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A magnitude 6.4 earthquake caused considerable damage at the southern end of the island of Taiwan. Officially, 7 fatalites, but that number will climb, with 318 injured. One of the fatalities was a 10-day old infant. At least 8 large buildings have collapsed. Hundreds of people have been trapped. Pic. may be Tainan, a city of 2 million. Here’s an overhead shot of the big apartment building that has collapsed. 123 people have been rescued from one collapsed building, another 37 from another building. Look at this picture! Video of rescues (brave firefighters). More pics. More pics. Baby carried from the debris. Another picture of a huge building collapse. Look at this. Drone footage here. The earthquake was centered 6.2 miles beneath the surface. After a quake like this, there is danger from aftershocks and from fires. 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 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).
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Babies born at Saint Thomas Health in Tennessee this Christmas season are once again wrapped up in an over-sized stocking.
For more than 35 years, Saint Thomas Midtown and Saint Thomas Rutherford have sent babies who are born the week before Christmas home in the bright red stockings.
All of the keepsake stockings are embroidered with the hospital’s logo.
8 pm – 15 deg. in G.R. with a wind chill of 0 and a wind west at 15 mph. It’s 16 in Kalamazoo with a wind chill of +2. Snow showers are still reducing visibilities to near one mile at times. Light snow is reported across much of SW Ottawa and Allegan Counties. Across the lake, it’s 6 deg. in Milwaukee with a wind chill of -8…so Lake Michigan is giving us about a 7-10-deg. warming at this hour. Season snowfall as of 5 pm: Kalamazoo 24.6″, Muskegon 24.3″, Grand Rapids 15.7″, Lansing 15.3″. New snow since midnight: Grand Rapids 3.8″, Kalamazoo 4.2″, Muskegon 5.2″, Lansing 1.6″. Snow cover as of 7 am: 4″ Flint, Lansing, Alma…5″ Lowell, Detroit, Iron Mt…6″ Grand Rapids, Grand Haven, Holland, Hastings and Kalamazoo, 7″ Big Rapids, Alpena, S. Ste. Marie, 8″ Fremont, 9″ Muskegon, Bloomingdale, 10″ Munising, Houghton Lake, Scottville, 11″ Marquette, Reed City, Kalkaska, 12″ Hart, Petoskey, 13″ Grand Marais, Lake City, 15″ 9 miles SSW of Gaylord, 18″ Ironwood, 19″ Bergland Dam. Picture above of the snow clinging to the trees near Bitely in Newaygo Co. from Tracy Romaine
Wow! LOTS of school closings Tues. AM (here’s the current closing list), including Grandville, Jenison, Forest Hills, Wyoming, Muskegon, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek. We should have some school closings tomorrow, but not half as many as this morning. Gusts to 40 mph at Benton Harbor earlier on Tues. Most of the area saw gusts of 25-35 mph. New snow as of 7 am totaled 7″ in Jenison/Hudsonville and Bloomingdale, 6″ in G.R. since 8 pm yesterday. When I drove home around 2:45 am (Tues.)…I saw 2 Kent Co. plows out (and one last night coming home)…saw a car slide thru the entrance to I-96…no harm done, but it is slippery out there. The big trucks really kicked up the snow. The biggest concern today will be driving amid the snow showers and on the slick roads. With the snow showers and wind, the visibility can change rapidly. When the visibility goes down quickly (esp. if you’re driving into an incoming snow shower), cars may slow quickly – make sure you can stop.
A band of moderate to heavy snow moved thru the lakeshore counties into the US 131 corridor counties after midnight. Winds shifted from the SSE to the W with the squall (almost like a summer line of t-storms). Gusts hit 35 mph at Holland St. Park, 34 mph on the beach at Muskegon and 37 mph at Benton Harbor. The Chicago water intake – 2 3/4 miles out in the lake east of downtown Chicago, recorded a gust to 45 mph. Visibilities went down to 1/4 to 1/2 mile with an inch of snow in less than an hour with that band. South Haven went up 7 degrees in an hour as the wind turned west off warmer Lake Michigan. The surface weather map shows the cold air in Wisconsin that will be coming across the lake through Weds. making the lake-effect snow showers. Here’s some snowfall totals from SW Michigan, NW Michigan, Upper Michigan and in Western NY (where the town of Lorraine had 34″, including 26″ in 22 hours!)
The Winter Storm Warning and the Winter Weather Advisory expired as of 7 pm Tues. Winds will be west at 10-15 mph with gusts to 25 mph, so still a little drifting is likely. Snow totals over 24 hours: 2-6″ in the Advisory Counties and as much as 6-12″ in the most favorable lakeshore areas. Here’s the current list of closings and delays. Remember, you can send us your snow pics. and video through ReportIt here at http://www.woodtv.com or in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Visibility dropped to 1/4-mi in the heavy snow band that came on shore around midnight in the lakeshore counties…snowfall rates of an inch in less than an hour.
Here’s NCEP model snowfall – with heavy snow downwind of all the Great Lakes.
A second storm system will move into the Great Lakes later this week. We may see rain showers on Friday with temperatures in the mid and maybe upper 30s.
Model update: The overnight NAM model has highs for the next 3 days for G.R. at 22, 20 and 38. The GFS highs starting with this PM are 22, 33, 41, 38, 28, 20, 24. The European has snow showers here into Weds. night…rain showers on Friday changing back to snow showers at some point on Sat. as the next batch of cold air moves in. That will be here from Sun. to Weds. AM of next week…then temps. moderate back to a little above freezing for Thurs. and Fri. of that following week. Here’s NAM model 84-hour accumulated snowfall and GFS model 120-hour accumulated snowfall. Here’s the latest Michigan weather observations…Grand Rapids radar…regional radar...a list of closings and delays…Michigan webcams…today’s weather almanac…satellite loop.
Up to a foot of snow fell in Leelanau County. Flagstaff, Arizona has had 58.4″ of snow this winter. They had 19″ on the ground Mon. AM. Heavy snow and 4 above zero at the Grand Canyon on Sunday. Today is the coldest day of the winter so far in the U.S. with an average temp. this morning of around 17. 90% of the Lower 48 states below freezing today. The college football championship game tonight is in Glendale AZ, near Phoenix. The temp. there now is 59. Pretty cool morning over much of the country Tues. AM…at 7 am it was 32 in Tucson AZ and -5 at the Grand Canyon…Daytona Beach FL was 41, Brooksville FL is 39 and there are half a dozen stations in N. Florida that are in the upper 20s.
Also – Big snowfalls likely downwind from Lake Erie and downwind from Lake Ontario. Up to 4 FEET of snow is possible. The Lake Superior shore also gets a big snowfall. Strong winds this AM at Palmyra. Wind gusts to 83 mph. Check out this t-storm in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Heavy snow in the French Alps. Huge rockslide in Washington state. Bumper crops in the U.S. (call Joseph in Egypt). High temp. in Minneapolis Sunday was -1. Bridge out in Canada north of Lake Superior – blocks Trans-Canada highway. Bummer to try and fix that in the middle of winter. This looks like Alaska – but it’s really Arizona. Rainbow over NYC. EF2 tornado yesterday at Cape Coral FL – Florida gets many of their stronger tornadoes from mid-winter to early spring in years with a strong El Nino. Here’s drone video of the tornado damage. Tornado in Adana, Turkey. For the first time in more than 40 years, not one person summited Mount Everest in 2015. Strong west wind causing standing seiche on Lake Erie. California snowpack slightly above average. Falcon on the Amway Grand Hotel in Grand Rapids. View from space Sunday PM – sunny in Wisconsin – lake-effect clouds and snow in Michigan. Snow fell in N. Alabama on Sunday. Someone buy Bud Grant a coat! It’s 3 below zero. Beautiful day in St. Thomas V.I. Beautiful lenticular clouds. First snowflakes of the winter in Tokyo, Japan this AM.
The 6-10 day outlook for Jan. 21-27 still looks cold for just about everyone east of the Rockies, though the European long-range brings in some milder air in early February.
I just topped 5,000 twitter followers, thanks!…@bsteffen. I’m up to 11,153 followers on my two facebook pages (friend and fan). My friend page has reached the 5,000 limit…I can’t add anyone unless someone drops out, but I can add everyone to the fan page.
Heavy rain and snow have brought daily record precipitation to California and caused some flooding, mudslides and tough travel in the higher mountain areas. The picture above is from US highway 50 east of Sacramento. Snow totals in some mountain areas have been over a foot. Mammoth Mt. had 10″ of new snow yesterday, bringing them to 139″ for the winter season. They didn’t reach 139″ until April last winter. Badger Pass had a foot of new snow (and it was still snowing) and the Kirkwood Ski Area is now over 200″ of snowfall for this winter. First the rain and snow…now…4.5-magnitude
#earthquake just shook southern California, east of Los Angeles. Magnitude 5.0 earthquake 60 mi. SE of Adak, Alaska
Rainfall reports: Ramona CA 2.33″, Pasadena CA 2.27″ (good thing they didn’t have the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl yesterday!), 1.65″ San Diego (Lindberg Field), 1.61″ Downtown L.A., 1.47″ Santa Barbara, 1.00″ San Francisco, 0.97″ Palm Springs, 0.76″ Thermal (old daily record was 0.20″), 0.64″ Fresno, 0.53″ Scottsdale AZ, 0.25″ Phoenix AZ, 0.25″ Las Vegas NV, 0.18″ Yuma AZ, 0.11″ Death Valley CA. Flagstaff AZ had 9.6″ of snow. They now have 13″ of snow on the ground. A second round of heavy rain in the San Francisco area this (Weds.) AM.
Here in beautiful black and white, an instructional video on how to drive in the rain. Dozens of cars have been stranded in the flooding rains. The downed tree across the road in Mill Valley also took down some power lines. Pics and video of the floods around San Diego here. Here’s SW U.S. radar. A High Surf Advisory has been in effect.
Also: It wasn’t an earthquake. It was a N. Korean H-Bomb. I remember this line from a song called “Dear Diary” by the Moody Blues: “Somebody exploded an H-bomb today. But it wasn’t anyone I knew. At 9:25 am, the Dow Jones Futures are down 291 points. On a lighter note…73-year old woman gets two holes-in-one in the same round of golf! Heavy snow in Eastern Serbia. Major cold in Europe. Light pillars in Sweden this AM. Reddish contrails over the Erie Canal. Freezing rain causes icy roads, dozens of traffic accidents and closed schools in the Netherlands. U.S. best resolution satellite loop – note the bay-effect clouds streaming off of Chesapeake Bay.
The Muskegon Airport temperature dropped from 33 to 25 between 8:15 and 8:25 am as winds shifted from SW to SE.
Here’s California radar, showing more rain (some heavy rain) and snow. This evening, there is a chance of a t-storm in L.A. and San Diego! Here’s national lightning. The most lighting this evening has been in East Texas.
Here’s another great pic. of Lake Michigan during the last week of what turned out to be the warmest December ever in W. Michigan. This pic. by Jack Martin is up near Manistee. Here’s a link to more pics. from Jack. We begin with above average water levels on four of the five Great Lakes, with the fifth lake headed in that direction. Lake Superior is up one inch in the last month and now stands 11″ above the January average. Superior is now just 4″ below the highest January water level ever on Lake Superior, which was back in 1986. Lake Michigan/Huron is up 3″ in the last month (a lot for December) and is now 12″ above the long-term January average. Lake Erie is up 2″ in the last month, up 4″ in the last year and 10″ above the January average. Lake Ontario is up one inch in ithe last month and up one inch in the past year. Currently Ontario is 2″ below the January average, but the Army Corps of Engineers expects Lake Ontario to rise 3-5″ in the next month (mainly due to above average flow coming down the Niagara River from Lake Erie). Lake St. Clair is up 3″ in the last month, up 6″ in the last year and is now 15″ above the long-term January average.
Here’s a look at some precipitation totals for December compared to (average): Grand Rapids 3.33″ (+0.83″), Muskegon 4.90″ (+2.35″), Traverse City 2.99″ (0.50″), S. Ste. Marie 5.41″ (+2.62″), Houghton Lake 3.57″ (+1.92″), Alpena 3.79″ (+2.04″), Marquette 4.87″ (+2.30″), Duluth 3.70″ (+2.49″), Green Bay 5.71″ (+4.20″), Milwaukee 3.82″ (+1.78″) Chicago 4.87″ (+2.62″), Detroit 3.01″ (+0.55″), Saginaw 3.10″ (+1.24″), Fort Wayne 4.15″ (+1.38″), South Bend 4.12″ (+1.51″), Benton Harbor 4.13″ (+2.00″), Toledo 2.98″ (+0.30″), Cleveland 2.96″ (-0.14″), Buffalo 2.90″ (-0.99″ – not much lake-effect snow), Rochester NY 2.73″ (+0.10″).
Quote from the current website of the National Wildlife Federation: “Global warming adds yet another stress to a Great Lakes system…. Potential global warming impacts include reduced water levels (due in particular to decreased winter ice cover allowing more evaporation), increased frequency of intense storm events (altering the timing of inflows), and warmer water temperatures.” Here’s winter ice cover on the Great Lakes. The last two winters were #2 and #4 for Great Lakes ice extent since 1973. IMHO, weather “events” are not increasing. Here’s a graph of strong to violent tornadoes by year. Despite an uptick in Dec., this has been a relatively calm year for tornadoes. The ACE Index measures the number and stregth of global hurricane and tropical storm activity and the graph clearly shows a decrease in activity over the past 10 years (note I’m forecast a significant increase in Atlantic activity next year and over the next couple years with the demise of El Nino). U.S. temperature has been flat for the past decade. Here’s a historical record of the % of the U.S. that is wet or dry since 1900. The number of wildfires in the U.S. thru 12/23 this past year was 60,984. The average of the last 10 years is 72,080. Only 2013 had a lower # than 2015 out of the past 11 years. Since many wildfires are set by humans, the fire count is related to the number of arsonists and careless people. Snowfall is actually increasing a bit in the Northern Hemisphere. While we haven’t had much snow around here, the national snow analysis yesterday showed that 53.7% of the Lower 48 states had a snowcover. Here’s a comparison of Arctic Sea Ice extent today compared to 8 years ago on the same day. Antarctic sea ice extent remains a little greater than average.
Also: A Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources fisheries crew caught and released a walleye of jaw-dropping dimensions: 17.5 pounds and 32.3 inches long. Ship that sunk in Lake Erie in 1937 has been found. Kayak tours coming to Sleeping Bear Dunes. The latest from the Coast Guard on ice safety. Neat pics. of Lake Erie. Great Lakes enjoyed good season for water quality.
Also: Check out the awesome lake-effect snow south of Buffalo on New Year’s Day. Here’s looping national radar.
This picture was taken yesterday on the Trail of Shadows at Longmire in Mt. Rainier National Park. While we haven’t had much snow in Michigan (just 5.7″ so far this winter in G.R., 8,0″ in Muskegon and 14.9″ in Kalamazoo at WMU). Strong storms have pounded the Pacific Northwest producing drenching rains and heavy mountain snows. Mt. Baker has already had 231″ of snow this winter. Last year they had 287.5″ for the entire winter. They report a base at Pan Dome of 151″ (that’s 12 1/2 FEET!). The top level of the Alpental Ski Area has a 136″ base. Timberline Ski Area in Oregon reported 4″ of new snow yesterday and 257″ so far this season. So far this month of December, Seattle has had 11.21″ of rain. Quillayute along the coast reports 19.24″ of rain in December and Portland, Ore. has already had 15.24″ of rain this month. The heavy rain has reached NW California, where Crecent City has picked up 23.75″ of rain so far this month, nearly 14″ above average. Farther down the coast, San Francisco has had just 1.45″ this month, compared to an average of 1.55″. Los Angeles and San Diego remain well below normal for rainfall this month, but the pattern should shift and they should get into a wetter pattern in January. Mammoth Mt. has had 127″ of snow so far this winter (at the main lodge). In the middle Sierra Mtns., the Kirkwood Ski Area has already had 198″ this season and Squaw Valley reports “over 15 feet of snow” this winter so far. Last year they had picked up 76.6″ by the end of December, so they are doing better this year. Total California snowpack is at 110% of average for the date, the first time since 2012 that the snowpack has been above average. This compares to 52% of average on this date last year and 21% of average on this date in 2013. The Shasta Lake Reservoir, the biggest in CA was up 1.83″ yesterday and it’s up nearly 5 feet since the first week of December. BTW, Brown Field in San Diego got all the way down to 32 deg. Tues. AM – a record low temperature for the date. Monday morning record lows were set at Campo CA at 19 and Thermal CA at 21. Sunday, record lows were tied at Los Angeles (36) and Oakland (30). (pic. from the National Park Service)
This is a map showing high temps. Thursday across the U.S. There is mild to unseasonably warm air coast-to-coast, with lots of 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s. It was 70 yesterday afternoon as far north as St. Louis. With southwest to south winds for the next several days, we can only bring up more unseasonably warm air. The overnight run of the NAM model gives G.R. high temps. of 50, 60 and 63 for the next 3 days. The overnight GFS has highs beginning this Friday of 57, 59, 65, 56, 48, 44, 36. The warmest temp. ever in G.R. in December was 69 on 12/5/2001. That December ended with 8 days of almost non-stop snow and a monthly total of 53.8″ (51″ of that came after the 22nd). The second warmest day was 12/2/1982 at 67 deg. That was also a strong El Nino year, with five days reaching above 60 deg. After that, there have been 6 days with a high temp. of 65, including Christmas Day in 1982. The models are now forecasting a mainly dry Saturday with the bulk of the rain Sunday PM thru Monday AM. We have now had 8 consecutive days without measurable rain or snow in G.R. – unusual for Dec. Winslow, AZ, broke its Dec. 10 high temp record with 73 F.
Here’s a nice Lake Michigan shot from daughter #2. Lake Michigan water temps. are still in the mid 40s and if anything, we’ll add a degree between now and Monday morning. The lake “overturns” at 4 deg. C (39F) (see here for explanation from GVSU) and that often takes a couple weeks. So, we could easily see 40-degree water temps. even after Christmas. So, if we ever do get Arctic air and favorable conditions…lake-effect snow will be on the table well into the winter.
I haven’t mentioned lake levels in awhile. Lake Michigan/Huron (one lake for level purposes) is down one inch in the last month, at the same level as one year ago and is now 7″ above the December average level. Lake Superior is down 1″ in the last month and 2″ in the last year. Superior is 6″ above the average Dec. level. Lake Erie is down 2″ in the last month, and at the same level as one year ago. Lake Erie is 7″ high than the Dec. average. Lake Ontario is down 4″ in the last month, up 2″ in the last year and is 2″ below the Dec. average level. Lake St. Clair is down 2″ in the last month, down 2″ in the last year and 7″ above the Dec. average. All rivers connecting the Great Lakes are expected to have above average flow into January.
This is the 15-day accumulated snowfall map from the GFS model (from WeatherBell). It’s not showing much snow for our area. You can see the pattern of trough in the West and large, warm ridge in the East. With the storm track mainly west/northwest of us, we’re on the warm side of these systems with the snow falling in the West and then from Colorado to eastern Canada.
Barrow, Alaska reached -3F for a high on Thurs., the warmest temp. since 11/29. The first 10 days of Dec. were 9.5 deg. colder than average in Barrow. Barrow is north of the Arctic Circle. They won’t see the sun until Jan. 23. Bettles AK had a high temp. of -25 on Thurs. Coldest in AK -38 at Ambler and Huslia.
Here’s West Coast radar…heavy snow in the California Mtns. Pretty shot of downtown G.R. at night. Brief video of the Battle Ground WA tornado (EF1). Probably of 1″ of snow on the ground Christmas Day. Video of the Battle Ground Tornado.
Tornadoes in December are rare and it’s even rarer to get one in the state of Washington. A (NWS confirmed) tornado struck the town of Battle Ground WA this evening. Battle Ground is about the size of Hudsonville MI and it’s about 15 miles north of Portland OR. The tornado struck at 11:15 am local time. It was associated with a thunderstorm and it has been given a preliminary rating of EF1 with winds of 104 mph. It touched down twice with a 2 mile path. Approximately 36 homes sustained damage and two businesses were deemed unsafe by city inspectors. This is the 3rd tornado in Washington State this year. Washington has had only 7 reports of 1″ hail or greater in 2015 and 16 reports of wind damage from thunderstorms. Pictures and video here and here. Bigger pic. of damage path here. Thunderstorms occurred along the Pacific Coast from NW Washington all the way down to San Francisco. State of emergency declared in 13 Oregon counties.
Here’s a pic. of the awesome sunset tonight from Andy Schut at Holland. We’ve had strong winds in Michigan. At 8 pm, the wind on the Muskegon beach was a steady 38 mph with a peak gust of 50 mph. Other peak gusts:
53 mph Grand Rapids (airport)
53 mph Saugatuck (beach)
52 mph GVSU downtown G.R.
50 mph Muskegon Beach
50 mph Wabaningo (MKG. Co.)
49 mph Allegan
49 mph Regional Airport in Holland
49 mph Daybreak Church in Georgetown Twp.
48 mph Jenison
48 mph Hart
47 mph East Gr. Rapids
47 mph Cadillac
47 mph Dorr
47 mph Ionia Airport
47 mph Pentwater
46 mph S. Haven Beach
45 mph Ionia Free Fairgrounds
45 mph Ford Airport G.R.
45 mph Big Rapids
45 mph Fremont
44 mph WOOD TV 8
44 mph Kalamazoo
44 mph Muskegon Airport
44 mph Reed City
43 mph Ludington
43 mph Gobles
42 mph Mattawan
40 mph Mt. Pleasant
40 mph Cedar Springs
40 mph Battle Creek
39 mph S Haven Airport
37 mph Benton Harbor
35 mph Lansing
As of 10:40 pm Consumers Energy reports a total of 7,632 customers without power from the strong winds, including 1,424 in Wexford Co., 973 customers in Kent Co., 433 in Mecosta Co. and 313 in Allegan Co.
We had only nine tornadoes in Michigan in 2015, 55 reports of large (1″ in diameter) hail and 229 t-storm wind damage reports…all well under average. Only 10 tornado fatalities in the U.S. in 2015. Nine of ten were in Tornado Watches and one was in a Severe T-Storm Watch (awesome job by the Storm Prediction Center again this year). Of the 10 fatalities, 7 were in mobile homes. Kansas has had 178 tornadoes in 2015 and not a single tornado fatality! Texas has had the most tornadoes with 213 (so far). It’s a big state and it’s been a very wet year in the Southern Plains. As far as I can tell, there have been no EF5 tornadoes in the world in 2015. In the U.S. in 2015, there has been only one tornado rated EF4, 12 rated EF3, 41 rated EF2, 295 rated EF1 and 600 rated EF0. (tornadoes that cross state boundaries are countied in both states).
Seven states had no tornadoes this year (AK HI ME VT, CT RI NJ). The 10 tornado fatalites were in March, April and May. We had no tornado deaths in summer this year in the U.S. Map from SPC shows location of 2015 tornadoes (red), hail (green) and wind damage (blue) here in Michigan.
Check out the thread below that has more on the current cloudy and occasionally wet weather this Thanksgiving Day. We’ve love to see (and use on the air/online) your pics. of fall colors, weather or news – you can send us an email at email@example.com or thru ReportIt. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow me on Twitter (@bsteffen) or on facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/Bill-Steffen-244277545622/?fref=ts (this is my fan page…my friends page is up to the 5,000 limit…but everyone can join my fan page. Happy Thanksgiving!
This is the Muskegon Channel this AM – Muskegon tied a record high temperature of 56 today (Weds.) I haven’t seen any boats yet this AM, but one pic. had two of them in the channel yesterday – looked like both boats were fishing. The lake is choppy today. The Muskegon beach weather station shows a wind of 19 mph. The mid-Lake Michigan buoy has winds of 22 mph and 5-foot waves. The mid-lake buoy shows an air temp. of 48 and a water temp. of 47.7 – that’s a couple degrees warmer than average. There are Small Craft Advisories for Lake Michigan (Gale Warnings north of Pentwater). For anyone traveling, here’s the National Hazards Map – click on a spot on the map to get forecast and watch/warning details for that area. There’s a Blizzard Warning for SW Wyoming. Best to avoid I-80 if you’re traveling out West. Traffic problem in Chicago. Up to half a foot of snow is expected along I-80 between Reno and Sacramento in CA. Snow will fall from NE New Mexico thru KS up into W. Iowa, where you’ll find Winter Weather Advisories. East of the snow, heavy rain could cause local flooding from N. Texas to the St. Louis Area. There could also be some freezing rain with this system. In general, the east is warmer than avg. and the west is cooler than average. In Michigan, roads will be dry into this evening with a chance of showers later tonight into tomorrow (heavier rain west and south of G.R. tomorrow). Wet roads for much of Lower Michigan for Thursday into early Friday. Showers are likely Friday AM, but showers will end from north to south Friday PM/evening with dry roads on Sat. and Sun. in Lower MI.
Quick note – 6:35 pm – Some light showers (more sprinkles than not) moving thru the area now. Expect a trace to a few hundredths of an inch this evening…probably not worth the umbrella if you’re running in and out. The afternoon run of the GFS gives G.R. a high of 58 tomorrow…then 49 at daybreak Friday falling to 37 at 7 pm Friday. The chance of rain on that model is 19% before 1 am tonight, but 88% after 1 am tonight…then 90% tomorrow and 100% for tomorrow night. Saturday looks cool and dry…weather should be OK for all the football games. GVSU and Ferris St. will be on Comcast channel 900 and also streaming on the internet (see link). Tom Cleary will do his usual awesome job calling the game.
Hurricane Sandra will weaken to a tropical storm and then a depression as it moves into W. Mexico north of Mazatlan. Winds not much of a concern, but some local flooding. Moisture from Sandra will create heavy rain from Texas to S. Missouri. Up to 6″ of rain forecast in eastern OK. Much of TX/OK has had well-above average rainfall this year, ending the drought that some had blamed on global warming (the primary cause was La Nina). “As of July 16, 2015, Texas was officially 100-percent drought free after record rainfall during May 2015.” NCEP showing global temps. at record warm for the satellite era as El Nino peaks…global temps. will fall late 2016 to 2017 as the El Nino fades away. This El Nino ranks #2 in the satellite era, behind 1997. Cold this morning in the Northwest…down to +8 at Great Falls MT and +4 in Cut Bank MT – Edmonton, Alberta dropped to -29F. Wow! Two identical storms two years apart. Here’s something you don’t see everyday – a waterspout off Saudi Arabia. Person listed as missing after 2011 tornado found alive in Florida – three people still listed as missing from that tornado. Nice updraft on this storm. This am it was warmer in Anchorage AK than in Crestview FL. Snowcover in the Alps (note snow on the mountains and no snow in the valleys). 14″ of snow near Bend, OR, with 4″ in the last 3 hrs, 75 mph gust at Sunnyside, WA.
At noon, already up to 54 at the Muskegon Arpt – 52 Holland Arpt. – 49 G.R. ….cooler where there is still some snow on the ground – 45 at Sturgis and Three Rivers, 43 at Hillsdale. Morning run of the NAM model gives G.R. a high of 54 tomorrow with an 88% chance of measurable rain…GFS model has a high of 57 tomorrow with a 98% chance of measurable rain. Don’t know if you heard me mention on the news last night that I think Dec. will also end up warmer than average in the Great Lakes – a pattern we have been in since Sept. Feb. should be the coolest month of the winter relative to average. December should also give much of the Great Lakes below average snowfall. The GFS is showing a mostly rain event around the 6th/7th. Low gas prices a blessing, especially for the poor and middle class traveling during the holidays this year. Here’s the visible (daytime) satellite loop – you can see the snow on the ground in SE. Lower Michigan and N. Indiana and the clouds approaching from the west.
Two Magnitude 7.6 earthquakes was recorded this evening along the Peru-Bolivia border. One was centered 105 mi WNW of Iberia, Peru and 428 mi. ENE of Lima, Peru. The quake occurred at 5:45 pm EST. It was followed by another 7.6 magnitude earthquake 5 minutes later. 5.9 magnitude aftershock. This was a very deep earthquake, 374 miles below the surface and it occurred in a sparsely-populated jungle area. It’s estimated that it was felt by over 1.2 million people in Peru, western Brazil and Bolivia. An estimated 30,000 would have felt it “strongly” or “very strongly”. At this time (8:20 pm) there are no reports of casualties.
Over the past century, 91 earthquakes with a magnitude of 7.0 or greater have occurred at depths greater than 300 km globally; 13 of these were located in the same region as today’s quakes. The largest nearby event at these depths was an M 8.2 Bolivia earthquake. The most recent large event in the immediate vicinity of the November 24, 2015 events was a M 7.0 earthquake in October 1990.
Also – Check out the baseball-sized hail that pounded Italy today! It appears to be over a foot deep in this picture. Tonight’s 99% full moon over New Orleans. Hurricane Sandra forms west of Mexico – the 2nd latest hurricane in the season to develop since reliable records begain in 1971. Snow falling over a good portion of the western U.S. Here’s snow in Spokane. Lake-effect convective clouds over Lake Ontario. Dallas TX needs 2.8″ to have its wettest year on record going back to 1899. Should happen this Fri or Sat. More large hail pics. from Italy today. Still some awesome fall colors to see. The Paris Effect…97% of Americans don’t believe that climate change is a top concern. The 2nd longest streak of temperatures of 70 degrees or higher at Key West FL has come to an end…4/2 to 11/24. 9 above zero at Saranac Lake NY Tues. AM. The high temp in Beijing on Tuesday was only -4C (25F), the lowest temp since Jan. 2013. Another “frost flower”. Full moon tonight. Nice sun dog. Quite a view from the Austrian Alps.
The GRR NWS has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for all of Lower Michigan starting at 1 am and running until 7 am on Sunday. Here’s their latest discussion. The NCEP model snow forecast has the heaviest snow late Fri. night and Saturday along I-94. We’re expecting 3-6″ accumulation. The ground is warm and snow may start melting from underneath, considering temps. will be close to the freezing point. BEH, S. Haven, I-94 corridor could see +6″. Driving is going to get nasty as the colder air comes in and slush freezes Sat. evening.
Snow totals: 18″ near Tea SD, 17″ Harrisburg SD, 16″ Marion SD, 14″ just south-southeast of Sioux Falls SD, 13″ Sanborn IA, 12″ near Yankton SD, 11″ Spencer, Tyndall and Tripp IA. This storm will produce rain showers Saturday in Ohio, so it could be wet for the GVSU game in Ashland and the Michigan State/Ohio State game in Columbus. There was one report of 7″ at Platteville WI, southwest of Madison, but most reports in SW Wisconsin and N. Illnois are in the 2-4″ range so far.
The map here is expected snowfall totals across the Midwest. Current GRR NWS forecast snow map. CFSv2 45-day snowfall forecast…sure doesn’t look like the super-warm El Nino of 1982-83…closer to near normal temps. and slightly below average snowfall. Snowcover makes a difference. Also: Multiple reports of a meteor/fireball over southern IN and central KY. Tornado in Brazil. More video of the twister. 8.41″ of rain in 24 hours at Beaufort, NC. Heavy early-season snow for Beijing and much of Northern China. Gales of November from a ship on Lake Michigan. Banding of clouds. Drone video of Georgia tornado damage. Tornado ripped up high school football field. Cool video of Typhoon In-fa. Sydney, Australia reaches 105.6F – 2nd hottest day ever in Nov. NWS confirms two EF1 tornadoes in Georgia – similar to Portland MI tornado this summer.
Check out this red tornado.
Thanks to Debby Witt for finding these interesting notes: Why Reese’s are usually taxed but Kit Kats aren’t. Father borrows Go-Pro, holds it backwards and accidentally records entire vacation the wrong way as one long selfie. Video of movie characters driving, falling, jumping and being thrown through glass windows. The strangely successful history of people mailing themselves in boxes. Woman wins fight to wear spaghetti strainer on her head for driver-license photo. The dewpoint at Sydney, Australia dropped from 66 to 34 in 30-minutes when the wind shifted from east off the ocean to west out of the arid interior. El Nino fades to La Nina in 2016 – just like previous El Ninos. Christmas day 1982 G.R. had a record high temp. of 65 deg. In 1983, G.R. set a record low temp.of -3 on Christmas Day.
Finally, Happy Birthday to Terri DeBoer.
This map is the probabilty of an inch of snow…the highest chances are where the NWS thinks the heaviest snow will be. You can go here and see what they think the odds are for 2″, 4″, 6″, 8″ or 12″. Here’s the snowfall forecast off NCEP NDFD and the European WRF. And the NWS 11 pm snowfall forecast. All are pretty close with the heaviest snow from G.R. to the north. Check out the latest GRR NWS forecast discussion. This is the 7th greatest snow extent for this date in the Northern Hemisphere of the 48 years of the satellite record and the greatest in the last 10 years. That’s 3,856,000 more square kilometers or 122% of the 48-year average. Ski resorts are opening early in Colorado…and California’s earliest start to the ski season since 2002. Here’s some recent snowfall reports from Colorado. Wow! Check out these winds in Colorado. and video! Today is opening day for Mt. Baker in Washington St., where Pan Dome already has a 63″ base. They report: “Mt. Baker has had some amazing storms come through in the past few weeks, dropping plenty of snow…” Over 4,000 Consumers customers without power in L. Michigan due to strong winds.
This is the South Haven Channel just before noon – you can see the large waves that were crashing across the breakwater. Peak gusts today: 55 mph at the Muskegon shoreline, 53 mph near Woodland, GVSU’s weather station at Muskegon Lake had a peak gust of 52 mph, 51 mph at East Grand Rapids H.S., 50 mph at the S. Haven beach. The Ludington beach reached 47 mph. There was also a 47 mph gust at the Holland Channel, at the airport in Lansing and at the airport in Grand Rapids. Downtown G.R. at GVSU (roof) had a gust to 49 mph this AM, gusts hit 45 mph at Battle Creek, the Holland airport and in Kalamazoo, Jenison, Jackson and Big Rapids had peak gusts of 43 mph and gusts hit 40 mph at Ionia, Pentwater, Gobles, Dorr and at the mid-Lake Michigan buoy. We have a Wind Advisory from Noon until Midnight for the lakeshore, where there could be wind gusts as high as 50 mph. Looks like gusts to 40 mph inland. Remember…cold air coming over relatively warm water will make bigger waves than warm air going over cold water (like in April). We also have Gale Warnings for Lake Michigan. Here’s the GRR NWS discussion. They are calling for 3-6″ of snow for much of the area and that looks right to me.
Snow now covers much of Canada, ice has formed in N. Hudson Bay and lakes north of Churchill (Manitoba) and Great Slave Lake are already frozen. Heavy snow has fallen in Alaska. They’ve also have some extreme early cold in our 49th state. Noatak AK dipped to -38F Weds. AM. Bettles had a high/low of -17/-31 and they have 15″ of snow on the ground. McGrath had a high/low of -20/-28 with 10″ of snow on the ground. Kotzebue tied a record low of -23 that was set back in 1930. Anchorage tied a record low Weds. AM at -8(colder than it got in ANC all last winter!!) and their high of +4 was 23 deg. colder than average. Juneau had 12″ of snow cover and Yakutat reported a 17″ snow depth. The sun set yesterday in Barrow, Alaska, and won’t be rising above the horizon again until Jan. 23, 2016 Also: “Sea Level Rise From Antarctic Ice Melt May Not Be As Bad As Feared.” Antarctic ice extent is well above average. Arctic ice extent is very close to last year on this date and at a considerably greater extent than four years ago. Here’s a comparison of Arctic ice today compared to this date in 2007. Beehives in early season snow in Turkey.
Also: Wettest start to November in the satellite era. Nice sunset. Recurving typhoon “In-fa” may keep trough in the East and keep things cool in the Great Lakes during the first week of December. Another rainbow pic. from yesterday evening. 2014 vs. 2015 in W. Michigan. Tornado damage in GA – there were 3 tornadoes yesterday…one in GA and two in the FL Panhandle. Yesterday Cleveland OH (71) was warmer than Phoenix AZ (66) and New Orleans (65). Tamps hit 89, while the high was 26 in Cut Bank MT. 72-hour rainfall: 9.05 Altus OK, 8.33″ Rolla MO, 7.73″ Nacogdochus TX, 5.72″ Jonesburo AR, 5.10″ Memphis TN, 4.28″ Pompano FL. Peak mountain wind gusts: 137 mph Mission Ridge WA, 101 mph Colburn ID, 100 mph Gold Hill CO. Spokane had a gust to 71 mph and Rapid City SD hit 67 mph. Tornado in Argentina yesterday.