October 6th, 2015 at 1:25 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

muskegon glerl   muskegon glerl 2   Here’s pics. from shortly after 1 pm from the Muskegon GLERL camera.  The first faces WNW over the lake and the second faces east down the channel into Muskegon Lake.  The sun has broken thru there and if you look at the satellite loop, it shows skies becoming partly sunny from NW to SE across the area.  We are in an overall dry pattern, with a band of rain (maybe even an isolated t-shower) moving thru Thursday night.  The rain could start late Thursday northwest of a line form Holland to G.R. to Alma, but even there much of the day should be dry.  Outside of that, overall dry weather is expected over the next 8 days, including the weekend.   On the whole, temperatures will be warmer than average.  The morning run of the GFS model has high temps. for G.R. starting with tomorrow (Weds.) at 71, 68, 59, 63, 73, 72, 69.  The average high temp. now is 65.   There will be a trend toward colder weather around.  I still don’t see any snow.  The fall color change will accelerate, peaking a few days later than usual this year from Oct.  16-23 in most areas.

Trying to add a little early Weds. AM – The GFS gives G.R. 0.14″ of rain Thurs. evening/night and the European 0.30″ Thurs. evening night.   The GFS is dry from Friday mid-morning thru early next week – the European gives G.R. 0.13″ of rain Monday PM.   The GFS high temperatures for G.R. starting today (Wed.) are 71, 68, 59, 63, 73, 72, 69.   The GFS (which has a tendency to overdo cold air outbreaks in the fall in the long-term) has the first really cold air arriving around the 23rd, the European wouldn’t give G.R. any widespread frost thru the 15th.    OK – time to hit update and see what happens…

South Carolina Starts to Dry Out

October 5th, 2015 at 9:09 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

South Carolina Flooding Map Oct. 5 15   Turtle in SC flood 10 4 15Coffins floating in S. Carolina  First Seahawks over the Lions 13-10.  Three turnovers for Seattle – one BIG turnover at the end by Calvin Johnson.  Combined the teams were 1-5, and Seattle’s one win was against the Bears.  Now win 2 over the Lions.   Lions had only 11 first downs, 53 yds rushing.  QB ratings:  Wilson 118, Stafford 83.  The Lions punted 8 times.

Click on the pics. to enlarge.  The map is storm total rainfall – with a couple spots over 23″ (from the NWS).  The other two pics. showing the giant turtle in the floodwaters and the floating coffins forced out of the ground are from WCBD.  Here’s the “atmospheric river” that produced the flooding. More flood pics. – lots of roads washed out.  Here’s Wilmington NC radarRescues still underway – people and pets.   Hurricane Joachin passed west of Bermuda and is now a minimal hurricane, soon to be downgraded to a tropical storm, then an extratropical low – headed toward Northwest Europe.   For anyone who thinks rainfall like this has never happened before read this on not one but two hurricane hits in August 1955.

Also:  Scattered showers and t-showers in the Desert Southwest.  Here’s Las Vegas radar.  Hot-air balloons at twilightSundogs over Nashville TN.  Almost a tornado.  Russian weathercaster discussing good weather for bombing in Syria.  Typhoon Choi-wan heading for N. Japan and then eastern Russia.  74 F in Seattle Monday; 114th day this year with a high 70 F or more. Current record: 115 days (1992).

“Flood” at Death Valley CA

October 4th, 2015 at 11:27 pm by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

Death Valley Rain and Flood 10 4 15   Pic. is water coming across a road in Death Valley National Monument on Sunday (from Death Valley Road Conditions facebook page).  Death Valley is the lowest (down to 279 feet below sea level), hottest (all-time record 134 degrees on July 10, 1934.  During that heat wave, they had 5 days in a row that reached 129 degrees.    The summer of 1917 had 52 days where the temperature reached 120 °F (49 °C) or above with 43 of them consecutive), and driest location in the U.S.   The average annual precipitation in Death Valley is 2.36″ (60 mm), while the Greenland Ranch station averaged 1.58″.  Death Valley received 0.33″ of rain Sunday through 8 pm, with more showers expected overnight.  Other rainfall Sunday thru 8 pm:  0.05″ Los Angeles, 0.10″ Sacramento, 0.14″ San Diego, 0.20″ Napa, 0.41″ Santa Barbara, 0.48″ Ventura, 0.89″ Angelus Oaks (in the mountains).  Reservoir levels remain quite low, but are above the low levels reached in the late 1970s.   Check out the video here from Diana Rixen and Death Valley Natl. Monument of the water coming over the road.  As of Sunday evening, NV Highway 160 between Pahrump and Las Vegas was closed and Badwater Road is closed entirely from Shoshone to Furnace Creek.   CA Highway 190 has been opening and closing in both directions depending on debris flow and conditions.  Other roads are open, but may have debris from water coming over the road in places.  Additional rainfall is possible.  Here’s CA/NV looping radar, Las Vegas radar and local radar from Edwards AFB.

Sunday Night

October 3rd, 2015 at 8:25 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Central Great Lakes sector loop

Sunday evening – Kyle called in sick, so I’m here at our Art Prize studio.  I’ll be on at 10 pm and after Sunday Night football on NBC (Cowboys and Saints).  Here’s regional and local radar – these graphics should update automatically.  There will still be an isolated light shower or sprinkle thru Monday AM.  The clouds whould hold tonight and most of tomorrow.   Here’s Michigan weather observations. Here’s the 7-day rainfall forecast for U.S.

The high of 56 in G.R. on Sunday and 52 on Saturday were the coolest back-to-back high temps. since last 4/22-23 and well below the average high of 66.  This weekend we’ve had the first measurable rain in G.R. in 11 days and with a dry weather pattern from now to Thursday AM – the weekend rain was beneficial.  The cool, cloudy weather should accelerate what has been a slow fall color change, which looks to peak between Oct. 15-22.    Rainfall Sat.:  Grand Rapids 0.22″, Lansing 0.23″, Battle Creek 0.07″, Holland 0.05″, Kalamazoo 0.03″, Muskegon 0.01″.   G.R. had just 0.01″ of rain today (Sun.).  The water temp. at the Port Sheldon buoy is 41.7.  At the mid-lake buoy, the water temp. is 61.9.  The S. Haven buoy is 42.4 and the Ludington buoy is at 41.0.  Have a great Sunday evening.

Links: Here’s Grand Rapids radar and Northern Michigan radar, Milwaukee 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 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 link from private weather stations). Here’s the Consumers Energy Power Outage Map.

Incredible Rainfall in S. Carolina

October 3rd, 2015 at 1:56 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Southeast sector loop Here’s the tremendous feed of moisture coming up into the Carolinas early Saturday.  1231 AM HEAVY RAIN   3 ENE BOONE HALL PLANTATION   32.87N 79.77W   10/04/2015    M17.10 INCH RAIN      CHARLESTON SC  -  STORM TOTAL RAINFALL SINCE 2 PM THURSDAY ON ROYAL TROON CT.   Charleston, SC, International Airport broke its all-time daily rain record on Oct. 3 with 11.50″; old record: 10.52″, 9/21/1998.   Vehicles completely submerged in Charleston.   Charleston received more rain on Saturday than Las Vegas has had since Dec. 2012!   What the rain and wind looked like on Sullivan’s Island SC.  Tropical connection all the way from Joaquin all the way to Michigan and Ontario.   Also, flooding in Nice, France.  Tornado reported near Ciotat (Bouches-du-Rhône, France) Sat.  afternoon.    Tweet:  Natl Hurricane Ctr ‏@NWSNHC  9h9 hours ago   ”Folks knocking US models might not know that over last 3 years, average tropical cyclone errors of GFS and ECMWF are virtually identical.”   15.86″ report in N. Myrtle Beach.

Here’s current conditions from North Carolina and South Carolina…some flood reports from  Western S. CarolinaCentral S. Carolina, Eastern S. Carolina, and Central N. Carolina and Eastern N. Carolina.  There are many roads closed and a few landslides have been reported.   Midnight to 7:30 am Sat. – Charleston SC airport had 3.46″ of rain, already a daily record.  Friday total at Wilmington N.C. was 3.82″ – a daily record.  1.14″ of rain in 1 hr at Elizabethtown, NC.  Flood water up a foot in 30 minutes on Market St. in Charleston.  Dr. Shepherd on “atmospheric rivers”.   10,000 customers without power in the Charlotte NC area.   2.44″ of rain in 3 hrs at Santee Coastal Reserve, SC.  Carolinas surface weather map.  70° dewpoints at the ocean – temps. in the 50s inland.  6-hour rainfall ending at 8 am:  3.79″ N. Charleston SC, 1.72″ Darlington SC, 1.50″ Sumter SC, 1.17″ Columbia SC., 1.70″ Wadesburo NC, 1.02″ Charlotte NC.   24-hr. total 6.62″ Kiawah Is. SC., 7.17″ Sangaree SC. , 7.76″ Boone Hall SC.,  Crosstown Expressway in Charleston SC is closed.  Water rescues underway.  It’s gone from bad to worse!  Not only do they have significant flooding – but now the Loch Ness Monster has been spotted in Charleston!  Rainfall map thru 7 am for SC.  Pics. of Charleston flooding.          Memphis broke the record for low maximum temperature Saturday, 10/3, with a high of only 59. The previous record was 64 from 1987.   Hurricane Joaquin – well east of the U.S. is now a Category 3 and slowly weakening as it moves NNE.

Also:  Typhoon Mujigae nearing landfall in China, very impressive rapid intensification. Satellite estimates easily Cat 4+ – substantial damage and flooding.  Path of Mujigae.

Saturday morning:  Overnight model update – high temps. off the NAM for G.R. for Sat./Sun./Mon.:  57, 58, 69.  Highs from the GFS model starting with today (Sat.):  57, 63, 69, 73, 71, 72, 64, 62.  % chance of rain for G.R. off the NAM for G.R.:  35% today, 60% tonight, 24% Sunday.  % chc. of rain from the GFS model:  24% today, 47% tonight, 38% Sun. AM – 43% Tuesday and 59% next Friday.  Both models continue the brisk ENE winds today with gusts to 30 mph possible.  Getting gusts to 25 mph at 8 am in W. Michigan with temps. in the mid-upper 40s.

Heavy damage from Hurricane Joaquin in in the Bahamas, winds strong enough to flip vehicles.   Look at the snow that’s already built up in the Alps of Europe.  Line at 7 pm tonight for new Chick fil-A in NYC, 11 1/2 hours before the doors open for grand opening.  Chick fil-A coming to West Michigan soon.

I was supposed to do a meet-and-greet at the Grand Rapids Art Museum from 7 to 9 pm this evening, but with the rain, that was cancelled.  I’m here working.  You can see me thru the window.  If you knock on the side door, I can give you a Bill Steffen mustache.  We may be getting a little light rain then (if you’re going to ArtPrize today…best to go during the day rather than late pm into this evening, where there is a chance of rain}.   I’m also doing the 10 pm and 11 pm news tonight.

Weekend Sports Thread – 8 pm Sat. update

October 2nd, 2015 at 10:55 pm by under Bill's Blog, Sports, Weather

  Wow!  Talk about driving the pile forward!  Michigan and MSU won (though MSU’s win wasn’t impressive).   Central had a big win over N. Illinois, scoring 23 of their 29 points in the 3rd quarter.  Ferris St. beat Findlay (Ohio)  in a high-scoring thriller 42-39.  GVSU charged through Hillsdale 46-14.  Big win for 5-0 Northwestern and Tommy Doles…my Badgers lost 10-6 – four turnovers by the quarterback, including a fumble at Iowa’s one-yard line.    Clemson beat Notre Dame in the rain.  WMU is idle this week.   The Tigers wrap up a disappointing season in Chicago (White Sox) with games Sat. and Sun.  Sunday Night Football on WOOD TV8 is the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints.   Finally, the Lions head to the unfriendly home of the Seattle Seahawks for the Monday night game at 8:30 pm on ESPN.

Wisconsin is 71-8 at home the last 10 years but 1-3 vs. Iowa.


October 2nd, 2015 at 1:08 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

muskegon glerl thunder bay islandchicago glerl Three midday pics. here from the GLERL cameras at Muskegon, Thunder Bay Island (Lake Huron) and Chicago.  Classic example of upwelling.  The brisk and prevailing northeast wind has pushed the warmer surface water to the west and colder water has moved up to the surface along the Michigan side of Lake Michigan. At the Port Sheldon buoy (about 2 3/4 miles offshore to the northwest of Holland) the water temperature as I write this is 41.5. The mid-Lake Michigan buoy, 40 miles west of Holland is showing a water temperature of 64.8. When cold air comes across relatively warmer water, it creates a stronger wind than when that same air passes over colder water. The wind speed as I write this at the Port Sheldon buoy is 13 mph. The wind speed at the mid-lake buoy is 23 mph. Look at the Muskegon GLERL picture (click on the pic. to enlarge). You can see some white high level clouds and you can look right above the horizon and see some low level clouds. Now look at the satellite picture from this AM.  You can see the lower, lake-effect clouds forming where the water is warmer, not near the Michigan shore where the water temperature is colder.   At the Port Sheldon buoy, waves (as I write this) are 1.6 feet, but when you get out to the mid-lake buoy, the waves are 5.9 feet (cold air going over warmer water, plus a longer “fetch” – the distance the air travels over the water.  At the Chicago GLERL camera sight, nearly 3 miles east of downtown, the wind is a steady 30 mph.  The air temperature at the Port Sheldon buoy is 49.5 (as I write this) and the air temp. at the mid-lake buoy over the warmer water is 53.5.

Low temps. this AM:  42 G.R. and Muskegon, 39 Bloomingdale, 38 Alma, Entrican (Montcalm Co.) Ludington and Baldwin, 37 Kent City, 36 Houghton Lake, Hart and Leota, 31 Manton and  Pellston, 28 Atlanta, 27 Vanderbilt, Ironwood and Rudyard, 26 Roscommon, 24 Indian River, Kenton, 23 Stambaugh, Paulding, Spincich Lake, Wakefield and Watersmeet, 19 Baraga Plains.

Here’s the latest on Hurricane Joaquin – still a category 4 with 130 mph winds as I write this.  It’s not moving much and continuing to devastate the Bahamas.  Joaquin now one of the 5 strongest hurricanes to affect the Bahamas.   Grand Rapids tied for 6th warmest September.  Fall color change, in Atlanta GA.  Notre Dame/Clemson game may be switched from football to water polo!  Normal high tide vs. today with strong east wind in New Jersey.   Light tornado?   Fall color change in New York.  -36F this AM at Summit Camp, Greenland.  Movie of Hurricane Center forecast tracks of Joaquin.  Full-Earth satellite view of Hurricane Joaquin.  Fresh snow at White Pass, Alaska.  Nine inches of snow on the ground in Fairbanks this morning, +10F at Arctic Village.

Great Lakes Water Levels

October 2nd, 2015 at 6:00 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Lake Michigan Beach Shrinking Pier Cove Jack Martin Click on the pic. to enlarge.  This is Pier Cove/Lake Michigan from Jack Martin.  Notice the rather limited beach because of the high water level.   Lake Michigan/Huron is down 2″ in the last month. The level is up 5″ in the last year and is now 9″ above the average October water level. Lake Superior is down 1″ in the last month, down 1″ in the last year and 6″ above the average September water level. Lake Erie is down 4″ in the last month, but is still 7″ above the level of one year ago. Erie is now 15″ above the average Oct. level. Lake Ontario is down 8″ in the last month, up 6″ in the last year and is now 7″ above the average October level. Lake St. Clair is also quite high, despite losing 1″ in the last month. St. Clair is up 8″ in the last year and it’s now 17″ above the average level for October. The St. Mary’s, Niagara and St. Lawrence Rivers will continue to have above average flow. The St. Clair and Detroit Rivers should also continue to have above average flow. Here’s some current (Friday AM) flow numbers in cubic feet per second compared to median flow: Grand River at Grand Rapids 1720 cfs (1670), Kalamazoo River at New Richmond 1280 cfs (1250).

Overnight model data:  NAM high temps. for G.R. starting with today (Fri.):  61/53/62,    GFS highs for G.R. starting with today (Fri.):  62/60/64/66/69/74/73/69.   The NAM has a 41% chance of a shower Sat. night and 38% Sunday, the GFS has 25% late Sat./Sat. night and just 27% on Sunday.  The chance of rain is high for Thursday (42%) and Friday (57%) of next week.

Also:    149 mph wind gust before the site got knocked offline on Crooked Island, Bahamas!!    From the cockpit of a Hurricane Hunter Aircraft over Hurricane Joaquin.  The latest update on Hurricane Joaquin.  Joaquin is the first major hurricane to impact the Bahamas in October in 61 years!  Tropical Storm over Luzon, Philippines moving NW into S. China – will not recurve.    Regarding the Oregon shooter:  ”The hospital said on Twitter that the victims were all female and between the ages of 18 and 34″.  The gunman, while reloading his handgun, ordered the students to stand up if they were Christians, Boylan told her family.  ”And they would stand up and he said, ‘Good, because you’re a Christian, you’re going to see God in just about one second,’” Boylan’s father, Stacy, told CNN, relaying her account.  ”And then he shot and killed them.”  (from the Huff Post).   I got to ride with the Clydesdales once.  Overnight models still forecast a lot of rain for the East Coast states.  Full Earth satellite pic. showing Joaquin.  Nice % of sunshine graph from GRR NWS.   Michigan-Maryland football game moved up to a Noon start.



Tragedy in OR – Hurricane Joaquin and Sept. Wrap

October 1st, 2015 at 12:06 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

erase me   Mass shootings at a college in Roseburg, Oregon at Umpqua Community College (about 3,000 students living on campus – many more students commute – Douglas Co.), Snyder Hall – police report – latest is 10 fatalities.  “The shooter was lining people up and asking if they were Christian,” she wrote. “If they said yes, then they were shot in the head“.   From Jake Tapper:  ”Father of survivor: shooter said “if you’re a Christian, stand-up…you’re going to see God in just about one second” then shot & killed them.”     45th shooting at a college this year.   Roseburg is a city of about 22,000 people about 180 miles south of Portland, Oregon – watch WOOD/NBC for more.  My wife’s adopted brother lives in Roseburg.  He knows people who work at the college – all his friends are safe.

European model just coming in continues to take “Joaquin” out to sea.  It may come close to Bermuda.  The storm is now a Category 4 with winds of 130 mph – devastation on NE Bahama Islands – the storm is probably at peak intensity now (Thurs. night).   Still heavy rain for NC.

Thurs. AM:  If you check the satellite loop, you can see lake-effect clouds forming over Lake Huron and moving to the southwest toward G.R. The clouds will diminish a bit as the afternoon goes on and temperatures warm a little over Lake Huron.  Here’s the NAM model – Here’s the morning run of the GFS, keeping Joachin well offshore.  That’s a better choice, as I see it now.  REGARDLESS, there will be an extended period of significant rain from the Carolinas and perhaps up north into Virginia with significant flooding LIKELY.  And, regardless, there will be a period of significant wind +40 wind gusts for a couple days along the coast of NC and that will cause beach erosion.  The east winds may blow enough moisture back to the west to give us a period of light rain (best chance Lansing to Jackson east).

Low temps. Thurs. AM:  45 Kalamazoo (airport), 43 Battle Creek, 42 Holland and Muskegon, 40 G.R. (coolest of the season so far), 39 Fremont, Bloomingdale, Charlotte, Watervliet, Lawton, 38 Kent City, 37 Hart, 36 Reed City and Ludington, 35 Houghton Lake, 34 Manistee, Petoskey, 33 Baldwin and Gaylord, 32 Manistique, 31 Pellston, Engadine, Grayling, Bellaire and Marquette, 30 Leota (Clare Co.) Manton and Ironwood, 27 Roscommon, Wakefield, 26 Atlanta, Indian River, Watersmeet, 24 Spincich Lake, Doe Lake, Paulding, Champion, 23 Baraga Plains.

September ended 4.6 deg. warmer than average in G.R.  It was the 5th warmest Sept. ever in G.R.  We had 61% of possible sunshine (avg. is 59%).  The warm, sunny weather has kept the leaves green (the color change will accelerate in the next 10 days).  G.R. had 2.26″ of rain – that’s 2.02″ below average for G.R.  Sept. is quite variable for rainfall in G.R.  We’ve had enough rain to keep things green in most areas and crops still look very good as harvest continues.

Hurricane Joaquin

October 1st, 2015 at 1:45 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

[Image of 5-day forecast and coastal areas under a warning or a watch]  Here is the latest track map for Hurricane Joaquin from the National Hurricane Center.  Links:  5-day rainfall prediction from WPC – heavy rain from S. Carolina to S. New England – some amounts could reach 10″ and this will be on already wet ground.  Links:  Tropical Storm Wind Probability (over 45 mph)…note the greatest wind threat is on the Outer Banks of NC.  By hurricane standards these are not super-strong winds…the main threat from Joachin will come from flooding from heavy rain.  Click the links for the hurricane forecast discussion, the Public Advisory , the Forecast Advisory (includes watches and warnings).  Severe damage and flooding likely in the Bahamas from Joaquin.   The models continue on different paths…the overnight GFS model data shows the storm coming into NC, the overnight run of the European model at 48 hours shows the storm drifting SW into the Bahamas, then going north then northeast out toward Bermuda on Monday.  Here’s the visible satellite loop, infrared loop (black and white), funktop satellite loop, Flood Watch for E. NC, zone forecast for the Outer Banks of NC.  Stay or leave.  Cape Hatteras had 12.53″ of rain in Sept. – double the average (6.25″), so the ground is pretty saturated already.

Michigan is playing football at Maryland Saturday evening.  The Univ. of Maryland is just northeast of Washington DC.  The Big Ten Network has already pulled some of their intended pre-game show.  They’d play the game in the rain, but they won’t play with nearby cloud-ground lightning (not much lightning in tropical storms/hurricanes) and would probably cancel/postpone if there was any significant danger for fans.  Michigan has outscored their last 3 opponents 94-14.

Also, look at the flooding in Sardinia – and this waterfall across a road.  Sunset from a ship in Lake Michigan.  September 2015 global temperature anomaly +0.302°C…much of U.S. warm.  It’s been 3,628 days since a major hurricane has hit the U.S. (Wilma Oct. 24, 2005.) – longest time ever (going back to the Civil War era) without a Category 3 or higher hurricane hit on the U.S.  Lightning over Rio de Janeiro.   Flooding in Turkey.  San Francisco had measurable rain ye3sterday, the first time since June 10.  M5.5 earthquake Guerrero, Mexico.    Fairbanks with 11.2″ of snow yesterday!  Snowiest Sept day on record. Second snowiest month of Sept.on record.  Anchorage wetter in September than January through August combined.  Flooding in Portland, Maine.