winter weather

Taylor Wizner

 

Last winter freezing temperatures hit some people harder than others. On Neebish Island, 20 miles south of Sault Ste. Marie, thick ice formed on the St. Mary’s River.

If you think your propane provider is unfairly raising your rates during the cold snap, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel wants you to notify her office. 

Taylor Ogilvie would really like to make some more snow. He’s the general manager at the Mt. Brighton ski area. So far, conditions haven't been quite right very often.

Standing at the bottom of one of the hills, Ogilvie gestures to the mostly green slopes. "We’re looking at a bunch of water," he says. "Kind of icy, snowy stuff that we put out of our snow guns last night.”

He says they’ve had a few good days, but for the most part, it’s been too warm and too humid for snow-making to work well. So they’ve just been waiting.

Traverse City ramps up battle against frozen pipes

Mar 5, 2015

Traverse City has doubled the number of crews working to thaw out pipes throughout the city.

Last week, Traverse City saw a huge uptick in the number of people calling in to complain about frozen water pipes. As of yesterday, more than 300 people had called in.

In response, the city doubled its effort. It now has five crews working overtime to thaw out pipes at residences throughout the city.

  The Mackinac Bridge was closed for about a four and a half hours today (Tue.) due to a blizzard and a multi-vehicle crash. One person was injured.

High winds kicked up snow off the frozen Straits of Mackinac causing a white-out on the bridge, says James Lake of the Michigan Department of Transportation.

“The crews were able to get all the crashed vehicles off the bridge, get that scene cleared,” he says. “But then we still had to wait a couple more hours for the weather to shift and the white-out conditions to improve.”

UPDATED 1:03PM

A lawmaker from Cadillac says most schools in his district have already exceeded the number of allowed weather cancelations this year.

State Representative Phil Potvin says Michigan school districts should be allowed to cancel days more often.

“So in looking ahead, trying to be prepared, I’ve looked at moving that number that we allow from six up to nine,” he says.

Schools must make up any additional canceled days at the end of the school year. Otherwise, they risk losing some state funding.

Eric LaPaugh / Leelanau Adventures

There have been some reports of ice caves forming again on Lake Michigan this year – smaller than last year and not in the same spots. But Lt. Dan Schrader of the Coast Guard Air Station in Traverse City says the ice on Lake Michigan is not the same as it was last year. He spent a lot of the day Friday flying around the region.

Bitter weather is back and likely to stick around

Feb 17, 2015

Highs have been in the teens for the last couple days, but it’s just been a brief reprieve from the bitter cold that returns to northern Michigan overnight and for the next couple days.

“Thursday will be the colder of the two days, where some areas are not likely to get above zero for their daytime highs,” says John Boris, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gaylord. He says the winds won’t be as bad as they were this past weekend, when the wind made it feel like 40-below in some parts of the region. But the winds will again be a major factor.

  Weather is likely to be especially dangerous overnight in the Grand Traverse Bay region. Grand Traverse Emergency Management asks people to avoid driving or going out unprotected, especially after midnight tonight through mid-Saturday morning.

If there's no other choice, they say to plan ahead layer your clothes and place a small emergency kit, including extra clothes, hats, gloves and blankets in your car.

Snow and winds are expected to intensify overnight, says Andy Sullivan, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gaylord.

Report says milder winters in U.P. are affecting forests

Sep 23, 2014

The U.S. Forest Service has put out a report on how our warming climate is affecting forests in the U.P.

Stephen Handler is a climate change specialist with the Forest Service. He says, over the past several decades, we’ve been getting more extreme rainstorms in the region.

“So, more rain of two inches at a time, three inches at a time; and we’re seeing our winters, which is our characteristic climatic feature, shrinking, so, getting shorter and getting more variable, or getting less consistent snowpack,” he says.

If you've been wondering why your favorite pine tree has been turning brown as the weather warms up, you can stop wondering and start blaming winter.

Bert Cregg is an associate professor in the horticulture department at Michigan State University. He joined us to explain what the snow, cold and wind has done to our conifer trees. 

Listen to the full interview above. 

Growth in the U.S. economy slowed dramatically — to just 0.1 percent — in the January-March quarter amid a particularly harsh winter, according to a report Wednesday from the Commerce Department.

The latest GDP figure was down from 2.6 percent growth in the fourth quarter of last year and represents the weakest growth since the end of 2012.

Tom Carr

  The Boardman River and the upper Manistee have crested and are expected to fall slowly overnight. Both rivers reached record high levels Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service office in Gaylord.

Wexford County's state of emergency continued Tuesday, even as spring flooding in the region slowed. The county's worst-hit area is along the Manistee, north of Mesick.

Wexford Lieutenant Richard Denison says police in dry suits waded up to doorsteps of flooded homes to make sure nobody was stranded.

Tom Carr

Warm days and cool nights have the sap running steadily through a web of plastic tubes into Joe Woods' sugar shack in Rapid City.

But the cold winter started things about three weeks late for Woods and other commercial syrup makers in the area.

So far, Woods has produced about 400 gallons, which is about half of an ideal year.

He thinks he may be able to get one more week of good sap.

 

The prolonged winter and the ice cover on the Great Lakes could lead to some lasting effects on wildlife.

For one thing, scientists expect that a lot of the fish that people like to catch will be showing up late to the places they usually spawn.

Solomon David is a research scientist at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.

David basically chases fish around for a living.

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.

State lawmakers are about to dive into the process of crafting a budget for next fiscal year. But they have to fix some problems with the current year’s budget first.

One of the biggest concerns is a hole in the state’s Medicaid budget of more than $100 million. Everyone agrees that shortfall needs to be addressed. But the state House and Senate have not been able to agree on how to fix it or where that money should come from.

With many Michigan schools racking up snow days, what's the best way to make up lost time? Adding minutes onto the school day? Or adding days at the end of the school year? Should local districts be allowed to decide for themselves or should Lansing make the decision for them?

Bridge Magazine contributing writer Ted Roelofs dug into these questions for his story in this week's Bridge.

Listen to the full interview above.

As the winter of 2013-2014 drags on, we're really seeing what it's done to our roads.

Patching crews try in vain to keep up with a bumper crop of potholes. More and more of us are losing tires, blowing the suspension as we bang into one of those gaping potholes.

And keep in mind, Michigan's roads were crumbling before this winter.

With more winter to go, we wondered where our roads stand and what needs to happen in Lansing to do what it takes to repair and maintain the roads.

Michigan Department of Transportation Director Kirk Steudle knows all too well what this winter has done to the pavement, and he joined us today. 

Listen to the full interview above.