On the left, we have the latest Great Lake ice cover map. As of 2 pm yesterday, the Great Lakes still had a 52% ice cover. In the middle, this is the Sunday PM MODIS satellite picture of Lake Erie. Note there is snow cover east of Cleveland, but not withing about 5 miles of the lake. There’s a pretty sharp cut off. On the right is the Lake Ontario satellite pic. (from NOAA Coastwatch), showing the open water in the two deep Finger Lakes.
Weather: Mostly sunny this morning, increasing clouds late in the day…high near 50 inland and near 40 at the Lake Michigan beaches (upper 40s north of G.R. inland. Winds a little brisk from the west, but not as windy as Sunday. We’ll get rain or a mix of rain/snow tonight. A few areas (mainly north of I-96) could see an inch or two accumulate mainly on the grass. Tues. PM will be partly sunny and any snow would melt. Wednesday look partly sunny and warm in the PM with highs in the upper 50s. Mild with rain showers on Thursday, cooler Friday. Most of the period from Friday thru Easter Sunday will be dry with PM temps. from 45 to 52. 10-day precipitation looks heaviest along the coast of Washington/Oregon and in the Ohio Valley. Dry weather continues in California and Arizona. Two dozen low temperature records broken or tied Sunday morning across the East.
The 2nd batch of mixed precipitation is moving thru the area this evening. Temperatures should remain at a few degrees above freezing, so most roads should just be wet. Grand Rapids added 1/10th inch of snow this afternoon and that brings G.R. to an even 78″ of snow for the season. It’s still windy, but we’ve already had our strongest wind gusts (63 mph at Scottville, 52 mph at Muskegon, 49 mph Ludington Beach, 48 mph Fremont, 43 mph Battle Creek, Holland Beach and Ionia, 40 mph downtown G.R.) G.R. has now had 8 days in a row cooler than average.
MODIS Satellite pic. (from NOAA) taken SAturday on the right showing the sunny, bare ground in West Michigan and the ice left on the Great Lakes. The snow cover in the U.P. doesn’t snow up as well as the snow in MN/WI because of all the trees in the U.P. The snow is only on the ground and the satellite is seeing more trees than ground.
Best of luck to Michigan St. today – On Wisconsin (how about that for shootin’ threes in the 2nd half!). They’ll have to have a similar showing to stay with KY – still could be an MSU/UW final. I’m working the evening shift today (Sun.) so maybe we can have it so you can flip over at halftime and I’ll show you my 8-day forecast.
Here’s the MODIS satellite pics. from Friday PM (from NOAA Coastwatch). First, Lake Michigan on the left, with some lake-effect clouds (and flurries) moving north to south down the lake. Note that a few lakes are now open in Wisconsin. The middle pic. of the Great Lakes shows a stripe of snow across Wisconsin and E. Minnesota (you can see the rivers). On the right is Lake Superior.
After a cold start today, it’ll be sunny and pleasant with light winds. Sunday it still looks like mixed precipitation in the PM. The NAM (caribou) prints out 0.34″ of mostly rain for G.R. with the temp. reaching 45 and then dropping 10 degrees with the precipitation. It also gives us a 20 mph wind. The GFS is less with 0.23″ (I’ll side with less). The models mix in some snow, but not much accumulation until you get north of Big Rapids. The NAM (car.) has 1.4″ for Cadillac and the GFS 3.2″ (I’ll side with the lower #).
The water level of Lake Michigan/Huron is steady in the last month, but up 20″ in the last year. The lake(s) are 7″ above the March average water level. Lake Superior is down 2″ in the last month, but up 6″ year-to-year. Superior is still 7″ above the historic average for March. Lake Erie is up 2″ in the last month, at the same level as one year ago and now 2″ below the average for March. Lake Ontario is down 1″ in the last month, down 5″ year-to-year and it’s 10″ below the long term average. Lake St. Clair is up 15″ in the last month (due to ice clogging the Detroit River. The lake is up 11″ year-to-year and 8″ above average. Water levels on the St. Mary’s, St. Clair and Detroit rivers are expected to be above average for the next two weeks with the Niagara and St. Lawrence Rivers near average.
Another 3.5″ of snow fell yesterday/last night in Grand Marais, Michigan in the Upper Peninsula. They are back to 39″ of snow on the ground. If they melt 1″ per day, their snow would last into May. That’s on the level, with drifts and piles higher than that. Other snow cover totals this morning: 28″ Munising, 24″ S. Ste. Marie (3.2″ new), 22″ Ishpeming (4.5″ new), 18″ Marquette airport (2″ new). In Northern Lower Michigan, we have 4″ of snow on the ground in Gaylord, Honor (Benzie Co.) and Harbor Springs. Snow showers are still occurring in Northern Michigan and even Southern Michigan will have a chance of a few light snow showers tonight as another Arctic front comes through and on Sunday, when we’ll get probably a mix of rain and snow. Cold at this time of year isn’t a bad thing…it keeps the tornadoes to our south and it keeps the blossoms from coming out too soon and then getting clipped by a frost.
First Moderate Risk of the year. Notice the new weather outooks from SPC have five levels now instead of just three. The first tornado of the year in the U.S. was confirmed, a small EFO in Bull Shoals AR yesterday evening.
Here in Michigan, we never did get into the sunshine or warm air. We peaked in the low 40s in G.R. and only 36 on the beach at Muskegon. Gusts to around 30 mph this aftn. G.R. had 0.32″ of rain, 0.45″ at Muskegon, only 0.11″ at Kalamazoo and Battle Creek. There was some icing up north of Kent Co. and a few school closings/delays. The temperature a mile above ground Friday AM will be near 0F – that’s really cold air for the last week of March. No big storms for us, but another decent snow event for parts of the U.P. From the Marquette Forecast Discussion: “WITH THE POOL OF COLD AIR ACROSS CANADA…POTENTIAL WILL ALSO BE THERE FOR SIGNIFICANT LATE SEASON SNOWFALLS IN UPPER MI.” Snow cover this morning: 16″ Marquette and Houghton, 22″ S. Ste. Marie, 26″ Munising and Big Bay, 35″ at Grand Marais.
Rain – possibly a period of freezing rain, windy (wind shift to the southwest), a little sun as we get into the “dry tongue” during the afternoon, especially southeast of a line from Kalamazoo to Lansing. At 2 am last night there was thunder reported in the northwest Chicago suburbs – getting closer. Temps. in the low-mid 30s early this AM – very dry air at the surface. At 2 am, G.R. had a dewpoint of 16, Battle Creek just 11. Leave a comment if the roads are getting slick in your area. We went 21 days without measurable precipitation in G.R. (ending today). Here’s the closing/delay list. CPC has Michigan cool for the first week of April. 45+ severe hail reports yesterday, mostly from SW Missouri. SPC did a nice job with their severe t-storm watch box yesterday.
The G.R. National Weather Service has issued a Winter Wather Advisory, essentially north of a line from Muskegon to Greenville. The Advisory will be in effect from 2 am to 11 am tomorrow. The Advisory is for roughly 1/10th inch of freezing rain before temperatures rise above freezing from south to north across the area during the mid-morning. There certainly could be icy spots, though the sun on the pavement today and any residual salt that hasn’t washed off with the dry weather over the past 3 weeks may help the situation. Watch me on the news tonight for more. Here’s the National Weather Service impact map. Dry air over us now…at 5 pm, Muskegon had a dewpoint of +2 and a relative humidity of 17%. Fremont had a dewpoint of -2 and a relative humidity of 15%. There was a significant brush fire in western Ionia Co. this PM.
Nice contrast here. No snow in Holland yesterday, with a nice sunset (pic. from Beach Bum Joe thru ReportIt). Pic. on the right from NBC5 in Chicago, where they got 5.6″ of snow officially at O’Hare.
We’ll see sunshine today, clouds come in from the SW this evening. Rain starts from SW to NE between 1 am and 5 am…you’ll get about 4-6 hours of significant rain. The overnight NAM has 0.54″ for G.R., the GFS-plot has 0.47″ – pretty similar, with most of the rain in G.R. from 3 am to 9 pm. The European has a similar 0.49″ for G.R. We get to 20 mph midday Weds. on the NAM and 25 mph on the GFS – probably a gust to 35-40 mph. early PM. The GFS-plot has a sprinkle Thurs. and a mix on Sunday that includes 0.7″ snow and strong winds up to 29 mph at midday. The GFS-plot doesn’t have us getting out of the upper 20s on Friday with a stiff north wind. The European also has our temperatures at or below freezing Fri. PM. -17.9 at 850mb Fri. am is impressive cold for the last week of March. The Euro. also has temps. at least in the mid 60s on 4/1 with a chance of t-storms.
March is 2 deg. colder than average for G.R. so far, but with a whopping 66% sunshine. Today is the 21st day in a row without measurable precipitation (it probably won’t rain in G.R. until after midnight).
Also, one 1 day out of 23 this month when we’ve had any severe weather in the U.S. That was 3/11 with 2 severe hail reports and 4 wind damage reports in Eastern NC and one power line down in NE Florida. The sum total of wind damage that day was 5 power poles knocked down, two power outages, 4 trees down, one chair and one dog house destroyed. That’s it for the whole country in the 23 days of March. We do expect some severe weather in the S. Plains and Ohio Valley this midweek.