Warm Wet Winter on tap for Michigan

Water Street During an Ice Storm by Mike McManaman

Water Street During an Ice Storm by Mike McManaman

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. 

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Riding out the storm on Poe Reef Lightship

Poe Reef Lightship LV62 riding out a storm on her station

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.

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The Weather & Fall Color

Mirror Lake in Autumn by Julie Chapa

Mirror Lake in Autumn by Julie Chapa

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.

Julie took this photo at a small lake near Fife Lake back in 2014. See more in her Michigan gallery & follow Julie Chapa Photography on Facebook.

TONS more fall color on Michigan in Pictures!

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Stormy September

September Storm by Watermark Photography

September Storm by Watermark Photography

Jeff got an incredible shot of a roll cloud from a recent severe storm in Traverse City. Follow Watermark Photography on Facebook & view and purchase canvas and other prints on his website!

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Baby Blue and Storms

Baby Blue & Storms by Jamie MacDonald

Baby Blue and Storms by Jamie MacDonald

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.

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Riders on the Great Lakes Storm

via leelanau.com…

Riders on the Storm by Mark Smith

Riders on the Storm by Mark Smith

Here’s a simply stunning shot by Mark Smith of a stormfront rolling over the Manitou Islands. Follow Mark on Instagram @downstreamer7 for more & view & purchase his work at Leelanau Landscapes Photography.

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As far as we know, July was the hottest

Fox Squirrels in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan by Corey Seeman

Fox Squirrels in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan by Corey Seeman

NPR reports that according to new data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, July was the hottest month ever recorded in human history:

“In this case, first place is the worst place to be,” NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad said in a statement. “July is typically the world’s warmest month of the year, but July 2021 outdid itself as the hottest July and month ever recorded.”

Spinrad said that climate change has set the world on a “disturbing and disruptive path” and that this record was the latest step in that direction. Research has shown the warming climate is making heat waves, droughts and floods more frequent and intense.

According to NOAA, last month was the hottest July in 142 years of record-keeping.

The global combined land and ocean-surface temperature last month was 1.67 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the 20th-century average of 60.4 degrees, the agency said. The previous record was set in 2016, and repeated in 2019 and 2020.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the land-surface temperature for July was 2.77 degrees hotter than average.

You can read more from NPR

Corey is definitely Michigan’s unofficial squirrel photography king. See a bunch more squirrels in his Project 365 2021 Gallery on Flickr & at the squirrel tag on Michigan in Pictures!

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Where there’s fire, there’s smoke

Smoke from Western Wildfires over Michigan by CMU Public Radio

Smoke from Western Wildfires over Michigan by CMU Public Radio

Although Michigan is not currently on fire, we’re dealing with the consequences of yet another crazy fire season in the West. Central Michigan University Public Radio shares that smoke from wildfires in Canada and the American West is starting to affect air quality in Michigan:

The smoke carries tiny particles of ash and soot called PM 2.5 — flecks of particulate matter that are less than 2.5 microns in diameter, or about one-thirtieth the width of a human hair.

Stephanie Hengesbach, a meteorologist with the state’s air quality division, said those particles are especially dangerous for people with heart or lung problems.

“Be aware of it,” she advised. “Levels are higher than typical this time of year. When you breathe, it can become trapped into your lungs. That’s why it’s so important that people that have lung or breathing issues really be aware.”

More from CMU Public Radio.

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That Michigan Vibe

Michigan Vibe by Heather Aldridge

Michigan Vibe by Heather Aldridge

Heather shares that she rode her bike to the pier in Frankfort for sunrise & was delighted with the Michigan cloud next to the bluff. That makes two of us Heather – WOW! 😍

Click the pic to view her photo on Facebook & here’s hoping you have a magical day!

Check out more Michigan amazingness on Michigan in Pictures.

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The Detroit Flood of June 2021

Detroit Flood by Camera Jesus

Detroit Flood by Camera Jesus

On Friday night as much as 7″ of rain fell in the city of Detroit creating a truly nightmarish situation as the New York Times reports:

Up to seven inches of rain fell early on Saturday in parts of Detroit and Wayne County, Mich., stranding hundreds of vehicles on flooded freeways and prompting the rescue of about 50 drivers, officials said.

“This isn’t normal here,” said Lt. Michael Shaw, a spokesman for the Michigan State Police. “Every freeway in the county had some level of flooding.”

By 3 p.m. Saturday, the authorities counted about 350 vehicles that had been damaged in the flooding.

“Some suffered some type of wire damage, some had water up to the top of their tires, some had it up to windows, and some were completely submerged,” Lieutenant Shaw said. “A lot of people thought they could make it through the water, but there was just no way.”

You can see some shots reader-submitted shots from across the city at Click on Detroit.

The photo was taken Saturday on I-94 aka the Edsel Ford Freeway by Joe Gall aka Camera Jesus. Click the pic for several more shots, follow him @camera_jesus on Instagram & for sure check out his website to view and purchase his work!

More Michigan flooding including the Detroit Flood of 2014 on Michigan in Pictures.

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