Weather

Weather
3:43 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Records may fall with the snow this week in Michigan

A winter storm bearing down on Michigan may push Detroit and Flint very close to breaking their all- time winter snowfall totals.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

All-time snowfall records could be broken this week in Michigan.

A storm blowing through the state tonight is expected to dump two to eight inches of snow.

What’s on the line this week may very well be bragging rights for generations of people in Flint and Detroit.

Flint is just about five inches short of its all-time snowiest winter. 82.9 inches fell during the winter of 1974-75. So far this winter, Flint has been buried under 77.3 inches of snow. 

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Weather
12:28 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Record set for ice cover on Lake Michigan, not on Great Lakes

Lake Michigan as photographed by a NOAA satellite on March 8, 2014.
NOAA

My neighbors and I officially had our last "pond hockey" game over the weekend. We moved everything off the ice as things started to melt.

So the ice in the region has reached its peak, right? No one thinks we're going to be hit with another prolonged polar vortex, do they? 

Let's hope not.

With the most frigid part of this winter over, let's look at the record books for ice cover on the Great Lakes.

Here's what we know.

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Weather
7:21 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Don't let that 50 degree weather fool you: Prepare for a winter storm

Weather forecasters say Michigan will likely get hit by big winter storm late Tuesday
Sami Flickr

There's a winter storm watch for counties on and below I-94 as well as counties in mid and southeast Michigan. The watch is in effect from late this evening through tomorrow afternoon.

In the lower half of west Michigan, as well as mid-Michigan, there could be an inch of snow falling per hour,with six inches of total snowfall possible.

In southeast Michigan, rain will turn to snow overnight with accumulation of an inch an hour. Four to six inches of snow could fall in the Flint area, with a possibility of more than six inches of snow in Ann Arbor and Detroit. Wind gusts could reach 30 miles an hour.

For commuters, this could mean icy roads and whiteout conditions.

Weather
4:54 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Lansing's mayor to city homeowners and businessmen: Shovel snow off your sidewalks

About 5% of Lansing sidewalks, roughly 22 miles, are still covered in snow in violation of city ordinance
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

The city of Lansing is stepping up enforcement of its snow removal ordinance.

About 5% of Lansing sidewalks, roughly 22 miles, are still covered in snow in violation of city ordinance

Beginning today, Lansing police officers are ticketing homeowners and businesses that haven’t shoveled their sidewalks clean of snow.

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero says this is a safety issue for school children and the elderly.

“This winter….these difficult winter conditions are harder on nobody more than the walker,” says Bernero.

Stateside
4:12 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

How would Laura Ingalls Wilder describe this year’s winter?

Weather forecasters say Michigan will likely get hit by big winter storm late Tuesday
Sami Flickr

How would Laura Ingalls Wilder describe the winter of 1880-81, when blizzard after blizzard pounded the settlement town of DeSmet, in what was then Dakota Territory?

National Weather Service meteorologist and climatologist Barbara Mayes Boustead joins us today to put that long, difficult winter into perspective. 

Stateside
4:12 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

What will it mean for the Great Lakes once spring finally gets here and that ice melts?

Michigan was clobbered by snow and ice storms in January and February.
Mark Brush Michigan Radio

As our long, cold, snowy winter has dragged on, one result can be seen with stunning clarity from outer space. Satellite photos prove that the Great Lakes are nearly totally covered with ice, and we're close to setting a record for the most ice cover in 34 years.

We wondered if we might break that record, and we wondered what this will mean for the Great Lakes once spring finally gets here and that ice melts.

Alan Steinman, director of the Annis Water Resources Institute at Grand Valley State University joined us today.

Weather
4:04 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

Snow, cold in Michigan, but power crews head south

The National Weather Service reports 5.1 inches of new snow in Jackson County.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

JACKSON – A fresh wave of snow has fallen on much of Michigan over the weekend, but for once the worst of the weather is elsewhere in the region as CMS Energy Corp. dispatches dozens of its employees to help with a severe ice storm expected to hit Kentucky.

Slippery streets and highways have caused numerous accidents in Michigan, including one in which a car hit a state police patrol car handling an earlier accident on Interstate 696 in Southfield.

WWJ-AM says the trooper escaped injury in the crash. Traffic was halted on eastbound I-696.

Potholes
5:45 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Tire shops in overtime from flat tires due to potholes

One of those ...THINGS ... that HATES cars.
Chelsea Oakes Creative Commons

Auto repair shops are getting lots of extra business this winter due to severe potholes.

Some tire shops have extended their hours and have staff working overtime to deal with all the flat tires customers got from hitting potholes.

Hisham Abraham works at Fawzi's Auto Repair in Ann Arbor. He says it's really not the kind of work he likes to do.

"You know, we don't like to see people – you know, they suffer. Some of them, they bent rims too, it's not just a tire."

Weather
5:16 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Harsh winter killed many of Michigan's honeybees

Honeybee gathering nectar and pollen from honeysuckle
Zachary Huang MSU

Humans got off easy this harsh winter, compared to honeybees.

The severe cold killed off many hives.

Zachary Huang is a honeybee expert at Michigan State University.

He says, in a normal winter, a hive needs about 60 pounds of honey.  "And  they just eat the food and then shiver their muscles (to create heat) and huddle together so they are warm enough, and they don't get frozen."

But, this was no normal winter.  And it also followed a very poor goldenrod season, a plant many honeybees use to make honey.

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Weather
5:09 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Think winter was tough for you? Try being a dairy farmer

What is farm life like during the winter?
user: frizz-art Deviant Art

We've all had plenty to grumble about as this long, cold, snowy winter drags on: sidewalks and driveways to shovel, grueling, slow freeway commutes.

But let's take a moment to try on winter from the perspective of the hard-working Michigan dairy farmer. Winter has a whole different feel when you're hauling yourself out to the barn to milk and feed your herd. 

Karen Curry, a dairy farmer near East Tawas, knows this life very well. She joins us today to tell us how she's coping with this brutal winter weather. 

Listen to the full interview above.

Weather
2:52 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

'Thundersnow' is the icing on the cake for this winter in Michigan

Snow falling.
user woodleywonderworks Flickr

Across parts of Michigan, you might have heard this during the torrent of snow this morning:

Marcin Szczepanski with the University of Michigan College of Engineering shot that video while on campus today.

So what is this "thundersnow" stuff?

One theory is that winter has just been partying too much:

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Weather
11:08 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Gov. Snyder warns Michigan to get ready for new round of weather troubles

Snow, rain, and freezing rain are all part of the forecast for the Lower Peninsula, and the Upper Peninsula could be in for a blizzard.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

A new round of harsh winter weather is on the way. Snow, rain, and freezing rain are all part of the forecast for the Lower Peninsula, and the Upper Peninsula could be in for a blizzard.

Dealing with this year’s record and near-record cold and snow is already busting budgets as overtime, equipment, and supply costs are going higher than planned.

“This is a record winter in terms of cold, snow and we still have more to come,” said Gov. Rick Snyder.  

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Stateside
4:55 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

A warm-up is on the way – but not for long

Roads covered in ice and snow.
LisaW123 Flickr

 Lots of us have made the rueful observation that it's pretty sad when we think of 28 degrees as warm weather.But that's what we've come to in this cold winter.

What caused this relative warm-up? And will the deep freeze come back?

Here to tell us more is MLive and farmerweather.com meteorologist Mark Torregrossa.

Listen to the full interview above.

Weather
10:39 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Faulty communication system partly blamed for confusion after December ice storm

Many BWL customers spent part of the Christmas holidays in the dark after an ice storm knocked out power.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

An internal report finds a key communication system that failed during December’s ice storm had been malfunctioning for months before the storm.

The Lansing Board of Water and Light released the findings of an internal review of its response to the storm last night.  More than 35,000 BWL customers lost power, some for as long as 10 days.

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Weather
5:59 am
Tue February 18, 2014

BWL to release findings of internal probe into ice storm response

The Dec. 22 ice storm knocked out power to about 40% of the Board of Water & Light's customers
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

The panel that oversees the Lansing Board of Water and Light this evening will review the findings of a "top-to-bottom" internal probe of the utility’s response to a devastating December ice storm.

The Dec. 22 ice storm knocked out electricity to more than 35,000 BWL customers. It took the utility more than a week to get the lights back on.

Customers complain the utility was slow to respond to the outage, and even slower to respond to their telephone calls.

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Weather
3:26 pm
Sat February 15, 2014

As the ice and snow melts, we'll find out what lies beneath

When a late December ice storm ripped through mid-Michigan, falling tree branches knocked out power to tens of thousands of homes in Lansing. The power’s back on, but many of the tree branches remain buried by the snow that has fallen since.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

Temperatures are expected to hit 40 degrees in the coming week in Michigan.

The warm up should begin to melt off some of the snow that has built up over the past few months.

But the melting snow is also expected to reveal mounds of fallen tree branches, discarded Christmas trees and garbage that has been entombed in mounds of snow and ice since December.

Paul Dykema is the assistant superintendent in the city of Lansing’s Public Service Department.  He says cleaning that mess up will take some time.

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Weather
6:12 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Harsh winter taking a toll on Michigan wildlife

A DNR official says the next few weeks may be especially critical to Michigan’s songbirds, pheasants, and turkeys.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

Michigan wildlife is struggling this winter, just like the state’s human population.

State wildlife officials say the next few weeks will be critical for Michigan deer, pheasants, and other animals.

As the days grow longer, animals become more active. Their metabolisms pick up and they need to forage for more food.

But when the snow is several feet deep, and a layer of ice coats normal food sources, finding enough food can be a problem.

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Weather
1:21 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Michigan utility crews waiting to be called to help restore power in the south and northeast

Linemen worked for more than a week to restore power to tens of thousands of Michiganders during the holidays.
Consumers Energy

Consumers Energy and DTE are waiting to hear from electric utilities in the south and east that are bearing the brunt of a strong winter storm this week.

Tens of thousands of people in the Deep South have already lost power from the storm that is raining down large amounts of ice and snow in places that rarely see either.

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Stateside
4:17 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

January snowfall broke records in some parts of the state

Outdoor Power Equipment Institute

If you ask just about anyone in Michigan about the weather this winter, chances are he or she will swear there has never been this much snow.

Well, yes and no. Some cities shattered their snowfall records in January, but in some parts of the state, January snowfall was pretty much business as usual.

Let's see who has legit bragging rights when it comes to snowfall.

MLive meteorologist Mark Torregrossa, who also runs the site farmerweather.com, joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Weather
6:15 am
Tue February 11, 2014

MSU professor assessing the toll of December's ice storm on trees

Professor Frank Telewski says about 5% of the trees on MSU’s north campus were damaged by the unusually heavy ice that coated tree branches during the Dec. 22 storm.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

The late December ice storm that knocked out power to more than half a million Michigan utility customers also damaged many of the state’s trees.

A preliminary study being released today takes a look at that damage.

Professor Frank Telewski was busy Monday, crunching numbers for his presentation today to a conference of state arborists.

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