Sunset Waterspout

Sunset Waterspout, photo by Kyler Phillips

The National Weather Service in Gaylord has a page on the Science of Waterspouts that says in part:

Dr. Joseph Golden, a distinguished waterspout authority with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), defines the waterspout as a “funnel which contains an intense vortex, sometimes destructive, of small horizontal extent and which occurs over a body of water.” The belief that a waterspout is nothing more than a tornado over water is only partially true. The fact is, depending on how they form, waterspouts come in two types: tornadic and fair weather.

Tornadic waterspouts generally begin as true tornadoes over land in association with a thunderstorm, and then move out over the water. They can be large and are capable of considerable destruction. Fair weather waterspouts, on the other hand, form only over open water. They develop at the surface of the water and climb skyward in association with warm water temperatures and high humidity in the lowest several thousand feet of the atmosphere. They are usually small, relatively brief, and less dangerous. The fair weather variety of waterspout is much more common than the tornadic.

Waterspouts occur most frequently in northern Michigan during the months of August, September, and October, when the waters of the Great Lakes are near their warmest levels of the year. Waterspout formation typically occurs when cold air moves across the Great Lakes and results in large temperature differences between the warm water and the overriding cold air. They tend to last from about two to twenty minutes, and move along at speeds of 10 to 15 knots.

Kyler caught this spout when checking out the storm front last Monday evening. View the photo bigger and follow Kyler on Instagram at KingKPhil.

April 16-22 is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Michigan

Storm’s Coming, photo by Tom Hughes Photo

This week (April 16-22) is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Michigan. mLive reports:

The Michigan State Police are asking residents to take part in a voluntary statewide tornado drill as part of the state’s Severe Weather Awareness Week. The drill is scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 19. Gov. Rick Snyder had declared Michigan’s Severe Weather Awareness Week from April 16-22. If severe weather occurs on April 19, the statewide tornado drill will be rescheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday, April 20.

Nearly all state of Michigan facilities are expected to participate, and businesses, organizations and individual residents and their families are encouraged to join in as well.

 

“Tornadoes can develop rapidly, with little or no warning,” said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. “Due to their unpredictable nature, we must be ready well in advance. We’re asking residents and businesses to take a few extra steps during the week to ensure they’re prepared.”

Tornadoes are especially prevalent in late spring and early summer, and the average lead time for tornadoes to develop is 10 to 15 minutes. In the event of a tornado, state officials recommend residents find the lowest place to take cover, take shelter under something sturdy, stay tuned to local weather broadcasts and watch for signs of a tornado, including dark skies, large hail, a large low-lying cloud and a loud roar.

Tom caught this spring storm rolling through last week at the Springfield Oaks Ellis Barn. View it bigger, see more in his Thunderstorms slideshow, and view & purchase work at Tom Hughes Photo.

More wild weather on Michigan in Pictures!

 

 

Fahrenheit Freakout

fahrenheit-thermometer

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 Vortex: Roll cloud over Lake Michigan

Vortex Cloud

The Vortex, photo by Nick Nerbonne

My corner of Northern Michigan was all abuzz last weekend due to a relatively rare meteorological phenomenon known as a “roll cloud.” Wikipedia’s entry on Arcus clouds explains:

An arcus cloud is a low, horizontal cloud formation. Roll clouds and shelf clouds are the two types of arcus clouds. A shelf cloud is usually associated with the leading edge of thunderstorm outflow; roll clouds are usually formed by outflows of cold air from sea breezes or cold fronts in the absence of thunderstorms.

…A roll cloud is a low, horizontal, tube-shaped, and relatively rare type of arcus cloud. They differ from shelf clouds by being completely detached from other cloud features. Roll clouds usually appear to be “rolling” about a horizontal axis. They are a solitary wave called a soliton, which is a wave that has a single crest and moves without changing speed or shape.

View Nick’s photo background bigscroll through his pictures on Facebook, and watch this time-lapse of the cloud…

Double Rainbow

Double Rainbow

Double Rainbow, photo by Your Hometown Photography 

I simply love Atmospheric Optics for nearly everything about lights in the sky. Regarding secondary rainbows or “double rainbows” they say that the secondary is nearly always fainter than the primary, with colors reversed and more widely separated:

Light can be reflected more than once inside a raindrop. Rays escaping after two reflections make a secondary bow.

The secondary has a radius of 51º and lies some 9º outside the primary bow. It is broader, 1.8X the width of the primary, and its colours are reversed so that the reds of the two bows always face one another. The secondary has 43% of the total brightness of the primary but its surface brightness is lower than that because its light is spread over its greater angular extent. The primary and secondary are are concentric, sharing the antisolar point for a center.

About this particular rainbow from April 2, 2016, Gerry writes: “Double rainbow from the other night after the storms. The weather in Michigan can change quickly, from rainbows to snow. Yep, that’s Michigan.” 

Indeed. View her photo bigger and follow Your Hometown Photography on Facebook for more.

More rainbows on Michigan in Pictures.

Whipped Up Waves for the Weekend!

Whipped Up

Whipped Up, photo by Terry Clark

mLive reports that big waves are expected for parts of Lake Huron and Lake Michigan this weekend:

High winds and an arctic air mass are set to hit Michigan this weekend, and gales are in the forecast for the Great Lakes as a result.

A gale warning for much of Lake Huron’s offshore waters, issued by the National Weather Service, is scheduled for 8 p.m. Saturday, April 2 to 5 a.m. Sunday, April 3.

Winds are expected to reach up to 41 mph from the northwest with gusts up to 53 mph. According to the warning, waves will build up to 13 feet tall with the potential for an occasional 19-footer. The largest waves in an area 5 nautical miles off shore and out are expected around 1 a.m. Sunday on Lake Huron.

If you want to tune in, check out NOAA’s Great Lakes Coast Watch and the Great Lakes Webcam page.

View Terry’s photo background big and see more in his Wintry Scenes slideshow.

More waves and more wild weather on Michigan in Pictures!

 

Back into the freezer, Michigan

Ice Palace Grand Haven Lighthouse

Winter Wonderland, photo by David Behrens

mLive meteorologist Mark Torregrossa says that severe & sustained cold temps plus heavy lake effect snow are coming to Michigan this week:

Most of the heavy lake effect this winter has come on a northwest wind. The lake effect this week will be brought by a more northerly wind. So the lake effect will fall closer to the Lake Michigan shoreline. The heaviest snow will likely fall in the far southwest corner of Lower Michigan from St. Joseph to Michigan City, IN and South Bend, IN. Also heavy lake effect should fall from Traverse City, Leelanau County and southward to just west of Cadillac.

The heaviest areas of lake effect snow should easily have 6″ of snow, with spots getting up to a foot of snow.

…No area will escape the deep cold. This cold snap won’t be like the other cold snaps this winter that only lasted a few days. This cold snap will start Tuesday and gradually get colder each day into next weekend. By the time temperatures bottom out this weekend, we’ll freeze with highs in the teens and low temperatures in the single digits above or below zero.

The wind will push wind chill temperatures down to -10° to -20° at times in the second half of the week.

David took this last winter at Grand Haven. Check it out bigger and see more in his Home Sweet Home slideshow.

More about the Grand Haven Pier Light along with a crazy photo of the waves that make these ice formations on Michigan in Pictures!