The Robins Have Arrived

The Robins Have Arrived! It has been a long winter indeed here in Michigan, but the Robins and other springtime birds are arriving in full force. I have been fortunate to be in a location that seems to be a bit of a hot spot for Robin activity. Since much of the ground is still frozen for the most part (though that changes this week) worms are few and far between. However, the Robins have been feasting primarily on Crabapples. We have several Crabapple trees on the property, and they produced a bumper crop of Crabapples last Autumn. So many in fact, that the trees were weighted down by the extensive volume of the fruit! Even though I saw a few Robins in both January, and February, the largest number of them have been spotted within the last week or two of March. The American Robin is Michigan’s state bird. You can read all about the American Robin by Clicking Here. For many years, Robin sightings have meant the arrival … Read More…


West Michigan Snowstorm 2/17/14

GREENVILLE, MI – An area of low pressure developed in the plains, gathered strength, and tracked through Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, through lower Michigan, and on into the Eastern Great Lakes region. A large swath of snow left behind accumulations generally ranging from 4-7” across lower Michigan. Locally higher amounts were found in Central Lower Michigan. There was a convective element within the storm system which worked to enhance the snowfall across the area. Below is an animation of the national radar loop (click image to enlarge) you will see a darker green band through lower Michigan, which was one of the main convective bands. Illinois had thundersnow, but that instability just never quite made it to Michigan. The right image of is GRLevel3 which shows the echo tops in the left panel, and base reflectivity in the right panel. You can see the convectively enhanced snow band well. Higher cloud tops and higher dbz returns. Season Snowfall Stats: Holland 134.5″ | Muskegon 120.7″ | Grand Rapids 101.1″ | Kalamazoo 96.1″ … Read More…


Snow Squall Intercept 1/30/14

GREENVILLE, MI (1/30/14) – The day started out dry, and dare I say balmy, with a south wind and temperatures hovering around 30F. The US National Weather Service office in Grand Rapids, MI had placed west Michigan in a Winter Weather Advisory for the potential of accumulating snow, and deteriorating driving conditions in the afternoon and evening hours. There was a fairly potent shortwave approaching from the west. This system had some lift with it, and some moisture to work with. On radar, the snow squall line resembled that of a thunderstorm squall line as it approached the region. I saved images from GRLevel3 and NexLab which include radar, velocity, and a color enhanced infrared satellite image. Images are in animated gif format. The first one (left) shows the base reflectivity (0.5) where you will see a fairly uniform consistency of 20-30dbz returns. The second one (middle) is base velocity (0.5) and you will see the mesoscale banding taking place within the squall itself. These mesoscale bands did produce some … Read More…


Winter Solstice Snow/Ice Storm

GREENVILLE, MI (12/21/13 – 12/22/13) – A powerful storm system affected much of the eastern United States this weekend. This storm system was responsible for heavy snow, heavy ice accumulation, and severe weather, including a few tornadoes. The severe weather stayed south of us here in Michigan. However, we experienced freezing rain, sleet, and snow. Earlier in the week, we had freezing rain fall in the area, which made conditions hazardous. Ice had accumulated on the trees and power lines. Sidewalks, parking lots, and side roads were like skating rinks. We straddled the 32°F line at the surface for highs. The warmer air aloft was able to override the cold layer below, which resulted in a prolonged period of scattered freezing rain, and freezing drizzle. Some sleet and snow mixed in at times. Below are photos of the ice accumulations. As the larger storm system gathered strength to our SW, the moisture plume from it was already affecting us by late Saturday (Dec 21st). Below is an animated gif I … Read More…


Photogenic Showers + Time Lapse!

On October 19, 2013 I awoke to a patch of cumulus outside my window that looked somewhat photogenic. I drove to one of my favorite spots to better photograph them. Little did I know that I would be there for 2-4 hours snapping photos and recording videos for time lapse. Once the photogenic showers began, they just didn’t stop. One after the other, photo opportunities all around. Not only did I get to see rain showers, but I was also treated to a weak ragged shelf cloud along an outflow boundary. I was also treated to a large flock of Geese, and also several small flocks of Cranes. I did get photos of them, and videos too (videos of the Geese and Cranes will be posted at a later time. Look for them at THIS LINK). All in all it was a great day. The sunshine definitely played a role, more that just the destabilization, but also accented the scenes well. Below is a time lapse video of the rain … Read More…


Storm Chasing 2012 in Photos

I have put together a photo gallery containing all of the best images from my 2012 storm chasing season. The gallery is from newest to oldest, and begins in October. You will see all kinds of amazing stormy scenes in this set. Enjoy and feel free to share this entry! Click any image for a larger view. … Read More…


Another Beautiful Sunset (Time Lapse Video + Photos)

Back to back gorgeous sunsets on 8/8/13 and 8/9/13. What more could a photographer ask for? I was out riding my bike at the time. I didn’t have my tripod with me, so for the video I just steadied my camera on my bicycle’s seat cushion. The angle was actually pretty good at accenting the sunset, so I’m not disappointed. Photos and videos are below. I captured some pretty cloud scenes before the sunset as well. It was definitely great to experience. Feel free to share this article around! … Read More…


Beautiful Sunset 8/8/13

August 8, 2013 – I was treated to some nice cloudscapes, including an absolutely beautiful sunset. I decided to take the opportunity to capture things in a different light than usual. I was out riding my bike, and knew from looking at the approaching high clouds that the sunset would be quite a nice show. I rode up to one of my favorite spots in the country to capture what was to come. Slowly but surely the colors began to appear, and they became brighter, and deeper. I decided to go for many shots, including some new things like using my bicycle as a prop. I captured a photo I call “Cycling Dreams” and it has really taken off over on my facebook page. This photo is one of my favorites, because of all the emotions that come with it for many different people, from all walks of life. Cycling is a way to get back with nature, it is a way to stay in shape, to commute, to recreate, … Read More…


Heavy Rain, Rural Flooding, and Crocus Flowers

Flooding and Crocuses

After watching computer models like a hawk, forecasting and pinpointing until my brain was fried, and losing a ton of sleep, came today (Thursday). The SPC had us in a Moderate Risk. All signs pointed to high winds, hail, and tornadoes, except for a couple of minor details. Overnight (Wednesday into Thursday) more precipitation than previously anticipated developed and trained over the area. This never allowed the atmosphere to destabilize properly. I awoke to a Tornado Watch and a severe warned line of thunderstorms blasting into west Michigan in the late AM hours, only to die off and nothing ever re-fired in my area after that. The Tornado Watch was quickly canceled as well. I saw this scenario possibly coming to fruition in the early AM hours of Thursday (4/18/13) so I called off the chase for today. A smart move on my part, as I would have busted horribly. Heavy rain was the headline, along with flooding. We picked up a substantial amount of rainfall from this system. In … Read More…


Photos of a Canceled Business Trip

The first week of March would start off with a business trip. I accompanied a couple of my friends on a business trip to Oklahoma and Texas. We faced driving in snow all the way down to about south central Missouri before finally emerging into the sunshine near Joplin. The weather would be absolutely wonderful for our short stay in Oklahoma. The original plan was that we would be in Oklahoma for about a week, but that plan quickly changed as the business meetings we had traveled there for, were canceled at the last minute. A lot of other problems plagued this trip as well, including but not limited to, vehicle troubles. In fact we almost became residents of Oklahoma! But thankfully, folks close to my friends were able to help out. It’s all about who you know. Below are some photos I snapped during this journey. I would have snapped more, but we really didn’t have the time to stop for many photos. This was a quick trip. The … Read More…