The Extremes are What Got Me Here…01/14/2023

It’s been an interesting ride, this life of mine. I’ve been obsessed with the weather since about the 2nd grade. I may have thought about other possible paths along the way, but weather has been my main thing. So much so, that I became a meteorologist.

However, I think back on what drove me here. What events that occurred that, kind of, determined my destiny, or purpose? I can think of a few events that started me down this path:

  • A straight line wind event in 1972 that damaged a path from Saugatuck to west of Fennville. My first introduction to weather, and the extremes.
  • The Blizzard of January, 1978, large drifts. If I remember we were out of school for a week, until the roads were cleared.
  • The blizzard of January, 1979. While it was know more for Chicago, it was another big one that put us out of school for a few days , at least.
  • The El Niño of 1982-83. We got to 62°F on Christmas Day.

While these events got me going, I have run into others, since I became a meteorologist:

  • I remember chasing a thunderstorm that produced a funnel, near Otsego, MI
  • The March, 1993 “Superstorm”. I was in State College, PA, working for Accu-Weather at the time. Everything about it reminded me of the blizzards in the late 70s. Large drifts, closed roads. I skied into work that time, since they wanted us off the roads.
  • Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaias, July/August, 2020. It was a hurricane, but passed by us as a tropical storm, while we were at Cape Canaveral.

Then as I get ready to enter the last few years of my NWS career, I got two more to add to my list. They both were within roughly 8 months of each other.

  • The Gaylord EF-3 tornado. Mary and I were living on the east end of town, and the tornado past within 1/2 mile north of the houses. It damaged a good portion of town.
  • The blizzard of Christmas, 2023. I prepared to have to stay at the office. Mary and the dog (Niner) stayed with our daughter in case the power went out. Roads closed.

As I write this, I’ve had very enjoyable year with the weather. I’m starting to wonder if it’s about time for me to move onto a new phase in my life…

What’s Been Going On? And a Weather Comment…12/17/2022

It’s been a while. I have pretty much given up on my Northern Michigan Recreational Weather Blog, and started to blog from here again. A lot of that has to do with charging to embed YouTube videos. Since this is a self-funded blog site, under my wife’s business, I started to do my Coffee and a Weather Map series. However, that has had to be put on hold since the summer, when we moved into a 5th wheel. I haven’t done much with it mainly due to bandwidth issues, and, while in Florida, I lost my Apple Pencil. Since we moved into a cottage south of Gaylord, Our bandwidth, hasn’t improved by much, and now we have power constraint issues. However, on a whole, things have been going well.

However, what first started this post was a comment on the office Facebook page that irked me from a storm that went through the region toward the beginning of the month.

The comment was something along the lines of “with all this technology you’d think we would get better forecasts.”

Blah. My emotional response would have been to sarcastically point out how much better forecasting is since when I got into the business over 30 years ago. I remained calm and moved ahead, ignoring the comment.

I remember being in awe as the NGM (Nest Grid Model) picked up that a wave would produce an east coast storm 48 hours in advance of it hitting anything. Now, we can generally see out 6 or 7 days, although not all the time, and see the possibility of something coming.

That extra time we have now, must be messaged properly so that people will know what to do. However, most of the public can only ask how much snow is going to fall in x city, when there are still lots of uncertainties. We try to message things generally when a system is 5 days out. We try to not get into too much detail since the path track of a storm will change and fluctuate, sometimes by 100s of miles, when within the last 12 hours, the track may be off by 25 miles, and producing more or less snow than was predicted for some locations.

Luckily, we have people who like our work and come to our defense siting their snow fall and the prediction. Over the years, I’ve become accustomed to the generally ignorant comments on social media, but every once in a while…

Just Getting Things Caught Up…09/06/2022

A lot has happened in the last several months. Mary and I decided to sell our house on the east side of Gaylord back in March. We began to investigate places to live. Turns out that’s when the country was coming to grips with the lack of housing issues. However, we decided to do something radical.

We decided to buy a 5th wheel, and live in it. So, at the end of June we paid off all of our debts, and ended up with new truck (to pull the fifth wheel) and a 5th wheel camper. Other than a major issue with the construction of the camper (see Mary’s Blog here), most of the rest have been minor, or just us “learning the ropes.” This all has caused things to fly by.

So currently we places to live into November. This stresses me a bit, since the reason I got out of contract meteorology work 25 years ago was not always knowing where my next pay check was coming from. Not knowing where we are going to live is a bit of a stressor. However, the fun of living outdoors (I choose not to call it camping) has been great.

Issue that needs to be resolved…a reliable internet connection. Back when we owned a house, Spectrum was an okay ISP, and we had great speeds. Enough speed online that Mary and I could livestream at the same time, with no issues. Well, since we are relying on a 4G hotspot in the camper, We have slower speeds, and we have data caps. Currently, we have 100 GB of data per month. So we make sure that we are only using it for our computers (when I have mine operating), or the AppleTV 4K box that we have used the last 3 years while living in the house on Clearview Lane. There are some other problems with the hot spot box as well, but I’m not going into that. Maybe in a future post.

All that to say, that I’m working on getting back to livestreaming my Coffee and a Weather Map with Jeff series. I’m also planning on working on a vlog, too. I’m going to try and do it easy. A little filming each day, and then getting more done with it as time goes on. I really want to do this, since, we are trying to make a travel channel. I really enjoy what we are doing, even though there is a lot to learn.

Coffee and a Weather Map with Jeff 05/16/2022

I muted myself during the first half of the live stream. Blah. This is the edited version with audio.

Coffee and a Weather Map with Jeff 04/22/2022

The weekend warm up and a weather map, all over a cup of coffee…

Coffee and a Weather Map with Jeff 04/14/2022

Windy today with snow mixing in the next few days. Cool stretch into next week…

Coffee and a Weather Map with Jeff 04/08/2022

I have a Friday off! So Let’s talk about the weather!

Coffee and a Weather Map with Jeff 04/01/2022

I forgot to post this the other day.

Coffee and a Weather Map with Jeff 03/28/2022

I talk about the upcoming freezing rain event, and then analyze a map…

Coffee and a Weather Map with Jeff 03/24/2022