Stratospheric Warming and Cooling

posted in: Michigan Weather Forecast, Slim | 40

Earlier this winter back when it was still mild in late December there was a sudden Stratospheric Warming event. While this event stated in late December it took until mid to late January for its effects to be felt here in the Great Lakes region. While the physics behind sudden stratospheric warming events are complicated, their implications are not: such events are often harbingers of colder weather in North America and Eurasia. Once the pattern change the pattern last form 4 to 8 weeks. That means the event that happened back in December is about to end. Sudden stratospheric warming events take place in about half of all Northern Hemisphere winters. Sudden stratospheric warming events occur when large atmospheric waves, known as Rossby waves, extend beyond the troposphere where most weather occurs, and into the stratosphere. This vertical transport of energy can set a complex process into motion that leads to the breakdown of the high altitude cold low pressure area that typically spins above the North Pole during the winter. During the ongoing stratospheric warming event, the polar vortex split in two, allowing polar air to spill out from the Arctic, as if a refrigerator door were suddenly opened.
Now fast forward to February 2019, During the early part of February a major stratospheric cooling event started. And yes, during a cooling event the has the reversed effect of a warming event and under the current cooling there should be a warming trend (spring) starting around the 10th of March or so. If that is the case look for it to become mild and wet starting in mid-March and lasting into April

Yesterday Indy asked if Grand Rapids ever had 60 MPH winds with blowing snow. Well here are the highest wind gust reported at Grand Rapids during the months of December thru March.

December the highest reported wind gust at Grand Rapids was on December 11, 1949 with a top gust of 66 MPH The high that day was 66 and the low was 34 so no blowing snow that day’

January the highest reported wind gust is a reported 73 MPH on January 10 1950 (looks like the winter of 1949/50 was a windy one)  The high that day was 53 and while the low was 23 no snow was reportd.

February just last year on February 25 Grand Rapids had wind gust of up to 56 MPH  but with a high of 48 and a low of 34 there was no snow. The record wind gust for February is 11. 1999 The high that day was the record high for the month of February at 66 there was no snow on the 11th but there was 3.9” of snow on the 12th so not sure if there were high wind guest during that snow event.

March the highest wind gust for March was 71 MPH on March 30, 1982 The high low that day was 58 with a low of 39 so no blowing snow that day.

My best guest is that there has not been a day at Grand Rapids with 50 MPH winds with blowing snow.  Now that is not the case up in Bay City where there were snow storms with 50 to 60 MPH winds in 1967, 1973, and 1978.

Slim

Slim

537 total views, 3 views today

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Sandy (Hudsonville)
Sandy (Hudsonville)

MV I like the ticker tape you added. 🙂

Sandy (Hudsonville)
Sandy (Hudsonville)

Great post Slim! Alot of great information.

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

If you like cold and snow then check out this latest cpc outlook! Incredible!

comment image

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

The latest short, mid and long range snow chances look great! Bring it!

https://www.instantweathermaps.com/GFS-php/conussfc.php?run=2019022318&time=PER&var=ASNOWI&hour=384

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

Blizzard warnings have been posted for the counties just north of Kent county! Who would have thought? Get prepared now!!!!!!

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

Breaking weather news>>>>>> the latest NAM model hammers Kent county with lake enhanced snow!

http://wxcaster.com/gis-snow-overlays2.php?STATIONID=GRR

Mark (East Lansing)
Mark (East Lansing)

Wow that went from 5 or more inches for me to nearly nothing in just 24 hours.

MichaelV

Here is the wind outlook for tomorrow for Allegan County –
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Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

Crazy!

*SS*
*SS*

Yikes!!!

INDY
INDY

Blizzard Warnings are coming …Stay tuned .INDY

MichaelV

These will be updated in the ticker as they go up – warnings are now in place…..

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

There will definitely be blizzard warnings in the UP and let’s hope for blizzard conditions right here also!

Barry in Zeeland
Barry in Zeeland

With major power outages a real threat, and trees falling on peoples houses, why on earth would you ever hope for that??

Jeff(Portland)
Jeff(Portland)

I know right ..

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

So you think that my comments will make the weather happen? Give me a break!

Barry in Zeeland
Barry in Zeeland

Nope, never said that. I was only questioning why anyone would hope for those conditions when there will already be lives at risk.

INDY
INDY

Good grief Rocky was just giving his thoughts … Some people are not happy ..lol INDY..

Barry in Zeeland
Barry in Zeeland

So giving thoughts about life threatening conditions about hoping for even worse conditions is supposed to make people happy? Not the way most people think.

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

The nws went with a high wind warning for Sunday, personally I would have gone with a winter storm warning due to the snow, blizzard conditions and very poor visibilities!

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

Indy has been all over this storm and he is 100% correct. We will have blizzard conditions tomorrow or near blizzard conditions and I suspect a little more snow than the nws is forecasting! The latest RDB model gives GR 2 to 4 inches by Monday evening! Who would have thought?

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

Forget Spring! Check this out! Also the cpc continues to show cold temps at least through 3/9 and maybe longer! I love it when winter hangs on well into March or early April!

http://wxcaster.com/gis-gfs-snow-overlays.php?STATIONID=GRR

Mr. Negative
Mr. Negative

A cold, very windy day with light snow. Sounds like February in MI, and clearly not our worst day. Currently hoping for the impossible…that MI will be able to experience “milder” temperatures by June. Fingers crossed.

Sandy (Hudsonville)
Sandy (Hudsonville)

🙂

*SS*
*SS*

MV… The ticker at the top is so COOL!!!!

Mark (East Lansing)
Mark (East Lansing)

👍

INDY
INDY

Great write up as always Slim.. I’m thinking records will be broken tommorow I see the NWS up there snow fall totals in there discussion this morning 1-3 some 4 inches of snow now I would think with blasting winds coming across a warmer lk Michigan bound to have some good old lk effect snows blizzard conditions not out of the question Sunday. I’m still thinking Winter storm warnings coming this afternoon probably top 3 maybe 4 storms with pressure dropping when it bombs out over Michigan prepare now…This storm is opening the door to a cold week ahead probably… Read more »

Mark (East Lansing)
Mark (East Lansing)

Great post! Who needs a groundhog when we have Slim??

INDY
INDY

Thumbs up!! I hope we don’t lose power and miss the big game tomorrow… INDY!

*SS*
*SS*

It is fun to read this and learn something all the time on the site. Thanks!!!

Mark (East Lansing)
Mark (East Lansing)

I second that.

MichaelV

Thanks Slim – now that the fridge door is closed we can look forward to more tolerable conditions in the coming weeks. It will be interesting to see if stormy patterns continue to transport over Michigan which could bring an active season for Skywarn spotters late March into April. Currently from the NWS in regards to tomorrows Winter Storm Watch: Damaging wind gusts of 50 to 60 mph possible Sunday. Rain showers change to snow showers Sunday afternoon and continue Sunday night. Temperatures drop into the 20s Sunday afternoon and into the teens Sunday night. Snow accumulations of 1 to… Read more »

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

Hard to believe people are still talking about below normal snowfall and fantisizing about Spring! We have a ton of winter left and check out the 16 day snow map! Can you say incredible mid winter like conditions on the way?

https://www.instantweathermaps.com/GFS-php/conussfc.php?run=2019022306&time=PER&var=ASNOWI&hour=384

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

Check this out! Snow, snow and more snow!

http://wxcaster.com/gis-gfs-snow-overlays2.php?STATIONID=GRR

INDY
INDY

ROCK n SNOW will never die..INDY!

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

I like it!

Barry in Zeeland
Barry in Zeeland

With only a few days left in meteorological Winter, after today GR will be about 6 inches below normal snowfall for the season. I’m still curious as to how many rain/freezing rain events we’ve had compared to snow events. We have had a lot of rain this Winter!

Barry in Zeeland
Barry in Zeeland

Good read Slim! Looking forward to the impacts from the stratospheric cooling earlier in the month! Its felt like early Spring this week with all the sunshine and mild temps, and now this weekend with really mild temps and thunderstorms on the way.