FeedBurner makes it easy to receive content updates in My Yahoo!, Newsgator, Bloglines, and other news readers.
We've begun a significant and long cooldown here in West Michigan and a good portion of the Central and Eastern U.S. The map above is forecast high temperatures for Friday, Oct. 2. You can see we're only going to be in the low 50s here, with readings only in the mid 40s in Upper Michigan. The cool air will press south with temperatures holding in the 60s all he way down to northern Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.
Once the colder air moves in...it's going to stick around. This is the 8-14 day temperature outlook from the Climate Prediction Center for Octobere 4 - 10 and the cool rules in the eastern U.S. with summerlike heat in the West.
Here's high temperatures for Saturday PM - this was probably the last 80-degree day of the year. Readings were cooler at Lake Michigan. The high temperature at the airport in Muskegon was 75°, but the daytime high temperature at the Muskegon Beach was just 69°.
This pic. from the S. Haven Lighthouse shows a wave crashing over the breakwater. Saturday night we had gusts to around 40 mph at the lakeshore. Waves at the Ludington Buoy peaked at 8.6 feet. The Muskegon Beach had a steady 30 mph wind at midnight Saturday night and the Muskegon Airport had a gust to 42 mph.
Here's high temperatures Sunday. The clouds kept the temps. down a bit from Saturday. The average high temp. for Sunday in G.R. was 68°. The high temperature at the Muskegon Beach was 67° and at the S. Haven beach it was 68°. The water temp. at Holland St. Park Sunday PM was 66° and the water temp. of Reeds Lake Sunday PM was 69°.
Here's high temperatures for the week. The six days from Tuesday (22nd) to Sunday (27th) were 7.3° warmer than average. Now we'll see well below average temperatures...and from Sept 17 - 26, we had a whopping 87% of possible sunshine. Now, clouds will dominate this week. For the 2 weeks ending Sunday, Grand Rapids had just a trace of rain, and only 0.08" in the 18 days from the 10th to the 27th. Even with the dry 2 1/2 weeks, the Grand River in Grand Rapids is still at 109% of average flow. The Muskegon, Kalamazoo and Saginaw Rivers also show slightly above average flow. We' re not looking for very heavy amounts of rain this week...mainly occasional light rain and showers and the ground is dry and should soak most of this up.
Here's Grand Rapids radar (above) and Regional Radar (below):
Go to: Most Recent Image
Also: Check out this pic. of lightning in Colorado!
The above pic. is courtesy of Steve Damstra. Some good news. An overall dry pattern has brought Great Lakes water levels down a bit. Grand Rapids has had just 0.08" of rain in the last 16 days (a trace in the last 11 days). We've also had a lot of sunshine (85% in the last 11 days).
Lake Superior is down 1" in the last month and down 4" in the last year. The lake is still 9" above the September average and it's 4" below the record highest September average set last year.
Lake Michigan/Huron is down 4" in the last month and it's now at the same water level as one year ago. The lake is 30" above the September average and is now 4" below the September average highest level set in 1986.
Lake Erie is also down 4" in the last month and is down 2" from one year ago. The lake is 23" higher than the highest average September level set one year ago.
Lake Ontario is down 9" in the last month and down 15" from one year ago. The lake is just 1" above the September average level and is 25" below the highest level ever set in 1947.
Lake St. Clair is down 4" in the last month and unchanged from one year ago. The lake is 28" higher than the average September level and 2" below the record highest September water level set last year.
All the rivers that connect the Great Lakes continue to have well above average flow. The St. Mary's River at S. Ste. Marie has a flow of 97,000 cubic feet per second. The Detroit River at Detroit has a flow of 253,000 cfs, compared an average flow of 194,000 cfs.
Most other rivers continue to have above average flow, despite the dry pattern over the past couple weeks. The Grand River at Grand Rapids has a flow of 1,990 cfs, compared to an average flow of 1,710 cfs. The Muskegon River at Croton has a flow of 1,230 cfs, compared to an average flow of 1,160 cfs. The Kalamazoo River at Comstock has a flow of 669 cfs, compared to an average flow of 595 cfs. The Saginaw River at Saginaw has a flow of 3,770 cfs, compared to an average flow of 1,470 cfs and the Fox River at Green Bay WI has a flow of 3,790 cfs, compared to an average flow of 2,220 cfs.
ALSO: Waterspouts possible on the Great Lakes during the week of Sept. 28-Oct. 4. At 5 am Sat. the temperature at Big Rapids was 56 and the wind was calm, while the temperature at Ludington was 70 with a SW wind at 15 mph, gusting to 22 mph.
GREAT LAKES NEWS: Win a trip aboard a freighter. Invasive sea lampreys. Shipments of Canadian grain through the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway are up 20 percent this year. Mussels have a story to tell. Fascinating history of shipwrecks. Fixing Lake Michigan bike trail could cost 10 Million Dollars. High beach attendance this summer (it was a sunny, warm summer). Wisconsin's first Asian carp. Wolf population increases 13%. Walleye and perch fishing has been excellent this year.
I'll add to this threat later today.
For the second evening in a row, strong to severe thunderstorms moved across northern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. Reports Saturday evening included 1" diameter hail at Munising, Rapid City, Cedar, near Gaylord and Mancelona and 7/10ths inch diameter hail at Gwinn (near Marquette). Hail to 1.25" in diameter hit Dresser, Merrill, Birnamwood and Hickory Corners WI with 3/4" hail at Washington Island and Lena WI and 1/2" hail at Anvil Lake.
Friday evening, severe thunderstorms developed in NE Minnesota and moved east through the western U.P. and far northern Wisconsin Friday evening. In the U.P. wind gusts hit 62 mph at Big Bay (steady 47 mph winds for 15 minutes!), 56 mph at Calumet, 53 mph at Houghton and 49 mph at Arnheim. Wind damage was reported at L'Anse MI, Assinins MI, Baraga MI and Mellon WI. 2"-diameter hail hit Morse WI with 1.5" diameter hail at Mercer WI, 1.25" hail was reported at Antrim MI and 1" hail at Upson (that be a great place for a horse-racing venue - call it Upson Downs) and at Rapid City and Cedar MI. Hail nearly an inch in diameter hit Grand Rapids MN and hail was also reported at Cohasset MN, Calumet MI, Sanborn WI an in MN a Silver Bay, Kelly Lake, Iron Junction, La Prairie, Federal Day, and Chisholm and at Gaylord MI and near Traverse City MI. Houghton MI had 1.23" of rain in just one hour.
Here's Marquette radar (above) and Duluth radar (below):
The map above shows storm reports so far in 2020 in Michigan. Each red dot is where there was a tornado. Each green dot is for a severe hail report (1" in diameter or greater). Each blue dot is a severe wind report (damage or a gust to +58 mph). There have only been 2 (small) tornadoes in Michigan this year, both in the U.P. There have been 55 reports of severe hail and 285 reports of wind damage. There has been no severe weather in the the eastern U.P. this year. Same for several counties in Lower Michigan (Antrim, Alcona, Leelanau). The year's not over, but it's generally been a "quiet" year in West Michigan.
Two areas that did get severe weather in August were the Southwest corner of Lower Michigan on August 10 from the derecho that moved from Iowa across Illinois and into S. Michigan and N. Indiana and the high winds that hit Cedar Springs on Friday evening August 28.
There are Small Craft Advisories and a Beach Hazard Statement for lakeshore areas through Sunday afternoon. Winds will continue to be brisk...from the southwest in the AM and shifting to the WNW by evening. Waves will be 3-7 feet. Don't swim near or jump off the piers and breakwaters.
This beautiful pic. is the Grand River near Eastmanville from John Steinhauer. It's was a sunny, warm and generally calm week. Over the last 6 days (Sun. - Fri.), the average wind speed in Kalamazoo was just 3.5 mph. Grand Rapids has had no measurable rain in the last 12 days and only 0.08" in the last 16 days. We've had 6 days in a row with afternoon temperatures in the 70s to low 80s. Over the last 10 days, we've had 80% sunshine!
The cool air will be delayed a bit, with temperatures remaining on the mild side through this Sunday PM. The really cool air does get here the middle of next week, when daytime temperatures could hold only in the 50s.
Once the cool air gets here, it'll be ticking around. The models been both insistent and consistent that temperatures will remain cooler than average through the first week of October in the eastern half of the country.
Early Tuesday afternoon I was working on the forecast on my computer on our 3-season porch. I looked up to see a stinkbug on the window next to me. Looking around the other windows, I noticed several more stinkbugs.
Yup, it's that time of year when critters are trying to find a warm place to spend the coming winter and your home is high on the list. The stinkbugs are active on warmer, early fall days.
Stinkbugs are harmless, they don't bite or sting. They are a brownish-gray color and hibernate during the winter. They often live for about a year and the female can have one to three sets of offspring, laying 20-30 eggs at a time.
They can emit a "stinky" smell when confronted by a predator and the smell can linger for hours.
Many of the stinkbugs around West Michigan are the brown marmorated stinkbugs. This is an invasive critter that came to the U.S. from (more than likely) China. In China, there is a parasitic wasp that keeps the population down. However, it has no general predators in the U.S.
Stinkbugs have spread to Europe, Russia and even New Zealand. There was one (abandoned?) house where they found approx. 26,000 of them. It's a good idea to caulk any holes in windows where these critters could get in.
In our house, I wouldn't be surprised if an incoming stinkbug would get eaten by one of my cats. I've seen them eat ladybugs and flies (yes, flies!).
Today we official bid farewell to summer and welcome the new season of Fall. The Autumn Equinox is at 9:31 am this Tuesday. The word "equinox" means "equal night". Every point on Earth gets approximately equal day and night today. The length of day isn't exactly 12 hours. It's 12 hours and 8 minutes. There are two reasons why we get an extra 8 minutes.
First, we don't measure sunrise and sunset from the middle of the sun. Sunrise is when the first top tip of the sun appears over a totally flat horizon and sunset is when the last tip of the sun disappears below the horizon. Second, sunlight bends ever so slightly as it enters the Earth's atmosphere, giving us an extra couple minutes of daylight.
This pic. is from the webcam at the South Pole - I grabbed this at 2:30 am early this Tue. AM. Here's the weather at the South Pole right now:
Lovely spring day, eh? Here at the South Pole, the top tip of the sun will appear later today, after six months of staying below the horizon. In the Southern Hemisphere, the Equinox in September is the start of the spring season.
The building here is the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, dedicated in January 2008,. It starts summer operations in October of each year. The station typically remains in summer operating mode until early February, at which point the eight-month long winter season begins.
At an elevation of 2,835 meters (9,300 feet), the South Pole has an average monthly temperature in the summer of -28°C (-18°F); in the winter, the average monthly temperature is -60°C (-76°F). The warmest temperature ever at the South Pole was +9.9F on 12/25/2011 and the coldest was -117.0F on 6/23/1982. The coldest ever in Antarctica was -128.6F ib 7/21/1983, though a satellite measured a ground temperature of -135.8F.
By contrast, it'll be a relatively warm day over much of he country, with many high temperatures in the 70's and 80s.
I haven't looked at all the data that I'd want to look at to answer this question, but I did look back at the Hurricane Season of 2005. That year we had 27 named storms, going 5 letters into the Greek alphabet. That year we had hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma.
In Sept. 2005, the weather in West Michigan was the opposite of what is has been this year. It was warm (5.3 deg. above average) with 3.82" of rain. This Sept. we're 3.6 deg. coole that average and we've had very little rain since 9/3. In Oct. 2005, it was 4.8° warmer than average with only 0.71" of rain all month in G.R. This year October will start cool. November was 2.1° warmer than average, but it was cool and snowy after the 16th. 17.3" of snow fell from the 16th to the 30th. December was 1.8° colder than average, the only cool month. That was followed by the 3rd warmest January ever with temps. a little above average in Feb. and Mar. For the winter, G.R. had 69.2" of snow, slightly below average.
There are other factors that we'll be looking at, from computer models to analog years (when we had similar conditions in the past, what happened?) to early snowpack in Siberia and N. Canada.
Here's a graph of Arctic sea ice from the National Snow and Ice data center. Looks like we're at the seasonal minimum, which usually occurs in mid-late September. The ice extent is quite low, but not as low as it was in the record (since the late 1970s) year of 2012. Here's current Northern Hemisphere snow cover and ice extent:
Yellow on the map is sea ice. The white is snow cover. There's a smattering of snow in Siberia and far N. Canada. We take a more serious look at early snow cover in late October.
Here's a look at high temperatures this Monday in Alaska - nothing terribly cold here, with highs in the 30s (north), 40s (central and in the W. Aleutian Islands) and 50s (south and panhandle).
High temperatures Monday were in the 60s in the Northeast, lots of 70s and 80s with some 100's in the Desert Southwest.
This was sunset at Muskegon Lake Sunday evening. We had 96% of possible sunshine on Sunday, with just the high clouds in the picture blocking out the last 4% of the days possible sunshine. We had 100% sunshine on Friday and Saturday and for the six days from Sept. 15-20, we had 83.5% sunshine. For Sept. 1-20 we had 58% of possible sunshine. The average sunshine for September is 59%. It was one of the sunniest summers ever, with a record 82% sunshine in June, and an above average 73% in July and 74% in August.
Daylight is shrinking at the relatively rapid rate of nearly 3 minutes per day and nearly 20 minutes per week. As of today (Monday) we've lost 3 hours and 10 minutes of daylight since the Summer Solstice occurred on June 20. The sun is setting due west and rising due east.
This was sunset at the Muskegon Beach Sunday evening. While we had a bright blue sky and no smoke aloft over the weekend, the smoke layer from the Western wildfires started to move back in just before sunset Sunday, so you can see the sun is dimmer as it set into the smoke layer.
The dry pattern will continue this week, with the next decent chance of rain coming next weekend (Saturday night or early Sunday). We've now had 12 days with only 0.08" of rain in G.R. That will help get the river levels down and hopefully the water level of Lake Michigan can drop several more inches before we head into the "Gales of November".
High temperatures will be in the 70s this week, above the average high of 70°. We'll turn cooler net week, starting around the 28th.
This is the 8-14 Day Temperature Outlook from the Storm Prediction Center for Sept. 28 - Oct. 4 and it gives Michigan cooler than average temperatures with the heat continuing in the West.
This was the Muskegon Channel on Saturday - still a fair number of boats on the lake enjoying a sunny mid-September day. Precipitation has been light across most of the Great Lakes and lake levels have gone down this past week.
Lake Superior is unchanged in the last month, but down 2" from one year ago. The lake level is still 10" higher than the average September level and it's two inches lower than the record high September level set one year ago in 2019.
Lake Michigan/Huron (one lake for lake level purposes) is down 3" in the last month. It's still 2" higher than it was last September and 33" above the September average level. The lake is 1" below the record average September level set in 1986. It's now unlikely that we'll surpass the all-time record high water level that was set in October 1986.
Lake Erie is down 4" in the last month and down 2" year-to-year. The lake is 26" higher than the September average, but 2" below the record high September level set last year.
The water level of Lake Ontario dropped 7" in the last month (that's a lot) and 15" in the last year (that's a lot). the lake is only 4" above the average September level and is 22" below the record high September level set in 1947.
The water level of Lake St. Clair is down 4" in the last month and unchanged from one year ago. The level is 30" higher than the September average and at the same level as the record average September level set last year.
The pic. above was from Saturday PM, with rain falling at the Michigan/Canada border by the St. Mary's River. The temperature at mid-afternoon was only 49 deg.
All the rivers that connect the Great Lakes have above average flow and that will continue through the fall and into the winter. The St. Mary's River at Sault Ste. Marie has a flow of 89,700 cubic feet per second. The St. Clair River at Port Huron has a flow of 253,000 cfs, compared to an average flow of 195,000 cfs. The Detroit River at Detroit has a flow of 271,000 cfs, compared to a flow of 197,000 cfs.
Many - but not all of the Great Lakes rivers have above average flow, but with the dry pattern, levels are falling. Grand Rapids has had just 0.08" of rain in the last 10 days. The Grand River at Grand Rapids has a flow (early Sun. AM) of 2,260 cfs, compared to an average flow of 1,470 cfs. The Kalamazoo River at Comstock has a flow of 761 cfs - average is 544 cfs. The St. Joseph River has a flow of 1,560 compared to an average flow of 1,960 cfs. The Saginaw River at Saginaw has a flow of 3,720 cfs - average is 1,419 cfs. The Fox River at Green Bay WI has a flow of 11,600 cfs, compared to an average flow of 2,560 cfs.
Great Lakes News: Community raises money to protect park from erosion. Guide to Lake Michigan Public Beaches. See where ships are on the Great Lakes at www.marinetraffic.com. Treasure chest filled with coins found on a beach. The latest from boatnerd. Great Lakes shipping campaign hit hard by pandemic. Great Lakes Energy News Roundup. Asian carp update. Crossing the Great Lakes in a kayak. Northern Michigan University and Michigan Tech to collaborate on Great Lakes research. Teen project finds meteorite fragments in Lake Michigan. "Terrifying" Great Lakes rock. 2020 walleye hatch is even bigger than last year; perch excellent too. Wolves on Isle Royale. Working 24/7 on the new Soo Lock. 14-year old swims across Lake Erie. Shipwreck found after 110 years. Waterfalls in the U.P.
The overall dry weather pattern continues for West Michigan and for most of the U.S. The map above is the total rainfall forecast for the next 5 days from the Weather Prediction Center. The bulk of the rain falls in the South from Tropical Storm Beta (we're now going through the Greek alphabet) and in the Pacific NW, where the rain and the cooler pattern will help firefighters. W. Michigan has only a slight chance of a light shower next midweek (Wed. night or Thu.) and even that is iffy. Our next decent chance of rain will come next weekend.
Here's U.S. wildfire statistics to date. Note that this year, the U.S. has a LOWER than average number of wildfires (10-year average) and the number of acres burned is only 5th highest in the last 11 years. While there have been some catastrophic fires in the Far West, overall the number of fires and the number of acres burned is close to average.
The National Intereagency Fire Center reports this Sunday that: "Nationally, no new or contained large fires were reported. Firefighters continue to make headway with their suppression goals. A total of 80 large fires have burned over four million acres.
Two hundred thirty-three soldiers from the 14th Brigade Engineer Battalion based out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington are deployed in support of the August Complex Fire.
One RC-26 aircraft with Distributed Real-Time Infrared (DRTI) capability and support personnel from the 141st Air Refueling Wing (Washington Air National Guard) has been deployed to Fairchild AFB (Spokane, WA), in support of wildland fire operations.
Two MAFFS C-130 airtanker and support personnel each from the 153rd Airlift Wing (Wyoming Air National Guard) and the 146th Airlift Wing (California Air National Guard) have been deployed to support wildland fire operations in California.
One fire suppression crew and one overhead personnel from Quebec, Canada are supporting fire suppression efforts in northern California.
Friday the 18th was the birthday of the U.S. Air Force. Some interesting facts about the Air Force. Only 4% of U.S. Air Force personnel are pilots. Among those who have served in the Air Force are Jimmy Stewart (a distinguished pilot), Morgan Freeman (served as an Automatic Tracking Radar Repairman, rising to the rank of Airman 1st Class) and Chuck Norris (an air policeman who served in Korea- where he started training in martial arts). Air Force One is not the name of a particular plane, it's the name of the plane carrying the (current) President.
My father was in the Army Air Corps during WWII. There is a medley of U.S. military branch songs that is often played at band concerts. Veterans of each branch of the service stand when their song comes up in the medley. Once when I was young, we were at a band concert with my father (quite the musician I might add), my father didn't stand for the Air Force song and I asked why. He said that he got out of the Air Corps before they split from the Army in 1947 and that he was 100% Army.
I also asked him why he enlisted in the Army in 1940. He said that he knew we'd be at war with Hitler ("a maniac like Napoleon who wanted to conquer the world"). He liked ships and was a good swimmer and he said he thought about joining the Navy or Coast Guard (he used to rent boats on Lake Michigan), but that he felt a war against Germany would be mainly a ground war. My father's family was 100% Luxembourger. I think I've mentioned this, but my father's brother, Felix - also joined the Army. Felix was a top motorcycle mechanic in Chicago (worked for Gus's) and he was sent to India to work with the Brits., where they were running supplies through the jungles with motorcycles. I believe he lived in India for over two years. People would ask Felix what he did during the war and he'd reply, "I learned how to ride an elephant".
We've had another Frost Advisory for much of Lower Michigan overnight. N. Lower Michigan wasn't included, because they already had a hard freeze. Once we get past this (Sun.) AM, we shouldn't have to worry about frost/freeze the rest of this week.
Friday night, Grand Rapids tied a record low with 36°, it was 32° in Rockford, Jackson, Marshall, Mt. Pleasant and Alma, 31 in Big Rapids and Hastings, 30° in Ludington, 27° in Evart, 25° in Baldwin and 21° at Roscommon. The 21 deg. temp. at Roscommon was the 2nd coldest temp. in the U.S. Saturday AM. Only Mt. Washington NH was colder - and only by one degree.
The sky is a bright blue today as the smoke layer drifts to our south down into central and southern OH, IN and IL. The smoke layer may came back over Michigan Monday, thought it should be thinner than it was last week.