Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan, photo by Frank Wulfers

What can you say about last weekend’s weather? The Elkhart Truth reports:

An Arctic cold front gripped Michigan on Sunday, sending temperatures plunging to minus 27 in the Upper Peninsula and minus 22 in the northern Lower Peninsula and shattering at least five record lows for the date.

The deep freeze came with an easing of the snow and windy conditions that forced a number of Upper Peninsula roads to close Saturday. At 6 a.m., state police announced the reopening of U.S. 2 between Manistique and Rapid River and Michigan 35 between Lathrop and Perkins.

“Both of the roadways closed yesterday and throughout the night due to inclement weather where snow and high winds were causing whiteout conditions,” the state police Negaunee post said in a statement.

…Overnight low temperatures Sunday fell to minus 27 at Newberry in central upper Michigan, the National Weather Service said. It said the low reached minus 22 at Pellston in the northern Lower Peninsula, while Detroit’s low fell to minus 7.

Authorities report record lows were set for the date in Ann Arbor, Flint, Grand Rapids and Monroe and at MBS International Airport in Saginaw County’s Tittabawassee Township.

View Frank’s photo from Cross Village background bigtacular and see more in his slideshow.

More winter wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.

PS: Thanks to Moshe Kasher who appeared at the Winter Comedy Festival in Traverse City for the Hoth joke!

Happy Frozen Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2015

Valentines Day Ice

Valentine on Ice, photo by GR2 Photography

Happy FROZEN Valentine’s Day everyone. If you’re like me, with highs predicted for today and tomorrow in single digits and lows below zero across most of Michigan, you’re probably wishing that Mother Nature would let it go!

What an eye from Greg, eh? View his photo bigger and see many more photos & follow him at GR2 Photography on Facebook. Also, if you want to stock up on cool Valentines for next year, click the pic and ask him about that!

More Michigan Valentine’s Day on Michigan in Pictures.

Solar Halo over Marquette Lighthouse

Welcome to the Smile High Club, photo by Lake Superior Photo

Today’s photo is one of the most incredible pictures I’ve seen. In addition to the Marquette Harbor Light and the frozen Superior shore, there’s a cornucopia of solar optics that fairly defies imagination.

Atmospheric Optics is a wonderful website, certainly the best I’ve found for describing solar phenomena in a clear and inspiring manner. Here’s a bit of decoding of what’s happening in the skies of Marquette yesterday, but definitely follow the links to explore. There’s so much information and some great photos too!

First, above the lighthouse, there’s a 22º radius halo:

…visible all over the world and throughout the year. Look out for them (eye care!) whenever the sky is wisped or hazed with thin cirrus clouds. These clouds are cold and contain ice crystals in even the hottest climes.

The halo is large. Stretch out the fingers of your hand at arms length. The tips of the thumb and little finger then subtend roughly 20°. Place your thumb over the the sun and the halo will be near the little finger tip.

The halo is always the same diameter regardless of its position in the sky. Sometimes only parts of the complete circle are visible.

There’s also a sundog, known also as parhelia or mock sun. These appear in the 22º halo, even when you can’t see the halo. You can see one at the visible base of the halo on the right:

They are most easily seen when the sun is low. Look about 22° (outstretched hand at arm’s length) to its left and right and at the same height. When the sun is higher they are further away. Each ‘dog’ is red coloured towards the sun and sometimes has greens and blues beyond. Sundogs can be blindingly bright, at other times they are a mere coloured smudge on the sky.

They advise you’ll see one or two a week if you look and if you click over you can learn about how they form & moon dogs.

Finally, we come to the circumzenithal arc (CZA), the upside down rainbow at the top:

…the most beautiful of all the halos. The first sighting is always a surprise, an ethereal rainbow fled from its watery origins and wrapped improbably about the zenith. It is often described as an “upside down rainbow” by first timers. Someone also charmingly likened it to “a grin in the sky”.

Look straight up near to the zenith when the sun if fairly low and especially if sundogs are visible. The centre of the bow always sunwards and red is on the outside.

The CZA is never a complete circle around the zenith, that is the exceptionally rare and only recently photographed Kern arc.

Read on for more, and definitely be sure to check atoptics.co.uk when you see solar & lunar phenonmena you’d like to know more about.

View Shawn’s photo bigger and join thousands of others in following Lake Superior Photo on Facebook … and on the Twitters. You can purchase this photo on the Lake Superior Photo website.

PS: Check out Dominic B. Davis’s photo of the solar halo in the morning too!

Nest Builder by Kevin Povenz

Nest Building, photo by Kevin Povenz

Kevin took this shot of a bald eagle building a nest in late December near the Grand River in Ottawa County. The State of Michigan’s page on bald eagles says (in part):

During Michigan winters, bald eagles are seen throughout the state (almost all counties), while they nest mainly in the Upper Peninsula (especially the western portion) and the northern portion of the Lower Peninsula. These eagles don’t really migrate, they just move south enough to stay ahead of the ice and congregate near open water. Immature birds may move further south.

When bald eagles reach maturity (at four to five years of age), they select a mate, with whom they probably mate for life. In captivity, they have been known to live to 50 years, but in the wild, they probably don’t reach much more than 20 years of age.

The beginning of the breeding season, from mid-February to mid-March, consists of the establishment of a territory, nest building and mating displays. The mating “cartwheel” display begins high in the air with the two birds darting and diving at each other, until they lock talons and drop in a spinning free fall, until the last possible moment when they separate. The nest is usually located in the tallest tree in the area, often a white pine or dead snag. They are usually made of sticks with a lining of grass and moss. Nests may be added to each year until they reach enormous sizes, up to ten feet in depth and 20 feet across.

Read on for more and have a look at this encouraging chart of the steadily rising number of eagle nests in Michigan. Also check out this page of bald eagle sightings in Michigan for ideas of where to look near you!

View it bigger on Flickr, get more pics of these eagles at his Grand River North Ravines tag and see more in his Birds of Prey slideshow.

More eagles on Michigan in Pictures!

resurrection

resurrection, photo by brian

The opening reception for the show Cardiovista: Detroit Street Photography takes place next Friday (January 16) from 5-7:30 at the University of Michigan Dearborn’s Alfred Berkowitz Gallery (in the Mardigian Library). The show features the work of Carlos Diaz, Bruce Harkness, Tom Stoye and Michigan in Pictures regular Brian Day. Click the link for details!

Brian took this shot of the reborn Cobo Center in 2012. View it bigger and if you’re in the metro Detroit area, I hope you get a chance to check out one of the most original and creative photographers I know in person! Also see his street photography at brianday.org.

Untitled

Untitled, photo by Scottie Williford

Hoping you see some cool sights and enjoy a great weekend!

View Scottie’s photo bigger and see more in his slideshow.

More clouds on Michigan in Pictures.

Storm over Munising

January 2, 2015

Munising, Mi. Lake effect clouds just off shore today.

Munising, Mi. Lake effect clouds just off shore today, photo by Thom Skelding

Winter has arrived across the state, just in time for 2015.

View Tom’s photo bigger and see more in his slideshow.

More weather and more Lake Superior on Michigan in Pictures!

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