Winter’s smile

Grand Haven Lighthouse & Pier by Chris Ahern Photography

Grand Haven Lighthouse & Pier by Chris Ahern Photography

Chris’s photo of the Grand Haven Lighthouse from last weekend really shows the power of winds off the Great Lakes. You can click the pic to follow him on Facebook, and also see his pics on Instagram and view & purchase prints & calendars on his website.

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#TBT: Walking with the Icefoot on Agate Beach

Winter morning on Agate Beach by Gary McCormick

Winter morning on Agate Beach by Gary McCormick

Here’s a special Science Term Throwback Thursday from January 14th 8 years ago!

Ernest W. Marshall talks about a common winter feature along considerable stretches of Great Lakes shorelines, the Icefoot, a narrow fringe of ice attached to the coast:

Air and water temperatures must be sufficiently low before an icefoot begins to form. The conditions favorable for icefoot formation are broad open shorelines gradually sloping below water level, and facing so that wind-blown spray is carried inland toward the shore to freeze. The character of growth of an icefoot differs during different periods of the winter. During the course of the winter the icefoot may suffer periods of denudation alternating with periods of accretion. The development of an icefoot can be held at one stage by the early freezing of fast ice offshore. An icefoot can be composed of any combination of frozen spray or lake water, snow accumulations, brash, stranded icefloes, and sand which is either thrown up on the icefoot by wave action or is blown out from the exposed beaches.

Observations of the icefoot along the shorelines of Lakes Superior and Erie indicated that the moderately steep portions of the shore were characterized by narrow terraces composed of frozen slush and brash thrown up by storm winds. The outer edge of this icefoot was often cusp-like in form, resulting from the mechanical and melting action of the waves. The inner portions of the cusps acted to concentrate the wave action, forming blowholes which threw spray back on the icefoot.

You can click to read more.

Gary took this photo at one of my favorite places, Agate Beach on Lake Superior in Grand Marais. In the distance is Grand Sable Dunes & the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. See more in Gary’s Grand Marais Michigan gallery including a shot of a staggeringly huge ice mound & view and purchase his work at Footsore Fotography.

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Into the Icebox

Broken ice on Lake Michigan shoreline by Tom Clark

Broken ice on Lake Michigan shoreline by Tom Clark

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!! 

Tom took this back in February of 2018 near Mackinac City. See more in his Michigan Winter gallery on Flickr and view & purchase his work on his website.

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The Name of the Plow

snow plow - m 72 by Bill

snow plow – m 72 by Bill

WWJ 950 Detroit shares that last winter Nick Schirripa of the Michigan Department of Transportation, “put some feelers out” on Twitter, asking for help naming Michigan’s snow plows. A year later, all 330 of Michigan’s snow plows have new names.

You can check the plows out in realtime on the M-DOT map. The only one I found out & about this morning was Blizzard T Snowplow, listed as “applying material” way up on the Keweenaw Peninsula. Other names include Alice Scooper & Gordie Plowe, movie references like Darth Blader & Han Snowlo, and even “Control, Salt, Delete” for computer nerds.

Bill got this shot along M-72 along the border of Leelanau & Grand Traverse Counties in northwest lower Michigan back in 2018. See more in his Pics from the Car gallery on Flickr.

shoutout to @hksbks on Twitter for the heads up!

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An Ode to the Winter Solstice

An Ode to the Winter Solstice by Cherie

An Ode to the Winter Solstice by Cherie

“Winter is not a season, it’s an occupation.” — Sinclair Lewis

Sorry Winter, that’s all I got for you today!! Here’s hoping everyone enjoys the shortest day of the year today. Cherie took this photo way back in 2008 but I still love it! More on her Flickr.

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Surf’s Up … Again!

Surfs UpAgain by Julie

Surf’s Up Again by Julie

While the last weekend’s record winds were (and remain) a major headache for many Michiganders, there’s at least one group that’s all in favor of the current run of wild weather: surfers. Julie took this photo on Sunday & shares:

Yesterday woke up again to gale force winds. We clock 59 MPH here in town and the waves were churning again. I rode out north and there were 11 surfers. Never seen so many here. Temps rose to 59* and have never seen the likes. But the guys and girls out surfing were having a blast. I was talking to some and some drove over 50 miles to get here because of the way the waves were coming in. We still have so many that don’t have electric out and today it’s 26*. Lots of facilities open for them to come too.

I guess this is yet another reminder that every cloud may very well be someone’s silver lining. Head over to Julie’s Flickr for the latest & have a great week.

Head over to Great Lakes Surfing on Michigan in Pictures for lots more!

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The colors of the day are orange & white!

Snowplowing Fontinalis road by Laurent Fady

Snowplowing Fontinalis road by Laurent Fady

Much of northern Michigan received its first winter storm yesterday. While it was only 4-8″, the heavy & wet snow coupled with winds picking up to 40+ should make it a busy day for our friends in the orange trucks!

Laurent took this back in February of 2018. See more in his Snow & Ice gallery on Flickr & also view & purchase prints on his website.

Please take care on the roads today everyone!

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Michigan Morning Magic

Morning by Emanuel Dragoi

Morning by Emanuel Dragoi

Simply gorgeous photo taken earlier this week by Emanuel. Head over to his Michigan gallery on Flickr for more & have a magical weekend!

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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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Waterfall Wednesday: Lower Tahquamenon Falls

Lower Tahquamenon by Dan Gaken

Lower Tahquamenon by Dan Gaken

GoWaterfalling explains that Lower Tahquamenon Falls is part of:

…Tahquamenon Falls State Park on MI-123. It is on the map and is easy to find, but it is a bit out of the way. There are three sections to the park: the Upper Falls, the Lower Falls, and the rivermouth campsite.

The lower falls are a series of cascades, that go around a small island, with several drops in the 10 foot range. You can rent a boat and go to the island, and walk around and see more views of the falls. There is a campground near the lower falls, and a concession stand where you can buy ice cream, drinks and souvenirs.

There is a trail between the upper and the lower falls. It is 4+ miles, with some ups and downs, mostly through woods well above the river. The river is quite calm between the two falls, and there is not much rock to see.

I know that I just featured a photo from Dan of the Upper Falls, but this one from Saturday was too good to pass up! See more in Dan’s Michigan’s Upper Peninsula gallery on Flickr!

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