I’ll put radar up as some showers move in later today. I’m still up in Traverse City and now may be until Tue. (a little longer than expected). It still looks like rain Mon. night/Tuesday/Wednesday…changed to snow Weds. night…enough snow (1-3″) Weds. night/Thurs. AM to give us a White Christmas Day. We could reach mid-upper 40s on Tues…near 40 Weds. and maybe back close to 40 Friday or Friday night…then cooler for much of next week. Keep up with the Storm Team 8 Forecast…I’m just quick-scanning weather data. The meteorologists on duty will spend more time on the forecast.
Also: 109 mph gust at Kettle Ponds, CO. 90 mph gust at Whitaker Peak, CA. 100 mph gust at Snowbird — Hidden Peak, UT. Some trees and lines down in Southern California due to strong wind. Severe cold grips North India; dense fog hits flights and trains in Delhi.
Football Fans Reportedly Struck By Lightning Following Packers-Bucs Game In Florida – eleven injured, one critical. Here’s a car in the parking lot north of the stadium that was hit by the lightning. Check out this picture of a rain shaft in S. America from METSUL. Lions win, but not by much (20-14). I’m in Traverse City for a few days seeing daughter #3 and her family. Sunday 1:25 pm – Went to church – then Subway for lunch. Now back “home”. They can usually see Traverse Bay in the distance from their back window. It’s a couple miles away. Today we have enough of a light fog that you can’t see the water. We drove along the bay this morning and there were a lot of geese and a few ducks. We had 33° on the car thermometer with about an 8-10 mph wind. Church was packed…hardly an empty seat, even in the balcony. Maya (step-granddaughter) was in the Traverse City Nutcracker and we went to the Sat. night performance. We went to Culver’s after the program. Sunday, daughter #3 and Alex (step-grandson) are singing in the church Christmas program. We’ll do Christmas here Sunday PM and I’ll probably head home on Monday before the storm really gets cranking. There’s about 2″ of snow on the ground here. Click on the two images to enlarge. The first graph shows the tornado count for 2014 compared to average. This will be a near-record low for the number of tornadoes in the U.S. The figure on the right shows the number of tornadoes this year by state. Michigan’s 17 tornadoes was one above the long-term average of 16 and four above the 10-year average of 13. The most notable twister in our area occurred Sunday evening, July 6th, on the south edge of the G.R. Metro. Area. You can see the lack of tornadoes in the Southern Plains from KS to TX and the significant tornado tracks in E. Nebraska and from Mississippi into Alabama. No tornadoes in 2014 for Oregon, Utah, Rhode Is., New Jersey, Vermont, Alaska and Hawaii. Also note the relatively low number of strong tornadoes with 19 twisters rated EF3, 7 at EF4 and none rated EF5. 707 of 796 were rated EF0 or EF1. Many of these small tornadoes the come and go in a matter of a few minutes and are very difficult to warn for.
Click on the image to enlarge. This is the year-to-date temperature anomaly (difference from average) for the Continental U.S. (CONUS). 2014 has been a cool year for most of the U.S. east of the Rockies. The state that has been warmest relative to average has been California and the coolest relative to average has been Wisconsin. Grand Rapids is 1.5° warmer than avg. for Dec. Let’s assume that’s the final figure for Dec. We’ll end up with 8 months this year that were colder than average and 4 months that were warmer than average. However July (-4.1°) balances out the four months that were warmer than average (a combined +4.1°). We did not have a month that was significantly (more than 2°) warmer than average, but we had 5 months that were significantly colder than average (more than 4° colder than average). For the year so far, Grand Rapids has had 110.4″ of snow and our average temperature is 2.63° cooler than average.
Also: Houston Intercontinental’s rain total today of 3.06″ broke a daily rainfall record…very quiet year for tornadoes in 2014…one of our analog years is 1977-78. Here’s the warm period in Dec. 1977 and the cold that followed in 1978 (and lingered thru March)… Magnitude-5.6 earthquake strikes Pointe-Noire, Guadeloupe in Caribbean…Robert Simpson, who developed the Saffir-Simpson scale for rating hurricanes, has passed away at the age of 102. He deserves a category 5 funeral…When was the last time you saw frost this thick… ….and the Lions will beat the Bears (1 pm Sunday). The Sunday night game on NBC is a good one – Seattle and Arizona…8:30 pm on WOOD…good luck to Western Michigan as they take on a tough Air Force team (both teams overachieved this season) and try for their first ever bowl game (I believe that’s 5:30 pm on ESPN). The game will be played on the blue football field at Boise State.
Here’s pics. from shortly after 2 pm from the GLERL cameras at the Muskegon Channel (left), the Harrison Crib Water Intake (2.75 miles east of downtown Chicago) and Alpena. We finally have some sunshine over most of the area (daytime, visible satellite loop). Areas southeast of Kent County still have a pesky deck of low clouds, but the cloud line is drifting slowly south. Note the clouds on the other side of the lake at Chicago. It’s a rare calm winter day. At 2 pm the wind speed was 2 mph or less at Grand Rapids, Battle Creek, Big Rapids, Kalamazoo and Marshall. The fastest wind of all the reporting stations in Michigan was 8 mph at Ironwood in the western U.P. (current conditions). The GLERL weather stations show a wind of 0.9 mph at Muskegon and 1.6 mph at Chicago. I’m at work, just starting to look at weather. Looks pretty calm for the weekend. We’ll essentially be dry thru Monday midday. Rain starts late Monday.
Clear vs. cloudy, wind vs. no wind and snow cover vs. no snow cover make a big difference in winter low temperatures. The clouds held overnight at Grand Rapids (low 26) and Battle Creek (low 28). The clouds cleared before daybreak at the lakeshore where the low was 18° at Holland. With a little snow on the ground, it got down to 10° at Hart and 6° at Baldwin (20° colder than G.R.). There were some below zero temps. up north (-2 Pellston, -5 Wakefield, -6 Amasa, Raco and Stambaugh). Snow cover is about the same as yesterday, so scroll down a couple threats to check that. Herman, west of Marquette has the most with 24″ on the ground, Grand Marais is at 15″. In Lower Michigan, they report 4″ at Houghton Lake and Kalkaska, 3″ at Cadillac and Traverse City.
The low temperature this am in Seattle (46°) was warmer than the low temperature in Tucson AZ (38°) or Macon GA (34°) and not all that different from Ft. Myers FL (49°). I’m doing 5 pm, 6 pm, 10 pm and 11 pm today – so watch me on TV for the latest. I’ll add more here when I get the chance. Happy Weekend!
Picture from Jack Martin at Lake Michigan on Thurs. While most areas had a few flurries or a little mist 1 to 1.5″ of snow fell in the Holland area. The Winter Weather Advisory for Barry, Eaton, Calhoun, Ingham and Jackson Co. was extended to 8 am. Until mid-morning, there is a chance of an isolated icy spot, mainly south of I-96. We’ll see some welcome sunshine today. It’s about time. Over the past 7 days, we’ve had a total of 7 minutes of sunshine, or an average of 60 seconds per day. Through the 18th, G.R. has had just 0.21″ of precipitation (average is 1.51″).
The overnight run of the NAM (car). gives us pretty calm winds both today and Saturday with highs in the low 30s. The GFS-plot starts rain Monday evening, with rain showers Tuesday and rain showers changing to snow showers on Wednesday with an inch or so on the ground Thursday morning.
This is a pic. from the GLERL cam. at the Muskegon Channel (from NOAA Coastwatch). You can see cloudy skies and a little ice/snow at the shore. Watch out for icy spots on the roads due to a few snow showers and pockets of freezing drizzle this evening, mainly south of I-96. There have been a few slide-offs in the Lansing area, Barry Co. reports some slick spots and a snow shower over Holland has also produced a few slick spots. Temps. are mainly low 30s and they will fall to the mid 20s tonight. There are breaks in the clouds north of a line from Pentwater to Clare, but most of us will hang onto the clouds tonight. Tomorrow should become partly sunny with calm winds. Saturday looks mostly cloudy with light winds…outside chance of a few flurries, but just trace amounts. Sunday we should be partly sunny and pleasant. Monday start a cloudy period. We could see a little rain in the PM, but the morning should be dry. Tuesday looks wet – showers and low 40s. Weds. the rain goes over to snow and we have snow showers on Christmas. I still think most areas will have a good inch of snow on the ground by Christmas morning. Slick spots are possible Weds. and are likely Weds. night and Thurs. I’ll have more on the news tonight. Hope you can tune in.
Snow cover Thurs. AM: 25″ Herman (in the U.P. west of Marquette), 15″ Grand Marais, 13″ Marquette (airport), Munising, Mohawk, 10″ S. Ste. Marie, Newberry, 5″ Cheboygan, Honor, 4″ Houghton Lake, Kalkaska, St. Ignace, 3″ Traverse City, 2″ Lake City, 1″ Hart, Alpena, Gaylord, Petosky.
This pic. is from the Univ. of Alaska-Fairbanks and shows the position of the sun in Fairbanks on Dec. 2. On Dec. 21, the sun rises (first tip of the sun appears over a totally flat horizon) at 10:58 in Fairbanks, rises to only 2° above the horizon (so if you don’t have a clear, flat view of the horizon, you miss it. Then the sun sets at 2:40 pm (the last time of the sun disappears over a totally flat horizon). North of the Arctic Circle at Barrow, the sun won’t get to the horizon until Jan. 23rd. Here in Grand Rapids, the sun rises on Dec. 21 at 8:10 am and sets at 5:11 pm. That gives us 9 hours and 1 minute of daylight. At the Summer Solstice, we get 15 hours and 21 minutes of daylight. Over the past five days (not including today, Weds.) Grand Rapids had 7 minutes of possible sunshine, or an average of 84 seconds per day. For the month, we have had 27% of possible sunshine in G.R. The average for Dec. (our cloudiest month) is 20%. Our sunniest month is July, with an average of 65% of possible sunshine. The Winter Solstice is at 6:03 pm Sunday.
There will still be a few scattered flurries tonight and at least during the morning on Thursday. The best chance will be along the lakeshore and southwest of G.R. Only trace amounts to a dusting is expected. The brisk winds will die down to 5-10 mph for tomorrow. Friday should be a calm day with high pressure overhead. The weather stays tranquil through the weekend, but things get interesting next week. Christmas Day may be the toughest travel day with snow or snow showers, a stiff west wind, some drifting snow and low wind chills. It’ll be a chilly end to what has been a chilly year.
Tues. PM – Scattered light showers and sprinkles this PM. The cold front has passed and winds will gradually pick up from the west this afternoon into tonight. It’s still in the low-mid 40s here (1 pm), but it’s mid 30s in E. Wisconsin, upper 20s in W. Wisconsin, so the cooler air is coming. Watch of a slick spot on the roads later tonight into tomorrow. as we pick up some (mainly light) snow showers and temps. fall below freezing. Flurries could linger into Thurs. The weather looks basically dry and cool Friday to Monday. While the models show partly sunny for that period, this is Michigan in December and ridges can give us more clouds than sun. Colder for Christmas…more on that in the thread below this one. The morning run of the GFS would give us enough snow on 12/24 for a White Christmas on 12/25.
Also: “Arctic sea ice volume holds up in 2014“. The article says: “Cryosat’s five-year October average now shows pretty stable volume – even modest growth (2014 is 12% above the five year-average)”. Another 1.37″ of rain in San Francisco on Monday. That’s 9.13″ of rain so far this month. SFO had 2.72″ of rain from July 1 to Nov. 30. Japan gets another big winter storm (very cold air coming across from China).