These are stories about the effects of the particularly cold winter of 2013-14.

Recent Stories

Great Lakes ice breaking all the rules

As dry, cool air rushed over the Great Lakes Nov. 18, it picked up moisture from the warmer water, creating long cloud lines known as cloud streets. In this false-color image,  snow on the ground is dark pink, ice clouds are light pink and water clouds are white. Bare ground is green. Image: NASA

By Cameron Vredeveld

Ice is forming on the Great Lakes faster this year than any other. Lake Superior had areas freezing on Nov. 15, according to Great Lakes Environmental Research data. That’s the earliest in over 40 years. “Early ice formations this year are a product of years past,” said Jia Wang, who forecasts ice-climate for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Continue Reading →

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Animated satellite data shows record-setting Great Lakes ice


The longest period of ice cover in the Great Lakes officially ended on June 6 – much to the relief of everyone who suffered post-traumatic stress from last year’s harsh winter. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA] recently released a year’s worth of Great Lakes surface temperatures. The animation at right shows ice cover and temperature for one day each month of the year. The one below shows the same information for every day of the year. In the 40 years of collecting data there hasn’t been ice cover that has lasted this long, said Anne Clites, physical scientist for the NOAA. Continue Reading →

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Local officials convert paved roads to gravel as lawmakers debate funding repairs

Photo: Flickr/CC.

Michigan communities might see more local roads turned to gravel in coming months, thanks to winter’s remaining grip. The rough winter has given Michigan’s road funding concerns a violent push into statewide spotlight as discussion swirls at the Capitol. But road commissions across the state are eyeing the immediate impact that deeply rooted frost has on a local level. County road commissions have increasingly taken up the practice of permanently or temporarily turning paved roads into gravel in recent years to deal with issues of low funding and poor road conditions, said Joe Pulver, Clinton County Road Commission managing director. Last year, about half of Michigan counties were forced to convert paved roads to gravel, said Monica Ware, the communications and development manager for the County Road Association of Michigan. Continue Reading →

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Snow delays spring corn planting, asparagus harvest

corn stalk

By Nick Stanek

Farmers may be off to a late start this year after snowfall and low temperatures put them behind schedule. There is good news and bad news associated with the snow. The heavy snow insulated the ground, protecting micro-organisms that are good for corn. But the high water remaining in fields could strain the industry, said corn grower Scott Lonier, owner of Lonier Farms near Lansing. “We are at the mercy of Mother Nature right now,” he said. Continue Reading →

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