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There are several good opportunities to see the International Space Station in the next week and an outside chance of seeing the Northern Lights Saturday night.
There is an awesome flyover of the Intl. Space Station Sunday evening, but it'll probably be cloudy here. Go to this link to get a printable list of times when the Space Station will be flying over your location.
There is an outside chance the Northern Lights may be visible Saturday night. Much of West Michigan is closer to the Equator than the North Pole (hard to believe that with the winters we get) and we don't see them too often. When we do see them, it's often a faint green glow on the northern horizon. A Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) is expected to sideswipe the Earth today (Sat.) (most likely during the day, when the sun is out). That could cause the aurora to be visible farther south into the northern U.S. Keep an eye on the kp-index. Here's another link to the kp-index. We need about a five before we see anything much down here in SW Michigan....a seven or higher gets skywatchers in W. Michigan excited. I'll keep an eye on it...but it's a slight chance...far from a sure thing. You can sign up for aurora alerts here.
Also, it's Friday, as I write this, so there's a new edition of Sky at a Glance. Click the link and see where you can find the visible planets. Venus is still shining brightly in the morning to the ESE just before sunrise. The Big Dipper is high overhead in the evening while the "lazy W" (Cassiopeia) and Orion (the hunter) move closer to the horizon as we move toward April.
The "heat wave" of March 2012 (7 years ago) is one of the epic weather oddities in West Michigan history. Average high temperatures were in the mid-40s and we had temperatures from the mid-70s to mid-80s for 9 consecutive days. This was one of two amazing heat waves that year - the other coming in July, when temperatures soared to 104° in G.R.
I had March 20 off and I took my kayak to Gun Lake, paddling around the lake and then went swimming at the beach for a few minutes. I had a thermometer with me and got a water temp. at the beach of 64° in about 3 feet of water. That was the last day of winter.
The warmest day was the 21st. The high temp. of 87° was 40° warmer than average. That was the highest above-average of any day in Grand Rapids history.
That month was15.1° warmer than average. That was the greatest we've been for any month ever in G.R. We had the earliest 80° on March 14. There were nine record high temperatures that month and 10 daily record warmest low temperatures.
While many liked the early summertime weather, it was a disaster for the fruit industry. The warm air brought the blossoms out way too soon and they were hit by several frosts. The worst was a record-tying low temperature of 28 on April 29.
Fortunately, since 2012, we've had a nice string of good years for Michigan fruit-growers. There are benefits to keeping it cool at this time of year, including keeping the blossoms from coming out too soon and keeping the severe weather to our south in the warmer air (remember we had the EF-3 Dexter, Michigan, tornado on March 16, 2012).
Rare east winds blowing over the mountains caused downslope warming and set temperatures soaring from NW Oregon north ot SE Alaska. Seattle just had their warmest March days ever. Look at some of these temperatures during the late afternoon:
Record highs were shattered! Look below at some record high temperatures compared to the old daily record highs:
Farther north, temperatures soared into the 60s in SE Alaska (yeah, they get to 60 before we do here in Michigan!). It was 66 in Ketchikan, Petersburg and Klawok. Records were set at Sitka (63), Annette (62), Cordova (61), Yakutat (60) and Juneau (59). Some stations had +30-degree diurnal temperature swings.
Here's a pic. from the FAA webcam at King Cove, Alaska. Looks like snow blowing off the top of the mountains. Barrow (Utqiaġvik), AK had a high of +1 and a low of -18. They were seeing some rare sujnshine. They have had 38.1" of snow since July 1 and that's 7.8" above average (they typically get less than half the snowfall that we get. They have 10" on the ground. Fairbanks had a high of 39 and a low of 11 and they have 15" on the ground. Nome has the most of the primary reporting stations with 58" on the ground and 101.7" for the winter - 38.9" above average-to-date. McGrath, another snowy place is up to 94.6" for the winter and that's 6.4" above average-to-date.
Grand Rapids added 0.6" of snow yesterday (Wed.) and G.R. is now at 76.4" for the season. Kalamazoo picked up 0.5" to boost their season total to 76.5".
Top picture is a satellite view of Lake Ontario Weds. PM (3/20/19). This was the only Great Lake that was clear to view. Most of the deep Finger Lakes have open water. Shallower Onieda Lake southeast of Lake Ontario is frozen over.
Great Lakes ice extent is now down to 38%, much of that is in Lake Superior. There is a little ice on the east shore of Lake Michigan, but the vast majority of Lake Michigan's ice is in Green Bay and from Traverse City north to the Mac. Bridge. Great Lakes ice peaked at 81.9% on Mar. 9. Due largely to wind breaking up ice, extent dropped to 37.6% by Mar. 17.
Here's a record of ice on the Great Lakes by week. We had 9 weeks when ice extent was above average for that week - 7 weeks when it was substantially above average.
This is a picture of the ice at South Haven early Wed. AM.
This is the same shot in the evening...look how much ice is gone...pushed out of the channel - moving away from shore and breaking up.
It may be spring, but there's still time to enjoy some winter sports. The top pic. is Nub's Nob in the sunshine Tues. PM. It'll should look like this on Saturday - partly to mostly sunny and pleasant with light winds. Nub's Nob has Mardi Gras going this Saturday with a blues band playing midday. Both Bittersweet and Cannonsburg expect to be open for Fri. - Sat. and Sun. While the snow may be gone from your front yard - the resorts piled up the snow during the polar vortex and cold outbreaks and should have good spring skiing and boarding.
Here's U.S. snow cover Weds. AM. Here's snow on the ground Weds. AM in MI: 54" Tamarack, 52" Dollar Bay, 49" Painesdale, 46" 5 mi. west of Michigamme, 45" Three Lakes, 43" Superior (near Calumet), 40" Delaware, MI Tech ski trail, 37" Houghton (woods), 36" Bergland Dam, Tahquamenon Falls, 34" Herman, Munising, 33" Marquette, Rudyard, 32" L'Anse and S. Ste. Marie, 31" Ontonagon, Clarksburg, 30" Agate Bay, Champion, 29" Atlantic Mine, 28" Newberry, Drummond Is., 27" Greenland, 25" Sawyer, Ishpeming, 24" Moran, Jacobsville, Parent Bay, 23" Detour Village, Watersmeet and Gladstone, 22" Garden Corders, Houghton (downtown), 21" Paulding, Watton, 20" Manistique and Harvey, 19" Amasa, 18" E. Jordan (most in Lower Michigan), Ironwood, 17" Mancelona, Garden Corners, 16" Lewiston, St. Ignace, Norway and Chatham, 15" Gaylord, 13" Escanaba, 12" Charlevoix, Stonington, 11" Alpena, 10" Engadine, Traverse City and Benzonia, 9" Fife Lake, 8" Grayling, 6" Mio, 5" Houghton Lake, 4" Lake City, W. Branch, 3" Atlanta, 2" Beulah.
This was sunset at the Muskegon Channel yesterday (Mon.) evening (from NOAA Coastwatch). It was cooler by Lake Michigan yesterday afternoon. The high temperature at the Muskegon Airport Mon. PM was 44, while the high at the Muskegon Beach was just 34. We had a west wind coming in off the lake, which is sitting at 33 degrees - lots of cold water (and some ice) will continue to keep it cool near the lake when we have a west wind.
I see Venus is still shining brightly in the ESE in the early AM twilight. Enjoy it now...later this spring it'll fade into the glare of the sun at daybreak. We have the full (Worm) moon the next couple nights. There's some frost to scrape off the car this morning if you left your car outside last night.
March 1-18 was 5.3 deg. colder than average in Gr. Rapids. We had only one day when it got warmer than 50 degrees. There was a big, fat robin at my bird bath yesterday - so he/she was finding plenty to eat on the mostly bare ground now. I also had woodpeckers, mourning doves and the usual crowd of sparrows at my feeders. Two squirrels chased each other around the yard.
We've had only 28% of sunshine this month...but...we have had 55% sunshine over the last 3 days and that was nice. The days are getting longer at the rate of about 3 minutes a day and here at the Equinox, we gete 12 hours of daylight (up from 9 hours at the Winter Solstice). The sun is now just as high in the sky at 5:40 pm as it was at noon on Christmas Day.
Rivers are still high - The Grand and Muskegon Rivers are still at or slightly above flood state in Kent, Ottawa, Newaygo and Muskegon Counties. Not much precipitation over the next week. The two times for precip. are Wed. PM into Thu. AM (probably a tenth of an inch or less) and Sun. night into Monday (maybe a quarter inch)...so no big storms.
Here's high temperatures from Monday...Seattle had their warmest winter day ever with a high of 76. That was much warmer than the high of 67 at Orlando and Daytona Beach and the high of 64 at Brownsville, Texas. Seattle had a brisk, downsloping east wind coming down the Cascade Mouintains yesterday. The wind is still east this AM and the temp. is a balmy 59 at 4 am. However, here's a sure sign of warmer, springlike weather. Finally, some good weather for getting maple sap.
Also: Digging out sheep after a blizzard. Heavy snow in Scotland. The ocean was calm on Long Island this AM. "...this year's severe ice conditions are unprecedented, and even an icebreaker got stuck in the thick ice." Cyclone (hurricane) Trevor makes landfall in N. Australia. Also from Australia - an awesome shelf cloud with an approaching t-storm. Magnificent sunset in Spain. Ditto in Switzerland. Horseshoe cloud in Paris. Lenticular cloud over the Pyrenees. Remembering the deadliest tornado in U.S. history. How the Chicago River is died green. Severe flooding in NE. Slo-mo lightning. The crossing guard is a turkey! Synchronized pelicans. Heavy rain in Dubai. The weather map 6 hours before the deadliest tornado in U.S. history. Tornado in Germany.
A Drier Weather Pattern is expected over the next 10 days. Precipitation amounts will be below to much below average over the Great Lakes (not zero). This will allow rivers to get back down to average levels. The above map is the Precipitation Forecast for March 21-25. While we'll be on the dry side, Above average precipitation (rain and heavy mountain snows) will continue through much of the West into the High Plains.
Here's the temperature forecast for the same period....with warmer than average temperatures over the Great Lakes. This means snow will continue to melt across Northern Lower Michigan and the U.P. and without heavy rain to compound the flood potential. So...this is good news. The warmer weather should begin to get the crocuses up and start the yellowing of the forsythias....and I'll be able to get up the branches that were downed in the ice storm that were frozen to the ground and now sit in the muddy grass.
March 1-15 was 5.1 deg. colder than average with an average wind speed of 11.1 mph. We had just 23% of possible sunshine. Rainfall totaled 1.58" and snowfall 7.3" in G.R. Since Nov. 1, G.R. has had just 16% of possible sunshine, making this one of our cloudiest winters ever. Season snowfall is 75.8" (season average for G.R. is 74.9"). Kalamazoo season snowfall is 75.8" and that's 2.2" above average to date.
If you'd like to play in the snow...both Bittersweet and Cannonsburg Ski Areas will be open this weekend and still have plenty of snow. There's 6" of snow on the grround at Houghton Lake, 7" in Traverse City, 16" at Gaylord and 20" at Mancelona. U.P. snowcover: 30" Newberry, 32" Houghton, 35" Marquette, 44" Grand Marais and the most is 61" at Tamarack.
There are two Skywarn Severe Weather Spotter Training Sessions today. The first at 10 am is at the Luella Collins Community Center at 419 126th Ave, Wayland, MI 49348. There's a map here. It's a really nice facility on Boot Lake. Thanks to the Gun Lake Tribe for the use of the facility.
The second meeting today is at South Haven High School at 2 pm.
Both of these meetings are FREE. Even if you don't intend to be a weather spotter, it's a great opportunity to learn about severe storms and tornadoes.
There are two other meetings on April 13 at Lansing and Alma. You can also learn about severe storms online here.
Here's another online source to learn a lot about weather.
One final note - this is the Severe Weather Outlook Map for Monday March 18 - not a single thunderstorm is expected in the entire U.S. on Monday. That's VERY rare for the 2nd half of March.
The above pic. is 12 Mile Road washed out between Maple Island and Dickinson avenues in Colfax Township amid March 14, 2019 rain and melting snow. (Courtesy Newaygo County Emergency Services).
The Michigan Department of Transportation said Thursday (3/14) that the north and southbound lanes of M-120 were closed in Fremont because of flooding. The closure stretched from M-82 to 40th street. A portion of US 10 was closed due to flooding.
Marion Public Schools, Chippewa Hills Schools, Morley Stanwood Schools and Big Rapids Public Schools were closed 3/14 because of flooding. There are onther schools closed and some running bases only on certain roads. Check out the complete closing list here.
Marion said there was water in both hallways and classrooms at the junior and high school building.The community baseball and softball facility is also completely underwater and a lot of equipment was damaged.
There have been Flood Warnings for points along area rivers, including the Grand River in Comstock Park and Robinson Township.
You can check river levels here. The Pine River at Alma crested around a foot above flood stage and the Maple River at Maple Rapids around 9" above flood stage.
Here's a rainbow pic. from Jerry Hoag at Chippewa Lake.
Some rainfall totals from Thu 3/14): 1.53" at the Muskegon Arpt. (a daily record), 1.38" Fremont, 1.29" Whitehall, 1.02" near Hart, 0.83" Grant, 0.77" W Olive, 0.76" Shelby, 0.71" Battle Creek (plus a gust to 56 mph), 0.66" Holland, 0.61" Mecosta, 0.53" Kent City, 0.48" Grand Rapids, 0.45" Lansing, 0.44" Kalamazoo.
Fortunately, precipitation amounts have been light and we've pretty much melted off most of the snow except for the piles.
So, I'm driving into work. I live in Alpine Township. When I leave, my car thermometer says 40 degrees. There is a pretty solid snowcover where I am - the wind is due south and light. I get to Alpine Avenue (which runs north/south and as I make the turn to drive south, the temperature jumps to 42. The pavement is clean - the higher March sun is heating the pavement and the south wind is blowing parallel to the road. We also have any heat from the vehicles passing.
It's up to 43 as I turn from I-96 unto US 131...again pavement clear, wind due south and I'm driving south. By the time I reach downtown, the car thermometer is up to 46, six degrees warmer than my house. I get off the expressway as I as pull into WOOD TV8 in Heritage Hill, the temperature is back down to 42. At the station we have trees, a little snow left on the ground and some big piles of snow.
I would hazard a guess that the thermometer was reasonably accurate. I imagine 200 years ago when this area was more forest, the temperature might have been in the upper 30s.
Land use is a significant factor in changing climate on a local and regional scale. Urban areas are warmer on a sunny day and on a night with light or calm winds, where the asphalt and concrete hold the day's heat. A Midwest planted in corn and soybeans (much of it irrigated) has less chance of setting a record high temp. now than 80 years ago.
I do love car thermometers!
Fri. AM Update - There was at least one confirmed tornado in Shiawassee County near Durand...50 structures damaged, trailers destroyed, roofs off. No serious injuries. The damage seemed to start near Bancroft and northeast from there toward Vernon. The tornado hit around 7 pm and ran parallel to I-69. One woman was trapped in here home by downed power lines. Also in SE Michigan...damage at Sterling Heights, a gust to 60 mph at Howell. Hail the size of ping-pong balls at Chelsea and 1" hail at Manchester.
In West Michigan, wind damage was reported at Urbandale west of Battle Creek. Gusts reached 67 mph at the S. Haven airport and 56 mph at the Battle Creek Airport. Here's some peak wind gusts:
An Areal Flood Warning is in effect until 6:15 Fri. from Muskegon-Newaygo-Montcalm and Gratiot Counties to the north. There is also a Flood Warning for the PIne River at Alma, which is now about 3" above flood stage and expected to climb another 6". This is due to a combination of heavy rainfall totals and melting snow. There are over a dozen roads closed due to high water on the road. Here's some rainfall totals:
Also, nickel-sized hail in Delton, 3/4" hail in Holland and small hail in Allegan, East Gr. Rapids, Port Sheldon, Comstock, Vicksburg, Comstock Park, Walker, Grand Haven and at the Ford Airport in G.R. Numerous reports of hail up to 1" in diameter in the Chicago area with minor thunderstorm wind damage.
Two tornadoes in W. Kentucky - pics. here.
SPC said: "Strong to severe thunderstorms are possible from a portion of the Southeast U.S. into the Ohio Valley and southern Great Lakes. Damaging wind and a few tornadoes will be possible along with some hail...Both discrete supercells and line segments are possible with damaging wind and a few tornadoes the main threats, mainly from late morning through early evening."
Several maps here to break down each severe weather parameter. Above is the chance of a tornado within 25 miles of a given point. Green is 2%, Brown is 5 percent and yellow is 10%.
The map above is the chance of a wind damage report within 25 miles of a given point. The brown is 5%, the yellow is 15% and the red is 30%. This is the most likely threat.
This was the percent chance of a severe hail report within 25 miles of a given point. The brown is 5% and the yellow is 15%.
So, for much of Southern Lower Michigan, the probabilities of a report within 25 miles were 15% wind, 5% tornado and 5% hail.
The map of storm reports above shows several corridors of severe weather...one from Illinois to SE Michigan, along along the Ohio River and a third across MS and AL.
Tuesday...There two tornadoes reported, 10 reports of severe hail up to baseball-size (which "destroyed" cars) and wind gusts as high as 76 mph at Carlsbad NM. There were only 9 severe wind reports on Weds. There were hundreds of damage reports from the general strong winds around the extemely intense low pressure center...from Texas and New Mexico north to the Dakotas. Gusts were as strong as 92 mph. Denver had a gust to 80 mph at the airport.
This is the warning map as of Weds. AM. WOW! That's a lot of advisories and warnings. Blizzard Warnings from Colorado to N. Dakota...Flood Watches from N. Kansas to Upper Michigan...High Wind Warnings from Kansas to Mexico and a High Wind Advisory from Texas to W. Illinois. More heavy snow for the Rockies. This storm will pump the warm air up toward Lower Michigan today and tomorrow and then the colder air back in on Friday.
Wild weather ahead...stay tuned for updates!
Also: March 1-12 was 8.4 degrees colder than average. We had 100% sun on Mon. and 94% sun on Tue. - the sunniest back-to-back days since Jan. 20-21, check out the Flash Flood in Brazil! Big snowflakes in Italy. Awesome shelf cloud over the Adriatic Sea. Neat rain pics. here.
The satellite picture above was taken on Sat. March 9 - the day of maximum ice extent. Saturday, the Great Lakes peaked at 80.87% ice cover. According to the records I have, that's the 9th highest extent in the 47-year satellite record. Three of the nine highest ice extents have occurred in the last six years.
The greatest ice extent was on Feb. 19, 1979 at 94.7%. The lowest maximum was on March 7, 2002 at 11.9%. The average maximum extent is 55%. The Great Lakes have exceeded that average in four of the last six winters. After a period of strong winds over the weekend, ice extent on othe Great Lakes dropped to 65.13% on Monday.
High ice extent lowers evaporation over the lakes and can contribute to higher water levels.
Here's the maximum ice extent and corresponding date on the individual Great Lakes:
Maximum ice extent on Lake Superior occurred Saturday March 9, 2019 at 94.65%. This is a MODIS satellite picture from that day. There are some thin high clouds coming in, but you can see the large ice extent on the lake. Marquette was 5.1° colder than average in February along with 89.9" of snow (season total up to 212"). With Lake Superior essentially frozen over, that shuts off much of the lake-effect snow, lake effect clouds and lake-effect warming. For March 1-10, Marquette has had only 7.2" of snow and they have been 13.2° colder than average.
Here's Lake Michigan - more open water than not...The Chicago area is snow free except for the piles. There will be a lot of snowmelt this week. Lake Michigan ice extent peaked on Friday, March 8 at 55.83%.
Lake Huron ice extent peaked Saturday, March 9, 2019 at 95.70%. You can see the snow-covered thick ice in Saginaw Bay and the North Channel.
Here's a Lake Erie satellite picture. Lake Erie ice peaked at 93.30% on March 1. You can see the long, large cracks in the ice. Lake St. Clair peaked at 100% from Jan. 30 - Feb. 12.
Lake Ontario ice extent peaked at 39.82% on March 1. In this image, you can see the open water in the deep Finger Lakes and in the Niagara River. Does the east end of Lake Ontario look a little like a black cat's head to you?
Lake ice should decrease with time, but there's a lot of ice out there and some pretty good side icebergs, especially in Lake Superior...and that will take a long time to completely melt.
Also - deer on the roof (lots of snow!).
MEDIA ENCLOSURE: https://media.woodtv.com/nxs-woodtv-media-us-east-1/photo/2019/03/11/Modis%20Great%20Lakes%203%209%2019%20Maximum%20Ice%20Extent%2080.87%25_1552362238122.jpg_76877594_ver1.0_640_360.jpg
The pic. above was sunset at South Haven this (Mon.) evening. We had 100% of possible sunshine on Monday. That was 702 min. of sunshine, almost more sun than we had in the first 10 days of March combined (761). We only had 1,556 min. of sunshine in the whole month of Nov. 2018.
The pic. above was taken by Matt Kirkwood. He took his snowmobile across the ice bridge to Mackinac Island. With the time change, the sunrise today was at 8:02 am in Grand Rapids and the sunset was at 7:44 pm. We continue to gain nearly 3 minutes of daylight each day during the month of March. The sun is rising and setting farther to the north now, closer to due east in the morning and to due west in the evening. We're approaching that time of year when it'll be hard at times to drive due east in the early AM or due west in the late afternoon, because you'll be staring into the sun.
The sun is getting higher in the sky. At solar noon, the sun was at an angle of 43.4° above the southern horizon on Monday in Grand Rapids. That compares to 23.6° at the Winter Solstice. The sun is higher now at 5:27 pm than it is at noon on Christmas Day.
This is what the moon looked like Mon. evening. We're seeing more of the moon each night. The next full moon is on the 21st - which is the first full day of astronomical spring. Venus is bright in the east just before sunrise, but will disappear into the sun's glare as we work our way through spring. Jupiter rises in the southeast around 2 am. Fainter Saturn is between Venus and Jupiter. Mars is in the west in the evening below the cluster of stars we call the Pleiades. It's faint and harder to see now without a telescope. There is an AWESOME pass of the Internationsl Space Station Weds. AM at 6:55 am, but...it'll be cloudy here. You can spot the usual constellations...The Big Dipper, the Little Dipper and North Star, Casseopia (the "Lazy W", and Orion the Hunter with the 3 stars in his belt all in a row...that's going to become less prominent as winter fades and we move into spring.
This is the webcam from Utqiaġvik, Alaska (formerly known as Barrow). This is the northernmost tip of Alaska. The temperature at the time this picture was taken was -14F. Barrow (and most of Alaska) has had a warm winter. December was 1.9° warmer than average, January was 4.6° warmer than average and February was a whopping 18.7° warmer than average. Barrow has 8" of snow on the ground. They've had 34.7" this season (less than half the snow most of West Michigan has seen this winter), which is 4.9" above average-to-date. They usually get snow in every month of the year. Last year Utqiagvik had 2" of snow on July 7th. The Alyeska Ski Area in southeast Alaska reports a snow depth at the top of the run at 102" and a season snowfall of 383". In W. Alaska, Nome has 58" of snow on the ground.
For a week, the computer models have been very consistent (like for a week) at giving West Michgian 60°+ temperatures on Thursday. The Tue. overnight run of the NAM model gives G.R. 60° and the GFS has 70°. The NAM won the battle - the high was 59 in G.R. on Thurs. If we get there...it's not going to last...the cool air comes right back. Friday we're down to 35° by 8 pm. Both the GFS and European give us snow on March 20th...an inch on the European and up to 4" on the GFS. So, this will just be a taste of spring, not spring for good.
Sunday was the first day since Feb. 24th when the mean temperature for the day was above average. The average wind speed on Sun. was 24.4 mph and it sure didn't feel warm.
I've got snowdrops blooming next to the house, where the snow has melted off and they get the heat from the sun on the bricks in the PM. They're the first thing up in spring...often pushing right up through the snow.. A bought a few of these bulbs 30-years ago at Fruitbasket and I consider it one of the best purchases I've ever made. 30-years later there are dozens of them and they give me a friendly wave for usually over a month in late winter into early spring every time I go out the front door.
We had a windy Sunday. The Wind Advisory expired at 8 pm Sun. Here's peak wind gusts Saturday: 52 mph at Cadillac and Ludington, 49 mph at St. Joseph, 48 mph at Manistee and at Holland St. Park, 47 mph at the Muskegon Channel, 46 mph at the Regional Airport in Holland and at Whitehall, 45 mph at Houghton Lake and S. Haven, 43 mph at Saugatuck, Paw Paw, Marshall and Shelby, 42 mph at Bradley, Hastings and Pentwater, 39 mph at Grand Rapids and Batlte Creek and 38 mph in Lansing. Also 34 mph in Kalamazoo.
Here's peak wind gusts from Sunday; 49 mph Battle Creek, 48 mph East Grand Rapids, 47 mph Lansing, 46 mph Grand Rapids, Springfield and Portage. 45 mph Holland, Galesburg, Kalamazoo, 44 mph Hartford, 42 mph S. Haven, Marshall, 41 mph Roosevelt Park and Saugatuck, 40 mph Lake Macatwawa, 39 mph Muskegon Airport - 2-4" of snow fell across N. Lower Michigan.
The forecast is still on track...dry Mon. and Tue...low-mid 30s Mon. and low 40s Tue. Showers Weds/Thurs. Thursday is the warm day - low-mid 60s...then right back to a cooler-than-average plattern starting Friday PM.
High Pressure brought mostly clear skies to the Great Lakes Friday PM. Here's some satellite views of each of the Great Lakes. The top pic. is Lake Superior, which is now 95% ice-covered. Marquette (airport) had an average low temperature of +1.3° in the month of February and the average (yes, AVERAGE) low temperature at Marquette for the first week of March was -10.6°. Marquette also got 89.9" of snow in February, including not one but TWO days that they recorded 16" of snow from midnight-to-midnight (the 12th and the 24th). They started Feb. with 22" of snow on the ground and built that to a high of 53" on the 25th...they still have 47" on the ground. Today (Sat.) is the 25th day in a row that they have had at least 43" of snow on the ground.
Here's the Lake Michigan satellite picture. There were a few clouds. Wisconsin had snow on the ground. The snow cover stops near the Indiana border. Traverse Bay is solid ice-covered as are all the deep inland lakes (Torch Lake in MI and Green Lake in WI). It's harder to pick out rivers. They are ice-covered, too. Forest areas are a little carker (Newaygo/Lake Co. north and in the U.P.
Here's the Lake Huron satellite picture. Note the snow covered ice in Saginaw Bay and the North Channel. The St. Clair River is open water flowing out of Lake Huron.
Here's the Lake Erie satellite picture. Lots of ice, but you couldn't walk across the lake. Lake Erie is the southernmost Great Lake, but often the Great Lake with the most ice cover, because it's the shallowest of the Great Lakes (average depth 62 feet - deepest point 210 feet). The first week of March was 12.6° colder than average in Cleveland.
Here's Lake Ontario, which is still mostly open water. Lake Ontario is roughly 4 times deeper than Lake Erie. The two deep Finger Lakes south of Ontario are still ice free. Seneca Lake (the lake on the left) is the 10th deepest natural lake in the contiguous U.S. at 618 feet. The bottom of the lake is 173 feet below sea level.
Great Lakes ice extent has reached 80% for just the 9th time in the 47-year satellite record. Here's the percent of ice coverage for each lake: Superior 94.91% (8th highest in 47 years), Michigan 55.83% (10th highest), Huron 90.59% (11th highest), Erie 93.61%, Ontario 27.29%, St. Clair 97.89%.
Lake St. Clair was up at 100% from Jan. 30 to Feb. 12. Lake Superior has reached 100% coverage only once, in 1996. Lake Erie has reached 100% three times - in 1978, 1979 and 1996. Lake Michigan reached 93.1% in both 1977 and 2014.
Here's historic Great Lakes ice cover. The highest extent was reached on Feb. 19, 1979 at 94.7%.
The top pic. is a Great Lakes Modis Stellite picture from this PM - with high pressure and mostly clear skies across the Great Lakes. Notice the deep Finger Lakes south of Lake Ontario are still open water. Seneca Lake has a mazimum depth of 618 feet, which mkes it nearly 3 times deeper than Lake Erie. Cuyoga Lake has a maximum depth of 435 feet.
11 tornadoes were reported Saturday in 5 states (TX, LA, AR, TN, MS). Two people were injured in a tornado near Little Rock AR. One tornado touched down near Dallas TX. A tornado in Vivian LA was on the ground for 8 1/2 miles and was 100 yards wide (the length of a football field). There were 59 reports of wind damage. Two people were injured by thunderstorm winds in Arkansas when their house was severely damaged by straight-line winds. There were also 7 reports of severe hail up to the size of ping-pong balls. .
Here's the Severe Weather Outlook Map for today (3/10). There's a Marginal Risk Area (in dark green) from E. North Carolina back into Alabama. This includes the area that was hit by the strong tornadoes last Sunday. The greatest threat is isolated wind damage.
This is the same storm system that produced the heavy thunderstorms in Los Angeles area.
The next storm system coming out the middle of next week could be a significant severe weather producer, too.
The sun goes through an 11-year solar cycle. The number of sunspots reaches a minimum every 11 years and we are near or at that minimum now. We went through the entire month of February without a sunspot. We have one significant sunspot now (AR2734). So far in 2019, we have had 58 days with the sun has been free of sunspots (73%). In 2018, 61% of the days the sun had no sunspots, 28% of days in 2017, 9% in 2016 and no days in 2015.
The difference is dramatic. For five years (2011-2015) surrounding the solar maximum of March 2014, there were only 3 days total without any sunspots.
If you go back to 2008 (11 years ago), the sun had no sunspots on 73% of the days of the year. You can follow the daily number of sunspots, see some awesome aurora pictures and check the kp-index to see if you might see the Northern Lights at www.spaceweather.com.
This solar cycles has been the weakest since the early 1900s. (graph from NASA)
The sun is climbing higher in the sky now. The sun angle above the horizon today at solar noon is 42.3 degrees. The sun is as high at 9:25 am today as it is at noon on Christmas Day. Today the time between sunrise and sunset is 11 hours and 33 minutes. At the Winter Solstice it was 9 hours and 1 minute. We are gaining daylight at the rate of nearly 3 minutes each day or about 20 minutes a week. You'll notice that sunrise is closer to due east and sunset getting closer to due west.
The moon is a very thin (4%) crescent this evening. If it's clear, see if you can find it.
"The State Climate Extremes Committee determined the Mt. Carroll observation to be valid, and it now stands as the record minimum temperature for Illinois. This value supersedes the previous record of -36°F occurring 5 January 1999 near Congerville."
This is the weather station that set the record at Mt. Carroll IL. The new record coldest temperature ever in the state of Illnois history was set on January 31 during the visit from the "polar vortex". New all-time record low temperatures were set at several other weather stations (-31 at Rockford). Chicago dipped to -23. A west wind warmed the air as it crossed Lake Michigan. The low temperature on 1/31/19 at Muskegon was 1 deg. above zero.
The coldest temperature ever in Michigan was -51F on 2/9/1934 at Vanderbilt. The coldest ever in Grand Rapids was -24F on 2/13 and 2/14 in 1899.
A warming trend has started. The temperature rose to 25 Wed. evening. We'll reach the upper 20s today (Thu.). It'll feel warmer than that because the wind will be lighter. We get a little above freezing on Friday, then headed all the way up to average (high of 42) over the weekend.
This is the 7-Day Precipitation Forecast from the Weather Prediction Center. Much of the country will be wet, with a big blob of heavy rain centered on Arkansas.
The weekend storm is likely to produce severe thunderstorms and even isolated tornadoes from the Gulf up into Missouri and S. Illinois. This is the Severe Weather Outlook Area for Saturday/Saturday Night. Severe weather will stay south of Michigan, but we'll get up to 1/2" of rain Saturday night into Sunday AM and it will get windy for Sunday/Sunday night. It will turn a little cooler briefly behind the weekend storm on Monday, but no Arctic air behind this system and temps. will warm back into the 40s for early next week.
We had one day that made 50 degrees very briefly in early January. Last year we had had 5 days that had reached 55 deg. by March 7. In 2017 we had picked up 9 days of 55 or warmer by March 7 and the year before that 3 days.
The lowest temperature in the U.S. Wed. AM was at Stonington and Michigamme, Michigan in the U.P. and also Laona WI - all at 31 below zero. The warmest spot in the U.S. was 88 at Saguaro Raws, Arizona.
Here's a look at Season Snowfall Totals thru 5 pm Weds. Fremont tops the list. Grand Rapids has now exceeded their average seasonal snowfall total. Look how close G.R. and Kalamazoo are...and how close Muskegon and Holland are.
Here's some rainfall totals from California Tue. - Wed. The 0.87" at Death Valley is impressive. The heavy rain will produce a bumper crop of wildflowers (and unfortunately wildfires when the vegetation dries out this summer). Mammoth Mt. picked up another 14" of snow.
Hot Water Toss in Glasgow, Montana at sunset with the air temperature at -14F. Here's the video. Montana just had the coldest February ever. For much of the state, it was the coldest month ever. Glasgow had an AVERAGE temperature of -3.4F for Feb. and that was 22.6 deg. colder than average. Arctic air all month and no chinook warming. The last time they were above 20 was Feb. 2. March 2 was 42 degrees colder than average with a high of -9 and a low of -25. In February, Billings was more than 10 degrees colder than their previous coldest February ever!
Also - New York City had 5 days in a row with measurable snow - only the 3rd time that has happened and the first time since 1938.
The top pic. shows someone shoveling heavy snow on Isle Royale out in Lake Superior. They have (like much of the country) had quite a bit of snow of late. Here's another pic. from Isle Royale National Park (facebook page):
Drifts were up to the rooftops. Isle Royale just got four new wolves. You might remember that one of the wolves that they brought over from "the mainland" walked back to the mainland across the ice a few weeks ago.
This is U.S. snowcover Tue. 3/5/19. I noted that they were getting snow flurries in Coastal Carolina Tue. PM. There's heavy snow over much of the Western Mountains. There has been a lot of snow across much of the MIdwest and New England. Seattle had over 20" of snow in February. Marquette is more than four feet above average season snowfall. Caribou ME is up to 151.5" - their average-to-date is 86.1".
Here's high temperatures Tuesday - look at Monterrey, Mexico...that's cold. Downtown New Orleans had a high of 50 (airport was 52) on Tuesday..that was 19 deg. colder than average - so it was chilly for Mardi Gras. Itg was warm in far south Florida and in Arizona. The wrmest spot in the country was 88 at West Kendall FL and the coldest was -39 at Logan MT.
We continue to monitor ice jams on the Grand River at Robinson Township, Comstock Park, Portland and Diamondale and on the Muskegon River north of Big Rapids. The overall weather pattern will continue to bring storms into the Great Lakes area every few days. We'll have brief incursions of warm air in an overall cool (but not as cold as it's been) pattern.
This was the Muskegon Channel Tue. PM. I looked thru all the pictures taken there and found this one that had a tiny bit of sun poking thru. Great Lakes ice cover is up to 74.76% - that's a maximum for this winter. It's the 11th highest maximum in 47 years of (satellite) record - and we should climb into the top ten in the next couple days. More ice means less evaporation and it's a minor contributor to relatively high water levels. Precipitation is still the biggest player in that equation.
Grand Rapids added 4.3" of snow on Tuesday. That brings the season snowfall total to 75.3". That's now higher than the average winter snowfall for G.R., which is 74.9" (that average has actually gone up a little in recent decades). On January 18, almost halfway through winter (Jan. 20) G.R. had picked up only 19.2". So, from Jan. 20 - Mar. 5 (44 days), G.R. has had 56.1". And...we're not done yet.
Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids are neck-and-neck again this year. As I've said before, the lakeshore has had less snow because when we've had lake-effect, we've also had strong winds that have pushed the heavier lake-effect snow inland toward US 131.
These are the peak wind gusts at the airports on Tuesday. Not only has it been cold, but it's been windy and that kicks the wind chill factor down.
The cold will ease back slowly. Here's high temperatures Tuesday - between 18 and 21 across the area. The high of 19 in G.R. was 21 degrees below the average high of 40.
Here's the Lake Michigan MODIS satellite picture from Tue. PM - It's partly cloudy with snow on the ground in Wisconsin. Lake-effect clouds start about mid-lake and move into West Michigan. Grand Rapids had 4.3" of snow Tuesday - all lake-effect. You can see the ice offshore of Wisconsin and NE Illinois.
This picture is from Thunder Bay Island, Tue. 3/5/19. Note the lake-effect clouds over the open water. Lake Huron is up to 88% ice cover (inc. Georgian Bay).
Strong Thunderstorms moved through S. California overnight. The lightning pictures above and below are from Mike Eliason and Santa Barbara Fire Info.
Check out the Los Angeles radar last night around midnight EST:
This area of storms had lots of lightning with it all day Tuesday as it approached the coast.
Here's a look at forecast rainfall. Before this rain...Los Angeles is already over 4 1/2" above average for rainfall since Jan. 1. Flash Flood Warnings have been in effect.
Here's a look at some of the impacts from the rain and storms.
Video of S. California lightning flash in slow motion. Lightning strikes have started tree fires, blown out a power converter and possibly started a small fire of SE 154 as a powerful bears down on the South Coast. At 7:34 p.m. a major strike caused power in Santa Barbara to got out briefly. lots of lightning pics. on twitter at #lightning.
Mammoth Mt. had 207" of snow just in the month of February and they've already had over 2 feet of snow here in March.
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A Winter Weather Advisory expires at 7 am Thurs. We could see an additional 1" or less tonight (Wed. night). Roads could have slick spots tonight and tomorrow AM. Temperatures will stay much colder than average with highs this Thurs. in the upper 20s (average is low 40s).
Above is the G.R. NWS graphic on the weather in W. Michigan. The snow showers will end and we'll become partly sunny Thursday with light winds.
Thursday thru much of Saturday will be dry...with a messy storm bringing a mix of precipitation to Michigan Sat. night and Sunday.
Here's the MODIS satellite pic. of Lake Michigan from Sun. PM (from NOAA Coastwatch). Lake Michigan still has lots of open water. The air to water temp. difference should be about 15 degrees.
Also - more heavy rain and mountain snow for California. This is going to lead to a bad wildfire season this summer when everything dries out. Landslide in Kashmir, India. Snow in Ireland. Zodiacal light. Cold wind chills in MN. Upward lightning flash in Greece. Billings MT -18 Sun. AM - only 5 other March days since 1934 have been that cold. Donner Summit, California - 425" of snow just in the month of Feb.!! Flooding in Jordan. Hurricane in the Indian Ocean. Sun dogs in Kazhakstan. Hail in Greece. Heavy snow in Austria. A sunny, but cold day in Glacier N.P. Waterspout in Greece. Northern Lights in Denmark. Halo in Peru. Northern Lights video.
Deadly tornadoes struck the southern U.S. Sun. PM. The tornado that occurred near Beauregard AL has been preliminarily rated EF-4, with peak winds of 170 mph. At one point, the twister was nearly a mild wide and there is a damage path of at least 24 miles. The parent storm dropped other tornadoes as it traveled ENE into Georgia. This is the deadliest tornado in the U.S. since the Moore OK tornado of May 2013.
At least 23 fatalities are reported in the South Sun. PM. The worst appears to be near Beauregard AL - where fatalities included an 8-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy. This is the first EF4 tornado since 2017. The Storm Prediction Center lists 43 tornadoes, 79 severe wind reports, and 18 severe hail reports from southeast Alabama to southern South Carolina: The largest hail was 2-inches in diameter at the Macon GA. airport. The highest gust recorded was 102 mph. on the edge of the tornado.
Damage video...Raw video of damage Lee Co. AL. Damage in Georgia, homes destroyed. Driving toward the tornado. More Lee Co. video. Homes demolished. Damage video. Dog pulled out of demolished home. More than 40 people were transported to the East Alabama Medical Center. Here's an hour-plus of raw video of tornado damage. Cell phone tower toppled. I've been getting updates on this facebook page. Billboard flew 20 miles thru the air! Debris from the tornado was lifted at least 18,000 feet into the air (more than 3 miles! Video from the Buck Wild Saloon. Severe damage in Talbotton GA. Tornado crossing US 280 (four lane - divided) - a monster wedge. Pics. of the tornado that passed north of Eufaula AL. Video of damage along US 280 - you can see the downed cell toward toward the end of the video. More Talbotton damage. Eufaula AL airport last weather observation was at 4:04 pm. Lightning hit gas line. Byron GA tornado. Smith's Station AL wedge tornado video.
Wow, the national winner of corn yield contest in 2018 produced an astounding 477 bushels per acre! Average corn yield in 1930 was just 30 bushels per acre. Thanks to the work of people like Norman Borlaug, the massive famines predicted by Paul Ehrlich never happened.
Also: Heavy snow fell in NY City and Boston overnight. Wildfires in SE Australia. Strong wind and heavy rain in Belgium. Avalanche coming right toward you! About as cold as it gets in Montana in March. Play fetch with a dog over a high fence. I wouldn't have guess that this was Bermuda. Severe t-storm video from Argentina. Windy in Wales. The strong winds hit much of NW Europe. Downburst or rainshaft.
This is going to be a cold week here in West Michigan, with a couple of days that could be as much as 25 degrees colder than average. The map above shows high temperatures Saturday across the U.S. and S. Canada. The high was 18° in Minneapolis, 5° in Bismarck and temperatures stayed below zero over parts of Montana and S. Canada. Our winds are going to be northwest to west, so that cold air is coming toward Michigan.
Here's high temperatures expected for the next 5 days. We were 33° yesterday (Sat.). This afternoon, look for temps. in the mid 20s...then the real Arctic Air gets here with highs in the mid teens for Monday and Tuesday. Those temperatures are 25° colder than average. We only slowly move back toward freezing toward the end of the week.
Here's updated season snowfall totals as of Sunday AM - Fremont is now over 80" for the winter and Kalamazoo is over 70". Grand Rapids will go over 70" by Tue. PM. All three of those cities are above average snowfall-to-date. Muskegon and Holland are a little behind their average snowfall-to-date. That's because when we've had lake-effect snow...it's been windy and that has blown the stronger lake-effect inland toward US 131 instead of right at the lakeshore.
This is going to be a good first couple weeks of March to play in the snow. Here's some skiers and boarders at Bittersweet Ski Area Saturday evening. The snow should be in great shape all this week.
The average high temperature for G.R. reaches 40° on Tue. (3/5), reaches 50° on March 28 and reaches 60° on April 19. We'll see spring...it just may be a little bit late this year.
44.2% of the Contiguous U.S. has a snow cover. Mammoth Mt. CA had 207" of snow just during the month of February - they added another 10" Saturday. Squaw Valley is up to 363" of snow for the season at the base and 573" on the mountaintop. Sun Valley in Idaho says that "the avalanche danger is considerable", warning people not to go off the trails. They had 109" of snow in February. San Francisco added another 0.96" of rain on Sat. and 0.64" fell in Los Angeles.
Also - the highest temp. in the U.S. on Sat. was 92° at Falcon Lake TX and the lowest was -38° at a weather station 25 mi. north of Havre MT.
Great Lakes water levels are high and will continue to be high through most or all of 2019. The combination of higher-than-average precipitation and lower-than-average evaporation due to high ice cover on the lakes continue to keep levels steady during a time when they might be going down.
The water level of Lake Superior is unchanged in the last month and unchanged in the last year. The lake is 14" above average and only one inch lower than the highest March level reached in 1986. The above average snow cover and the storm track up into the Great Lakes bring the possibility that Lake Superior will rise to record levels later this spring.
Lake Michigan/Huron is up 1" in the last month, up 2" in the last year and is now 21" above the March average. Lake Erie is up 2" in the last month, up 1" in the last year and is now 22" above the century average for March. Lake Ontario is up 4" in the last month, up 2" in the last year and is now 13" above the century average for March.
The rivers that connect the Great Lakes all have above average water levels as do many of the inland rivers. The Grand River in Grand Rapids has a volume of 7,830 cubic feet per second (average is 4,260 cfs). The Kalamazoo River at Comstock is at 1,410 cfs (avg. 1,110 cfs). The St. Joseph River at Three Rivers is at 1,830 cfs (avg. is 1,520 cfs).
There are 3 ice jams that we are tracking. Two are on the Grand River, one at Portland and one in Robinson Township and the last on the Muskegon River north of Big Rapids.
This map shows Great Lakes ice extent...now up to 74%. Ice extent should continue to rise with the cold wave this coming week.
Great Lakes News: America's newest National Park (on Lake Michigan). Ice skating on Lake Superior. Snowshoe hike with great views. Drone catches coyote crossing Lake Michigan. Strong winds, cold temperatures ice a lake-home. Chicago is sinking. Ice tsunami. Lighthouse news. Coast Guard watches over Great Lakes lighthouses. Strong winds destroy ice boom. Connecting riding trails in Michigan. Historic ships on Lake Michigan this summer. Shipwrecks seen in 3-D. Longest lighthouse server retires. The Great Lakes shipwreck that killed 300. The Great Lakes first lighthouse. Those who swam Lake Ontario. Coast Guard teaches ice emergency techniques. ERCA Advisory.
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February was a cool, cloudy and snowy month. The average temperature of 25.6° in G.R. was 1.2° colder than average. it was the 3rd month out of the last four that has been colder than average. The warmest temperature was 48° on the 4th and -2° on the 1st. Precipitation totaled 3.43" and that was 1.64" above average. We had 20 days with with measurable precipition and only 5 days with no precipitation at all. Snowfall totaled 20.4" and that was 5.6" more than average, bringing the season total to 68.5" and that's 3.3" above average-to-date. The average amount of snow on the ground was 4". We had 9 days with at least an inch of snowfall. Snow cover varied from 12" on the 1st to just a trace on the 5th, 6th, 7th.
The top pic. and the above pic. are drone pictures from Justin McCarthy mid-Feb. 2019.
The average wind speed in February was 11.4 mph. That was about 1 mph faster than average. The fastest gust was 58 mph on the 24th. We had 16.9% of possible sunshijne...that was half of average sun. There were only 4 days in February that had over 30% of possible sunshine.
Much of the country was cold and snowy during February. February had their snowiest February ever with 39". Eau Claire WI and St. Cloud MN also had their snowiest months ever. Marquette had 89.9" of snow in February.
Despite the weather map...spring will be coming. The average high temperature reaches 40 on Tuesday, reaches 50 on March 28 and reaches 60 on April 19.
Look at this! Looks like twin tornadoes! It's actually steam rising on in a calm wind from the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant and the natural gas plant (on the east side of I-196 near Covert) located south of South Haven, Michigan. The steam rises and sometimes makes a cloud overhead. Sometimes the steam dissipates and sometimes it lingers longer. Usually, there is a wind that blows the steam away from the source.
As of this (Fri.) afternoon, ice cover on Lake Superior is at 84.0%. With another Arctic blast on the way for early next week, there is a chance that Lake Superior will totally freeze over for only the second time in the 47-year record of Great Lakes ice extent. The only time that ice cover reached 100% of the biggest Great Lake was in March of 1996.
The only other Great Lake that has reached 100% ice cover since 1973 is Lake Erie. That's happened three times, in the cold winters of 1978 and 1979 and again in 1996. Even though Lake Erie is the southernmost of the Great Lakes, it often gets the highest percentage of ice cover, because it's the shallowest of the Great Lakes (average depth 62 ft. and greatest depth 210 ft.).
Great Lakes ice cover is now up to 74.0%. This is the 4th time in the last 6 years that Great Lakes ice has exceeded the average greatest extent of 55%.
You can see that winters with above and below average ice cover often come in pairs or several years in a row (you can see the cold winters of the late 1970s and 2014-15 and the mild winters starting with the strong El Nino of 1998).
The cold air coming across Lake Superior has produced some very heavy season snowfalls in Upper Michigan. Tamarack leads this list with 307.4" of snow so far this winter. Marquette has 48" of snow on the ground and they are 52.1" above average snowfall-to-date. With the lake now mostly frozen over, this is virtually stopped the lake-effect snow, the lake-effect clouds and the lake-effect warming.
The 6-10 day temperature outlook from the Climate Prediction Center for March 6-10 shows a high probability of colder to much colder than average temperatures over the Great Lakes and most of the contiguous U.S.
This has been a very cloudy winter in West Michigan. I have solar panels on my house, and the vast majority of the time, they have been sleeping like the groundhog this winter.
First, the nights are long and the days are short in winter. We go down to 9 hours of daylight at the Winter Solstice. We've climbed back to a little over 11 hours of daylight by the end of February.
Then, we live downwind from a Great Lake, which produces lake-effect clouds and snow (that we have to sweep off many of the solar panels - mine are on the south wall of the house - so I don't have to sweep mine, but they don't start up until the sun climbs up a couple hours in the AM). The picture above shows lake-effect clouds in West Michigan and clear skies (with some snow on the ground) in Wisconsin.
Since Nov. 1, Grand Rapids has had only 15.3% of possible sunshine (weighing each month equally). That's just 55% of the sunshine we see in an average winter (27%). Here's the % of possible sunshine by month this winter with the average % in ( ): November 9% (28%), December 13% (20%), January 22% (26%) and February 17% (34%).
While my solar panels have the potential to provide some heat to my house...the vast majority of the time...the panels are providing zero heat to my house...even a very slight negative if any cool air leaks in through the vents. So, I'm glad I have my good old natural gas furnace (and my wood insert).
Average sunshine climbs to 48% in March, 52% in April and 56% in May. Our sunniest month is July (64%) here in Grand Rapids.
Great Lakes ice cover continues to increase. This is the MODIS Lake Superior satellite picture from Wed. PM (2/27/19) (from NOAA Coastwatch). As you can see, there is a lot of ice on Lake Superior. It's not solid...you couldn't walk across the lake, but it's a lot. As the ice increases and the open water decreases...there is less lake-effect...less lake-effect snow, less lake-effect clouds and less lake-effect warming. You can the ice has just about shut down any chance of lake-effect now in the Western U.P.
Here's the latest % of ice extent on the Great Lakes from Wed. PM. The Great Lakes as a whole is at 74.19%. Lake Michigan has climbed to 44.2%. Lake Erie is almost totally ice covered at 93.3% (you still couldn't walk across the lake). Lake Superior is up to 84.0%. Max ice this year may not come until the 2nd week of March. The earliest maximum ice since 1973 was on Jan. 15, 1999 and the latest was March 14, 2017. We could challenge that latest date this year.
Here's a graph of maximum Great Lakes ice by year. The least was 11.9% in 2002 and the most was 94.7% in 1979 (after 3 cold winters in a row from 1976-79). We've had above average maximum ice cover in four of the last six years (including 2019). In recent decades, the highest water levels on the Great Lakes were in 1986-87 and the lowest levels were in 1964.
Here's high temps. Wed. Note the cold air from Montana to Michigan and south to Kansas, also in New England. As long as it stays cold and relatively calm, we'll continue to accumulate ice on the Great Lakes.
It was warm in Florida, along the Gulf Coast and it's warmed back close to average in the Southwest. The warmest in the U.S. on Wed. was 90 at Falcon Lake TX and the coldest was -31 north of Rudyard MN. Significant rain Wed. in FL: 3.04" Oldsmar, 2.83" Clearwater, 2.32" Tampa, 2.30" Largo, 2.08" W. Palm Beach, 1.24" Sarasota, 1.15" Ft. Myers. Also New Orleans had 2.43" of rain and Sacramento had 1.24".
Also - at 11 pm - Grayling was -17 and Rogers City (about 80 miles away) was +18. Clouds made the diifference. While we're cold, Europe is warm. Why? Wildfire in England. Some good news. 7" of new snow at Syracuse NY - still snowing. Does this look like a blue tornado? California getting lots of rain this winter. Amazing rainfall totals in central California. It has snowed every day in Jackson Hole, Wyoming this month with over a foot of new accumulation in the past 4 days alone. Similar conditions have been observed in nearby Big Sky, Montana, where 16" of new snow has fallen. Squaw Valley in California has received a whopping 286" of snow so far this February alone! And it's still snowing! Heavy snow in Newfoundland. Heavy snow in Maine. Who's chasing who? Cool weather pics. Florida sunset. Hail in Malta.
Tamarack in the U.P. has become the first location in Michigan to top 300" for the winter. Tamarack had 65" of snow on the ground as of Fri. 3/1. Up top, there are more season snowfall totals from the U.P. Marquette is now 52.1" ahead of average season snowfall-to-date.
Other snow depth totals from Wed. AM in the U.P: 65" at Painesdale, 61" near Michigamme, 60" at Agate Bay, 59" at Deer Lake, 58" near Calumet and at Dollar Bay, 55" Champion and Clarksburg, 54" at Mohawk and Grand Marais, 52" at Kearsarge and Herman, 50" at Marquette (airport) and at the Michigan Tech ski trail, 49" Munising and Hancock, 48" Covington, Greenland, Big Bay and Bergland Dam,46" at Delaware. Houghton had 42" of snow on the ground, S.Ste Marie, Watton, Paulding, Three Lakes and Ishpeming had 41" of snow on the ground...40" at Watersmeet and Red Ridge, 39" at Paradise, 38" at Stambaugh, Jacobsville, Newberry and Keweenaw Bay, 37" at Harvey, 36" at Manistique, 35" at Ontonagon, 34" at Pelkie and downtown Houghton, 32" at Ironwood, Chatham, Drummond Island and Gladstone, 31" at Moran and Amasa, 29" at Garden Corners, 27" at Iron Mt., Norway, Green Garden and Rudyard, 26" at Detour Village and Rapid River, 25" at Escanaba. Tues. AM it was 31 below zero at Amasa in the U.P.
Some U.P. snowfall totals from the latest snowstorm: Tamarack 29.7", Three Lakes 28.5", 26.5" at Keweenaw Bay, 25.4" at Calumet and 25.3" at Hancock.
These are snowfall totals from late Wednesday. Fremont, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo are above average-to-date, while Muskegon and Holland are below average-to-date. When we've had lake-effect, it's been mostly with a strong west wind. That has blown the heavier lake-effect snow inland to the US 131 corridor instead of right at the lakeshore.
The cold pattern continues thru next week. Temperatures from Sunday (3/3) to Wednesday (3/6) will be 15-20 degrees colder than average.
Quick note...there is a lot of snow across N. Lower Michigan and the U.P. With the cold air hanging on...little of this will melt thru the first couple weeks of March. The potential is there for some signficant flooding if we were to get a sudden turnaround to warmer-than-average weather and rain...and as I've said before, there is also a chance we could set a record high water level on Lake Superior. Water from Lake Superior feeds down the St. Mary's River into Lakes Michigan/Huron and that will keep water levels in those lakes high through the summer. Here's of pics. on US 2 in the U.P. - some major roads hae been closed by drifts up to 10 ft. high.
How'd you like to be behind this truck...the warmest temp. in the U.S. on Tue. was 91 at Falcon Lake TX and the coldest was -36 at Kabetogama MN...heavy rain in Crete. Santa Rosa, California, has received 5.66” rain in 24 hours amid an atmospheric river-fueled storm, breaking the record for all-time wettest day since records began there in 1902. dozens of motorists in need of rescue across northern California. Record snowfall hammers Central Oregon; Biggest February snowstorm in 118 years. Caribou ME has had 37 mornings below zero this winter.
February has been a cold and snowy month in the West. The Los Angeles NWS sent out this tweet Tue. morning: "With only 3 days to go, this will likely be the first February on record for Downtown Los Angeles that the high temperature will not reach 70 degrees since records have been kept going back to 1877. (141 years). The average temp. in L.A. has had a day warmer than average since Jan. 30. The month is now 5.4° colder than average. It should be the coldest February in nearly 60 years. January was also cooler than average in Los Angeles.
Phoenix AZ is 6.3° colder than average for Feb. and they went from Feb. 3 to Feb. 25 without reaching 70°. Flagstaff AZ had 40" of snow from a single storm, including 35.9" in one day, beating their previous record single-day snowfall of 31.0" in 1915.
The pics. above are from www.lasvegasnow.com. Las Vegas had snowfall on 5 days in February. They went from Feb. 4 to 25 without reaching 60°. Palm Springs CA had their 3rd wettest day ever with 3.69" in one day. We haven't finished February and Palm Springs has also had more than their annual average rainfall.
Seattle has had 20.2" of snow in February. They are at the moment 6.9° colder than average for February and have not had a day warmer than 50° this month. Portland OR is 5.6° colder than average this month and they have recorded 6.4" of snow in February. They have only had 1 day above average this month.
Check this out from Squaw Valley/Alpine Ski Areas in CA: "We’ve officially broken our previous record for most snowfall in a month!(Current Feb total=286”) With a few more FEET forecast for this week, we’re excited to see just how much snow we can fit into the shortest month of the year."
Snowfall in the mountains has been extraordinary. Mammoth Mt. has had 198" of snow in February. Squaw Valley is all the way up to 537" for the winter. In Washington state, Mt. Baker has had 114" of snow this month. Snowbird in Utah is up to 440" of snow this winter.
Up north, Calgary, Alberta (Canada) is poised to have their coldest February in over 40 years. February will be the 2nd coldest February ever in Billings, Montana. 2nd coldest Feb. ever in Huron SD.
A Winter Weather Advisory continues until 3 pm north of a line from Holland to Lansing, including Ottawa, Kent, Ionia and Clinton Counties for 1-4" of snow. There will be more snow north of G.R. than there will be south of G.R. This storm will bring a swath of snow from Montana to Massachusetts, Another storm will bring more accumulating snow over the weekend. Then it gets real cold for early next week. High temperatures from Sun. thru Wed. could be up to 20 deg. colder than average.
Here's the counties (in purple) included in the Advisory:
Above is the graphic on the snow tonight and Wed. from the G.R. NWS
Here's season snowfall-to-date for Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Kalamazoo.
Also: Heavy snow in Gaylord MI. Big waves on Lake Ontario. Historic Bridge collapses. Extreme wind and spray in Croatia. More pics. of the strong wind/spray. Thunderstorms today along the Gulf of Mexico into Florida. Record snowfall at S. Ste. Marie. Very cold weather next week in Chicago (and here). Drone video of flooding in AL. Heavy snow in Oregon. It's windy! Avalanche! This is hail, not snow. Frozen bubbles. Fallstreak hole in Germany. Lenticular clouds. California sunrise. Strongest Feb. tropical cyclone on record. Big waves in Malta. Flooding in Tennessee. Ice Tsunami on Lake Erie. Damage in Malta from strong wind.
Winds on the summit of Mount Washington, NH
@MWObs gusted to 171 mph Monday evening. This sets a new record for the highest February wind gust. The all time record highest wind gust on Mount Washington is 231 mph, recorded April 12, 1934
The Great Lakes has a 56.4% ice cover. The ice cover on Lake Michigan is at 31.2%
This was the Muskegon Channel Monday PM. The strong west wind pushed ice up against the Michigan shore. We had lake-effect clouds and a few lake-effect flurries.
On the other side of the lake...the sun was shining. You can see quite a bit of ice in this picture taken from the Chicago water intake (Harrison-Dever Crib).
This is a record of ice on Lake Michigan this winter...it started out below normal with the mild air in December and much of January. Then the cold pattern came and you can see how the lake ice increased rapidly. The ice extent goes up and down as the wind breaks up the ice and then it reforms on cold, calm nights.
Here's U.S. snow cover...lots in the west, northern Plains, northern Lakes and much of New England. Note the edge of the snow cover is close to the Michigan Indiana border. There's a LOT of snow on the ground in the U.P.
Look at the report Monday AM of a snow depth of 71" (nearly 6 feet) from 5 miles WNW of the town of Michigamme in the U.P. Painesdale had 65" on the ground, 60" at Champion, 56" at Grand Marais and 47" at Marquette (airport) and at Munising.
Grand Rapids is up to 66.0" for the winter. That's 2.5" above average-to-date. Kalamazoo is up to 69.2" for the season and that's 3.4" above average-to-date. Marquette has had 202.3" of snow this winter and that's 53.8" above average-to-date. Marquette has had 7 FEET of snowfall just in the month of February.
Ionia Public Schools has had 19 "snow days" this winter.
This is snowfall from the latest storm...very heavy snow in the higher elevations of Arizona northeast to Upper Michigan. Up to 26" of new snow fell in the U.P. Flagstaff, Arizona had 40" of snow from this storm, including an all-time daily record of 35.9".
Look at the snow in Gaylord, Michigan.
Above pic. is the Negaunee Schools bus garage in Marquette Co., Michigan. The roof collapsed under the weight of heavy snow over the weekend. There were 16 buses inside the garage when the collapse occurred. The collapsed triggered the sprinkler system and that led to a substantial accumulation of ice. This was one of several buildings that had a roof collapse due to heavy snow in Marquette Co.
Another collapse occurred at Shunk Furniture. The force of the collapse blew out windows in the building. "The first buildings to be concerned about are the pole buildings, the large-span pole buildings with truss spacings of eight foot or greater," said Gary Niemela, Owner of Skandia Truss."Those are usually the ones to be concerned about. Probably want to take the heavy snowload off. If the snowload is three to four feet deep on those, you're going to want to do something," said Niemela.
Pic. is clearing snow today in Kalkaska Co. Marquette has 87.3" of snow this month and they are up to 202.3" for the season. That's 53.8" above average-to-date. They report 51" of snow on the ground as of Monday evening (25th). Other season snowfall totals in the U.P. as of Monday AM: Tamarack 287.8", Delaware 242", Painesdale 236", Mohawk 231", Herman 197.9", Dollar Bay 194.9", Newberry 188.4", Munising 175.6", Greenland 170.7", Grand Marais 153.8".
MEDIA ENCLOSURE: https://media.woodtv.com/nxs-woodtv-media-us-east-1/photo/2019/02/25/Roof%20collapse%20Negaunee%20bus%20garage%2016%20buses%20inside%202%2024%2019_1551150093704.jpg_74903188_ver1.0_640_360.jpg
The pattern continues to look quite cold for the first two weeks of March. The Wed. PM run of the European model gave G.R. a low temp. of 1 Monday AM, 5 Tuesday AM, 3 Wednesday AM and 1 Thursday AM. BTW, the coldest temperature Grand Rapids has ever had in the month of March was -13 on March 8, 1943). It's not impossible, given the pattern, but we'd have to have clear skies, a calm wind and fresh snow on the ground with some pretty cold air to start with that we could get below zero. As I write this at 11 pm on 2/27, the temp. is -17 at Grayling.
The map above is the 8-14 Day Temperature Outlook for March 7-13 and it looks real cold...and not just for us. That deep blue color means they are pretty sure that relatively cold air will cover much of the country, including the Great Lakes.
Here's the precipitation forecast. Much of the country should see above average precipitation and if it's cold, much of that would be snow.
The high temp. of 23 on Monday in Gr. Rapids occurred at 12:01 am. The average high is now 37. We had 237 Closings Monday AM including G.R., Kalamazoo and Kentwood Public Schools. Winds have really died down, fortunately. Only a couple schools were closed on Tuesday and most all schools should be open the rest of this week.
Also: Check out the waves on Lake Ontario this AM. Big Mediterranean waves. Category 5 Typhoon Wutip in the Western Pacific. This is the first Category 5 hurricane we've been able to observe in the month of February. No threat to land at this time. A "waterfall" thunderstorm. Blizzard in Turkey. Turkey in a blizzard. Huge waves in Malta. It's reached 20.3 °C at Trawsgoed, Ceredigion making it the UK's warmest February day on record.
Bottom line...it stays colder than average for at least the first half of March.
Above and below are the warning/advisory maps for Sunday...about as colorful a map as you'll ever see. This storm system affected a huge part of the country...from the record snowfall in Arizona and S. Nevada to the tornadoes in Mississippi to the heavy snow in the Upper Midwest.
Here's regional radar:
Severe thunderstorms moved through the South, producing tornadoes, wind damage and hail.
7:45 pm update: A strong tornado did significant damage at Columbus, Mississipi. Radar view of the Columbus Tornado. More video of the twister. There was at least 1 fatality and 6 injuries. The Community Center was destroyed. The Intermediate School and multiple businesses sustained damage, which was heaviest east of downtown. Columbus is near the Alabama border, south of Tupelo. Another tornado struck Burnsville.
The Columbus MS tornado was rated EF3 with peak winds of 137 mph. The storm was responsible for one death and 11 injuries. Damage is well into the millions of dollars. Columbus is about the same size town as Mt. Pleasant or Walker MI.
I counted 4 tornadoes in MS and one in AL. There were 26 reports of wind damage and several reports of large hail. Most of the damage has been in NE MIssissippi.
Lower Michigan was in the (light green) General Thunderstorm Outlook for this PM and overnight and we did have a scattering of thundershowers move throuth.
Very heavy rain has caused significant flooding in the South - particularly in TN and AL - up to a foot of rain fell. A few rivers were at record levels. There have been dozens of roads washed out. Here's SE Regional Radar:
From the Flagstaff AZ National Weather Service: "Flagstaff Airport recorded 35.9" of snow on Thursday! This eclipses the previous all-time daily record for Flagstaff of 31.0" (set in 1915)!
This is the snow in Payson AZ where nearly two feet was reported. Other totals: 19" Bellemont, 17.5" Iron Springs. Prescott had a high temperture of just 31°. Las Vegas NV also had a record low maximum for the day at 44°, Phoenix had 0.82" of rain.
Las Vegas also set a record for most snow ever on any Feb. 21. It was only 0.5", but this is the first time they have had any snow on any Feb. 21. I-15 was closed in S. Nevada. Southbound SR 87 in N. Arizona was closed at SR 188; a snowplow and other vehicles were stuck in the snow, blocking the road. U.S. 95 was closed at Searchlight NV. Golf course closed. This is I-40 in AZ. Video of snow in Malibu CA.
Schools were closed in Las Vegas. Here's a Las Vegas snowman.
Tow trucks were busy with slideoffs and accidents. Snowfall rates were as much as 3" in an hour. Snow also fell in the Los Angeles area. Flurries were reported in Malibu, Pasadena, Northridge, Thousand Oaks, W. Hollywood and San Bernadin. Here's video of the snow at the NWS Office. Here's snow in the Santa Monica Mountains.
There were also thunderstorms in the L.A. and San Diego areas. Check out the lightning (29 sec. into the video) that hits a tree and the tree falls down. Here's snow in San Diego County. And...south of the border...7" of snow in 3 hours in N. Mexico. Snow video from the LA PD.
And...wave clouds in Sweden. Highest temp. in the U.S. Thu. was 90 at Cecil AFB near Jacksonville and at Naples FL, coldest was -31 at Daniel WY. The 90 deg. in Naples was the earliest they have reached 90 degrees (records back to 1942). Wiser Lake sunrise over the mountains. Sunrise at the arch.
Finally, new February snowfall records for Eau Claire WI and for St. Cloud and Minneapolis MN:
This is the Lake Michigan satellite image from Thursday PM. It was clear over much of E. Wisconsin and SW Michigan south of G.R. There were some clouds north of G.R. You can see the clouds there forming "lines" or "streets". You can see the ice in Lake Michigan (which the wind should break up some on Sunday.
The "tornado scar" northwest of Green Bay is still visible after 11 1/2 years. The tornado struck on June 7, 2007. It was up to half a mile wide and on the ground continuously for over 40 miles. This was one of 5 tornadoes that struck NE Wisconsin that day.
Here's the Lake Superior satellite picture. Lots of ice in Lake Superior. As Superior becomes more ice covered it will cut down on the lake-effect snow, the lake-effect clouds and the lake-effect warming.
This is the Lake Erie satellite pic. from Thu. The ground is bare around much of the lake, with lots of ice in the lake. Lake Erie is the Great Lake that is farthest south, but often gets the highest percentate of ice cover. That's because it's a relatively shallow lake. The maximum depth of Lake Erie is 210 ft. and the average depth is 62 ft. By contrast, the maximum depth of Lake Superior is 1,333 ft. and the average depth is 483 ft. The maximum depth of Torch Lake is 285 ft. and the average depth of the lake is 111 ft.
Strong Winds gusting to +50 mph have the potential to down tree limbs and power lines Sunday and Sunday night.
Here's a look at some forecast peak wind gusts for Sunday from the European weather model.
We had a high of 39 on Friday with 100% sunshine. This Saturday will start cool and dry early Saturday. Showers will move up from the south/southwest during the midday-PM. The rain will continue into Saturday night and early Sunday with over 1/2" possible. Roads will be wet as temps. climb briefly to 45°-50° during the night. There could be a rumble of thunder. The rain may impact area rivers, which still have a good deal of ice in places. We continue to monitor the ice jam near Portland.
The wind will start to ramp up Sun. AM and Sun. PM we'll likely see a sustained (steady) wind of 30 mph with gusts to +50 mph. The strong winds will likely down tree limbs and possibly even whole trees. Wires may also come down.
Besides the wind, rain showers early Sunday will change to snow or snow showers with the potential for at least liight accumulations as temperatures fall rapidly from the 40s early to the upper 20s in the PM. There may be some blowing and drifting snow and roads will become slippery.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch - starting at 7 am on Sunday. This starts early Sunday AM. Here the primary impact will be wind, but we'll also see the rain change to snow or snow showers. There may be enough snow to cause some blowing and drifting during the PM. As temperatures cool below freezing, we'll see slick spots develop on area roads, sidewalks and driveways. In the counties in yellow on the map, it's a High Wind Watch. Here the threat will be pretty much just high winds. Later today, these watches will likely be upgraded to warnings (or advisories).
In advance of the storm, secure anything that might blow around...from garbage bins to ice shanties on the lakes. Get any items you might need if the power goes out.
This storm will impact the entire state with strong wind and more snow as you head north. Winds gradually diminish a bit on Monday, but a wintry pattern with cooler than average temperatures and occasional periods of snow will continue into at least the first week of March.
Here's a look back at some of the famous big wind events in West Michigan. March 8 was an extremely windy day. The average wind speed that day in G.R. was 28.2 mph. We had a peak gust of 64 mph at the Ford Airport. The wind that day tore the roof off a building in Clarksville. It was an unusual clear day with 100% sunshine. The Armistice Day Storm on Nov. 11, 1940 produced a wind gust to 80 mph in Grand Rapids. Several hundred trees were toppled within the city limits. 145 deaths were blamed on that storm in the MIdwest. Finally, the famous Derecho line of thunderstorms that hit in the early morning aroiund 5 am produced winds estimated as high as 130 mph in Spring Lake and Walker.
This is the Severe Weather Outlook Map from the Storm Prediction Center for Saturday and Saturday night. All of Lower Michigan and the SE Upper Peninsula are in the (light green) General Thunderstorm Outlook. For Lower Michigan this is mainly for Saturday evening/early night. Farther south, there is an Enhanced Outlook (in orange), surrounded by a Slight Risk - and that is surrounded by a Marginal Outlook that comes as far north as S. Illinois and S. Indiana.
Above is the Severe Weather Outlook Map for this Sat. PM/night from the Storm Prediction Center. See separate story (thread) on the significant severe weather threat in the South.
There is also a high risk of heavy rain and flooding south of the Ohio River. Nances Creek AL had 6.82" of rain from this last storm. 6.41" at Oxford AL.
Also - Speaking of high winds...this turbine "exploded" in the strong wind - I've seen that happen before. Note the horses seemed to know what was coming and ran out of the way.
Once again, it's been snowing in Las Vegas. Assuming it's snowed both before and after midnight, today (21st) is the 5th day this month that Las Vegas has had at least a trace of snow. Wed. AM - N. Las Vegas set a record low temperature of 30° and the high temperature Wed. PM of 47° was 16° below the average high of 63°. In fact, they have not reached 60° since Feb. 3. There has been both a Winter Storm Warning and a Winter Weather Advisory in effect.
You can see the snow falling in this traffic cam. The Nevada DOT sent out this message:
"HWY 160 BETWEEN LAS VEGAS AND PAHRUMP HAS BEEN CLOSED DUE TO HEAVY SNOWFALL. THERE ARE MULTIPLE VEHICLES OFF THE ROADWAY. NO ESTIMATION OF WHEN THE ROAD WILL REOPEN."
The pic. above is from Summerlin NV, just west of Las Vegas. Echo Canyon near Mt. Charleston reported 10.5" of snow in 10 hours. Summerlin had 5" and it was still snowing. Pic. from lasvegasnow.com. More pics. at link. The snow is causing major delays at Las Vegas Airports.
In Arizona, the Grand Canyon airport dipped to -13° Wed. AM - Tucson fell to 29° and the Deer Harbor Airport in Phoenix bottomed out at 30°.
Florida was the warmest state - by far: 89° at Winter Haven, Miles City and Brookville FL...the coldest in the U.S. was -32° near Scobey MT. A large part of the U.S. had precipitation on Wed. including 2.88" at Paducah KY, 2.18" at Chattanooga TN, 2.17" at Tupelo MS and 2.01" at Evansville IN.
Also: Snow in Saudi Arabia. I've seen these falls...not nearly as much water when I was there. Light pillars in S. Dakota. It get's REALLY cold here during the first week of March. Windy in the British Isles. Thundersnow in Columbus OH. The first cherry blossoms in D.C. - too early - they'll get a frost/freeze. Up to 10" of snow in Minnesota. Birmingham AL has had 20.42" of precipitation since Dec. 1 - that's 7.95" above average. Tropical Cyclone Oma heading toward NE Australia. Record corn crop in the Ukraine last summer. Heavy snow in Pennsylvania.
There's a lot of snow on the ground in the U.S. As of early Wed. morning, 57.5% of the contiguous U.S. had snow on the ground. Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Kalamazoo had 5" of snow on the ground. The greatest snow cover in Lower Michigan is 33" at Charlevoix. The U.P. has had a lot of snow. Here's some season snow totals from Wed. AM: Tamarack 264.5", Mt. Bohemia 230", Delaware 230", Mohawk 221.3", Marquette 179.3" (that's 37" above average-to-date and they have 46" of snow on the ground). Other U.P. snow depths: 50" Clarksburg and Champion, 49" Painesdale and Michigamme, 46" Grand Marais.
The West has had a lot of snow this winter. Check out this comparison of this year and last year in the Sierra Nevada Mts. of CA:
Mammoth Mountain reports a season snowfall of 364" at the Lodge - with 12 1/2 feet of snow on the ground. The mountaintop has had 548" this winter..and they have a snow depth of 225" (18 3/4 feet). This is the 2nd snowiest winter in the last 8 years and they have a lot more winter to go. They often get snow into early May. Mammoth is 102" ahead of their season total for last winter. They have also had 190" of snow just this month. Here's some more season snowfall totals from ski areas out West:
Here's a map from the NWS that snows season snowfall-to-date:
This map shows season snowfall up to 2/19 over the U.S. The only one of the 50 states that has not seen a snowflake is Florida. You can see the higher totals downwind from the Great Lakes and the higher totals in the Western Mountains.
Also: Old film of driving through Grand Haven in the 1930s. Yet another article that talks about carbon dioxide - a colorless gas - and showing pictures belching smokestacks that are NOT showing carbon dioxide (steam is water vapor and white - dissipates and disappears)...and no, we won't have crocodiles in the Arctic.
Much of the country is expected to have colder-than-average tempertures for the end of February and the start of March. Only Alaska and the Southeast U.S. is expected to have warmer than average weather.
Here's high temperatures from Tue. Much of the country was cooler than average, with the warm air concentrated in the SE - especially Florida. Naples and Winter Haven, Florida reached 90 degrees for the warmest temperatures in the U.S. The coldest spot in the U.S. was 32 below zero at Shelby, Montana. The coldest spot in Alaska was a relatively warm -13 at Point Lay. Some spots in Alaska have a lot of snow on the ground: Valdez 59", Bettles 46", Nome 44".
Little Rock had 1.1" of rain with a high of 37, Waco had 1.29" of rain and a high of 41.
We're keeping an eye on a developing typhoon (called "Wutip") in the western Pacific.
If (we don't know for sure yet) this storm becomes a recurring typhoon (recurving to the northeast as it passes Japan), it will help to establish the mean trough in the Central-Eastern U.S. and reinforce a cool pattern for the first week or two of March.
Here's low temperatures Tue. AM - Clouds kept the low at 22 at Benton Harbor...Alma dipped to -8 and Leota, north of Mt. Pleasant in Clare Co. reached a chilly -18. So that was a 40-degree difference over what looks like less than 150 miles in a straight line.
Also - There may be something wrong with the Kalamazoo (airport) thermometer, which rose up to 38 overnight when everyone else was in the 20s. Heavy snow in the Cascade Mtns. of Washington state...a cold rain and temps. in the mid-upper 30s at Seattle and lower elevations. Severe t-storm in Brazil.
The Winter Weather Advisory continues until 10 pm Temperatures are still a touch below freezing from Big Rapids to the north and isolated slicks spots are possible.
Precipitation has been mixed and light. We've had just 0.05" in Grand Rapids, 0.04" in Muskegon and Holland and just 0.01" in Kalamazoo and Battle Creek. Here's local radar:
and regional radar:
Bill Marino is a meteorologist and climatologist-extraordinaire for the Grand Rapids National Weather Service. He sent this note and series of slides out Tue. evening and I thought it was worth copying to the blog. He sent this note about weather observatioins Tue. AM in Grandville:
"I noticed this morning that MI-KN-93 (0.6 W of Grandville) had a snow depth of 6.5" yet only 1.2 miles from there MI-KN-14 (1.3 SW of Grandville) had 11.0" on the ground. With the only 1.2-mile difference in location I questioned which snow depth was correct if any. As it turned out, both were correct.