Bad Axe, MI Lake Enhanced Snowstorm

2/9/16 – It has been a pretty mild winter here in Michigan so far, and because of that, and the overall upper atmospheric pattern, we have had a lack of snow, with no real big snowstorms yet, at least where I live. So when the GFS and GEM computer models were indicating the possibility of a lake enhanced snowstorm for the thumb region of Michigan, I was definitely intrigued. I continued to monitor the model runs, until about 3AM on February 9th, and that’s when I pulled the trigger to travel to the thumb region to document the impending snowstorm. Google Maps said it would be about a 3 hour drive, but the weather had other ideas. Between the bad road conditions which resulted in traffic reducing speeds to around 35-40mph, and me stopping to shoot footage along the way, it ended up being a 4-5 hour drive. Below is a video of snow in and around the Saginaw, MI area, and also a collection of photos from my drive. … Read More…


Huge Wreck on US 131, Lake Effect Snow, Grand Haven Lighthouse Waves

12/18/15 – This was a day for lake effect snow. The models had been showing it, so I set out with my friend Cort Scholten to document the event. We expected it to be a good day for weather. We met up at a carpool lot and then took his car down to the Lake Michigan shoreline. The snow was struggling to get going strong, so we decided to head down to Grand Haven and enjoy some of the wave action along the lighthouse pier. Below is a video and a collection of images from our time at Grand Haven, MI. This is one of Michigan’s best lighthouses, so photogenic! A must see if you’re visiting Michigan. We also found some cool frozen sand formations along the beach called “Hoodoos”. They’re pretty cool! The waves were pretty turbulent also. After that, we drove down to Holland, where the lake effect snow was beginning to get it’s act together. Some heavier snow showers began to move off of the big lake. … Read More…


Lake Effect Snow Whiteout

11/18/14 – Another day in the wintry pattern, except this one had winds that favored more lake effect snow squalls. Some of these were very heavy, as seen here in this particular article. The day began with intermittent snow showers, but as the afternoon wore on, the lake effect snow squalls became more numerous, and started to push inland further. One of these squalls parked itself on top of me for about 20 minutes. It varied in intensity throughout it’s life span, but at it’s heaviest, this squall was dumping snow at a rate of 2 to 3 inches per hour and created whiteout conditions. At times, I couldn’t see more than 60 to 100 yards. This was some of the heaviest snow that I have ever documented. What surprised me most was the amount of motorists that didn’t have their lights on. Some of them I couldn’t even see until they were almost upon me. I was able to get some great shots during this event, and some of … Read More…


Winter Came Early This Year

11/16/14 – After the snow on Halloween, we warmed back up into the 40s and 50s, but not for long. A wintry pattern set in on November 12th, and brought with it several rounds of lake effect snow and the cold air has remained entrenched over the region since. During this time, I was out shooting footage of the snowfall, and below divided into individual daily accounts, are the snowy days over the period. The snow wasn’t particularly heavy all the time, but there were times when the snowfall increased in intensity. Each account has a date, a small description, a video, and some photos. Enjoy! 11/13/14 – A snow squall developed and pressed eastward into my area, bringing with it some of the heaviest graupel type snow I have ever witnessed. The snow showers on this day were convectively enhanced, and some of which packed a good punch. This particular cell increased in intensity right on top of me, and dumped down quite a bit of precip. After the … Read More…


Snow Videos: Heavy Lake Effect Snow + Snow in Super Slow Motion

Here are a couple of videos from February 3, 2013 of Lake Effect Snow that I recorded. The first video shows heavy lake effect snow. I recorded the first video in 1080p HD, so be sure to watch in HD for best experience. The second video is the first ever super slow motion snow video I have ever shot. This video is just a test, so it isn’t the best quality. Plus, when recording in super slow motion, my camera shoots at 200fps (frames per second) and records at 320p. So the video is very small. I will continue testing with the super slow motion video, and also the slow motion video, just to see what I can come up with. Enjoy the videos! … Read More…


Storm Chasing 2012 – The Best Chases

Today is December 31st, the last day of 2012. For some it was a good year, for others it was a bad year. For me, it was a mix of both. This year wasn’t friendly to all storm chasers. The nationwide drought situation played a huge role in the lack of storms in the United States. One thing we didn’t have a shortage of, was heat, and dry air. It was extremely difficult if you were a chaser to get footage of tornadoes this year. I mean certainly, many chasers did intercept tornadoes this year, but overall, it was a lackluster year. That’s great for the general public, but sucks for a storm chaser. This year I was able to do a proper US plains tour through tornado alley, thanks to my friend, and chase partner, Michael Phelps of stormscapelive.tv, my sponsor Mike Curtis of Farm Bureau Insurance, and all of my friends and fans who have donated to me over this past year. This tour took us everywhere from … Read More…


Extreme Lake Effect Snow Intercept | 1/2/12

Pictured left is a parking lot full of vehicles at Meijer in Holland, MI (click for larger). The closest vehicle is a Ford F-150, which was only about 50 feet or so away from my photographing locale in my own truck. Talk about heavy snow! Visibility was under 300 yards at times in the main band. For this chase I planned ahead. I was living in Morley, MI at the time (between Big Rapids, MI and Howard City, MI) and I knew there was going to be potential for heavy snow to usher in the new year. I followed the forecast models and upper atmospheric patterns carefully as I planned for a potential snow chase. Now, I won’t just chase anything, especially when it’s about 60 miles to drive one way. But I just knew that with the relatively warmer waters of Lake Michigan (lower 40F range), the dynamics of the low pressure system that was going to move through, and the cold air and wind it would bring in … Read More…


January 8, 2011 – Snow Streaks and Lake Effect

Click above images for full view. Today was interesting weather wise. Check out the MODIS images. The left image shows the dominant Lake Effect Snow band over Lake Michigan that has simply pounded northern Indiana, giving some areas over 2 FEET of snow. Click Here for a story from WNDU. Some areas of Michigan received heavy snow as well. Click Here for an ongoing snow total thread from Bill Steffen. We can also count this as a rare sunny day from West Michigan, across Central Michigan, all the way to East Michigan, thanks to the northerly wind direction, the lake effect clouds and snow stayed over Lake Michigan and points southward. Shifting gears to the right image. This shows a closer view of what are referred to as “mesoscale snow streaks”. Now these have happened before, Click Here for a blog entry from a previous event from CIMSS. These streaks are caused by heavier snow bursts within the main snow bands, and can also be caused by lake effect bands. … Read More…


December 4, 2009 – Lake Effect Snowstorm

A 4WD Ford Explorer powers through 7-8 inches of snow. This was a very heavy lake effect event. The first really big snow event of the 2009-2010 season. Points southward of my locale had up to, and in excess of 12 inches. It stuck to everything as you will see in the photo slideshow below. I stayed awake all night and into the next day monitoring the snow, and making sure I’d be up and ready to go document the event. You can Click Here for a snowfall total map from the Grand Rapids National Weather Service. As you can see from This Radar Loop, it was a long duration lake effect event, enhanced by some upper level energy. These events are actually pretty common here in Michigan happening unusually once or twice per winter. But normally the heavier lake effect bands set up oriented from north to south, or northwest to southeast. … Read More…