Snowfall Season Update – When Will We Get Cold (Really Cold)


Grand Rapids added 0.9 ″ of snow on Saturday, bringing the season’s snowfall to 14.0 ″. That’s 76% of the average (18.5 ″). We have had 0.90 ″ less precipitation since November 1st. Also, it was warmer than average – December is 4.0 ° warmer than average, so our precipitation was more rain than snow.

You can see that there has been less snow in Lake Michigan, with Holland and Muskegon only receiving 6.5 so far this winter. There were a few times we had snow inland and rain or a mix by the lake because the lake was adding enough heat to the air to give these areas more rain and less snow.

There was more snow in our north. Alpena has had 22.6 ″ of snow so far this winter and it is 6.0 ″ above average. S. Ste. Marie picked up 44.2 and it’s 9.3 above average.

Caberfae ski area Saturday December 18

Most ski resorts in northern Lower Michigan and Upper Michigan were in full swing on Saturday. It’s Caberfae, just west of Cadillac – lots of people ski and snowboard there. They turned on the power and made snow. They have a base of up to 36 ″. They should be able to snow most or even every night this week and should be in good shape for Christmas through New Years.

Mont Ripley Saturday December 18

It was a photo. from Saturday at Mount Ripley in the UP Lots of snow here and a little blue sky to brighten up the day.

Stations in S. Lower Michigan (Bittersweet, Cannonsburg, Swiss Valley, Timber Ridge, etc.) should be able to get snow this week. We can hit 40 on Monday, but not 50 or 60, so they should be able to open soon.

Sea surface water temperature anomaly

The map above shows the difference in sea surface water temperature from the average. Blue corresponds to areas where the water temperature is cooler than average and yellow, orange and red indicate areas where the water temperature is warmer than average.

The water in the Gulf of Mexico and on the east coast is warmer than average. Air from the Gulf of Mexico pushes north and brings fairly warm and humid air into the central United States, fueling the storm systems that have created tornadoes and severe thunderstorms as far north as the southeastern Minnesota.

You can see La Nina – the relatively cold water along the equator in western South America. This is the second year of La Nina. What did La Nina produce last winter? We had a record total snowfall in Grand Rapids through January 30, just 13.1 ″. Then from January 31st to February 27th we had 32.7 ″ of snow. Seventy-one percent of our snowfall last winter fell in those four weeks. February was also 6 degrees cooler than average.

So don’t be surprised if it’s cold and snowing in here. I think it will happen and it will happen sooner than last year.

There is also a very large area of ​​cold water in southern Alaska. Alaska experienced record cold weather this winter. Juneau is 5.9 ° cooler than average so far in December. The anchorage was 7.8 ° colder than average in November and 7.0 ° colder than average for December so far. Nome was incredibly cold 13.9 ° above average in November and so far 6.8 ° above average in December.

Snow and ice cover in North America

This map shows areas with snow on the ground on Saturday morning. Snow in S. Lower Michigan was generally an inch or less. Notice how Vermont is covered in snow, but New Hampshire is not. Hudson Bay is freezing. There is a fair amount of snow in the western United States and the northern plains. The storm’s track was north of us, toward Lake Superior, which kept us on the warm side of these systems and gave us relatively warm temperatures and more rain than snow.

Extent of Arctic sea ice – national snow and ice data center

Here is the extent of the Arctic sea ice. The ice extent is well below the 1981-2010 average, but above the record low of winter 2012-2013.

Snow cover anomalies in the northern hemisphere 1966-Nov. 2021

The above graphic is from Rutgers Univ. Snow laboratory. We have had a dozen consecutive reports of above average snowfall.

Snow range – Northern Hemisphere end of November 2021

At the end of November, the area with snow cover in the northern hemisphere ranked 18th in 56 years of data. The extent of snow cover is indicated in thousands square kilometers.

ALSO: Full moon this weekend. The full moon in December is called the “Cold Moon” and is the moon that rises the highest in the sky. Mount Semeru erupted in Indonesia early Sunday, December 19, 2021. The height of the ash column observed rose to 2000 m above the summit (± 5676 m above sea level). Heavy frosts covered most of the Korean Peninsula and also the first snow in Seoul. Japan also had its share of snowfall in Honshu and the first frosts in Tokyo. Mount Fuji (3770m) has dropped to an icy temperature of -28.2C.

Weather forecast map for December 19, 2021

There is a marginal risk of a severe thunderstorm over the Florida Peninsula this PM / night. Single wind damage is the main threat, although a random tornado is possible.

AND: Nice day in Honolulu. Strong hurricane near Vietnam. Sunset over the Florida Keys. Bright rainbow.

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