Great Lakes Water Levels and More

September 25th, 2014 at 8:34 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Bill at Lake Michigan Grafton Wisconsin August 2014   Here I am at a park in Grafton, Wisconsin on our recent trip around Lake Michigan.  Click the pic. to enlarge.  You can see a cloud deck in the distance over the lake and a single  boat enjoying the late afternoon sunshine.    The water level of Lake Michigan/Huron is at the highest level it’s been at since Oct. 1998.   The level is up one inch in the past month…and (drum roll) it’s now 20″ higher than it was just one year ago!!  That is an incredible gain over 12 months.  That’s an increase of 7.8 TRILLION gallons of water in just one year for Lake Michigan and 8 TRILLION gallons for Lake Huron.   The level is exactly at the long-term average.   Lake Superior has gained one inch in the last month and is up 9″ year-to-year.  Superior is 7″ above the century average and just 6″ below the highest level ever reached in Sept. back in 1985.   The outflow of water from Lake Superior down the St. Mary’s River into Lake Huron is expected to remain “well above average” through much of the fall.   Lake Erie is up 6″ in the past year and is now 5″ above the century average.  Lake Ontario is unchanged in the last year and one inch below the long-term average.   Lake St. Clair is up 10″ in the past year and is 6″ above the century average.  The warm, sunny and dry weather may cause the lakes to drop an inch in the next week or two.  We’ll continue to see light winds and relatively calm conditions on the lakes through the weekend.

Also, check out the cool Lake Michigan sunrise pictures from Wisconsin.    Hurray for the Coast Guard Wow…It’s more than twice as old as meCalifornia funnel.

Some Clouds

September 25th, 2014 at 11:18 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

muskegon glerl   Here’s a picture from shortly before 11 am from the Muskegon Channel GLERL camera (from NOAA Coastwatch).  We’ve got a layer of mid-high level clouds overhead.  This is relatively thin and allowing some dim sunshine to filter through, but should hang with us into this evening.  Here’s a satellite loop (daytime) and a satellite loop you can use when it gets darkLocal Radar and Regional radar show there’s no rain out there (some non-precipitation echoes, but no actual rain reaching the ground, save for a few sprinkles in Illinois).  There is rain today for some of the big cities out East up into New England and some much needed showers out in California.  San Francisco has picked up 0.41″ – the most rain in a single day since March 31.  Daytona FL had a whopping 6.41″ of rain on Weds.  Raleigh NC had 3.17″.   Here’s current Michigan temperatures/weather.

The 500 mb (upper level) JMA/JAMSTEC forecast for December shows a trough over the eastern U.S. – a cool and stormy pattern.  New JAMSTEC also looks cooler for W. Europe.  As I have been saying for months…we will have a weak El Nino heading into winter.  It will be centered a bit more toward the Central Pacific instead of near coastal S. America.  This is called a Modoki El Nino and this pattern often is cool for the Great Lakes and Eastern U.S.   Here’s a waterspout off the coast of Valencia, SpainStorm coming into Sydney, Australia Weds  Magnitude-6.1 earthquake strikes 80 miles NW of Anchorage, Alaska

November 1951

September 24th, 2014 at 9:37 pm by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

1951 ski univ. of detroit at cadillac   Pic. is the Univ. of Detroit Ski Club, which had the fortune of forming in Oct. 1951 and skied at Cadillac.  What a November to start a ski club!   November 1950 was a cold and snowy month.  Grand Rapids had the coldest two mornings ever on Nov. 24th and 25th in 1950 with lows of -9° and -10° – the only two days G.R. has been below zero in any November.  We also had the famous Blizzard of 1950 and the Blizzard Bowl between Michigan and Ohio St.

Snow and cold dominated Michigan from the beginning of Nov. 1951, with measurable snow in G.R. each of the first 8 days.  Daily record snowfalls of 5.8″ on the 4th, 6.4″ on the 6th and 7.6″ on the 7th were mainly lake-effect snow.  Parts of West Michigan had over 2 FEET of snow in the first week of November.  Grand Rapids had record low temperatures from the 2nd to the 6th that still stand today, with consecutive lows of 18°, 17°, 15°, 6°and 9°.  The temperature stayed below freezing on the 5th and 6th.   Muskegon also had 5 consecutive record lows, including 12° on the 6th.

Michigan’s average temperature for the month of 29.2° was 2.5 deg. colder than any previous November, with records going back to 1887.  For the state as a whole, the back-to-back Novembers of 1950 and 1951 were the two coldest Novembers ever.  The coldest temperature in the state during the month was -19° at Watersmeet.  Temperatures fell below zero at the Croton Dam at least one morning.   Statewide, the average snowfall for Nov. 1951 was 16.7″.  That ranged from 2.2″ in Monroe to 46.4″ at Bergland in the U.P.  On the morning of the 5th, Bergland had 28″ of snow on the ground.  A few spots in the Keweenaw Peninsula had over 24″ of snowfall in the first four days of November.

A large amount of the corn crop and some of the sugar been crop had not been been harvested yet when the cold and snow hit.   It warmed up after the 8th and the heavy snows of the first week of November melted.  The southern 2/3rds of Lower Michigan had thunderstorms between the 9th and the 12th.  The snow came back in Dec. 1951 and Grand Rapids had 22″ of snow on the ground by Christmas Day.

1951 was the only other year (besides 2014) when we didn’t reach 90 degrees in G.R. during the summer, an interesting similarity.   We also had a warm spell in late Sept./early Oct. in 1951 with the temperature reaching a record 87° on Oct. 4, 1951.

Here’s the latest JAMSTEC winter outlook, showing blue (cold) in the Great Lakes.

Art Prize Begins With Perfect Weather

September 24th, 2014 at 11:35 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

art prize logo   Sunny, warm days and clear cool nights through the weekend.  We could see an isolated patch of fog at night.  We’ll see light winds and no rain.  The overnight GFS-plot has no rain until the night of 10/1.  The European model would have our first rain next Tuesday afternoon.     Nice satellite pic. of the wrapped-up storm coming into the Pacific NW.

Meteor Tuesday Evening

September 23rd, 2014 at 11:25 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

meteor nasa   A meteor flashed across the sky Tuesday evening around 10:06 pm.  If you saw the meteor, let us know which direction you were looking and how high the meteor was above the horizon.  If you can describe the color, length and other features, that would be great.  (file pic. of meteor from NASA).   The meteor has been seen throughout Michigan and adjacent states.  Here’s a list of fireball reports.  This is from Cort’s link below:  “Event #2306-2014 – Over 77 witnesses from MI, IL, OH, IN, ON WI, PA, NY and KY reported a bright fireball over Michigan.

No Rain Until October ?!

September 22nd, 2014 at 8:58 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather   We might not see rain until October.  The European has showers and t-showers moving in late next Monday night and definitely on Tuesday.  The other models are a little slower and don’t have rain until Oct. 1-2.  However, when the rain gets here, it looks significant with a slow-moving front.  The GFS hits at 1-2″ from Oct. 2-4.  These are the long range outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center. The first map is the 6-10 day temperature departure from average for Sept. 28 – Oct. 2.  CPC is pretty confident that warmer than average temperatures will prevail in the Great lakes and pretty much everywhere east of the Rockies.  I agree with that.  The middle map is rainfall departure from average for Sept. 28 – Oct. 2.  They have dry conditions from the mid-Mississippi Valley thru the Great Lakes and Northeast.  Above average rainfall is likely in the SE U.S., the Rockies and High Plains.  The third map on the right is the CPC rainfall departure from average for Sept. 30 to Oct. 6.  It shows the wet weather moving east into the Mississippi Valley, Ohio Valley and Great Lakes.

This is an excellent combination for decent fall colors…sunny, warm days – cool nights – dry weather and light winds.  A cautious note…a warm spell of weather like this in late Sept./early Oct. is not an indication of a warm winter ahead.  Last year it was warmer than average in Sept. (+0.9) and Oct. (+2.1).  In 1977, September was very close to average and in 1978, September was slightly warmer than average.  In 1951, the only other year that we didn’t reach 90 during the summer, we were 0.5 cooler than average in Sept. and 2.7 warmer than average in October.  We started Oct. 1951 with highs of 76, 83, 80, 87 (yes, 87!) and 77.  Winter hit when November came.  We had measurable snow on each of the first 8 days of November.  On the morning of Nov. 8, GRR reported 12″ of snow on the ground!  That melted quickly, but it came with abandon in mid-December and by Christmas Day we had 22″ of snow on the ground in G.R.

I knew Kyle Underwood was tall…but I had no ideano tropical activity in the Atlantic…a tropical storm could form W-SW of Acapulco in the eastern Pacific (I think “Rachel” is the next name on the list).  Here’s severe weather reports from Monday.  Melbourne, FL has received 4.92″ of rain since Friday.  A rain gauge near Huger SC measured 4.39″ of rain between 330pm-5pm including 1.33″ between 440pm-445pm!  Snow in Finland.

A Sunny Week

September 22nd, 2014 at 2:29 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Lake Michigan sunset from Report it 10 15 12   It’s almost 2 am.  My 2 cats have cornered a mouse.  They don’t eat mice, they just chase them all over the house for hours on end (my female cat will eat an occasional insect – once I saw her swat a fly out of mid-air – knock it to the ground and eat it, a spectacular feat)…the vast majority of the time in the basement, but this mouse has made it upstairs (probably chased upstairs) and is now cornered under the refrig. My wife is asleep (and hopefully staying that way).  I can’t do anything about the mouse right now and the cats are quite entertaining, both patiently waiting (and will probably wait for hours) to resume the chase.  I have a live trap out and eventually the mouse will be relocated to a faraway park.  Over the 36 1/2 years we’ve lived here…we’ve had a number of critters try and move in..including a chipmunk, a bat and a bird here in the house.  All were shooed back outside.

Anyway, happy Autumn…the Fall or Autumnal Equinox is today (Mon.) at 10:29 pm EDT.  Since the Equinox occurs at the exact second all over the globe, there will be some time zones when the seasonal change will occur on one day and others when that moment is the day after.   So, depending on where a calendar is made, it might show a different date for the change of season.  This time, an American calendar will show 9/22 for the Autumn Equinox, while a calendar from Europe might show 9/23.

We’re starting a spectacular stretch of sunny weather as our clouds break up today.  A high pressure ridge will bring dry conditions the rest of the week and warming temperatures after a rather cool day today.  The overnight GFS-plot keeps G.R. dry until the night of Oct. 1-2.   The Lions won, the Tigers have a 1 1/2 game lead in the most interesting division at this point.  Michigan St. and my Wisconsin Badgers combined for 141 points on Saturday.  Art Prize is about to begin with perfect weather into the coming weekend.  Here’s the details on the very unusual 6 am tornado that occurred Sunday am in Rochester Hills.   So many Michigan tornadoes are these relatively small spin-ups that are so hard to predict in advance.  This one supposedly lasted 2 – 3 minutes.  Also, look what the last day of summer was like at Summit Camp, Greenland.

Gas Price May Be Going Up

September 21st, 2014 at 5:33 pm by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

gas prices woodtv   Here’s the latest from Ed:  “Sunday, September 21, 2014:  2:00PM:  Prices continue to drop — $3.10 a gallon in Lowell this afternoon!  While ethanol prices continue to collapse (huge corn crop this summer), wholesale gasoline did spike up on Friday, so I am predicting a possible price re-set on Monday.  Maybe $3.49. — Ed A.


September 21st, 2014 at 1:27 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

 Wind damage indiana 5:15 pm Sunday – Mostly overcast, though the clearing is coming…clouds are clearing eastern Wisconsin and there are large areas of sunshine over Lake Michigan.  It’s windy (gusts to 35 mph around 4 pm at Muskegon, 33 mph S. Haven, 32 mph Kalamazoo, 30 mph Grand Rapids) and cool (57° G.R., 52° Ludington, 49° in Cadillac, 43° at Sawyer AFB in the U.P.  Clearing and cool tonight, then mostly sunny for the rest of the week.   I’ll leave radar up for the last of the showers/sprinkles, most now well E and NE of Kent Co.  The Port Sheldon buoy waves peaked at 13.5 feet around 4 pm with winds of 26 mph and gusts to 37 mph.  The mid-Lake Michigan buoy and the Ludington buoy were both reporting waves of 9.2 feet at 5 pm.  The water temp. was 59°.

Today (Sun.) is the last full day of summer.   Tomorrow (Mon.) is the Autumnal Equinox.   Here’s a list of severe weather reports from Saturday.  The picture is a downed tree near Hamlet, IN (from WNDU), where there was a gas leak caused by a fallen tree.  Three homes were evacuated there.  There were several injuries in Plymouth IN where a car ran into a downed tree. There was quite a line of wind damage reports from south of Chicago to the Detroit area.  Clio, MI had 60 mph winds and 2″ of rain in an hour.  Here’s a picture of the storm hitting the Univ. of Illinois football game in Champaign/Urbana.   Michigan has reported 16 tornadoes in 2014.  Eight of the 50 states have had no tornadoes this year (AK, HI, RI, NH, NJ, UT, OR and VT).  Nebraska has had the most tornadoes of any state in 2014 (87) followed by Mississippi (75), Iowa (63) and Texas (58).

Model update:  NAM (car.) has a high of 67.2 today (Sun.), then 61 Monday, and 71.5 Tues.  The GFS plot has a low of 39 Mon. AM for G.R., then highs beginning Monday of 62, 71, 74, 75, 77, 78 and no rain thru next weekend.  The European is also dry from Monday thru next Sunday.

Also:  White House fence jumper was “concerned that the atmosphere was collapsing”.  Question…what if 25 or 50 people jumped the White House fence instead of just one?  Neat pic. of a tornado in the NetherlandsSnow in northern Scandinavia…here’s Kiruna, Sweden.   1.19″ of rain on Mackinac Is.

Here’s Grand Rapids radar and Northern Michigan radar. See the Slight Risk Area in a thread below this one for today/tonight. 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.

Rainfall Fri. Night: 1.33 Ojibway (Isle Royale) and 0.81 at E. Jordan. Extreme rainfall rates/amounts reported in West Texas – 8.96″ in ~3 hrs – with flash flooding. The rate of sea ice expansion in the S Hemisphere is incredible. A new record expanse of ice and not by a little…by a LOT.

Severe T-Storm Watch until 9 pm

September 20th, 2014 at 3:35 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

WW0504 RADAR Thumbnail Image   Really nice rainbow in G.R!  The threat of severe weather is pretty much over in the WOOD viewing area.  There is a new Severe T-Storm watch for SE Michigan.  There are significant storms in Lenawee and Washtenaw Counties and just north of Flint.  The Michigan football game is in a storm delay (and they’re offense has been in a delay of late, too).   The watch continues for part of N. Indiana and NW Ohio.   The batch of rain moving from MN to WI will be over West Michigan after 1 am.  Nothing severe expected with that.

So far, Gust to 56 mph, small hail and .75″ rain in 7 minutes at Peotone IL and gust to 62 mph at DeMotte IN.  Area south of a line from S. Bend to Sturgis under the gun for damaging wind gusts next 1 1/2 hours.   NWS spotter reports a 70 mph wind gust 1 mile south of Valparaiso, IN…estimated gust to 80 mph north of North Liberty IN.  Damage at Wanatah, Bremen, and Plymouth IN…gust to 70 mph at Hamlet IN.  Injuries in Plymouth IN – where a car ran into a fallen tree.  Winds hit 60 mph at N. Webster IN with damage and 3/4″ hail at Goshen IN.  Gust to 63 mph west of Hillsdale MI – trees and power lines down.  Gust to 65 mph at Clio (near Flint).