Battle Creek, MI Snowstorm 2/1/15

2/1/15 – A large and powerful snowstorm affected a large portion of the United States from the Midwest, through the Great Lakes and into the Northeast. Dumping 15-20 inches of snow in a number of areas, packing strong wind gusts, and snowfall at rates of up to 1-2 inches per hour. This was a long duration heavy snow event, which resulted in lots of blowing and drifting, high snowfall accumulations, near blizzard conditions at times, motorists becoming stuck or stranded, a number of accidents and slide offs, and many schools and businesses closing down due to the conditions. One computer model stood out from the rest several days before, showing a snowstorm set to impact northern areas of the US around Feb 1-2. That model, was the GFS. Over time, the model forecasts trended northward with the snow. Many people were skeptical. I was favoring the northward trend. Then suddenly just a couple of days before the storm, the GFS forecast showed it all south of the area. Within a … Read More…

2014 Storm Chasing Highlights

2014 was a really interesting year in regards to storm chasing for me. There were a number of firsts. Initially I wasn’t going to do much chasing, and concentrate on other things such as Fishing Pleasures, and a few other projects. Throughout the year, I did get out to experience a number of great weather events though. The year was off to a slow start, not much happening in March. Just cold and boring. By the time April rolled around though, some truly awesome weather events took place. April 12th was one of the coolest chase days I can ever remember for me here in Michigan. Intercepted 2 very photogenic storm cells, saw accumulating hail, and beautifully structured storms coming over the fields. I was able to get some nice time lapses. This was also the first time I ever saw hail accumulate to such an extent here in Michigan. In late April I went against my initial plans of not leaving my home state, to join some friends on … Read More…

Christmas Eve Heavy Snow Event

12/24/14 – I wanted a snowstorm for my birthday, and my birthday just happens to fall on Christmas Eve. I got my wish! ..well … sort of. The medium range computer models (GFS and ECMWF (aka the EURO)) were both showing the potential for a big storm system to impact the Great Lakes region around Christmastime. The only issue was, how much warm air would advection would impact the outcome of this system. The models trended pretty well through the medium range, but by the time the model runs were in the short range, it was anybody’s guess as to what would happen. The GFS, NAM, ECMWF, GEM, and others were flip flopping all over the place. Everything from all rain, to rain to snow, to an all out snowstorm with some models predicting anywhere from 6 to 14 inches of snow. The NAM was the one that remained most bullish in regards to snowfall. There really was no pinning down a forecast until about 3-6 hours before the snow … 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…

The First Snow! 10/31/14

10/31/14 – The first snow of the season just happened to fall on Halloween this year. On October 27th, we have high temperatures in the mid 70s, but the weather pattern was soon to change, and when it did, it was drastic. The snow didn’t really stick most of the day, and in my area at least, it wasn’t coming down too terribly hard until later in the afternoon hours. Once the snow picked up in intensity, I decided to head out and get some photos and video footage of it. In this article you will see the wet road conditions, the windy and snowy conditions, and also a close up view of the potato harvesting equipment. There’s also Fall colors in various scenes. The tale of two seasons! Enjoy. … Read More…

3 Rainbows, Shelf Cloud, and a Sunset

7/15/14 – While under the influence of an unseasonably cool trough over the US, some showers and even a few thunderstorms developed within it’s cold pool. I had seen this coming for a few days prior thanks to the computer models, so I scheduled a bicycle ride for this day. I was hoping to see at least some halfway decent structure, and a rainbow. What I got was much more than that. I found all sorts of beautiful scenes, including 3 different rainbows, each one better than the last, a surprise shelf cloud, and some great nature and agricultural scenes. I began my day with a heavier rain shower, and I was able to get some video of that, and also my best action shot of rain falling ever. Later, I went cycling. My bike ride started off pretty well, saw a rain shower passing through, in the process of dying, but still created a nice scene. But it wouldn’t get really beautiful until I went further north. I found … 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…