Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Lake Superior Waves

Although Grand Marais is located on the edge of the remnants of the storm, Sandy, it has not lessened the impact on wind speed and wave heights.  I decided to document the storm yesterday.  First I took a few pictures from the south side of the bay.  I pulled up next to the bay and took these pictures out of my car window.  It wasn't easy since sleet was blowing horizontal into my car.

Next I drove to the end of Coast Guard Point.  Amazingly, the contractor was still working.  I watched him try to lift this boulder.  As he tried to lift it, the weight of the boulder caused the back wheels to lift off the ground.

I got out of the car and braved the elements.  Here are some shots I took while standing to the east of the Lighthouse Keeper's Museum. The contractor is trying to complete the breakwall, but as you can see they are not yet done.

Next I drove over to Woodland Park and headed down the beach.  It was almost impossible to walk into the wind as the freezing rain hurt as it hit my face.  The waves were 10-12 feet tall.

Here are a couple of maps from NOAA for today's Lake Superior forecast.  The first one shows forecasted wave heights.  In the Grand Marais area wave heights will again be 10-12 feet today.

Wind speeds are expected to be around 30 miles per hour.  I checked the archive for yesterday.  The sustained winds all day were between 25 and 35mph with gusts well over 40 mph.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

On the Edge of the Storm

A super storm is a subjective term for any storm that is extremely and unusually destructive. Yesterday I drove back to the Upper Peninsula, skirting the edge of the storm. The outer bands of the storm hovered over the lower peninsula. As I approached the Mackinac Bridge, the winds seemed to intensify. They allowed us to drive over the five mile bridge, but larger vehicles were restricted to just 20 miles per hour.

Here is a NASA image of Sandy.

Below are a few NOAA maps of the current storm conditions.  The first map shows the wind advisories for today.

The following image shows the precipitation forecast for today.

The following image shows the tropical wind probabilities that are expected today.

Some of the records for this storm include:
--The storm path moved from east to west for what some say may be the first time ever.  This path, along with the fact that yesterday was a full moon (which also increases the tidal surge) increased the storm surge to a record high water level of 13.88 feet in New Your City breaking the previous official record of 10.02 feet.
--Waves in New Jersey were measured at a record 32.5 feet.
-- Sandy’s central pressure bottomed out at 940 millibars, setting a record for the lowest pressure of an Atlantic storm north of Cape Hatteras, N.C.
-- Data is still being compiled, but this storm may have caused a record number of power outages.  It is thought that over 7 million people have lost power thus far.  More customers could loose power today.

Here is a photo I took while driving over the bridge.

I stopped along US 2 and took a few shots looking south over Lake Michigan.  The clouds are the very outer bands of Hurricane Sandy.


By the time I arrived home in Grand Marais, I was able to take a couple pictures of the outer storm bands that were lit up at sunset.


Data sources for Sandy statistics:  NOAA, NBC Today show broadcast.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Mason Gem and Mineral Show

The Central Michigan Gem and Mineral Society puts on a great show, in my humble opinion. The event is held at the county fairgrounds in Mason, MI, located around 15 miles south of Lansing. The venue is a large building, which allows us to drive our cars in right next to our booth. Since I am selling rocks, that is always an advantage since it can take a lot of effort to haul rocks. The mineral club also feeds us lunch and dinner all weekend -- great food at that! Finally, they limit the number of dealers so that those of us that are set up are assured to do well.

A couple of photos of my booth, which consisted of eight large tables, plus one of my own.

Another booth across from that featured fossils...

There are several hand-on and other demonstrations at the show.  The photo below shows flint knapping.

A children's table with inexpensive rocks for kids to buy....

There are also several mineral displays.  Here is a photo from the Tampa Bay agatized coral display...

A copper display..

Beautiful cabs...

An Indiana Geode display.

Of course, there are lots of rocks for sale..

A Petosky stone polishing class...

Animals carved in stone...

One woman was showing how yarn is spun...

The main seller at my booth this weekend was Polychrome jasper...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Not your typical garage

When I was at my friend's house the other night, after dinner we went out for a walk by head lamp and then Marsha had to get something out of her garage.  I, of course, had my camera with me so I decided to take a few photos of some of the things in her interesting atypical garage.

And a few photos from our hike around the yard.....