Category Archives: Weather

Don’t just prepare for back to school – prepare for floods and other disasters


With Michigan’s weather it’s not uncommon to see flash flood warnings issued. September 30th is National Prepareathon Day, officials are using the day, and the lead up, to encourage families to create emergency plans.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, fewer than half of the nation’s households have a family emergency plan in case of a flood. Continue reading

Atmospheric phenomenon affecting TV and radio broadcasts

CMU Public Radio's broadcast tower in Mt. Pleasant.

CMU Public Radio’s broadcast tower in Mt. Pleasant.

If you’ve been having trouble recently picking up your favorite radio or television station over the air, you’re not alone. A phenomenon known as “tropospheric ducting ” is affecting broadcasts across the Midwest.

It’s causing distant signals to be received sometimes hundreds of miles away from their source, while at the same time making some local stations nearly impossible to pick up. Continue reading

Department of Natural Resources recovery of Grand Traverse County over halfway done

Downed tree at Glen Lake boat launch in Grand Traverse County.  Courtesy of the DNR.

Downed tree at Glen Lake boat launch in Grand Traverse County. Courtesy of the DNR.

Governor Rick Snyder has declared a State of Emergency in Grand Traverse County in response to severe weather earlier this month.

The storms knocked out power across the region, and downed thousands of trees, including many on state property. Continue reading

Power nearly restored across northern Michigan

Aerial view of  downed trees at Skegernog Point.  Photo courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Aerial view of downed trees at Skegernog point. Photo courtesy of the Coast Guard.

Roughly 3,000 northern Michigan residents are still without power Thursday afternoon following Sunday’s severe weather event.

This is down from over 150,000 who initially lost power during the storm.
Continue reading

More mosquitoes could mean fewer cases of West Nile



Larger mosquito populations this year may feel like a curse, but specialists have said it could be a blessing in disguise.

“More mosquitoes can actually mean fewer mosquito-borne diseases,” said Dr. Carl Doud. He’s a mosquito specialist with the Midland County Health Department. Continue reading

EF-2 tornado confirmed in Saginaw and Tuscola Counties

A house with major damage near the 8000 block of East Birch Run Road in Tuscola County

A house with major damage near the 8000 block of East Birch Run Road in Tuscola County

Residents are cleaning up after a confirmed EF 2 tornado with winds up to 115 MPH tore through Saginaw and Tuscola Counties Monday Night, June 22nd.The tornado traveled east south-east, and most of the damage followed a path along Birch Run Road. Continue reading

Fifth-grader enrollment for emergency preparedness program grows

schoolsMore schools in Michigan are enrolling their fifth graders in a state program that aims to prepare them for emergencies.

It’s called Student Tools for Emergency Planning, or STEP. It’s a curriculum that helps teachers prepare students for emergencies like tornadoes, flooding and storms. Continue reading

Experts urge safe driving with extreme cold temperatures

Snow street scenes
It isn’t only snow and ice that can pose risks to Michigan drivers during the winter, but also brutally cold temperatures. When temperatures dip below zero as they have in recent days, Nick Jarmusz, director of public affairs with AAA, said drivers should never hit the road with a tank that’s close to empty.

“Keep at least a half-tank of gas in your car at all times during cold weather to avoid engine freeze-up,” Jarmusz said. “That way, if you do get stranded, you have enough gas to periodically run the engine to keep the car warmed up.”

In addition, Jarmusz said it’s best to check your vehicle’s battery before a cold spell. Faulty batteries cause more car-starting problems than any other factor. He said, at zero degrees, even a good battery has about 35 percent less starting power.

If a car is to break down, state courtesy vans and police are often on the lookout for stranded drivers. If your car freezes up or breaks down, or if you get in a wreck, Jarmusz strongly recommends staying with your vehicle.

“If you start venturing away from your car, the elements are going to be a bigger danger to you than if you were to stay and wait,” he said. “If you’re on a road you can either flag down help or wait for an emergency vehicle. If you have your cell phone, you can call for help.”

Perhaps most importantly, Jarmusz said, is to take precautions before even beginning a drive. When roads are slippery, he said, front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive can help a great deal to get a vehicle going – but once it’s at cruising speed, they do nothing to help you slow down or stop. Also, he said “no” to cruise control on snowy or slippery roads.

“It maintains a specific speed, and if you begin to slide, the vehicle is going to want to keep the wheels spinning at the same rate, in order to maintain the same speed,” says Jarmusz. “What it’s going to do is contribute to loss of control, and if you run into a less-traction situation, the wheels are going to keep spinning.”

If your vehicle has anti-lock brakes, he said applying constant, firm pressure is best to bring the vehicle to a controlled stop under slippery conditions.