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This picture is the Sleeping Bear Dunes, from the National Lakeshore. I’ve run down and up those dunes a couple times. The Great Lakes water levels remain higher than average and should remain that way through the summer (and in fact through much of the rest of the year). The level of Lake Superior is unchanged over the last month, down 3″ in the last year, but is still 6″ above the May average level. Lake Michigan/Huron is up 1″ in the last month, up 8″ year-to-year and is 14″ above the century May average. Lake Erie is unchanged in the last month, up 13″ in the last year and is also 14″ above the long-term May average. Lake Ontario is down 3″ in the last month, up 9″ year-to-year and is 2″ above the average May level. Lake St. Clair is up 1″ in the last month, up 11″ in the last year and is now 15″ higher than the average level for late May. Higher water levels means less beach, less need for dredging, but it means it’s a lot easier for waves to come over the piers and breakwaters. Be careful on windy days with higher waves…and…beware of swimming near or jumping off piers and breakwaters on windy days. Dangerous structural currents develop on the windward side of the piers and breakwaters on windy days. So, if you’re at one of our beautiful Great Lakes beaches…swim well away from the pier or breakwater on windy days.
Great Lakes News: The Port Sheldon buoy is back. High water headaches. 7th graders test Lake Michigan water. 268 new cars at the bottom of Lake Michigan. Exploring Washington Island. Man-made Islands. A toxic mystery.
This is the 8-14 day temperature outlook for June 3 – 9 from the Climate Prediction Center. The blue indicates areas with a higher percent chance of cooler than average weather. You can see that includes the Great Lakes. After a cool start to the month, the warmth of the past week has brought the May average temp. for G.R. back to average and we’ll end the month a little above average. While it may turn a little cooler in the 8-14 day period, I don’t see any real cold air, nor do I see any significant frost for Southern Lower Michigan.
This is the 8-14 day rainfall probability graphic. I think rainfall should be near average here and maybe below average across the U.P. I think the overall trend for the summer is for tempertures to be above average in the Great Lakes and across much of the Northern U.S., putting us about 3-4 degrees warmer than last summer. I expect the warmer-than-average pattern to last into early fall. In some years when El Nino morphs to La Nina, we get a cold December (1983), in some years we don’t (1998), but it’s a given that December 2016 will be cooler than the record warm December 2015. Rainfall this summer in Michigan could be on the whole (rainfall in summer can vary quite a bit over relatively short distances) could be a little below average.
Here’s the 7-day total rainfall forecast from the Weather Prediction Center. The rains are in the Plains, where lots of thunderstorms (some severe) are expected. You can see a shot of rain in Coastal Carolina from what will be either a tropical storm or tropical depression that will move along the coast this weekend. West of the Rockies it’s an overall dry pattern, but there’s a little rain in the Sierra Mtns. of California, and they’ll take all the rain they can get, especially with the prospects of dry weather next winter with the coming La Nina. While Lake Shasta (the biggest reservoir in CA) hasn’t reached the top of the dam, the volume of water behind the dam is at 107% of average. Lake Oroville (the second biggest reservoir in CA) is now at 112% of average volume. Folsom Lake is at 104% of average and Don Pedro Reservoir is at 99% of average volume for the date.
8:30 pm Thurs. – Scattered showers in Gratiot County and north of Saginaw. Earlier there was a gust to 59 mph at the Houghton Lake Airport, with a carport thrown into some trees. Some power lines were down at Prudenvile. Most of us will stay dry this evening.
Warm and humid, but dry right now over most of W. Michigan. Ironwood had 1.25″ of rain up in the U.P. At 5 pm, it’s up to 86 in G.R. (again the warmest temp. around) with a muggy 69-degree dewpoint earlier this PM). The temp. is 84 in Kalamazoo, 83 in Ionia, Coldwater and Marshall, 82 in Battle Creek and Mt. Pleasant, 78 at Big Rapids, Fremont and Benton Harbor, 77 at the Muskegon Airport, 76 at the Holland Airport and 75 at the S. Haven Airport. It’s cooler at Lake Michigan, 65.5 at the S. Haven Beach and 67.6 at the Muskegon Beach. We’ve had 6 days in a row with warmer than average temperatures and we are now back to our average temperuatre for May 1-26.
This is another very active severe weather day to our west and southwest. There is a Moderate Risk for severe storms in Kansas, where more tornadoes are likely, There’s also an Enhanced Area (in the tan/orange) and a large Slight Risk Area (in yellow). The (dark green) Marginal Area has been moved into NW Lower Michigan. Check this out: Kansas City Airport was evaculated due to confirmed tornado that passed nearby.
Rainfall yesterday/last night: 2.54″ Houghton Lake, 2.14″ Paw Paw, 1.42″ Lawrence, 1.13″ Kalamazoo Nature Center, 0.83″ Battle Creek,, 0.80 Fennville, 0.68″ Charlotte, 0.64″ Grand Haven, 0.33 Grand Rapids, 0.23″ Muskegon. We needed the rain. In the U.P.: 1.74″ Crystal Falls, 1.68″ Watersmeet, 1.50″ Munising, 1.36″ Wakefield, 0.93″ Marquette.
LOTS of Stormchasers were following….this huge wedge tornado near Solomon KS. GIGANTIC tornado about to cross I-70 west of Manhattan KS. Large debris ball over Chapman KS…significant damage. Here’s video of the tornado that has moved from Solomon to east of Chapman KS. Looks like it’s been on the ground for 20+ miles already. Dickinson County feed: All railroad tracks between Chapman & Abilene are destroyed. Please stop all trains. Garage destroyed – car still there. Tornado now near Dwight KS (south of Manhattan). Here’s what the tornadic supercell looked like from an airplane at 36,000 ft. Here’s a tornado, plus a rainbow, plus mammatus.
The high temp. of 88 in G.R. Weds. was 3 deg. shy of the record high for May 25 of 91 in 1977. It was also the highest temp. in the area. Other highs: 87 Mt. Pleasant, 86 Benton Harbor, WOOD-TV, Calvin College, Hudsonville (Daybreak Church), 85 Holland (airport), Kalamazoo, Marshall and GVSU in downtown G.R., 84 Battle Creek and Big Rapids, 83 Muskegon (airport), 82 Coldwater. The high at the Muskegon beach and the S. Haven beach was 75.
Over the last 65 years, more tornadoes have occurred on May 25 than any other calendar day. On the other hand…the perfect place to celebrate National Wine Day. Crepuscular rays under a severe t-storm anvil. Pea-sized hail north of the Arctic Circle. From Patrick DeHaan: “Statewide
#gasprice averages are poised to trickle dwn starting in 1-2 days in MI and OH, then a day after in IN and KY thru #MemDay wknd.” It’s fall in Argentina.
Links: Here’s Grand Rapids radar and Northern Michigan radar, Milwaukee looping radar. Regional radar and the Updated GRR NWS Short Term Discussion. More links: Northern Indiana radar, Chicago radar, Detroit radar and Milwaukee radar.Here’s College of DuPage Radar Map (pick any radar in the U.S.), College of DuPage Grand Rapids radar, the West Michigan Lightning Tracker, National Lightning Tracker, the local warning/advisory map and the National warning/watch/advisory map, a surface weather map. You can checkout the latest Grand Rapids NWS discussion, the Northern Indiana NWS discussion (includes the Michigan Counties that border Indiana), the discussion for Northern Lower Michigan, and Eastern Lower Michigan. Here’s the Spyglass Condos Weather Station the S. Haven GLERL station, the Muskegon GLERL station, the Grand Haven Steelheaders webcam and weather station, and the weather station at Holland State Park. Check out the links to webcams. Here’s theinfrared satellite loop (night) and the visible satellite loop (daytime), Lake Michigan water temperatures (summer). Here’s recent storm reports from SW Michigan, Northern Michigan, NE Illinois, SE. Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and E. Michigan. Check out the wind and wave height at the South Mid-Lake Michigan Buoy (Apr. to Nov. only), the North Mid-Lake Michigan Buoy (Apr. to Nov. only), the buoy at Big Sable Point near Ludington and the weather station on the beach at St. Joseph.
We have a chance of a shower or t-storm this PM, but the most likely time for a shower or t-storm will be later tonight. In the meantime, it’ll be a partly to mostly sunny and warm day with highs inland back to the mid to even upper 80. Right at the beaches, expect temps. in the low 70s. The radar images here should update automatically. The models have been too low on high temps. at G.R. (the G.R. weather station reads a degree or two warm with high sun angle, light wind and now 11 days in a row without rain (dry ground). Low of 62 in G.R. made this past night the warmest high of the year so far in G.R. High of 87 yesterday missed record high for the date by just 2 deg. Record high for today is 91 in 1977. The “heat” continues into early next week for the Great Lakes and Northeast. Warmer temps. and sunshine have been warming the waters of the inland lakes. The Port Sheldon buoy has a water temp. of 55.6 at the surface and 48.8 at a depth of 36 feet. More humid today…the dewpoint was in the 40s yesterday, at noon it’s 61 in G.R. Here’s sunrise in Muskegon.
This was sunrise at the S. Haven beach. The models have been too low on high temps. at G.R. (the G.R. weather station reads a degree or two warm with high sun angle, light wind and now 11 days in a row without rain (dry ground). NAM forecast highs for the next 3 days for G.R. 85, 82, 83. GFS highs for G.R. starting with today: 83, 82, 86, 82, 82, 83, 83. The % chance of rain on the NAM is only 4% for G.R. thru 8 pm with a 62% chance tonight. On the GFS, the chance of rain in G.R. is 46% after mid-aftn. and then 68% tonight. So, the morning will be dry…chance of an isolated shower or storm this PM – but a better chance of rain tonight. Best bet for rain around or after sunset. The water temp. at the Muskegon beach this AM was 59 and at Grand Haven it was 60.
Also: Building collapses in China during flood. Trump protesters attack police. Mammatus clouds after the tornado near Dodge City, Kansas. Did GMA predict that? Lightning over Singapore. Sunrise this AM in Chicago. Reed Timmer video of the Dodge City tornado yesterday PM. E-quake in Crete. Tropical Storm formation before June 1 – Note – none in Western Gulf of Mexico. From Patrick DeHaan: be happy you aren’t in
#Paris, where nearly half of gas stations are close to or have run out of gas due to major refinery strike.” MDOT Lifting Traffic Restrictions For Memorial Day Weekend.
Links: Here’s Grand Rapids radar and Northern Michigan radar, Milwaukee looping radar. Regional radar and the Updated GRR NWS Short Term Discussion. More links”: Northern Indiana radar, Chicago radar, Detroit radar and Milwaukee radar.Here’s College of DuPage Radar Map (pick any radar in the U.S.), College of DuPage Grand Rapids radar, the West Michigan Lightning Tracker, National Lightning Tracker, the local warning/advisory map and the National warning/watch/advisory map, a surface weather map. You can checkout the latest Grand Rapids NWS discussion, the Northern Indiana NWS discussion (includes the Michigan Counties that border Indiana), the discussion for Northern Lower Michigan, and Eastern Lower Michigan. Here’s the Spyglass Condos Weather Station the S. Haven GLERL station, the Muskegon GLERL station, the Grand Haven Steelheaders webcam and weather station, and the weather station at Holland State Park. Check out the links to webcams. Here’s theinfrared satellite loop (night) and the visible satellite loop (daytime), Lake Michigan water temperatures (summer). Here’s recent storm reports from SW Michigan, Northern Michigan, NE Illinois, SE. Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and E. Michigan. Check out the wind and wave height at the South Mid-Lake Michigan Buoy (Apr. to Nov. only), the North Mid-Lake Michigan Buoy (Apr. to Nov. only), the buoy at Big Sable Point near Ludington and the weather station on the beach at St. Joseph.
The National Weather Service has confirmed two tornado touchdowns near the town of Republic. That’s west of Marquette and Ishpeming. No injuries were reported. Looks like EF0 or low-end EF1, but we’ll wait for further word from the NWS in Marquette.
Here’s the details on the 2nd touchdown, likely from the same storm. Hail was reported at Kingsford and Caspian MI and the NWS at the airport at Negaunee had 1.73″ of rain in 3 hours (1.85″ total). Munising reported 0.75″ of rain and Iron Mt. had 0.49″. The high temp. of 87 on Tue. missed the record high for the date by 2 degrees. The Forecast Discussion from GRR NWS is a good one. High temps. continue to exceed model data, esp. for G.R. G.R. seems to read warm when the sun is high, the winds are light and we haven’t had rain for awhile (10 days now without measurable rain. The ground dries out.
We’ve also had at least 12 separate tornado touchdowns (again likely from the same storm) from SW to NW of Dodge City KS. (more links to pics. and some pretty amazing video of the twisters in the thread below this one). The area around the tornado is rainfree – so you can see the sunset behind the tornado. Above the tornado is a strong updraft. To the far right is the rain (and possible hail). Satellite view of the t-storms blowing up in the Plains this PM. Good tornado video. Twin Tornadoes. One more pic. of the Dodge City tornado. Almost softbball-sized hail. Stovepipe stage. One more tornado pic. Look at the debris in this video! More debris video. Look at this cool pic.
The Muskegon beach camera caught a wind surfer this afternoon. The winds have died down considerably this evening. At 10:35 pm, the Port Sheldon buoy showed a water temp. of 56.5, an air temp. of 63.9, a 5 mph wind and waves of 7 inches. At the mid-lake buoy, the water temp. was 48.5, the air temp. 56.5 and waves were just 4 inches high.
There’s a High Fire Risk across N. Lower Michigan. Rainfall this month has totaled 2.63″ for May (and we’re 2.68″ above average since 3/1). However, Northern Lower Michigan has had much less rain this month: Traverse City 0.52″, Alpena 0.75″, S. Ste. Marie 0.55″, Marquette 0.45″. High of 87 in G.R. today (Tue.)…warmest in G.R. since last Sept. 6. Other highs: 85 Kalamazoo, 83 Holland (airport) and Battle Creek, 82 Muskegon (airport). A couple of dying showers now north of US 131 and a few showers west of Muskegon over Lake Michigan. Best chc. shower tonight is north of a line from Grand Haven to Mt. Pleasant. The Relative Humidity at 6 pm was 26% in G.R. and 66% across the lake at Sheboygan WI. Big difference.
Looks like the best chance of rain in SW Michigan will be Weds. night…though in a stagnant pattern, there’s at least a slight chance of a shower/t-storm each day through the end of the month. It will stay warmer than average through the end of the month.
Here’s a pic. from the Muskegon Channel (from NOAA Coastwatch), once again catching the Lake Express heading out to Milwaukee. At 1 pm, Grand Rapids is again the warmest spot in SW Michigan at 83 degrees…it’s 81 at Fremont and Ionia, 80 at Battle Creek, Kalamazoo and Coldwater, 79 at Big Rapids and 75 in Muskegon. The Muskegon beach temp. is 62.2 at 1:40 pm and at S. Haven the air temp. is 65.5.
Also: Gas prices going up. From Patrick DeHaan: Biggest
#gasprice jumps vs. 6 months ago: OH 66c/gal, MI 58c/gal, IN 55c/gal, KY 43c/gal, IL 42c/gal. Big losers: HI -16c, NV -9c, MT -6c. Bob Dylan is 75 today. Texas wildfire. Potsdam lightning. Tornado in Serbia. Alaska gets a significant tornado about every 15 years.
Arctic ice still there. Arctic ice 2007 vs. 2016. NASA shows you current polar icecap. Comparison 1998 and 2016…sometimes the past is the key to the future in weather prediction. Look at this hail! Tornado near Scott City KS. Gov. Snyder declares gas emergency. Video of a tornado in Bulgaria. Check out the hail here. El Nino morphing into La Nina. Texas twister plus lightning. Tornado yesterday near Turkey, TX on the ground for 9 miles. Winds estimated at least 138 mph, making it an EF3. Power poles toppled. Another pic. of the Scott City KS tornado. Over 10 years since the last major hurricane strike on the U.S. (I think we get a couple of them this year). Large twister near Minneola KS. Still lots of snow at the Visitor’s Center at Paradise WA. Reed Tijmmer finds the ulitmate rototiller! Another pic. of the Dodge City twister. Two tornadoes at once! Many storm chasers on this tornado.
Here’s the Lake Express Ferry heading out into a calm Lake Michigan. At 11 pm last night, the S. Haven buoy showed a wave height of 3″. At the Muskegon Beach, the high temp. yesterday was 67.6 at 8 pm. At the S. Haven beach, the high temp. was 70.3 at 9 pm. At the Muskegon beach, the wind was 1.7 mph at 8 pm, but by 2 am, the wind had come up to 17 mph. At the S. Haven beach, the wind was 3.3 mph at 8 pm and was up to 12 mph by 1 am. At 4 am, Cadillac was 44 deg. and Frankfort was 69 deg. Grand Rapids temp. fell 11 deg. from 10 pm to 11 pm.
These are the Severe Weather Outlooks from the Storm Prediction Center for today (Tue.), Wed., Thurs. and Fri. This is an active weather pattern, but you can see the best bet for severe weather is to our west and southwest. We are in the (light green) General T-Storm Outlook for tonight and tomorrow. On Thurs. the Marginal Outlook (dark green) comes into SW Michigan. Severe weather on Mon. included 6 reports of tornadoes, 7 reports of severe winds (up to 82 mph at Plymouth IA) and 71 reports of severe hail up to 3″ in diameter.
Model Update: The NAM has highs of 80, 81, 83 for the next 3 days. The GFS highs for G.R. starting with today (Tue.) are 84, 79, 80, 88, 83, 80, 82 (yeah, 88 for Fri.). The G.R. airport weather station has been reading a couple degrees warmer than surrounding weather stations the past few days. The chance of measurable rain is less than 10% for today on both models, up to 34% (NAM) and 45% (GFS) for Tues. night and the GFS has a 57% chc. for Weds. and 83% for Weds. night. No real cool air in sight. Dewpoints are forecast to be upper 40s up to the mid 50s this PM – but then into the 60s on Weds.
Also – Snow in the Alps Tues. AM. Cool lightning pic. Twister in Italy. Tornado thru the setting sun. Woodward OK tornado. Large tornado near Turkey TX. From Patrick DeHaan: “Spot prices in Great Lakes region up at least 33c/gal in two weeks. Thx refiners and oil prices.” Gas price graph. Sun setting just left of a tornado. Huge hail in Alanreed TX. Droning in Destin. I’ve walked this pier before.
This map shows high temperatures today (Mon.). The warmest temperature on the map is way up north of Lake Huron at Moosinee, Ontario (here’s a webcam from Moosinee) on the shore of James Bay. That’s unusual in by itself, but…
…what makes it even more unusual is that James Bay is still covered with ice! You can also see there is still snow on the ground across Laborador, Northeren Quebec and in Nunavut. There is now some open water in the Northwest part of Hudson Bay, where the prevailing west wind tends to push the ice away from shore in May. At Barrow, Alaska, the high temperature (as I write this) has been 35°. Here’s a live webcam from Barrow, Alaska. Barrow is north of the Arctic Circle and they have 24-hour daylight until the first week of August. In the webcam (at the link) you can see the ice at the shore of the Arctic Ocean and there are still a few snow piles there. The warmest temp. last year in Barrow was 67° on June 19th. Barrow hasn’t been warmer than 45° since last August 26th. At Moosinee – the sunrise today was at 5:20 am and the sunset at 9:19 pm.
There is still some snow in the Western Mountains. Five ski areas are still open out West. Mammoth Mt. in CA is scheduled to stay open through at least Sunday. They have a base of 140″ at the upper mountain and 28″ at the lower mountain. Mammoth Mt. reports 361″ of snow this winter season, compared to 176″ in the winter of 2014-15. Check out the webcam at Arapahoe in CO, where they report a 61″ base. Now THIS is spring skiing! Arapahoe hopes to be open until June 5. Mt. Bachelor in Oregon is open through Sunday. At mid-mountain, Mt. Bachelor has a 93″ base and they’ve had 482″ of snow this winter. Snowbird in Utah will be open for skiing this Memorial Day Weekend. They’ve had 456″ of snow this winter and still have an 82″ base. Squaw Valley in CA has an 18″ base at the lower mountain and 116″ at the upper mountain. At Timberline, Oregon, where they ski through the summer, they reported a snow depth on March 30 of (get this) 37.73 FEET at the upper terminal and 62.34 FEET at Bean’s Run (you’re skiing on a glacier!).
This is an early afternoon pic. at the Muskegon beach (from NOAA Coastwatch). The temp. at the Muskegon beach is 61.9. It’s the windiest place in our area with a south wind (which does come off the water here) at 13 mph. At the S. Haven beach, the wind is just 4 mph from the northwest and they have a temp. of 64. Again at 1 pm, Grand Rapids is the warmest temp. around at 77. Other area temps. at 1 pm: 75 Kalamazoo and Fremont, 74 Mt. Pleasant and Big Rapids, 73 Ionia and Muskegon Airport, 72 Coldwater and 71 Battle Creek. The dewpoint in G.R. is just 43, giving us a relative humidity of only 29%. The warmest temps. and stronger winds are in the U.P. Houghton is 82 at 1 pm with a SW wind at 20 mph with a gust to 33 mph. Iron Mt. is also 82. We’re dry through at least tomorrow AM. We may very well stay dry tomorrow. Beginning Weds. we move into a pattern with warm temps., higher humidity and a few widely scattered showers and t-storms.
Here’s the latest severe weather outlooks from the Storm Prediction Center. The image here is the outook for Weds., which takes SW Michigan into the (dark green) Marginal Outlook. Each day there is a large Slight Risk Area (in yellow) to our west and southwest. There are smaller Enhanced Outlooks (orange/tan color) for this PM and tomorrow out in the Plains (see the link).
The Canadian model (usually the first model to try and develop tropical systems) tries to ramp up a tropical storm east of the Bahamas for early June. Always wait for other models to come on board with something like this. Don’t just believe the Canadian. In any event, looks like it misses at least Florida. Florida’s had the hurricane repellent working for the last 10 years. Longest period without a significant hurricane in Florida as long as we have records.
Also: Large hail and tornadoes! Sea level not rising in Ireland. Some good news IMHO. Waterspout off the coast of Thailand. Score one for Captain Kirk. Kyle Underwood on assignment out in Lake Michigan! Watch the news tonight to find out “Where’s Kyle”. As the Great Lakes warm, the Pacific NW gets cool and showery. La Nina developing (streak of blue along the Equator in the Pacific Ocean). Vegetarian isn’t growing in Socialist Venezuela. Setback for Ginger Zee in Dancing With the Stars. Sunrise in Kenya, Africa. Double cloud-ground lightning hit.
The pic. above is sunset at Muskegon (from NOAA Coastwatch). Sunday the high in G.R. was 79, which again looked a little high compared to all the surrounding weather stations. Fremont was close with a high of 77, then you moved down to 75 at Kalamazoo, Muskegon (airport), Holland (airport) Big Rapids and Three Rivers, 74 at Sturgis, 73 at Battle Creek, 72 at Marshall and Coldwater, 71 at Ionia and Jackson and 70 at Lansing and Charlotte. It was cooler at Lake Michigan. The Muskegon Beach weather station had a high of 63.1 at 10 am and they were in the 50s after that. The high temp. at the Spyglass Condos weather station at Holland was 59.6. The average high/low for G.R. is now up to 72/50. Here’s a satellite pic. of Lower Michigan – mostly sunny skies with a thin layer of Canadian smoke.
Model Update: Today (Mon.) has the least chance of rain of any day in the next week. The NAM has the chance of rain at 31% late Tues. (odds are the day is dry) with a 61% chance later Tues. night. The GFS has the rain chancesat 45% for Tues. evening, 58% on Weds., 89% on Thurs., 61% on Thurs., 48% Fri. and 47% each for Sat. and Sun. Here’s the GRR NWS forecast discussion.
These are the Severe Weather Outlooks from the Storm Prediction Center for Monday and Tuesday. We have large Slight Risk Areas (in yellow) for both days and an Enhanced Outlook for Monday PM from Western KS south through the Texas Panhandle. Michigan is in the (light green) General Thunderstorm Outlook for Tuesday night. We’ll have a better chance of a t-storm on Wednesday. Here’s what SPC says about Weds. “SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS COULD OCCUR NEAR/SOUTHEAST OF A COLD FRONT ACROSS PARTS OF IA/IL/MO/INDIANA…AND POSSIBLY AS FAR NORTH AS EASTERN MN AND WI/MI PENDING EARLY-DAY CONVECTION/CLOUD COVER.”
Sunday was an active day for severe weather, with (as of 11:15 pm) 34 tornadoes (some duplicate sightings of the same tornado in that list), 75 large hail reports (up to 3″ in diameter) and 15 reports of severe criteria winds (up to 72 mph recorded).
Reed Timmer captures a “monster wedge tornado” near Scott City KS. Here’s a large tornado near Lakeview TX. Video of Spearman, Texas tornado. Pic. of Spearman, TX tornado. Video of Herreid SD tornado. Wide view of the t-storm that produced the Leoti KS tornado. How’d you like to see this coming at ya! Watch the Leoti tornadic t-storm “blow up“. This video really shows what a rotating thunderstorm is.
Also: Seven fatalities as Sinabung volcano erupts in Indonesia. Another view of the Sinabung volcano. Guatamala volcano erupting. Here’s a list and a map of active volcanoes. Ships pass in the St. Clair River. Chicago sunrise. Lake Ontario sunset. Grand Haven sunset Sun. evening. It’s still snowing in the Alps. Snow forecast for the mountains of W. Montana. Possible snow in E. Idaho. Video of Cyclone Rounu. Lightning hits Eiffel Tower. Check out this flash of lightning. French Open: Mostly cloudy, upper 50s, a few showers.
There’s a Red Flag Warning for high fire danger Monday across the U.P. and an Elevated Fire Danger for Lower Michigan. While much of S. Lower Michigan has had above normal rainfall this spring, the U.P. has been dry.
Finally, a Clean Air Action Day has been declared for the lakeshore counties plus Kent County. You might be wondering why they are doing this when the high temperature is only expected to be around 80 over most of the area. The EPA has lowered the standard for ozone down to 70 parts per billion. It was 85 prior to 2008, when they dropped it to 75 ppb. So, now at 70 ppb, you’re going to see a lot of Clean Air Action Days. I think we’re going to have a warm summer and it’s possible with the new standard that we could get an extended number of days in a row with declared Clean Air Action Days. The average high temp. reaches 80 on 6/21 and doesn’t fall back to 79 until 8/19. Admittedly, we’ve gone a few days without rain and the winds are expected to be more south – southwest, possibly bringing up air from Chicago-Gary. However, people do have to cut their grass sometime and I’m wondering if the much greater number of Clean Air Action Days this summer will have the effect that people will just start to ignore them.
This Sunday PM – there’s a Slight Risk of severe thunderstorms from Canada to Mexico. Overall, it’s been a quiet year for severe weather, but this week will be active, with severe risk areas each day this week. Through Saturday, we’ve had no reports of tornadoes or severe hail this year in North Dakota. We’ve had no tornadoes and no wind damage reports from South Dakota this year thru Saturday. Our next chance of t-storms will be late Tues. night into Weds. Here’s severe reports from Saturday. The five tornado reports from N. of Leoti KS may have been fire different reports of the same tornado. Here’s a radar view of the tornadic t-storm and a surface view of the tornado.
The NAM is the first overnight model data out and it has dry weather here in W. Michigan until Weds….with a good chance of a shower or storm on Weds. The GFS high temps. starting today (Sun.) are 73, 80, 81, 79, 82, 85, 81, 78. The chance of rain is only 17% on Tues., but after that…78% Weds., 67% Thurs., 57% Fri., 54% Sat., 49% next Sunday. G.R. officially made 79 deg. (which was a couple degrees warmer than surrounding weather stations. The high temp. at the Muskegon beach 63.7 at 10 am – by 11 am, the temp. had dropped to 56.8 as the wind picked up from the west off the lake. At the S. Haven beach, the high temp. was 59.7 at noon. The pic. is the sunset Saturday night at the Muskegon beach (from NOAA Coastwatch). Model predicts hot weather for the Fourth of July.
Here’s a beautiful distant thundershower Sat. evening in north Florida. Cyclone Roanu damage in Bangladesh. Warmer than average temperatures in the Great Lakes through the end of the month. Distant lightning in FL. Lightning next to the full moon. Last week of May looks warm. Huge hail in Wyoming.
This weekend we have the full Flower Moon. You may have heard that this full moon is a “blue moon”. Today, a blue moon is most commonly the second full moon in a calendar month. However, an older definition is the 3rd full moon in a season with four full moons. This (astronomical) spring, we have 4 full moons on March 23, April 22, May 21 and June 20. The moon isn’t any bluer than any other full moon BTW.
If you look south you can spot a triangle of 3 stars. Two of those “stars” are planets. Saturn is on the left. To the right and a little below Saturn is the ruddy star Antares, part of the constellation Scorpius. On the top right is the planet Mars. From NASA: “In 2016, the planet Mars will appear brightest from May 18 to June 3. Mars Closest approach is May 30. That is the point in Mars’ orbit when it comes closest to Earth, a distance of 46.8 million miles (75.3 million kilometers), the closest distance between Mars and Earth in 11 years. Mars reaches its highest point around midnight — about 35 degrees above the southern horizon, or one third of the distance between the horizon and overhead. Mars will be visible for much of the night, moving from east to west (left to right) across the nighttime sky.By mid-June, Mars will become fainter as Mars and Earth travel farther away from each other in their orbits around the Sun. The next Mars Close Approach is July 31, 2018. Antares is a giant sun – with a radius 883 times longer than our sun. If Antares were located where our sun is, the outer edge of Antares would be out past the orbit of Mars. This set of pictures shows you how big Antares really is.
We are one month away from the Summer Solstice and the longest daylight of the year occurs over the next two months. The sun comes up in G.R. around 6:15 am and sets a few minutes after 9 pm. Check out this week’s Sky at a Glance for more on our current night sky. Here’s the latest from the Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Association. The next open house at the Veen Observatory will be May 28. Here’s a list of times when you can see the Intl. Space Station fly by.
A 6.1 Magnitude equake struck Central Australia at 4:14 am local time Saturday AM. The quake was centered about 78 miles west of the famous reddish sandstone rock formation called Uluru or Ayers Rock. The depth was about 6.3 miles. This is an unusually strong earthquake for Australia, though a magnitude 5.6 quake hit just west of this area in 1999. No significant damage or injuries have been reported. There are no permanent settlements near the earthquake center. The nearest indigenous community is over 65 miles from the center of the quake. The quake was felt at Alice Springs. A number of aftershocks have already been reported. The strongest recorded quake to hit Australia was a magnitude 6.6 earthquake which hit the small mining town of Tennant Creek, Northern Territory, in January 1988.
I didn’t have to go far to get this awesome pic. of Carson fishing in the Grand River. The pic. above is from my co-anchor, Sue Shaw. Lots of activities this weekend, including the Great Lakes Kite Fest in Grand Haven, the Lamont Festival and Relay for Life in Rockford. There are farm markets in Marshall and Hastings and a Big BBQ, Blues and Bluegrass Festival in St. Joseph. I’ll be headed to graduation open houses both Saturday and Sunday.
Here’s sunset from our Jenison High School camera with the anemometer (wind speed indicator) on the right. We’ve got a layer of clouds overhead from a system passing to our south. We’ll stay dry (I’d throw in a 20-25% chance of a light shower southeast of Battle Creek (mainly Branch Co. to Monroe Co.), but the best bet is that the light rain stays south of a line from Fort Wayne to Toledo. The clouds will start to thin out tomorrow, though it may take until the PM. We’ll have a little more sun on Sunday than we will on Saturday. High temps. will be in the mid 70s (low 60s at the Lake Michigan shoreline. Bouy water temps. Friday evening (the buoys are 2.75 miles offshore): South Haven 53.4, Muskegon 49.8, Ludington 45.9. The mid-lake buoy shows a water temp. of 46.0.
From May 1-19, the average temp. in G.R. has been 54.2. That’s 2.5 deg. cooler than average. The average temp. for Fairbanks AK for May 1-19 was 52.3 and that’s 5.3 deg. warmer than average. So, for the first 19 days of May, G.R. was only 1.9 deg. warmer than Fairbanks AK. Model update: NAM model high temps. for G.R. next 3 days: 75, 76, 78. GFS highs starting today (Sat.) for G.R: 76, 74, 77, 81, 81, 82, 80, 79. Chance of measurable rain nil thru Monday…then only 17% Tues., but after that…71% Weds., 63% Thurs., 59% Fri. and 54% Sat. Warm arrow comes right thru W. Michigan!
This was sunset Friday evening at the Muskegon Channel, with a few boats enjoying the evening. From 7 pm to 10 pm, the temperature went up 8 degrees at the Muskegon beach as the wind shifted from NW off the cool water to NE off the warmer land.
Also: May ends with a significant warm-up across the Great Lakes…it’s the start of summer. Severe weather ramps up in the Plains States this weekend…first real severe weather in the Northern Plains. Russellin’ up dinner. Blossoms at the Meijer Gardens. Here’s severe reports from Friday – no tornadoes again – a nice swath of wind damage across Northern FL. Hurricane coming into Bangladesh. Here’s the cyclone path. Note the shadow cast by the t-storm anvil. Heavy snow in the mountains of CA. Rainfall in CA: 0.46″ Mt. Shasta, 1.08″ Blue Canyon. Graph of California precipitation by year. Between cloud layers. Cool pic. of lava coming out of a cap cloud. Climbers reached the summit of Mt. Everest (tallest mountain in the world) for the first time since 2014 (after the big earthquake). I’ve been here. BIG piles of hail. More accumulated hail in Italy. Ka-BOOM! Time to get off the beach! Quite the lightning across the Gulf Coast early Thurs. AM. Chance of a shower for the Preakness today…a t-storm didn’t stop the Kentucky Derby.
This is the East Bay of Traverse Bay – pic. by Michelle Olin. Lake Michigan/Huron is up 2″ in the last month, 9″ above the level of one year ago. Since each inch of water added to Lake Michigan represents 390 billion gallons, that’s an increase of three trillion, five hundred and ten million gallons of water. In 1967 the U.S. Supreme Court limited the amount of water that Illinois can remove from Lake Michigan to 3,200 cubic feet per second (cfs). As I write this Friday morning, the Grand River in Grand Rapids is flowing at 7,870 cfs…so the most Illinois is allowed to use is 40.7% of the water that’s passing past Grand Rapids today. The G.R. report for 5/19 said that G.R. took 32.4 million gallons of water from Lake Michigan. That figure goes up in the warm season when people are using water outdoors and it goes down in the cold months. Compared to the ups and downs of nature, that’s a “drop in the bucket” – roughly 0.0000083 inch of water x 365.25 days a year would amount to about 3/1000ths of an inch of Lake Michigan water used by G.R. in an entire year. It’s easy to take for granted, but with the notable exception of Flint, our local governments do a stellar job of bringing a consistent clean stream of water into our homes. BTW, the temperature of the water coming into the intake pipe from Lake Michigan was 43.2 deg. yesterday. Lake Michigan/Huron is 14″ above the century May average.
OK, back to the lakes. This is the Lake Superior MODIS satellite pic. from Thurs. PM. Note the smoke layer on the east edge of Lake Superior and over S. Ste. Marie. Another smoke layer is over the Western U.P. You can see some cumulus development over the land, especially NW of Lake Superior – but no cumulus over the cooler water. The level of Lake Superior is up 1″ in the last month, down 2″ in the last year, but still 6 inches above the May average level.
Here’s the MODIS pic. of Lake Erie from Thurs. PM (from NOAA Coastwatch). Note again the cumulus over land, but not over the water. With a very light general wind, onshore breezes develop (northwest in Cleveland, northeast in Cleveland, south off the Lake in Canada). Lake Erie is up 2″ in the last month, up 14″ in the past year and is now 15″ above the century average (a little less beach this summer at Cedar Point).
Finally, here’s the pic. of Lake Ontario. Ontario is down 2″ in the last month, but up 10″ in the last year. Ontario is now 3″ above the century average. All the rivers that connect the Great Lakes are flowing at higher than average levels and that should continue into the early summer. While most rivers in Southern Lower Michigan have been running above average flow much of the year, I expect these levels to return to average and even a little below average levels as we go through the summer. Rivers in the U.P. and northern Lower Michigan should run a little lower than average for much of the summer. I also anticipate that we’ll have to watch fire danger into the summer and fall. Since many wildfires are human set, we as always ask you to be very careful disposing of lit cigarettes, making sure campfires are extinguished when you leave the area and to be very careful with any other outdoor burning.
Also: What’s our Lake Michigan water worth. Lake Michigan facts. Wind turbines going in Lake Erie. It’s a “once in a lifetime” job opportunity says the secretary of the Canadian Lighthouses of Lake Superior: The group is hiring two students, who plan on returning to university or college in September, to be the lighthouse keepers on Porphyry Island, about 40 kilometres east of Thunder Bay, said Paul Morralee. The pair will spend July and August greeting visitors, doing some yard work and maintenance on the buildings, and experiencing the many moods of Lake Superior and you get paid. Shedd researchers give rare look at shipwreck, wild reef in Lake Michigan. This Chicago Tribune editorial quotes Mlive. FYI, I went and read the Mlive article which is here. It’s a well-written article and I applaud Mr. Alexander for not falling into the trap of blaming the low water level of 2013 on “global warming”, as some did back then. This article for instance from an advocacy group (Charity Navigator says that the President of the Natural Resources Defense Council made $422,811 in compentation…nice work if you can get it) said: “It’s no secret that, partially due to climate change, the water levels in the Great Lakes are getting very low. It’s becoming such a problem that six U.S. Senators from Great Lakes states are upset with President Obama for overlooking the Lakes in his Climate Action Plan.” Now that the Great Lakes are now all well above average levels, I might expect the NRDC to say this. Erosion from high water levels on Lake Michigan and heavy rain a problem in Wisconsin. In the Thousand Islands, castles, cliffs and contemplation. Smelt honored, eaten at annual Duluth parade. City lights slow nighttime bird migration, study shows.