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Spoiler: Christmas Will Be White & Windy

Updated: Tuesday 12/20/22 11:25 AM

Expect high winds & significant snowfall in the days leading up to Christmas (Fri/Sat).

It’s still too early to discuss exact amounts of snow or top wind speeds. Have the shovels, snowblowers and/or generators ready though.

Decent snowfall likely late Wednesday & throughout Thursday before main event on Fri/Sat.

As of 11:25 AM Tuesday, max winds should occur Friday afternoon thru early Saturday morning. If power should fail, buildings without a backup source of power or heat will cool quickly as temperatures slide into the teens or colder.

Continue reading “Spoiler: Christmas Will Be White & Windy”

NEW! Dual Forecast Display: Hourly + Daily

The City page (home page) now features concurrent hourly & daily graphical forecasts. Previously, you had to select one or the other. We thought it would be helpful to see all that information in a glance rather than forcing visitors to make a choice.

For what it’s worth, your site operators — my wife and I — think this is a big improvement.

For those who don’t enjoy the change, however, you can visit page settings (gear icon in upper right of home page) and select which forecast, if any, you wish to see. You’ll find those options under the heading “Graphical Forecast”. Your preference will be saved as a cookie stored on your device for future visits.

PRO TIP: Since all horizontal scroll bars have been removed (because… ugly!) from the graphical forecast, those who are using a keyboard and mouse only (not a laptop trackpad or mobile device) can see additional forecast icons by clicking on the forecast you wish to scroll and using the right and left arrows on the keyboard. Those on mobile computing devices can continue using the screen (phones/tablets) or trackpad (Macs confirmed; others?) to scroll forecast icons as before. You will find up to 24 icons in the hourly forecast and 13 icons in the daily forecast.

New Hourly Forecast Feature

hourly forecast as seen on iPhoneAs of today, an hourly forecast from the National Weather Service is now available on the home page. Simply locate the horizontal row of weather icons and look immediately beneath them. You will see a section header: “Quick Forecast”. There you can select either “daily” or “hourly”. Your device should remember your selection over time (assuming you haven’t disabled “cookies”).

This new feature will allow you to see the next 24 hours in terms of temperature, wind, sky conditions and probability of precipitation. You can easily scroll with a finger (mobile) or trackpad (laptop) to see all available hours.

Also, for our “power” users, if you visit page settings on the home page (see gear icon in upper right), there is an option to enable dewpoints on the hourly forecast. This is quite useful in the summer to determine how “muggy” any given day will feel. The general rule of thumb is it starts to feel humid when dewpoints rise to the low 60s or greater. Once it hits 70° (only maybe a few times per summer in Marquette, generally), it’s quite humid. In the winter, when the dewpoint and the temperature begin converging, the likelihood of snow goes up. So there is value to this reading year round.

We hope you enjoy this new feature. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Revising Alert Policy

I normally don’t allow “Winter Weather Advisories” (WWA) to post on the City page (home page), because too often those end with unremarkable snow totals here. Also, people tune out after a certain point if they are constantly barraged with alerts, which can happen during the winter here.  When you see an alert posted on our main page, you can generally place confidence in its importance and relevance to the city.  Note that the detailed forecast will always specify accumulating precipitation within the next couple days regardless of alert status.

When I saw the Winter Weather Advisory hoisted on Friday (1/17/20), I decided to post it. I could see that just the front-end of the incoming storm was forecast to deliver 4-7″ in about 12 hours. I could also see that conditions were right for a decent amount of lake effect over the following 24 hours.  The $64,000 question, as always, was “how much?”

Continue reading “Revising Alert Policy”

Weekend Wrap Up (1/10-12)

Surface map at 2 PM Saturday 1/11/2020 courtesy of College of Dupage

Some may wonder what happened to all the snow that was in last week’s forecasts. Well… this is a story about a cool, dry Canadian high picking a fight with a warm, moist low to the south.

Numerical weather predictions (“the models”) were all over the place in the days leading up to the presumed storm Saturday/Sunday. In the end, the low pressure system with all the embedded moisture ended up tracking further southeast into Lower Michigan. High pressure won the day.

However, northeast winds and cooler temperatures were sufficient to produce some extremely lightweight, low-intensity, lake-effect snowfall. This is snow where you can decide between a shovel and a broom when it comes time to clean up! Gusty winds kept lifting it off our snow boards. We ended up only measuring 0.2″. But our estimate is about 1.5″ of snow fell early Saturday through Sunday afternoon.

An active week to 10 days lies ahead. In particular, a significant storm originating out of the Rockies may head up our way Fri/Sat. Some smaller snow events in between. Also some lake effect to follow, possibly.

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