Above is the Friday map showing snow and ice cover in N. America. Note that most of Canada has snow on the ground and it’s pretty solid from Lake Superior to the North Pole. Air that comes down from the Arctic doesn’t have much chance to warm up. Here’s Asian snow cover:
Here’s Asian snow cover. A large part of Russia now has snow onthe ground…so does most of Finland and Norway…and the north half of Sweden.
The above figures are from the Rutgers Univ. Snow Lab. The Northern Hemisphere at the end of October had a snow cover of 22,256,000 sq. km. The average for Oct. 31 is 17,544,000 sq. km. So, that’s 4,712,000 sq. km. above average. That ranks 5th highest in 52 years of satellite record. Note the record highest was 1976. Anyone remember the winter of 1976-77? It was the coldest winter of the last 100 years in West Michigan. G.R. went 45 consecutive days without getting above freezing. Four of the last six winters have brought above average ice cover to the Great Lakes…could this year make it 5 out of 7? I’m still working on the winter forecast…hint…I’d save a couple extra dollars for the heating bills this winter.
The high temps. this weekend reach the low 40s…warmer than Friday, but still well below the average high for today (Sat.) of 51°. Then down into the deep freeze. The overnight run of the GFS model gives G.R. a high of 25° on Tuesday. The European has a 2 pm temp. of 24.3°. The European gives Benton Harbor a 2-day (Monday/Tuesday) precipitation of 0.71″ – and that’s all snow. At a 15-1 ratio, snow to water…that’s over 10″ of snow. For G.R. – inland – we get 0.27″…3 inches at the minimum…perhaps 4 or 5. Still too early to pin that down…but definitely snowcovered and slippery roads. If we get a NNW band coming off Lake Superior and down Lake Michigan…that would likely give some place along the shoreline over a foot of snow. It won’t stay here all winter…any snow that comes this early will melt before staying “for good” (except for maybe the bigger piles)
Daylight continues to shrink…we’re down to 9 hours and 58 minutes today (Sat.) – we’ll bottom out at 9 hours and 1 minute at the Winter Solstice.