Meteorology




meteorology \Me`te*or*ol"o*gy\, n. [Gr. ?; ? + ? discourse: cf. F. m['e]t['e]orologie.]

A science I'm passionate about is Meteorology. You could say I'm a weather weenie. I've been a fan (?) of weather since I was young, afraid of thunderstorms and tornadoes, yet intrigued about what they were. As I got older I started studying them and chasing them.

I started chasing for the National Weather Service years ago. I've subsequently done some work for a local television station, and have also acquired a radio license to facilitate reporting of events.


The Weatherball is Back! In Grand Rapids, we used to have a lighted ball atop one of the tallest buildings downtown. It was the "Weatherball." Made of stainless steel with Neon tubing, it would change colors depending on the weather conditions - warm, cold, precipitation, etc.

In 1999 one of the local television stations purchased the remains of the ball, which was taken down in the mid 1987. Now they are in the process of restoring it to it's previous glory. Unfortunately, a rival station is also taking credit for it, even though all proof lies with the owners - WZZM TV-13. The other station, WOOD TV-8, are liars like usual (they claim to have 5 meteorologists, but it's commonly known they only have 2. The others aren't "real" meteorologists. Heck, I know more about meteorology than those people!)

Along with the Weatherball, there was a saying that went:

"Weatherball Red - Warmer Ahead
 Weatherball Blue - Cooler in View
 Weatherball Green - No Change Forseen
 Colors Blinking Bright - Rain or Snow in Sight."

There was also another color, which was not actually part of the original saying, buit was added by the local high school age kids in the 1970's (and even though I'd like to, I won't take credit for it). The "missing" line is:
"Weatherball Black - Nuclear Attack."

When I mentioned the ball coming back to my brother, I also said it would be cool to have a graphic with the colors. Well, he took that as a suggestion and ran with it. So here, in all it's glory, is the Weatherball for the New Millennium...


Weatherball Red - Warmer Ahead. Weatherball Blue - Cooler in View. Weatherball Green - No Change Forseen. Colors Blinking Bright - Rain or Snow in Sight. Weatherball Black - Nuclear Attack.


WeatherNet | National Weather Service - Grand Rapids, Michigan

Accuweather | Weather Underground | The Weather Channel

Online Meteorology Guide | Weather Glossary for Storm Spotters | Radar Interpretation Tutorial

Storm Prediction Center | National Severe Storms Laboratory | GOES Imagery

Real-Time Weather Data | SkyDiary | Skywarn | Online Tornado FAQ

Weatherwise | Storm Track Storm Chaser Homepage | Tornado Project Online

Sprites and Jets - Storm Phenomena
VUSIT - Valparaiso University Storm Intercept Team

I Suffer from SDS. You can find out more about this debilitating disease here.

Weatherfriend
Weather Weenie of the Week | Site 2

Weather photos can be found on the Weather Photography page.


Jeff's Weather Ponderings


You might live in Grand Rapids Michigan if....

...You are looking east and you see a line of Towering Cumulus forming a line and thunder is heard in the distance.
...The sirens go off but there aren't hardly any clouds over your house.
...The TV announces that a possible tornado was reported on the ground in Ionia County.
...A Tornado Watch is issued for the area just because of ONE dying thunderstorm over Lake Michigan which produced a tornado in southern Wisconsin about an hour ago.
...A weather watch is only in effect for about an hour then cancelled.
...Just as the squall line reaches the shoreline it dies.
...A big storm is crossing the lake, holding together perfectly and heading right for Grand Rapids, when suddenly it shifts course and goes down into Allegan County, just missing GR.
...A moderate risk of severe weather is forecast for the day, but severe weather occurs north, south and east of GR.
...You can actually see an imaginary "dome" over the county which seems like it is blocking all storms from getting us.
...45 tornadoes are reported in one day: 25 in IL, 19 in IN, and 1 in southeastern MI.
...A squall line is about to cross the lake; Milwaukee reports temp. of 80 and dewpoint of 72 while GRR reports 64 and 48 respectively.
...A tornado was spotted on the ground, destroyed a barn then dissipated.
...9 out of 10 watches get cancelled before being allowed to expire.
...The last really "good" storm you had was on July 7, 1991 (the derecho).

Top Five Reasons why we never get severe weather...

5. Warm moist air just has a really hard time lifting over a 50 degree temperature lake.
4. The state's initials aren't KS, MO, IL, IA, OK, TX, NE, IN, WI or OH.
3. Supercells just hate very large bodies of cold water.
2. A 45 degree temp. and a 30 deg. dewpoint in May just ain't good enough.
1. We live in the state of Michigan.


Proud member of

Weather-holics Anonymous