Archive for February, 2014

20
Feb
14

An ice age for the Lakes?

What’s that headline about? Well, with such a cold Winter so far, and a month to go, the Great Lakes are near record levels as far as ice surface coverage, about 88% overall. A brief warm up won’t dent it, and in fact, another (one final?) arctic plunge could put the Lakes up close and personal with record ice coverage before February is out.
http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20140217/great-lakes-nearing-record-ice-more-winter-ahead

And this also goes into the file regarding a late Spring…
We are now within a month of calendar Spring, and while my November forecast stands…(no early Spring……it’ll be cold and even snowy, through much of April)…I thought you might like some numbers on the Winter, so far. December was only 1 degree below mean, and within an inch of average snow, so that’s pretty normal. January, the pendulem swung, temp-wise, ending up a full 4 degrees below average, which is a lot. It didn’t (yet) result in more snow, as we came in at 19″, about 5″ below avg. February so far, is the most of both worlds, with 23″ of snow already (4″ over average, with 10 days to go), and temps WAY below average, at about 16F for the mean, vs the average of about 23F. Even with the warm up underway, it will get just as cold again next week, making the warm up a wash…so to speak…in terms of affecting February towards the positive. So, with March to go, it appears that the best call for Winter 2013-14 was for temps well below average (I forecasted slightly above, esp at night), and snow near average (which was my forecast). I’m happy with my forecast…it was a nearly average start to Winter, the snow will probably be on target, and it won’t be an early Spring, so it appears the only error was on overall temps.

Cold temps

Cold temps

11
Feb
14

Have you ever seen anything like this? (Not around here!)

I subscribe to a bevy of articles on line and on paper, related to weather, because it is both interesting, and provides material for you the viewer. (I probably read 10 articles and only post about one, so most of them are culled out because you would find them valuable only to help you get over insomnia.) Be that as it may, this was really neat. It is the effect of the cold and the Lakes to the west of us, particularly over the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I would tell you more, but it will only take away from the pics and the article. I would like to see this for myself…and I suspect after reading this, you will agree for yourself!

http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_25043097/lake-superiors-freezing-weather-is-making-amazing-ice

01
Feb
14

Are all snowflakes different?

I get questions about whether they are all different, I get questions on how/why they change shape.
The short answer to those is, with billions of flakes falling, they can’t ALL be different. And for the second, the colder the air, the more conservative the shape…till you get to “needles” or even “grains”. In any case, here’s an article on snowflake shapes…makes for a brief, interesting read.
http://www.redandblack.com/uganews/science_health/she-blinded-me-with-science-are-snowflakes-really-all-different/article_68c0b4fc-7bec-11e3-a3b4-0019bb30f31a.html#.UtUw97YB-sA.twitter
snowflake shapes