weather

Photo shows the inside of a culvert. It's square with concrete walls and a very shallow stream of water is running through it.
Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

Climate change is likely to bring more extreme rainfall and flooding to Michigan, so flood risk in the next 100 years will probably look very different than in the past.

Much of Michigan’s infrastructure — like culverts, bridges and storm drains — is still being designed and built based on the floods of the past.


Wikimedia Commons

Record rainfall this year has hit northern Michigan crops hard, and now farmers Up North are getting some help from the federal and state governments.

It's been spring for 22 days now, but the ice hasn't melted and snow is still falling.

Mark Torregrossa, chief meteorologist with MLive and farmerweather.com, joined Stateside Tuesday to discuss just how normal these weather patterns are, and how long we should expect them to last.

The "gales of November" came early to the Upper Peninsula and Lake Superior. To make things extra interesting, snow hit the ground today too, and more is on the way.

On Tuesday, this stormy weather produced a 28.8-foot wave at the Granite Island buoy located north of Marquette, says MLive chief meteorologist Mark Torregrossa.

This week, experts are getting together in Ann Arbor to make a warning system for meteotsunamis in the Great Lakes. We have on average 106 meteotsunamis in the lakes each year.

The past few days have seen unseasonable cold across much of Michigan, with temperatures falling below freezing in many parts of the state. A late freeze like this one threatens Michigan’s fruit crop at a crucial time in its annual cycle.

These maps show the early arrival of spring

Feb 28, 2017

Scientists have known that spring is arriving earlier across the U.S. because of climate change. Now, you can take a look at new maps from the U.S. Geological Survey to see how early spring is arriving where you live.

Jake Weltzin is an ecologist with the USGS, and the executive director of the National Phenology Network.

"The folks down in the southeastern United States, across much of that region, are seeing spring coming as many as three weeks early this year," he says.

In this all-too-fast-paced era we live in, it's comforting to see something that's managed to stick around for 225 years – the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

What Massachusetts schoolteacher and bookseller Robert B. Thomas started in 1792 is still with us. The 2017 edition is now out.

2016 continues its record-setting heat streak this week

Jul 21, 2016

If you like it hot, you're in luck.

If you can't stand to sweat, it might be time to crank up the air conditioning or head to the nice cool basement.

Michigan's going to be so hot over the next few days, it's being called the "Ring of Fire."

If it looks like your parched lawn is crying out for a drink, you've got company.

Parts of the state are in the grips of a dry spell, and it's turning lawns crispy and brown. 

Did you know the Edmund Fitzgerald sank in a fierce storm on November 10, 1975?

As Gordon Lightfoot wrote in his song about the Fitzgerald, which sank in the waters of Lake Superior:

That good ship and true was a bone to be chewed

When the gales of November came early.

What's with these powerful winds and storms as we move from October to November?

County seeks state, federal help with storm cleanup

Aug 10, 2015
Aaron Selbig

UPDATE (Tues. at 1 p.m.): Gov. Rick Snyder granted a request Monday from Grand Traverse County to declare a disaster. The move opens up state resources to assist with debris cleanup.

Officials in Grand Traverse County are asking the state to help with storm recovery efforts. The county is calling on Governor Rick Snyder to declare a state of disaster and commit state resources to the cleanup effort.

Emergency Manager Gregg Bird says the county’s resources are stretched thin.

Aaron Selbig

As northern Michigan cleans up after Sunday’s violent storm, some communities face a bigger job than others.

The town of Glen Arbor was especially hard hit. Power is still out there and the main road into town is blocked by dozens of fallen trees. Contractors were using chainsaws and a bulldozer Monday afternoon to try to clear M-22.

The Leelanau County Sheriff’s department says no one was killed or seriously injured during the storm Sunday. But for residents like David Tepoorten, it was a pretty harrowing experience.

Firefighters take on wildfire in Marquette County

Jul 31, 2015
Department of Natural Resources

A wildfire has spread to roughly 70 acres at a logging operation in Marquette County. Department of Natural Resources and township firefighters had the fire 60 percent contained by Thursday night. 

Containment efforts will continue today. The cause has not been determined.

The danger of wildfires is high to extremely high in Michigan right now. 

Wildfire conditions 'hazardous,' officials say

Apr 16, 2015

Michigan firefighters are in the middle of a busy spring wildfire season. Thirty-five wildfires have popped up across the state in the last month. Fire officials say higher temperatures – combined with low humidity and high winds – have made conditions dangerous.

Debra-Ann Brabazon manages the Michigan Inter-Agency Dispatch Center in Cadillac. She says a recent period of sunny skies has led many people outdoors to clean up yard waste.

This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most devastating weather events in Michigan history: the Palm Sunday tornado outbreak.

It happened with virtually no warning on April 11, 1965. Killer tornadoes smashed through the Midwest over a 12-hour span, killing 271. Michigan was one of the hardest-hit states with 53 deaths.

One of the realities of spring in Michigan is dicey weather, and May marks the beginning of tornado season in the state. But there's a way for authorities to let us know if severe weather threatens.

It's right there on your smartphone: Wireless Emergency Alerts, or WEA.

This service came about through an agreement between cell phone providers who voluntarily signed up for this service, the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, and a few other federal agencies.

NASA

Monday morning’s low temperatures created a weather event in northern Michigan that you’re more likely to see in the Arctic Circle.

Pillars of light filled the sky early in the morning from a phenomenon called diamond dust. It’s a cloud formation made from ice crystals. 

National Weather Service

UPDATED 6:50 pm

Gaylord hit 35 degrees below zero this morning, one of the coldest temperatures ever recorded there. A volunteer observer noted that temperature. The thermometer at Gaylord Regional Airport went down to minus 31, according to the National Weather Service.

Other cities set records for the day, including Traverse City at minus 22, two degrees colder than the previous record for February 20th.

Neither of those approach the coldest temperature ever recorded in Michigan.

Early bursts of autumn color have been seen across Michigan. Are the leaves trying to tell us something?

MLive and farmerweather.com meteorologist Mark Torregrossa said what we are really seeing is the stress in trees. Torregrossa spoke with some experts about it. Though dryness can cause early autumn colors, experts say the wetness we’ve experienced can cause stress in trees.

“Basically, what I’m hearing from the tree experts is that the early color we are seeing is the stress caused from a drought a couple of years ago, the heavy flooding we’ve had, and maybe even the cold snowy winters,” Torregrossa said.

Torregrossa said, as he looks at weather patterns, he is seeing an early autumn and winter.

He added that the progression of El Nino will have a big implication for what's to come for our winter, but we still have to wait about a month or two.

*Listen to the full story above. 

Gov. Snyder surveys Detroit flood damage

Aug 14, 2014
Paula C. McNichol sent to WDET

  Governor Rick Snyder says numerous state agencies are helping Detroit and surrounding communities deal with massive floods. He flew back from a trip to the Upper Peninsula to see the flood damage first-hand from a Michigan State Police helicopter.

It feels like we've finally emerged from the record-setting cold winter, doesn't it? So, as we look ahead to spring and summer what's in store? Mark Torregrossa is MLive meteorologist and he joined us today.

*Listen to the full interview above.

Roads Are Flooded Throughout Northern Michigan

Apr 14, 2014
Peter Payette

Several Northern Michigan counties have seen flooded out roads and homes.

Wexford County, on Monday, went in a local state of emergency due to flooding. Several roads closed with washouts all over the county.

In Emmet County, one lane of US-31 was closed in the Bay View area.

Brian Gutowski is with the Emmet County Road Commission. He says Monday the lane closure was due to the Tannery Creek flooding.

"We’ve got up to a foot of water right on US-31, and it’s flooding into a couple of the residential streets also, which are county roads," he said.

So here we are, a week in to spring.  And what did we get this week as a present from Mother Nature?

That's right: snow. And cold.

National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Maczko, who is based in Grand Rapids, joined us today to discuss when the weather will finally warm up.

Listen to the full interview above.

Leelanau Ice Caves Now Unsafe

Feb 21, 2014
Deb Poltorak

Ice caves off the coast of the Leelanau Peninsula are now “very unsafe.” County officials ask people not to enter onto the ice to walk toward the unique formations.

Winds have moved the ice and there is now open water within feet of the caves. There are also large cracks in the cave’s arches and they are expected to collapse soon.

Lake Michigan has nearly 60 percent ice cover, at last report. The ice caves formed due to this winter’s near-historic levels of ice cover on the Great Lakes.

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