Wrap on the Storm of 1/18

Bill's Blog

Grand Rapids had 10.3″ of snow from Friday evening through Sunday morning. The 6.3″ on Saturday was the greatest midnight-to-midnight snow total in G.R. since we got 7″ of snow on Christmas Day in 2017. Greenville and Spring Lake had 9″ of new snow.

Snow on the Ground early Monday AM 1/20

Here’s some current snow depths. Keep in mind that snowFALL is often greater than snow DEPTH. When you get 10″ of snow, the bottom inch is compacted by the 9″ of snow on top of it. With temps. in the mid 30s Saturday, a little of the snow also melted. Much of the snow that fell was a wet, heavy snow that was more difficult to shovel.

Season snowfall through Monday 1/20/20

Here’s updated season snowfall totals for West Michigan. We’re still below average to date, but this was a significant increase in our winter total. Grand Rapids is 10″ below average through 1/19. Last year we had picked up only 21.8″ of snow…but we made up for lost time and then some, ending the season with 81.3″ (above the average of 74.9″).

Muskegon Beach Mid-Afternoon on Saturday

Here’s a pic. from the Muskegon Beach from late Saturday. You can see some ice there now – that should increase over the next 3 days with the colder air moving in. Winds really cranked up. Unfortunately, this meant more lakeshore flooding and beach erosion.

Peak winds: 54 mph Battle Creek, 53 mph Chicago Water Intake, 51 mph S. Haven Beach, 50 mph Jackson, 49 mph Saugatuck Beach and at the Muskegon Beach, 48 mph Holland Beach, 47 mph Lansing, 44 mph Whitehall, 42 mph Grand Rapids and 40 mph at Kalamazoo.

This is the coldest air we have seen in nearly a month.

For the Detroit area it was a Winter Storm Warning. A few people asked me today what’s the difference between a Winter Storm Warning and a Winter Weather Advisory. There is no hard and fast criteria…like the number of inches of snow that will fall. It’s based some on general impact and it’s based on geography. A light snow event that wouldn’t warrant an Advisory or Warning in West Michigan may warrant a Winter Storm Warning in northern Alabama. Same thing for Wind Chill Advisories. A Wind Chill Advisory for northern Florida would be a typical mid-March day in West Michigan and a Wind Chill Advisory for Grand Rapids would be just another day in N. Alaska.

probability of 2″ or more of snow from Fri – Sunday evening

This map showed the probability of +2″ of snowfall from Friday – Sunday evening. That’s was a gigantic area with a +95% chance of +2″ of snow. It’ll be mostly rain across much of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. Here’s current radar:

Central Great Lakes sector loop

Go to: Most Recent Image

Here’s current Michigan weather observations, a Michigan weather map and the latest Grand Rapids National Weather Service discussion.

Sunrise at S. Haven Michigan on Friday

We saw a little sunshine early Friday AM…about 36 minutes worth (6% of possible sunshine on the day). Sunday G.R. officially had 16% of possible sunshine. So, over the last 11 days (Jan. 9-19), Grand Rapids has had 2.4% of possible sunshine or a total of 2 hours and 34 mintues or an average of 23 minutes per day. Think I’ll go home and have a glass of milk…to get that Vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin).

% of sunshine each day

15 of the last 22 days have not had one single minute of sunshine. Since Dec. 26, we’ve had only 3 days with over 18% of possible sunshine.

It has been warm relative to mid-winter. Friday was only the 2nd day since Dec. 19 (almost a month) with a below average temperature.

In Upper Michigan – Marquette (airport) had a daily record 11.5″ of snow Saturday, bringing their season snowfall to 111.9″. They now have 35″ of snow on the ground. The most on the ground is 48″ at Painesdale (south of Houghton), with Tamarack showing 44″ on the the ground. Painesdale is up to 166.5″ for the winter, Mt. Horace Greely 173.3″ and the most so far this winter is 177.8″ at Tamarack.

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