryan Tevelde   funnel - cold air over Lake Michigan 9 15 14 Michelle Gibson near S. HavenWaterspout Joanne Steward Holland 9 15 14 watermarked Click on the pictures to enlarge.  These pictures of waterspouts over Lake Michigan are from Ryan Tevelde (left), who was out fishing…Michelle Gibson (center picture)  near S. Haven  and Joanne Stewart (picture on the right).  The  waterspout (pictured on the left and right) on Lake Michigan just west of Holland, Michigan was around 6 pm.   We had scattered showers in the area (no thunder).  If you watched me between 5 pm and 6 pm – I tracked this particular cell – showing a small area of little yellow (moderate rain) on the radar.  I noted that while the rest of the showers and the general rain area were moving west to east – this particular cell was moving NW to SE.   If anyone else got a pic. of the waterspout, we’d like to see your pic.  You can email it to or bill.steffen@woodtv. com or like Joanne – you can use ReportIt at  Thanks, Joanne, Michelle and Ryan.

Also- check out this lightning pic.   Here’s a waterspout off Pensacola Monday PM.

Monday PM Showers

September 15th, 2014 at 10:09 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

  6:55 PM – Light rain off and on for several more hours.  The rain will be mainly east of US 127 by midnight.  We may see some patchy fog develop after midnight.  The sun will be back tomorrow.  There may be some showers passing across the U.P. and northern Lower Michigan midweek, but Southern Michigan may stay dry until Saturday night.  The average high temperature is 74 for mid-September.  Over the past 5 days, we’ve had highs of 60-59-61-64-63…including 2 days in a row with a general south wind.

Also, while a cool trough sits over much of the Lower 48 states, a strong ridge over Alaska pushed the Sunday pm temperature to 78° in Fairbanks!

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.

Umbrella for Monday

September 14th, 2014 at 5:25 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

umbrella with Alex    Keep the umbrella handy today.  Showers are likely.  .  The NAM (car.) would hold the rain off for much of the area for the morning commute, but rain should develop in most areas by midday. It might take a little longer for the rain to start SE of Kent Co.  The Sundasy run of the NAM (car.) gives G.R. 0.35″ of rain..and an average of about 1/4″ to the area.   The GFS-plot has a weaker (prob. too weak) 0.05″ for G.R. (but 0.57″ for Ludington).  The GFS-plot also has another 0.78″ from Friday night into early next Sunday.  The models have highs in the low-mid 60s today with the GFS gradually warming us up to the low 70s by next weekend.   The European model has 0.20″ for G.R. on Monday and another 0.58″ from Friday night to Saturday night (Sunday would be the brighter half of next weekend).  The European would take us back to 70 degrees Thurs. PM.  (picture by Michelle Olin).

Also, severe flooding near Srinager, India…Tampa Bay NFL game delayed by lightningLions playoff hopes delayed by CarolinaTigers win!  Another homer for Martinez.  Antarctic sea ice expands to all-time (satellite era) record extent…pictures of the Northern Lights this week here and herehalf a dozen hail reports NE of Denver Sunday PM….a giraffe and a funnel cloud.

And (from Chicago NWS and John Gehr):  The recent streak on September 11-13 of days with highs in the 50s in Chicago was the earliest streak of three consecutive days or more with highs less than 60 degrees on record. Records in Chicago go back to 1871. Overall…it was only the 23rd time such a streak has occurred in the month of September. The longest streak was 6 consecutive days back in 1875 from 9/17 until 9/22.    September 11: 56° new record low for the date. Previous: 61° in 1940   September 12: 55°     September 13: 59°

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.