This pic of a kid deep in his vibes in Leland’s Fishtown from a decade ago is one of my all-time favorite photos. It’s also kind of perfect for news from mLive meteorologist Mark Torregrossa that Michigan (well southern Michigan at least) might hit 70 degrees multiple times next week! Mark offers the caveat that the problem with temperature forecasts in Michigan in April & May is that even light north winds can work with Lake Michigan or Huron to push cold air down the lake. Pretty cool article – check it out at mLive.
The possibly legendary southeast Michigan snowstorm fizzled, so in case you were fired up for it, here’s a “Throwback Thursday” to February 3, 2011. Russell writes Marquette Rail ran a plow extra after the 2011 blizzard that dropped over 2 feet of snow and 50+ MPH winds. Here it is seen busting through the crossing in downtown Grant.
See more in his Michigan gallery on Flickr.
mLive shared yesterday that the coldest air of the season is blanketing Michigan right now, bringing icy temps & dangerously cold wind chills, according to the National Weather Service:
“The coldest air of the winter so far is surging into our area this evening,” according to the NWS meteorologists in the Grand Rapids office. “This is (going to) be the big story for the next 36 hours, how cold it will be. Wind chills will mostly be in the 0-degree to -10 degree range into Tuesday morning. Lows Sunday night will be (between) zero and 10 degrees, and tomorrow we have a secondary surge of even colder air coming in during the afternoon. That will limit our high temperature to the mid-teens.”
…Wind chills are expected to be especially brutal in the U.P. They could drop to 30 degrees below zero near the Wisconsin border tonight and into Monday, the NWS said.
This morning’s Michigan temperature map agrees with a toasty 18 degrees in Detroit dropping to 10 in Mt. Pleasant, 8 by the Mackinac Bridge, -9 in Marquette & all the way down to -15 in Ironwood at the western edge of the Upper Peninsula. Bundle up kids!!
This past Sunday (Dec 11, 2021) was a very dark day in American meteorological history as tornados ravaged the middle south, killing at least 80 in Kentucky and visiting devastation on Arkansas, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee in what has become since 2020 a new seasonal threat.
While the Great Lakes State was spared the worst, mLive shares that Michigan was buffeted by winds topping 60 mph with gusts as high as 72 recorded at the Saugatuck Pier. While there’s no wind reading from the South Breakwater Light, the Muskegon North Breakwater Light clocked a reading of 68 MPH. Waveheads in the audience who want to know just how big the wave in this photo can do a little visual math with the knowledge that the North Breakwater Light is 52′ tall!
Jerry’s The Moods of Lake Michigan gallery makes it clear he has no problem getting out there to get the shot & has a couple more photos from Sunday including this shot of a wave nearly topping the 48′ south pier light.
The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued their 2021-2022 winter weather outlook for the US. The NOAA Winter Outlook covers December 2021 through February 2022 and notes that with the La Nina weather pattern, Michigan & the Great Lakes are expected to see warmer & wetter than average conditions. Head over to NOAA for more including weather maps.
Mike took this photo on Flint’s Water Street after an ice storm back on Christmas Eve 2014. See more in his Flint, Michigan gallery on Flickr.
Poe Reef lies just eight feet beneath Lake Huron’s surface between Bois Blanc Island and the Lower Peninsula mainland. Terry Pepper’s Seeing the Light shares the story of Poe Reef Lightship LV62, launched on this day in 1893:
In 1892 two contracts totaling $55,960 were awarded to the Craig Shipbuilding Company in Toledo for the construction of four lightships. Designated as Lightships LV59, LV60, LV61 and LV62, all four vessels were built to similar specifications. Framed and planked of white oak they measured 87′ 2″ inches in length, 21′ 6″ inches in the beam, with a draft of 8 feet. In a cost-cutting effort, the vessels were un-powered, outfitted with only a small riding sail carried on a short after mast. Equipped with a cluster of three oil-burning lens lanterns hoisted on their foremasts, each was also equipped with 6″ steam whistles and hand-operated bells for fog use. Work was completed on the four vessels the following year, and after sea trials, all four were commissioned by the Board and placed into service, LV59 being assigned to Bar Point, LV60 to Eleven Foot Shoal, LV61 to Corsica Shoal and LV62 to Poe Reef.
With the words POE REEF brightly painted in white on her fire engine red hull, LV62 was towed to Poe Reef by the lighthouse tender Marigold, and anchored on station to begin her vigil on September 29, 1893. For the next seventeen years LV62 spent every shipping season faithfully guarding the shoal. With the end of each shipping season, one of the lighthouse tenders would make the rounds of all lightship stations in the Straits area, and tow them into Cheboygan harbor for winter lay-up. While in Cheboygan, necessary repairs and improvements would be made in preparation for the following season. At some time in March or April, the ice would break up sufficiently to allow the vessels to be towed back to their stations to stand guard for yet another season.
Head over to Seeing the Light for more about Poe Reef Lighthouse & the stories of all Michigan’s lighthouses compiled by a champion for their preservation who has gone too soon.
In their excellent article on The Science of Fall Color, the US Forest Service explains the role of the weather in the annual seasonal show:
The amount and brilliance of the colors that develop in any particular autumn season are related to weather conditions that occur before and during the time the chlorophyll in the leaves is dwindling. Temperature and moisture are the main influences.
A succession of warm, sunny days and cool, crisp but not freezing nights seems to bring about the most spectacular color displays. During these days, lots of sugars are produced in the leaf but the cool nights and the gradual closing of veins going into the leaf prevent these sugars from moving out. These conditions – lots of sugar and light – spur production of the brilliant anthocyanin pigments, which tint reds, purples, and crimson. Because carotenoids are always present in leaves, the yellow and gold colors remain fairly constant from year to year.
The amount of moisture in the soil also affects autumn colors. Like the weather, soil moisture varies greatly from year to year. The countless combinations of these two highly variable factors assure that no two autumns can be exactly alike. A late spring, or a severe summer drought, can delay the onset of fall color by a few weeks. A warm period during fall will also lower the intensity of autumn colors. A warm wet spring, favorable summer weather, and warm sunny fall days with cool nights should produce the most brilliant autumn colors.
TONS more fall color on Michigan in Pictures!
One of the defining factors of Summer 2021 in Michigan is a four letter word: rain. In addition to being one of our warmest summers on record, it’s also been one of the wettest as the Detroit News reports:
Flint notched its third wettest summer with 15.84 inches of rain. Detroit took seventh with 15.28. Saginaw ranked eighth with 13.30.
Detroit’s total included the 2.73 inches recorded Aug. 12 amid severe storms that left more than 900,000 residents across the state without electricity, some for up to a week.
Although only one daily rainfall total was broken July 16, when 2.20 inches were recorded at Detroit Metro, at least four significant flood events doused the region this summer, the weather service said.
Among them was the June 25-26 episode that flooded thousands of homes, resulting in a federal disaster declaration.
The Traverse City Ticker adds that summer 2021 was the wettest ever for Traverse City & Gaylord with Gaylord, Alpena, and Sault Ste. Marie notching their hottest summers ever.
While the rain has been a major headache for many, as Jamie writes, the skies can get pretty amazing when storms come rolling through around sunset! See more stormy goodness in his Stormy Weather gallery. You can also check out his podcasts on photography & his photography workshops at Mirrorless Minutes.