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The pic. above is snow on the ground at Six Lakes in Montcalm County (from Matt Pranger). 8:10 PM update: A few Flurries reported in Grand Rapids (Ford Airport) – first snowflakes of the winter! Temp. in G.R. is 37 A little heavier snow has been falling north of a line from Flint to Big Rapids, where some spots reported 1-2″ of snow on the ground. At 8 pm – it was snowing at Saginaw, Alma, Mt. Pleasant, Midland, Big Rapids, Cadillac, Houghton Lake, Gaylord, Grayling and Traverse City. Not sticking to the roads at last check, but it’s possible that if the snow is heavy enough, it could produce a slick spot. A few flurries reported in Grand Rapids (Ford Airport) – first snowflakes of the winter in G.R.! We had a wind gust to 30 mph last hour in both G.R. and Ionia.
Rainfall as of 8 pm: 1.19″ Muskegon (daily record), 0.77″ Holland, 0.86″ Grand Rapids, 0.65″ Kalamazoo, 0.64″ Battle Creek. Temps. at 8 pm: 43 Battle Creek and Benton Harbor, 42 Kalamazoo, Marshall and S.Haven, 39 Muskegon, 37 Grand Rapids, 35 Fremont and Alma, 34 Big Rapids and 33 Cadillac and Houghton Lake. Winds at 7 pm east at 18 mph in G.R.
The World Series game was moved up to 7 pm, but they may still have a shower to deal toward the end of the game and there with a stiff, cold east wind. At 7 pm it’s not raining, cloudy and 45 deg. in Cleveland. Cubs up 2-0 in the 4th inning. The Chili Dawg Challenge/Fall Festival in Ionia tomorrow night should be dry and cool with temps. in the low-mid 40s.
Kp Index still at 5 at 8 pm – as high as 6 in the last 24 hours. That’s often good enough for the aurora to be seen in Lower Michigan – generally a green glow on the N. Horizon – but – it’s cloudy this evening, so we won’t see the Northern Lights here. Check out the aurora in New Zealand.
Afternoon model data: The GFS is in and it gives G.R. a 100% chance of rain tonight (that’s working out), but down to 13% for tomorrow afternoon. Dry for Friday’s Football Frenzy games – but a fairly strong south-southwest wind. So it’ll make a difference if you’re going south or north (almost all flootball fields run north-south – high school games are mainly in the evening, so the home team is often on the west side so home team fans don’t have to look into the setting sun). The GFS has the wind at 19 mph Friday evening for a couple hours during the games. The GFS gives G.R. a high of 51 tomorrow and 60 on Sunday. We won’t make 50 tomorrow unless the sun comes out during the afternoon.
Also: Hurricane Seymour is a strong Category 3 storm and well west of Mexico. It has probably peaked and will slowly weaken over the open waters of the East Pacific. Tropical Cyclone Kyant is moving toward India. The Indian Ocean has been quiet this summer/fall.
Links: Here’s Grand Rapids radar and Northern Michigan radar, Milwaukee looping radar. Regional radar and the Updated GRR NWS Short Term Discussion. More links: Northern Indiana radar, Chicago radar, Detroit radar and Milwaukee radar.Here’s College of DuPage Radar Map (pick any radar in the U.S.), College of DuPage Grand Rapids radar, the West Michigan Lightning Tracker, National Lightning Tracker, the local warning/advisory map and the National warning/watch/advisory map, 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 links to webcams. Here’s theinfrared satellite loop (night) and the visible satellite loop (daytime), Lake Michigan water temperatures (summer). Here’s recent 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 and the weather station on the beach at St. Joseph. This video is from back in May, but still fun to watch.
I got several pictures from Holly Moon (who BTW is the Treasurer of Newaygo Co.). This weather balloon (called a radiosonde) was found in Dayton Township near Fremont. The balloon sends back a record of temperature, wind speed and direction, humidity and air pressure.
Weather balloons are launched from these weather offices twice a day (8 am and 8 pm EDT and 7 am/7 pm when we’re on EST). The U.S. launches weather balloons daily 92 stations, including 69 in the contiguous U.S., 13 stations in Alaska, 9 in the Pacific and one in Puerto Rico (over 800 stations globally). The balloons are launched at the same time all over the world (we use Greenwich Mean Time). The balloons have a set amount of hydrogen (often cheaper) or helium gas and rise at the rate of about 1,000 feet per minute. The instrument package is typically suspended about 100 feet below the balloon.
The balloons get bigger as they rise. When launched, the balloon is about 5 feet wide. The balloon can rise to a height of over 20 miles. Because of the lower pressure aloft (down to as little as 1% of surface pressure), the balloon gets bigger and can be over 20 feet wide when it finally breaks. At that altitude, the temperature could be as cold as -130F. A parachute brings and weather instruments back to the ground, where they are sometimes found.
If you find one of these balloons and instrument packages, follow the instructions – they can be mailed (no charge to you) back to NOAA where they can be reused. The balloons that are found in West Michigan often come from either Green Bay, Wisconsin or Lincoln, Illinois. An average distance from launch site may be 180 miles, but a few have made it across the Atlantic Ocean.
Here’s a peak at 7-day rainfall from the Weather Prediction Center. You can see the (mainly Weds./Weds. night) rain across Wisconsin and Michigan…with the system continuing into New England. The West Coast is also west, with heavy rain and high mountain snow from Washington and Idaho down to Central California. Dry weather continues across much of the South and the High Plains.
Also: Las Vegas had 0.22” of rain on Monday, which is the most rain in a single day since June 30. Check out this aurora from Norway and this aurora from Iceland. Great Smoky sunset. From our GasBuddy, Patrick DeHaan: “Nice decline on markets today, too late to choke off the hike that happened, but
#gasprices in the Midwest will retreat soon once again.” Fall colors in West Virginia. Fall colors in upstate NY – plus a waterfall. Thunderstorm at San Diego: “total #lightning flash and ground strikes at 3,480 with 225 over San Diego County land and 451 over San Diego county coastal waters. CA rainfall: 1.04″ Corona, 0.81″ Anaheim, 0.79″ Riverside, 0.78″ San Bernadino, 0.68″ John Wayne Airport – Orange Co., 0.07″ Palm Springs. Peak wind gusts: 109 mph Mt. Washington NH, 90 mph Bicycle Mt. 3-day rainfall totals: 6.66″ Carthage NY, 5.82″ Lowville NY, 3.5″ Lansborough MA. 6.5″ of snow fell at Pittsfield NH and 4.5″ at Woodville VT.
Model update: Both the NGM and GFS are dry today with aftn. highs in the low-mid 50s and light winds. Both have high chances of rain on Weds. (83% and 98% respectively) with east winds at 20 mph midday. It rains into Weds. night, then the chance of rain is back downt o 25% for Thurs. PM.
This is from the afternoon run of the GFS model for November 7th. It shows a cold low pressure center over Northern Minnesota – with lots of clouds and impulses rotating around it. Cold air (528 thickness line) is moving into West Michigan. The air would get some warming from Lake Michigan…but it may very well be cold enough for general light snow with perhaps some areas of heavier snow where the cold can turn the lake-effect from rain to snow. It’s waaaaaaay far out, but worth watching. The overnight run of the GFS backed off on any snow for Nov. 7-9. However, with a pattern like this, we often see a pretty sharp break from fall weather to winter weather…maybe mid-November. We will eventually get into a cold and stormy pattern across much of the eastern half of the country for late Nov. and Dec.
As of today, it’s been a record 11 years since a major hurricane hit the U.S. Hurricane Wilma hit Florida on Oct. 24, 2005 – the last Category 3 or higher storm to make landfall on the U.S. coast. The previous record period of time between major hurricane hits was 8 years between 1860 and 1869. Hurricane Matthew was only Category 1 when it moved untl the SC coast on Oct. 8th and Hurricane Sandy was technically a post-tropical system when it hit New Jersey in 2012. Unfortunately, that storm hit at highest tide and in the location most likely to produce the greatest storm surge. After Sandy, Congress passed a hurricane relief bill that was as big as the entire budget of the state of New Jersey and contained money for fish hatcheries in faraway Alaska.
There is a hurricane in the Eastern Pacific, named “Seymour”. It’ll eventually weaken to a depression over the next 5 days. If anything, it may provide a bit of needed moisture to NW Mexico and the SW U.S. A Pacific system will also bring rain along the Coast from Western Canada to California.
The top pic. here is N. Michigan radar, showing some lake-effect and lake-enhanced showers. It’s not impossible that someone in SW Michigan could see a sprinkle, but generally just partly to mostly cloudy and cool.
Here’s the late (Mon.) AM satellite pic. – showing the mostly cloudy skies (with numerous breaks in the clouds) over Lower Michigan and the mostly clear skies over Wisconsin where the wind isn’t coming across the relatively warmer lake waters.
The Muskegon GLERL camera (from NOAA Coastwatch) caught a passing ship this AM. The Muskegon buoy was showing waves of 3.4 feet this AM with a max. wave of 4.6 feet, so it is choppy. Small Craft Advisories are in effect for lakeshore areas until 8 pm. Other buoy water temps: South mid-Lake Michigan 61.2, N. mid-Lake Michigan buoy 58.6, Berrien Co. 59.5, Michigan City IN 58.6, Wilmette IL 57.7 – Reeds Lake has a water temp. of 59.
Model update: The morning run of the NAM model is in…G.R. is dry and 53 tomorrow, a cool 37 tonight and 34 tomorrow night. The National Weather Service has stopped issuing Frost Advisories for the season, but scattered frost is possible each of the next two nights. The NAM has the chance of measurable rain at just 5% tomorrow, but 78% tomorrow night and 81% on Weds. On Weds. it gives us high temps. only in the upper 40s with an east wind at 20 mph. So, Weds. will not be a good day to be outdoors.
I took this picture Saturday at the Kalamazoo Nature Center. I’ll write more about that later today. Both the NAM and GFS models have us partly to mostly sunny today with highs in the mid 50s. Some high clouds start to move in by Tues. PM, but a pretty good day with PM temps. in the low-mid 50s. Rain is likely on Weds. (GFS has a rather nasty day with aftn. temps. mainly in the mid 40s, rain and a brisk east wind). Showers could linger into Thurs. We’ll have a chance of rain next Saturday. It’s a long ways away, but the GFS has West Michigan area dry and mild on Halloween – if that model’s right, it’ll be a nice evening for trick-or-treat…but a little early to say for sure…but I’d be optimistic.
The last time the Cubs were in the World Series – this was the #1 Billboard song in the U.S. Also, women were not allowed to vote in France – that first started later in Oct. 1945. The first ball point pen had not been sold yet (that also came later in 1945). Army was the #1 college football team. Arthur Chevrolet was still alive. In 1945, a poll asked Americans, “Do you know what television is?” Most didn’t. The 1945 World Series was not broadcast on television. The Cubs radio announcers were Bert Wilson and Jack Brickhouse (who lived about a mile and a half from me (and Bill Murray) when I was growing up in Wilmette IL. Ronald Reagan was the Cubs baseball announcer from 1933-36.
Here’s a history of the Cubs curse…from a black cat on the field to “Billy” the goat to Leon Dunham’s grounder to Steve Bartman’s foul ball.
Also – Wouldn’t have bet there wouldn’t be a single touchdown scored in the Sun. night Seattle/Arizona NFL game. Lions win and both Stafford and Cousins had good stats. The Lions have 3 wins in a row…next 2 games on the road at Houston and then at the Vikings. Michigan up to #2 with the OSU loss at Penn St. W. Michigan up to 8-0. Next Sat. the MI – MSU game is on ESPN at Noon. Western has a bye week.
Pic. above is the famous Jake the Fire Dog, getting in the Halloween spirit. I got to Fire Safety Day around 10:30 am – US 131 southbound was one lane from downtown to 28th St., so that slowed me up a little. I stayed until a little after 2 pm. We had a steady stream of people – including quite a few kids that came in Halloween costume. The kids enjoyed the fire truck, the LIFE EMS ambulance, the E.S.C.A.P.E. trailer, the contest and all the free handouts and the adults appreciated the free smoke alarms and batteries we had. We all talked about the tornado day (Aug. 20) and everyone was asking about the weather for the coming winter (colder and snowier than last winter).
As you can see the trees in front of Lowe’s were almost at peak color. With the sun and relatively light winds, it was a pleasant day to be outside. More pics. of the event here.
This will probably be the best weekend to see fall colors in Lower Michigan. There’s still good color in many spots in the U.P. My wife drove from G.R. to Traverse City and back on Friday and said the colors were awesome…right at peak much of the way. (pic. of Tahquamenon Falls by D3 Imagery
Model Data: The NAM (55, 61, 55) and GFS (55, 61, 57) are remarkably similar with high temps. the next 3 days. The best bet is dry weather thru Tuesday, then rain Weds./Thurs. There’s a couple nights with temps. cool enough for scat. frost, but still no sign of a general hard freeze.
Football: The first game at noon on WOTV4 is NC State at Louisville – that could be a good game. CMU at Toledo at Noon, my Badgers are in the midst of the toughest 5-game schedule in football with an away game at Iowa (Nebraska next week) – that’s noon on ESPN. Michigan hosts my wife’s alma mater (Illinois). That’s on BTN at 3:30 pm – Michigan is a 28-point favorite. EMU is at WMU at 3:30 pm – thought about going to the game after my appearance at the Lowe’s in Portage (see below). WMU is rockin’ on all cylinders. You can see OSU at Penn St. on WOTV4 at 8 pm. In the GLIAC – Lake Erie is at Ferris at 1 pm and GVSU at Hillsdale at 2:30 pm.
Check out the snow in Anchorage AK in this pic. from the U.S.G.S. Here’s some Alaska snow totals. The coldest spot in Alaska was Bettles with a morning low of +1F. Check out the snow in the Great Smoky Mtns. The first snowflakes of the season fell at Marquette Friday AM. Snow is forecast for the higher mountains in NY and New England.
Also: Wow! Check out the accumulation of hail in South Africa! Lenticular clouds over Mt. Etna in Italy. Storm heading toward Eastern India. Surprised this article was printed in Slate. Today’s National High/Low temps: 99 at Anaheim, CA & Lake Elsinore, CA; 7 at Antero Reservoir, CO. Downtown Los Angeles reached 90+ F for the third straight day on Friday. Normal high: 78 F. 24-hour rain totals: Worcester, MA: 4.10″ Sanford, ME: 3.09″ Concord, NH: 3.01″ Syracuse, NY: 2.25″ Boston: 1.11″. In a 30 team MLB, prob. of 107 years w/out a WS championship = 2.66%… In a 15 team league, prob of 70 years w/out a pennant = 0.80%. C’Mon Cubs! Gov. Snyder declares Marquette Co. a disaster area. New paper predicts “an ongoing transition to a cold North Atlantic phase” that may cause global cooling. It’s been a little dry in N. Alabama.
I will be at the Lowe’s in Portage just off Westnedge and Kilgore (a couple blocks north of I-94 – see map) Saturday for the 13th annual Fire Safety Day. We’ll have FREE smoke detectors, FREE 9-volt batteries, some candy and goodies for the kids. Jake the Fire Safety Dog was there (click the link for Jake’s facebook page). We’ll have the E.S.C.A.P.E. fire safety trailer, a fire truck and a LIFE EMS ambulance there for the kids to see. We’ll have lots of stuff for you and the kids. Hope a few of you can stop by and say “hi”. The event runs from 10 am to 2 pm. I’ll try and be there for at least the 11 -1 hours…hopefully, earlier and later. I’ll have Storm Team 8 pencils, bookmarks and Bill Steffen mustaches.
A Frost Advisory has been issued for just about everybody (clouds should keep it a bit warmer in Berrien Co. and maybe western Van Buren Co.). Temperatures are expected to reach the low-mid 30s (temperatures are taken at the 5-foot level – it’s usually colder at ground level – so you can get a low temp. (at the 5-foot level) of 34 and still get frost on the ground. The Advisory will be in effect from 11 pm this evening to 10 am Saturday morning.
Here’s a couple of radar pics. from just before noon. Note the band of lake-effect rainshowers brushing the shoreline in Mason and Oceana Co. and moving south with a north wind. The showers come onshore in N.Indiana. The showers may shift east a bit tonight into Berrien Co. and possibly into the other lakeshore counties before dissipating by noon tomorrow.
Kyle Underwood flew Drone8 over Cascade Country Club Thurs. AM and got some beautiful shots. Video here. I’ll leave radar up here (radar will update automatically) but there won’t be much. We do expect a few lake-effect rainshowers with temps. a mile above ground at around 30 degrees sitting over Lake Michigan water temps. which are still in the low 60s. Rainfall yesterday (Thurs.) totaled just a trace in G.R., 0.02″ in Hastings, 0.07″ in Battle Creek, 0.08″ in Kalamazoo, 0.27″ in Ceresco, 0.41″ in Mendon, 0.45″ at Albion, 0.48″ in Constantine and 0.66″ in Coldwater. Fort Wayne IN had a daily record 1.44″ and Akron had 1.67″. Other totals: 1.34″ Cincinnati, 1.41″ at Seattle, 2.56″ at St. Louis. The nation’s low temps. were -2 at Thomson AK and in the Lower 48 states +9 at Berthoud CO. The nation’s high was 100 at McAllen TX, Santa Ana CA, Fullerton CA and San Pasqual Valley CA.
Check out this awesome pic. of fall colors south of West Branch MI from Kyle Piers. Fall colors are at or near peak now over much of Lower Michigan. Check out this pretty pic.
Model data: The NAM has high temps. of 54, 56 and 62 for the next 3 days for G.R. The GFS has 54, 56, 65. Both models have lows tonight (Fri. night/early Sat.) in the mid-upper 30s inland with a chance of scattered frost in low spots, esp. northeast and north of G.R. The chance of rain is small…32% at Benton Harbor, where they may catch a lake-effect rain shower. Again, a waterspout on Lake Michigan is not impossible. The best chance of rain next week will be in the Weds./Thurs. time period.
Links: Here’s Grand Rapids radar and Northern Michigan radar, Milwaukee looping radar. Regional radar and the Updated GRR NWS Short Term Discussion. More links: Northern Indiana radar, Chicago radar, Detroit radar and Milwaukee radar.Here’s College of DuPage Radar Map (pick any radar in the U.S.), College of DuPage Grand Rapids radar, the West Michigan Lightning Tracker, National Lightning Tracker, the local warning/advisory map and the National warning/watch/advisory map, 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 links to webcams. Here’s theinfrared satellite loop (night) and the visible satellite loop (daytime), Lake Michigan water temperatures (summer). Here’s recent 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 and the weather station on the beach at St. Joseph.
A strong mangitude at least 6.2 (a few sources have the quake as high as 6.6) earthquake has hit along the west coast of Japan on the island of Honshu (Tottori prefecture). This is roughly 100 miles northeast of Hiroshima and west of Kyoto. The quake had a depth of 6.2 miles and occurred at 1:07 am EDT. A tsunami is not expected. Here’s a map of who felt the quake. This is a magnitude map – how strong would the quake have been at a particular spot. There are some damage pics. starting to show up on Twitter, but since they are not labeled as from this quake – I won’t link to them. Over 30,000 customers are without power in the immediate area of the quake. There are reports of houses that have collapsed. Airplane flights and trains in the area have been cancelled. Early reports indicate building damage and 7 injuries. Death/injury toll lowest in Japan, where building codes are very strict. A 6.2 quake would be a real disaster in many 3rd world countries.
The Orionid Meteor Shower peaks tonight and tomorrow night. These meteors are left over debris from Halley’s Comet. There aren’t as many meteors as some other meteor showers. The Orionids can produce up to 20 an hour, while the Perseids in August can run up to 100-200 an hour and the Geminids in December can produce up to 100-120 an hour. However, the Orionids can produce some bright meteors (an unusually bright meteor is called a “fireball”). The Orionid meteors tend to be fast movers, around 41 miles per second. The Orionids occur over a long periods of time, generally from Oct. 4 to Nov. 14 – with the peak around Oct. 21-22. This year we have a half moon in the sky. The best viewing comes during the late night-predawn hours. Skies in general should be partly cloudy (brief periods of both mostly clear and toward the lake it may tend more toward mostly cloudy with breaks). We’ll have a last quarter moon (a half-moon) so it won’t be a totally dark sky. As always, you’ll have a better view if you are away from artificial light.
Look to the east and find the constellation Orion, the Hunter. It has 3 stars in a row that form the belt of the hunter. The bright star in the upper left of the constellation is Betelgeuse, a red giant star. Betelgeuse is so big that if it were located where our sun is located, the outer edge would extend out past the planet Mars. Just to the left of Betelgeuse is where you should be looking for Orionid meteors.
Here’s this week’s Sky at a Glance. During the early evening, you can see the bright planet Venus to the WSW. It moves down to the horizon and sets. To the left and above Venus is the planet Saturn. Mars is to the SSW in the evening. The Big Dipper is easily recognized to the NNW and the “Lazy W” aka Cassiopeia is to the northeast to the left of Orion. Here’s when you can see the Intl. Space Station flyover. You can check out the latest from the Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Assn, the Muskegon Astronomical Society and the Kalamazoo Astonomical Society.