Surfs Up by Julie
While it seems crazy, winter, particularly November & December, are Michigan’s best surfing season. If you take a look through our photos of Michigan surfing, you’ll see that the biggest waves are the ones that come with snow & cold.
Julie took this on Sunday in Charlevoix when the temperature was a balmy 37 degrees. Head over to her Flickr for a shot of all five surfers who were out and see lots more in her Lighthouses gallery on Flickr.
November Gales by Kevin Pihlaja
WOOD-TV has a report on the high winds that ripped Michigan this weekend:
Peak wind speeds reached 68 mph in some areas, causing intense waves along Lake Michigan. Waves at the Ludington buoy peaked at 13.5 feet.
…According to the Consumer’s Energy power outage map, 27,704 were without power across the state as of 5:20 a.m. Monday.
Norton Shores was tops with gusts of 68 MPH, and it was blowing hard in Jackson (64), Grand Rapids (63) & Lansing (54). The Detroit Metro Airport in Romulus recorded a 61 MPH gust as well.
Kevin took this photo of waves on Lake Superior battering the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse on the Keweenaw Peninsula last November. See more in his Lake Superior photo gallery on Flickr.
Last night at a lake near you by Gary Syrba
If you live in Michigan, you probably enjoyed a pretty nice weekend! WOOD-TV Grand Rapids reports that record highs fell in Kalamazoo (75°), Grand Rapids (74°), Lansing (75°) and Muskegon (74°). The other locations on the map don’t have record data. Click on Detroit adds that Detroit toppled the previous November 7th record of 70 from 2016 with a high of 71. Daily records were also set at Traverse City (76°), Pellston (73°) and Gaylord (71°).
Gary took this photo at Grand Haven. No word as to whether or not their high of 76 was a record, but guessing it was close! Head over to Gary’s Flickr for more!
Ice Cave Sunset by Heather Higham
mLive reports that a La Niña weather system has officially developed & is likely to continue through winter:
La Niña is when the equatorial Pacific waters turn cooler than normal. If the cooler than normal water continues into the northern hemisphere winter, there can be some alteration to normal jetstream patterns.
…an average jetstream position south of Michigan with the center of an upper-level through over the Great Lakes brings an area of wetter than normal conditions to the Ohio Valley and southern Great Lakes. This area of wetter weather includes the southern part of Michigan.
So in looking at the general effects of La Niña on Michigan’s winter, we have in the past leaned toward colder than normal with some increase in snow amounts.
…Lower Michigan as averaging four to 12 inches above normal on snowfall during La Niña winters. The western half of the U.P. also shows a slightly above normal snowfall pattern during La Niña. The lake-effect snowbelts of northwest and southwest Lower don’t show an increase in snow, but do show normal amounts. Normal amounts of snow in the snowbelts is plenty of snow for snow-lovers.
More at mLive.
Heather took this shot of an ice formation on Lake Michigan at Elk Rapids back in January of 2015. See more in her ice formations gallery & definitely follow Heather on Facebook & @SnapHappyMichigan on Instagram!
More ice caves on Michigan in Pictures! <–trust me – some more awesome pics there!
Lightning on the Rails by Fire Fighter’s Wife
“It’s not a question of can or can’t. There are some things in life you just do.”
~Lightning Claire Farron
Just love these photos paired with quotations from Beth! For sure head over to her Flickr for more.
Electric & Perfectly Hectic by Snap Happy Gal
Heather says it was electric, and perfectly hectic which seems to me to be an apt description for Michigan’s wild 2020 ride.
See it bigger on her Facebook and definitely follow Snap Happy Gal Photography on Facebook and Instagram for more!
Bay City Blue Ice, photo by Great Lakes Drone Works
Great Lakes Drone Works captured some awesome shots from the ice on Saginaw Bay near Bay City. They write:
We made our way out to Bay City State Park to capture some images of these huge chunks of ice. At first we were hoping drone photos would be the way to go but after walking around and getting up close, it was clear that ground photography was the better option.
Blue ice occurs when weather conditions — such as a lack of high winds — allow water to freeze slowly and evenly, resulting in ice composed of large crystals (unlike snow, which is formed quickly and made up of small crystals).
When light hits these big ice crystals, it can travel deep into the structures (compare this to snow, wherein light hits a sharp edge and reflects off of it right away, resulting in blinding white). When the light travels deeper into slowly formed ice, some of the red wavelengths of sunlight — which is the longest wavelength of visible light — get absorbed into the ice structure.
The blue, which is the shortest wavelength of visible light, bounces back out, meet our eyes, and results in a deep aqua color.
Head over to their Facebook for more shots and get lots more icy goodness at the ice tag on Michigan in Pictures!
Green Blue Ice, photo by Charles Bonham
Apparently Charles is my go-to photographer for ice colors as his picture was used for my post about what makes ice blue or green a couple years ago on Michigan in Pictures. Then as now, I went to The Causes of Color to answer the question: What causes the blue color that sometimes appears in snow and ice?
As with water, this color is caused by the absorption of both red and yellow light (leaving light at the blue end of the visible light spectrum). The absorption spectrum of ice is similar to that of water, except that hydrogen bonding causes all peaks to shift to lower energy – making the color greener. This effect is augmented by scattering within snow, which causes the light to travel an indirect path, providing more opportunity for absorption. From the surface, snow and ice present a uniformly white face. This is because almost all of the visible light striking the snow or ice surface is reflected back, without any preference for a single color within the visible spectrum.
The situation is different for light that is not reflected, but penetrates or is transmitted into the snow. As this light travels into the snow or ice, the ice grains scatter a large amount of light. If the light is to travel over any distance it must survive many such scattering events. In other words, it must keep scattering and not be absorbed. We usually see the light coming back from the near surface layers (less than 1 cm) after it has been scattered or bounced off other snow grains only a few times, and it still appears white.
In simplest of terms, think of the ice or snow layer as a filter. If it is only a centimeter thick, all the light makes it through; if it is a meter thick, mostly blue light makes it through. This is similar to the way coffee often appears light when poured, but much darker when it is in a cup.
Click through for lots more about light & color!
Charles took this photo last week on Sand Point near Munising. Check it out bigger and head over to his Flickr page for a bunch more great shots of winter in the Upper Peninsula!
More winter wallpaper and more amazing ice on Michigan in Pictures.
Ice Cave Evening, photo by Mark Miller
via leelanau.com who write:
It’s a frosty 3 degrees in Leland with winds whipping powdery snow around and more single digits & high winds driving wind chills far below zero coming over the next couple of days. That’s not optimal for driving, and schools across the county are cancelled. It could, however, bring to life ice formations & caves on Leelanau’s western shore like we’ve seen several times in recent years.
They’ve got past ice cave articles and will be posting updates right here! The Freep reports that Michigan is bracing for potentially record-breaking cold this week:
A polar vortex is forecast to batter the Great Lakes and Midwest regions Tuesday through Thursday, with the lowest temperatures set to occur Wednesday. Some areas of Lower Michigan could face wind chills as low as 45 degrees below zero, according to the National Weather Service.
That would mark the most bitter cold in years for the region.
…The polar vortex is the large area of cold air and low pressure near each of the Earth’s poles. The air flows counter-clockwise near each of the poles, hence “vortex.”
“Many times during winter in the northern hemisphere, the polar vortex will expand, sending cold air southward with the jet stream,” the NWS explains.
Mark took this back in Mark of 2014. View the photo bigger and see more awesome shots in his Northern Michigan winters photo album.
Walking on Water, Michigan Style by Andrew McFarlane
Here’s a shot I took while standing on the amazingly clear ice on Lake Michigan’s Suttons Bay on last Saturday with my sweetheart! mLive liked it enough to share in their article about Grand Traverse Bay freezing over (Suttons Bay is a “sub-bay” of GT Bay – here’s a map):
“Back in the early to mid-1900s the bay froze 80-90% of the time,” said Heather Smith, Grand Traverse baykeeper for the center. “Around 1990, ice cover dropped to 20-30%.”
This winter is the eighth time Grand Traverse Bay has frozen over since 1990.
The frozen conditions likely extend far beyond Power Island, at least close to shore. Last weekend, ice boaters, ice fishermen and people walking their dogs flocked to the frozen surface of Suttons Bay for some winter fun.
Grand Traverse Bay is divided neatly by Old Mission Peninsula into its East Arm and its West Arm. Its East Arm runs north of Elk Rapids, while its West Arm includes the popular Power Island and extends to Suttons Bay. From there, the bay curves around the Leelanau Peninsula where it merges with Lake Michigan.
Happy Valentines Day everyone!!