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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.

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.!

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.

Instrument Calibrations

As noted in the about page, I regularly check our sensors to be sure they are within specifications. Over the last couple weeks I have been conducting tests.

Temperature was right on. That’s typical, as our sensor is pretty bulletproof. I have a platinum RTD digital thermometer that’s accurate to within 0.1° F (best to check on a cloudy, windy night to eliminate radiation as a factor). I also have a laboratory-grade aspirated psychrometer with a dry bulb thermometer that’s extremely accurate. It’s analog, so the biggest challenge is reading between the lines. But my tests show the station’s thermal sensor is within 0.5° during the day which is quite good. There’s also a backup sensor on site as well. At night or on cloudy/rainy days, the two sensors are normally within 0.2° F. During sunny days, height (7 ft vs 21 ft) and shielding differences (active vs passive ventilation) can frequently lead to 1° differences in either direction. 2-3° differences are not out of the question when it’s particularly calm and sunny.

Continue reading “Instrument Calibrations”

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