FeedBurner makes it easy to receive content updates in My Yahoo!, Newsgator, Bloglines, and other news readers.
A huge earthquake occurred at approximately 2:44 AM EDT in the Sea of Okhotsk just west of the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia. It’s about 1475 miles north of Tokyo. This was a deep quake, 378.4 miles below sea level. The quake has been given a preliminary magnitude of 8.3. It looks like we have had only a dozen earthquakes of that magnitude since 1966. The Pacific Tsunami Center has issued this statement: “BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA A DESTRUCTIVE PACIFIC-WIDE TSUNAMI IS NOT EXPECTED AND THERE IS NO TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII.” Slight tremors spreadwestwards as far as Moscow, 5,000 miles to the west. Tremors were felt in central Moscow, prompting some people to evacuate from buildings. Russian news agencies also cited eyewitnesses reporting strong tremors across Siberia. The earthquake was said to be more than 10 times more powerful than the earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010.
A bowing line of storms (possibly a derecho) blasted through NW Texas Thurs. PM. Very interesting pictures, including what appears to me to be gustnadoes (see slide #22) on the leading edge of the strong wind. There were 5 tornadoes, hail up to the size of tennis balls and some incredible thunderstorm winds: 110 mph W. of Rotan TX, 105 mph at W. Albany, 92 mph at Jayton TX, roofs blown off houses at Abilene TX, Hail up to 2.5″ in diameter fell at Aspermont TX. Note the middle picture. The gust front is a out ahead of the storms and a giant cloud of dust is being blown along by 50-80 mph winds approaching from the north-northwest. Here’s Storm Reports from SPC from Thursday. Here’s 60 good pics. from the storms. Here’s video of the dust storm. WOW – Check out the lightning over Dallas. Another cool pic.
Click the picture to enlarge. This is the 6th grade from Saugatuck Middle School. Every year they round up charter boats to take the kids out fishing. They had 19 charter boats out last Tuesday morning. All volunteered their time. As you can see, the kids made quite a haul…some good fish dinners there! The water level of Lake Michigan (and Huron) is up another 1-2″ in the last week. The lake is up 5″ in the last month. We’re still 4″ below the level of one year ago and 20″ below the century average. However, the lake is now 9″ above the lowest May level back in 1964. Lake Superior continues a rather spectacular climb, up another 3″ in the last week. Superior is now up 10″ in the last month! That’s an increase of 5.52 TRILLION gallons in just a month! Superior is now 6″ above the level of one year ago (which is good news for Lakes Michigan/Huron, which take in Superior’s water through the St. Marys River), and only 6″ below the century average. Superior is 21″ below the highest May level of 1986 and 18″ above the lowest May level of 1926. Lake Erie is unchanged in the last month and 9″ below the century average. Lake Ontario is up 3″ in the last month. It’s still 1″ below the level of one year ago and 5″ below the century average.
Here’s another article that talks about the effect of outflow from the St. Clair River causing a drop in the water level of Lake Michigan/Huron (no mention of lower than average snowfall the past couple of winters…which is not a factor because our total precipitation (rain and melted snow) was not below average – it’s been above average over the past 2 years). The article says:
“The Joint International Commission called for a study to explore the impact of placing inflatable gates or other devices in the St. Clair River at the southern end of Lake Huron as a way to stop outflow from the lake.Officials say dredging, mining and other human activities eroded the river bottom in the last century, accelerating the outflow from Lake Huron toward Lake Erie.”
And…Lighthouse offered free! And…did you know that there’s a WWI German Submarine sitting on the bottom of Lake Michigan??
Click on the pictures to enlarge. The north end of the Interstate 5 Bridge over the Skagit River collapsed shortly before 10 PM EDT (7 pm local time). A number of cars and people fell into the river. Rescuers and divers are on the scene. At least 3 people have been rescued from the river and taken to the hospital. Officials report no fatalities. The bridge is about 45 miles south of Canada and about 55 miles north of Seattle. More pictures here. A Dept. of Transportation spokesman said he didn’t know the last time the bridge was inspected. Washington state was given a C by the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2013 infrastructure report card and a C- when it came to the state’s bridges. The group said more than a quarter of Washington’s 7,840 bridges are considered structurally deficient of functionally obsolete. Here’s a map of the area. The bridge was built in 1955 and is 1,112 feet long. It has a traffic load of 71,000 cars per day. That compares to 62,200 vehicles that go over the drawbridge in Grand Haven per day. The span that collapsed was approximately 160 feet long. The water at the bridge is 18 feet deep and the water temperature is 46 degrees. The Skagit River has slightly above average flow right now. It’s at 22,200 cubic feet per second compared to a median of 20,700 cfs. The Grand River in Grand Rapids is currently at 4,900 cfs compared to an average of 3,600 cfs. The Skagit drains a rainy area and there is also a lot of snowmelt coming down the river now. The river flows fairly fast at this point. The Skagit is 150 miles long and drains 1.7 million acres. The Grand River is 260 miles long and drains 3.57 million acres. LIVE COVERAGE. Lights have been set up as darkness falls. Eyewitnesses said an oversized truck struck part of the bridge before the collapse. Police have stopped a vehicle of interest. A white semi-truck with a large flatbed trailer was stopped south of the bridge. A square blue container on the flatbed was over the back of the trailer by roughly 8 feet. Its width was estimated to be a foot or two wider than a typical semi-truck.
How’s this for ironic…a woman named Snow has won the Nenana ice classic…and this is the 2nd time she’s won! Every year, a tripod is set up on the ice at Nenana and a contest is held to guess the day and minute that the tripod falls into the Tanana river (click on the pictures to enlarge). The tripod is pretty big (bigger than it looks in the picture) and it’s 300 feet offshore. The contest has been going on every year since 1917, but as word gets out, the jackpot grows bigger. This year set a record for the latest that the ice has gone out after a very cold and long winter. The thickness of the ice actually increased by 2″ from April 1 to April 25. This year Yvonne Snow won $318,000! The last time she had to split the jackpot many ways and only took home $7,000. She said her husband kidded her for guessing so late. The winner is the closest guess without going past the time of the fall into the river. Yvonne was only off by one minute. The tripod fell at 2:41 PM on Monday. A live webcam shows the river 24/7 and is updated every 30-seconds. It’s lit in the winter and in the summer, twilight lasts pretty much all night in the land of the midnight sun. There were 261,000 entries this year and $2.50 a piece. Check out the website of the Nenana Ice Classic here.
Much of Alaska has been extraordinarily cold of late. Fairbanks is running 10.2 deg. colder than average for May after being 14.3 deg. colder than average in April. The last day Fairbanks had that was warmer than average was April 2!
The Frost Advisory has been expanded to include Ottawa, Kent, Ionia and Clinton Counties north to the Mac. Bridge. Most areas will get thru these next two mornings without frost, including most all of the fruit farms. The wind will hold up tonight and Friday we’ll have full sun to work on the air and it will start warming aloft…so most low temperatures in our area will be in the mid-upper 30s at daybreak both mornings. However, the usual cold spots (the agricultural weather station at Leota for instance), will likely reach the upper 20s to low 30s. We’ll see a gradual warming trend into the middle of next week, when we’ll top 80. The weekend still looks dry here in Michigan with showers to our south in parts of Illinois and Indiana. While mosquitoes are less active when the temperature is below 50, the frost set-up tonight and tomorrow night will do little to change their numbers. Keep repellent handy this weekend. Old age will be ending the reign of the Aedes (the floodplain) mosquitoes in a week or two and then the Culex mosquitoes will be taking center stage. The sun is high in the sky, so keep some sunblock handy.
5:45 PM – The last of the sprinkles are moving out the Lansing Area and should clear east of US 127 by 6:30 PM. The clearing line (dry air) is coming south rapidly and we have sunshine from Lake Co. to the Muskegon area. That line will progress southeast at a nice clip this evening and we should end up clear for much of the night and the day tomorrow. Keep the sunblock handy. Despite the cool weather, the sun is high in the sky now in late May. You’ll also want some skeeter repellent. They’re still pretty nasty. 24-hour rainfall as of 8 AM: 2.51″ near Montague 2.42″ Big Rapids, 1.69″ Croton, 1.41″ Hart, 1.36″ Muskegon, just 0.30″ at the Ford Airport (but more over areas north of downtown G.R.). There are Flood Advisories out for Newaygo, Mecosta and Isabella Counties for the Muskegon, Little Muskegon and Chippewa Rivers. The rivers are high, but should remain below flood stage. Here’s the GRR NWS discussion. Use the links below and in the next couple threads to keep up with the weather. Watch for updates on WOOD-TV. For current Michigan weather observations and wind speeds, click here. Here’s WOOD-TV Interactive Radar, looping radar. Check out regional radar, GRR radar, northern Indiana radar, Chicago radar and Milwaukee radar. Here’s the College of DuPage Radar Map, the local warning/advisory map and the National warning/watch/advisory map, and 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 WOOD lightning tracker and U.S. lightning, the Maranatha Webcam at Lake Michigan and links to webcams. Here’s the infrared satellite loop (night) and the visible satellite loop (daytime), Lake Michigan water temperatures. Links for watches and warnings in the thread below this one regarding severe weather and the latest from the Storm Prediction Center.
Also, lowered down into a cool volcano and more pictures of the damage from the Moore OK tornado. Also, the link between the cold PDO (Pacific Decadal Oscillation) and strong tornadoes in the U.S. (note that we had cold and snowy Marches in both 1956 and 1965 – the years of the two big tornadoes in Ottawa/Kent). Loop of the Moore OK Tornado (blue boxes are Severe T-Storm Warnings and red boxes are Tornado Warnings).
Thanks to everyone who came to support the Comstock Park Rotary BBQ fundraiser today (my wife is a member). We got a half dozen blog readers that stopped down at noon, said “hi” and picked up some chicken. Others read it on the blog and came later in the day. I was there around Noon and had lunch with INDY and his lovely wife. The Comstock Park Rotary does a lot of good work in the community. They built and are helping to maintain the new Grotto Park on the North Side of the Veterans Home on Monroe, NW and with the help of Amway Employees built the new playground in the York Creek Area. We were at Dwight Lydell Park in “downtown” Comstock Park on West River Drive, just down the road from 5th/3rd Park, with an easy on and off to US 131. They do three BBQs during the summer…the last Thursday of May, June and August. Advance Orders are taken for pick up. Call (616) 437-5567 or e-mail email@example.com by mid-morning. If you order 15 or more dinners, they’ll deliver within 10 miles. They’ve got a thousand dinners to sell. There’s a large gazebo there and we have a tent up to get out of any showers (that clown may need the umbrella!). Click here for pictures of a past BBQ. We got a nice on-air plug from WOOD-AM last time out and we had a number of people show up after they heard about it on the radio with Gary and Steve.
Rain and Severe Weather Threads are below this one.
9:05 pm - Rain is done. 48-hour rainfall totals: Muskegon 2.07″, Kalamazoo 0.99″, Grand Rapids (Ford Airport) 0.95″, Holland 0.80″, Lansing 0.62″, Benton Harbor 0.47″, Jackson 0.17″. There was a band of 3″ from Whitehall to Big Rapids. Cooler air and some sunshine for Fri./ Sat. It’s was only in the low-mid 40s along the Lake Superior shore much of today and they actually had a trace of snow at Marquette this AM. Here’s the GRR NWS discussion. Use the links below and in the next couple threads to keep up with the weather. Watch for updates on WOOD-TV. For current Michigan weather observations and wind speeds, click here. Here’s WOOD-TV Interactive Radar, looping radar. Check out regional radar, GRR radar, northern Indiana radar, Chicago radar and Milwaukee radar. Here’s the College of DuPage Radar Map, the local warning/advisory map and the National warning/watch/advisory map, and 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 WOOD lightning tracker and U.S. lightning, the Maranatha Webcam at Lake Michigan and links to webcams. Here’s the infrared satellite loop (night) and the visible satellite loop (daytime), Lake Michigan water temperatures. Links for watches and warnings in the thread below this one regarding severe weather and the latest from the Storm Prediction Center.