This pic. is the sun coming up over Reed’s Lake in East Grand Rapids Sunday AM (2/2). We had 97% of sunshine on Sunday. That was more minutes of sunshine than we saw in the previous 25 days COMBINED! In the 24 days from Jan. 9 through Feb. 1 – 19 of those days had 0% sunshine, two had 6% sun, one had 4% sun, one had 16% sun and the last had 51% sunshine. From Jan. 24 through Feb. 1 – the temperature only varied by 7 degrees, day and night – from 29 to 36.
The high temperature of 50° on Sunday was a record high temperature for Feb. 2 at both Grand Rapids and at Muskegon. The old record of 48 was the lowest high temperature record of any day of the year for G.R.
These are peak wind gusts from Sunday. The average wind speed for the day, midnight-to-midnight was 16.1 mph. The wind flips to the east and should only be 5-10 mph, so Lake Michigan will calm down quite a bit this morning.
It was a relatively warm day over much of the U.S. and southern Canada. Alaska remained very cold – Arctic Village AK dipped to -53°, Bettles was -48° and the Barrow Airport dipped to -40°. I saw Nuiqsut with a temp. of -45 and a wind chill of -73°. This from the National Snow and Ice Data Center: ” December 2019 sea ice grew by an average of 82,100 square kilometers (31,700 square miles) per day. This is faster than the 1981 to 2010 average gain of 64,100 square kilometers (24,700 square miles per day) and is the third fastest December ice growth rate in the satellite record.” ” In the Southern Hemisphere, the summer ice loss rate slowed somewhat during the month. Daily sea ice extent remains below average, but is well above the record low levels seen in 2018. “
Here’s today’s weather headlines. We get significantly lighter wind today and the wind flips from the west (yesterday) to the east (today). Today (Mon.) will be a relatively warm day, with highs up into the mid 40s. Then we cool as winds turn to the north starting Tuesday. If you look at the U.S. high temperature map…you can see the air to our north isn’t very cool by Feb. standards, so we’ll get back close to average, but not real cold. We will have a chance of some snow later this week, but no big storms. The air will be cold enough at night starting Tue. night for ski areas to make lots of snow in the night and even during part of the day.
While the snow over much of Southern Lower Michigan has melted away, there is still snow to the north. Fremont still had 3″ on the ground Sunday, Houghton Lake (home of Tip-Up-Town) had 7″. Gaylord still have over a foot, Marquette was an inch over 3 feet at the airport and Grand Marais had 43″ on the ground. Painesdale led the list again with 52″ on the ground.
Here’s season snowfall. Our observer in Kalamazoo wrote that the 29.1″ is the lowest total through Feb. 2 that he has had in Kalamazoo since he started recording snowfall in 1998. It may be the lowest-to-date since the strong El Nino (non) winter of 1982-83.
The average high temperature rises from 31° to 32°. Daylight is now increasing at the rate of over 2 minutes per day. As of today (Mon. 2/3) we have now gained one hour and one minute of daylight since the Winter Solstice.
Finally, a peak at the South Haven Beach just after sunset. Some cirrus clouds off to the west – quite a few cars watching the gathering twiight – and a beach free of ice in the first week of February. Ice cover on the Great Lakes is down to 6.8% with Lake Michigan at 7.1% – most of that in Green Bay.