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The map above is the NCEP model forecast temperatures for Thu. 7 am Jan. 31. First, I certainly hope this is overdone. Second, look at the warming effect of Lake Michigan...temperatures +20 degrees warmer in W. Michigan than in E. Wisconsin. It would likely be clear in Wisconsin, with lake-effect clouds and snow in Lower Michigan.
The GFS 16-day plot has the surface temp. at mid-afternoon Fri. 1/25 at +10° in G.R. and +16° on Saturday - that's the next Arctic shot with the 850 mb (about a mile above the ground) down to -24°C on Friday...BUT the 850 mb temp. is down to -27 on 1/31. The European has -24° on Fri. and -28.6° on Fri. the 1/31. So, the Arctic air next week is supposed to be even colder than the cold this week!
So far this cool season: October was 0.6° cooler than average in G.R., November was 5.5° colder than average, December was 3.3° warmer than average and so far, January is 1.7° warmer than average, though the cold shots coming will likely erase that by the end of the month. February will surely start colder than average. The map above is the latest 8-14 day temperature outlook from the Climate Prediction Center. You can see the very high probability of colder than average temperatures east of the Rockies with the core of the cold in the Western Great Lakes.
Here's snow cover across the U.S. - 51.3% (over half) of the contiguous U.S. had a snow cover on Tuesday.
This is the Severe Weather Outlook from the Storm Prediction Center for this PM/night (1/23). There is a Slight to Marginal Risk for severe storms from SE Louisiana to Florida.
Weather map for today - Wed.
Also: Rescuing a dog that fell thru the ice. Beautiful rime ice in the full moonlight in Poland. Frozen Niagara Falls. Plane flying thru the lunar eclipse. Thick frost in Estonia. He made it! Don't try this. One small dog vs. two bigger bears. Freezing a bubble. Cold and snow in Ireland - Belfast Airport closed. Snow hits Paris, France. Ice in Berrien Co. on Tue. Ka-Boom! Snow in England. Gusts to 137 mph on top of Mt. Washington NH. Ice forming rapidly on the Great Lakes. Cool lenticular clouds in Spain. The Clarksville tornado, 20 years ago. Waterfall in winter. Icicles at sunrise. Snow in Utah. Snow in Bosnia. Snow in Belgium. Gigantic snow drifts in Turkey. Halo and sundogs in Latvia. Drone view of the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany in winter. Coldest in E. Canada in 3 years - temps. in F. Awesome lenticular cloud. Snow in the Netherlands. Snow in Italy. Digging out in Austria. I wouldn't stand under that snow overhang. Wildfire in S. Africa - it's summer there.
A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect until 4 pm for Muskegon, Oceana, Newaygo, Montcalm, Gratiot, Mason, Lake, Osceola and Clare Counties.
Precipitation is tapering off. There may be some residual flurries, drizzle or freezing drizzle. Here's a list of snowfall totals. 1/10 th 2/10" of ice was reported along I-94 before the temperature warmed above freezing.
At 11 am, the center of low pressure was near Grand Rapids. Moderate snow was falling at Ludington, Traverse City and Gaylord with light snow at Big Rapids. From Kent Co. south there were pockets of drizzle and very light rain. Temps at 11 am: 42 Coldwater, 40 Benton Harbor and Marshall, 39 Battle Creek and S. Haven, 36 Ionia, Lansing and Holland, 35 Gr. Rapids, 29 Mt. Pleasant, 26 Big Rapids.
Northwest of Kent County, where the precipitation stays all snow, 3-7" of snow will fall. Southeast of G.R. there will be less snow, because there will be a period when the precipitation will go over to rain/freezing rain.
This is our futurecast for early Weds. AM - Rain from G.R. to the south, where temperatures climb a little above freezing. To the north of a line from Muskegon to Alma, it's still snow. There may be an area of freezing rain in between. A word of caution...after a very cold weekend, the ground is cold and even if the temperature climbs a couple of degrees above freezing, there may still be ice on the pavement. Here's current weather observations and the latest Gr. Rapids NWS forecast discussion. Here's regional radar:
Here's the Grand Rapids NWS graphic on the Tue.-Wed. storm:
The latest 8-14 day outlook for Jan. 29 - Feb. 4 continues the trend for colder than average weather over all but the southwest part of the country. The core of the cold is over the Western Great Lakes. From Dr. Judah Cohen: "Latest CFS forecast predicts cold temperatures will last into March."
Here's snowfall from the weekend storm...highest south toward the Indiana border. A big snowstorm for New England.
The brightest star in the southeast sky in the early morning before sunrise is the planet Venus - the slightly dimmer star not too far away is the planet Jupiter.
Also: Halo and sun dogs at VerSluis Lake. Ice on breakwater at Michigan City IN. There has been a significant expansion of ice on the Great Lakes. The Wetumpka, Alabama tornado has been rated EF2 with an 18-mile path. Pretty Alabama sunset. Pretty Florida sunset. Pic. taken at just the right time. Heavy snow in the Czech Republic. Sustained winds of 85 mph, gusts to 110 on top of Mt. Washington. "Overwhelmed by volunteers". The high temperature of +4° at Hartford CT was the coldest high temperature there since 1981. Coldest day in Boston since 2004. Well, this is fun. Anyone that drives the Interstates in Alabama better be aware of this. Rime ice and a pretty cirrus sky in Bohemia. At 1:53 pm, Cheyenne WY was 50 deg. and sunny with a humidity of 24%. At 9:15 pm, it was snowing and blowing, the temp. was down to 19, the humidity was 93% and the wind was north at 30 mph gusting to 44 mph. Halo with sundogs in the Czech Republic. Frosty sphere. Heavy snow in Canada. Lunar eclipse in Finland. Dancing pigeon. Seal hugs a dog. Frozen waterfall. Heavy snow in Poland. Waterspout in Greece. Beautiful icy trees. Lunar eclipse in rural Texas. Nice camera work. 94" of new snow! Waterspout off Italy. Trees cracking from the cold. Pancake ice in Chicago. Rocket launch seen from space. When dinner comes to you. Snowy owl. +2 feet of snow in NY. Skating on thin ice. Heavy snow in Romania. Snow in the "Belt of Venus".
Here's a look at some very frigid low temps. early Monday AM (1/21/19). The coldest spot was -33° in Rudyard (south of S. Ste. Marie, on I-75). The coldest spot in West Michigan was an agricultural site in Lawrence in Van Buren County, where they reached -25°. Other cold spots in our area: -22° Watervliet, -21° Baldwin and -20° in Hastings. Gaylord set a record low temp. of -23°.
Other low temps: +6° Manitou Is. (warmer surrounded by water), -6° Hopkins, Benona, Alpena, Traverse City, -7° Hart, Keeler, -8° Grandville, -9° Grand Rapids, Mt. Pleasant, Fremont, East G.R., Frankfort, -10° Ludington, Ionia, Manistee, -11° Mt. Pleasant, Kent City, -12° Muskegon, Ionia, Ithaca, Hudsonville, Lawton, St. Ignace, Beaver Island (lots of ice around Beaver Is. now - same for Mackinac Is.), -13° Big Rapids, Kalamazoo, Holland, Charlotte, -14° Lansing, Houghton Lake, Clarksville, Sturgis, -15° Coldwater, Battle Creek, Hillsdale, Jackson, Alma, -16° Entrican (Montcalm Co.), Benton Harbor, Mecosta, Kalamazoo Nature Center, Fennville, Wellston (Manistee Co.), -17° Mio, -18°, Three Rivers, Evart, Allegan, Hartford, Grand Junction, -19° Marshall, Cadillac, Mendon, Ceresco, Albion, 20° Leota, -21° Baldwin, Fife Lake, -22° Pellston, Grayling, -23° Roscommon, -25° Kalkaska, Iindian River, -26° Raco, -27° Rudyard.
Here's a look at national low temps. Monday AM - The cool air got all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico, with lows of 35 in Houston, 30 in Mobile, 36 in Daytona Beach and 38 at Orlando. There were a total of 21 states that had at least one spot get below zero Monday AM. The temperature reached -33° at Crane Lake and Ely MN and Rudyard MI.
We enjoyed the Super, Blood, Wolf, Full Moon. It's called "super" because the full moon here in January is bigger than an average full moon. The moon averages 238,855 miles from Earth, but it can vary from 252,088 miles away to 225,623 miles away. When the moon is closer, it will look slightly bigger and when the moon is farther away, it will look slightly smaller. Every month, the moon goes through a time when it is closer to the Earth and a time when it is farther away. We are near the closest the full moon comes to the Earth in January. That's today (Mon. 1/21) at 2:59 pm, when it will be 222,042 miles from the Earth. The only time it will come closer this year will be in February and August.
It's also called a "blood moon" because it will look reddish during the full part of the eclipse. The moon will be passing through the shadow of the Earth. However, the moon won't disappear - you'll be able to see it, it will just look dimmer and reddish. The red color is from light passing around the earth, where it is sunrise or sunset.
The full moon of January is called the Wolf Moon. Native Americans gave names to the full moons and the January moon was named after the wolf, a mighty creature that survives the winter cold and snow. Here's a list of full moon names.
The eclipse started at 10:34 pm. That's when the moon began to move into the Earth's shadow. You won't see any difference for awhile. The "full eclipse" starts at 11:41 pm and lasts until 12:44 am. That's when you'll notice a difference. The moon will look dimmer and reddish. Maximum eclipse is 12:16 pm and the moon exits the Earth's shadow at 1:51 am. The moon will be high in the sky for this event. The next lunar eclipse is May 26, 2021 and the next time a total eclipse is visible throughout N. America is in May 2022.
Some moon facts: If you were to drive to the moon from the Earth at 55 mph, you'd have to drive without stopping for 181 days to get there. On the moon, you'd weigh just 16.5% of what you weigh on Earth. So if you weigh 100 pounds on the Earth, you'd weigh just 16.5 pounds on the moon, about as much as my bowling ball. Think how high you could jump or how far you could hit a baseball. Only 12 people have walked on the moon - all from the United States. The moon has small moonquakes. The moon is moving away from the Earth at the rate of about an inch and a half every year. Our moon is the 5th biggest moon in the solar system and the only moon that doesn't have another name - it's just "the moon". On the moon there is no atmosphere...no air...so there is no noise. It's perfectly quiet. And with no atmosphere, the sky stays black during the daytime when the sun is out. The moon has extreme tempratures, ranging from +392 to -328 degrees Fahrenheit.
Here's a link to current weather conditions in Michigan. While you're looking at the moon this time of year, see if you can find some of the constellations. Look for the Big Dipper and the Orion, the Hunter (prominent in our winter sky). See if you can find the North Star and Casseopeia (it looks like a "W" in the northeastern sky). As always, thanks for reading my blog!
(WOOD) — Temperatures dipped below zero early Sunday morning over much of West Michigan.Grand Rapids dropped to-1° degrees, Battle Creek bottomed out at -2° and Kalamazoo (airport) dipped to -6°.Other low temperatures Sunday AM:
It dipped to -15° in Pellston and 250 miles north of Lake Superior, it was a frosty -41° at Lansdowne House, Ontario. At Copper Harbor, there was a north-northeast wind at 21 mph gusting to 31 mph and the temperature was +5, so after crossing +120 miles of Lake Superior, it was still only +5°. Beaver Island dipped to -10, which leads me to think ice is forming rapidly in the north part of Lake Michigan.
It's e cold again this Monday morning, leading some schools in southwest Michigan to cancel classes.
Here's some snowfall totals from Friday night. Three Rivers had the most that I could find:
>>App users: Tap for graphs
Including the Friday night and Saturday snow, here's some season snowfall totals:
Grand Rapids' nearly 22 inches is roughly half of the average to date. Kalamazoo (updated to 31.3 inches at 9 a.m.) has had more snow this winter than Muskegon.
Marquette is over 100" and slightly ahead of average-to-date. The most I could find was at Tamarack, which is just a place where they measure snowfall not too far from Calumet.
The top picture is skating at Rosa Park Circle shortly after 1 a.m. early Sunday. Skating went on all night because of the Great Skate Winterfest. That was to benefit the Griffins Youth Foundation. Here's a schedule of events.
From the Portland MI police: Conditions were extremely hazardous this AM, Yet many drivers failed to heed this warning & operate with common sense. A Portland PD Officer was struck while attending to other vehicle crashes. Fortunately, the Officer only sustained minor injuries.
This ambulance lost control on icy I-94 Saturday PM. The 22-year old driver had non life-threatening inuries. The patient in transport and the medic with him were not seriously injured.
From the Kent Co. Road Commission: "Overnight, crews scraped, treated state roads. Day crews continuing on county primaries & locals-likely won't get into neighborhoods. Temps continue to drop, reducing effectiveness of salt. Reduce speeds & leave plenty of distance between vehicles."
Here's a few things you should have in your vehicle during what will be the coldest and snowiest part of the winter (next month - or more).
A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for Ottawa, Kent, Ionia and Clinton Counties to the south until 4 pm Sat. afternoon.
Snowfall amounts will be heavier south and lighter to the north with up to 6" from Allegan and Barry Counties to the south and mybe an inch north of a line from Pentwater to Mt. Pleasant.
The snow is only half the weather story...the coming Arctic cold is the other big story.
Here's the G.R. National Weather Service Graphic on the Snow and Cold
This is the U.S. Hazards map as I type this at 8 pm Fri. Look at the extensive area under a Winter Storm Warning (in pink) from Minnesota and Iowa tot the East Coast. For the current map and an explanation of the colors, click here. Here's the latest Grand Rapids NWS forecast discussion, the Chicago NWS forecast discussion and the Northern Indiana NWS forecast discussion.
We're just a couple weeks away from Groundhog Day. The most famous groundhog, Punxsatawney Phil, will emerge (with a little help) from his burrow on Gobler's Knob, a (very) small hill a couple miles from "downtown" Punxsatawney (the movie "Groundhog Day" implied that Phil lived in the downtown square - those scenes were shot in Woodstock, Illinois, not Punxsutawney).
I'm not going to Philibuster here...just a short note to the royal rodent...phone this one in. It's an easy forecast this year...six more weeks of winter. Spring will be no where to be found on Feb. 3rd and maybe not every Mar. 3rd this year over much of the Northeast and Great Lakes.
This is the European ensemble model temperature forecast for days 28-35 centered on 2/21 - the Eastern U.S. looks pretty chilly...including G.R. and Punxsutawney PA.
This is for the next week...days 35-42 centered on 2/28. Still looks cold. It hints that things will start to warm up in early March, but if the cold February is true...there will be ice and snow that may hold things back a little.
In the meantime...snow for Fri. night and Sat. Read the latest GRR NWS Discussion. Best guess as I write this: about 1" for Fremont-Big Rapids, 2" for G.R., 4" for Kalamazoo and Battle Creek...6" at the Indiana border. Winds strong enough to cause drifting. Really cold Sunday and Monday...colder than average for much of the next several weeks.
Also: Rainbow Smile! Snowplow creams car and guy standing next to it (10 sec. into the video. Heavy snow in Slovenia. Severe t-storm possible in AL and MS Sat. PM. Rain shaft...not a tornado. Heavy snow in Italy. Nope, not doing this. Global hurricane landfall statistics 1970-2018. BRRRR! Surfing with dolphins. There's a house in there! Forecast update for the Patriots/Chiefs game. Heavy snow in CA. Up to 52" of snow. Rainfall: Los Angeles 1.65", Pasadena 3.82" (wow). Houses buried in snow. Flooding in CA. Rain shaft, not a tornado. Super cold in Europe. This looks scary. Snow in Israel. Clearing snow in Romania. Heavy snow in Slovakia. Whirlpools. Egypt dust storm. 5.1 magnitude e-quake near Tokyo.
The annual Kent/Ottawa County Skywarn Meeting is Tuesday evening, March 12 at Grandville Middle School. The event is free and limited to the first 400 people who sign up. Doors open at 6 pm with the training from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm.
The material presented covers the basics of being a SKYWARN storm spotter. This particular training is open to anyone but specifically for residents of Kent and Ottawa County.
You'll learn about severe thunderstorms, funnel clouds and tornadoes and how to spot the difference between them and harmless look-a-likes.. Trained SKYWARN watchers provide weather hazard reports to local forecast offices during severe weather events. Becoming an official storm spotter for the county is optional after the training, not required.
SKYWARN spotter volunteers help the national weather service with ground truth of what they see on Doppler radar and can make the difference between issuing or not issuing a severe thunderstorm or tornado warning.
Training include safety considerations for all hazards, spotter report criteria and spotter procedures. While residents of all ages are welcome, the training is targeted for those 16 and older.
SKYWARN storm spotter training participants should print out their tickers at the eventbrite website and bring them with them to the training, as the personal information on the tickets will be used by the National Weather Service.
To register for the event, visit skywarn2019.eventbrite.com. Registration is open through March 5. Doors open at 6 p.m. for the training and participants are asked to enter from the Canal Street entrance at the school.
There will be more of these training sessions in West Michigan and I'll try and announce them on the blog and my twitter account (@bsteffen). The Northern Indiana NWS has announced their late winter/spring list of training sessions, including in Berrien, St. Joseph and Branch Counties.
"Sacre-blue!" as they might say in France. Look at all the blue on the 8-14 day temperature outlook for Jan. 24-30. It's Coast-to-Coast Cold with blue from Florida to Seattle. Only western California and Alaska have a better than 50/50 shot at warmer than average temps. The core of the cold is centered over the Western Lakes. I think it's likely that the cold pattern will last at leasts into the first week of February if not beyond. So...what about snow...you might remember back at the end of Dec. I wrote about the leasts snowy Decembers. All of the top 4 least snowy Decembers were followed by much snowier Januarys - with snowfall by the end of January from 13" to 27". It would depend on getting some lake effect inland, but 13" by the end of the month is still doable.
Cold this (Thu.) AM - Low temps: 18 G.R., 3 Evart, -2 Cadillac, -12 Marquette and Ironwood, -17 Champion.
This is the precipitation forecast for the same period from the Climate Prediction Center. The Great Lakes are green - meaning a higher than average probability of above average precipitation...and that would be snow.
Here's the 72-hour snowfall probability map from the Weather Prediction Center. With the storm Friday night into Saturday - the heaviest show should fall across Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. In Michigan, snowfall will be higher south and lower north...with perhaps 3-5" possible at the Indiana/Ohio border and 1-2" in G.R.
Snow forecast Fri. night/Sat. - could be up to an inch tonight. Lake-effect to follow Sat. night to Mon. with another snow system Tue.
Here's European snow totals:
The above graphic is from the National Weather Service in N. Indiana. Behind the storm initially the winds are more northerly, which means the lake-effect snow (cold air coming over the lake) could begin in N. Indiana and then move onshore in West Michigan as winds turn northwest.
The coldest temperatures of the season will come over the weekend into next week. The overnight run of the GFS-plot gives Grand Rapids a mid-afternoon temp. of 15 on Sunday and the European model (above) has G.R. down to -5 Monday AM and Cadillac to -22. If we get the combination of fresh snow on the ground (likely), mostly clear skies and calm winds...it should be down below zero Monday AM. The cold pattern looks to me to hang on into at least the first week of February and likely beyond. From Dr. Judah Cohen: "Last night's ECMWF (model) forecast could be the poster child for the
#PolarVortex truly museum quality graphics! Brutally #cold for the Eastern US. From Climate Realists: Latest UKMET (model) Forecast shows the current cold snap going from bad to worse by early next week... Freeeeezing."
Also: Ringo Starr out in the snow (at 78 years old). THIS is how to clear snow. There's a Marginal Risk of a severe thunderstorm over NE Texas Friday PM. Western Europe also gets cold and snowy. View of the lunar eclipse Sun. evening in Michigan is iffy, but possible, especially inland, just don't hold your breath on this one. Seven FEET of snow possible in the California mountains. Pretty Alabama sunset. Bubbles! Arctic cold in Scandanavia. Train hits truck in Germany. Hawk drops prey - grabs it in mid-flight. Heavy snow in Germany. The floating and rotating ice disk in Maine. Heavy snow in Greece. This picture is even more impressive. High winds cause damage in Turkey. Gigantic snowdrift in Austria. Heavy snow in Turkey. Really close dust devil. Plowing through deep snow in Poland. Snowing in Jerusalem. Snow in Libya. Blade runner. Morning rainbow in St. Marteen. Heavy snow in France. More from Reed Timmer: "BLIZZARD conditions developing at Mammoth Mountain, CA with gusts up to 130 mph at the ridge! Snowfall totals of 6-7 FEET by Friday morning." Double rainbow in Alabama. Dust storm in Egypt. Pretty sunrise. How do you shovel this? Snow forecast for Ireland, England and Scotland. Amazing dust devil. Thundersnow! Double sinkhole swallowing river. Betty White is 97 years old today.
We've been talking and writing about it for over a week...the Arctic Express is on the way this weekend and it's going to stick around. The map above is the 8-14 day outlook from the Cliimate Prediction Center for Jan. 22-28. There's a lot of blue on the map (high chance of below average temperatures), with only the immediate West Coast expected to be a little warmer than average.
This is the ath of the center of the Arctic High Pressure Center that will move from near the North Pole down into the United States. The overnight run of the GFS-plot gives G.R. a 1 pm temp. of 21 on Sat., 17 on Sun. and 17 on Mon. The European has 18, 15, 18 - so pretty similar. The models suggest about 1-3" of snow for G.R. with hgiher amounts as you go south and southeast.
This map shows the areas that will see the very cold air (from NWS). The European hints at a bigger snowstorm around the 24th and the models have another shot of Arctic air coming in for around the 26th-30th. Old Man Winter...hitchin' a ride on the Arctic Express and headed toward the U.S.A. Here's the G.R.
The map above is the GEFS model for 7 am 1/30. Look at the area covered by that Arctic air...from the Arctic to the Gulf of Mexico and everyone east of the Rockies. NWS graphic for today's weather:
And below, the N. Indiana National Weather Service graphic for today's weather:
Also pretty windy in the U.P. last night with gusts to 56 mph at Stannard Rock, 53 mph at Copper Harbor and 52 mph at Houghton. 4.7 magnitude e-quake 136 miles off the coast of Maryland. Here's a nice sunset. Thanks to the road crews working to minimize the ice threat on major (and the minor roads when they can get to them) roads. Reasonably priced gasoline for the next 4 years. Huge avalanche. Ski hill closed - too much snow. Heavy snow in Scotland. Heavy snow in Transylvania. Heavy snow in Romania. Caribbean sunrise. Houses buried in Austria.
Peak gusts in N. Lower MI Tue. night
The Winter Weather Advisory continues until 10 am. We have a chance of freezing drizzle or light snow. Temperatures have mostly in the upper 20s, some roads still have icy spots, especially in Kent County, where we had literally dozns and dozens of slide-offs and accidents on Tue. Most main roads have been salted. Drive slowly and leave a good interval between you and the vehicle in front of you. Speaking of driving...check this out! Spectrum Health saw over 50 people for slip and fall accidents today. G.R. public schools are closed for Weds.
Stop light taken out at Ottawa and I-96. Kent Co. Sheriff’s office said: 354 calls for service between 5 am and 10 am (PD, Fire EMS, not including GRPD or GRFD), 299 non-emergency calls, 361 911 calls Tue. AM Hard to walk out there. Michigan Street NE east of Fuller Avenue was closed as crews repair a water service line leak.
The above graphic is from the Gr. Rapids National Weather Service. Here's current Michigan weather conditions, the latest Grand Rapids National Weather Service forecast discussion and tweets from the Kent Co. Road Commission.
The above graphic is from the National Weather Service in Gaylord for N. Lower Michigan and E. Upper Michigan.
This graphic from the N. Indiana NWS covers the weekend snow and cold...+6" of snow likely across a large portion of Central and Northern Indiana.
The above image is the European Model valid for Jan. 30 at 7 am - coast-to-coast Arctic cold! Blizzard Warning.
Also: Very cold pattern shaping up for much of Europe. Pretty snowfall in Washington D.C. Very heavy snow in Austria. I think there's a house in there! Sunday's NFL playoff game in Kansas City could be the coldest playoff game ever. The morning run of the GFS plot gives Kansas City a gametime temperature of +8F. More heavy rain and mountain snow for California. Avalanche. BIG Avalanche. -38F this AM at Antero Reservoir CO. Lenticular clouds in South America. Did he really shovel all of that! Biggest snowfall in memory! All-time record snowfall. Now that's heavy snow! Cool lenticular clouds. Light pillars in Lapland. Car buried in snow. Heavy snow in Poland. Another big storm for the Western U.S. Snow in North Africa. Deep snow in Switzerland. Deep snow in Germany. Lightning and stars. Heavy snow in Algeria. Heavy snow in Romania. Bet he didn't do that with just the shovel! This is better than shoveling the roof. Heavy snow in Italy.
I stayed up so I could see the latest weather data (it's 3:30 am). The map above in the GFS model valid Saturday afternoon. It's snowing throughout the area. The GFS gives G.R. a 1 pm temp. of 17° and a total of 0.40" precip., which could be about 5-6" of snow. The European model gives G.R. 0.28" which would be 3-5". Sunday is the coldest day...the GFS gives G.R. a 1 pm temperature of 15°, while the European has a bone-chilling +5° (probably a little too cold)...add the wind and it's a very cold day. By Monday, both models are back up around 20° in the PM. In any case...looks like we may need to get the plows back on the trucks for Saturday and get out that thermal underwear. We may also see an inch of snow on Thurs.
Also: Snow in Germany.
A fireball (unusually bright meteor) streaked across our West Michigan skies early last Friday. The above picture is from Christine Ford in Plainfield Township. Here's a picture from Dan Kloosterman in Byron Center:
Go here to see video. Meteors and fireballs are tracked by the American Meteor Society. If you can remember the date of a past fireball (since 2005), you can look it up at their website.
Here's a look at where this meteor was reported to the American Meteor Society. Keep in mind that many more people will have seen the meteor than report it to the AMS. However, you can see it was seen in S. Lower Michigan and across N. Illinois. There was one report in E. Iowa. Meteor reports slow down in the late fall and winter here in the Great Lakes due to the persistent cloud cover. If you ever report a meteor to the AMS - note the time, the direction you are facing and an estimate at how far about the horizon the meteor was located.
It'll probably be cloudy here...but...there is a really good flyover of the Intl. Space Station Friday evening at 6:42 pm. The Space Station will come directly overhead (87 deg. off the horizon) and we'll have a four minute view. The station will appear to the southwest, climb overhead and then move to the east-northeast before disappearing. Here's a list of when you could (weather permitting) see the ISS fly over West Michigan.
Today (Mon.) was the first day cooler than average in G.R. in the last five weeks (36 days). The low temperature in G.R. was 14°. That's the 2nd coldest temperature of the winter so far and the first time we've dipped below 20 since Dec. 9. It was cooler to the south where there was snow on the ground, with lows in the single figures along and south of I-94. An interesting note in Ludington, where the temperature was 14° at 12:55 am and then rose to 28° three hours later. What caused that? We'll the wind was calm, then the wind started blowing off the relatively warmer waters of Lake Michigan. It's not very often you see a temperature rise like that in the middle of the night.
These were temperatures at 8 pm EST. You can see the really cold Arctic air near, north and west of Hudson Bay. Temperatures have moderated a bit in Alaska - no more -50° temps. - the coldest in the state this AM was -31° at Fort Yukon. Lots of snow in parts of Alaska. Yakutat has 39" on the ground. The Alyeska Ski Area reports a snow depth of 75" (over 6 feet) with a season total of 242" so far.
You may not see snow on the ground where you are, but ski areas have been able to make lots of snow. Here's a look at the skiers and boarders at Cannonsburg Ski Area this (Mon.) evening.
Lots of skaters this evening at Rosa Park Circle. Skating should continue to be great the rest of the week here, but be careful on area lakes and ponds. In most cases, the ice is still to weak to walk out on.
The Winter Weather Advisory that was supposed to be in effect until noon has been canceled. While it's not impossible that there could be a random few flurries or a few drops of freezing drizzle this AM, it should not be too impactful. Below are the areas that were under a Winter Weather Advisory.
Winter Weather Advisories were out for much of Wisconsin, N. Illinois, SE Minnesota, E. Iowa, far NW Indiana. Again, this was mainly for the possibility of a period of freezing mist. Again, not all areas will see the freezing mist/drizzle and precipitation amounts will be quite light. There was some drizzle/freezing drizzle in E. Iowa. This is the Tue. AM GRR NWS graphic on today's weather:
Tune into Daybreak (4:30 - 7 am on WOOD TV8) and the Noon Show for updates.
NOW...this is the probability of an inch of snow or more over the next 72 hours (thru Thurs. PM)...the highest probability is across S. Lower MI, esp. toward Coldwater and Hillsdale. The more significant snow may come Friday night into Saturday as the Arctic air arrives.
Confidence is growing that we'll move into a colder (and maybe snowier) weather pattern in about a week. The graphic above is the 8-14 Day Temperature Outlook from the Climate Prediction Center. This is for Jan. 19-25 and you can see the area in blue that has a good chance of below average temperatures from the Northern Plains across the Great Lakes to the Northeast and south to the Texas Coast.
This is the 3-4 week temperature forecast from the Weather Prediction Center for Jan. 26 to Feb. 9. The Great Lakes and Northeast south to the Gulf Coast are predicted to have a higher probability of colder than average temperatures.
This is the Arctic Oscillation - generally, when this is positive, there is a higher likelihood of warmer weather in the Great Lakes and eastern U.S. and when it is negative, there is a higher chance of colder than average weather. It's not always the case, but a forecasting tool that we look at. You can see this index was positive (warm) for much of Sept. and Oct....then went negative in November (and we had a cold and snowy pattern...then positive for much of December...now it's headed down.(see the red lines at the end, showing that the majority of the members of this model are showing a significant drop for not this coming week, but the week after.
Here's high temperatures from Friday. You can see the cold, Arctic Air that stretches from N. New England across S. Canada, where highs were in the single figures. You can see Greenville, Maine at 4 above, Watertown NY, 6 above at Watertown NY, 10 above at Toronto, The warmest spot was McAllen TX with 82 and the coldest was Philadelphia NY at -13. The Arctic air is entrenched over Alaska. McGrath had a high/low of -43/-53 on Friday. That's cold!
Check this out: U.S. radar timelapse for the entire year of 2018. Look at Hurricane Florence coming into the Carolinas in Sept. and Hurricane Michael coming into the Florida Panhandle in Oct.
We miss the Saturday snowstorm - which goes to our south...here's N. Indiana radar:
and regional radar:
We'll be in a cool and dry weather pattern for the next week. After that, there are signs that the Arctic air may make it down into the northern U.S. around the 20th. The top map is the GFS (American) model valid at 1 pm 1/21. It shows a nice low pressure center over St. Louis with a swath of significant, accumulating snow from Lower Michigan to Nebraska. Behind it, Arctic air is pouring into the N. Plains and Western Lakes Region. It's too early for the model to say exactly where a storm might be, but accumulating snow is certainly on the table as the Arctic air settles in.
The second map above is the (Canadian) Naefs model for Jan. 18-24. It shows a lot of blue over Canada and the U.S., which means a higher probability of colder than average temperatures.
The map above is the 8-14 day outlook from the Climate Prediction Center. The Great Lakes are turning blue (cool). This is for a 6-day period...we expect the first 3 days to be at least average...so this means the last 3 days (Jan. 21-24) would be on the cold side. The last map is the GFS (American) model valid at 1 pm 1/21. It's too early to say this is for sure what's going to happen, but the trend of the models is colder (and likely snowier) for the last 10-12 days of January.
Matt Kirkwood did this snowfall comparison showing the low snowfall totals of this winter so far with last year up to this point. The 18.7" in G.R. is about half the snowfall we should expect to this point in the winter. Thursday AM only 28.6% of the Lower 48 States had a snow cover. That number will increase as the snowstorm spreads across the Ohio Valley on Saturday. Here's the Warnings and Advisories out as of just after midnight Friday AM:
NCEP mHere's the N. Indiana NWS graphic on the weekend storm. The snow should stay south of I-94 if not south of the state border. St. Louis gets +6". Public discussion on the storm. Above that is NCEP model snowfall this weekend (looks like a fish). And here's a look at some snow depths:Thursday:
Speaking of snow...check out the snow in the Golan Heights of Israel. That's a chair lift unusable in the deep snow. You may have seen this - "ice waves" on White Lake - a thin layer of ice broke up and was sloshing around in the waves at the shore. Pics. of heavy snow in Europe. We found the car! Snowy owls have come down from the Arctic. "2,000 people trapped in villages..." 60 below zero! Dogs in heavy snow. This looks dangerous. The magnetic North Pole is shifting into Russia. Rain shaft in Brazil. Train stuck in snow in Germany. Greece buried in snow. Avalanche! Astronomers detect mysterious repeated radio signal from faraway galaxy for second time. Looks like the water to form the icicles came out the window. F4 tornado occurred on 1/10/1975. Italy buried by snow. Heavy snow in Serbia. Three feet of new snow in Greece. Los Angeles has picked up 0.75 inches of rain so far this month, an amount that could be doubled by the end of the weekend. Blizzard in Romania. Attacking a wildfire from 3 sides. I think this would close the schools. Tucson AZ has had more snow this winter than Boston, Hartford and NYC. Wicked double waterspout. This is the town where they have the Passion Play every 10 years. Spread the word. Blossoms out too soon in Spain. Looks like they have a wind. Pretty winter scene with church in Poland. Volcano update.
Eastern snowfall...enhanced by the Great Lakes. Up to 17" in update NY. Gaylord MI down to 6 below zero Fri. AM.
Thursday was the coldest day in Grand Rapids since last February 11th with a high of 26°. It was also the first time in a month that the average temperature for the day was not warmer than average. The first ten days of January were 7.8° warmer than average. We'll be back a lot closer to average by the time the month ends.
Here's U.S. high temperatures for Thursday. Finally, a little cooler air moved into Florida. A warm, Chinook wind coming down the mountains sent Denver soaring to 61°. The warmest in the U.S. was 78° at Thermal CA, the coolest was -15° at Crane Lake MN. Alaska is shivering. The lowest temp. was -52° at Hulsia. McGrath AK had a high/low of -36°/-45°. When I checked before the 11 pm news, Buckland AK had a wind chill factor of -63°.
Here's a look at some snow depths in Michigan:
W. Michigan: 1/2" Comstock Park...1" Hart, Fremont, Hopkins...2" Muskegon, Bloomingdale, Niles...3" Zeeland, Oshtemo, Kalamazoo.
N. Lower Michigan: 1" Beulah...2" Lake City, Traverse City, Gladwin...3" Atlanta, Lupton...4" Houghton Lake, Charlevoix, Benzonia...5" Mio, St. Ignace, Harbor Springs, Lewiston, Engadine...6" Cadillac, Cheboygan, Glennie...7" E. Jordan, Kingsley, Fife Lake...8" Alpena, Grayling...9" Gaylord...11: Mancelona (5.7" new yesterday).
Upper Michigan: 4" Stonington...8" Green Garden, Norway...10" Stambaugh...11" Moran, Ontonagon, Green Garden...12" Watersmeet, Gladstone...13" Jacobsville...14" Paulding, Harvey...15" Ironwood...16" Detour Village, Manistique...17" Sawyer, Dollar Bay...19" Ishpeming...20" Marquette...21" S. Ste. Marie, Newberry...23" Atlantic Mine...24" Calumet...30" Grand Marais (7" new yesterday)...32" Painesdale (6.2" new yesterday).
2" at S. Bend, Indiana, 1" at Fort Wayne, Indiana
If you've taken a measurement and would like to add it to the list...email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Season snowfall (and departure from average): Grand Rapids 18.7" (-17.7"), Muskegon 20.0" (-24.1"), Kalamazoo 22.8" (-11.5"), Chicago 14.3" (+1.7"), S. Ste. Marie 63.9" (+4.2"), Marquette 95.2" (+9.7").
This graph (made by Matt Kirkwood) shows the annual number of severe weather reports by year over the past several years. As you can see, we've had fewer severe weather reports since 2014. A severe report is either a tornado, a report of thunderstorm wind damage, a gust of 58 mph or higher or hail 1" in diameter or greater.
The first six tornadoes of 2019 struck in five different states. On Jan. 4 at 4:42 am, a tornado hit briefly north of Abbeville AL. The tornado tipped over a truck that was driving down US 431. The driver was uninjured. There was also some minor building damage, trees down and a power outage.
This twister was only on the ground for 0.15 mile and was just 35 yards wide (1/3rd of a football field). It was classified EF0 with winds of 85 mph. Pic above is from WDHN).
About an hour and a half later, the same storm spawned another small tornado across the state line in Georgia near the town of Zetto. One residence had significant damage. Part of a roof was torn off, a shed blown in trees were toppled. The tornado crossed state route 37.
On Jan. 6, two waterspouts moved onshore near Santa Cruz, California, doing some damage. The picture above shows the tarped roof of the Dolphin Restaurant at West Cliff. A large portion of ther roof was taken off. The twisters struck about 20 minutes and one mile apart and were both rated EF-0. The strongest one (that hit the restaurant) had winds estimated at 85 mph.
The same storm brought heavy rain and strong winds to California.
On Tuesday (1/8) two tornadoes struck - one in NE Ohio and the other in W. Pennsylvania. The Ohio Tornado crossed Mosquito Lake around 10:25 am and moved into the town of Cortland. The twister was rated EF1 with winds of up to 100 mph. Here's video. Photo's here. The twister was 75 yards wide and it was on the ground for 4.5 miles. There was some building damage and trees were downed. (pic. from Courtland Twp. Fire Dept.)
A second tornado touched down about an hour later across the state border in Pennsylvania at the town of New Lebanon. This twister was 400 yards wide and was on the ground for nearly 3 miles. There were numerous trees uprooted and snapped off and one building was damaged. The National Weather Service determined that this tornado was an EF1 with winds of 95 mph. Note in the pictures that there is snow on the ground the day after the tornado. It was only the 7th tornado recorded in Pennsylvania during the month of January. This was part of a general area of storms that produced large hail and wind gusts over 50 mph.
The Winter Weather Advisory has ended for West Michigan. We still have snow showers along the lakeshore from Ludington to Muskegon, then west of a line from Muskegon to Kalamazoo. There are also some advisories in N. Lower and Upper Michigan. Top pic. is Cannonsburg Ski Area Wed. night. They are making snow and have plenty of snow for skiers, boarders and tubers. The weather should be quite favorable for ski resorts the rest of this week into early next week.
Advisories are also in effect for areas east of Traverse City from Lake City to Gaylord and in the Eastern and Western U.P. Look for snow and slippery roads in these areas. Mancelona has 9" of snow on the ground with 7" at Gaylord and E. Jordan. In the U.P. S. Ste. Marie is up to 21" on the ground (they had 17.6" of snowfall in 2 days), 19" at Marquette, 17" at Hancock and 16" at Houghton and Newberry.
These are the Advisories still in effect. 2" of new snow was reported in Oshtemo and Niles with up to 6" of new snow in N. Lower MI.
Here's forecast wind chill values for Thu. morning...down to the single figures. This isn't unusual for January, but certainly colder than what we've experienced these past few weeks.
Not a lot of snow on our Snow Futurecast. Only a dusting in Gr. Rapids...up to 1-3" in the more favorable lake-effect snowbelts, especially from Saugatuck down to N. Indiana. It stays cool the rest of this week, with moderating temperatures back above average early next week. Here's radar:
Heavy snow fell in the eastern U.P. on Monday. S. Ste. Marie had 12.3" in 24 hours and 17.6" in 48 hours, leaving them with 21" on the ground and bringing their season snowfall total to 63.9", which is 4.2" above average to date. Marquette (airport) added 7.5" - bringing their season snowfall total to 93.4", which is 7.8" above average-to-date. They have 19" of snow on the ground. Snow totals from Monday: 14" Barbeau, La La Belle, 12" Munising, Steuben, Germfask,and Trenary, 11" Hiawatha, Gulliver, 10" Palmer, Brampton, Larium, National Mine and Big Bass Lake, 9" Ishpeming, Newberry, Manistique, Rapid River and Gooseneck Lake, 8" Norway, 6" Harvey. Grand Rapids had 0.1", Big Rapids 1.1" and Harrison 2.9". Strong winds downed a few trees and caused a few power outages.
Also: 29 consecutive days with warmer than average temps. in G.R. Sunshine stands at just 15% since Nov. 1. It's been a cloudy, mild and snowless (for the most part) winter so far. Pic. of waterspout on Lake MI from 12/30. Three feet of new snow in Austria in 24 hours. Yup, there's a car in there. Snowy scene in Transylvania. More on the heavy snow in the Alps. Look at them digging the car out here. Where are the horses? Snow buries cars in Turkey. Rare thunderstorms blast Lebanon. Yet another snowstorm passes south and southeast of Michigan over the weekend. Nice lenticular clouds. Showers for S. California. Snow buries cars in Greece. Huge snowfall in Romania. More heavy snow in Austria. Awesome mountain cap (lenticular) clouds in California. Look at this lenticular cloud. Thundersnow in Crete. Rare winter tornado in NE Ohio. Also hail in NE Ohio. Missouri sunset. The crescent moon with earthshine. Heavy snow in Poland. Heavy snow in Athens, Greece. Huge snowfall in Italy. Heavy snow in Russia. Storm headed for the West Coast. Winter rainbow. Sunset on a very calm Mobile Bay. Anyone want to ski in this? Lenticular cloud in France (bonus cathedral in background). How'd you like this job. Magnitude 6.3 e-quake in Japan. Too much snow for ski lift to operate. The Manitowoc South Pier Light Beacon was washed into Lake Michigan Jan. 7, 2019, Iridescence. Heavy snow and ice at the Black Sea. Large waterspout off Cancun, Mexico. Missing cat from Michigan found in Florida.
The top pic. is from Patti Ebright - Sunset at S. Haven Monday evening. We had 0% sunshine in G.R. Monday. That's the 41st day since Nov. 1 with no sunshine and since Nov. 1, Grand Rapids has had just 15.4% of possible sunshine. It's been relatively warm. The 51-degree high temperature yesterday in G.R. was 20 degrees warmer than average. Other highs Monday included 54 in Kalamazoo and 47 in Muskegon. Peak winds Monday included 51 mph at Holland (airport), 43 mph at Muskegon, 42 mph in Lansing and 41 mph in G.R. The winds kicked up giant waves on Lake Michigan, that were highest in Wisconsin with a southeast wind, Check out these pictures of a wave washing away the 2-story pier light tower at the Manitowoc Channel.
Winter is coming back...we'll get a few scattered rain showers today with temps. in the low 40s...but a cold front will move through, sending temps. down this PM, kicking the wind back up to 20 mph from the west and changing the rain to snow this afternoon. The NWS has issued a Winter Weather Advisory from 5 PM this (Tue.) PM until 7 pm Weds. This includes the lakeshore counties and the next set of counties inland (Lake, Newaygo, Kent, Barry, Kalamazoo).
This is the wind chill forecast for early Wednesday with temps. in the low to mid 20s and a stiff northwest wind. The air will be cold enough to kick up lake-effect snow showers. With a northwest flow, favored areas for heavier snowfall (several inches) will be south of Saugatuck and north of Whitehall. The cool air should stick around from Tues. night thru the rest of the week. As temps. fall, watch for slippery roads to develop in some areas, esp. Tues. night into Weds.
A Winter Weather Advisory will be in effect until 7 pm north of a line from Cadillac to Tawas City.
Winter Weather Advisories extend north to the Mackinac Bridge. It's a Winter Storm Warning for much of Upper Michigan, where up to 10" of snow is expected.
Here's the Futurecast for today. There is a chance of a little (not a lot, a little) light mix of rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow from I-96 to the north in the . I expect temps. to be in the low-mid 30s in the AM. With a relatively warm ground (4" soil temperature was 34° Sunday AM), I'm optimistic about main roads being just wet from the G.R. area to the south.
The Snow Futurecast has barely an inch for Alma to Big Rapids to the north with just trace amounts of snow or sleet from Muskegon Co. to Lansing. Bottom line is...the farther north you go...the more snow there was. Moderate to heavy snow has been falling in the eastern U.P.
Here's Grand Rapids radar (some echoes may be aloft with precipitation not reaching the ground).
Here's Regional Radar. Check with 24 Hour News 8 at 5 pm and 6 pm for a fresh forecast and the latest on road conditions. Keep an eye on any school closings and delays - that'll give you an idea of where roads may be slippery. Here's current Michigan weather observations and the latest Grand Rapids National Weather Service forecast discussion. Here's the forecast discussions for N. Lower MI and for the U.P. At 5 pm, temperatures range from 37 at Big Rapids to 45 at Grand Rapids, to 51 at Holland to 53 at Benton Harbor to 55 at Chicago (Midway). Benton Harbor had a gust to 43 mph this AM and Muskegon had a gust to 44 mph just before 4 pm. Holland last hour a gust to 41 mph. - most areas are getting gusts to 25-35 mph.
Finally, if you were watching the Bears/Eagles game on WOOD TV8, you saw the game end on a "double-doink" field goal attempt by Cody Parkey of the Bears. The ball hit the left upright, then the cross bar, but didn't go through the uprights. Here's video of a "double-doink" that did get thru the uprights. This video hit both uprights, while the Parkey attempt hit the left upright and then the crossbar. An interest math problem would be to estimate how far the ball would have to be to the right to ultimately make it through the upright (a tiny fraction of an inch) or how much crosswind would it have taken for the field goal to be good. Amazing game...great season for the Bears to finish 12-5 after being 5-11 last year. OK - found this one...hits the upright - then hits the crossbar TWICE and then goes thru.
Look what I found today! This dandelion (and several others) were growing just off the southeast corner of the parking lot at Alpine Elementary School.
This is a dandelion going to seed - again just southeast of Alpine Elementary School. The high temperature today was 48 in G.R. with nearly full sunshine. Kalamazoo, Sturgis and Three Rivers reached 53 - Battle Creek rose to 51 and the high was 50 at Lansing, Charlotte and Coldwater. Cadillac and Houghton Lake had highs of 40.
Despite the mild air, the skiers and boarders were out at Bittersweet Ski Area this afternoon.
The chillers had to work a little harder today, but the ice was solid and the skaters were out at Rosa Park Circle in downtown Grand Rapids.
Take a close look at the picture above. This was sunset, Friday January 4, 2019 at the South Haven Beach. In the distance, you can see a motorized hang glider. To the right of the hang glider, you can see a thin, crescent moon. I counted more than 50 people there to watch the rare, clear winter sunset.
Grand Rapids has now had 25 consecutive days with the mean temperature above the daily average and that trend will continue. It's not unusual to have a long warm or cool stretch of weather. Last November, 24 of 30 days were cooler than average. August started with 21 consecutive days warmer than the daily average and 26 of 30 days in April were cooler than average. The average high/low for G.R. is now at 31°/19°.
Here's high temps. from Fri. PM - up to 50 at Kalamazoo, Jackson and Lansing and even 41 at the airport in Ludington. The warmest spots in the U.S. were 87° readings at Fort Lauderdale and Marathon, Florida and the coldest was -19 at Alamosa and Waverly, Colorado. In Alaska, Bettles dipped to -34°. Bettles has 31" of snow on the ground. Fairbanks had a high temp. of -22°. The temperature finally reached 60° in Phoenix AZ for the first time in 8 days.
Despite the warmer air, there was plenty of snow for skiers and snow boarders at Bittersweet Ski Area Friday evening.
And...lots of skaters enjoying the mild winter evening at Rosa Park Circle in downtown Grand Rapids..
The pic. above shows a 91-year-old gentleman that built a snowman in Iowa Park, Texas Thursday AM (pic. from Mark White and KDFX). Up to 7" of snow fell there. Temperatures at mid afternoon were aboiut the same as West Michigan.
The warmest temperature in the U.S. on Thursday was 88° at Marathon, Oasis and Immokalee, Florida. the coldest was -33° at Waverly CO. Phoenix AZ reached a high of 57°...that's 7 days in a row for them with temperatures no warmer than the mid 50s. It was very cold in the mountain areas north and northeast of Phoenix. The Grand Canyon Airport dipped to -8°, Window Rock was -11° and St. Johns dropped to -13°. The most rain was 3.12" at Lake Charles LA...Baton Rouge had 2.28" and Jackson MS recorded 1.83".
MEDIA ENCLOSURE: https://media.woodtv.com/nxs-woodtv-media-us-east-1/photo/2019/01/03/91-year%20old%20builds%20snowman%20Iowa%20Park%20Texas%201%203%2019%20by%20Mark%20White_1546576841963.jpg_66520754_ver1.0_640_360.jpg
There will be opportunities each morning to see the International Space Station fly over. Here's the complete list. Here's this week's Sky at a Glance. The tiny crescent moon will be visible shortly before sunrise in the east this morning. Then the moon will flip into the western sky in the evening.
Venus is the brightest "star" in the early morning sky to the east before sunrise. Jupiter is also visible early to the east, a little below and to the left of bright Venus. Mars is high in the southern sky in the early evening.
Check out the latest from the Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Assn., the Kalamazoo Astronomical Society, the Shoreline Amateur Astronomical Association and the Muskegon Astronomical Society. You can take a look at NASA on Twitter and Facebook.
The Quadrantid Meteor Shower peaks tonight. To view the show find the Big Dipper and look beneath it. Of course, it's best to find a place where there is very little man-made light. The moon is favorable, with only a thin crescent in the early morning. I haven't mentioned much about this meteor shower in the past. It's often cloudy at this time of year and let's face it...it's a lot more comfortable watching the Persieds in the 2nd week of August when it's warmer. However, we have mostly clear skies for a couple of nights this year. I'll also add that the two more prominent meteor showers, the Perseids in August and the Geminids in December take place when the moon is full or close to it in 2019.
This (Thu.) morning, the Chinese Spacecraft Chang'e-4 landed on the far side of the moon. Launched Dec. 7, this is the first spacecraft to land on the far side of the moon. the lunar probe touched down in the South Pole-Aitken Basin, the largest, deepest and oldest known crater in the entire solar system This follows the success of the Chang’e-1, Chang’e-2 and Chang’e-3 missions in 2007, 2010 and 2013.
The mission is composed of two distinct elements: the lander and the rover. The lander is equipped with a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) to power the lunar operations during the three-month mission. The energy will be used to power the scientific payload of seven instruments and cameras. The lunar rover will explore the lunar surface after departing the lander and is equipped with a solar panel to power the vehicle during the lunar day on a three-month mission.
Today is Perihelion Day, the day when the sun is closest to the Earth. Earth's orbit around the sun is not a perfect circle, it's an eclipse or oval. In the Northern Hemisphere winter, the earth is closer to the sun and in the summer it is farther away.
To be exact, at perhelion (12:19 am this early morning) the sun was 91,403,554 miles from the Earth. At Aphelion on July 4, the sun will be 94,513,554 miles from the Earth - that's a difference of 3,109,667 miles. You may ask...why does it colder in the winter when the sun gets closer to the Earth? That's because of the low angle of the sun's rays in the winter and the short length of day. If it was reversed, with the sun closest in July...then we'd be about 3 degrees warmer in July and 3 degrees colder in January.
Today, daylight is 9 hours and 6 minutes. On July 4th, daylight is 15 hours and 16 minutes. Today at solar noon, the sun was only 24.3 degrees above the southern horizon. On July 4th, the sun will climb to 69.9 degrees above the horizon. The sun is higher in the sky at 6:56 pm on July 4th than it is at solar noon today (Jan. 3).
This is what the sun looks like today - a relatively small batch of sunspots is visible. We are near the minimum of the 11-year sunspot cycle. In 2018, there were 221 days with no sunspots (61%), in 2017 it was 104 days, in 2016 it was 32 days and in 2015 - there was not a single day that year when we didn't have sunspots visible on the sun.
Outside of a few days before the time change in the first week of November - today we had the latest sunrise of the year (8:14 am for the Ford Airport and 8:13 am for downtown Grand Rapids). Sunset has been very slowly getting later since Dec. 9 and we have now gained 11 minutes of daylight in the evening. Combining both sunrise and sunset, Grand Rapids has gained 6 minutes of daylight since the Winter Solstice on Dec. 21. The amount of daylight we get increases a few more seconds each day. Daylight is 57 seconds long tomorrow (Jan. 4) than today and the amount of daylight on Jan. 5 will be 61 seconds longer than Jan 4. Daylight increases the fastest around the Spring Equinox in March. Pic. above is the sunset at S. Haven this (Thu.) evening (1/3/19).
In Grand Rapids, the average temperature for the month of December (32.5°) was only 2.1° colder than the average temperature for the month of November. November was 5.5° warmer than average and December was 3.3° colder than average. Note - if you combine Nov. and Dec., Grand Rapids was about 1° cooler than average. With the average temperature for Dec. slightly above the freezing point of 32.0°, you can see why we've had a hard time getting ice to form on the lakes.
This is how Lake Michigan looked off Chicago on Dec. 31, 2017 - about one year ago. This December was 8.1° warmer in Grand Rapids than December 2018. Last year the period from Christmas to New Years was very cold, with high temperatures beginning on the 26th of 11-14-14-18-15 and 12. The low temperatures over than 6 day stretch averaged -5°.
This was the scene Jan 1, 2018 at the Muskegon Channel - that day the high temp. in G.R. was just 15°. We actually went 12 days without reaching 20°. Last winter we had 32.9" of snow in December in G.R. Muskegon had 51.7" of snow last December - only 3.2" this December. Last winter Muskegon had a trace of snow on ever day from Dec. 21 to Jan. 8.
This was sunset at S. Haven on Christmas Eve (2018). Note no ice...or snow. Sunshine was hard to come by in December. Grand Rapids recorded just 13% of possible sun - better than the 9% in November but well below the average of 20%. Grand Rapids had only one day with more than 70% sunshine, only 4 days with more than 35% sun and 17 days had not a minute of sun at all. In fact, 24 of the 31 days of December had less than 10% sunshine.
Also in December in G.R., the average wind speed was 8.9 mph. That made last June (9.3 mph) windier than this December. The average humdity was 78%. We had 1.99" of precipitation, which was 0.51" below average. The most rain came on the last day of the month (0.56"). The 3.2" of snow was 18.7" below the average monthly snow of 21.9". What's odd is that we had at least a trace of snow on 16 days, but we had measurable snow on just 5 of those days. We did not have a single report of heavy snow or even moderate snowfall during December.
Snowfall Weds. totaled 0.9" officially in G.R. - bringing the season total to 18.4". Muskegon recorded 2.0" bringing the season total there to 17.7". Some season snowfall totals from the U.P.: Tamarack 127.3", Delaware 111", Calumet 105", Herman 98.4", Painesdale 96.2", Mohawk 94".
This is halfway up Old Mission Peninsula, just north of Traverse City. Traverse City has officially 5" of snow on the ground...there's a little more here on the peninsula. Snow on the ground: 1" Grand Rapids, 2" Muskegon, 3" Hart and Scottville, 5" Cadillac, 6" Sault Ste. Marie, Gaylord and Petoskey, 7" Alpena, East Jordan and Mio, 8" Benzonia and Munising, 9" Grayling (most in Lower Michigan), 11" Ironwood, 12" Grand Marais, 15" Marquette Airport (there's usually less downtown), 16" Hancock, 22" Painesdale, 23" Kearsarge, 24" Mohawk, 30" Tamarack (this is from the road commission - closest town of any size is Calumet). It was cold Wed. AM in the U.P. with lows of -18 at Wakefield and -16 at Ironwood. Cadillac cleared out the temp. dropped to -4°.
Nationally, the warmest spot Wed. was Naples FL with a high of 88° - the coldest was Antero Reservoir CO with a low of -35°. Freezing rain and snow fell across parts of Oklahoma and N. Texas. Waco TX had 2.5" of rain with temps. from 33° to 36°. 2.2" fell at Austin with a temp. no warmer than 39°. Yakutat AK has 37" of snow on the ground.
Here's high temperatures Wed. in the U.S. The Southeast was warm, but much of the rest of the U.S. was cool to cold.
Here's high temperatures from today - Monday - well above average. We'd call this the January thaw, but we don't have a lot ot thaw out. If it's sunny and mid-upper 40s on Saturday, I bet there will be a few golfers out. The snow will be gone by then. Happy Thursday!
At 8 am Weds. - the temperature was 30° in Phoenix, Arizona - the coldest it was been there since Jan. 15, 2013. At the same time, the temperature in Anchorage, Alaska was 36°. Phoenix has now had 6 days in a row with high temperatures only in the low-mid 50s. The average high tempeature in Phoenix for the first week of January is 66° and the average low is 45°
Here's a map of temperatures across the Arizona desert...low 20s to mid 30s - pretty chilly. High temperatures in the 60s extended well south into Mexico.
Snowplows were trying to clear snow from I-10 near Benson. Bellemont AZ had a solid snowcover and an early morning low temperature of -7° and the Grand Canyon Airport dipped to -9°.
The top pic.(from WJBF) is Blairsville, Georgia with 5" of snow on the ground on Dec. 8, 2018. Blairsville GA, Greenville SC, Lubbock TX and Albuquerque NM all had more snowfall in December than Muskegon or Grand Rapids, Michigan. West Michigan was pretty much either out of the storm track or too warm for snow (and especially lake-effect snow). It may take until the 3rd quarter this year, but I do think that Muskegon eventually wins this race. Look for more snow events and colder temperatures to start sometime during the week of Jan. 11-17.
The Winter Weather Advisory ended at 7 am. While I can't rule out a lingering snowflake, this will be a cool and dry day. If we're lucky, we'll see a little sun before the day is over (esp. north of G.R.). Temperatures much of the day will hold in the low 30s from G.R. to the south and upper 20s. to the north.. Winds will be north at 5-15 mph.
Here's the latest GRR NWS discussion. No significant snowstorms and no really cold air during the first week of the year.
This is how Boyne Mt. looked shortly after 7 am. The latest sunrises (except for a few days before we flip to EST in early Nov.) occur this week, so it's still dark at 7 am. Watch out for the kids waiting for the bus in the dark as school starts again tomorrow.
This is the graphic from the Gaylord National Weather Service. Some heavy snow totals in N. Lower Michigan, where there will be some happy skiers and snowmobilers today. Most of us in S. Lower Michigan saw rain...a fitting end to a wet year. Grand Rapids had 44.45" of precipitation in 2018 - that's 6.18" above average. Muskegon was +8.74" for 2018. The above average precipitation is a big contributor to the high water levels on the Great Lakes. Here's local radar (nothing):
There were 63 reports of wind damage Monday from S. Indiana to Mississippi. Winds hit 85 mph at Hawkins KY. Building damage was reported at St. Henry, Indiana and Clarksville TN.
Here's high temperatures from Sunday...Florida was the one really warm state on the map. The highest temp. in the U.S. was 87 at Naples. Ft. Myers hit 85. Key West had a low temp. of 77. It was also warm in Hawaii with a high/low of 85/77 at Honolulu. On the other hand, highs in Texas varied from 36 at Dalhart to 53 at McAllen. Phoenix and Tucson never got past the mid 50s. The lowest temp. in the contiguous U.S. was -24 at Antero Reservoir CO, while not too far away, a warm, downslope Chinook wind came down the mountains and warmed Denver to 53.
Here's forecast high temps. for today (1/1/19). It'll be warm in the Southeast with low 80s in Florida. The cold air rules from Upper Michigan west to the Rockies and from N. Texas west to Arizona where it'll be only in the low 50s in Phoenix.
Also: Check out the amazing moving ice ring (moving water underneath causes the ice to spin in a circle. This is pretty cool. Big snowflakes in Kansas City. Fire Tornadoes from a gigantic man-made bonfire in The Netherlands.
The above pic. from our Storm Team 8 Saugatuck Skycam was taken shortly after sunset on Sunday Dec. 30. You're looking out over Kalamazoo Lake, which is connected to Lake Michigan.
Lake Superior is down 3" in the last month, down 1" in the last year, but it's still 10" above the long-term average. Lake Michigan/Huron is down 1" in the last month. The lakes were up 3" in 2018 and they are now 19" above the century average for late December. Lake Erie is up 1" in the last month, up 7" year-to-year and is now a full 24" higher than the average level. Lake Ontario is up 4" in the last month, unchanged since Dec. 2017 and is now 9" above the long-term average. Lake St. Clair is unchanged in the last month, up 5" in the last year and is now 22" higher than average.
Also: Lake Erie walleye population expected to increase. Ice sailing on Superior Bay. The wreck of the Rouse Simmons. The first 8 state water trails. It's time for the New Year's Polar Bear Swim. Surfers on Lake Michigan. The 25 days of Fishmas. Ludington State Park adds 100 acres. U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards work together. Beavers. First Coast Guard ice rescue of the winter. Fighting algal blooms. Great Lakes freighters heading to port for the winter. Shipwreck discovered in Lake Michigan. Record Great Lakes National Park attendance. Lamprey pie? The tragic death of Lydia Dale.
The graphic above shows the years when we had the least snow in December in G.R. These numbers are not official yet, but it looks like we may have had our 6th least snowy December. #1 on the list is 2014 - when we had 31" of snow in November and only 1" of snow in December. Next come two years from more than 100 years ago. BTW it't not unusual for a pattern to repeat two years in a row. The biggest floods on the Grand River in G.R. occurred in 1904 and 1905 and again in 1947 and 1948 (and that's by volume of water, not gauge reading). In 5th place (not shown on the graphic) is 1979 - then this year it looks like we'll finish with 3.2".
In ( ) is the snowfall total for the January that followed those Decembers...it ranged from 13.1" to 27.0". So in all of these years, we had more snow in January (and much of it came in mid-late January). Total snowfall in G.R. for the winter of 2014-15 was 78.1" and for the winter of 2015-16 it was 60.1". So, keep the snow shovel handy, it should get some use later in January and February.
The map above shows the number of severe t-storm watches in the U.S. You can see a high concentraion in the High Plains from N. Dakota to N. Texas with a lower than average number of watches in Lower Michigan.
Here's the severe weather reports in Michigan in 2018. We had 13 tornadoes (average is 16). The tornadoes were generally weak and short-lived. There were only 28 reports of 1" diameter or greater hail and there were 262 reports of wind damage or wind gusts of 58 mph or greater. No severe weather occurred in the eastern U.P.
Also: 0.6" of snow for G.R. on Saturday, bringing us up to 3.2" for the month and 17.6" for the winter - that's 10" below average to this point in the winter. We had a whopping 2% of possible sunshine on Saturday...we should do better today (Sun.).
Plus: 6 injured as jet bridge collapses at Baltimore Airport. Gust to 102 mph in Montana. Flooding in NC - no one in the RV. Heavy rain for the Philippines. Polar Vortex is over Quebec...keeping Arctic air in Canada. Kayakers going over Little River Falls. Snow-covered mountains of Utah. New Horizons spacecraft closing in for historic flyby of Ultima Thule. Cool pic. of lightning on Lake Catatumbo in Venezuela. Tennessee Titan's punter wanted to be a storm chaser.
This is the severe weather outlook map for Monday 12/31 from the Storm Prediction Center. There's a Marginal Risk of a severe storm from SW Kentucky to NE Louisiana. There could be rain at the Indianapolis/Tennessee NFL game.
The above graph shows the number of EF4 and EF5 tornadoes in the U.S. by year. This is the first time since records began that we have gone through an entire calendar year without an EF4 or EF5 tornado. This is partly due to the El Nino (when tornadoes in general tend to be a little less frequent.
This map shows tornado watches in the U.S. in 2018. There were only 135 issued all year. You can see that most of Lower Michigan did not get a tornado watch all year...the exception being the SW corner of the state (minus Berrien Co.). Even more unusual was the lack of a tornado watch in far SW Kansas, the Oklahoma Panhandle and much of the Texas Panhandle. They did not get a tornado watch in E. Kentucky and in West Virginia. The most tornado watches were in E. North Carolina (from Hurricane Florence), along the Gulf coast (from Hurricane Michael) and from northeast Texas into N. Louisiana and Arkansas.
This graph shows the record high # of tornadoes...the 75th, 50th and 25th percentile number of tornadoes, the record low number of tornadoes and (in black) the number of tornadoes this year (this is preliminary). As you can see, we had a near record low number of tornadoes in the U.S. this year. There were only 10 tornado fatalities in 2018 from 9 different twisters. The month with the most tornado fatalities was Nov. (4). Iowa and Louisiana tied for most tornadoes with 84 each. Mississippi was 3rd with 67 twisters. Wyoming (31) had more tornadoes than Oklahoma (24).
TPic. shows a pick-up truck that was thrown 300 yards by an EF3 tornado in Tescott KS on May 1. The only official EF4 tornado anywhere in the world in 2018 was in Alonsa, Manitoba (Canada). Worldwide we can find only 15 tornado fatalities...the 10 in the U.S., four in Brazil and one in Canada. (top pic. from Dr. Roger Pelkie Jr. at Colorado State Univ.)
The map above shows snowfall this winter through 12/26...so it does not include the heavy snow that has fallen in the Plains and Minnesota. Up to 18" of snow fell in Minnesota and up to 12" in S. Dakota. On the map you can see that much of the Western U.S. has had significant snow - in the higher elevations. You can see the snow that fell in N. Carolina and Virginia back around Dec. 9. We've had significant lake-effect snow downwind off Lakes Superior, Erie and Ontario, but mild air has shut down the lake-effect off Lakes Michigan and Huron this month.
This is skiing at Bittersweet Ski Area near Otsego MI this Friday evening (12/28/18). Despite the warm-up this AM - the temperatures is back down to the low 30s and there is plenty of snow for skiing and boarding.
Not much snow on the ground in Lower Michigan (3" at 7 am this morning in Harbor Springs, 1" at Gaylord, E. Jordan and Charlevoix. There's more snow in the U.P.: 20" Tamarack (near Calumet), 19" Kearsarge, 18" Painesdale, 14" Herman, 13" Calumet, Hancock, 11" Marquette, 10" Grand Marais, Ironwood, Dollar Bay, Champion, 8" Ishpeming, Delaware, Paulding, 7" Munising, Watten, Berglandd, 6" S. Ste. Marie, 5" Watersmeet, Amasa, Harvey, Jacobsville, 4" Stambaugh, Iron Mt., Newberry and Green Garden.
The image above is the weather observations at 2 am (from the College of DuPage Weather Page). We reached 53 degrees at 6:58 am, the first 50 deg. temperature since Nov. 6 in G.R. You can see it was up to 54 in S. Haven and Benton Harbor. The average high temperature for today is 32. As I write this, the cold front is moving thru Wisconsin and Illinois and when it reaches us, temperatures will start going down...in fact, it falls pretty quickly into the 30s behind the front. We'll get down to freezing this evening, so watch for icy spots. Rain showers will change to snow showers late today into this evening, but little accumulation is expected. It will stay breezy with busts in the 25-30 mph range. Gust to 56 mph at Grissom IN. BTW, at 2 am, Marathon Key, Florida reported a temperature of 79, a dewpoint of 71 and a water temp. of 76.
Yesterday we had a gust to 36 mph at the Ford Airport in G.R., the strongest gust since 12/1. We had another day with no sunshine. In the last 8 days, G.R. has had 7 min. of sunshine! We've had 36 out of the last 57 days with no sunshine and 46 of the last 57 days with less than 10% sunshine. We had 9% sunshine in Nov. and we're only at 12% for Dec.
There was at least one tornado yesterday. A twister was confirmed at Crowley, Louisana. It was an EF1 with winds of about 104 mph. There were no injuries. There were also a couple dozen reports of wind damage from the southern storms.
While we got the warm air and rain, the Northern Plains got the snow. Here's Aberdeen SD, where they had 50 mph winds gusts and drifts of snow 3 feet high. Up to 18" in Minnesota. There was a Blizzard Warning in effect for Albuquerque NM. Sky turns blue in NYC - transformer explosion. Nashville Lightning. Heavy snow in Russia. Avalanche! Surf's up! Hail in Alabama. Ice storm in Russia. Heavy rain for the Philippines. Hope they heat this pool.
Check out the light pillars seen from Mt. Washington New Hampshire. Lights coming from nearby towns and ski areas. Current temp. on top of Mt. Washington as I write this is 10 above with a west wind at 35 mph gusting to 49 mph. Valley weather stations are mostly calm. Berlin NH is 16 degrees.
Finally, I had Thurs. off - watched my alma mater blow out Miami in the Pinstripe Bowl. Miami had 5 turnovers. Wisconsin ran 58 times with only 11 pass attempts. They had a 2-1 advantage in time of possession.
A shallow 5.1 Magnitude Earthquake has done damage on the east edge of the island of Sicily in Italy. It was centered near the town of Acitrezza. This was a relatively shallow quake at a depth of about 6 miles. An eyewitness said, "a lot of damages in houses motorway A18 closed several wounded and so afraid"
. It comes at a time when there is an active volcano on the island of Sicily. Mt. Etna has been erupting the past several days. There was also a 4.6 magnitude earthquake. 45 km of Lithakiá, Ionian Islands, Greece.
Also - from the Kent Co. Road Commission: Crews have been called in overnight to treat the state roads (US-, M-, I,) and largest county primary roads. Please use caution and reduce speeds, especially when approaching curves, bridges, stops and intersections. Roads that look wet are most likely icy.
Rain fell Christmas Day at both Las Vegas NV and San Diego CA. Snow and cold for much of New Mexico and part of Arizona. Today is the anniversary of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami that killed nearly 200,000 people.
The map above shows the Severe Weather Outlook Areas from the Storm Prediction Center for tonight (Wed. night). They outline an Enhanced Risk Area (in orange) and a fairly large Slight Risk Area (in yellow) for much of the state of Texas and a small part of Western Louisiana. That's surrounded by a Marginal Risk Area (in dark green). SPC says: "Severe thunderstorms are expected...The severe risk willspread eastward across central and eastern Texas during the evening and overnight." There is also a risk of a non-severe storm in far western Washington and Oregon.
As I write this, there has been one reported tornado in Clarendon TX, damaging a roof, knocking out windows and toppling trees, 30 severe wind reports and 5 reports of large hail. Wind gusts hit 71 mph at Big Springs TX, 69 mph at Hobart OK, 64 mph at Wichita Falls TX. and 62 mph at Oklahoma City. At least one semi has been blown over and there has been other building damage. Over 50,000 customers are without power from the storms in TX and OK.
Multiple people were hurt because of turbulence as their plane was diverted to Austin Wednesday night. Austin-Travis County EMS said it checked out three people who were hurt. Two of them were taken to the emergency room with non-life threatening injuries.
Lightning forced officials to cancel the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl in Dallas Texas. The game began at 12:30 CST. Boston College jumped out to a 7-0 lead over Boise State. Close lightning forced a delay with 5:08 left in the first quarter. The lightning continued and radar showed more storms moving in from the west. They decided to cancel the game just before 2:30 pm. The game will be a non-game - it'll go into the books like it never happened. One factor is that all 3 bowl games today are on ESPN - one right after another. So, ESPN doesn't gain any money by waiting, since the next game was already starting. Ticket holders can either get a full refund or they can exchange their 2 tickets for 4 tickets to next year's First Responder Bowl.
This is the Severe Weather Outlook Area for Thursday PM 12/27. There is a smaller Slight Risk Area from far E. Texas to S Mississippi. The risk of a general (not severe) storm comes north all the way to Fort Wayne and Toledo.
We'll have a chance of a period of light snow or flurries between now and Weds...a dusting in most areas and much of the time roads will stay clear.
Then a storm system moves up into Wisconsin on Friday. We could see 1/2 to 3/4" of rain with this system, briefly getting into the warm air late Thurs. nigh and early Friday, when temps. could reach the low-mid 50s.
The storm will produce a band of snow from the Colorado Rockies to Northern Michigan and east to Northern New England. Half a foot or more of snow is possible in the heaviest snow belt. Colder air will follow, with temps. likely in the 20s on Sunday the 30th.
A volcano triggered a tsunami that has killed at least 227 people in Indonesia. Watch this video of a band performing...then the tsunami sweeps in from behind them. The band released a statement saying their bass player and road manager were found dead, while four other members of their group remained missing. 1100 people have been reported injured when the tsunami hit 9:27 p.m. Saturday, the Disaster Management Agency said. The pic. above shows damage in Carita, Indonesia, 12/23/18.
The tsunami, was apparently caused by the eruption of an island volcano near Indonesia's Sunda Strait. Gegar Prasetya, co-founder of the Tsunami Research Center Indonesia, said the waves were likely caused by a flank collapse - when a big section of a volcano's slope gives way. He said it's possible for an eruption to trigger a landslide above ground or beneath the ocean, both capable of producing a tsunami. The Anak Krakatau volcano has apparently partially (nearly completely) collapsed into the parent caldera, after the landslide that caused the devastating tsunami. Note the ongoing underwater activity - prior to the event the volcano was over 800 m high! Report: Seismologia Chile. It's important for people in coastal areas near the Sunda Strait that more underwater collapses are possible and that could trigger additional tsunamis.
Losses included 430 heavily damaged homes, nine heavily damaged hotels and 10 heavily damaged vessels. Footage posted by the head of the disaster agency showed the aftermath of flooded streets and overturned cars.
In September, more than 2,500 people were killed by a quake and tsunami that hit the city of Palu on the island of Sulawesi, which is just east of Borneo. On December 26, 2004, a massive magnitude 9.1 earthquake off Sumatra island in western Indonesia triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries. Indonesia is a vast archipelago of more than 17,000 islands home to 260 million people.
The map above is the NCEP temperature forecast (anomaly - difference from average) for Dec. 31 - Jan. 5. West Michigan is predicted to have slightly cooler than average temperatures. Average high temperatures for that week are in the low 30s. The latest European model data shows the next system going to our northwest, so we get into the warm sector. The model gives G.R. highs in the low-mid 50s next Friday with +1/2" of rain. Then the cold air moves in and we get snow showers with daytime temps. in the mid-upper 20s on the 30th and 31st.
This is the Muskegon Channel - note the snow on the ground this Sat. morning. Winds and waves have subsided overnight. Grand Rapids has now gone 14 days without measurable snow and we're only at 1.9" for the month. December is running 1.6 deg. warmer than average after November was 5.5 deg. cooler than average. Precipitation in G.R. this month has totaled 1.11" and that's 0.63" below average. Since Nov. 1 - Grand Rapids has had 31 of 51 days with 0% sunshine and another 9 days with less than 10% sunshine. November brought us 9% sunshine and we are only at 15% sunshine for the month of December. Friday was the Winter Solstice. We gain a whopping one second of dayligiht today in G.R.
Also: Carbon dioxide emissions from the U.S. power sector have declined 28% since 2005. Satellite pictures at night just from the light of the full moon. New snow in Pennsylvania. New snow in Georgia. New snow in the Alps. Sunrise in the Florida Keys. 8.45" of rain so far in Tampa FL during Dec...3rd wettest Dec. ever. It's summer in Australia. EF1 tornado in France. Cycline Cilida in the Indian Ocean. The 1.65" of rain that fell in Bangor, Maine, on Friday broke the daily record of 1.47" from 1993. Astronomers spot baby star emitting a flare 10,000 times larger than any created by the sun. Sun on treetops. Asteroid flyby today. Double rainbow.
The top pic. (from Todd and Brad Reed) shows a meteotsunami at Lake Michigan on April 13, 1918. A line of thunderstorms with strong winds pushed the water of the lake toward the Michigan shore, causing the water level to rise several feet, rising to cover the breakwater. The rising water level can cause rivers that empty into the lake to flow backwards.
We usually associate tsunamis with earthquakes, but a line of strong storms can produce the same effect (usually on a smaller scale). On Thursday, a line of strong to severe storms moved across the Florida Peninsula. It produced 4 tornadoes and general wind gusts of 40-60 mph along with 2-4" rains. The storm pushed the water toward shore and produced this meteotsunami at Captiva/Sanibel Island near Fort Myers. You can see the water came in quickly and didn't retreat like a normal wave would do.
Today (Sat. 12/22) is Kyle Underwood's last day at WOOD TV8. He's been with Storm Team 8 for approximately 10 years, since Craig James retired in 2008 (yeah it's been that long). Kyle will be staying in the Grand Rapids area and will likely be announcing his future plans sometime in mid-late January. He's looking forward to spending evenings at home with his wife and daughter. He's been working a Tue. - Sat. evening schedule, so he misses activities on Fri. and Sat. nights.
Kyle is multi-talented...a former college basketball player, a pilot (our first and primary drone pilot), a boater, an awesome handyman. He's got a sharp mind and a friendly smile that will serve him well wherever life leads him. All of us at Storm Team 8 wish him and his family the very best.