When I went into work last night, I thought the main issue was on the front end of the storm. This is what happens when you don’t watch what is going on for a couple of weeks. As it turns out, even though we had some freezing rain and some high winds, the real excitement looks to be on the back end of this storm, as I awoke, with some moderate snow and very high winds.
Things that I know at the moment from Twitter and Facebook:
Here’s the snapshot of the current conditions around the Upper Great Lakes…Looking over the graphic, it shows wind gusts miles per hour, so with a lot of the gusts in the mid 30 mph range, it has been rather windy. At 830 am, the office issued a Public Information Statement showing the wind gusts overnight. Here are some of the top gusts…
LOCATION SPEED TIME/DATE
1 ESE BREVORT 60 1110 PM 02/20
4 NW BAY MILLS 60 0218 AM 02/21
3 NE PARKDALE 58 0600 PM 02/20
MACKINAW CITY 57 1200 AM 02/21
2 SSE WEST BRANCH 54 1010 PM 02/20
2 W ELMIRA 53 0745 PM 02/20
1 SE EMPIRE 53 1009 PM 02/20
CHIPPEWA COUNTY INTERNATIONAL 51 1135 PM 02/20
MANISTEE 51 1240 AM 02/21
1 NE WHITEFISH POINT 51 0112 AM 02/21
MANCELONA 50 0829 PM 02/20
1 WNW WATERS 50 0339 AM 02/21
^Use the scroll bar to see the time and date of the gusts^
The office has been advising people that the winds won’t be dying down until after midnight.
It figures. Just as I prepare to go back to work after a long break, I’m looking at starting back at work with this system Thursday night. It looks messy, and looking through the emergency managers’ webinar that we do, the weather does not look fun.
The Low Tracks map from WPC shows the idea of the low getting going and moving west of the state. This typically puts us into the warmer air. The positions of the low are in Zulu time or Universal Coordinated Time (UTC, yes UTC).
So Thu 00z is 7 pm Wednesday, 12z Thu it 7am Thursday, and 00z Friday is 7pm Thursday. We constantly convert back and forth between local time and zulu. The reason we use UTC is so that no one gets confused when data is sent out. With our 6 time zone that the US is in, and not to mention that the rest of the world uses our models, and we use other countries models and observations, we have to keep things somewhat coordinated.
Okay, so now that we have that out of the way, I took a snapshot of the one of the slides from the briefing to show what kind of timing for the weather is expected. Remember that these are general for Northern Michigan, and not specifics for any one place. Also, this was probably done off of the this morning’s model runs, and that the track may change and bring in a different evolution of weather than what today is showing. However, the fact that they are putting something out today on the Weather Story graphic says to me that there is some consensus in the models and the confidence at the office that this is what will happen.
The last thing that I will put into this post will be the Daily Hazardous Weather Briefing from the office.
Remember, if you have any questions, comment here or on my Facebook or Twitter streams…
This time of year for me is great! Well, I should qualify it a bit. For the winter time, these are the days that I love. We go from non-stop (pretty much) snow, to sunny skies, cold days and lots of white. I always enjoyed this time of year as a kid, and things haven’t much changed, except that I get tired of the snow/ice removal process. At 48, my body is a little weary of the constant lifting, and breaking of ice, especially with an older home.
However, the sunshine, and the snow on the ground couple, for me, into an expanse of white frostiness that I remember as a kid. When I was a kid, I loved these days because I could cross-country ski and wear sunglasses. So here’s to the sun (because the lakes are almost frozen)!
The low is now in southeast lower and the snow is beginning to diminish to the north. As the winds turn to the northwest, we will see some lake effect bands, but it will be light as drier air begins to filter into the Upper Great Lakes and the low continues to move to the ENE. This event is pretty much done.
Here’s what it’s looking like for with the system. I’ve overlaid the radar, observations, and Watch/Warnings/Advisories on the first map. The second is the typical pressure analysis with the fronts. The main thrust of the precipitation is mainly south of a line from Elkhart, IN, to Kalamazoo, to Lansing, to Flint. North of there, the snow is pretty light as of yet. Snow flake size here in Gaylord is small. So at this point, the snow probably won’t amount much over 2 or 3 inches when all is said and done.
The areas to watch out for are where the radar returns are green or better. If they stay there long enough, then they will get in on heavier amounts. Also, since the surface low is still in east central Illinois, there is still more precipitation to go, and the area to watch as far as northern Michigan is concerned will be that area that is in the Winter Weather Advisory from just south of Alpena, to around Houghton Lake. Since the low is expected to go through a portion of southeast Lower Michigan.
If you follow my Facebook or Twitter feeds, then you know that I was gone for the last week. If you are friends with me on Facebook, then you have seen some of the warmth of the Caribbean. Since I am still readjusting to the northern climate again, and cleaning clothes…
I wanted to get a post out. So here is a summary of the Watches/Warnings/Advisories currently out around Northern Michigan.
Starting in Upper Michigan: Western upper has a Wind Chill Advisory. Central Upper, along Lake Superior, has a Lake Effect Snow Warning. Mackinac County has a Winter Weather Advisory for Snow and Blowing Snow.
In Northern Lower Michigan: There is a Winter Weather Advisory for Snow and Blowing Snow. I put the radar and the observations on there so you can see the snow bands and that wind direction.
Ice (see map below) is causing some issues for the lake effect as the 9/10 to 10/10 median ice concentration(red areas) is now south of Beaver island is with the fast ice (pretty much solid coverage in the gray) in a good portion of Northern Lake Michigan north of Beaver Island. This is why the radar has limited amounts of snow bands. Notice also that most of Lake Superior is now with 9+/10 of ice coverage as well, another limiting factor.