Wednesday’s windstorm leaves Southeast Michigan powerless

Storm Damage, Ferndale Michigan, photo courtesy DTE Energy

The Detroit Free Press reports that millions of people in Michigan lost power in yesterday’s crazy winds and many are still without power:

A barrage of high winds Wednesday cut power to a record 700,000 DTE Energy customers and 290,000 customers of Consumers Energy across southeast and south-central Michigan, utility officials said.

A number of customers had been restored by about 10 p.m., bringing DTE’s outage number down to about 650,000 and Consumers’ down to 210,000.

…The total number of customers equates to an even higher number of people because the utilities’ term “customer” refers to electric meters, not individuals. “During the height of the storm, we were seeing 1,000 customer outages a minute,” said Randi Berris, a communications manager for DTE Energy.

As utility crews from Michigan began 16-hour shifts, and crews from four other states were due to arrive around dawn Thursday, families in the dark faced forecasts of possible snow and sliding temperatures for southeast Michigan, with a low of 12 predicted in Detroit by early Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.

Across the region, as winds clocked as high as 68 m.p.h. at Metro Airport, the weather knocked down even more trees and power lines than usual because the ground, instead of being frozen at this time of year, was soft and super-saturated with this winter’s unusually heavy rains, DTE Energy said.

View DTE’s photo bigger on their Facebook and thanks to the crews from both companies and elsewhere for their hard work – stay warm everyone!

Sturgeon Bay Outhouse & Winter Cabin Camping at Wilderness State Park

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Sturgeon Bay Outhouse, photo by David Clark

We’re going to let David Clark of one of my favorite blogs, Cliffs and Ruins, take over today’s post. He writes:

The most scenic walk to an outhouse award goes to Sturgeon Bay Cabin at Wilderness State Park, where this line of wind-blown cedars escorts you to the potty.

I took this photo on the 2nd day of my snowshoe adventure at Wilderness State Park in December 2016, after a heavy snowfall the night before. I enjoyed 3 days of spectacularly good snowshoeing and utter solitude. Read more at my blog: Winter Cabin Camping at Wilderness State Park.

I really encourage you to check out David’s post for photos and a great account of his visit to Wilderness State Park which is located on the northwest shore of the lower peninsula, to the west of the Mackinac Bridge. This is an adventure I really hope to take!!

View David’s photo background bigtacular and see more in his Wilderness State Park 2016 slideshow.

Michigan’s Lake Effect Snow and the Ice Beast of the Frozen Tundra

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Ice Beast of the Frozen Tundra, photo by Mark Miller

As Michigan deals with the first winter storm of the season, it’s a good time to brush up on how Michigan’s lake effect snow machine works with a nice video (below) from mLive chief meteorologist Mark Torregrossa who writes:

The areas hit by lake effect are called snowbelts. Some parts of the snowbelts typically get much more snow than other parts. This is because some locations get lake effect from multiple wind directions. Good examples are in the heart of the northwest Lower Peninsula snowbelt. Mancelona and Gaylord get heavy lake effect with northwest, west and slightly southwest winds. Also, the Keweenaw Peninsula, sticking out into Lake Superior, can get lake effect snow from west winds to north winds to northeast winds. That’s why they often shovel over 200 inches of snow in Houghton, MI.

The opposite is true for Grand Rapids and to some extent, Traverse City. Grand Rapids needs a west to southwest wind for heavy lake effect. West winds are common in winter, but don’t tend to last for more than 12 hours. That’s why Grand Rapids often gets only 12 hours of heavy lake effect and a few inches of snow. The wind then veers to the northwest and areas around Holland and Allegan get buried. Downtown Traverse City has a hard time getting heavy lake effect also. Traverse City needs a north-northwest wind to straight north wind for the heaviest lake effect to move into downtown. That wind flow does happen, but it only lasts 24-48 hours a few times each winter.

Thanks to another Mark, Mark Miller, for today’s photo of the Ice Beast of the Frozen Tundra aka Major. View the photo bigger and see more in his “Major” slideshow.

Here’s Mark Torregrossa’s video:

Sunset on Michigan’s “November Summer”

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Port Austin Sunset, photo by Sarang Patki

While the implications of it are not good for the long term, there’s no denying that we’ve had a truly incredible run of warmth this November. The Detroit News reports that a new November 18th record high of 71 degrees was recorded yesterday at Detroit Metro Airport. Today however, temps there are barely expected to get above 40 with strong wind and rain. Elsewhere in Michigan:

Waves in the Lake Superior are forecast to reach 22 to 33 feet in Lake Superior between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. Saturday.

Northern Michigan is set to receive strong winds and snowfall in places such as Gaylord could accumulate, according to NWS. “The combination of gusty winds and snow will create near white-out conditions at times Saturday afternoon and evening, especially in lake-effect areas off Lake Michigan and Lake Superior,” the NWS says in a statement on its website.

The Thumb area of Michigan is also in for severe weather. Port Hope, off the coast of Lake Huron, will see ongoing rain and snowfall. Waves will be up to 12 feet on Saturday night and could possibly hit 16 feet on Sunday. A gale warning is in effect from 1 a.m. Saturday to 4 a.m. Monday.

It was fun while it lasted I guess and I hope you stored up plenty of Vitamin D and sunny feelings!

Sarang says that it was totally worth stopping at this roadside park near Port Austin for a sunset pic over Lake Huron – I quite agree! View the photo bigger and catch another shot from this beach and more in their slideshow.

More beaches and more Lake Huron on Michigan in Pictures.

Fahrenheit Freakout

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Fahrenheit, photo by Eric

WILX-Lansing says that temperatures are expected to climb to the upper 60s to near 70 degrees today in Lansing and Jackson where the record high temperature today for both is 69 degrees. According to the forecast from the Weather Underground, Detroit will also flirt with today’s record high of 70 set on November 18, 1953. If you’re curious, you can head over to Wunderground’s history page and enter your city or town.

And of course we are headed for yet another global record high temperature in 2016.

View Eric’s photo bigger and see more in his Belle Isle slideshow.

More Michigan weather on Michigan in Pictures.

 

 

The Gales of November

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When the winds of November come early, photo by Curt Saunier

Never will I ever not share this incredible Edmund Fitzgerald video by Joseph Fulton on November 10th. Simply wonderful:

View Curt’s photo bigger and see more in his The Skies slideshow.

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God Rays on Saginaw Bay

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God’s Rays over Saginaw Bay, photo by Tom Clark

Awesome shot from one month ago on Saginaw Bay! View Tom’s photo bigger and see more in his Skyscapes slideshow.

More from Saginaw on Michigan in Pictures.