Climate and Weather

This is a radar screenshot at 4:30 this morning – not generally what one would see in mid April.  Our winter weather advisory for Allegan county expired as nothing really happened here however it remains in effect for Oceana, Newaygo, Muskegon, Montcalm, Ottawa, Kent, Ionia counties until 10am.

There are recorded wind speeds in Iowa and Nebraska of 58 to 63 mph and hail covering the ground in many locations in Kansas and Nebraska along with the snow.

By mid-morning on Wednesday, Mud Butte, South Dakota, had reported 18 inches of snow. In nearby Red Elm, 15 inches of snowfall had been reported, but high winds there were reportedly causing snowdrifts of 4-5 feet. An astonishing 107-mph wind gust was recorded in Pueblo West, Colorado.

Transportation officials closed Interstate 29 from east central South Dakota to the North Dakota border, as well as a 270-mile (434-kilometer) section of Interstate 90 between Rapid City and Mitchell, South Dakota.

Nothing like this for us (thankfully).  We have a marginal risk for storms tonight in SW Michigan mostly for some wind and hail.  You can follow all of this on the front page below the blog postings on the weather app.

 

What is the difference between weather and climate?

Weather is the day-to-day state of the atmosphere, and its short-term variation in minutes to weeks. People generally think of weather as the combination of temperature, humidity, precipitation, cloudiness, visibility, and wind. We talk about changes in weather in terms of the near future: “How hot is it right now?” “What will it be like today?” and “Will we get a snowstorm this week?”

Climate is the weather of a place averaged over a period of time, often 30 years. Climate information includes the statistical weather information that tells us about the normal weather, as well as the range of weather extremes for a location.

We talk about climate change in terms of years, decades, and centuries. Scientists study climate to look for trends or cycles of variability, such as the changes in wind patterns, ocean surface temperatures and precipitation over the equatorial Pacific that result in El Niño and La Niña, and also to place cycles or other phenomena into the bigger picture of possible longer term or more permanent climate changes.

Synoptic ChartSynoptic Chart Key

Example of a synoptic chart for 28 August 1980. —Credit: M. Serreze and R. Barry (1988).

Forecasting weather and predicting climate

Weather forecasters try to answer questions like: What will the temperature be tomorrow? Will it rain? How much rain will we have? Will there be thunderstorms? Today, most weather forecasts are based on models, which incorporate observations of air pressure, temperature, humidity and winds to produce the best estimate of current and future conditions in the atmosphere. A weather forecaster then looks at the model output to figure out the most likely scenario.  The accuracy of weather forecasts depend on both the model and on the forecaster’s skill. Short-term weather forecasts are accurate for up to a week. Long-term forecasts, for example seasonal forecasts, tend to use statistical relationships between large-scale climate signals such as El Niño and La Niña and precipitation and temperature to predict what the weather will be like in one to six months time.

Climate predictions take a much longer-term view.  These predictions try to answer questions like how much warmer will the Earth be 50 to 100 years from now? How much more precipitation will there be? How much will sea level rise? Climate predictions are made using global climate models. Unlike weather forecast models, climate models cannot use observations because there are no observations in the future.

Arctic climate

Like other places on Earth, the weather in the Arctic varies from day to day, from month to month, and from place to place. But the Arctic is a unique place for weather and climate, because of the special factors that influence it. Sunlight is perhaps the most important of those factors. Above the Arctic Circle, the sun disappears in the winter, leaving the region dark and cold. What light does reach the region in the winter comes in at a low angle. In summers, the sun shines around the clock, bringing warmth and light. The Arctic also experiences frequent inversions. Inversions occur when cold air settles close to the ground, with warm air on top of it. Inversions separate the air into two layers, like oil and water: this tends to slow down the winds close to the surface. Over cities, inversions can trap pollutants, creating smoggy conditions that last until the inversion clears.

Inversion Layer from Airplane

Photo of an inversion layer. —Credit: Willie Angus.

Scientists separate the Arctic into two major climate types. Near the ocean, a maritime climate prevails. In Alaska, Iceland, and northern Russia and Scandinavia, the winters are stormy and wet, with snow and rainfall reaching 60 cm (24 inches) to 125 cm (49 inches) each year. Summers in the coastal regions tend to be cool and cloudy; average temperatures hover around 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit).

Away from the coasts, the interior regions of the Arctic lands have a continental climate. The weather is dryer, with less snow in the winter and sunny summer days. Winter weather can be severe, with frigid temperatures well below freezing. In some regions of Siberia, average January temperatures are lower than -40 degrees Celsius (-40 degrees Fahrenheit). In the summer, the long days of sunshine thaw the top layer of permafrost and bring average temperatures above 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit). At some weather stations in the interior, summer temperatures are warmer than 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit).


 

234 total views, 2 views today

64
Leave a Reply

avatar
34 Comment threads
30 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
10 Comment authors
*SS*Mr. NegativeRocky (Rockford)Barry in ZeelandSlim Recent comment authors
newest oldest
INDY
INDY

39* degrees out at thee YARDofBRICKS NE GR Friday morning I thought someone said 60’s today??? Love the thunder and lightning though a cold thunder and lightning lol..INDY!

Mark (East Lansing)
Mark (East Lansing)

Reached 50° here with lots of sun. Chill wind, but a nice rebound from the white stuff in the morning.

Barry in Zeeland
Barry in Zeeland

39 is warmer than our average low of 36. Very mild night last night.

Andy W
Andy W

Rocky and his buddies snowshoeing in Rockford this morning!

comment image

Andy W
Andy W
Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)
Andy W
Andy W

Another 8 inch prediction from you?? It was so close today! Those models are so accurate in predicting snow amounts!

Andy W
Andy W

Rain, wind and upper 40’s tomorrow! Perfect Rocky weather! INCREDIBLE!!

Andy W
Andy W

Hold on, gotta put the snowshoes back on to go out and clean up some limbs that fell down in my yard, I’ll be right back!

Andy W
Andy W

Get ready, get the AC dusted off for May because it’s gonna be a hot one again!!

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

Give me a temp around 20 degrees with heavy snow anyday!

Andy W
Andy W

Glad there are none of those days til January coming up!! Just 80’s and 90’s coming in May! Just the facts!

Andy W
Andy W

These Rocky days are so nice!! Cold, wind, rain, so nice to enjoy the outside on these days!!!

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

Here we go – the latest cpc is trending with below normal temps deep into the month of April! Will this be the fourth month in a-row with below normal temps? The cool trend just keeps rocking!

Andy W
Andy W

Keep it coming!! Looking forward to the bounce back 80’s and 90’s in May!!! AWESOME!! Looking forward to the above normal summer temps after a cool winter!

Andy W
Andy W

Enjoy the short cooldown while it lasts, 80 & 90’s coming in May just like last year!! WHO KNEW???!?!?

Andy W
Andy W

I just got done snowshoeing in the grass in my backyard! Just like Rocky did this morning in his yard! Not sure what fun that is though, since according most information I’ve looked up in researching snowshoeing, Snowshoes function best when there is enough snow beneath them to pack a layer between them and the ground, usually at a depth of 8 inches (20 cm) or more.

Mr. Negative
Mr. Negative

Yep…as usual, March is deep into winter, and April is nothing more than late winter.

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

You know it! Summer weather lasts around 2 months around here and I am happy about it. Give me temps in the 70’s not 90’s!

Andy W
Andy W

Keep these cool temps coming in April! That will bring in the 80’s and 90’s in May!!! Just like last year!! BRING IT!!

Barry in Zeeland
Barry in Zeeland

Lot of good info again MV! You have posted a large amount lately, hope there’s not a exam coming!

*SS*
*SS*

Great comment!!! He must know the schools are testing this week. Lol.

Slim

The winds have pick up and now are gusting around 40 MPH and the temperature is now at 40 so yes there is a wind chill out there today. Yesterdays 0.6″ of snow fall is the 4th most for any April 10th in Grand Rapids recorded history GR also had the same 0.6″ back on April 10th 2016 the last time any April 10th had more snow was 1.0″ in 1961.
Slim

Mark (East Lansing)
Mark (East Lansing)

I.just spent $50 to fill up. That hurt. It’s been a long time that it has cost that much.

INDY
INDY

I grabbed gas last night at 2.70 I’m sure it’s up today and in May gas will be well over 3.00 a gallon not good ….INDY!

Mark (East Lansing)
Mark (East Lansing)

$2.99 everywhere here. 😤

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

Damp, cold and a wind chill of 23 degrees! It should be a great day for Barry to spend outside working! Ya right! Maybe Andy will be golfing today also!

Andy W
Andy W

Nope, tomorrow or Saturday, when it’s in the 50’s! Who knows, might make that short drive to Kentucky this weekend? Saw some great courses near Louisville last weekend as I was driving through! How was the snowshoeing and cross country skiing on that dusting of snow this morning?

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

I did break out the snowshoes this am and it was awesome! Not enough snow for skiing!

Andy W
Andy W

Lol!!! Snowshoes on 1/4 inch of snow!!! Guess I went snowshoeing too, I put my shoes on walked across my yard and put the trash out!

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

We had a good inch of snow up here! It was great!

Barry in Zeeland
Barry in Zeeland

Yes I did get work done outside today. Almost 3 hours of splitting logs. Pretty simple, put the splitter on the West side of the barn out of the wind and it was perfect. I sure as heck won’t be doing this once it gets over 70 out.

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

The perfect temp for outdoor work is around 50 to 55 degrees not a 23 degree windchill! 20 to 25 degrees is great for outdoor winter sports!

Barry in Zeeland
Barry in Zeeland

Not for me. I overheat way to fast doing hard labor. Today was perfect. And like I said, no wind chill at all if you set up on the downwind side of our barn. Not rocket science.

Mookie
Mookie

“Can you say BINGO for a snowstorm next week? It looks like golfing tomorrow and then snowshoeing next weekend! Absolutely INCREDIBLE!” Rocky on April 5th on the 0.6″ snowstorm LOL

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

And snowshoeing it was baby! The snow was incredible!

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

Just another typical cold, windy Spring day in west Michigan! Incredible!

Andy W
Andy W

Yep and it was a typical warm April weekend last weekend with plenty of Sun and Golf! INCREDIBLE!!

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

The models and snowfall forecasts were right on the money! Predicted about an inch for GR and little more just north and that is exactly what happened!

Andy W
Andy W

What about last weeks model that you based your prediction on of 8 inches of snow for the GR area?? I don’t think that was right on?? In fact most models last night were predicting 1 to 2 inches of snow for the GR area and even those were too high!

INDY
INDY

33* degrees out at thee YARDofBRICKS NE GR feels even colder with the wind chill yes wind chill in April reminds me of a February day in the middle of April…We also have another system coming Sunday that may give us more snow turning to rain …So long 60’s and 70’s for now cool and more of wet partten setting in…INDY!

Mark (East Lansing)
Mark (East Lansing)

Aaannddd…the snow is gone

Mookie
Mookie

I hope Rocky busted out his snowshoes for the 0.6″ of snow this morning that has already started to melt! This was the big snowstorm event he’s been talking about for over a week now. But GR is still above average for temps and below average for snow for April.

Slim

You do know that yesterdays 0.6″ of snow fall is the 4th highest snow fall for any April 10th in GR history right? And the last time GR had more then 0.6″ on any April 10th was way back in 1961 but you knew that too right
Slim

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

Keep the snow and cold facts coming! Great work Slim!

Mookie
Mookie

That doesn’t say much. It’s easy to make snowfall records at the tail end of snow season (Oct/Nov and April) even though no record was made today.

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

As usual you miss the point completely!

INDY
INDY

I’m thinking with another cool April on task we can say April is a transition month now! March was a full out Winter month lol..Its cold out at thee YARDofBRICKS 30* degrees..INDY!

INDY
INDY

Already see wood took there 60’s out of the 8 day forecast next week looks like a more raining and cool weather pattern coming … April showers bring May flowers ….INDY!

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

Who would have thought?

Mookie
Mookie

I still see 60’s in their forecast. They also bumped up tomorrow from the upper 40’s to the upper 50’s.

Slim

So far, this April has (it has only been 10 days in the record books) nothing out of the ordinary, to put things in prospective. The total snow fall this month has been 0.6” and there have been many Aprils in the past 100 years with just a trace of snow fall and only 4 (1998, 1969, 1925, 1922) were there was no snow fall. The coldest so far has been 19° well there have been 23 Aprils since 1918 that have gotten below 20 so no big deal there. The warmest so far this month is 74° well going… Read more »

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

Rock on Slim!

Slim

Here at my house I had just under one inch of snow fall last night. At GRR they reported 0.6″ of snow fall and now GRR has recorded .6″ for April, 805″ since March 1st and now GR is at 77.0″ for the winter in 2018/19 this is +2.8″ above average. The current temperature here at my house is 32 with a trace of snow on the ground.
Slim

Slim

When you look at the climate here in the mid latitudes. There can be big swings in the day to day weather. And big swings in the month to month weather and of course big swings the year to year weather. But as for the climate the changes are not easy to pick out. While the recent 30 year cycles have been warmer than some in the past but the general weather has stayed the same. In other words it still gets cold in the winter and it still gets warm in the summer. It is just that the trend… Read more »

Andy W
Andy W

Even with this colossal dusting of snow we got last night, we are still way below average for snow for the month of April and still above average in temps! Who knew?!?!

Andy W
Andy W

I’m going to continue my 36 straight weeks of golf this weekend!! BRING IT!!

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

Have fun golfing on Saturday with the temps in the upper 40’s and 30 mph winds. It should be a great time.

Andy W
Andy W

Just like you say, just bundle up and go out and enjoy the weather. Or take a short 4 hour drive south to Kentucky to get in some nicer weather! Right??? They have some great golf courses down there!

Mark (East Lansing)
Mark (East Lansing)

We received about a 1/2″ of snow with the consistency of wet cement. Very little on the paved surfaces. At least it will melt today. You should have heard our kids’ groans when they looked outside this morning.

Andy W
Andy W

Oh man! This trace of snow we got overnight is going to be so difficult to shovel this morning!! Another swing and a miss for the RDB!! Nowhere close to the 8 inches he predicted last week!

Mookie
Mookie

It was snowmageddon this morning I tell ya. Those models were way off again!

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

It is very nice to see more snow to add to our already above normal seasonal snowfall totals! What a winter! 16 weeks of skiing with below normal temps and above normal snowfall! What an incredible winter season it was! I love it!

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

It is a beautiful sight outside! Fresh SNOW!