FeedBurner makes it easy to receive content updates in My Yahoo!, Newsgator, Bloglines, and other news readers.
Check out the video of a severe thunderstorm wind pushing a porta-potty down the highy. This is in Uruguay, South America in January 2017 (mid summer there in January). This is a good example of how objects flying through the air become very dangerous in the strong winds of a tornado or severe thunderstorm. In Physics, force = mass x velocity x velocity. So, if you create a lot of velocity, you create a lot of force. That's important in many sports...club speed at impact of a golf ball...bat speed at impact with a baseball...player running with a football has more force that a heavier, stationary player trying to tackle him.
This map shows the Severe Weather Outlook Area from the Storm Prediction Center for Sat. PM/night. First, they don't expect t-storms over much of Michigan. I think there is a chance of t-storm this PM along and east of I-69. No severe weather is expected. We'll have a good amount of low clouds and while we continue a chance of a shower, much of the afternoon will be dry for most of West Michgian. Showers are possible tonight, best chance north along US 10. We'll also have an outside chance of a shower Sunday, but again, most or all of the day will be dry. Monday will be partly to mostly sunny and dry with a chance of showers and storms again on Tuesday. Long-range models still take temps. to the upper 80s to low 90s late next week.
This is the South Haven Channel/Beach at 12:14 pm. There are some people on the breakwater (some fishing) and on the beach, but not many people in the water today. The air temp. at the lighthouse at 12:14 was just 63.3 and the water temp. was 60 at Saugatuck and 58 at Grand Haven. Inland, Reeds Lake in East Grand Rapids reports a water temp. of 74.
Last weekend, very heavy rain fell in NW Wisconsin and western Upper Michigan. An unbelievable 15" of rain fell in 72 hours at Bayfield WI and Houghton MI had nearly 7" of rain in 24-hours. Severe flooding washed out roads and flooded basements. A State of Emergency was declared and the region was declared a disaster area. Much of the soil in the area is red clay and the floodwaters washed a lot of that red clay into Lake Superior. You can see that in the satellite picture above. The water level of Lake Superior rose 1" last week. That doesn't sound like a lot, but each inch rise in level on Lake Superior is 550 billion gallons. With approximately 318 million people in the U.S. - a one inch rise in the level of Lake Superior would be 1,729.56 gallons of water per person. An average shower uses 17.2 gallons of water. So, there was enough water added to Lake Supeior last week for every person in America to take a shower a day for 100 days.
Today may be the 5th day in a row with less than 25% of possible sunshine in Grand Rapids. The last four days have had 22%, 5%, 0% and 17% of possible sunshine in G.R. Five of the last 6 days have had less than 25% sun (tough week to be on vacation) and 8 days this month have had less than 25% sun (3 of them with 0% sunshine).
We are currently at 48.2% of possible sunshine for the month - average is 63%. The last time we had a June with less than 50% sunshine was 2001 and before that 1989. In 2001, it stayed cloudier than average fhe rest of the year, but the following winter was quite warm. In 1989, winter started early, with nearly 6" of snowfall on Oct. 19-20, the 3rd snowiest November, then December was very cold, the coldest month of the winter. We turned much warmer, relative to average for Jan. and Feb. of 1990.
By my count, Grand Rapids has only had 6 Junes in the last 114 years with less than 50% sunshine. The cloudiest June was 1982 at 36% (that was followed by a very warm winter with a strong El Nino). Our sunniest June was 85% in 1963. That year it stayed warmer than average thru November, then flipped to very cold in December.
On the positive side...less chance of getting sunburned and I'm told the fish have been biting. Even if the weather isn't...stay sunny!
Here's some rainfall totals from Noon to evening Thursday from Berrien Co. plus South Bend. The 4.8" total was from Noon to about 6:30 pm and it was still raining, so I'll guess they hit 5". There were reports of standing water on roads nearly a foot deep, ponding of water in fields and some basements flooding.
This is Storm Total Rainfall from the NEXRAD radar at Grand Rapids (NWS) and you can see where the heaviest rain fell in Berrien and far SW Cass Counties in MI and across N. Indiana.
And here's Storm Total Rainfall from Storm Track Live. Heavy rains this week have hit the Houghton Area in the U.P., near Clinton, Wisconsin and near Rockford Illnois. At least 4 deaths have been blamed on the storms this week (none from tornadoes). Berrien County is likely to see more showers, a few with heavy rain, today and tomorrow.
The top map shows the temperature difference from average for March 1 - April 30. Grand Rapids was 1.3 deg. colder than average in March and 7.9 deg. colder than average in April. It was the 4th coldest April ever in G.R. We had only 3 days all month that were warmer than average. You can see that the core of the cold air was over the Upper Midwest, Great Lakes and Northeast. Now, here's the map showing the temperature difference from average for May 1 - June 18:
Most of the U.S. was warmer than average with the core of warmest air from the High Plains to Chicago. Grand Rapids went from 3 deg. cooler than average on 4/30 to 17 deg. warmer than average on 5/1. We went on to record 25 days in May that were warmer than average in Grand Rapids; While we are cool now, it's going to get hot and humid again for the end of next week and that heat should be around more often than not for the first 10 days of July. Then we'll go back to more average temperatures. Here's the latest 8-14 day outlook for 6/29 to 7/5:
It's going to be a hot end of June and start to July for much of the country east of the Rockies and this may very well be the hottest 10-day or 2-week period of the year. Like I said the first half of July may be a couple degrees warmer than the 2nd half of July. There will be plenty of days here to enjoy the beach, the pool or the waterpark.
This map shows the number of severe thunderstorm warnings issued by each National Weather Service Office. The Grand Rapids National Weather Service has issued only 10 warnings total in 2018. The G.R. Office covers 23 counties from Mason Co. down to Van Buren Co. east to Clare Co. and Jackson Co.
This is a map showing severe weather reports in Michigan from Jan. 1 to June 20. Wind damage reports are blue dots and hail reports (1" in diameter or greater) are in green. You know what's really weird about this map? Look at Kent County. That one blue dot in Kent Co. is from ME! That's when a big limb came off the silver maple tree in my front yard and took out the wires coming into my house. It miraculously missed my house, my neighbor's house and his car. Out of all the 872 square miles of Kent County, the one place that gets wind damage is the meteorologist's front yard!
Here's storm reports for Weds. June 20 from the Storm Prediction Center. Seven relatively small tornadoes were reported with no significant damage. It looks like 2 or 3 of these are duplicate sightings of the same tornado. There were just 3 minimum-criteria (1" in diameter) hail reports. The wind reports were mainly just a few trees down. There was a 78 mph gust recorded at Pauline, KS.
This is the latest 8-14 Day Outlook from the Climate Prediction Center. It shows a high probability of warmer than average temperatures over the Great Lakes and Northeast for late June and early July. This forecast extends to the Fourth of July. Note that that big "A" for above average is stamped out right over Lower Michigan. So, plan on some hot (and humid) days in late June and early July. Relative to average, there is a decent chance that the first part of July will be a touch warmer than the last 2 weeks of July.
The Summer Solstice occurs at 6:07 am this Thursday June 21, 2018. At that minute, the sun is as far north as it gets in it's yearly journey. It's the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere with 15 hours and 21 minutes of daylight in Grand Rapids. That's 6 hours and 21 minutes more daylight than we see at the Winter Solstice just a few days before Christmas.
This picture shows the sun at midnight local time in Alaska (from J. Davies and USGS). North of the Arctic Circle (66.56° north latitude) the sun is above the horizon 24 hours a day. At Barrow, Alaska the next sunset will be August 2. Check out the webcam and cool daily image movies from Barrow. The sun now rises well north of due east and sets well north of due west. You can see twilight to the northwest at 11 PM if you're in a dark spot and the twilight at 11 PM is centered a little more to the north than to the west. Today (Thu.), the sun is directly overhead at solar noon over a line we call the Tropic of Cancer, which is about 72 miles south of Key West, Florida, but north of the main Hawaiian Islands. In Grand Rapids the sun rises to an angle of 70.5 degrees above the southern horizon, with the highest sun at 1:44 PM. Temperature lags the position of the sun by about four weeks...so the highest average temperatures in Michigan occur around July 20. We've already had 5 days of 90-degree heat in G.R. in late spring.
This is the time of year to use your sunscreen (pic. from Moody AFB believe it or not). Also, check this out. Where Mexican Federal Highways cross the Tropic of Cancer, the position is marked annual with absolute precision and marked to show the annual drift (in the picture between 2005 and 2010).
Since the Solstice is very close to solar noon - check the sun - today it's as high in the sky as you'll see it in W. Michigan.
This is the rainfall forecast for the next five days from the Weather Prediction Center. It's going to be dry in the U.P., which will aid the clean-up effort after the flooding rains of last Sunday. The Southwest U.S. will be dry.
This map shows the "Corn Belt", which stretches from Nebraska east to Ohio. Note that ample rain is expected in the Corn Belt. So far, this has been a good year for agriculture...starting with an awesome maple syrup season here in Michigan. Maple syrup production this year in Michigan was approximately 125,000 gallons. That's roughly 14% higher than 2017 and 39% higher than 2016. The latest Michigan crop reprort showed 69% of corn rated good-excellent, 68% of soybeans and 78% of winter wheat. Fruit crops were progressing nicely with strawberry-picking in full swing. Harvest will begin soon for sweet cherries.
The map above shows the average number of tornadoes by state during the month of June for the years 1989 through 2013. Michigan averages 4 tornadoes in the month of June, the most of any month. The state averages 16 tornadoes a year. Most are relatively small. Michigan hasn't had an EF4 (or 5) tornado since 1977, a long time.
The worst tornado ever in Michigan occurred in June. It was June 8, 1953 that a monster F5 tornado produced incredible damage along a 27-mile path. There were 116 fatalities (113 in Beecher) and 844 others were injured. Hospitals as far away as Saginaw treated victims. 1953 was a tragic year for tornadoes, with a U.S. death total of 519.
Texas leads the way with an average of 24 tornadoes in June. It's a big state. In summer, tornado activity shifts north and west...from E. Colorado and Kansas north to the Dakotas and east to Illinois. Florida gets a number of small tornadoes in early summer, some along ocean breeze thunderstorms. Note that Mississippi and Alabama average only one tornado in June. Their biggest months for tornadoes are March and April.
Up top you see two pictures from the Terra/Aqua satellite, which orbits the Earth at an altitude of 438 miles. The first picture was taken before the heavy rain and flooding that occurred in the Western and Central U.P. early Sunday AM (the 17th). The second pic. was taken the day after the flooding (about 30-35 hours after the heavy rain). The heaviest rain accumulated 6" in just 6 hours time.
Much of the soil of the western U.P. is a reddish clay and the rivers washed thousands of tons of that clay into Lake Superior. You can see "rivers" reddish water spreading out near the show and extending miles offshore. The water level of Lake Superior is 4" above the average June level. The water from Lake Superior empties through the St. Mary's River into Lakes Michigan and Huron. The flow on the St. Mary's River is well above average flow and will help to continue to keep the water level of the other Great Lakes above average through the summer and into the fall.
MEDIA ENCLOSURE: https://media.woodtv.com/nxs-woodtv-media-us-east-1/photo/2018/06/19/Marquette%20National%20Weather%20Service%20Twitter%20Satellite%20pics.%20of%20flooding_1529461239394.jpg_46039418_ver1.0_640_360.jpg
I call it the Maranda Effect - there always seems to be great weather for Maranda's Park Parties! This week it looks like Thursday will be the best day of the week weatherwise. We'll have partly to mostly sunny skies, a gentle breeze, a high temperature near 80°, and relatively low humidity.
Thursday is also the Summer Solstice - the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and the day when the sun climbs highest in the sky. So, bring your sunscreen to Lamar Park and join the fun. Pretty much everything is free at Park Parties...and there are lots of prizes and giveaways. It's from 11 am (free lunches for the kids) to 2 pm.
The map above shows high temperatures Monday PM. Kalamazoo reached 94° for the 2nd day in a row. Grand Rapids topped out at 90°, the 5th time G.R. has reached 90° this summer. It was a little cooler as you go north. The high was just 80° in Big Rapids.
This is a rare sight for mid-June. With showers and t-showers moving in, everyone left and the beach was deserted...good thing when there is lightning around. The showers and storms fizzled quite a bit as they got to shore. It was cooler at the beaches. While Grand Rapids reached 90 degrees, the high was just 71.4° at the Muskegon Beach and while Kalamazoo was 94°, the South Haven Beach had a high temp. of 78.3°.
The 90 degrees in G.R. was warmer than Daytona Beach (87), New Orleans (83), Houston (84) and every location in Hawaii. Warm places: 97° at Albany, 96° in Muncie IN and 100° in Russell KS. Cool places: 57° Rapid City SD, 62° Chadron NE, 58° Great Falls MT, 45° Lake Yellowstone WY (Iwhere they had over an inch of rain). \
The warmest Barrow has been this month has been 37°. Fourteen of the first 18 days of the month have been cooler than average and they have had at least a trace of snow on 9 of the first 18 days of the month..so there weather for the first half of June hasn't been too different from what the first half of April was like here in West Michigan.
Here's snow and ice cover on 6 18 18. Note that most of Hudson Bay is still ice covered and there is still snow on the ground in N. Quebec and N Labrador, where they have had an unusually cold spring. The ice is almost all off Great Slave Lake, but Great Bear Lake is still ice covered (some big fish in that lake if you're up for some cool weather fishing and you wait until sometime in July when the ice goes out).
The pic. is twilight at the South Haven Channel. The longest days of the year occur this coming week, from the 18th through the 24th. The longest day is the Summer Solstice, which is June 21st at 6:07 am. Since sunrise is at 6:03 am - by a fraction of a second - this is the earliest sunrise you may experience in your lifetime.
Another pic. of the S. Haven sunset...with the ship turning into the channel and a nice group of people at the lighthouse that were watching the sunset.
This map shows high temperatures for Sunday 6 17 18. The readings at the lakeshore are airport high temperatures. At the lake, the high temperature at the Muskegon beach was 76.8°. The high temperature at the South Haven beach rose to 83.7° when the wind went south. The South Haven buoy had a high temp. of 76.3° at 8:30 pm and the Port Sheldon buoy had a high of 73.2° at 7:50 pm. The south mid-Lake Michigan buoy had a high temp. of 68.0° at 4:50 pm...and...get this...the north mid-Lake Michigan buoy had a high temp. of just 58.8° and that was at 11:50 pm, just before midnight. Traverse City had a high of 95° and the buoy reached only 58.8°. Quite a difference.
Actual air high temperatures Sunday: 96° Alpena (daily record) and Detroit, 95° Traverse City, Pontiac, Saginaw, 94° Ionia, Jackson, Kalamazoo, 93° Marshall, Battle Creek, Lansing, Coldwater, Benton Harbor and Charlotte, 92° Grand Rapids, Holland, S. Haven and Sturgis, 91° Big Rapids, Alma, Cadillac, Three Rivers, Houghton Lake and Hillsdale, 90° Fremont, 89° Muskegon Airport, 87° Manistee Airport, 86° Ludington Airport, 77° Mackinac Island.
Highest heat index Sunday: 100° Grand Rapids, 99° Kalamazoo and Battle Creek, 98° Fremont, Holland and Lansing, 97° Ionia and Big Rapids.
Here's high temperatures from Sunday. The 92° in G.R. was warmer than Atlanta, New Orleans, Houston, El Paso and Monterrey, Mexico. The high temperature of 96° in Alpena and Detroit was only 5 degrees lower than the U.S. highest temperature of 101° at Death Valley, California. The lowest temp. in the 48 contiguous U.S. states was 27° - also in California at Tuolumne Valley.
Up top is the Severe Weather Outlook Map from the Storm Prediction Center for this Wednesday 6 20. Note that the thunderstorms for the most part stay south of the Great Lakes. There is nothing more than a Marginal or Low Risk for severe storms today (and tomorrow). The Marginal Risk Area runs from N. Texas up to Iowa and east to Virginia and North Carolina. There is also an interesting Marginal Risk Area in Oregon
This is the Thursday (6/21) Severe Risk Map for Tuesday/Tuesday Night. Again, no storms in the Great Lakes or Northeast. There are 3 separate Marginal Risk Areas...one from Illinois south to northern Louisiana, another in NE New Mexico and a third in Montana into Yellowstone National Park.
This map shows severe weather reports from Tuesday. Severe weaether was mainly in NE Colorado east into NW Kansas and far S Nebraska and in Illinois, with a couple of wind damage reports in Indiana and West Virginia. There were 5 relatively small tornadoes - no injuries or significant damage, though some storms did produce hail up to 3" in diameter. A wind gust to 81 mph was recorded at St. Francis, Kansas.
Also: Waterspout near Messina, Italy. Another view of the waterspout. Flash flooding pushes cars downt he street in S. Italy. Containment of the
#BadgerCreekFire near the Colorado-Wyoming border is up to 30 percent. Hay devil in northern France. How the sports industry is limiting plastic pollution. Record snowfall in Australia. Lightning lights up cumulonimbus cloud in Croatia. The earliest sunrise and latest sunset of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Albuquerque, New Mexico, received more rain on Saturday (0.83") than what typically falls during all of June (0.66"). Shelf cloud in Barry Co. Michigan. Wind turbine catches fire. Lightning streaks across the Chicago skyline. Storm rolling into Muskegon. Storm heading into the Holland/S. Haven area Sat. AM. He's referring to the backwards "C" of cold water temps. in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Cool and wet pattern for SE Texas. More incredible flowing lava from the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii. It's World Sea Turtle Weekend. Twin waterspouts in Greece. Rainbow from Niagara Falls. Ontario ends carbon tax. Six-foot snowbanks in Labrador in mid-June! Phil Mickelson scores a 10 on a single hole! They only got a trace of rain, but the dewpoint in Phoenix AZ reached 69...moisture from the remnants of Hurricane "Bud". Part of Tucson AZ had 1.5" of rain. Tropical Atlantic sea surface temps (SSTs) (10-20°N, 60-20°W) remain at record cold levels (since 1982) for mid-June. About 0.2°C colder than prior coldest (1985) and nearly 1.7°C cooler than last year at this time. Colder SSTs typically mean quieter Atlantic #hurricane seasons. Waterspout in Croatia. Lightning hits Lake Michigan. KA-BOOM! Bald eagle in Caledonia. Long shadow from a tall storm. Calm in Central Lake Michgian. Not a good idea to be sitting on metal bleachers in a thunderstorm. Australian stormchaser takes eye-popping image of huge tornado while pinned down by an overturned truck.
Heavy rain fell in the U.P. Check out this video from Ironwood and this picture of 5" of rain in the town of Powers, which is on US2 west of Escanaba. Some rainfall totals: 6.72" 1 mile east-northeast of Houghton, 6.30" 1 mile west of Houghton, 6.22" Laurium, 6.06" 1 mile east of Houghton, 4.7" Bagley, 4.5" Freda 3.64" near Escanaba, 2.80" near Iron Mt., 2.60" Daggett, 2.36" Watersmeet, 1.83 Wakefield, 1.41" Menominee. The Administration Building at Michigan Tech is flooded. More showers and storms are likely in the U.P. today.
UPDATE: 6-hour rainfall ending at 8 am = 5.33" at Houghton!
HOUGHTON LGT RAIN 70 67 90 SW9 29.84F 6HR MIN TEMP: 62; 6HR MAX TEMP: 70; 6HR PCP: 5.33;
"The cities of Houghton and Hancock and surrounding Houghton County have been devastated by flash floods. Police advise everyone to shelter in place or seek higher ground. Do not drive anywhere. If you need help to evacuate, call 911. Heavy rain is washing out roads and flooding basements. Agate Street in Houghton has been washed out. Water and sewer lines are exposed. Numerous roads are impassable. There are reports of more than 60 sinkholes."
Downtown Lake Linden MI. Evacuations underway. More flooding pics. and news at this link. Video here and here. Roads destroyed. More video here. More pics. of washed out roads in the Houghton MI area. Road washout in N. Wisconsin.
A Heat Advisory will be in effect this afternoon south of a line from Holland to Lansing. Temperatures could reach the low 90s with head index values around 95 away from the lake. With cloud cover and a random shower or t-shower, temperatures will be a few degrees cooler north of a line from Holland to Lansing.
The overnight run of the NAM model gives G.R. a high of 88 The GFS model gives G.R. highs of 87 today and 80 on Tuesday. The GFS has the chance of rain at 78% today in G.R. and the NAM is at 68%. For Tues., the GFS has 48% and the NAM has 74%. For Weds. the GFS has59% and the NAM has 44%.
Here's high temperatures for Saturday. West Michigan was warmer than Phoenix or Tucson AZ., where they had clouds and showers from the remains of Hurricane "Bud". A southwest wind tomorrow should bring low-mid 90s air into Lower Michigan. Most of the country is warm to hot. There was a cool air mass from the Western Dakotas back to N. Idaho. The high temp. of 56 at Great Falls MT was 17 deg. cooler than average. They had 0.75" of rain. Baker Mt. had a whopping 2.55" of rain and got no warmer than 57. In AZ, Tucson officially had 0.91" of rain, but the Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson had 1.53". In New Mexico, Coranado had 1.25" and Roswell 0.94" and El Paso Texas picked up 0.31".
Rainfall Sat. AM in W. Michigan - 0.48" Benona (Oceana Co.), 0.47" Fennville, 0.40" Holland, 0.17" Grand Rapids, 0.12" Kalamazoo, 0.06" Battle Creek, 0.02" Big Rapids.
This map is the forecast heat index for Sunday PM at 3 pm. Temperatures will be (at least) into the low 90s inland - maybe mid 90s inland from the lake with dew points in the low 70s. Today clouds and scattered showers/t-showers will hold temps. down into the mid 70s to mid 80s.
Here's a map of high temps. Friday. There's some hot air in the High Plains: 107 Lamar CO, 104 La Junta CO, 103 Grand Island NE and Abilene KS...It was warmer there than in Arizona, where Phoenix topped out at 95 and Tucson at 90. Sat. night model data: The NAM gives G.R. a high of 94 on Sunday and the GFS has 91 today (too warm) and 92 tomorrow (Sun.) with 89 on Monday.
Here's Grand Rapids radar (radar should update automatically).
Storm chasers will be in Minnesota today, where there's an Enhanced Risk of a severe storm. The Marginal Risk Area comes east to Marquette. Note the chance of a thunderstorm in AZ and NM where moisture left over from Hurricane Bud brings moisture north thru Mexico and up into the SW U.S. Here's a link to SW U.S. radar.
Sunday has been declared a Clean Air Action Day for the lakeshore counties plus Kent and Cass Counties. Kalamazoo County has also been added for Sunday. The Action Day also includes the Detroit and Chicago areas and these counties in Indiana: La Porte, St. Joseph, Elkhart, Allen and Huntington.
Clean Air Action Days started as Ozone Action Days with a one hour standard of 124 parts per billion. The standard was lowered to 75 parts per billion and in 2016 to 70 parts per billion. Days that would not have been Ozone Action Days under the old guidelines now qualify under the new guidelines. You can monitor air quality here. The levels of many (most?) pollutants are lower today than 50 years ago.
The top map shows rainfall over the past 30-days. There was been well above average rainfall across S. Lower Michigan, NE Illinois and S. Wisconsin, but drier conditions in NE Wisconsin, N. Lower Michigan and E Upper Michigan.
Lake Michigan/Huron is up 2" in the last month and up 4" in the last year. The lake is now 17":above the June average level. Lake Superior is also up 2" in the last month, but Superior is down 4" year-to-year. The lake is still 4" above the average level for June. Lake Erie is down 1" in the last month, up 1" in the last year and is still 20" above the June average level. Lake Ontario is down 2" in the last month and down a whopping 23" from the record levels of one year ago. Lake St. Clair is down 2" in the last month, up 2" in the last year and is now 20" above the average June level.
The high water levels mean less beach, more beach erosion and a greater chance that waves will come over the piers and breakwaters.
This pic. from the Muskegon Channel (from NOAA Coastwatch) shows the Lake Express Ferry heading west to Milwaukee. There's a thin layer of cirrus clouds, allowing some dimmed sunshine to sparkle on the water.
All the Great Lakes connecting rivers have well above average flow. Most inland rivers in SW Michigan have above average flow: Grand River at G.R. 4,760 cubic feet per second (average is 2,750 cfs), Kalamazoo River at Comstock 1,410 cfs (753 cfs), St. Joseph River at Niles 5,720 (3,090 cfs).
The pic. above is sunset at Alpena MI on 6 14 18. You can see the spires of Trinity Episcopl Church on the left and St. Anne's Catholic Church.
Great Lakes News: Photos of the Great Lakes wanted for calendar contest. Millions of dollars for the Soo Locks. Asian carp on the menu. What about cat food? Algal bloom expected to be noticeably smaller than last year. How contaminated are the fish we eat. Shipping numbers rebounding after slow start due to late ice. The rare lifeguard on a Great Lakes beach. Five hidden beaches. Freighters converage on the Soo Locks. Lake Erie walleye fishing best in 40 years. Record number of walleyes taken on Saginaw Bay. Canadian ships visit Grand Haven. Studying a shipwreck near Toronto. Coast Guard Station closed in 1976 is being renovated. Residents forced to evacuate their homes due to high water levels. Mayflies. Kayaking around Lake Superior. Lake Michigan beach closings have dropped over the past 15 years. "Alberto" was the first tropical depression to reach Lake Huron since records began in the 1850s. Restoring trout to Lake Superior. Looking for NW Flight 2501. Ship that landed on D-Day now a museum in Muskegon. Mussels carpet Lake Michigan bottom. Visitor surge at Pictured Rocks. Something smelt. Monster chinooks just keep coming.
By now, many of you have seen the video by Gabriel Flores of the flying porta-potties. This is from Commerce City, Colorado, a suburb just to the northeast of Denver. I wondered, what caused this? My first thought was a "dust devil" (without the dust). The wind came up suddenly - if it was a constant wind, you wouldn't have had all the people in the park. It's June, the sun is highest in the sky. The air looks relatively dry. There certainly was some lift to get the porta-potties that high into the air. If you look closely, the wind appears to change direction somewhat, ending up blowing from right to left. They were lucky no one was hurt.
This is the Denver Airport Climate Data. They get a lot of days with strong winds/ wind gusts. This month so far, the fastest gust was 54 mph on the 5th, but many days have gusts +30 mph. Especially from late fall to early spring, strong chinook winds can shoot down out of the mountains. I certainly can't say for sure...but at this point, I'd guess a relatively dustless dust devil was the porta-potty-picker-upper.
We have the earliest sunrises of the year this morning and tomorrow morning, both at 6:02:58 in Grand Rapids. The latest sunsets occur on June 26-27. Combine the two and the longest day (the Summer Solstice) is June 21...officially at 6:07 am. On the Summer Solstice, Grand Rapids gets 6 hours and 21 minutes more daylight than on the Winter Solstice, a few days before Christmas. Solar noon, the moment when the sun is highest in the sky, occurs at 1:42 pm (not at 12 Noon). That's because we move the clocks ahead one hour to Daylight Saving Time and because we live at the western edge of a time zone. The sun is now approximately 94,417,000 miles away from the Earth. North is 0° (or 360°) and east is 90°, the sunrise is currently at 56° (due northeast would be 45°). The sun sets at 304° or to the west-northwest.
Check out this timelapse of the sunset at Oval Beach, Saugatuck - with a guest appearance by the Star of Saugatuck on its sunset cruise.
The above picture was taken today at 2:50 pm. by the GLERL camera at the shore of Lake Huron in Alpena. I happened to recognize it was the same ship that the Muskegon GLERL camera caught two days ago (June 12th at 12:20 pm):
It's kind of unusual that the cameras - taking pictures 10 minutes apart - would catch the same ship pretty much in the center of the picture. In any case, it's been great weather to be out on the lakes today...some sunshine, pleasant temperatures and light winds.
Once again it has been much cooler at the lake. The high temperature today (Thu.) was 83 in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo and only 67.3 at the beach in Muskegon.
The Muskegon Channel Camera (from NOAA Coastwatch) caught the ship "Integrity" leaving the Muskegon Channel. This is a cement barge. It's 460 feet long (more than 1 1/2 times the length of a football field) and can hold 14,000 tons. Here's another pic. of the ship. If you'd like to follow the ships on the Great Lakes, go here.
At the Muskegon Channel, the high temperature today was 73.6° at 11 am when the wind was still coming off the land. Then the wind shifted to come off Lake Michigan. The temperature was down to 68.2° at noon and 63.0° by 1 pm.
The pic. above was about 15 min. before sunset. Outside of the wake from boats, the lake was pretty calm. Below is a sunset pic. from the Port Sheldon Buoy:
Here at the buoy the wind was just 2 mph and waves were 3-4 inches. The water temp. here (several miles offshore) was 64.8° - a little warmer than at the beaches.
Here's the South Haven Buoy Cam shortly after 9 pm. Here the wind was just 1 mph and waves were running 3-4 inches. The water temp. was 64.6°
This is the Chicago water intake (Harrison-Dever Crib) about 2.75 miles east of downtown Chicago. Much of the day you couldn't see anything on this camera due to the fog, but the fog did break apart long enough for me to grab this shot. Here the wind didn't change direction much, but it did go up and down in speed. At 1 pm, the temperature here was 67.3° and the wind was 14 mph. The next hour, the wind had dropped to just 2 mph and the temperature dropped to 62.6°. The water temperature at the nearby Wilmette buoy was 56.5°. As the wind died down, a colder layer of air formed just above the water and that's why the temp. dropped. At 10 pm, the Wilmette buoy had a wind of 0.0 mph (totally calm).
Severe storms brought two tornadoes, 60-80 mph winds, hail and up to 11" of rain to parts of Mason and Manistee Counties on June 13-14, 2008. From mid-afternoon Thursday (the 12th) through the early morning of Friday (the 13th), strong to severe storms were "training" - going over the same area like cars of a train passing over the same spot. The result was extremely heavy rain and flooding. Unofficial rainfall totals of up to 11" were recorded. The official Michigan state 24-hour rainfall record is 9.78" on 8/31/1914 at Bloomingdale. At least 15 roads were closed, including parts of US 10, US 31 and M-116. President Bush later proclaimed the region a disaster area.
The graph above shows the number of severe weather reports during 2008 in the U.S. Just in June 2008 - just those 30 days...the U.S. recorded 11,454 severe reports, including 292 tornadoes, 5,717 severe hail reports and 5,445 wind damage reports. Now contrast that to this year so far:
This is a graph of severe reports for 2018 through June 3. For those 5+ months, SPC recorded 6,520 severe reports, including 449 tornadoes (no EF4 or EF5 tornadoes), 2,117 severe hail reports and 3,894 wind damage reports. Ten years later, we're having a much quieter year when it comes to severe storms..
This picture from the Chicago water intake (the Harrison/Dever Crib) shows a fog layer near the ground, then a cloud-free layer with a low cloud layer above that. The buildings of Chicago act like a ridge of hills. It causes the air to lift to get over the city. When the wind is east or northeast, it comes off the colder waters of Lake Michigan. That can cause the moisture in the air to condense out as fog or a layer of low clouds. It's possible on a day like Monday to ride an elevator in a skyscraper...and start with fog at the ground...move up into a cloud free area, then you go farther up into a layer of low clouds. The wind at the water intake varied from north to east and the humidity all day was 99.7% to 99.8%.
Churchill Manitoba had a record daily high temperature of 89.8F (32.1°C) on Monday. That obliterated the previous daily warm record of 75.9° (24.4°C) and was only 0.1° shy of the all-time record high for June of 32.2°. Record highs were also set at Gillam (30.6°C) and at Ennadai (28.5°C). The all-time record high temperature for Churchill is 98.4° (36.9°) set on August 11, 1991 and the all-time record low temperature is 45.6°C (-50.1°F). Churchill is approximately 1,100 miles north of Grand Rapids at a latitude of 58° - about the same latitude as Stockholm, Sweden.
Here's snow and ice cover. There is some open water north of Churchill, but most all of Hudson Bay is still ice-covered.
Take a look at the picture of Churchill from one month ago compared to yesterday! As you might expect...the temperature varies quite a bit depending on wind direction...either off the land (with downslope warming...or off hundreds of miles of ice if the wind is northeast or east. :Look at the HIGH temperatures at Churchill for the month of June so far: 55°, 50°, 33°, 35°, 39°, 37°, 42°, 57°, 73°, 86°, 89°.
The Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison sent out this tweet this evening: "Of interest this evening, nighttime lights of North & South
#Korea from the Suomi-NPP #VIIRS Day/Night Band via the CIMSS Climate Data Portal. http://www.ssec.wisc.edu/cdp/main #NorthKoreanSummit
I'll add this: "According to 2013 figures, the GDP of North Korea is estimated at $33 billion, while that of South Korea is $1.19 trillion. The GDP per capita is $33,200 in South Korea, while it is $1,800 in the North.
"Bud" is the 2nd tropical storm in the Eastern Pacific. "Bud" ramped up to a Category 3 hurricane. It has weakened to a tropical storm and will continue to weaken to a depression as it moves north into the Baja Peninsula, then moves into the Mexican mainland.
The remnant moisture will move up into Arizona and New Mexico. That area has been drier than average and can use any showers that "Bud" may provide. There will likely be at least some daily rainfall records in this area from Friday - Sunday.
Michigan and Maine are the only two states east of the Rocky Mountains where there has not been a Severe Thunderstorm Watch so far in 2018. We've even had a severe thunderstorm watch in northeast Nevada. That's knot to say we haven't had severe weather.
This is a large tree branch that fell at my house a week ago, knocking down the wires coming into my house and (fortunately) missing my house, the neighbor's house and the neighbor's car. So far, Michigan has had 17 reports of severe criteria hail (1" in dimater or greater) and 55 reports of wind damage (including this branch at my house) or wind gusts of 58 mph or greater. The reports have been too few and far between to warrant putting out a large watch area. Isolated severe weather is handled with a polygon severe thunderstorm warning for the county or county areas affected.
Here's tornado watches in 2018...fewer than average and concentrated in the Lower Mississippi Valley. It continues to look like a below average pattern for tornadoes in general across the U.S.
After a cool weekend, temperatures are headed back to average to above average this week. We'll see partly to mostly sunny skies for most of today, with highs in the upper 70s to near 80. It'll be at least as warm at the lake (often lakeshore areas are a degree higher than inland areas with an east wind due to downslope warming. The warming is on a very small scale here in West Michigan, but can add a degree to the air mass. \
This is the 6-10 day temperature forecast from the Climate Prediction Center for June 16-20. You can see that the Eastern half of the country has a high chance of above average temperatures. We could see high temps. approaching 90 degrees next weekend.
We had a wet weekend and this has been a wet year. The picture above is from the Cass Co. Michigan Emergency Management facebook page. The Eagle Lake area in SW Cass Co. reported 3 to 4" of rain. The picture shows water flowing over the road. You can also see a rather significant tree branch that has flowed up on the road. You can't always tell if the road itself has washed away. Imagine it's night - then you might not see the water going over the road until you were right there.
Here's some weekend rainfall totals. Holland had just 0.45" and Muskegon only 0.22". Here's how far above average precipitation is for this year thru June 10: Battle Creek +7.00", Kalamazoo +5.70", Grand Rapids +3.57", Muskegon +3.45", Holland +2.45".
Grand Rapids had 0% sunshine both Saturday and Sunday. That means (says Captain Obvious) that the weekend tied for the cloudiest June weekend ever in G.R. history. We get a lot of back-to-back cloudy weekends in winter, but it's rare to have two back-to-back cloudy days in June, when the sun is highest in the sky.. Since 2003, we've only had one other time when we had consecutive days in June with 0% sunshine (June 12-13, 2015). My records are unofficial, but I show just 34 days in June with 0% sunshine in the last 30 years and just six times when we had back-to-back totally overcast days. Only here in 2018 were those consecutive cloudy days on a Saturday and Sunday.
I did find two very cloudy stretches in June...June 1996 had four consecutive days with 0%, 1%, 2% and 0% sunshine...and Jujne 1989 had 4 consecutive days with just 4% sunshine.
Not everybody had 0% sunshine this weekend. Here's the sun coming out in S. Haven at 9.03 pm Sunday evening. That's after 1.80" of rain fell in S. Haven this weekend.
This is the Great Lakes satellite picture from Sunday PM. You can see it was quite sunny over much of the U.P. and at least partly sunny over northern Lower Michigan. It was warmer where the sun was shining. While G.R. had a high of 69°, Cadillac reached 73°, Traverse City rose to 79°. S. Ste. Marie had a high temp. of 77°. The warmest in the state was 82° at Kenton in the U.P., where the relative humidity dropped to just 27% Sunday PM.
This pic. of the Mackinac Bridge looking north shows lots of blue sky and sunshine and the flag shows the general east wind. BTW, at Port Hope in the Thumb Area on Lake Huron had a high temp. of just 59° on Sunday. They stayed cloudy with a chilly east wind coming off Lake Huron.
Utqiagvik, Alaska (formerly known as Barrow) is down to their last inch of snow at the airport. The screen grab above is a look at the city, where the snow has melted. You can still see ice on the Arctic Ocean. This is the land of the midnight sun. The next sunset here will be August 2nd. The sun goes around in a circle above the horizon at this time of year ...climbing to 42 deg. above the horizon in the southern sky at solar noon (approx. 2:26 pm now) and then going down to just 4 deg. above the horizon as it passes to the north after 2 am. Utqiagvik has a population of 4,335, which is about the same size as Coopersville MI.
The Barrow Airport still has an inch of snow on the ground - down from 5" back on June 1. They did have flurries on June 6th, 8 and 9th. They usually get at least a little measurable snow in every month of the year, including July. This winter (which officially ends June 30) Utqiagvik has had 35.5" of snow, less than half the snow that Grand Rapids (77.7") had this winter. In fact, there has only been one year out of 86 recorded years, when Utqiagvik had more snow than Grand Rapids had this past wnter and that was 1922-23.
The high temperature at the Barrow Airport this Sunday (so far) has been 35°. The warmest this month so far was 37° on the 5th. The last time the Barrow Airport was 40° was way back on Sept. 14 (2017) and the last time they reached 50° was August 10th. The warmest temperature last summer was 68° on July 29. The last time they did not have at least an inch of snow on the ground was October 8th. The warmest month in Barrow is July with an average high of 47° and low of 34°. The coldest month is February with an average high of -10° and an average low of -22°. The warmest ever was 79° in 1993 and the coldest -56° in 1924.
This is a pic. this evening from Wainwright, Alaska, about 85 miles southwest of Utqiagvik. There's still a good amount of snow here, including some significant piles. Wainwright has a population of 556. They have one school for pre-K to 12th grade. The average high temperature here in July is 47° - same as Barrow. The warmest it has ever been in Wainwright is 80° and the coldest -56° (a range of 136°)
This is a grab from the Kahiltna Glacier cam - this is down near Denali - FAA camera. Looks like mid-winter. There's a Winter Storm Warning up for parts of Alaska for up to half a foot of snow. At 10 am, Anaktuvuk reported moderate snow and freezing fog, a temperature of 28, a visibility of 1/2 mile and a wind chill of 17.
Some people try and climb Denali - best to do in June when you have the most daylight. It's the tallest mountain in N. America at 20,310 feet above sea level. Check out the Sunday (6/10) evening forecast for Denali climbers: FORECAST FOR 17000 FEET TO SUMMIT ..STRONG WINDS TODAY ..HIGH WIND WARNING TONIGHT THROUGH MONDAY NIGHT WINDS LESS THAN 15 MPH ARE NOT INCLUDED. TODAY NUMEROUS SNOW SHOWERS. HIGHS AROUND 10 BELOW. NORTHWEST WINDS AROUND 25 MPH WITH GUSTS TO AROUND 40 MPH. CHANCE OF SNOW 60 PERCENT. TONIGHT NUMEROUS SNOW SHOWERS. LOWS 15 BELOW TO 20 BELOW ZERO. NORTHWEST WINDS AROUND 50 MPH WITH GUSTS TO AROUND 75 MPH. CHANCE OF SNOW 60 PERCENT. MONDAY PARTLY SUNNY. HIGHS 10 BELOW TO 20 BELOW ZERO. NORTHWEST WINDS AROUND 45 MPH WITH GUSTS TO AROUND 60 MPH. MONDAY NIGHT MOSTLY CLOUDY. LOWS 10 BELOW TO 20 BELOW ZERO. NORTH WINDS AROUND 50 MPH WITH GUSTS TO AROUND 70 MPH.
Lovely day for a climb!
This map is the Sun. PM Severe Weather Outlook Area from the Storm Prediction Center. SPC has the greatest risk of severe weather in the (orange) Enhanced Risk Area in the Dakotas. It also has a Slight Risk Area over parts of Illinois and Indiana (in yellow) and Marginal Risk Area from E. IA east thru IL, IN and OH. The General (not severe - in light green) Thunderstorm Area cvomes up to Grand Rapids.
Here's Grand Rapids radar
|Full resolution version loop (3400x1700 pixels - 2.2mb)|
Heavy rain caused flooding in parts of the counties that border Indiana. The map above shows Storm Total Rainfall - showing a small area of 3-4" rains in S. Cass Co. and 2-3" rains just east of I-69 in Branch County. Several people were evacuated from their homes after washouts were moving propane tanks, sheds, boats and other large items presented a danger to people nearby.
Authorities said they performed two separate water rescues when people became stranded in or on top of their vehicles in flowing bodies of water. There were 17 weather-related calls to dispatchers during a three-hour span this evening. Roads were flooded near Eagle Lake in Cass Co. The Dowagiac River rose approx. 15" Sat. PM/evening.
Rainfall Saturday: Sturgis 1.57", Cassopolis 1.55", South Haven 1.14", Battle Creek 1.11", Constantine 1.10", Lawrence 1.08", Lawton 1.04", Kalamazoo 0.96", Grand Rapids 0.92", Hastings 0.92".
Here's storm reports from Sat. (6/9/18). There were two small and rather insignificant tornadoes in Iowa.
It looks like a third tornado touched down just south of Angola IN. 15 homes sustained minor to moderate structural damage. There was also damage to trees. Also, two people were injured in Cleaton KY when a tree fell on their trailer. Floyd, Iowa recorded a gust to 80 mph and Rockford, Iowa had a gust to 75 mph.
It's been ten years since the big severe weather outbreak of June 7-8, 2008. Up top is the severe weather reports from June 8 - including 18 tornadoes (red dots on the map), 303 reports of wind damage (blue dots on the map) and 117 reports of large hail (green dots on the map). There were 8 fatalities in Michigan, 4 in West Michigan, 1 near Lansing and 3 near Flint. Six of the eight fatalities occurred after the storm, not during the storm.
There were 67 tornado reports, 123 severe wind reports and 104 large hail reports. That's a two day total of 85 tornadoes and 722 total severe reports.
Here's a radar loop of the storms:
The G.R. National Weather Service has a nice write-up on the storms. There were two EF1 tornadoes. One was on the ground from Evart to Hersey in Osceola Co. and the other from Grand Ledge to the west side of Lansing. You should check it out here.
This graph is the Ace Index - a measure of both the strength and number of tropical cyclones (aka hurricanes and typhoons). The graph clearly shows that the number/strength of tropical cylones is essentially flat since 1970. If anything the ACE index is down ever so slightly since the mid 1990s.
Every so often (and more often after a year with significant hurricane activity in the U.S. like 2005 (Katrina, Rita, Wilma) or 2017 (Harvey, Irma, Maria) I see a tweet or I get an email stating that hurricanes are much more numerous and/or much more intense than in decades past. Some make ridiculous claims. I've seen memes that say that "there are five times more hurricanes than 1970 (or pick a year). Another said that hurricanes are 700% stronger than in the past. Ke.ep in mind that while 2017 was a big year for hurricanes hitting the U.S., it was the quietest year ever in the Southern Hemisphere and global, the ACE Index wasn't too far from average.
I thought I'd write about this tonight, because I saw this quote from Dr. Chris Landsea, the National Hurricane Center Science and Operations Officer. “There’s periods where it’s busy and quiet and busy and quiet, but no trend,” said Landsea, “There’s no statistical change over a 130-year period. Since 1970, the number of hurricanes globally is flat. I haven’t seen anything that suggests that the hurricane intensity is going to change dramatically. It looks like a pretty tiny change to how strong hurricanes will be. It’s not zero, but it’s in the noise level. It’s very small." This is from an interview with NBC News.
This is the Severe Weather Outlook Map for today (Fri.) and tonight. Storm chasers will be in South Dakota and Nebraska this PM, where there is an Enhanced Risk Area (in orange on the map). SPC says: "Severe hail and wind is likely across parts of the northern Plains during the late afternoon and evening."
There is a Marginal Risk Area across IL, IN, and OH. SPC says: "
...IA...IL...IN...OH... Daytime heating and convergence near the front will lead to widely scattered afternoon storms, most likely from IL into OH. Cool temperatures aloft may support hail in the stronger cores, with localized damaging wind gusts.
Here's the Severe Weather Risk Map for Saturday. There's a General T-Storm Risk for Southern Lower Michigan (in light green) and a Marginal Risk across IL, IN, and OH. SPC says: "...will maintain marginal risk for this update and defer any upgrades to later outlooks when locations of mesoscale focusing mechanisms should become more clear."
This is the Day 3 (Sunday) Severe Weather Outlook Map from SPC. The General T-Storm (in light green) area is south of a line from Benton Harbor to Sturgis. Again there is a Marginal Risk Area (in dark green) for much of Illinois and Southern Indiana. For this area SPC says: ""...a few severe storms are probable over a part of this region with multicells capable of strong to damaging wind gusts and hail.
So...while a non-severe storm is possible Saturday (mainly AM) across S. Lower MI - the risk of severe weather is small from Friday to Monday. The overnight run of the GFS model gives G.R. high temperatures in the low 80s today and Sat. with about a 40% chance of a t-shower from Fri. late aftn. thru Sat. AM. Here's the latest Grand Rapids NWS forecast discussion.
This map from SPC shows the climatology of severe thunderstorm winds for June 8. You can see the areas that have been more apt to get damaging winds in early June are the Plains from Omaha down through Oklahoma and across Illinois, Indiana and Ohio south to Huntsville, Atlanta and Charleston.
The first hurricane in the Eastern Pacific has formed. This one is named "Aletta". It will move northwest and weaken to a tropical storm, then a tropical depression. It is no threat to land. Check out the satellite loop of Aletta. Here's hurricane names for the next 6 years.
This "stovepipe" tornado developed Weds. PM northeast of Laramie, Wyoming. At this link (from Peter Baumann and Laramie Boomerang) you can watch the tornado form and grow in size. As far as I know, there were no injuries with this tornado and the twister was on the ground for nearly an hour. The twister did cause some structural damage and damage to power lines and fences. This tornado, like many in the "high plains" had little or no rain to block the view and the relatively flat land and lack of trees meant the tornado could be viewed from miles around. Note that as the tornado forms you start to see the dust swirl at ground level before you see the condensation funnel and that swirling dust connect. The tornado starts at a bit of a slant, then becomes almost perfectly vertical.
Here's storm reports from Wed. You can see the red dot where the tornado touched down in Laramie and another red dot where another tornado touched down briefly near Perkins, Nebraska. There were 127 severe reports, from Iowa west to the Rockies. Hail to 2" in diameter and gusts to 76 mph were recorded in Iowa.
At least 4 locations in Michigan dropped below freezing Wed. AM - Doe Lake in the U.P. had a low temperature of 29° and both Roscommon and Atlanta in Lower Michigan bottomed out at 30°. Stonington in the U.P. had a low of 31° and Leota in Clare Co. dipped to 32°, Here's some other chilly places this morning: 33° Sawyer and Raco, 35° in Cadillac, 36° at Baldwin, Pellston and Gaylord, 37° in Ludington, 38° in Manistee, Houghton Lake and Evart.
In West Michigan: 40° at Big Rapids, 42° in Fremont and Alma, 43° in Belding and Kent City, 44° at Jackson and Hart, 45° in Lansing, Charlotte, Mt. Pleasant, Ionia, Hillsdale, Hastings. Albion and Clarksville, 46° at Muskegon, East G.R., Hopkins and Fennville, 47° at Benton Harbor, Grandville, Eaton Rapids, Bloomington, Allegan and Hartford, 48° in Grand Rapids, Holland, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, South Haven, Coldwater and Hudsonville, 49° in Three Rivers and Mendon and 50° at Lawton and Sturgis.
The low of 29 at Doe Lake was the coolest temperature anywhere in the contiguous U.S. It was colder at the Barrow, Alaska airport (28) and Port Thomson AK (25).
This is sunset at the Muskegon MI Channel Weds. evening...pretty! Inland the high temperature was 73° in Grand Rapids and 74° in Kalamazoo. Here at the Muskegon Beach, the high temperature was 64.8° at 9 pm as the lake breeze eased. At the S. Haven Beach, the temperature was 64.6° at 5 pm, then up to 70.5° at 6 pm as the wind turned off the land...then back to 64.9° at 8 pm with the wind coming off the water again.
Lake Michigan water is cold. Grand Haven St. Park reported a water temp. of 43° Wed. AM, Mears St. Park had 45° and Ludington just 48°. The South Mid-Lake Michigan buoy had a water temp. of 52 and the North Mid-Lake Michigan water temp. was a frosty 39° The water temp. at the Chicago water intake was 58.
Here's Chicago at 6 am Weds. The sunrise time at O'Hare is 5:17 am - it's early at the east end of a time zone. At the Chicago Water Intake, where this pic. was taken (by NOAA Coastwatch), the temperature was 61.2° at 5 pm, then up to 67.6° at 6 pm, then down to 63.1° by 7 pm. Chicago had 0.10" of rain, Benton Harbor just a trace.
This is a top down look at snowcover (in white) and ice (in yellow). There is open water on the northwest coastal area of Hudson Bay and the ice is breaking up on Great Slave Lake (still solid on Great Bear Lake. Far northern Alaska and Nunavut still has snow on the ground, as does a decent portion of Russia.
Here's another view of snow and ice cover in N. America. Note there is still snow on the ground in Nunavut, Northern Quebec and much of Labrador. You can also see a few spots where this is now on the higher mountains out west.
This is a webcam view of Utqiaġvik, Alaska - formerly known as Barrow. This pic. was from 1:09 am EDT - this is the land of the midnight sun. The sun has pretty well melted here in town, but the airport still reports 3" of snow on the ground. You can see the ice still covers the Arctic Ocean. I saw Utqiaġvik was up to 35 deg. Tue. PM and that's about as warm as they have been so far this year. Here the sun stays out all 24 hours...but it does dip close to the horizon at night (just 4.1 deg. above the horizon at 2:26 am today) and climbs to a maximum of 41.4 deg. above the horizon at 2:24 pm. So, at solar noon, the sun is as high in the sky at Utqiaġvik as it is today in Grand Rapids, Michigan at 10:06 am and at 5:17 pm.
This map shows the difference from average of sea-surface water temperatures. Blue is where water is colder than average and yellow and orange are areas where the water is warmer than average. You can see that the La Nina (colder than average water temperatures along the Equator west of South America) has ended and we are moving to a weak El Nino (warmer than average water temperatures west of South America along the Equator). Also, note the backwards "C" of cold water in the north Atlantic. The cold water off the NE Coast of Canada ties in with the cold air temperatures that have been occurring in N Quebec and Labrador. The cold water moves down past Portugal and the water is quite cool, relative to average, off NW Africa. With the water that cool, early season hurricanes are unlikely in that part of the Atlantic Ocean. I continue to track surface ocean water temps...a factor in seasonal weather forecasting.
Normally, I'm asleep from 6 am to 8 am, but this morning, I was dealing with a +12" diameter branch that came down in my front yard during the storm last night. The branch took out my electric and cable wires...power is back on...but I am without my landline, TV and cable internet (I'm on the internet now with my I-Phone), drinking a little decaf - taking a break. I'll try not to yawn on the news tonight.
While the branch did knock down the wires, it masterfully missed my house, my neighbor's house and his car (very close call there). I got everything off his property and now I'll wait for everything to dry. We've been through this before. Silver maples are more apt to have branches come off in a storm rather than have the whole tree uprooted. We're at a higher elevation and I have two tall silver maples...one in the front and one in the back. They survived the derechos of 1991 and 1998 and haven't been hit by lightning. Winds were probably 80 mph here in the '91 derecho and close to 100 mph in the '98 storm. I lost 2 trees in the '98 storm (and branches off the rest of them) and four homes on our block lost all or part of their roof. I lost a couple dozen shingles, but that was all the "damage" to the house in that storm..
A gust to 59 mph was reported at GVSU (rooftop) and 52 mph at the Ford Airport. The NWS reported winds of 60 mph at 200 feet off the ground when the storm came thru there. At one point nearly 5,000 Consumers Energy customers were without power. That number is down to 817 as of 8:45 am with 546 of those in Kent Co.
It's the first week of June and they have finally punched through the snow and opened the Beartooth Highway. The highway is US route 212 and the 68-mile Beartooth Highway is the part that runs from Red Lodge, Montana into Wyoming to the East Entrance of Yellowstone National Park. Beartooth Pass (pic. above - from Beartooth Highway Facebook Page) is 10,947 feet above sea level
This is how they clear snow. They have to go very slowly. Some of the road has steep dropoffs. They have to shoot snow high to get it over the snowbanks...and out a long way. Red Lodge MT. averages 145" of snow per season, but there is more snow in the higher elevations along the road. Also, this was a record year for snow over much of Western Montana.
The map above is the 3-4 week temperature forecast from the Climate Prediction Center for June 16-29. It has an equal chance (EC) for above average temperatures and below average temperatures in the Great Lakes. CPC says that odds favor warmer than average temperatures from the Lower Mississippi Valley west to non-coastal California.
This is the Rainfall Forecast from CPC with again an Equal Chance of above and below average rainfall in the Great Lakes. Below average rainfall is likely from the S. Plains to Oregon and N. California and above average rainfall is indicated through a good portion of the South.
My own feeling - long term - is that the core of the heat this summer will be from the Southern High Plains west to non-coastal California (even moreso than usual). I think parts of New England will be a little cooler than average. We'll see relatively quick-hitting showers and storms moving from west to east or northwest to southeast. The tornado count will remain lower than average in the U.S. as a whole and the greatest severe threat will be wind damage from (some fast-moving) storms kicked up by upper level "disturbances" riding along the general "front" dividing the most Gulf of Mexico air from the drier air masses that will move across S. Canada and the U.S. I think this summer will feature temperatures and rainfall near average over much of the Great Lakes. We may end up a degree warmer than average. In any case, it'll be a good summer.