Standing against the biggest lake

Standing against the Greatest Lake, photo by Jay

The Grand Rapids Press reports that February 2015 was the coldest recorded for the city:

If you were alive in 1978, perhaps the similarity was striking.

Grand Rapids’ average temperature last month was 13.3 degrees, making it the coldest February in the city’s recorded weather history — a record dating back 37 years, according to the National Weather Service. The previous record was a balmy 14.3 degrees.

Overnight low temperatures dipped below zero eight times throughout the month, with highs not able to warm too much beyond the teens. In fact, the thermometer touched the 30-degree mark only four times when the seasonal average is just around freezing.

The Great Lakes region can thank the frequent blasts of arctic air for these records. Visitors to area beaches, too, should give the colder than normal conditions credit for some spectacular scenes of ice formations and caves along the shore.

Much of the state saw a near record cold as well, which has also pushed Great Lakes ice coverage near 90%.

View Jay’s photo big as the biggest lake and jump into his slideshow for some absolutely stunning shots from the Pictured Rocks shoreline in mid-February.

More winter wallpaper and also more about the Pictured Rocks.

Sunlight Sighting

February 28, 2015

Sunlight Sighting, Frankfort Michigan

Sunlight Sighting, Frankfort Michigan, photo by Aaron Springer

Today’s photo of the  the approach of Frankfort’s North Breakwater was taken a few hundred feet from yesterday’s pic.

View it bigger and see lots more of Aaron’s great Lake Michigan photos on Flickr.

Fence in the sunset

Fence in the sunset, photo by Noah Sorensen

It looks like we have a little bit of warmer weather on the way, and I hope that everyone has a great weekend!

View Noah’s photo from Frankfort Harbor background bigtacular and follow him at mcsorensens on Instagram for lots more!

Sunsets, snow or winter wallpaper? Michigan in Pictures has them all!

Frozen Tahquamenon Falls

Frozen Falls in February, photo by Tahquamenon Falls State Park

Tahquamenon Falls State Park shares:

If you ever wanted to see the Upper Falls frozen, here is your chance! The water is flowing beneath the ice, but we have never seen the left side frozen over before. Pretty cool!

Cool indeed … downright COLD in fact!

Click to see the photo bigger and to view other photos people took recently, check out several more shots of the falls as they’ve frozen on the Tahquamenon Falls State Park Facebook, and visit the Park’s page at Michigan.gov.

Lots more about the Tahquamenon Falls on Michigan in Pictures!

 

Round Goby

Round Goby, photo by Dave Brenner, Michigan Sea Grant

The Great Lakes Echo reports that although a study has found that invasive round goby are “one of the most successful aquatic invaders” ever in the Great Lakes, smallmouth bass appear to be feasting on gobies:

25 years after their discovery in the Great Lakes, “we’re not documenting specific harms from gobies,” Popoff said, referring to feared environmental, economic and human health concerns.

In fact, there are indications of possible benefits from their presence, he said. For example, “we are seeing amazing smallmouth bass,” as well as some “amazing walleye,” while lake trout have modified their diets from sculpin to round gobies.

One possible exception, according to Popoff, is a decline in sculpin population as documented in Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay because they compete with round gobies for space and food. However, scientists haven’t determined whether the lake’s overall sculpin population is down or whether they’ve merely moved to deeper areas with fewer round gobies.

…However, the study found the round goby is now a widely available food source for many native fish because of its “extreme abundance, tolerance to a variety of habitat conditions and relatively small size.”

In lakes Erie and Ontario, round gobies accounted for 75 percent of the smallmouth bass diet, Crane said. If all other species have maintained stable populations, that means the bass are putting less pressure on other food sources.

Nice to see the Great Lakes winning a battle – read on for lots more.

View the photo background big and see more in Michigan Sea Grant’s Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) slideshow.

NOAA Ice Coverage

Great Lakes Ice Coverage on Feb 23, 2015, photo by NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory

In Great Lakes Total Ice Cover Nears 85% NOAA reports:

The NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory is showing total ice cover of 84.4% as of February 22, 2015, well above the long term average and closing in on last year’s mark of 92.5% coverage on March 6, 2014. In this image, Lake Erie is a vast white plain, joining Lake Huron and Lake Superior with coverages above 90% and only small areas of open water. This image was taken by the Suomi NPP satellite’s VIIRS instrument around 1803Z on February 23, 2015.

Click through to see it big as the Great Lakes and see more photos of the Great Lakes from high above if you click the “Great Lakes” keyword.

PS: Follow @NOAA@NOAA_GLERL & @NOAASatellites on Twitter for lots more great images!

173316390006

173316390006, photo by Steve Swartz

Just love this shot. It’s always good to remember that we get to go back to this before too long…

View Steve’s photo background bigtacular and see more in his Vivitar slideshow.

More summer wallpaper and more camera fun on Michigan in Pictures.

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