Weather

Weather
5:09 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Michigan woodchuck predicts 6 more weeks of winter

Woody the Woodchuck stayed put in her home at the Howell Conference and Nature Center on Sunday morning, taken to mean there won't be an early end to the state's cold, white winter.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

HOWELL, Mich. (AP) - Michigan's weather-prognosticating woodchuck has called for six more weeks of winter.

The Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News report that Woody stayed put in her home at the Howell Conference and Nature Center on Sunday morning, taken to mean there won't be an early end to the state's cold, white winter.

Nature center Executive Director Dick Grant tells the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus that Woody is 11-4 in weather predictions.

Weather
4:00 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Where to pile all that record snowfall from January? DEQ weighs in

Snow piles up in a commercial parking lot in Grandville in January 2009.
Rachel Kramer Creative Commons

It was a snowy January in Michigan; the snowiest on record for Flint and Detroit, according the the National Weather Service.

“We’ve had our fair share too, that’s for sure,” said Jared Sanders, assistant district supervisor of the Kalamazoo district’s water resources division. The division is a part of Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality.

I can vouch for it; huge piles of plowed snow are filling up the parking lots of many businesses here in Grand Rapids too.

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Weather
11:39 am
Sat February 1, 2014

More snow today after record setting January in parts of Michigan

The National Weather Service says up to seven inches of snow is expected to cover the Detroit area Saturday, a day after the region ended January with 39.1 inches of snow -- its snowiest month ever.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - The weather outside continues to be frightful for parts of Michigan even after some areas experienced their snowiest Januaries.

The National Weather Service says up to seven inches of snow is expected to cover the Detroit area Saturday, a day after the region ended January with 39.1 inches of snow -- its snowiest month ever.

Meteorologist Steven Freitag says the previous record was 38.4 in February 1908.

Flint's 32.9 inches of snow also was a January record.

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Weather
11:37 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Think this January's weather was crazy? Check out the U.P.'s blizzard of 1938

As meteorologist Karl Bohnak writes, it's hard to measure just how much snow accumulated in the blizzard of 1938 when snow piled up around utility poles. But we're guessing a lot.
Bill Brinkman NASA

Michigan may be “warming up” (31 degree heat wave, anyone?), but evidence of the latest snowpocalypse is still abundant.  

Over at MLive, meteorologist Mark Torregrossa reports that “mile for mile, Michigan has more snow cover than any other U.S. state.”

And as for ice, the Great Lakes are under the largest ice cover in 20 years. Sixty percent of all five lakes are now iced over.

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Weather
7:38 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

U of M cancels classes for Tuesday, offices remain open

University of Michigan student union
Wikimedia Commons

Ann Arbor Campus classes have been canceled on Tuesday, Jan. 28 because of extreme wind chill temperatures, expected to be as low as -30 degrees. The cancelation includes classroom and laboratory instruction.

Campus buildings will remain open, and dining halls, libraries and most other campus facilities and services will continue operations. U-M buses and shuttles will operate as scheduled, although delays are possible.

Campus operations will continue and staff should plan to report as usual. Parking and Transportation Services is increasing bus frequency to help minimize wait times.

Weather
5:07 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Bitter cold forcing Michigan homeless to seek shelter

A man asks for help in Lansing, Michigan.
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Life-threatening wind chills are keeping Michigan's homeless shelters full. The shelters have been at or above capacity for roughly two months.

Darin Estep is the director of community engagement for Volunteers of America in Lansing. He says the ongoing cold is taking a toll.

“It’s asking a lot of folks to sleep on a cot every night,” says Estep. “It’s asking a lot of the staff to take care of the facility every night. There’s a lot of conversion that needs to take place every night to turn a day center into a sleeping area.”

Weather
11:24 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Air from the North Pole on its way, snowfall records set in parts of Michigan

Lola enjoying the snow in Michigan.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Extreme cold temperatures are coming our way again.

The National Weather Service says this round of cold air, which will be with us through midday Wednesday, is coming from a very cold place.

The air mass and the associated surface high pressure with it is literally coming from the North Pole and heading nearly due south into the central U.S. by Tuesday. Widespread subzero lows are expected north of the Ohio River by this time, and subfreezing highs are expected well into the Deep South.

And with cold temperatures, comes snow.

We normally get around a foot of snow in southeast Michigan for the month of January. But this year the Flint and Detroit areas set snowfall records for the month.

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Weather
10:09 am
Sat January 25, 2014

Winter storm blusters across Michigan; police ask motorists to stay off roads

PAW PAW, Mich. (AP) — Authorities in one West Michigan county are asking motorists to stay off roads due to blowing and drifting snow.

The Van Buren County sheriff's office says Saturday that it has received reports of people getting stranded in their vehicles and that many back roads are becoming impassable.

Poor weather and slippery road conditions also are preventing tow trucks from getting to stranded motorists.

The sheriff's office also warns drivers not to try driving on roads that appear to be blown over with snow.

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Weather
9:01 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Bitterly cold weather lingers across Michigan

Clearing snow.
Mark Brush Michigan Radio

ALPENA, Mich. (AP) — Bitterly cold weather is lingering across Michigan, with readings below zero and more snow in the forecast for parts of the state.

The National Weather Service reports Wednesday morning it was 18 degrees below zero in Alpena in the northeastern Lower Peninsula. Frigid readings came in throughout Michigan, including 17 below in Ann Arbor and 15 below in Port Huron in the southern Lower Peninsula.

In Detroit, a reading of zero degrees was reported. And it dipped to 3 degrees below zero at Detroit Metropolitan airport in Romulus.

The bitter cold is expected to continue for several more days. In western Michigan, 3 to 5 inches of snow is forecast Wednesday and into Thursday morning. And more lake-effect snow is expected along parts of Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula.

Weather
9:36 am
Mon January 20, 2014

BRRR! More frigid air making its way into Michigan

Another blast of arctic air is heading to Michigan
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (AP) - Another round of frigid air is making its way into Michigan, leaving roads slippery as dangerously cold temperatures are expected in places this week.

In suburban Detroit, state police reported multiple crashes on the freeway system.

In the Upper Peninsula community of Sault Ste. Marie, it's 5 degrees below zero on Monday morning.

A hazardous weather outlook was issued for much of the state, with wind chill readings of 10 to 20 degrees below expected late Monday and early Tuesday in the southern Lower Peninsula.

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Weather
5:13 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

Ships on Lake Superior battle ice

The Coast Guard Cutter Buckthorn approaches an ice-laden buoy on the St. Mary's River, where the down-bound lane has been closed due to the severity of the ice.
Credit Credit Coast Guard News (CC-BY-NC-ND) / http://www.flickr.com/photos/coastguardnews/11358608774/

SUPERIOR, Wis. (AP) Ships using Lake Superior are having a tough time due to the worst build up of ice in decades.

Wisconsin Public Radio News reports the National Weather Service started tracking freeze-ups in 1978, and says this is the second-fastest and thickest ice-up in 35 years. Coast Guard Soo Vessel Traffic Director Mark Gill says this is the worst since 1989.

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Weather
6:39 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Southern Michigan prepares for floods

Past flooding in Ionia
Michigan State Police

Local goverments in southern Michigan are bracing for possible flooding.

William Byl is Kent County's Drain Commissioner.  He said how serious it becomes depends on the temperature swing and on the amount of rain.

"These kind of conditions are really the perfect storm because what you have is snowmelt combined with rain on top of the snowmelt, all falling on frozen ground. And you have no place for the water to go," Byl explained.

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Weather
11:49 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Watch: Thousands of ice balls fill shores of Lake Michigan

Ice balls fill the shores of Lake Michigan in Glen Arbor, Mich.
user GlenArborArtisans YouTube

While temperatures are (finally) starting to climb out of subzeros across Michigan, signs of the so-called polar vortex – a low-pressure system that brought arctic temperatures across the country – are still lingering throughout the state.

For instance, boulder-sized ice balls have taken hold of the shores of Lake Michigan. Here’s a video captured on the lake’s coast in Glen Arbor, Michigan:

As MLive’s Heidi Fenton reported, the chunks form when large ice sheets break off into smaller pieces of ice. When waves hit the ice sheets, the ice chunks form into perfectly round, frigid spheres, with some estimated to weigh about 75 pounds.

If temperatures stay low enough, the ice balls – which our webmaster claims look exactly like chocolate truffles he has at home – may continue to grow, AccuWeather.com reported:

"It's possible that the ice is accreting like a snowball or like a hailstone, and that they keep growing," said AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Jim Andrews.

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Weather
3:08 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

State regulators will investigate how Consumers Energy, DTE responded to major December power outage

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

State regulators are going to spend the next few months assessing how well Consumers Energy and DTE responded to a massive power outage after an ice storm last month.

It’s estimated 626,000 DTE and Consumers Energy customers lost power after the Dec. 22 ice storm.  

It was New Year’s Eve by the time the utilities restored power to most of its customers.

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Weather
2:50 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Northern lights may be visible in Michigan tonight

The Northern Lights, in all its glory.
user lakefxnet YouTube

Michigan residents could get a special, atmospheric treat tonight — if weather permits.

The aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights, may be visible around the state, if cloud cover doesn’t block the view.

According to the Detroit Free Press’s Eric D. Lawrence, the lights may be visible in the area until Friday, but projected cloudiness will likely dim their appearance. 

If you can't make it to midnight, check out this video of the lights in northern Michigan:

- Melanie Kruvelis, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Newsmaker Interview
4:53 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Homeless shelter in Ann Arbor expands warming options

Downtown Ann Arbor.
Mike Perini

The weather and temperatures in Michigan, and across the country, have been particularly brutal in recent days. Wind chill readings have dropped to 30 degrees below zero in some places. Some Michiganders are facing this weather without shelter.

We’re joined now by Ellen Schulmeister,  the executive director of the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County. 

Weather
1:10 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Meet Michigan's homeless, trying to survive this cold

These arctic nights can be deadly if you don't have a place to sleep.
cdc.gov cdc.gov

A laid-off public school teacher, an evicted retiree, and a man who says he'll sleep on a park bench because he’s too drunk to pass the shelter’s Breathalyzer test tonight.  

The people at a daytime warming center in downtown Ann Arbor run the gamut. 

There's the guy with weathered skin and stained teeth who says he's been sober more than a month now.

Sherman Stennis says he lost his job at his uncle's scrapyard when it went out of business.

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Weather
6:14 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Before you call the furnace repair person, check outside

Utility companies say they're getting lots of calls about furnaces not working -- and many are related to the deep snow.

Scott Bartholomew is with Consumers Energy.

He says high efficiency furnaces have fresh air PVC intake pipes on the outside of the home.

"What happens is the snow gets packed up in it, and it will block off the intake," says Bartholomew, "or it will suck up some snow in there -- which will trip off the pressure switches and doesn't allow the furnace to come on."

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Weather
4:28 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

A check of the weather with MLive's Mark Torregrossa

Snow from the January 4-5, 2014 storm.
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

This time the forecasters did not cry wolf. We got slammed by snow.

Now that the snow has fallen, we’re looking at winds and dangerous cold.

What's ahead and when will we see something resembling a more "typical" Michigan winter?

For the answers we turned to MLive meteorologist Mark Torregrossa, who also runs farmerweather.com.

I just got back yesterday from nearly two weeks in Ireland, and we were checking on Torregrossa’s reports as we got ready to fly back yesterday -- wondering if we were going to beat the snow and be able to land. The answer was "yes." He was spot-on in calling what was going to happen and when.

*Listen to the audio above.

Weather
12:24 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Flint area gets 'Top 10' record-breaking snowfall, Detroit... not so much

Digging out of the record-breaking snow in Flint.
Taryn Nitz Instagram

People are digging out from the snowstorm in much of Michigan today. 

So did this snowstorm break records in Michigan?

In Detroit, 10.6 inches fell during the storm, not enough to crack the top-10 list for snowstorms in this area.

Here are the biggest snowfalls recorded in the Detroit area according to the National Weather Service. Most of these storms occurred prior to 1930.

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