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This is the updated Severe Weather Outlook from the Storm Prediction Center for Sunday. All of Lower Michigan, Eastern Upper Michigan, Eastern Wisconsin, Northern and Central Illinois, Northern Indiana and Northwest Ohio are in the Marginal (dark green) Outlook Area. SPC says in their discussion: “GREAT LAKES…MIDWEST… “DECAYING CONVECTIVE CLUSTERS SHOULD BE ONGOING AT 12Z/SUN IN THE VICINITY OF LAKE SUPERIOR TO LAKE MICHIGAN. REMNANTS OF THIS ACTIVITY MAY PERSIST EASTWARD ACROSS LOWER MI AND ADJACENT STATES WITHIN A CONTINUED LOW-LEVEL WAA REGIME. GUIDANCE DIFFERS SUBSTANTIALLY WITH THE DEGREE OF DESTABILIZATION IN THE WAKE OF THESE MORNING STORMS ALONG/AHEAD OF THE IMPINGING COLD FRONT…AS WELL AS TIMING OF THE FRONT. WITH NEAR-NEUTRAL MID-LEVEL HEIGHT CHANGE THROUGH 25/00Z ALONG THE FRONT…MOST MODELS INDICATE MINIMAL CONVECTIVE QPF DURING PEAK HEATING. THUS…THE WESTERN EXTENT OF THE SEVERE THREAT APPEARS RATHER CONDITIONAL.
SUN EVENING/NIGHT…MID-LEVEL HEIGHT FALLS SHOULD OVERSPREAD THE WARM SECTOR AND YIELD WIDELY SCATTERED STORMS ALONG THE FRONT AND ANY REMNANT OUTFLOW BOUNDARIES FROM MORNING CONVECTION. THIS APPEARS MOST PROBABLE ACROSS PARTS OF LOWER MI INTO CENTRAL IL. STRONGER MID-LEVEL WESTERLIES SHOULD LARGELY LAG BEHIND THE FRONT…BUT MODERATE DEEP SHEAR MIGHT SUPPORT A MODESTLY ORGANIZED CLUSTER OR TWO NORTH…WHEREAS LARGER BUOYANCY SHOULD COMPENSATE FOR WEAK SHEAR SOUTH. ISOLATED SEVERE WIND/HAIL SHOULD BE THE MAIN HAZARDS.”
How far away can you see a thundershower? Last night I grabbed the first pic. from the Muskegon GLERL camera…showing a relatively small solitary build-up (cumulonimbus) cloud over Central Wisconsin. Radar showed it to be about 164 miles away.
The Futurecast that I had at 11 pm Friday showed an area of storms coming into West Michigan off the lake from about 3-6 am and moving across much of the area…then not much going on the rest of the day. We’ll see if that turns out to be right. No rain today. It’ll have to stretch to make the 95 we have out. The guidance has been pretty consistent…the overnight GFS gives G.R. a high of 95 today (Sat.), 90 on Sunday and 91 on Monday. The NAM has 94, 92 and 87 for Sat., Sun., and Mon. The GFS has a 57% chance of rain Sunday, mainly early. As expected the chance of rain is low for Mon. – Weds.
The 6-10 day outlook from the Climate Prediction Center for July 28 – August 1 has warmer than average conditions in the East, South and West with a pocket of cooler than average air over the Northern Plains.
From www.spaceweather.com: “Departing sunspot complex AR2565-AR2567 erupted on July 23rd, twice, producing two strong solar flares in quick succession. The first @ 0211 UT registered M5 on the Richter Scale of Flares. The second @ 0516 UT registered M7.6, making it the strongest flare of 2016 so far.”
A Tropical Storm is moving through the Hawaiian Islands this weekend. As I write this Friday night, there are Tropical Storm Warnings out for the islands of Hawaii, Maui, Molokai, Kahoolawe and Lanai. There’s a Tropical Storm Watch for Honolulu and the island of Oahu and a Flood Watch has been issued. A mudslide closed the scenic Hana Highway. Peak winds over the island are expected to be 40-55 mph. Waves up to 22 feet are possible. Here’s some current wave heights. There may be some mostly minor wind damage and there will be some squalls of heavy rain. Here’s the current Hawaii weather observations, the latest tropical storm discussion from the Honolulu National Weather Service, Hawaii regional radar, funktop satellite loop, infrared satellite loop, the latest 5-day track map, Hawaii webcams, appropriate Jan and Dean tune, appropriate Beach Boys tune.
Just a quick note to let you know that on Friday, I taped a segment for the Science Channel here at WOOD-TV about Great Lakes weather and shipwrecks. I’ll try and let you know when it will air.
Saturday will be a Clean Air Action Day. This covers these counties: Mason Oceana, Muskegon, Ottawa, Kent and Allegan. The National Weather Service calls this an Air Quality Alert. Here are the recommended actions for the public today. These used to be Ozone Action Days. You can go to this site and see the current ozone level. Michigan has a Department of Air Quality. They were wise not to call a Clean Air Action Day for today (Fri.). Clean air moved down from the north and ozone levels were not a concern today. Saturday will be a few degrees warmer and winds will be light.
On Clean Air Action Days, you can ride the Macatawa Area Express (buses) for free on fixed routes in the Holland-Zeeland Area. and the RAPID in Grand Rapids.
The Storm Prediction Center has placed much of Lower Michigan in the Marginal Risk Area (dark green) for Day 3 (Sunday). They say: “DECAYING CONVECTIVE CLUSTERS SHOULD BE ONGOING AT 12Z/SUN IN THE VICINITY OF LAKE SUPERIOR TO LAKE MICHIGAN. REMNANTS OF THIS ACTIVITY MAY PERSIST EASTWARD ACROSS LOWER MI AND ADJACENT STATES WITHIN A CONTINUED LOW-LEVEL WAA REGIME…WILL ONLY INTRODUCE LOW PROBABILITIES FOR MAINLY A CONDITIONAL SEVERE RISK.” The main threat will be isolated strong wind gusts. There’s an enhanced severe weather threat today over the Dakotas.
In the meantime, the Heat Advisory continues until 7 pm this Friday evening. Follow current Michigan temperatures here. There is a slight chance of a t-storm south of G.R. this afternoon while areas north of G.R. should stay dry. It will be cooler near Lake Michigan. Now, you think it’s hot here, check this out. In parts of the Middle East Desert, high temperatures can top 120 degrees.
A (relatively small) heat burst occurred in SW Michigan last night. Above are the weather observations from Benton Harbor. At 10:53 pm (22:53), the temp. was 79, the dewpoint 74, the wind south at 9 mph and the relative humidity was 85%. At this time, thunderstorms were blasting through Chicago with gusts as high as 81 mph in the northern suburbs. At 11:53 pm (22:53), the temp. was 80, the dewpoint 75, the wind now west at 20 mph, gusting to 29 mph. It’s interesting that the temp. went up one degree at night when it started coming off Lake Michigan. During the next hour, they had 0.01″ of rain. At 12:53 am, the wind was howling – west at 25 mph with a gust to 40 mph. The temp. was down 3 degrees to 77 and, despite the rain, the dewpoint had dropped 6 degrees to 69. Now look what happens. At 1:53 am, the temp. has gone UP 7 degrees in the last hour to 84. The dewpoint is down to 58 – a drop of 11 degrees in an hour and 17 degrees in two hours. The relative humidity drops from 77% to 41% in an hour! The wind is now SW at 10 gusting to 23 mph. Finally, at 2:53 am, we see the wind has shifted completely around to the northeast at 9 mph with a gust to 22 mph. The temp. drops 2 degrees to 82, the dewpoint is up 4 to 62 and the relative humidity is up from 41% to 51%. At this point the temperature, dewpoint and relative humidity is starting to shift back to previous levels.
A heat burst usually occurs at night from a downburst of a dying or weakening thunderstorm. Every year we get a few dramatic heat bursts in the Plains States. At Hobart, Oklahoma, 6-7 July 2016: The temperature rose from 80.6 °F (27.0 °C) just before 11:00 pm CDT, July 6 to 105.8 °F (41.0 °C) at 12:15 am CDT, July 7. Pic. from Wikipedia.
Strong to severe thunderstorms formed in Central Wisconsin Thursday afternoon and moved south and southeast into Illinois. The storms produced wind gusts as high as 81 mph in the Chicago area. The storms stopped the Tigers-White Sox game in the 7th inning. The storm took part of the roof off a lumber store in Grand Rapids. At one point 20,000 Consumers Energy customers were without power. Only 425 remained without power as I write this at 2:45 am (218 in Kent Co.) – Good job Consumers Energy!
There’s a Marginal Risk of a severe storm south of a line from Saugatuck to just north of Port Huron. The northern part of our state will be storm – free today. Radars here should update automatically. Here’s the latest GRR forecast discussion.
Here’s storm reports from the U.S. on Thurs. – a few in MI – lots in Wisconsin into he Chicago area. Here’s storm reports from SW Michigan, SE Michigan, N. Michigan, Upper Michigan, SE WIsconsin and NE Illinois.
This gustnado occurred today near Hamilton (specifically at Al’s Excavating – east of M-40). Gustnadoes are rare, especially here in West Michigan. They tend to occur on the leading edge of a thunderstorm, often a line of thunderstorms. A tornado (similar, but not the same thing) usually occurs at the back of the storm, underneath the strong updraft. Gustnadoes are very short-lived, some lasting less than a minute. This gustnado picked up a truck (right off the ground, probably about 4 feet off the ground). It picked up a dumpster and set it down about 30 feet away and it picked up and destroyed a swing set.
A Severe T-Storm Watch is in effect for Southeast Wisconsin until 10 pm EDT. These storms could reach the SW corner of the state by 9-10 pm. While a storm is possible during the late evening/tonight, most storms will move toward Chicago. The main threat is strong wind. SPC says: “THREATS INCLUDE..SCATTERED LARGE HAIL AND ISOLATED VERY LARGE HAIL EVENTS TO 2 INCHES IN DIAMETER POSSIBLE. SCATTERED DAMAGING WIND GUSTS TO 70 MPH POSSIBLE. SUMMARY…CLUSTER OF STORMS IN CENTRAL WISCONSIN WILL LIKELY PERSIST FOR THE NEXT FEW HOURS WHILE MOVING TO THE SOUTH-SOUTHEAST. DAMAGING WINDS AND LARGE HAIL CAN BE EXPECTED WITH THE STRONGEST EMBEDDED STORMS/BOWING SEGMENTS.” Radars here should update automatically. Here’s the latest GRR forecast discussion.
Wind gust reported; 65 mph at Pardeeville, 62 mph Madison, 60 mph Beaver Dam. Half a dozen reports of trees and wires down.
The storms have pretty much cleared our viewing area…storms will continue moving thru SE Michigan, N. Indiana and NW Ohio. To report severe weather to Storm Team 8, call 1-800-8WOODTV or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. A gustnado did some damage in Hamilton…we have other areas of damage…Kalamazoo and 28th St. in G.R., Zeeland, Coldwater, Quincy, Marshall, Jenison, Grandville, Caledonia, Bangor, Charlotte and near Battle Creek. Lots of 40-50 mph wind gusts. Gust to 50 mph at Big Sable Point near Ludington, 46 mph at the Muskegon beach, 44 mph at Whitehall and Pentwater and small hail at the Muskegon Water Filtration Plant. Gust to 35 mph at my house west of Comstock Park, windshift from SW to NW and moderate rain during the squall. Moderate to briefly heavy rain. Gust to 45 mph at Jamestown, 40 mph at the Holland Airport and 31 mph at Grandville.
SPC says: “SCATTERED DAMAGING WIND GUSTS TO 70 MPH LIKELY. ISOLATED LARGE HAIL EVENTS TO 1.5 INCHES IN DIAMETER POSSIBLE SUMMARY…A LONG-LIVED LINE OF INTENSE THUNDERSTORMS WILL MOVE ACROSS THE WATCH AREA TODAY…POSING A THREAT OF LOCALLY DAMAGING WIND GUSTS AND PERHAPS SOME HAIL.” Here’s today’s severe weather reports. As I write this, there have been more than a dozen severe wind reports in Wisconsin and the U.P. and 4 one-inch diameter hail reports in Wisconsin with the line of storms. A gust to 60 mph was recorded on the beach at Sheboygan WI north of Milwaukee. Widespread damage was reported near Waupaca, Wisconsin. Most of the damage has been downed trees and power lines. The line of strong storms runs from east of Traverse City to Milwaukee, with a few storms north of the main line to the north off Whitehall to Big Rapids. Here’s severe reports from N. Lower Michigan (gust to 56 mph at Frankfort – 45 mph at Leland – 41 mph at Northport), Upper Michigan (gust to 63 mph at Freda – many trees down, M-26 blocked by fallen trees, trees on campers near Houghton and northeast Wisconsin. Gusts hit 45 mph at the mid-Lake Michigan buoy, but gusts have been closer to 30-35 mph at Manistee, Ludington and Traverse City. Special Marine Warning from Holland north.
There is the main line of storms and there is/will be new development this PM and early tonight. In the meantime, the clouds will hold down the heat a bit today, but not the humidity. At noon the temp. is up to 86 in G.R. and the dewpoint is 71, giving us a Heat Index of 91. Benton Harbor has a temp. of 88 with a dewpoint of 72 and a heat index already up to 94. Right now, the corn and soybeans across Illinois and Iowa transpires a lot of water into the air, so that helps to kick those dewpoints up on a day like this with a SW wind. An acre of corn can put up to 4,000 gallons of water into the air in a single day in late July and early August.
FYI: I broke a tooth off this AM. It’s about half a tooth. I’m going to try and get thru today…skipping the Park Party and going into the station…then get into the dentist tomorrow. It may be a forced smile on TV tonight. I also lost the “f” key on my computer…banging away without it now.
Links: Grand Rapids radar, regional radar, surface weather observations, a surface weather map, local lightning tracker, national lightning data, Lake Michigan water temps. and wave heights (which should increase early aftn.). The water temp. of Reeds Lake in East G.R. was 80 this morning. Here’s the latest Day 1 (this PM/night), Day 2 (tomorrow) and Day 3 (Saturday) severe weather outlooks from the Storm Prediction Center. The Slight Risk for this PM/night has been extended south into far northern Indiana and northern Ohio. The Outlook for tomorrow is for a Marginal Risk generally south of I-96. We may come under a Risk Area on Sunday as a weak front moves into Michigan.
The Storm Prediction Center has updated the Severe Weather Outlook Area for later this PM. It hasn’t changed very much…a little more of Wisconsin is in the outlook. The two states with the best chance of severe weather this PM/night are MIchigan and Wisconsin. SPC says:
“IT STILL APPEARS THE GREATEST POTENTIAL FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS ON THURSDAY WILL BE ACROSS PORTIONS OF MICHIGAN AND EASTERN WISCONSIN. WILL THEREFORE MAINTAIN 15% PROBABILITIES THIS UPDATE WITH POSSIBLE UPGRADE TO ENHANCED IN LATER OUTLOOKS. POTENTIAL WILL EXIST FOR STORMS TO REDEVELOP/INTENSIFY ALONG COLD FRONT…RESIDUAL OUTFLOW BOUNDARIES AND LAKE BREEZES AS THE SFC-LAYER DESTABILIZES. ACTIVITY WILL SUBSEQUENTLY ADVANCE SEWD AND SWD POSSIBLY EVOLVING INTO CLUSTERS THROUGH LOWER MI AND ERN WI…BUT BACKBUILDING IS ALSO POSSIBLE WHERE THE SWLY LLJ INTERACTS WITH ONGOING STORMS. WHILE LOW-LEVEL HODOGRAPHS WILL REMAIN RELATIVELY MODEST…EFFECTIVE BULK SHEAR FROM 30-40 KT WILL SUPPORT POTENTIAL FOR ORGANIZED STORMS WITH DAMAGING WIND AND LARGE HAIL THE MAIN THREATS.”
The storms in Minnesota as I write this around 4 am should continue to chug into and perhaps through Wisconsin before starting to weaken. It’s certainly possible that a few of these will make it across Lake Michigan. New showers/storms could form in the afternoon and at least a scattered line of showers/storms may develop ahead of a very weak cool front overnight. It’ll still be hot behind that front, but it may be a tad less humid.
I’m supposed to be going to Maranda’s Park Party from 11 am to 2:15 pm and then into the station…but I’ll probably go into the station with the watch in effect.. Here’s the Grand Rapids NWS forecast discussion. Stay cool!
Today will be a Clean Air Action Day (and probably tomorrow, too). This covers these counties: Mason Oceana, Muskegon, Ottawa, Kent and Allegan. The National Weather Service calls this an Air Quality Alert. Here are the recommended actions for the public today. These used to be Ozone Action Days. The wind will be southwest coming from the Chicago area. You can go to this site and see the current ozone level. Michigan has a Department of Air Quality.
On Clean Air Action Days, you can ride the Macatawa Area Express (buses) for free on fixed routes in the Holland-Zeeland Area. and the RAPID in Grand Rapids.
A Heat Advisory will be in effect forf most of Southern Lower Michigan from 1 pm today until 7 pm Friday. We’ll see temps. in inland areas in the low 90s today and low-mid 90s on Friday (and Saturday) with dewpoints climbing into the low-mid 70s this afternoon. The humidity will drop a bit on Saturday. The Heat Index could reach 100 to 105. It will be about 10 degrees cooler near Lake Michigan. While it may cool a few degrees by next Monday, the warmer than average pattern will last into early August.
Speaking of hot…Pierre (pronounced “peer”) South Dakota reached 109 degrees on Weds. – the hottest temperature there since 2012. Also impressive: 108 at Chadron NE (same high temp. as Phoenix AZ and Las Vegas NV) and 105 at Hettinger ND. The warmest spot in the U.S. was Death Valley CA at 120.
The Grand Rapids area (the 23 counties that make up the Grand Rapids NWS County Warning Area) have not had a tornado warning in over a year, 392 days to be exact. It’s the 3rd longest stretch of any NWS county warning area east of the Rockies. They did have a tornado warning in N. Maine today.
Michigan has had 5 tornadoes (red dots on the map – blue dots are wind damage and green dots are severe hail reports, over an inch in diameter) so far in 2016, 4 in the U.P. and one at Edwardsburg in Cass Co. There’s quite a few counties that have had no severe weather reports so far this year.
Here we go…West Michigan may be hosting storm chasers Thursday night. This is the Day 2 Severe Weather Outlook from the Storm Prediction Center for Thursday PM/night. Here’s what they say: “SCATTERED STRONG TO SEVERE STORMS PRODUCING DAMAGING WIND GUSTS AND HAIL WILL BE POSSIBLE THURSDAY AFTERNOON FROM EASTERN PORTIONS OF UPPER MICHIGAN AND NORTHEAST WISCONSIN…AND SPREADING SOUTH ACROSS EASTERN WISCONSIN AND MUCH OF LOWER MICHIGAN THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT. THE STRONGER INSTABILITY WILL LIKELY BE LOCATED IN EASTERN WI AND/OR INTO WESTERN LOWER MI…STRENGTHENING AND VEERING LOW- TO MID-LEVEL WINDS TO NORTHWESTERLY FLOW WILL SUPPORT UPSCALE GROWTH INTO AN MCS WITH DAMAGING WINDS AND HAIL POSSIBLE AS THIS SYSTEM ADVANCES SOUTHWARD THROUGH LOWER MI AND EASTERN WI. Here’s the latest GRR forecast discussion. Here’s severe reports from Tuesday.
The overnight run of the GFS model gives G.R. a 63% chance of measurable rain Thurs. night. This is the map for 2 am, showing gthe stgorms over E. WI and Lower MI. The GFS also gives G.R. a dewpoint of 75 Thurs. night (partially fueled by the transpiration of all that growing corn and beans across IL and IA).