Posted: Jan 21, 2020 / 02:10 AM ESTUpdated: Jan 21, 2020 / 02:10 AM EST
This satellite picture of Lake Michigan was taken Monday afternoon. It was sunny in Wisconsin with snow on the ground. We had the lake-effect clouds in West Michigan, caused by the cold air coming across Lake Michigan. Farther east, away from Lake Michigan it was mostly sunny in Southeast Michigan.
Note that in Wisconsin, there are two inland lakes that remain unfrozen. That’s because these are very deep lakes. The northernmost like (in the dark color) is Green Lake. That lake has an average depth of over 100 feet and a greatest depth of 237 feet, making it deeper than Lake Erie. You can see ice in Green Bay.
The other unfrozen lake is Geneva Lake, which is northwest of Chicago and southwest of Milwaukee. That lake has an average depth of 61 feet and a greatest depth of 130 feet. Contrast that to much bigger Lake Winnebago, which is totally frozen over. Winnebago has a deepest point of just 21 feet.
At sunset, the sun was able to shine under the cloud deck for a couple minutes creating this pretty shot from Steve Damstra.
Here’s the MODIS Lake Superior satellite picture from Monday afternoon – 1/20/20. You can see some lake-effect clouds over the eastern half of the lake. Note how they form “streets” in the lower right of the picture in the eastern U.P. Most all of Lake Superior is open water, with ice in Nipigon Bay, Black Bay and Thunder Bay.
This is the Lake Ontario satellite picture from Monday PM 1 20 20. You can see just a few l;ake-effect clouds forming and coming off the south end of the lake. You can also see the Finger Lakes. You can also see the Niagara River that flows from Lake Erie into Lake Ontario.
Over the last 12 days, January 9-20, Grand Rapids has had just 150 minutes of sunshine – 2 1/2 hours. That works out to an average of 12.5 minutes per day or 1.67% of the daylight hours. I call it a cloud-a-thon. If we could turn clouds to money…Grand Rapids would have won the lotto!
After all the windy days we’ve had this winter, it was a nice change–of-pace to see the calm conditions on Monday. It’s seldom you get a day in January (the month with the highest average wind speed of any month in G.R.) that is this calm…with average winds under 3 mph.
Here’s low temperatures Monday AM – note the contrast, with Holland north along the lake being warmer, due to overcast conditions and a light wind off the 33-degree water of Lake Michigan. Inland it was colder where skies went partly cloudy. Grayling and Roscommon dropped to 17 below zero, while Manistee didn’t get lower than 22.