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…

Winter Weather Driving Tips

FIRST TIP! “ICE AND SNOW, TAKE IT SLOW!” Okay, now that we got the most important tip out of the way, let’s take a look at some other helpful driving tips for the winter season. Before You Go Anywhere 1. Make sure that your tires are properly inflated, make sure all of your lights and signals are working, and brush/scrape ALL of the snow and ice off of your vehicle. There have been numerous incidents of snow and ice flying off of improperly cleaned vehicles that have caused injuries and other hazards including impaired visibility (snow blowing off the roofs of vehicles) while driving. If your vehicle is parked outdoors, make sure that your tailpipe is not clogged with snow, mud, ice, etc. Carbon Monoxide is a silent killer, so a clogged tailpipe could be the end of you. 2. Have a survival kit for those “just in case” moments. Your survival kit should include gloves hats, scarves, traditional blankets and and also Emergency Blankets. Those Emergency Blankets are amazing! … Read More…

Early Spring Cycling Adventure

GREENVILLE, MI – Went for a good bike ride on March 31, 2014, making 2 days in a row of cycling. 3/31/14 was the first time we’ve seen 60F temperatures since November 17, 2013! If you remember, we had a severe weather outbreak that day. That was not so this time. It was breezy, but that didn’t take away from the warm air much. I started out on paved roads, but then ended up on this dirt road, which I frequent for it’s tranquility and good visibility. Along the roadway, I found a long pile of plowed snow. This snow was 3-4 feet tall in spots. There was still snow in the fields, and the road was very muddy. I couldn’t ride very far. Once the road really started getting bad, I stopped and turned around. But not before getting some photos and a quick video showing the road conditions, and also the long snow pile. I also found a pair of Geese in the field. All in all a … 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…

First Images of 2014!

These are my first images of 2014! Here you will see frost formations, and snow drift patterns. Also a really neat phenomenon I captured during a sunrise where 2 Sundogs appeared. You can read more about what those are by Clicking Here. The frost images were captured on January 2, 2014, and the snow drift and sundogs were captured on January 6, 2014. It was very, very cold during the times that I captured these. We have been in an arctic cold pattern! It certainly makes for a winter wonderland though. Enjoy! As always, feel free to share this article with your friends! 🙂 … 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…

The First Snowstorm 12/8/13

On December 8, 2013, we here in west Michigan experienced our first snowstorm of the season. Now it wasn’t crippling by any means, only producing 1 to as much as 5 inches in some spots. But it still is marked down as the first widespread accumulating synoptic snow event of the season. Travel conditions deteriorated rather quickly once the heavier bands of snow moved in. The snow began during the day on Sunday and lasted well into the overnight hours. The snow provided me with quite a few photo and video opportunities. I first traveled down M-57 a little ways to get video and photos of some of the traffic and a flock of Geese in a field just off the roadway. I then ventured into town down by the Flat River and observed flocks of several Geese coming down toward the river. At one point it almost looked like an alien invasion! There were so many. By this point the roads were snow covered and becoming slippery. I ventured … Read More…

Sunset Icicles, Prism Effect, and More! (PHOTOS + VIDEO)

Icicles at Sunset

I have been watching closely for icicle photography opportunities this winter. On February 8th and 9th, I had two of my best icicle photography days ever. I even captured what I’m calling my “crown jewel” of icicle photos. Icicles At Sunset is by far, the best icicle photo I have ever captured. The colors, the lighting, the sharpness, just everything was absolutely perfect for this shot. I also was treated to a very nice Prism Effect with first one icicle, and then two at the same time! The icicles are gone now as we had some warmth and rain. But I will be watching closely for more opportunities to add to my icicle collection. Below are the images from February 8th and 9th in order of time/date. Below the photos is a short YouTube video of the Melting Icicles. Enjoy!! (Winter Photography Photo Gallery) … Read More…