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A magnitude 6.4 earthquake has caused considerable damage at the southern end of the island of Taiwan. Buildings have collapsed. Pic. may be Tainan. Look at this picture! Video of rescues (brave firefighters). More pics. More pics. The earthquake was centered 6.2 miles beneath the surface. Also 5.1 magnitude earthquake in Nepal and large volcano erupting in Japan (video with lightning at link). Also 3.4 mag. e-quake in Oklahoma and 2.7 mag. just west of L.A. Now USGS reports a M4.9
#earthquake 97km NNE of Kiunga, Papua New Guinea.
This is the Muskegon GLERL cam from 6 pm Thurs. Lakeshore areas got to see a few minutes of sunshine before the sun set this evening. In the picture, you can see some high clouds on the horizon that are coming east across the lake…so most of us will stay mostly cloudy today (Fri.) with a chance of just a few snow flurries. Updated season snowfall: Lansing 19.6″, Grand Rapids 27.6″, Kalamazoo 31.6″ and Muskegon 46.5″. Snow on the ground: trace in Gr. Rapids, 1″ Lansing, Fremont, Flint, 2″ Muskegon, Big Rapids, 3″ Hart, 5″ Escanaba, 6″ Reed City, 7″ Scottville, 8″ Charlevoix, Manistique, 9″ Alpena, 10″ Rogers City, 11″ Houghton Lake, Cheboygan, Lake City, 12″ Traverse City, 13″ S. Ste. Marie, Grayling, 14″ Harbor Springs, Benzonia, 16″ Fife Lake, 18″ Gaylord, 20 E. Jordan, 21″ Munising, 22″ Ishpeming, 23″ Marquette, Ironwood, 25″ Grand Marais, 30″ Big Bay, 31″ just southeast of Houghton, 40″ Painesdale.
Here’s pics. from today from the camera at the water intake on in Lake Michigan east of downtown Chicago and also the GLERL camera at Alpena (from NOAA Coastwatch). No ice in Chicago, but lots of ice at Alpena. Great Lakes ice cover is now at 7.2% (as of 1 pm Thurs.). There is an 8.8% ice cover on Lake Michigan as I write this. Look at the ice we had on the Great Lakes in February last year.
ALSO: Check out the video of an EF-1 tornado that passed right over a high school in Tennessee (if it was an EF-4 or 5, the camera would probably be in N. Carolina now). The good stuff starts about 2 minutes into the video. You get about 6 different shots from 6 different cameras around the school. Note that the tornado is rain-wrapped and would be more difficult to see as it approached. The twister occurred at 5 pm, when the school and school property were virtually deserted. It would have been more dangerous had the storm occurred earlier when the school was in session. Tornado debris flew 30-40 miles.
Quite a temperature spread at 3 am. Coldwater is calm and 13 deg…Muskegon is 33 with a 10 mph wind coming in off the open waters of Lake Michigan. Forecast summary: Mostly cloudy today (breaks) with a few periods of flurries (most of the time it will be dry…light winds…low-mid 30s. Saturday – Chance of a little light snow or flurries…best chance north and northwest of G.R. where there could be a dusting (an inch near US 10?)…not much. Sunday will be the warmest day, near 40 in the PM with a chance of a rain or snow shower in the PM. At least light snow is likely Monday through at least Wednesday. As I mentioned earlier, even if the snow is light, the long-duration will cause snow to accumulate and those areas that get the best lake-effect with a WNW flow (Berrien, Van Buren…maybe W. Allegan…Oceana, Mason…the higher elevations of NW Michigan could easily see 6-12″ over the period…with snow totals diminishing to 1-4″ as you go to Central and Eastern Lower Michigan). All the lakeshore counties should anticipate enough snow to plow. Winds will occasionally ramp up to 15-20 mph (stronger at Lake Michigan). With the colder temps., the snow will become more fluffy and we will likely get some drifting. Weds. and Thurs. could be the coldest days with PM temps. in the low 20s – cold, but not drastically cold for early Feb. and it may stay below freezing from Monday night thru Saturday AM next week.
And…snowstorm for Baltimore, Newark, New York and Boston. SPC’s new violent tornado page. View of the fireball meteor that flew down Lake Michigan (I’ve been on the roof of the building where that video was shot).
This is the 6-10 day temperature forecast from the Climate Prediction Center. The map shows the probabilities of colder than average (in blue) and warmer than average (in red) temperatures. This map covers February 9-13. There will be an upper ridge over the Western U.S., favoring warmer than average temperatures and an upper level trough in the Eastern U.S., favoring colder than average temperatures. There is much less ice on Lake Michigan (all the Great Lakes) than the past couple of winters. Looking at records since 1973 for the Great Lakes, we had the 2nd greatest ice extent in 2014 and the 4th greatest ice extent in 2015. Lake Michigan set a record for ice extent in early March 2014 at 93.29% ice cover. Last year the ice extent topped out at 73% – well above average. The extensive and lengthy ice cover during the winter helped to bring up Great Lakes water levels, which are now well above the historic average. With less ice on the lakes, the potential remains for lake-effect snow. Note how the model (pic. on left at this link) looks like the CPC prediction. Big ridge in the West means record high temps. for Southern California. Looks warm (maybe 70s) at the Super Bowl. The GFS has the coldest air around Weds./Thurs. of next week…the European has the coldest air around Fri. night (13th).
The precipitation forecast for next week has Michigan in the green – higher probabilities for above average precipiiation…and with colder temps…that means snow. Of course, lake-effect snow varies quite a bit with the direction of the wind – where the heavier bands will set up. I’d be looking first at Van Buren and Berrien Counties for heavier lake-effect, possibly Cass, western Kalamazoo, Allegan…but too early to tell. This pattern should also give heavy lake-effect snows to Northwest Lower Michigan and the Upper Michigan lake-effect snowbelts.
BTW, unlike Punxsutawney Phil – our own Grattan Twp. groundhog (NE Kent Co.) did manage to climb up through the frost on 2/2 to see his shadow…I think our local groundhog has it right. Winter’s not over yet. BTW, Lake Michigan ice cover peaked at 19.26% on Jan. 21 and Great Lakes ice extent peaked at 15.83% on Jan. 22. Wind tends to break up the ice. I think we’ll exceed both of those numbers later this month.
Also: Four relatively long tornado tracks in MS Tuesday PM – lots of EF2 damage. Here’s the Fort Stewart tornado. More video of the Fort Stewart tornado. I-80: Closed BOTH DIRECTIONS due to winter conditions between Laramie and Cheyenne, Wyoming. I-25: Closed BOTH DIRECTIONS due to winter conditions between Cheyenne and Wheatland, Wyoming. At 12:01 am the temp was 54 F in Burlington VT, breaking the old record for Feb 4 of 52 F from 1991. The Arctic Arrow is pointing right down Lake Michigan. NBC News called out for saying tornadoes Tuesday came “without warning”. That was false.
Sunshine: In the last four weeks (28 days), Grand Rapids has had only 11.7% of possible sunshine. So far in 2016 (34 days), we have had 14 days with not a single minute of sunshine, another 8 days with 1% to 9% sunshine (so that’s 22 of 34 days with less than 10% sunshine)…only 4 days with 50% or more sunshine and only 1 day with more than 75% sunshine. This is typical of years with a strong El Nino…you get lots of clouds and with the clouds that keep us warmer at night, you get fewer really cold mornings. So far this winter, the coldest temp. in G.R. is +2. The coldest temp. in the winter of 1982-83 was +3. In the strong El Nino winter of 1997-98, the coldest temp. all winter was +1. We had over a foot of snow in March in both of those winters. In 1998, the warmest temp. from March 1-23 was 43 and we had 13.8″ of snow in the first 14 days of March. In 1983, we had record high temps. in the first week of March, then 12.9″ of snow from March 20-29.
This is the Muskegon shore early this PM. The wind there is a steady 29 mph – peak gust 37 mph…not much ice, big waves. There are a few light rain/snow showers, mostly north of a line from Holland to G.R. to Alma…any rain showers go over to snow showers as the colder air comes in. Most areas are seeing wind gusts to 25-35 mph this afternoon…those winds will diminish a little this evening/tonight. Everyone is above freezing, so roads just occasionally wet to damp. Temps. will fall below freezing tonight, so watch for an ice spot. We’ll see an occasional snow shower or flurry through tomorrow…nothing much. The weekend looks uneventful. However, that changes on Monday with colder air starting to move in and a combination of general weather systems and lake-effect/enhanced snow. We should see about 1-3″ on Monday with a steady period of on and off snow showers through much of the work week. The flow goes W/NW so those areas that get decent lake-effect snow with a pattern like that (Berrien, Van Buren Counties for example) could see +6″ snowfall. A general 4-8″ snowstorm may pass just south of us across IL/IN/OH around the 15th.
Snowfall totaled 4-11″ across the U.P yesterday. Here’s some Michigan snow depths this (Wed.) AM: 38″ Painesdale, 32″ Bergland Dam, 29″ Big Bay, 28″ Ironwood (10.5″ new), 24″ Grand Marais, 20″ Marquette (airport, 6.2″ new), 19″ Gaylord and Mancelona, 17″ E. Jordan, 16″ Fife Lake, 14″ Benzonia, 13″ Grayling, 12″ Houghton Lake, S. Ste. Marie, Traverse City, Rogers City, 11″ Alpena, 9″ Iron Mt. and Manistique, 7″ Reed City, 6″ Scottville, 3″ Hart, 2″ Muskegon and Big Rapids (B.R. got 1.05″ of precipitation yesterday with a temp. most of the time at 33 degrees- that was very close to a major ice storm), 1″ Fremont, trace in G.R.
Here’s storm total rainfall/precipitation from Tuesday. Note the swatch of heaviest rain across Lower Michigan. Some rainfall totals: 1.55″ Grand Rapids (4th biggest midnight-to-midnight rainfall ever in G.R. in February), 1.47″ Alma, 1.37″ East G.R., 1.25″ Muskegon, 1.18″ Holland, 1.02″ Grand Haven, 1.00″ Fremont. We had a signficant apartment building fire in Grand Haven started by lighting. We see lightning in February about once every 2-3 years.
More after the news…I’ll talk more about the cold and snow for next week.
We had record daily rainfall in West Michigan yesterday. My records (not official) show that the 1.55″ we received in G.R. was the 4th highest midnight-to-midnight rainfall ever in G.R. The 1.25″ of rain in Muskegon was the 9th greatest midnight-to-midnight rainfall. The old precipitation record for G.R. was 0.62″ in 2011 – that was the Groundhog Day Blizzard. We had a daily record 11.1″ of snow that day (after a daily record 6.1″ on Feb. 1, 2011). Feb. 2011 brought 38.2″ of snow to G.R., the second highest of any February. We came close to a significant winter storm. The high temp. in G.R. was just 36. Another five degrees colder and we could have had a significant snow or freezing rain event. Nearly 5″ of snow fell in Cadillac. An inch of snow fell across Oceana, Newaygo and Mecosta Counties. Thunderstorms were reported over more than half of the area – with thundersnow at Cadillac. Some storms produced small hail. Wind gusts hit 46 mph at Muskegon and on top of the press box at East G.R. High School. Here’s snowfall totals from N. Lower Michigan, Wisconsin, up to 17″ in Nebraska. This storm produced daily record snowfalls for Feb. 1 and Feb. 2 at Denver.
We’ll stay cloudy today with a chance of a stray light rain shower changing to a light snow shower in the PM as the air cools. Temperatures will be highest early – and fall a few degrees during the PM. Winds will turn to the southwest, then west and increase back to 15-25 mph. Additional snow showers are likely Weds. night and Thurs. With temps. below freezing, some slick spots will develop for Weds. night and Thurs. The greatest snow accumulation may come next Tuesday as colder air arrive sending temps. back to the low-mid 20s for the middle of next week.
The water level of Shasta Lake (biggest reservior in CA) is up another 1.54 ft. in the last 24 hours and up 56 feet in the last month. Here’s severe weather reports from Tuesday, including 9 tornadoes (most of which look like they came from the same t-storm). Here’s a family that took shelter as a tornado came right over their house. Storm total snowfall: 40″ Wolf Creek Pass CO, 33″ Glenrock WY. Rainfall: 2.33″ Jackson MS, 1.60 Memphis TN, 1.58″ Evansville IN, 1.41″ Chicago. Groundhog Day sunset at Key West FL. Releasing a weather balloon when the wind is gusting to 60 mph. 100th anniversary of a 30″ snowstorm in Seattle, Washington.
Feb. 2 is Groundhog Day. Legend has it that if the groundhog sees his shadow this morning, there will be six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t, winter is pretty much over (which is really never the case on Feb. 2 in Michigan). It all began in Germany with a badger. The Pennsylvania Dutch (who are really German) didn’t see any badgers when they arrived in Pennsylvania, so they gave the prognosticating assignment to the local groundhog, or woodchuck (BTW, someone figured out how much wood a woodchuck could chuck). The most famous groundhog is Punxsutawney Phil. Phil’s been giving us the long-range forecast from Gobbler’s Knob in Pennsylvania since 1887. Phil even has his own beer. Phil correctly did predict six more weeks of winter last year on 2/2. Feb. 2 is also Candlemas Day. An old saying goes: “Half the wood and half the hay, better have left on Candlemas Day”. Of course, that means that if you have half your winter provisions left at this point…you’ll make it through the winter. Side note: You may have seen the movie Groundhog Day, with actor Bill Murray playing a TV weatherman. Bill and I went to St. Joseph’s Elementary School in Wilmette, Illinois. We caddied together, though he caddied mostly at Indian Hill C.C. and I caddied mostly at Westmoreland C.C. He’s one year older than me, and lived about 4 blocks from me on Elmwood Ave. Do you remember the Groundhog Day snowstorm we had in 2011? Here’s a nice write-up on the storm from the NWS in Chicago. Here’s video, pics. and thundersnow from that storm. This is what happened to Lakeshore Dr. in Chicago. Here’s what I wrote about that storm.
It looks like a good shot of Arctic air for the middle of next week. The GFS takes our 850 mb temp. down to -25C. a week from Sat…the European isn’t that cold…down to -18C on Thurs., which would still be a chilly several days with the potential for at least lake-effect snow showers with daytime temps. in the upper teens to maybe low 20s. The GFS might give us highs around 10-12 around the 13th, but that’s far away. In any case, with the El Nino, cold air masses don’t like to hang around forever and temps. would likely moderate toward the end of the month.
Note – Punxsutawney Phil, the most famous of groundhogs, did NOT see his shadow this AM – releasing a statement: “no shadow cast, an early spring forecast”. It was only 22 deg. in Punxsutawney this AM and they’ll have 2 or 3 cold days next week, as will we in Michigan. Here is was mostly cloudy in W. Michigan and partly cloudy in E. Michigan, so mixed signals from the local groundhogs. Lots of frost this morning in W. Michigan – when I left the station around 3 am, I had to do a lot of scraping before I started driving. Snow is falling in W. Iowa and the state of Iowa is getting wind gusts of 25 to 40 mph. Our winds will gradual increase, peaking from mid-afternoon into early tonight.
Cool video of nacreous clouds over Scotland. China snow strands “nearly 100,000” at Guangzhou Station. The odds of winning 6 coin tosses in a row is 1 in 64. Glad I’m not driving thru this.
9:10 pm – Lots of lightning for Feb. 2…the first batch moved mainly across Muskegon, Newaygo and Mecosta Co. during the late afternoon – but there was lightning up to Cadillac. We had half a dozen claps of thunder downtown. It’s not impossible there could be some small hail with any of these cells. Small hail was reported in Grand Rapids and Comstock Park. Here’s GRR looping radar (heaviest precip. over our area during the next 5-6 hours). Here’s regional looping radar. And WOOD’s Lightning Tracker. Up to an inch of snow and sleet was reported at Big Rapids and at Mears in Oceana Co. Thundersnow reported in MI, IA, WI, NE. Possible lightning strike at an apartment complex in Grand Haven with a fire. We sent a photographer. 3″ snow at Cadillac. At 9 pm, just 34 in G.R., 33 in Ioia..58 in Lafayette IN. Grand Rapids (0.70″) and Muskegon (0.91″) have set daily rainfall records so far today. 0.83″ in East G.R. Heavy rain in Hudsonville at 8:15 pm – no severe weather reported – the wind gusts to +90 mph at Cadillac were false reports.
Snow in Boulder CO. Here’s western IA – good thing the IA caucus was last night and not tonight. Meso-scale discussion for heavy snow for IA, MN, WI. Winter Weather Advisory for Mason, Lake, Osceola and Clare Counties to the north. SPC has THREE tornado watches issued from S. IL and SW IN to the Gulf of Mexico. We’ve had 5 reports of tornadoes in E. Mississippi. Here’s pic. of Scooba, Mississippi tornado. Reports of heavy structural damage to a church, barns and homes in Collinsville, MS. Surface weather map. High resolution satellite loop of tornadic supercells in Mississippi. “I live on Robison Ridge Road in Carrollton MS where the tornado just hit and everything is destroyed. More tornado video. FIRST SNOW EVER – records going back to 1600?! Aliceville tornado. This is the cold air coming for the middle of next week. 4″ snow in Cadillac (with a couple flashes of lightning). Tornado Dancy AL. 34″ of snow in 3 days. Heavy snow in Grand Is. Nebraska. Much colder (for next week) stamped right over Lower Michigan. So far 7 tornadoes today in AL/MS…a few severe hail and wind reports. Collinsville MS damage. Pics and video of the Aliceville AL tornado.
This is the lastest snowfall forecast from the Weather Prediction Center. Note the swath of heaviest snow runs from Colorado into Nebraska, Iowa, SE Minnesota, Wisconsin and into Upper Michigan. The heaviest band should be 6-12″. Here’s the National Hazards Map, Midwest Radar and Great Lakes Radar. The overnight GFS run gives G.R. just a 7% chance of measurable rain before 1 pm, but then an 93% chance of measurable rain from 1 pm to 7 pm. The east wind increases from 6 mph at 7 am to 24 mph at 4 pm. G.R. then has a 98% chance of measurable rain from 7 pm to 1 am tomorrow evening. Wednesday PM G.R. has a west wind at 22 mph. Temperatures fall below freezing Tues. evening when roads could become slippery. There is a Winter Weather Advisory from Mason, Lake, Osceola and Clare Counties to the north. There is a Winter Storm Warning for Emmet, Charlevoix and Cheboygan Counties to the north. The Warning covers most of the U.P. Here’s the NWS Michigan Impact Map. Roads just wet in our area from mid-afternoon through tomorrow night. Here’s 120-hour GFS snowfall (6″ for daughter #3 in TVC). NAM model 84-hour snowfall is a touch farther north with the significant snow. Arctic shot coming for the middle of next week. Grand Rapids has had 8 days this year with high temps. in the low-mid 40s…only two days with low temps. below +10.
The Storm Prediction Center has expanded the Thunderstorm Risk Areas for today (Tue.). The General Thunderstorm Outlook now comes up as far north as Muskegon-Midland. The Slight Risk is up to Indianapolis and the Enhanced Outlook covers an area from E. MS and W AL to S. IN. They say: “SCATTERED SEVERE STORMS CAPABLE OF DAMAGING WINDS AND A FEW TORNADOES ARE EXPECTED…”
Also: Only 1.9″ of snow in Fairbanks, Alaska since 12/1 making for the least snowy Dec-Jan period on record. That was after over 50″ fell from 9/1 to 11/30 – the 5th heaviest fall snowfall Fairbanks has ever had. Pancake ice at Lake Michigan. Rare nacreous clouds in the U.K. Looks like virga. Wow! Strong winds in the Scottish Mountains: Cairngorm Summit clocked a gust of 149 mph with today’s storm. Back in 2011 it clocked 165 mph & holds UK record of 173 mph. The storm produced a 48.2 foot wave! Super Bowl 50 Weather: Dry, mild – maybe 60 degrees. Look at the snow on the mountains/hills at the “Grapevine” on I-5 north of L.A. The mountains of California – covered in snow. Strong ElNino Jan. temp departures. Remarkable similarity between 2016 and 1983. Other ElNino Jans also warm. 16.5″ snow, 6 miles SSW of Colorado Springs. Snowfall totals from the Denver area. Heavy snow in the CO Mtns. A 159-mile stretch of I-76 is closed from Lochbuie, CO, to CO state line. “Adjusted temperatures” in Michigan vs. the actual climate record. Note how often a story about invisible carbon dioxide always includes a pic. of a smokestack belching smoke or steam. Deception on purpose. 9″ snow at Warren AFB, Cheyenne, WY.
The image is the GFS model (overnight model run) valid for 11 pm Tues. evening. The low pressure center is going northwest of Chicago, and probably up over Manistee to Gaylord. We could start with a period of mixed precipitation (which could be freezing rain or wet snow) Tues. AM – north/northwest of G.R., but the main push Tuesday PM should be rain. It may be dry in the morning and winds will be lighter in the early morning. Winds get gusty for midday/afternoon on Tues. At 11 pm Tues., the map shows a swath of heavier rain along I-69 moving east (it’s not impossible there could be a flash of lightning – though the bigger threat for storms will be with the heavier band down toward West-Central Tennessee). Cooler air behind the system should bring snow showers Weds. into Thurs.
In the meantime…where skies cleared this morning, temperatures fell to near freezing or a little below freezing. That brought a chance of icy spots on the roads and some patchy fog. In a situation like that…check your home or vehicle thermometer. If it’s at or below 32 – watch out for patchy ice. Here’s a satellite view (infrared or nighttime view) and current temperatures/weather observations in Michigan. At 4 pm, it’s 28 with fog in Manistee…that certainly looks like it could be a black ice situation for the early morning. Ludington has light fog and 33 at 4 am – Mt. Pleasant is also 33, Fremont 32 and G.R. 35. Cloud cover was variable at that hour.
At 2 pm Monday – it’s 41 in Kalamazoo, 40 in G.R. and Muskegon, 39 in Holland and Battle Creek and 37 in Ludington. All areas are dry and most are partly sunny.
G.R. had 0.21″ of rain Sunday and G.R. is down to just a trace of snow on the ground…Muskegon had 0.16″ of rain and they are down to 4″ of snow at the MKG airport. The high reached 52 at Benton Harbor and Coldwater. Snow on the ground Monday AM: trace Grand Rapids, 1″ Kalamazoo (which has probably melted down to a trace by now), 2″ Big Rapids, 4″ Hart, 8″ Traverse City, 9″ Houghton Lake, 11″ S. Ste. Marie, 14″ Fife Lake, 15″ E. Jordan and Newberry, 16″ Gaylord and Marquette, 17″ Charlevoix, Mancelona, 21″ Munising, Big Bay, 22″ Ironwood, 24″ Atlantic Mine, 28″ Bergland Dam. 17% sunshine for G.R. in January – a relatively cloudy month, same as Dec., typical of a strong El Nino.
Lots in the thread below this one…video of a tornado in Cancun, Mexico and heavy rain in S. California…so read on below if you have time. Here’s some wind damage reports from the L.A. area from Sunday and damage reports from San Diego (one fatality where a tree fell on a vehicle). The peak gust of wind Sunday at the L.A. airport was 53 mph and at San Diego 48 mph. At 4 am EST, the Mammoth Mt. Ski Area reported a temperature of +9, 30-46″ of new snow and a new season total of 237″ – already way more than the 176″ they had all of last winter. They have a snow base of 90″ at the lodge and 150″ at the summit. Also, check out the REALLY CLOSE lightning hit at the airport at Sydney, Australia.
3 pm picture of Rosa Park Circle – They were skating here an hour ago…not now. The temp. in G.R. reached 47 today. The humidity was up to 100%, hence the fog. It’ was 52 in Coldwater (where they had a very-high-for-January dewpoint of 50. The cold front has passed thru and winds have turned to the west. There are still a few mainly sprinkles at 8 pm and light snow showers north of US 10. Here’s current conditions, G.R. radar and regional radar. Speaking of radar, check out SW US Radar and L.A. radar. Trying to copy the success NBC has had with musicals (Sound of Music had an audience of +19 million), FOX is doing “Grease” tonight and some of the live event is outside (“It’s Raining on Prom Night”). Here’s current S. California weather observations. At 3 pm EST (Noon local time), Burbank was reporting moderate rain and a south wind gusting to 30 mph. In the hour from 2 pm to 3 pm EST, The L.A. Airport had a gust to 38 mph. Other gusts that hour: 40 mph Santa Monica, 48 mph Acton, 52 mph Victorville, 53 mph Chilao. They had a severe t-storm in Ventura Co., where several trees were toppled, trapping six vehicles. Power lines are down and there is some flash flooding. Refugio State Beach reported 1.46″ of rain in just one hour! Grass Valley reported a wind gust to 61 mph. They had a gust to 59 mph 4 miles NE of Malibu and a gust to 60 mph at Acton. A Flash Flood Warning has been in effect. The Storm Prediction Center has the coast from L.A. to the Mexican border under a Marginal Risk for a Severe T-Storm. Kingvale Co. added another 6″ of snow, bringing their snow depth to 56″. The water level of Shasta Lake (the biggest reservoir in CA) is up another 2.09 ft. in the last 24-hours. Reno NV. is snowing (visibility 3/4 mi.) as I write this…and moderate snow is reported at Tonopah – which is about 1/2-way between Reno and Las Vegas. It’s sunny up in Frisco. Rainfall so far: 4.5″ Lake Arrowhead, 1.17″ San Luis Obispo CA, 1.14″ Escandido, 1.02″ Santa Barbara, 0.98″ Fresno, 0.86″ Bakersfield, 0.67″ Burbank, 0.18″ San Diego (still raining), 0.19″ Death Valley, 0.12″ Palm Springs. 11″ of new snow at Tuolumne Meadows and Lodgepole CA. One fatality has been reported when a tree fell on a car 7 miles northwest of San Diego. We’ll see a calm day tomorrow, in between rain days (rain Tues. may not start until PM) and maybe a touch of sun if we’re lucky. Over 41,000 customers w/out power in Los Angeles county & 38,000 w/out power in San Diego county. The peak wind gust was 115 mph at Whitaker Peak CA. Other peak wind gusts: 69 in Porter Ranch, 65 mph in Malibu Canyon, 61 in Beverly Hills. THUNDERSNOW in Flagstaff AZ.
Model Update: The NAM gives G.R. highs of 38 today (Mon.) and 40 tomorrow with winds increasing to 20 mph Tue. PM. The chance of rain is significantly higher in the PM than early Tuesday. The GFS has highs of 40 today and 44 tomorrow with an east wind up to 26 mph around 4 pm Tues. That model gives G.R. a 100% chance of rain Tues. PM. The models are not quite as cold as they were before with highs in the low-mid 30’s much of the rest of the week. It still looks like we’ll get a chilly period toward the middle of the month.
If you look at the National Hazards Map (full screen here), you can see where the snow is going to fall from Utah, through Colorado and then from S. Nebraska to Wisconsin to the U.P. That’s a Blizzard Watch for Iowa (Iowa caucus is Monday evening). Most of the snow comes later Monday night into Tues. AM – up to 12″ of snow and gusts to 40 mph possible. The Storm Prediction Center has a large Slight Risk Area for possible severe storms and tornadoes from Indianapolis south to the Gulf of Mexico, with an Enhanced Area in W. Tennessee and NW Mississippi. The morning run of the European model gives G.R. 0.66″ of precipitation – almost all rain. Coolest days are the 4th and 10th on that model. The morning run of the GFS has 0.46″ of rain for G.R. Here’s NCEP forecast snow from the Tuesday storm. GRR NWS graph of the storm…I think the heavy snow is north of Cadillac.
Also: What’s left of the snow out east is melting fast. Great day in Central Park. Strong winds forecast for Scotland and Ireland. Warm to hot weather ahead for much of India. Daily record precipitation at Salt Lake City on Saturday. 17″ of snow fell at Kebler Pass, Co. Current temps. in Hawaii. Tornado today in Cancun, Mexico!
This is the overnight GFS – showing the Tues. storm – the low pressure center is up around Milwaukee, which puts us into the warm sector (actually, the occluded sector – but much of our precipitation would be rain and not snow…we’d get some snow showers as the storm lifts out on Weds. and more snow showers beyond that as a pretty cool pattern sets up from Feb. 4 on. Today and Tuesday…the chance of rain is higher later in the day rather than early in the day, so plan accordingly. The NAM gives G.R. a high of 46 today. The GFS is 48, with a 100% chance of rain this PM/early tonight. The GFS starts Tuesday on the tranquil side with just a 6 mph wind at 7 am, but it’s up to 22 mph by evening. The GFS is particularly cold around Feb. 7th. when (if that model is right), daytime temps. would only be in the mid-upper teens.
Also: Strong 7.2 magnitude earthquake on the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia. Significant rain/snow in the Southwest U.S. next 48 hours. Record Highs on Saturday: Wichita Falls TX: 82, Childress TX 80, AmarilloTX: 79, Las Vegas: 74. Colorado to be buried in snow. 14-18″ Denver up to 6-feet in mountains Next 3-days NWS forecast. At 7 pm Sat., it was 32 deg. in Denver and 55 deg. in Colorado Springs, a 23-degree difference over just 72 miles. The wind at Colorado Springs was east at 8 mph. At 8 pm, the temperature in Denver was still 32, but the temp. in Colorado Springs was 35 – a drop of 20 degrees in an hour – and the wind was north at 26 mph, gusting to 37 mph. One week after the East Coast Blizzard, the satellite pic. shows the snow left on the ground. Tulips in bloom now in Fairhope, Alabama. Rare snow in Saudi Arabia. Oklahoma wildfire Tropical Cyclone “Stan” made landfall in NW Australia with peak winds of 60 mph. Frost in Sweden. Icefields Parkway.
The overnight run of the GFS takes the low pressure center farther northwest – on a track a little north of Milwaukee. It prints out the heavy snow band from Colorado – across Nebraska, Iowa, SE Minnesota, Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. If this were the correct track, we’d get more rain than anything else and the temperature in G.R. would likely peak in the mid-upper 40s. This is only one model and one model run…previous model runs had the center of the low coming up into Central Lower Michigan, which would be a cooler solution…so we’ll see if this is a trend or an outlier.
In the meantime, the NAM model gives G.R. a high of 37° today (too cool) and 48° tomorrow with an 83% chance of rain on Sunday (I’ve got out 80% and I toyed with going 90%)…then a high of 34° on Monday. The GFS gives G.R. a high of 46° today (better) and 45 tomorrow with a 92% chance of showers…then a high of 43° on Monday (9 deg. warmer than the NAM) and 45° on Tues. (reflective of the farther west track of the storm). The GFS also gives G.R. a 20-30 mph wind from Tues. afternoon thru Weds. (probably with gusts to 40 mph). The GFS plot takes the temp. in G.R. from 37° at 4 pm Tue. to 51° around 11 pm and back down to 32° by 7 am with a 29 mph wind at 7 am – could be a tough wait at the bus stop Weds. AM. The GFS is cold from Thurs. thru the first two weeks of February. We’ve had two cold Februarys in a row. Last year was the coldest February ever, at 13.5° colder than average. In 2014, we didn’t get above freezing in February until the 18th and we ended the month with lows of -6° and -12°F. If the GFS is right, this could be the 3rd February in a row with chilly temps. in the Great Lakes. The GFS doens’t have a lot of synoptic (low pressure centers) snow for us, but the cold air should touch off lake-effect and lake-enhanced snow. HOWEVER, keep in mind this is just one run of one model, the GFS. The European is in now (it’s 3 am as I’m writing this) and it prints out 0.4″ of rain Sunday/Sunday night…dry then thru Tues. AM…rain starts Tues. PM with temps. in the mid 30s in G.R….we get 0.7″ of rain in 6 hours, 0.82″ total…the temp. goes up to the low 40s very early Weds….we get snow Weds. PM and as temps. cool below freezing, some slick roads Weds. evening. We get shots of light snow and snow showers the rest of the week. Ski areas should recover for a good weekend Feb. 5-7. The European isn’t as cold long-term as the GFS, with temps. down close to average.
There are a couple of fresh threads below this one…read on if you have time…Happy weekend everybody!!
This map from NOAA shows the snow and ice cover in the Northern Hemisphere. Unusual cold and snow have made this a tough winter in the Far East. In South Korea, this is the coldest winter in 15 years. Cold and snow caused the cancelation of 100,000 flights in China and Korea this month. In Taiwan, 85 fatalities have been blamed on the cold, mostly to the elderly. Deaths from the cold have been reported all the way south to Thailand and Vietnam. The area around Hong Kong saw the coldest temperatures since 1957. The island of Okinawa saw it’s first snow since 1966 and the Island of Amami Ohshima had the first dusting of snow in 100 years. On Jan. 24, Seoul, South Korea had a high/low temp. of 14/0F. On Jan 23, the high temp. at Beijing, China was +8. On the 24th, afternoon temperatures in Hong Kong held in the low 40s, compared to average highs in the mid 60s. As I write this, I see several weather stations in Siberia with temperatures between -60 and -62F. The Siberian city of Oymyakon hasn’t been warmer than -14F this month. Their coldest temperature has been -64F. The monthly average temperature at Oymyakon has been -46F. Baguio City in the Philippines dropped to 10.8C. Total Northern Hemisphere snowfall is very close to average extent right now. Out of 50 years of record…the Northern Hemisphere snow extend at the end of September ranked 14th highest. At the end of October is ranked 7th highest and at the end of November, it was still 7th highest. By the end of December, extent had dropped to 32nd greatest out of 50 years.
This picture is from the Yosemite National Park. See it full screen here. Snowfall has been a little above average in the Sierra Nevada Mtns. of California for the second month in a row. The water content of snow was 113 percent of normal statewide on Wednesday. 24-hour rainfall in CA ending at 7 pm Fri: 3.00″ Leggett, 2,91″ Zania, 2.74″ Blue Canyon, 1.61″ Redding, 1.36″ Crescent City, 1.21″ Fort Bragg, 0.17″ San Francisco. Mammoth Mt. Ski Area has already had 207″ of snow this winter. They had 176″ total for last winter and that included 56″ that fell in April and May. The base depth at the lodge there is 80″. The Kirkwood Ski Area has already had 281″ of snow this season. Squaw Valley reports a base of 119″. The water level of Shasta Lake, the biggest reservoir in CA is up another 1.43 ft in the last 24 hours. Snow has been plentiful in UT and CO. Here’s some season snowfall totals: Alta UT 251″, Snowbird UT 272″, Vail CO 192″, Steamboat Springs 231.5″.
Season snowfall: Lansing 17.9″, Grand Rapids 26.8″, Kalamazoo 31.4″, Muskegon 46.0″. Snowfall has been heavy in the mountains from Oregon to Alaska. Timberline Ski Area in Oregon reported 5″ of new snow Friday with a season total of 335″. Mt. Baker, Washington had 14″ of snow on Friday – I couldn’t find a season snowfall total for them, but they hold the record for most snowfall in the winter anywhere in the world. Alyeska Resort in SE Alaska reports 464″ of snow so far this winter (that’s 38.7 FEET!) and a snow depth at the lodge of 146″ (over 12 feet!). At Alyeska, the first Monday is Military Monday, when the Armed Forces can ski for free. Pics. of Alyeska here.
This is the Saturday AM update from the Storm Prediction Center. The strong storm system (that we have been tracking since early this week) will move across the country from California to the East Coast, bringing heavy snow, heavy rain, freezing rain and severe weather, including the possiblity of tornadoes. This is the Severe Weather Outlook from the Storm Prediction Center for Day 5 (Tues at 7 am to Weds. at 7 am). It’s rare to put a 30% outlook out on Day 5. SPC says: “THE SYSTEM WILL CONTINUE TO MATURE WITH AN INCREASING SEVERE THREAT TO THE E ON TUE/D5…WITH BOTH MOISTURE AND INSTABILITY INCREASING THROUGHOUT THE DAY. THE BEST OVERLAP OF INSTABILITY AND ASCENT WOULD APPEAR TO BE FROM CNTRL AND NRN MS INTO NRN AL…WRN AND MIDDLE TN DURING THE DAY…OR JUST E OF THE MS RIVER. DESPITE THE WEAK INSTABILITY…EXTREME SHEAR PROFILES WILL FAVOR A FEW TORNADOES…POSSIBLY ONE OR TWO STRONG…ALONG WITH DAMAGING (WIND) BOWING STRUCTURES.” Here’s the U.S. Hazard’s Map. Here’s Western U.S. radar and Rocky Mountain States radar.
We had drone 8 out at the Holland Channel this afternoon. You can see the ice along the shore. All five of the Great Lakes have water levels that are well above the January average. The water level of Lake Michigan/Huron has dropped 2″ in the last month. The level is 2 inches higher than one year ago and 10″ higher than the January average. Lake Superior is down 4″ in the last month (at this time of year, the temperature is below freezing, so precipitation (snow) sits on othe ground and does not get in the rivers. Water comes out of the lake through evaporation (some of which becomes lake-effect snow) and water levels go down). Superior is at the same level as one year ago and is 7″ above the average January level. Lake Erie is down 2″ in the last month, up 4″ in the last year and 9″ above the January average. Lake Ontario is 7″ higher than it was one month ago, 6″ higher than it was one year ago and 5″ above the January average. Grand Rapids answers water safety questions. Icy pics. of Lake Huron. Aboard a Coast Guard ice cutter. Ice sculptures on Lake Erie. Ship abandoned weeks ago in Canada. What’s in your water? Great Lakes shipping down 10%. Sleeping Bear Dunes Natl. Lakeshore has record attendance in 2015, despite the August 2nd storm. Drone tour of Beaver Island.
As of Thursday evening, Lake Michigan has an 9.1% ice cover. Lake Superior is at just a 2.9% ice cover. Lake Huron has a 12.7% ice extent. Lake Erie has a 14.3% ice cover and Lake Ontario.has just a 0.6% ice cover. Season snowfall: Lansing 17.9″, Grand Rapids 26.8″, Kalamazoo 31.4″, Muskegon 45.9″.
Also: Mars Rover Designed To Last 90 Days Celebrates 12 Year Anniversary. Fiery Sunset. One tornado today at Ocean Ridge FL – wind damage near Pampano Beach FL. Significant rain and snow for the Southwestern U.S. (same storm that we’ll get next Tues./Weds.). Fire heading toward the radar! With only 3 tornadoes, Feb. 2015 placed 3rd, for fewest February tornadoes – it was a record cold month here in Lower Michigan. East Coast Blizzard of 2016 was the 4th most powerful to hit Northeast since 1950. Snow fell in the Kuwait area this morning, an extremely rare event. Snow from the Feb. 2-3 storm will be heavy from Colorado to Upper Michigan. Fort Myers, FL, had its wettest January day on record Jan. 27 with 3.29″. Zig-Zag lightning hits Sydney (Australia) Tower. Huge Oregon sinkhole. The storm next week should produce some severe weather to our south. Tropical Cyclone Stan has formed and will move into NW Australia Sunday morning.
Model output from Thurs. night: NAM has temps. steady in the mid 20s much of today, then highs of 42 Sat. and 45 on Sun. The GFS has a high of 30 today for G.R. and 46 for both Sat. and Sun. with a 74% chance of measurable rain Sunday. Starting Monday, the GFS has highs of 37, 39, 31, 21, 20 for M – F next week. The GFS prints out .03″ precip. Sat. (I think that is iffy – most of Sat. should be dry…then 0.38″ rain Sun….maybe ending with snow showers early Monday. The big storm ramps up winds on Tues. with rain starting around midday with temps. around 32/33 (close call for freezing rain)…but it warms up close to 40 Tues. night. 11-30 mph east winds will change to the west as the low passes early Weds. Temps. fall starting about 3 am Tues. night and Weds. AM could be a tricky rush hour with temps. passing down below freezing, at least snow and a strong west wind. Temps. fall to the low 20s by Weds. evening and lake-effect/enhanced snow showers are pretty continuous from Weds. AM thru Thurs. evening and beyond. Even if they are light, the long-duration should mean at least several inches accum. The overall pattern on the GFS is cold for Friday and Saturday and generally cold into the first two weeks of February. The European model gives G.R. 0.2″ of rain Sunday PM – then the bigger system gives G.R. 0.69″ of rain Tues. PM/Night and then an inch of snow as it lifts out with the lake-effect snow showers after that thru Thurs. The overall pattern on the European is also cool starting Weds. PM – we don’t get past the mid-upper 30s during the first week of Feb. and most of the daytime is below freezing.
Final note…the water level of Shasta Lake, the biggest reservoir in California has risen 49 feet since January 1. The level is still well below average, but precipitation has been above average and it’s made a steady climb. Another storm with significant rain and mountain snow is moving in. Rainfall yesterday totaled 1.10″ at Orick, 0.81″ at Eureka, 0.25″ at Redding – the most I saw was 1.87″ at Camp Six. Here’s a write-up on the Florida tornado at Delray. South Florida really got soaked. Here’s some rainfall totals: 4.85″ South Beach, 4.67″ W. Palm Beach, 4.05″ Juno Beach, 3.17″ Marco Is., 3.10″ Naples (307 homes “impacted” by flooding), 2.59″ Fort Myers, 1.57″. Naples has had 8.04″ of rain this month, compared to an average of 1.62″.
Huge wind gusts in Scotland and the U.K. Massive gust of 144 mph recorded on the Cairngorm summit…Forth Road Bridge reported a gust of 91 mph…Top high elev gust, 112 mph over Bealach Na Ba (773m), low elev gust of 91 mph at S Uist Range (4m).
The Friday night run of the GFS model tracks the heaviest snow from the storm across Iowa, Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. We’ll keep trackin’ it.
This is a graphic from the Milwaukee NWS…here’s an early write-up they did on the Feb. 2-3 storm. The arrow shows the storm coming up into N. Indiana. At this time, I’d track it a little west of that, passing NW of Chicago, but too early to tell for sure. The low will likely be occluded, with cooler air wrapping around the low and confining the true “warm sector” at the surface to Indiana and Ohio.
In the meantime…snow showers mainly this PM…some light rain showers on Sat….chance of rain showers Sunday PM into at least early Monday. Temps. will be above average most days thru next Tues. More later. Ellen just got here…I can head for home.
Also: European model suggests 60-90 kt (69-103mph) gusts across broad swathe of Scotland tomorrow. Florida tornado video…I’ve said several times on the blog that Florida gets more tornadoes in winter/early spring in years with a strong El Nino. Precipitation is above average in CA since July 1. More significant rain and mountain snows coming to the West (same storm that may give MI an inch of precipitation next week.