Blog

Record Cold in Marquette

Following 2 days of highly unusual lake-effect snow (8″ recorded at our station), Marquette saw it’s coldest October 27th in recorded history. NWS Marquette has confirmed that the low of 20° this morning set at the COOP station near the lakefront broke the old record of 22° set back in 1887.

October is running about 5° below normal. As of the morning of 27th, this is the 19th coldest October on record (since 1857). Finishing in the top 20 certainly appears doable if the forecast holds.

Overall, we’ve had a cool (meteorological) autumn so far as September was also a couple degrees below normal.

We’ll just have to see what the winter brings. It could all turn on a dime next month. But at least the weather’s never boring in the U.P.!

New Rain Calibration Active

You may have noticed that at times rainfall totals in the Almanac section or History page suddenly shift, usually downward. That’s because the automatic rain gauge runs a little wet. Oftentimes, I circle back and correct the amount with what I’ve measured in the manual gauge (~ 6′ away and 3′ lower).

Well, through the wonders of technology (a.k.a. Microsoft Excel), I was able to finally calculate the error and program a correction for it. Over the last 12″ of rainfall, it’s a pretty consistent 4-8% overage. It averages out to +6.5%. So I am subtracting that from realtime readings now. I’ll keep an eye on it to see if it changes over time.

For small events, it may not have any effect whatsoever. But in larger rain storms, it should allow for fewer corrections and, thus, less confusion.

Radar Offline Until July 24th

Beginning Monday July 13th the radar will be down for maintenance until sometime on or around Friday July 24th. Technicians will be swapping out the pedestal underneath the radome (giant soccer ball) you see near the old County Airport location on US-41 in Negaunee Township. See this NWS blog article for more information.

Radar Maintenance Until 3 PM 7/1

The radar is down until approximately 3 PM on Wednesday July 1st for maintenance.

Be aware that starting Monday July 13th the radar will be down for approximately 2 weeks. Technicians will be swapping out the pedestal. See the NWS blog article for more information.

Here Comes The Sun

You might have noticed a couple new readings in the “Current Conditions” section of our home page. I’ve installed 2 new sensors on our main weather station, a Davis Vantage Pro2, to measure output from the Sun.

One sensor reads a narrow band of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The 290 – 390 nm spectrum of the sun’s shortwave energy particularly affects human health. Readings are translated into a universal UV index (1 – 16 scale).

The other sensor measures broad spectrum solar radiation (a.k.a. “solar irradiance”, “solar insolation”) between 300 – 1100 nm. It’s output scale is 0 – 1800 Watts per meter squared (W/m2). This is useful for solar energy management & approximating cloud cover / ambient light. You may wonder “can’t I just look out a window?” If you are in Marquette, yes. If you are elsewhere, no.

Continue reading “Here Comes The Sun”