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The National Weather Service has issued a Freezing Rain Advisory for the entire area. The Advisory runs from 4 am to 9 am (and the icy conditions could last beyond 9 am – especially on gravel roads). The ground is cold and ice is certainly going to be an issue. We may get a little sleet at the start. Watch 24-hour news 8 at noon for an update and keep reading the blog – I have some fresh threads below this one.
Click on the graphics to enlarge. A Winter Storm WARNING (pink color on the map on the left) will be in effect for most of the area until 9 pm Tues. It’s a Winter Weather Advisory for the counties along US 127 plus Montcalm, Mecosta, Osceola, Branch and Hillsdale Counties. This is for a combination of significant snowfall, strong winds, blowing and drifting snow, low wind chills (especially by November standards), low visibilities and hazardous driving. We could see snowfall from 1-2″ in Southern Branch and Hillsdale Counties, to a foot with 2+ foot drifts downwind from the fattest part of Lake Michigan. Again, I do anticipate quite a few school closings for Tuesday. There are Gale Warnings for the Lake Michigan shore areas. Here’s a map of NAM model snowfall and GFS model snowfall. See links in threads below. Roads will be snow covered and slippery. Temperatures will be in the upper teens to low 20s tonight and tomorrow (average high temp. for today is 47°). The afternoon G.R. National Weather Service discussion says there is a possibility of isolated thunder and lightning in the heaviest snow showers tonight!
On the right, the Monday morning snow cover map shows that the Continental U.S. has a 50.4% snow cover! This is the most snow on the ground that I can remember this early in the season. It’s more than 20% above the 10-year average for Nov. 17th. There were snow flurries all the way down to Dallas, Texas on Sunday – the first time it’s ever snowed in Dallas on any Nov. 16. Here’s snow on the ground this morning in Kentucky. The surface weather map shows the cold air that’s coming. At 8 am it was 24° in G.R. and only 10° in Milwaukee with a wind chill factor of -5°. As the snow picks up, roads will get very slick. Tornado last night in Blountsville, Florida. Two injuries were reported. The tornado hit the Panhandle State Prison, where about 30 cars were damage (some flipped). Significant building damage there. Almost 7 inches of rain in parts of Alabama over the past 24 hours. Here’s snow on the ground in Cincinnati (snowday for the Cincinnati Reds!). Snow on the ground in Oklahoma and Tennessee.
At 5:45 pm – Quite variable conditions, with some heavy snow showers and just a few flakes in between the snow showers. Downwind from the fattest part of Lake Michigan, I could easily see some spots getting a foot or more of snowfall total by Weds. evening with 18-24″ drifts. When the wind is stronger, the heaviest lake-effect snow can fall inland from the lake, with lesser amounts at the shoreline. Roads will become very icy as the snow picks up in intensity. Temperatures are in the upper teens to low 20s with wind chills in the single figures. Colder than average weather setting up for the winter in the populated areas of the Northern Hemisphere…Eastern U.S., Europe and China.
Tweet from Joe Bastardi: “Weatherbell showing similar set up to 1976,with enso from Sept hurricane activity, n hem snow cover. Similar conditions, similar results.” The winter of 1976-77 was the coldest G.R. has seen in the last 110 years. If we get early cold, lots of ice on Lake Michigan could minimize lake snow and lake warming. This is the kind of winter when we have a chance of having an Arctic high pressure center park over us with clear skies and calm winds – we could challenge all-time record low temps. (-24° for G.R., set in 1899 – G.R. made -22F in Jan. 1994).
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for most of West Michigan from Monday afternoon through Tuesday evening. The Watch will likely be upgraded to a Warning. The NWS warns of “heavy lake-effect snow, strong west winds, blowing and drifting snow, wind chills down to zero, possible whiteout conditions, dangerous driving conditions”. Read the G.R. NWS discussion. It says: “INSTABILITY BECOMES EXTREME AS THE ARCTIC AIR SPILLS IN FROM THE WEST AND (Lake Michigan) WATER TEMPERATURES ARE LARGELY IN THE MID 40S. THUS A CONSIDERABLE RESPONSE FROM THE LAKE IS EXPECTED… IF 500 MB TEMPERATURES DO FALL TO COLDER THAN MINUS 40 OVER THE LAKE…AS SHOWN BY THE NAM AND GFS (models)…THAT IS DRY ADIABATIC UP TO THAT LEVEL…WHICH IS VERY UNUSUAL. MODELS SHOW INVERSION HEIGHTS CLIMBING TO OVER 15,000 FT…WITH STRONGER OMEGA IN THE DGZ. ALL THIS SPELLS HEAVY LAKE EFFECT SNOW. AS THE COLDER AIR WRAPS AROUND THE SOUTHERN END OF LAKE MI…ENHANCED LOW LEVEL CONVERGENCE IS LIKELY TO LEAD TO AN I-94 BAND OF SNOW…EXTENDING WELL INLAND TOWARD BATTLE CREEK AND CHARLOTTE…IT LOOKS TO ME LIKE CONDITIONS WILL DETERIORATE CONSIDERABLY FOR THE EVENING COMMUTE MONDAY. THIS IS WHEN TEMPERATURES FALL INTO THE UPPER TEENS TO LOW 20S…INSTABILITY INCREASES CONSIDERABLY AND MIXING HEIGHTS DEEPEN. MOST LOCATIONS WILL SEE GUSTS OVER 30 MPH. THAT COMBINED WITH HEAVY LAKE EFFECT SNOW SHOULD LEAD TO CONSIDERABLE BLOWING SNOW AND THUS A RISK WHITEOUT CONDITIONS. THUS AN INCREASED POTENTIAL FOR HIGHWAY PILEUPS…ESPECIALLY FOR PORTIONS OF I96…I196 AND I94. POSSIBLY FOR THE MONDAY EVENING COMMUTE…BUT MOST LIKELY FOR MUCH OF TUESDAY. It won’t be much better on Weds. I’ve mentioned for several days that we’ll see school closings on Tuesday (and maybe Wednesday). Travel Monday will be better early than late. Travel Monday night and Tuesday may be difficult and time-consuming. NAM The wintry pattern will last much of the week. Gale Warnings will be in effect for the Lake Michigan shoreline. Also: WOW – latest CFS model says cold winter for much of the U.S. Bittersweet Ski Area staying open ’til 9 today (Sun.).
Winter Weather Advisory for Allegan, Ottawa, Kent, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Mason and Lake Counties from 7 pm Sat. to 4 pm Sun. for over 6″ of snow. I’ll bet someone gets 10″ out of this…with much less snow where the wind misses Lake Michigan, southeast of a line from Benton Harbor to Ionia to Mt. Pleasant. The cold shot coming Mon. – Tues. looks impressive with snow, drifting snow and strong winds. Bet there will be some schools closed on Tuesday (maybe even a few on Monday), esp. in the lakeshore counties. Check out European model snowcover for next Tuesday evening – is it January yet?
Also: 7.6” of snow falls in Boise, ID, breaking the record for most snow in a November storm. Inferior mirage at sunset. Snow on the mountaintops in E. Tennessee. Freezing fog along the Missouri River in Bismarck ND this morning. Fall colors in N. Alabama. Fall colors and the skyline of Birmingham. What a cold week for the first half of Nov. Lake-effect clouds over Lake Erie.
This is the Thurs. AM North American snow cover map. 19.8% of the Continental U.S. had a snow cover. You can see the lake-effect snow on the ground downwind from the Great Lakes with the prevailing westerly wind. The picture on the right is from Gile, Wisconsin (from NWS Duluth) where they are (as of midnight) up to 49.3″ of snow for the week!
The water level of Lake Michigan/Huron has dropped nearly 2″ in the last week. The level is unchanged in the last month, 20″ above the level of one year ago and 6″ above the long-term average. Lake Superior is down 1″ in the last week and also unchanged in the last month. Superior is now 11″ above the level of one year ago and 9″ above the century average for November. Lake Erie is down 2″ in the last month, up 7″ in the last year and stands 8″ above the long-term average. Lake Ontario is down 5″ in the last month, down 5″ in the last year and 1″ below the century average. Lake St. Clair is down 1″ in the last month, up 12″ in the last year and 9″ above the long-term average. Flow out of Lake Superior down the St. Mary’s River should remain “well above average” for the rest of 2014. Flow on the Detroit and Niagara Rivers is expected to remain above average.
Also, the satellite loop from S. Dakota was showing lake-effect clouds and flurries coming off the ponds on the Missouri River! Shades of the high water levels of 1986-87. Killer Shrimp! Submarines in Lake Michigan. Storm and big waves cause color change to Lake Michigan. Erosion damage to Lake Huron shore. Naming a bridge for a hockey star. Space Station to give CATS scan to the Great Lakes. Yabby prohibited!
Pic. in the middle is Gile, Wisconsin, where they have had 48.3″ of snow since Sunday night! Pic. on the right is the marina at Marquette, Michigan with 25″ of snow on the ground – the most they have ever had this early in winter. The Winter Weather Advisory continue for the lakeshore counties, plus Kalamazoo and Lake Counties. Here’s radar, storm total precipitation (you can see the heavier snow that has fallen in Ottawa and Allegan Co.) and current weather observations. The National Weather Service issued a statement warning of black ice and slick roads. Heaviest snow showers at noon in Ottawa, SW Kent, Allegan, and far W. Barry County. Snow totals: 11″ Coopersville, 10″ Nunica, 9″ Allendale and Burnips, 7.5″ Jenison, 7″ Hudsonville, 5″ Grandville and Spring Lake, 4″ Muskegon, 3″ Marne and Martin, 1″ Grand Rapids and at my place in Alpine Township. 12 1/2 inches since 5:30 in LES band north of Grayling MI.
Also – temperatures in the state of Wyoming where as much as 50 degrees below average this morning! Low of -24F in Rawlins, WY, this morning shatters the previous Nov. 13 record from 1959 (-3F) by 21 degrees. Coldest spot in the U.S. this morning was Lucerne, Wyoming with -34F. 23.9°F CONUS (Lower-48) coldest hourly reading prior to Nov 20th since 1986 (23.1°F) and 15 degrees colder than climate average! Two record lows for price of one. -13°F before midnight on Nov 12th, then -14°F on 13th in Denver. A dusting of snow on the ground this morning all the way down to Memphis (earliest measurable snow ever), Nashville and Little Rock. Snow in Grand Haven this morning. Pine Bluff recorded 0.1 inches of sleet, the earliest measurable snowfall on record. Prev. record was 11/14/1976. Records since 1883. Little Rock’s snow was the earliest measurable since 11/2/1951, 3rd earliest. Only 11/9/1892 and 11/2/1951 earlier. Records since 1874.
CFSv2 shows coldest air during Christmas week centered over Lake Michigan. Great week for winter sports and ski areas if this comes true. Even Florida shivers.
Here’s some pictures from www.uppermichiganssource.com of the heavy snow around the Marquette/Ishpeming area. Click on the pictures to enlarge – they’re pretty impressive. Here’s some snowfall totals from the U.P. (scroll down at the link). Lake-Effect Snow Advisories continue for much of Upper Michigan and far Northern Lower Michigan. Marquette set a record for 16″ of snow midnight-to-midnight on Tuesday and a water equivilant of 1.89″.
Also: Laramie, WY failed to reach the 0-degree mark on Wednesday with a high temperature of -1F. Casper WY low temp. Tues. of -26 broke the daily record low by 15 degrees! That also broke the coldest temperature ever in November for Casper by 5 deg. Denver set records yesterday for low temperature (-13F) and lowest high temperature for the date (+6). Earthquake – Magnitude 4.9 39mi ESE of Lakeview, Oregon. I got this cool link from Craig James. Snow flurries at 3 am in Little Rock AR – earliest snow in over 20 years. Fall color in Alabama. This guy’s excited about tracking snow for deer season.
Click on the picture to enlarge. This is the Lake Michigan shoreline, showing the higher water levels eroding the edge of the dunes. The water level of Lake Michigan/Huron is up one inch in the past month (at a time when the lake level is more apt to go down a couple inches). The lake is up 22″ in the last year and is now 8″ higher than the long-term average for November. The highest water level ever in November on Lake Michigan/Huron was in November 1986 and the lowest level ever in November was in 1964. Lake Superior is down one inch in the last month. However, Superior is up 11″ year-to-year and is now 9″ higher than the November century average. Lake Erie is down 2″ in the last month, up 7″ in the last year and is now 8″ higher than the long-term average. Lake Ontario is down 5″ in the last month and year-to-year and is now 1″ below the century average. Lake St. Clair is down 1″ in the last month, but up an even foot in the past year and is 9″ above the long-term average. The flow out of Lake Superior down the St. Mary’s River into Lake Huron continues well above average. The outflow form Lake Huron into Lake Erie through the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers is above average. The flow out of Lake Erie down the Niagara River is also above average. The water temperature of the Great Lakes is slightly cooler than average.
The anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald is coming up. Lake-effect snow on Lake Erie…Cleaning up debris that washed up with the big waves and strong winds last week. The Halloween storm also caused damage in Northern Indiana. Coast Guard find zombie floating in Lake Michigan, huh?
Click on the images to enlarge. The first map is the 6-10 day (Nov. 11-15) temperature outlook from the Climate Prediction Center. That’s about as dark a blue as I have ever seen. The Arctic blast is coming and it’s going to affect just about everyone east of the Rockies. The cold will set records. The middle map is the precipitation outlook for the 6-10 day period (Nov. 11-15). Note the green over much of Michigan. That’s snow and probably lots of it. The third map on the right is the temperature outlook fro Nov. 13-19 – showing the cold will be slow to leave. This is serious cold and snow. The surface map for next Tuesday morning shows a low pressure center over Michigan and a HUGE high pressure ridge from Northern Canada into the Northern Rockies. The air flow is coming straight out of the Arctic. Note that we have built up an extensive snow cover already across N. Canada. Ice is already forming on the edge of Hudson Bay. The overnight GFS forecasts 15″ of snow for Pellston and 10″ for Sault Ste. Marie by next Weds. evening. For Grand Rapids, the overnight European shows a few snow showers developing Sat. PM as the rain ends, another 1-2″ of snow for late Sunday and what would be about 4″ of snow for Weds. PM. If the European is right, it’s possible we may not get much above 40 next week and we’ll have a couple of days when it may struggle to get above the freezing mark. Overnight tweet from Dr. Ryan Maue: “Next week, Great Lakes get ready for mountains of Lake Effect snow.” Overnight tweet from meteorologist Joe Bastardi: “Experimental GFS..YIKES! Could bust early season cold records. Shades of 1976 winter continue to show up” (1976-77 is the coldest winter Grand Rapids has had since 1904). Much of Central and Eastern Russia got a snow cover early this fall and I’ve mentioned several times there is a good correlation between cold/snowy winters in the Great Lakes and early snow in Northeast Asia. Snow is already solid in the Alps (cool pic. just after sunrise this am). The dreaded Arctic “hummingbird” (map next Tues. am). Arctic is continues to build…the icecap extent is now closer to average than where it was at just two years ago. Arctic ice extent now compared to 6 years ago. Antarctic ice extent now 2 standard deviations above average.
Also, major snow and wind in Alaska: 83 mph gust at Vaughn Lewis Ice-Fall, AK, 70 mph gusts with roof damage 10 mi NW of Ketchikan, AK. The remains of Typhoon Nuri will move into the Bering Sea and they are forecasting waves up to 50 feet! “CENTRAL PRESSURE WITH THIS SYSTEM DROPS FROM AROUND 970 MB LATE THURSDAY NIGHT…TO BETWEEN 918 TO 922 MB LATE FRIDAY NIGHT. THIS WOULD CREATE A SIGNIFICANT EVENT AS THE CURRENT RECORD LOWEST PRESSURE OBSERVED IN THE BERING SEA IS 925 MB MEASURED AT DUTCH HARBOR ON OCTOBER 25 1977.” (note the date – late 70s show up again). Up to 8″ of snow fell near Anchorage. A Red Cross Rescue spokesman said that the snowfall and blizzard in 11 provinces of Iran had crippled 2000 people.” (I’m guessing that the word “crippled” means “trapped.) 50 cm (20 inches) of snow fell in Artvin, Turkey. On a plateau near Rize a car was stuck in 2 meters of snow. “Sweden’s weather agency has issued 25 separate warnings across Sweden as heavy snowfall threatens to wreak havoc.” San Antonio, TX, broke its Nov. 5 rain record with 2.3″. Skating in New York City. Snow in Minnesota. Magnitude-4.5 earthquake 90 mi SE of Klamath Falls, OR.
…Click on these images from Environment Canada to enlarge. The graph on the left is total snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere, the graph in the center is snow cover in Eurasia and the graph on the right is snow cover in N. America (Canada and Alaska) We continue to have a huge build-up of snow in the northern areas of the Northern Hemisphere. The bottom line in these graphics is average snow cover. The line above that is one standard deviation above average. The red line represents the growing snow cover this fall. From Canada across Siberia to northern Europe, snow has come significantly earlier than average. There is a strong correlation between early snow cover in eastern Asia and cold/snowy winters in the eastern U.S. Air that sits over all that snow is going to be cold and getting colder as the sun continues to retreat to the south until we reach the Winter Solstice on Dec. 21. While this is just one element that is considered in making a winter forecast, this early build-up of snow suggests that governmental units, charities and families should be prepared for the possibility of extended periods of colder and/or snowier weather relative to average this winter. This would especially be a factor in the mid-South that are not used to getting much snow in the winter.