Sun Goes Down, Temperature Goes Up

Bill’s Blog

Posted: Mar 8, 2021 / 12:48 AM EST Updated: Mar 8, 2021 / 04:54 AM EST

Sunset at the Muskegon Channel Sunday 3/7/21

Usually, when the sun goes down, the temperature falls. Once in a great while, a warm front comes through and the temperature will rise during the evening or overnight. Once in a while, on a calm clear night, the wind will come up and bring down some warmer air from above the surface or a cloud layer moves in the temperature fall will stop and maybe go up a few degrees.

It’s not uncommon for this to happen at the Lake Michigan shore and that is what happened Sunday evening. At the Muskegon Channel, the temperature was 32.5° at 5 pm and the humidity was 75%. At 9 pm, the temp. was up to 34.5°. At 10 pm, the temp. there was 37.6° and at 11 pm, it was up to 39.2°. By 10 pm, the humidity had fallen to 46.4%. At the same time, the wind was increasing. At 9 pm, the wind was just 6 mph…At 10 pm is was 11 mph and at 11 pm it was up to 19 mph. The pic. above was sunset at the Muskegon Channel Sunday evening (3/7/21).

At the South Haven Lighthouse, it was much the same. At 6 pm, the temp. there was 32.4° mph. At 7 pm it was up to 36.0° and by 11 pm, it had risen to 41.5°. At 7 pm, the wind at the lighthouse was 2.6 mph and by 10 pm it was 13 mph. The pic. above is the South Haven pier (breakwater or breakwall) shortly before sunset Sunday evening. Quite a few people walking on the pier and on the beach and even a few guys fishing.

It cold Sunday AM. The low temp. was 16° in Grand Rapids and Muskegon, 9° at Big Rapids, 2 at Houghton Lake and Cadillac, -6° at Pellston, -11 at Rudyard and Spincich Lake and -12 at Raco.

I went to talk at the Alpine Athletic Field Sunday PM. When I got there, wind was dead calm. This was the field to the east of the walking path. Note that the field is still about 80% snow covered. When sun hits the snow, much of the sun’s light bounces off the snow and less of the sun’s energy is converted to heat. Also, when the wind is calm, the snow will keep a cold layer of air right above it, so while the temperature at the 5 foot level may be 37° (which is what my car thermometer showed), it may be 33° right above the snow. Not a lot of snow would melt under those circumstances. The snowmelt will increase when the wind comes up and stirs some warmer air down to ground level.

Much warmer air is moving in. The overnight run of the GFS model gives G.R. high temperatures in the mid 50s today (Mon.), upper 50s on Tue. (I think 60°) and low-mid 60s with showers on Wednesday. I think we could be upper 50s to even 60 today. It will be cooler near the lake.

Lake Michigan Satellite picture from Sunday PM

The Lake Michigan satellite picture shows the snow has pretty much melted south of Grand Rapids, while there was still snow on the ground to the north of Grand Rapids. You can still see the ice along the West Michigan shore.

Ice off the South Haven Channel Sunday PM

This was the ice off of South Haven Sunday PM. We’re not done with snow and colder temps…it’s only March 8.

International Space Station flyover at 5:58 am

If you’re up early this Monday, there’s a nice flyover of the Intl. Space Station at 5:58 am – 6:04 am. Look to the northwest…the station will appear and move fairly high overhead before heading southeast almost to the horizon. Here’s a list of ISS flyovers this week for W. Michigan.

South Haven sunset 3 7 21
Eastern U.S. snowfall thru March 6 compared to average

ALSO: Nice warm surge in the Central U.S. early this week…but winter isn’t over yet. This from Dr. Judah Cohen: “The message from the GFS and Canadian ensembles this morning is – if you live in the Midwestern or Northeastern US don’t put away the snow shovels just yet.” Magnolias in bloom in the Southern U.S. Mt. Etna continues to erupt in Sicily. Sunrise over Lake Michigan from Chicago Sunday AM. Tura, Siberia (Russia) just recorded their coldest March temp. ever at -50.7C. Flash flood! Gulf Shores sunrise. Ohio River flooding. Blizzard Warnings for Western Alaska. Who wants to be here? Northern lights timelapse. Heavy snow in British Columbia. Heavy snow at Paradise, Washington. Global temperature update from Dr. Ryan Maue: February 2021 was 0.54°C “colder” than February 2020 with significant “cool signals” over middle latitudes into Arctic (over land). Overall, the Feb 2021 “anomaly” was +0.13°C or very close to 1981-2010 base period climatology. Understanding the Polar Vortex. A little windy. Kelvin-Helmholtz “wave” clouds.