We’ll see lots of sunshine for the weekend. Sunday could be the warmest day of 2019 so far. In the meantime…
Strong winds will cause huge waves on Lake Michigan. Winds will be from the north and the strongest winds and biggest waves will be at the south end of the lake. There’s a Lakeshore Flood Warning until 10 pm for Van Buren and Berrien Counties in Michigan and for La Porte, Porter and Lake Counties in Indiana. It’s a Lakeshore Flood Advisory for Allegan County, Chicago and for the Thumb Area. Gale Warnings are out today for Lake Michigan for waves to 8-16 feet.
We also have a Wind Advisory for Berrien Co. Michigan and for La Porte, Porter and Lake Counties in Indiana until 1 pm for 40-50 mph wind gusts.
Here’s a look at the peak wind gusts Thursday in W. Michigan. Holland (Regional Airport) had the highest gust at 43 mph. Grand Rapids has had 35+ mph gusts on 4 of the last 8 days and +30 mph gusts on 8 of the last 10 days.
Here’s high temperatures from Thursday, ranging from 53 in Sturgis and Benton Harbor to 43 in Ludington. The average high is now up to 40. Nine of the last 13 days have been warmer than average.
It was a mild day across the contiguous U.S. with highs in the low 80s in Southern and Central Florida and parts of the Desert Southwest. There were lots of 50s and 60s and the really cold air is still up around and above the Arctic Circle.
Here’s forecast high temperatures for Alaska for this Friday…lots of below zero readings in the central and northern parts of the state. Low temps. Thursday AM: -49 Arctic Village, -48 Battles, -41 Fairbanks, -40 McGrath, -39 Barrow Airport. Valdez is up to 77″ of snow on the ground.
There’s a Winter Storm Warning for part of the U.P., where up to 12″ of new snow is expected. There U.P. already has a lot of snow on the ground:
Here’s some snow cover totals from the U.P. on Thursday. Painesdale is up 2″ to 46″. A lot of people snowmobile around Newberry and they have nearly 3 feet of snow on the ground. Iron Mt. and Ironwood are both at 19″.
I wanted to make sure you saw this…here’s information on two of the Tennessee Tornadoes early Wednesday AM. The Nashville Tornado had a continuous path of over 53 miles and was a strong EF3 (almost EF4). The tornado moved just barely north of the downtown area. Damage just at the Tune Airport is estimated to be 93 million dollars. I got an email that said that the tornado destroyed a plane owned by radio talkshow host Dave Ramsey – a plane that used to be owned by the Old Orchard Juice Company (Sparta). When I visited my late mother, the supermarket two blocks down the street carried Old Orchard products.
Rainfall amounts Thursday were generally under 1/10th inch. A light rain like that will produce little runoff into the rivers. Despite the lower than average precipitation totals in February (1.20″ in G.R. – 0.59″ below average…1.02″ in Muskegon – 0.81″ below average…and just 0.47″ in Kalmazoo – 0.98″ below average), river levels are still above average flow: The Grand River in G.R. is at 119% of average flow, the Muskegon River at Croton is at 125% of average flow, the Kalamazoo River at Comstock is at 132% of average flow. The St. Joseph River at Niles is at 133% of average flow and the Saginaw River at Saginaw is at 144% of average flow.
By the way, at 3 pm – just before the rain started…the relative humidity was only 34% at the Ford Airport in G.R. The air at the ground was dry, but it was moist aloft where the rain was being generated.
Some people have asked about the Chicago River, which flows out of Lake Michigan. The regulated (by law) flow out of Lake Michigan is 3,200 cubic feet per second, which is just half of what the flow on the Grand River is passing through Grand Rapids…so it’s relatively very little compared to the total flow in and out of the lake.
The latest 8-14 Day Outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center and happy news to those who want an early spring and very scary to fruit farmers, who would rather the blossoms come out on time and not early, when they would be susceptible to frost. A large ridge in the southeast will continue to pump warm, moist air up from the Gulf of Mexico. Expect lots of relatively warm air east of the Rockies and cool weather in the West.
Another nice sunset Thursday evening at S. Haven. There’s still some ice at the shore. Any ice will help protect the shore from the big waves today. Today we are up to 11 hours and 30 minutes of daylight – with sunrise in downtown G.R. at 7:09 am and sunset at 6:39 pm.
Just 19.8% of the contiguous U.S. had snow on the ground Thursday AM – a far cry from one year ago, when there was a 57.12% snow cover. The low snow cover is one reason why temperatures are mild across the contiguous U.S. Last year from March 3 – 7, we had high temps. of 24, 14, 19, 25 and 27. For those 5 days, we had less than 6% sunshine.
Lake Michigan set a new record for highest average water level during the month of February – beating the previous record set in 1986 by 5.5″.
The models are showing a relatively mild St. Patrick’s Day with temps. in the mid 50s to low 60s – way too soon to put much stock in that now.
Did you see that the Detroit Tigers got NINE home runs yesterday. They were all solo home runs – no one on base for any of them.
Happy Friday and happy weekend! Thanks for reading my blog.