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Click on the images to enlarge. The image on the left (from Environment Canada) is the percent of ice on the Great Lakes, which is now almost DOUBLE the previous record. The image on the right (from NOAA Coastwatch) shows the ice on the Great Lakes today. We still have approx. 35% ice cover on the Great Lakes. The AVERAGE ice cover for 4/25 is 1%. The 4/25 ice percentage shows 17.5% ice cover on Lake Michigan. Lake Superior still shows a 67.5% ice cover, Lake Huron is at 25.7%, Lake Erie (the southernmost Great Lake) is at 70% ice cover and Lake Ontario is has a 0.9% ice cover. This adds up to 32,400 square miles of ice left on the Great Lakes!
The latest Great Lakes water levels from the Army Corps of Engineers shows that 3 of the 5 Great Lakes are now ABOVE their historical water level average. Lake Michigan/Huron (one lake for lake level purposes) is now back to single digits below average. Lake Michigan/Huron is up 7″ in the last month and up 11″ year-to-year. It’s now 9″ below the long-term average. Lake Superior is up 4″ in the last month, up an astonishing 14″ year-to-year and it’s now 2″ above the century average. Lake Erie is up 8″ in the last month, 6″ in the last year and is now 1″ above the historical average. Lake Ontario is up an amazing 17″ in the last month, up 6″ in the last year and is now 4″ above the long-term average. The lakes are expected to gain another 2-4″ by the end of May. The outflow from Lake Superior down the St. Mary’s River is expected to continue to be above average. That water feeds down into Lake Michigan/Huron.
With a SE wind – it was just as warm at the Lake Michigan shoreline as it was inland. The high temperature today on the beach at Muskegon was 58.2° and on the beach at S. Haven it was 60.7°. It was a different story on the other side of Lake Michigan, where the SE wind off Lake Michigan kept the high temperature down to 43.6 on the beach at Milwaukee.
I got the picture on the left from Jennifer Bababasz through ReportIt. This was taken at Point Gratiot/Dunkirk – which is about halfway between Buffalo NY and Erie PA. In this pretty sunset pic. you can see some ice in the water. The picture in the middle is the MODIS Lake Erie Satellite picture (from NOAA Coastwatch) from today. The image on the right is the evening update on Lake Erie ice showing 7% ice cover left on Lake Erie…mostly floating chunks, but a couple of small bays seem to have ice yet. Click on the images to enlarge
Showers will move through the area and exit around mid-morning Most areas will see 1/4″ of rain or less and most areas will see skies become partly sunny from west to east during the midday and afternoon. Winds will flip back to the west tomorrow, so it’ll be a good 10° cooler near Lake Michigan. Winds will be brisk during the midday and afternoon with some gusts of 25-30 mph possible.
Links: Grand Rapids radar, Northern Indiana radar, Chicago radar, Detroit radar and Milwaukee radar. Here’s regional radar, the College of DuPage Radar Map (pick any radar in the U.S.), College of DuPage Grand Rapids radar, GFS snowfall for the next 120 hours and NAM model snowfall for the next 84 hours. the West Michigan Lightning Tracker, National Lightning Tracker, 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. Check out Storm Total Precipitation (until they reset it). 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 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 (summer). Here’s 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, the weather station at Manistee Harbor and the weather station on the beach at St. Joseph. Here’s Michigan wind gusts from MesoWest, data from the MAWN agricultural weather stations and Weather Underground (data at the bottom from private weather stations). Check out the webcam at Krupp’s Resort, where they are pushing toward 3 feet of snow on the ground. Check out the cold temps. on the U.S. Low Temperature map. Here’s the morning run of the NAM forecast snow amounts. Here’s a live look at the Houghton Bridge. Here’s the Consumers Energy Power Outage Map. We continue to watch for ice jams on Michigan rivers. Here’s Closings.
A magnitude 6.6 Earthquake occurred around 10:10 pm EDT just offshore of Vancouver Island, Canada. The quake was 7.1 miles deep and did not generate any significant tsunami. A magnitude 6.3 occurred in the same area on 9/9/2011. Aftershocks of 5.0 and 4.2 quickly followed the main quake. This area gets an earthquake of this magnitude about every 10-15 years. As I write this, I see no reports of injuries. The quake was felt throughout most of Vancouver Island.
We’re a week from May and here’s the latest snow cover in the U.P.: 26″ Mohawk and SE of Calumet, 20″ near Houghton, 17″ Munising, 13″ Ishpeming, 11″ Paulding, 10″ Michigamme, 9″ Big Bay, 6″ Newberry, Jacobsville, Marquette (airport), 5″ Ontonagon, Gladstone, 3″ Watersmeet. Snow cover is now at 5.9″ of the Lower 48 states. (click on the images to enlarge – the first is Great Lakes snow cover from NOHRSC, the second is North America snow cover and ice cover from NOAA (still a lot of ice on Lake Superior). Great Lakes ice cover on 4/22 was 33.9% (the most ever this late in spring). Ice cover on Weds. 4/23 was at 17.2% on Lake Michigan, 59.5% on Lake Superior, 31% on Lake Huron, 10.2% on Lake Erie and 1% on Lake Ontario. The GFS says that April ends and May starts cool over much of the Central U.S., including Michigan. Again, don’t be in a hurry to plant this spring – the threat of frost will probably linger into early May. Here’s the Michigan Tech. Trail Cam – still looks like mid-winter. Here’s the ice around Granite Is. in Lake Superior. Click here for webcams around Upper Michigan and Lake Superior. Here’s the Snowman Cam from Krupp’s Resort at Twin Lakes – lots of snow left…lots of ice on the lake. Mt. Bohemia is up to 347″ of snow for the winter – and they’re not done yet. They will be open for skiing through at least the first weekend of May. Boyne Mt. is scheduled to be open this coming weekend – one of their longest seasons ever (started on 11/15 – so they are headed toward nearly 6 months of skiing. Ski Brule is also going to open for at least one more weekend.
Global sea ice extent is now well above average (a significant increase since 2012). Arctic ice remains below the recent average, but significantly above the level of April 2007/2008. Antarctic ice extent continues to set daily records. The extent is much greater than one year ago, much greater than average (well beyond two standard deviations from the recent average) and it continues a steady climb from the mid 1980s.
No severe weather here in Michigan. We’ll have a nice afternoon. We started the day on a chilly note, with low temps. of 32 in G.R., 31 in Kalamazoo and Battle Creek, 29 in Kent City and Sparta, 27 at Baldwin. It got down to 18 at Iron Mt. and Kenton in the U.P. and 17 at Paulding. At least the winds have died down. With the help of a strong, late April sun – we’ll see temperatures head into the 50s this afternoon. These are the Severe Weather Outlooks from the Storm Prediction Center for this afternoon (Weds.), Thurs. and for Day 4, Day 5 and 6 (the weekend/Monday). There will be severe storms today in the Plains from Nebraska down to N. Texas. The green General Thunderstorm Outlook comes up to the edge of Lake Michigan on Thurs. – showers are more likely here, downwind from a chilly Lake Michigan. Then, over the weekend, we’ll see more severe weather in the Plains from KS and SW MO down to North Texas and eastward. The severe stuff will stay to our south. Here’s the U.S. severe weather reports for Tuesday. There were no tornadoes, just one marginal hail report and 18 wind damage/strong wind reports – including several from NE Idaho.
Also, check out the sideways view of the Earth’s atmosphere from the Intl. Space Station…also from NASA Earth – A thin, crescent moon with Earthshine…and check out this shot of fog at Niagara Falls.
One week until May and more snow is on the way for the U.P. The high temperature Tues. was just 34 at Spincich Lake and Grand Marais, Munising reached only 35. As of Tues. evening, there’s still 25″ of snow on the ground at Hoist Basin, 23″ at Mohawk, 19″ just southeast of Houghton, 17″ at Munising and 6″ at Marquette (airport).
The NAM (car.) gives G.R. a high of 55 today (Weds.), 60 on Thu. and 62 on Fri…along with 1/3rd inch of rain Thurs. night. I’m tired…not staying up for the European. More later today.
This is the Thunderstorm Outlook from the Storm Prediction Center for 4/23 (Weds.). The main threat looks like hail, though strong winds and an isolated tornado or two are also possible. Looks like another snowstorm goes over Lake Superior. Here’s the NAM and GFS snow predictions for Lake Superior. The models have afternoon temps. in the upper 40s today and mid 50s on Weds. The NAM (car.) gives G.R. .02″ of rain Thurs. AM and 0.29″ Thurs. evening. The GFS (car.) gives G.R. 0.08″ Thurs. AM and 0.38″ Thurs. evening/night. The GFS-plot is almost frigid for early next week, with afternoon temps. only in the low 40s Sunday and temps. most of Monday only in the 30s. The GFS-plot also says we’ll have at least a chance of a little light mix with the cold air, which could include a period of sleet or even wet snow! The model has lows in the upper 20s (a freeze) next Monday am. I’m not staying up for the European tonight. Look at the Jamstec model forecast for next winter. It has a weak-moderate El Nino centered in the Central Pacific with a Storm Track on average a touch east of Michigan and lots of cold. This would be reminiscent of the winter of 1977-78, which followed the cold winter of 1976-77. Grand Rapids high of 78 on Monday was warmer than Daytona Beach (73), Orlando (73), Tampa (75), New Orleans (76), Galveston (76), and Molokai Airport/Hawaii (76). It was cooler to the north with highs of 45 at Mackinac Is. and Escanaba and 46 at Cheboygan. Winter wheat crop diminished by cold and snowy winter. The picture on the right is from the NWS in Grand Jct. CO. It’s a snow measurement taken 4/1 at Buffalo Pass Co. They measured a snow depth of 196″ (16′ 4″). That’s 64″ above the average snow depth there for April 1.
Sea Ice Update April 20, 2014 – Global Sea Ice 1.05 million sq km Above Normal – Antarctic Sea Ice 42nd Daily Record. Great Lakes ice at 2,000% of average! Lowest # of tornadoes from Jan. 1 – April 21 ever. Hurricane events also low – ACE Index at lowest level in over 35 years.
It’s my 36th wedding anniversary today (4/22). The weather that day was perfect…mostly sunny, low-mid 60s, light SE wind. Today Gayle and I are on our way home from visiting my mother in Tennessee. We’re at the Microtel in Dry Ridge KY. We stopped to see Cumberland Falls on Monday…125 feet across and 68-feet down – the most significant waterfall south of Niagara and east of the Mississippi. The flow on the river varies considerably. The record low flow is just 4 cubic feet per second…not much more than a trickle. The biggest flow was over 59,000 cubic feet per second. Compare that to the Grand River flood of 2013, which peaked at 35,100 cfs. The Great Flood of 1904 on the Grand River was 54,000 cfs. We’ll drive home today (Tue.) and it’s back to work on Weds. The weather’s been perfect for our trip…it was in the 70s and sunny and past two days in Oak Ridge. The leaves are about 60% out in Oak Ridge, maybe only 10% here in N. Kentucky.
Click on the images (from the Marquette NWS facebook page) to enlarge. Look at the ice on Lake Superior, 10 days from May – here’s the MQT NWS estimate of last ice: “the amount of ice is nearing records for the latest widespread ice cover this late into spring over the northern portions of the lake… mid-May is a good estimate for much of the lake. However, some of the shoreline locations where the ice typically holds on longest could push into late-May.” The picture on the right is Coast Guard Cutter Alder assisting the Mesabi Miner out of Marquette Saturday (April 19th). Snow depth Sunday evening: Sault Ste. Marie 9″, Marquette 13″, Mohawk 28″. The latest analysis by NOAA/Coastwatch showed a Great Lakes ice cover of 36%. The 4/19-20 ice percentage shows 18% ice cover on Lake Michigan. Lake Superior still shows a 63% ice cover, Lake Huron is at 30%, Lake Erie (the southernmost Great Lake) is at 12.0% ice cover and Lake Ontario is has a 2% ice cover.
Thought you’d like to see the smallest Slight Risk Area that I’ve ever seen SPC issue. Click on the image to enlarge if you can’t see it. This is for Sunday Night. Guess it kind of narrow’s down the area to go storm-chasing. The storm that prompted this “gigantic” Slight Risk Area has produced hail up to baseball-size and one relatively small rope tornado. Here’s Storm Reports from Sunday. At 154 days on April 20, 2014, the span between EF-3 or stronger tornadoes is the 4th longest span between in the last 60 years. So far, we’ve had 109 reported tornadoes (this number will go down as duplicates are eliminated) in the U.S. in 2014, a record low number for Jan. 1 – Apr. 20. Check out this graphic comparison of instability – a major ingredient for severe weather – for this year compared to average, the weak year of 1981 and the active year of 2008. I’ve mentioned before that it’s been cold this spring (and last spring thru 4/20). Thanks to Greg Carbin (SPC) for the comparison. Tallahassee, Florida has had 18.86″ of rain since 3/1. California wishes they would share.
The weather looks excellent for the Boston Marathon, partly to mostly sunny – high mid 60s. April 26 – May 1 looks relatively chilly in Michigan and from the Northern Plains to New England. The European model sayin’ the same thing. I’ve said before on the blog that you should hold off planting anything frost sensitive until further notice. Anything that’s really frost tolerant can go in now…but don’t rush the growing season (which will probably be on the short side of average this summer).
The Flood Warning for the Muskegon River at Croton may be downgraded to an Advisory later today. The river was right at Flood Stage Sunday night, but was falling very slowly. There are still River Advisories for parts of the Maple, Chippewa, Muskegon and Pere Marquette Rivers.